In this series, ActionCOACH Mary Ann Hauser (MAH) and team virtually sit down with business owners to learn how they are working through COVID-19. Check out their inspiring stories for tips on how to cope with and successfully recover from this pandemic as well as ideas on how to avoid making common mistakes. And be sure to look at special offers from these businesses – we can all use a little extra help right now!
FW: I’ve been working in HVAC for over 30 years, and in business for myself for about 8 years. I started out in Pennsylvania, but I met my wife who is from North Carolina and ended up moving down here. My mom pushed me into heating and air conditioning when I was in high school, and now I know everything there is to know about mechanical work: heating, air conditioning, exhaust fans, refrigeration, and so on.
BKN: Who is your best customer or target customer?
FW: Customers that want to keep their units in the best shape for the long run. I do commercial and residential work. The best customers are repeat and lifelong customers.
BKN: What has been the biggest impact of COVID-19 on your business?
FW: The loss of revenue – I'm about 40% off from where I was last year at this time. Luckily, it didn't hit me as hard as a lot of other people. I was still able to go out and work. The downturn was about three months, but once it started getting warm, people just wanted their AC fixed and business picked back up.
BKN: What are 1 or 2 actions that you took because of the pandemic, and how are they working?
FW: We started being more aware of customer and employee health – we wear masks and gloves. We started offering no-contact service, where as long as I could access the equipment to do the job, I didn't even have to come into contact with the customer, and they can pay through my website. I have a lot of elderly customers, and I don't want to be that person that gave it to a customer because I didn’t wear a mask.
BKN: What has been your biggest learning since you became a business owner?
FW: It’s not as easy as everyone thinks it is, but never let anyone tell you that you can’t do it. Be willing to take risks and stick your neck out there. In the long run you’re not going to move forward if you don’t take risks. For a long time, I listened to other people and did what they said. When I left my last job, I told my boss, “I don't care if I fail. If I fail, I’ll try again. If I don't try, I’ll regret staying here”.
BKN: Any offers you would like to include?
FW: $20 off a service call, or $200 off a new installation
BKN: What is most inspiring to you today?
FW: Being able to build this business, not only for me for me and my family, but for the potential families that I can help by having a successful business. We’ve struggled just like everybody raising kids, but we’re quite blessed. I want to build my business for my retirement, but I get a lot of satisfaction helping other people get to the next level and take care of their families.