David Siebold is the owner of Statewide Service Company, the business is approaching its 25 year anniversary this year.
David is a graduate of University of Texas at San Antonio with a BS in Accounting. He began working at a small air conditioning company basically as a part time intern during his last two years of college. Initially the existing business was owned by a husband and wife whose primary business was to provide A/C services to mobile home dealers and owners. The company had fallen into financial disarray . David and a business partner were able to purchase the business by basically taking over the financial obligations of inventory payoff. In 1989 the business changed its name to Statewide Service Company. They started with 3 employees. One of those employees is still with him today – some 25 years later. David and his partner also purchased a mobile home park and dabbled in the rental house market. Eventually David and his partner decided to move in different directions. David sold his interest in the mobile home park and rental houses and retained ownership of the air conditioning service business.
At the beginning of business ownership David was understandably nervous.
In retrospect three things have contributed to the success of his business:
- Employees with a trusted work ethic
- Long term relationships with customers
- Long term relationship with vendors
During the lean years he barely drew a salary. They relied and budgeted on his wife’s salary to maintain their household. David acknowledges that it takes a long time to build a service business. He is now approaching a 25 year anniversary. He credits long time customers such as Palm Harbor Mobile Homes in the continued success of his business. About 10 years ago the company was forced by economic factors to branch out into other areas of service work after recognizing a niche business opportunity to support related business needs. David’s customer base is mobile home dealers. These dealers would want someone to build steps or decks for mobile home purchasers in addition to air conditioning service work. These dealers needed a service company that could work on appliances and do mobile home skirting. It was a natural evolution to add these services to their business offering. Currently David estimates that he currently provides 70% of mobile home service to the San Antonio and South Texas area.
David credits his business accounting background with allowing him to price his service fees competitively and believes his competitive pricing has given him the marketing advantage that is a direct part of his success.
Words of advice – Service cost is based on overhead. You must be tight and efficient with not a lot of fat on the books if you want to be successful.
In 1988 mobile home dealers in the San Antonio area were selling about 40 homes a month . In today’s market, dealers sell 200 to 300 a month. He recognizes there will always be a need for the affordable housing market – specifically in the mobile home industry.
Here are his top factors for success.
- Surround yourself with good reliable people
- Be frugal
- Focus on loyalty with your employees, your customers and your vendors
- Partner yourself with good partners
Small Business Spotlight Series #SBW2014
This Small Business Spotlight is part of a series of interviews performed by Employers Resource in order to honor small business owners and the hard work they’ve invested in-pursuing their dreams of owning a business. They represent the #DreamItBuildIt elite. Cheers to your passion, your values, and your hard work.