Michael Boyd was still working for a plumbing contractor when he obtained his own contractor’s license.
“I had my license and was able to get a remodel project,” Boyd says. “I scheduled it for a couple of weeks out and gave my two weeks’ notice at work.”
Boyd also ended up selling his Harley-Davidson motorcycle in order to give himself a financial cushion during the initial phase of his career shift.
Despite those initial financial concerns, Boyd was more than ready to venture out on his own. “It felt great,” he says.
Boyd made that big leap just 3 1/2 years ago. And in that short amount of time, Boyd Plumbing has rapidly made a name for itself in the greater Sacramento, Calif., area.
“When I started, it was my truck and I,” Boyd notes. “Now I’ve got four vans and four employees, not including myself.”
But basking in the glow of his accomplishments is something Boyd simply doesn’t have time for.
“I don’t think about it (the growth of his company) too much,” he says. “I just keep plugging along. My wife and I do feel blessed to be doing well in this economy, but I don’t smell the roses too much.”
Instead, Boyd Plumbing, a member of the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors – National Association and its Quality Service Contractors group, is busy focusing its energies on tankless water heaters, remodels, service and some commercial work.
Boyd says the plumbing contractor business in the Sacramento area is fiercely competitive, especially after a home-building boom dried up several years ago. That environment led Boyd to focus specifically on tankless water heaters in order to separate himself from the area competition.
“I try to specialize in it and try to be an expert in that field,” he says. “I believe in the product. My supply house says we do more tankless with them than anyone in the Sacramento Valley and we’re a pretty small company.”
The 40-year-old Boyd, who recently competed in an Ironman-type triathlon competition in San Diego, advertises that specialty on the side of his 2008 Isuzu NPR truck (with Spartan box).
“Not only is it a rolling billboard but it makes me stand out with the professionalism,” says Boyd, who also has two cargo vans and a Chevy truck with a utility bed in his fleet. “I can get four water heaters and lots of material in there - the whole shebang. It’s a moving warehouse.”
Boyd is impressed with how the truck’s swirling water logo (printed by Sunrise Signs of Carmichael, Calif.) turned out. However, he admits he was more concerned with longevity when he had it designed.
“I figured I was going to make the logo once,” he says. “I paid $150 to a graphic artist. I didn’t want to get on the road, get T-shirts and sweatshirts and then change the logo. I wanted to brand myself from the get-go.”
Boyd also recently joined the Nextstar best practices group and notes he’s always searching for ways to improve his plumbing and business knowledge.
“I’m like a sponge,” says Boyd, who has the goal of becoming a remote owner by the age of 45. “I’m always on the Internet. I read magazines. I’ve learned a lot from Plumbing & Mechanical. Since I’ve joined Nextstar, it’s changed a lot of things.”
Boyd, who bought himself a new Harley last year, says he’s made his company shine in the competitive Sacramento area through one important creed.
“We treat our existing customer base like gold,” Boyd says. “We get a lot of repeat business and referrals. We’re easy to work with and we’re fair. We try to show the value of hiring Boyd Plumbing.”
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