But if you're going to trust me with training your plumbing company, guiding your business, or enhancing your success, you must know where I come from, where I am, and where we are headed.
I'm Eric Smith and it's great to be chatting with you! I guess you could say I was born to be in the home service business. Like many, my introduction to the plumbing and HVAC business began working under my father’s feet on weekends, over Christmas breaks and all summer long for as long as I can remember. I was born mechanically gifted, detailed oriented, determined and curious and have always been fascinated with building, troubleshooting, and fixing anything I could get my hands on. To this day I love the technical side of plumbing and HVAC. I love troubleshooting, creating solutions, working with variables, and installing something and making it look perfect. I make it a point to get out and practice the technical side of my craft on a weekly basis. By choice.
My business training in the home service industry started when I was 16 years old, thanks to my father’s foresight. There is a long back story to how that came to be that I will share when we have more time, but yes, at 16 I skipped school to attend seminars and training delivered by the plumbing and HVAC industry's greatest business people and sales trainers such as Jim Abrams, John Young, Mike Diamond, Ellen Rohr, Ron Smith, Frank Blau, and my father, Tom Smith. Already in love with the trade, seeing the amount of wealth that was possible in the home service business sent my passion for this industry into overdrive. During my Junior and Senior year in high school, I held several key roles in transforming my father's successful 20 truck new construction company into the thriving, residential only, plumbing and HVAC service company it is today. The Monday after I graduated high school, I was our company's only service technician and later that month, Ellen Rohr wrote this article which was published in Plumbing & Mechanical Magazine- Kids Today.
I am so blessed to have had the opportunity and success that I have had in my career. The only way I can prove my gratitude for knowledge I have gained is to relentlessly put it to work on a daily basis. I have excelled in every role I have held, from being the shop boy, to a plumbing tech, to HVAC sales, to HVAC replacement installer.
Today I use my knowledge and talents in the various companies that I own and operate as well in our clients businesses, ultimately supporting one of the most talented teams of plumbing and HVAC professionals that has ever been assembled. Many of our team members have been with us through our transformation.
There is a special place in my heart for closely held family-owned plumbing and HVAC companies; after all, I own one and go to work in it every day! There is something magical about how that little mom and pop shop my Grandpa started evolved into the thriving plumbing and HVAC service company that currently provides a level of income, a style of life, and a work/life balance that's beyond any of my wildest dreams.
But let's be real... a lot has happened between the beginning and today and it wasn't always rainbows and unicorns. I also know we will face challenges in the future, but that's business. I don't know what that specific challenge will be, but what I do know is we have the knowledge, the systems, the procedures, and the drive to work through whatever comes our way and I know we will get smarter and stronger doing it.
I understand the challenges that you face in the home service industry because I face them every day too. So many times in my career I would have given anything to have been able to pick up the phone and call someone with mud on their face, someone who knew me, knew our business, knew our goals, and could help get me where I was going without the struggles. It's that, plus the systems, procedures, and sales processes that we have built that almost eliminate the challenges businesses face, that in turn create profit machines that build wealth for generations.
And if you'd like, we'll teach them to you!
Here's to your success!
P.S. I don’t expect you to take my word for any of this, in fact I wouldn’t believe me either until I saw proof that I am not just another snake oil sales person. I will gladly show you the evidence of the family company I bought and doubled in my first year of 100% control or the countless other companies we have ownership in or involvement in that have experienced the same results.
P.P.S. I have been equally blessed personally, as I have in business. The most impactful sale I have ever made was when I convinced my high school sweetheart Allison to marry me. She has been at my side since we were 18 and during every step of my business journey. Not only is she one hell of a business woman and partner in PlumbAmatic™, she is an outstanding mother and wife. Allison and I have 4 children, 2 girls and 2 boys ranging from 13 years old down to 7. We live peacefully on our hobby farm in Wisconsin wrangling our kids, raising and showing beef cattle and chickens along with our lab, and a couple of barn cats.
This is why we built Plumbamatic™
It's different today than it was back then. Most of the sales trainers, consultants, and
best practice groups out there don't own or manage a company they claim to be experts on.
Taking advice on sales, marketing, training, pricing, etc. from people or groups who don't actually practice what they preach is crazy! I mean, it's easy to stand at a podium when it's been 20 years since you had your best tech walk in and give notice and preach about what it takes retain your people. We built PlumbAmatic™ because there is a shortage in today's market of real business people willing to help home service companies succeed. A lot has changed in the last 30 years, and although there is no substitute for experience, don't overvalue experience if it's stagnant or irrelevant to where you are in the growth of your business.
Our clients are independent business owners in all different markets with all different
business models. We get that- in fact, that's what we love!
Too many consultants and best practice groups try to jam "canned" processes down the throats of their members and clients and have a "my way or the highway" attitude when it comes to many things. Do you know how we know that not all "canned" processes work in every market? Because we have blindly implemented such processes and seen them fail. We have, however, with great success modified a canned process that fits our company's goals, needs, wants, and expectations. PlumbAmatic™ offers custom solutions to each unique client and situation. Sure, the success principles that make up our core values don't change, but how that process is applied to each unique client or situation does. A solution or process developed to address a specific issue has a greater probability of success than one that is being forced to work but doesn't fit your company.
At the end of the day, we are all technical people that ended up in business.
The schooling required for me to get my Master Plumbers license took 8 years and never once was I taught a thing about business in that training. There are hundreds of thousands of home service companies out there being run by awesome technicians that have zero sales, marketing, or business training. PlumbAmatic™ provides turnkey technician, sales, call center and management training, systems and procedures that are guaranteed to increase sales, profitability, team member morale, and improve the overall health of your organization at a cost that's easily affordable regardless of your current financial health.
Trades people are tremendously talented people that provide services that will never be replicable by a machine. They are highly trained and technical people and should earn a living fit for the investment required to be a trades professional.
I am very proud to say that the members of our team in the plumbing and HVAC company that we own and run earn an amazing living. As a company, we pay 100% of health insurance, provide vehicles to and from work, uniforms, top notch trucks and equipment, paid vacation, cell phones, paid holidays, 401K, Christmas bonuses and performance bonuses. Most importantly the relationship we have with our team represents a partnership much more than the employer-employee relationship that it is. We have our team’s back and they have ours. We can afford to pay our team what they are worth and more because our company is profitable.
Profitable companies make happy employees, and happy employees make ecstatic clients. Ecstatic clients make profitable companies very busy.
The future success of the company you're building today lies in the hands of those yet to enter the workforce. It's time for the leaders in this industry to make becoming a home service professional be as trendy as working at Amazon. Without the nap time of course :)