Articles Archive for July 2011
It is common for home service companies to be handed down through family generations, but that is not the case for the daughter of a Baptist preacher who now sits at the helm of Gene Love Plumbing, Air & Electrical.
Tammy Ferris made her way to the top with a pipe wrench in hand and a entrepreneurial spirit that feeds itself with the reward of keeping the people of Greater Columbia comfortable in their homes. Her commitment to customer service took her from part-time dispatcher to the accounting department to management within three years, under the guidance of business founder Kathy Love. “I was Kathy’s right hand,” said Ferris. “She was a good role model and she groomed me to take over the company. When it came time for her to exit, I bought the business.”
Every now and then, I am moved to mention how very few women find their way to this wonderful industry. My intention is to draw attention to the opportunities and encourage more women to take advantage of them. In my columns, I have introduced you to a couple of terrific women Plumbers. About a year ago, I also hosted a panel discussion at the Plumbing & Mechanical Innovative Thinking convention. Brilliant women from every corner of the Plumbing world shared ideas for recruiting and supporting women in the trades. It was a proud moment for me. Hopefully, I have helped people expand their recruiting, hiring and training to include women. It’s a win-win-win in an industry suffering from a shrinking skilled labor pool.
I’d like to share with you a letter I recently received from a contractor’s wife that basically speaks for itself.
The Letter: “Ten years ago my husband’s partner died. As no one else came running forward, I picked up his job managing the books. How hard could it be?
“After years of struggling, we joined the PHCC. We went looking for kindred souls. Surely there were folks out there who could help us figure out what were doing wrong. We were working hard and getting nowhere, but we were doing, it seemed, what every other contractor was doing. Why were we going broke? What were we missing?
Contractors often ask me to help scrutinize their business. One of the most important questions I ask is, “What if…” then I try to provide some answers.
Doing so requires a look at the company’s balance sheet and three key ratios derived from the balance sheet. These ratios give a good indication of your company’s “staying power” in any economic climate. Since many contractors report that business is slow right now, this may be just the time to tackle this project.
grow your business »
Our Sheltie, Humphrey Bogart, likes to herd things and to protect the house. It’s instinctive. Unfortunately for Humphrey, we don’t keep sheep or cattle in our backyard and the squirrels and rabbits have learned to keep their distance. So what’s a Sheltie to do? Chase aircraft!
We live north of DFW Airport and can easily see planes flying over our house on final approach. Humphrey can see them too. He doesn’t like them.