This month, I chatted with Peter Lloyd, who is the owner of Lloyd Plumbing, Heating & Gas Service, LLC, in Cabot. I have to admit that I don’t know much about those trades, but it was a much more interesting conversation than I expected!
Ellen Cairns: I know you took over the Heating and More business last year- when did you first start your business?
Peter Lloyd: It’s been about seven years. I was a part owner of Heating and More, which my dad and I started about 11 years ago. Co-ownership can be a challenge, so I started a plumbing business on my own. Recently, I bought out the business I started with my dad and hired my brother. It’s been good for my dad not to have the stress of running a business. We are a family business; my grandfather and brother-in-law are also a part of my team.
Cairns: How many people work there?
Lloyd: Currently, we have ten employees; three office staff and seven technicians. The business is based out of my house in Cabot; we turned the bulk of the house into business space, and now my family is looking to purchase another house in Cabot to live in.
Cairns: I noticed you have an A+ rating through the Better Business Bureau…
Lloyd: Great customer service is really important to me. We commit to on-time appointments, fixing the job right, providing a warehouse-on-wheels, and straight-forward pricing. We respect the customer’s home by offering safety and comfort; we wear floor savers, are neat, clean and professional. We install proven parts and equipment. We offer the best team of highly trained, experienced, background checks and drug tested employees. We back up all our work with the best guarantees on labor, equipment, parts and materials; 100% satisfaction guaranteed. Customer service is all about good communication, being honest with our customers. We provide in-house and paid customer service training to our technicians. Business integrity is huge for me, as is having great, honest and hard-working employees with positive attitudes, who are willing to work together as a team and to learn and accept challenges. We have compounded our efforts to be the best customer service company in the area. Our mission is to be dedicated to providing our customers with the best quality service, workmanship and materials.
Cairns: Is there a busy season to your business?
Lloyd: Yes, basically from the end of summer through the heating season. Summers are really busy, too, with a lot of projects going on – new houses, larger additions and remodeling work. There’s always a lot of work, and we had to decide where to focus. We mainly provide direct-to customer work, although we work with contractors too.
Cairns: What do you like about having your own business?
Lloyd: I’m a technician at heart and I like doing more of the service side; I am passionate about this business and wear all the hats. It’s all about giving people what they want and need, and offering the best customer service out there. People are often calling at their worst time, during an emergency – for me, it’s all about how can we make it better? It’s also important to me to help my guys be successful by offering them opportunities. I’m trying to develop an in-house training program. The sky is the limit in this business – they can keep climbing the ladder, get all the certifications they need, and there’s always work.
Cairns: Is there anything you don’t like about it?
Lloyd: It can be hard to find good employees. I’m always looking for people who have positive attitudes, are honest and hardworking and have integrity. The long hours can be tough, but the team of people I have help make it better.
Cairns: What do you like about having a business in Cabot?
Lloyd: I really like it – I built my house in Cabot and I want to stay here. It’s business-friendly, there are people who want to help, like the Cabot Community Association supporting businesses in the town. I do a ton of local work and my employees are all from around here. We offer discounts on the service call fee to customers nearby; we want to take care of people and be a part of the community.
Cairns: What do you do in your free time?
Lloyd: I enjoy kayaking, motorcycling, snowmobiling when I get a chance, and, most importantly, family time with my wife and two daughters, who are 4 and 7.
Local Business Matters is brought to you by Cabot Community Association. Ellen will be contacting local business people over the next few months. If you have a business and are interested in being highlighted or have other ideas you’d like to propose, we’d love to hear from you. Call us at 563-3338 or email Ellen@CabotVermont.org.