Drain Cleaner Creates His Own Destiny

Slow and steady wins the race — and a new market — for a Kentucky contractor. Check out his story.
Drain Cleaner Creates His Own Destiny
Drain Line Services Owner Steve Dabney jumped into the drain cleaning industry in 2006 with no field experience, but dedicated himself to learning everything he could. He bought his company two years later and has found a valuable niche serving large commercial facilities in his service area around Louisville, Ky. (Photography by Shaun Ring)

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During the economic woes of 2008, right when he bought Drain Line Services in Louisville, Ky., Steve Dabney says he held on by the skin of his teeth. 

“I was in something fairly new to me as the economy was crashing,” he says. “I was looking at potential markets and how they would be affected. With health care I knew that people would be going to the hospital, and nursing homes would have residents who would need to be cared for. This became an essential component of my business plan.” 

Dabney’s experiences over the past several years have taught him to be somewhat cautious when it comes to jumping into new services or expanding the customer base. He is always willing to help out plumbing contractors when they request his services for residential work, but he isn’t eager to pursue that market on his own at this time. He also isn’t eager to jump into new technologies like lining or pipe bursting because he believes it might be more of a diversion, taking away from their current customer base. 

“I have grown slowly, and done so by design,” he says. “It is kind of a cliché, I know, but we really want quality over quantity – quality of service over quantity of services we offer. We have found a place we find very comfortable. We are well-known. What we do we do very well and we’ll not venture out too far at this time. 

“I never saw myself doing this. If someone had said I would be doing this I would have laughed. It can be a very dirty and trying business – no question – but it is also very satisfying. I love being able to help solve a problem. 

“I don’t go on all service calls, but whoever goes, when we walk in we are greeted with ‘Here are the drain guys.’ We become a part of the team.” 

Want to learn more? Check out a full profile on Drain Line Services.


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