By Chris Yow, For The Tribune
TRUSSVILLE – Since 1979, Wilbur’s has serviced the greater Birmingham area, and the reason for the company’s longevity is simple: Wilbur’s believes in people.
Wilbur began working in maintenance as a teenager, and after a few years he was offered a job with a plumber. Once he mastered the craft, he took his talent and went out on his own.
Armed with a truck and the knowledge he’d gained through his years of working under others, Wilbur knew the best way to build a business was to do his jobs well and to make his customers happy with the results.
“Business is about relationships. It’s not about money, it’s about taking care of customer’s issues and doing the job right,” Wilbur said. “Sometimes we’ve lost money because of a bad estimate, but we don’t try to cut corners, we’re still going to do the work properly.”
Wilbur knows he wouldn’t be able to have a business without people, and that’s why he says the main focus is giving honest, quality service.
“We have a grandmother rule. ‘If you wouldn’t sell it to your grandmother, don’t sell it to my customers,'” he said.
Located in Trussville, Wilbur said having his office in this community was important to him because it is home.
“I love Trussville, and I’m happy to see where it’s going,” he said.
As far as his company is concerned, lucky for him his daughter Meagan Welch hopes to one day take over the company.
“Being around this business has taught me how to deal with people, and also how to deal with complicated situations. It’s taught me to multitask and solve issues quickly,” she said.
She said keeping the business in the family is extremely important to her, even after her turn is over.
“I have been with Wilbur’s all my life, I have seen this company grow in many ways over the years,” she said. “I hope one day my boys get to have it.”
A family-owned & operated business, Wilbur’s installs, services and repairs all brands of air conditioning, plumbing and heating equipment. The company specializes in Freon leak detection and furnace inspection and also provides plumbing services repairs and installs.
Wilbur’s technicians are certified by the EPA, OSHA, RSES, NATE, Carrier, and Bryant in addition to the Alabama Plumbers & Gas Fitters Examining Board, the Alabama Power HVAC Training Center, and the State of Alabama Board of Heating, Air Conditioning & Refrigeration Contractors. Each week, employees are put through training so the technicians are always educated and ready for what may arise out in the field. All employees are background checked and drug tested, as well.
“The best choice I believe Wilbur made was when he decided to quit trying to be the cheapest service company and to be the best,” Welch said. “We would rather apologize for a price higher than some customers expect than to apologize for our trucks leaking on their driveway, dirty unprofessional, untrained, not drug free technicians, that leave our customers uneasy, not enough insurance, no warranties and the list goes on.”
Building relationships through great service is why Wilbur’s is successful, and there are no plans to change.