Respect Drives Contractor’s Business Philosophy

After getting started in the industry with the official title of “lower level plumber,” Horacio Franco has chosen a different approach for his own company, built around the basic principle of respect

Respect Drives Contractor’s Business Philosophy

Horacio Franco looks on as his foreman Raphael Escobar connects the lines of an Aries Industries grouting system.

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In a dog-eat-dog world, nice guys usually get eaten. Horacio Franco and his company H&R Plumbing and Drain Cleaning in El Sobrante, California, are exceptions.

Franco has focused on the concept of respect in building his company, which purposefully doesn’t have a formal business statement. He says he’s worked for businesses in the past where the carefully worded declarations were posted on the wall. Frankly, he says he noticed a disconnect between the wall sentiment and how employees and customers actually were treated. With H&R Plumbing and Drain Cleaning, he prefers to let the culture of the company be his statement.

“I want to be the best I can and take care of the people who work for us and the customers we serve,” Franco says. “We always recognize the good work that our workers are doing. In our conversations, we always emphasize the positive side of things.”

He got his start in the industry doing plumbing work as a “lower level” plumber for a company. He says he never liked the term.

“They had the upper level and lower level of workers. I decided in my company we wouldn’t have upper and lower levels. Everyone is cross-trained. Some are better at one thing or another, but they all have the same training. The same guys can be doing grouting or lining or whatever and never will feel lower than someone else.”

Franco is reluctant to say that his code of respect might separate H&R Plumbing and Drain Cleaning from rival companies.

“I don’t really like to criticize other companies,” he says. “I want to be focused on what I am doing more than what other companies are doing. We are in competition in every aspect of the business, but I don’t want to put down the competition. I don’t need to be focused on what other companies are doing or not doing. I just want my company to produce the best results in the field. That’s what I like.”

Read more about H&R Plumbing and Drain Cleaning in the July 2019 issue of Cleaner magazine.


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