During our interview with All Area Appliance Repair owner Kerri Spayd explained why running a small business has been beneficial for her family in more ways than one.
Can you tell us why you and your husband decided to start your own appliance repair company?
Kerry Spayd: We started the business so I could work from home and raise our kids, and as an additional source of income due to layoffs at my husband’s employer.
What can you tell us about All Area Appliance Repair?
Kerry Spayd: We are a family owned and operated appliance repair company focused on building lasting relationships with our customers.
How did you end up finding the right niche?
Kerry Spayd: Our niche is combining customer service with honesty and integrity. We strive to provide our customers with honest and accurate service information. We would rather tell a customer to replace an appliance that’s not cost effective to repair than to repair it. Our technicians try to be personable, knowledgeable and on time.
Let’s dive into your and your husband’s background and work history. What can you tell us about that?
Kerry Spayd: I grew up in the repair industry as most of my family operates appliance repair companies and I assisted with day to day operations for my father’s company. While attending college, I worked through Federal Express’s leadership and management program which gave me a solid base for my management style. My husband is a certified Aircraft Maintenance Technician, and his 10 years of service with airplane mechanics and avionics was his base for becoming an appliance repair technician.
My husband mentored with several appliance technicians who had a combined 85 years of appliance repair experience. Eric has attended Appliance Service Training Institute, OEM Technical Training as well as training courses for Kenmore, GE, Whirlpool, LG and many more. We are members of the United Servicers Association and the Better Business Bureau.
Do you have a business plan?
Kerry Spayd: We started with a business plan that included incorporating the company and structuring so that we could provide full benefits to our employees. We sought out resources such as buying groups, leasing programs and trade associations and instituted employee incentive programs.
What is the most rewarding part for you when it comes to running your own business?
Kerry Spayd: The most rewarding part of running my own business is knowing I am instilling a strong work ethic in my children. Everyone in the family has to step it up if someone’s out sick or has an emergency, and my kids get to see first hand what it takes to operate a successful company.
Finally, what has been the biggest challenge for you along the way?
Kerry Spayd: Finding time to balance work and family is an ongoing challenge as we work from home typically seven days a week. We make an effort to take time off away from home to spend quality time with our kids.
For over a decade, All Area Appliance Repair has been providing excellent service to its clients in and around Hampton, Georgia. To find out more about this business and how it can benefit you, visit www.allareaappliancerepair.com
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Pinnacle Pool Services President and Owner Greg Stephens sat down with us recently to tell us about his business and the parts of his job that he finds most rewarding.
Why did you decide to start your own business?
Greg Stephens: I started my business because I saw it was something that I enjoy doing and that I also felt I was very good at. I wanted to be able to provide a great pool service at a more reasonable price than some of my competitors. Finally, I wanted to have more owner involvements in what was happening day-to-day than what I had seen from many of my prior employers in the swimming pool industry.
How would you describe Pinnacle Pool Services to someone?
Greg Stephens: Our business consists of cleaning pools and doing repairs to pools. On the cleaning side of things, we offer one time services, green pool cleanups, monthly service, every other week service and weekly service. For our weekly and every other week customers, we offer and include chemical prices. That way, they know exactly what their bill is going to be. On the repair side of things, we will repair anything mechanically on the pool starting from a plumbing leak, to a pump filter cleaner, to pump automatic control lighting wiring. We also do a great deal of opening pools in the spring, closing pools in the fall, and covered services through the winter time.
We no longer do renovations or build pools, but that is something that we have extensive experience from past work that Pinnacle Pools offered customers. We also have a lot of experience with leak detection, repairs of fiberglass spas and dropping the liners. We learned not to focus on those things so much and focus on what we really do best, which simply is service and repairs to mechanical equipment. By doing that, we are able to do a much better job, much quicker for our customers.
Has there ever been a time that you wanted to give up on your business? A time where you felt discouraged?
Greg Stephens: There have been times where I didn’t necessarily want to give up, but where I have been discouraged. A lot of those kinds of had to do with two different things; either customers being very difficult to deal with and to work with, and to receive payment from. Or, employees not doing what I expected them to do, even though I treat them very well. I overcame this by continuing to put one foot in front of the other, relying on God to direct me in the right way. And over the years the more experience I have under my belt, which now is almost 18 years of running my own business, and definitely over two decades in the pool and the street, I have found that this business runs itself pretty well.
What about your best part as a business owner? What is that like?
Greg Stephens: The most rewarding part of running my company is doing a good job making our customers extremely happy, being able to fix something to other people cannot fix and then them telling us how much they appreciate that. The rewarding thing by far is being able to be of unique service to our customers.
Finally, are you where you thought you would be at this point in time? Behind? Ahead?
Greg Stephens: I am ahead of where I thought I would be at this point in time. The business is going well, I’m making good money, everything is fixed expense wise and even all the vehicles for the business are all fairly new and completely paid for. We’re doing a good job or doing over 200 services a week. The employees we have are doing a good job overall. I’m very happy with the way things are now, and we are definitely ahead of where I thought we and I would be at this point in time.
Pinnacle Pool Services Inc. has been servicing pool owners in and around Suwanee, GA for over 17 years. Those interested in learning more about this company and the pool repair and cleaning services it provides are welcome to visit online at www.pinnaclepoolservices.com
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