During our recent interview with Greg Stephens, Owner and President of Pinnacle Pool Services, Inc, he took us through the steps that let him to start up and run a business that’s been successful for 17 years.
How did you end up finding a niche for Pinnacle Pool Services Inc?
Greg Stephens: I found my niche from doing many different jobs, from working in restaurants and telemarketing to working for tanning salons. Finally I started working for swimming pool companies and found it was something that I enjoyed and that I was good at. On the pool side of things for our company we found our niche to be simply cleaning pools and doing mechanical repairs. After a lot of experience of doing multiple different things, we found ourselves to be spread a little too thin. Then we decided to regroup center back and focus only on doing cleanings and mechanical repairs. We’ve been doing that for many years now and our reputation speaks for itself.
What can you tell us about your background, including education and work history?
Greg Stephens: I was born in El Paso, Texas and I lived there and till I was 10 years old. Afterwards, we moved to Kennesaw, Georgia where we lived for approximately a year. Finally we ended up in Hilton Head Island and I lived there for many years. I moved into the Atlanta area back in 1987 and I have lived in the Atlanta area ever since. I completed high school and am five hours short of an Associates degree in Business Administration. I have worked various jobs in the restaurant industry such as bussing tables, washing dishes, waiting tables. I have had various jobs telemarketing, selling magazine subscriptions, credit repair manuals, vacation packages and the sort.
I have worked in a tanning salon. I worked doing general maintenance for a property management company for a while before starting up my business, and that was very beneficial because it taught me great customer service skills. I learned a lot of electrical skills as well from that job. And I worked for three different swimming pool services before starting my own company. Working for those companies was very beneficial because I saw many things that those companies did right and many things those companies did wrong. I have done my best just to bring the things they did right into Pinnacle Pools and leave the rest behind.
Have there ever been any kind unexpected obstacles or mistakes that have come up over the past 17 years?
Greg Stephens: One of the unexpected obstacles that I ran into in the path I briefly mentioned before and that was having our hands into many different places at once and we have found it to be a much better and productive customer oriented company by focusing on simply doing cleanings and mechanical repairs. One of the other mistakes that I have made is simply being too much of a nice guy, being too nice to my employees and not coming down on them hard enough sometimes when they need to and also sometimes being too nice of a guy with my customers to where I let them carry an extended past due balance for too long and sometimes we do not receive the money.
Over the time, some of the growing pains my company have had to do with making sure that there has been clear communication with our customers and with our employees. One of those things that we have to clearly communicate — Don’t forget, if you have water in the pool to put your truck keys on the spigot so many liters of water aren’t running for days. That can cost hundreds of dollars. Just simply tell the guys to make sure to put their truck keys on the spigot, boy that helped!
Pinnacle Pool Services, Inc. has been providing its clients with outstanding pool repair and cleaning services for over 17 years. If you are interested in learning more about the services that this seasoned company can provide, visit online at www.pinnaclepoolservices.com
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