As an HVAC professional, the most important service you can give is customer service. Being successful as a home service business depends on your commitment to the community, how you stand out as a business, and the services you provide. Deborah and Julius Jenkins of Doc J’s Heat and Air and Michael Johnson of A/C Man Heating and Air have been in the business for decades and share some of their knowledge as successful black business owners in the HVAC space.
Meet the HVAC pros on their journey to success
Deborah got her start in the hospital space but knew what she wanted more for her life. She wanted to build a business that she could pass on to the younger generation in her community to create jobs and long-term opportunities for her business.
“What we want to do is train young people of color and women in the field to pass on the knowledge that we have,” Deborah said.
Michael Johnson from North Carolina expressed how he got his start in the Air Force. One of his favorite parts of running his company is knowing he has a business someone else can see themselves in. As a mentor and a business owner, he says that creating his own company culture is one of the best things about it.
“Being in business for yourself is an opportunity to have a workplace where you love to work. If you’re the business owner, you control that culture,” Michael said.
Michael also talks about how within his company, having young people working for him that don’t have close relatives means that their working environment becomes something like a family.
How important is customer service in HVAC?
Customer service is always key as a business owner. It separates you from other companies. Customers will never forget the service you gave them, and they’ll often remember it before they even remember your name.
Michael talks about how it’s a thin line to walk.
“You don’t want to come into someone’s house and not be polite, but you also want to be professional without being overly friendly no matter what the customer’s home looks like,” Michael said.
As a business owner, sometimes you may approach roadblocks that offer valuable lessons to learn from. Michael mentions that removing roadblocks starts with having confidence and looking within yourself.
“When it comes to Black History Month, we’re more than sports and civil rights,” Michael said.
How do you handle being a black business owner?
Deborah and Julius talk about how they always wanted to be purposeful when it came to their ethnicity on their website.
“We don’t want people not to know who we are. We want to be very purposeful,” Deborah said.
Michael mentions that in the beginning, he didn’t put himself on his website for fear of being judged. “I thought people were going to hire me based on it, but after years of that, it turns into a strength. Wake up with the mindset that I’m going to make this a power.”
Take charge of your own story
The stories of Deborah and Julius Jenkins and Michael Johnson remind us that overcoming challenges is possible with hard work and dedication.
They inspire us to strive for success, no matter our background or circumstances – and even more importantly – to help those within our communities who are seeking opportunities and jobs.
The HVAC industry is becoming more inclusive by the day, thanks to the hard work of professionals such as Deborah and Julius Jenkins, Michael Johnson, and many other determined individuals.
Not only are they shaking up the traditional expectations of typical entrepreneurs in this space. But they’re also working towards creating positive change that helps build a better future through their own businesses. They are true examples of what can happen when you take charge of your own success story.