Heating and Cooling Services Boost Revenue

Mike Marvon once focused exclusively on plumbing, but adding a complementary service like HVAC work has been a boon for business, now accounting for a third of his company's revenue

Heating and Cooling Services Boost Revenue

Mike Marvon

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To Mike Marvon, the owner of Lesco Plumbing, Heating & Cooling in Caldwell, New Jersey, adding complementary services to his plumbing service and repair work was a no-brainer business move — and one that he says other plumbers should definitely consider.

“It’s important to diversify because when you go into customers’ homes, they have all these systems,” he says. “And if you can make that customer happy, they’ll give you every opportunity to work on everything else in the house. So it only makes sense to add as many services as you can. And that’s even more important if your competitors already do that, because customers would rather deal with one company that can do it all.”

When Marvon founded his business in 2004, he only did plumbing, plus he worked on hot-water and steam heating systems. But after about eight years of customers consistently calling and asking if the company also did HVAC work, he took the plunge.

His best bit of advice for HVAC newbies? Hire the best technician possible to lead entry into this new market.

“You may have to pay someone more money, but you’ve got to have the right person to handle that kind of work,” Marvon says. “That work is a whole different animal than plumbing. I hired the best guy I could to handle the HVAC side because it’s not my thing.”

In keeping with his business philosophy of keeping operations simple and efficient, Lesco only does HVAC repairs or system replacements, not new construction or ductwork.

“It’s important to keep it simple because there are so many different specialties within HVAC,” Marvon says. “One technician might only do one thing and another will only do another thing — it gets very granular. So we keep it very simple and home in on the easiest and most profitable work, which is replacing, fixing or servicing equipment.”

The cost of market entry wasn’t daunting, either. Marvon estimates he spent about $1,000 for tools, equipment, materials and parts, plus the cost of another truck, insurance and a technician’s salary.

The entrepreneur kept the marketing simple, too, by mailing letters to existing customers to let them know about the new services. Having an existing client base really made a difference, he notes.

Now HVAC services generate about a third of the company’s annual revenue, Marvon says.

“If you already have a business, it pays to add another element to what you do best,” he says.

Another company owned by Marvon, Smiley Drain, will be featured in a future issue of Cleaner magazine.


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