My father started Wisler Plumbing back in 1986. When he retired, my brother and I bought the company from him. We now own, operate, and run it completely. Before that I was already running the day to day operations. However, once I bought the company I assumed the role of President, which has the responsibility of planning, budgeting, and long-term planning/strategy.
One of the things that I learned during my first year of owning the business was that when you plan for people, you’ll often realize that the plan doesn’t go quite as you anticipated. That’s just the nature of how things are. It doesn’t mean that you’re a bad planner—it’s just that small businesses often get thrown curveballs and you have to be able to adapt very quickly. This definitely isn’t to say that I would recommend anyone going without a business plan. You just have to realize that you can spend a lot of time planning (which is great, because it means you have a vision and path that you’re trying to execute). But don’t become discouraged whenever things don’t work out as you’ve planned them.
Another thing I learned is just how important it is for the individuals in the company to be aligned with your values, culture, and overall goals. I’ve always known about how important employees are. Without them, you don’t have an organization or a team. However, we’ve really been able to hone in on the ideal qualities of who we’re bringing onto the team. It’s not that some people are bad hires or bad people in general. It’s just a matter of making sure that they’re the right fit for our organization and making sure they mesh well with our team culture.
It shows itself in so many unexpected ways when you have a team of individuals that are truly a good fit. The reality is, it’s something that trickles down to every aspect of our business, including the service experience that the customer receives, the experience that the management team has in the company, and the overall health of the organization. It’s something that we’ve had to gradually adapt to. We’ve always hired good people, but we realized that some of those people would be better off at another place where they’d be a better fit.
With every year that goes by, I still find myself learning more lessons. I suspect I’ll keep on learning until the day I die. If you have any questions about owning or operating your own business, or if you want to work with the team at Wisler Plumbing, contact us online or give us a call at 540-483-9382.