THE BUSIEST TIME OF THE YEAR
When I first started Building Air Quality 29 years ago, winter was pretty quiet. Clients seldom called in the cold months. It was the hot, humid summer days that kept me busy. Now, since the work I do is so varied, I get calls year-round. This is a blessing and a curse. I’m certainly happy to have the work, but when the holidays come around, I have so much on my plate that I don’t have the opportunity to make any plans.
This is the nature of running your own business, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. My son-in-law is a carpenter, and he recently bought the company he’s worked at for years. When I was in California for my middle daughter’s wedding, we were talking about how different it is when you’re in charge of the company. He told me how he works the same long hours, but throughout the day, he has a chance to gather his thoughts and figure out the best way to spend his time. This was something I could certainly relate to. The best part about running a business is getting to decide how you spend your time — though occasionally, that means you have to choose to spend your time finishing reports while you’re on vacation.
I don’t mind being busy through the end of December. Through my hard work, my clients are able to start the new year on the right foot. When my clients call, it’s because they need me. I get to come in and solve problems, which I really enjoy. This time of year, I have a lot of clients who need me to walk their buildings, doing proactive surveys before their budget runs out at the end of the year. And of course, there are the odd tenant complaints and emergencies brought on by mold or water damage. Whatever the job, it’s rare for me to have a silent night this time of year.
After I get a call or email, I try to get out to the site as soon as possible. Sometimes, I’m able to come in the very next morning, which always seems to surprise people. If I can shuffle my schedule around, I will. I’d rather not have my clients waiting around three or four days to fix a problem that needs to be solved yesterday. Their business is too important to me. I don’t want to run the risk of them calling someone else who won’t do as good of a job. I’ve had to clean up plenty of messes that could have been easily avoided if I dealt with the problem in the first place. Plus, any business owner knows that if you go the extra mile, and put in the extra effort, you’re going to be the first one clients will call in the future.
I can’t promise I’ll be able to make it over the next day for every call. Sometimes, I get a call and I have to say, “Can it wait until Thursday?” But when the situation is dire, I’ll try to move the schedule around and be there as soon as possible.
Happy holidays to you all! Thank you for another great, busy year. I look forward to working with each of you in 2019.