Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in general services but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Rudi Schweitzer, Owner of Schweitzer's Plumbing Centre, located in St. Agatha, ON, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
We have three distinct divisions under one corporate umbrella that comprise a full plumbing service department, a design/build bath & kitchen department, and our latest endeavor, Luminous Stone.
Our customers have primarily been in the residential marketplace; however, we have been branching out into the commercial arena in recent years. Our clients typically invest in improving, maintaining, and keeping current with the latest trends & design in the property(s) they own.
Tell us about yourself
As a family business, I grew up helping anytime I was available. By my late teens, I had become a full-time employee and never looked back. Continuously growing myself, I also grew the business, learning along the way but also understanding the need for formal business education. Accepting that you can't do everything and knowing when to let others be better suited to take over certain aspects of the business gave me the space to expand my footprint in the local marketplace.
Enjoying the growth and accepting new challenges keep me motivated every day. For the most part, it's fun, and even when it's not, my personal drive pushes me through to the other side, where everything is good again.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I'm happiest about my team. The people I've assembled and worked with are the real secret behind our success. To grow, you need top-notch staff that sees your vision, trusts you, and give their best while enjoying their time with the company.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Finding and assembling a great staff isn't easy. Not everyone "fits the mold," and over time, I've learned to successfully find a person I think will be a great asset to the company. Finding those great people has been the single hardest thing for me to accomplish.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Understand and manage cash flow. This is the single most important skill any business owner needs to have. Profits mean nothing without adequate cash flow to operate.
- Hire to best for character first, and skill second.
- Enjoy the ride. If the good days don't outnumber the bad days, then pack it up, and get a job working for someone else. Business isn't for everyone; some people just don't know it yet.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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