“To see those lights come to life, and see those clients super excited, it makes us happy. When we finish those big projects, I can allow myself to shut the business for a week or two weeks, and just fly somewhere. I love to travel.”
After years of working for various electrical contractors, Steve Gold knew he had enough experience to open his own business. In 2007, he launched All Electrical Solutions, and quickly scaled the operation to a point where he was overwhelmed.
“I grew the business, and I was not happy. It was seven days a week, with twenty-four hour response, and emergency calls in the middle of the night.”
Although Steve was able to hire extra help, he remained the decision maker and the main point of contact. So, even if one of Steve’s employees answered emergency calls during off hours, that employee would often end up waking Steve up with the tough, emergency questions.
Eventually, around the clock availability took its toll on Steve. He never believed his hair would turn white before the age of 40, but it did.
“We worked harder. We became sicker. We’d make more money, but it was not really worth it.”
The payoff wasn’t there. Steve wasn’t able to take time off to enjoy the extra money. In fact, the money he made often went to pay medical bills for himself and his employees.
Luckily, Steve was now his own boss. He decided to downsize and set clear boundaries between his work life and his personal life. He limited hours to Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. He kept separate phone numbers for work and personal.
Steve’s downsizing ended up being a rightsizing.
“I’m not looking to grow what I have. It’s more than enough.”
Many electrical companies are forced to offer 24×7 support because it’s the only way to win business from competitors. Steve has taken a different approach. He intentionally keeps his client base small but develops a deep level a trust to ensure that clients will continue coming back to his business, and give him the time he needs to deliver exceptional quality.
“They trust us. Our Yelp account has over 100 people who wrote us five-star reviews with different scenarios, with different issues. There’s not a lot of electrical companies within our area that have these reviews.”
Steve starts building trust by listening to customers and being honest with them in return.
“They tell us their story. We listen to their story. I will tell them my opinion over the phone, but to be sure, I have to look in person to understand what’s going on. Then, we show them everything. If we need to open a switch or open a cover, or a breaker box, we can show them so they feel comfortable with us.”
Part of that honestly includes not overselling.
“We will never try to be this used car dealership and sell you stuff that you don’t need. We would never do that. If you ask us for our recommendation, we will give you fair, honest response back. I’ll do my best to help you as I would a friend or a family member.”
Steve has built a business that gives him the lifestyle he wants. He can sleep at night, and take a vacation when he wants. All the while, he continues to please happy customers who trust his business with their electrical problems.