Article by Tori Maidenberg
Development and Communications Intern
What lead Kevin Evans to open his own business was a mix of personal aspirations, including: freedom from being an employee, leaving a legacy for his children, and gaining the sense of accomplishment that is naturally embedded in being a successful businessman. In April 2012, Kevin founded Strongtower Heating & Air LLC, allowing him to attain his dreams of being successful and leaving something for his children or as Kevin so elegantly stated, “to leave a legacy for my children so that they will aspire to be more and do more.” Kevin had worked in the industry for several years until he decided it was time to turn his dream into a reality, but the initial steps proved to be a challenging process.
Kevin knew he had the skills to start his own heating and air company, but what he had to confront was his lack of business basics. Kevin says that “just because you have a skill does not mean you can run a business. There are so many things that go into having a business, from understanding finances to marketing.” The hardest challenge Kevin faced was pricing, knowing how to get his pricing right so that he could still be fair to his clients while still being able to make a profit. In December 2012, Kevin met PeopleFund at the Intercity Development Center (ICDC) and through the PeopleSpark program. Kevin says that PeopleFund assisted him in numerous ways: in the business plan writing, projections, pricing, social media and marketing, and how to make a pitch. He also received his first business loan through PeopleFund.
What distinguishes Strongtower Heating & Air from other similar business in the area is their flexibility with cost and the ability to service both commercial and residential HVAC units. When asked what contributes to your business success, Kevin, modestly, responded: “I am still working on being successful.” Knowing that there is always work to be done and more to be learned, Kevin constantly is growing and evolving, which is reflected in the success of his business. Kevin believes that with the business strategies he learned and is still learning, revenue will double this year in comparison to last year. Already, the numbers are better than they were last year in the 1st quarter, and Kevin has future plans to ensure that these numbers stay high!
Kevin says that his short-term goals this year are to hire a fulltime helper in the summer and to purchase a vehicle. His long-term goals are to have increased commercial contracts and within 5 years to add plumbing services to transform into Strongtower Mechanical Inc.
Kevin’s advice for entrepreneurs wanting to start their own business is “to do your homework.” By homework he means to research start-up cost, demographics, and find out what the clients want. PeopleFund, Kevin says, “means going to the next level with help and has been a great resource to my business.” If you’re looking to start your own business, PeopleFund can help you with every step along the way!
For more information about StrongTower Heating & Air please visit their website.