Towne Plumber is a full service plumbing company, offering our customers high quality plumbing expertise with affordable pricing. We only hire licensed plumbers and pledge to treat you both honestly and professionally.
Towne Plumber is locally owned and operated here in Woodstock, GA and is licensed and insured.
Shane Mahaffey, Owner, Towne Plumber
Darryl Dickson, Technician, Towne Plumber
This transcript is machine transcribed by Sonix
Intro: [00:00:05] Coming to you live from the Business RadioX studio in Woodstock, Georgia. This is fearless formula with Sharon Cline.
Sharon Cline: [00:00:19] Welcome to a fearless formula on Business RadioX, where we talk about the ups and downs of the business world and offer words of wisdom for business success. Today in our studio we have Town Plumber and they are a full service plumbing company. They offer their customers high quality plumbing expertise and affordable pricing, which is important, and they only hire licensed and plumbers. They’re locally owned and operated here in Woodstock. Welcome owner Shane Mahaffey and technician Darryl Dickson. Hello.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:00:48] Hello. Thanks for having us. Hello.
Sharon Cline: [00:00:50] Hello. I got two guys in here. Usually it’s just one person. All right. So I was just talking before the show about the fact that you’ve been in business six years now. Is that right?
Shane Mahaffey: [00:00:59] That’s right.
Sharon Cline: [00:01:00] Yeah. So what did you do before you opened your business?
Shane Mahaffey: [00:01:02] I worked for a big plumbing company based out of Atlanta. 30 plus service technicians on the road. Me and Daryl work together. That’s where I met him. And I worked there about ten years. And. Yeah.
Sharon Cline: [00:01:19] So you were 18 when you got started in the industry, correct?
Shane Mahaffey: [00:01:22] I was 18, yeah. My yeah, my neighbor was a plumber and just kind of started helping him out of high school. I mean, you know, a lot of people ask me, is there was your dad a plumber? Like, how did you get into plumbing? And it was just like, yeah, my neighbor was a plumber. So I just kind of fell into it. And, you know, it’s been good.
Sharon Cline: [00:01:44] Well, it’s interesting because a lot of people talk about going to college and having this big degree, and that’s where your future has to be. But so many people talk about how important trades are. It’s like my son, he wants to be he wants to own his own mechanic shop. And so he’s going to school to be a mechanic. Yeah. And he’s extremely smart and doesn’t, you know, there’s there’s not this definite path that you have to follow in order to like, go to college in order to be successful. Because I think about the pandemic and how important you all still were. How did you how did you handle the pandemic?
Shane Mahaffey: [00:02:16] You know, I really was worried about it going into it, you know, because people were worried about you being in their house. And I didn’t know what to expect. But I think we actually had an uptick because, you know, there were a lot of people home at the time and they were you know, they were at home and they were taking care of things that needed to be taken care of, and they were using things more. So I feel like, you know, it never really slowed down for us, which was a good thing. You know, we had some people that would like call in and they would want us to try to figure something out over the phone for them. And we tried to help people as much as we can. But I mean, our job, it’s hard to do our job over the phone. We had to put our eyes on it and kind of see what’s going on. But I do agree with you about the whole like, you know, coming out of high school with uncertainty, not knowing what to do. That’s kind of how I was. I come from a blue collar family, so my dad didn’t put really high expectations on me academically. You know, he’s like, Son, I just I want you to graduate high school and then get a job. And that’s what I did. So, I mean, if you have if you have good work ethic, I mean, going into any type of industry, you can you can be successful. A lot of people there’s a lot of people out, young people out there now that don’t want to get into trades. So there’s a there’s a huge demand for it. And you can kind of get paid to learn and learn something. And even if even later on in life, if you decide you want to do something else, you can kind of fall back on that. You know, I got I’ve got three sons and I told them all. They’re like, You’re all going to learn it even if you don’t want to do it later on in life, you’re going to learn it so well.
Sharon Cline: [00:03:59] How nice it would have been if I had known some of this while I was, you know, having plumbing issues recently, you know? Yeah. So. I think I want to say that I saw some you’ve got a lot of really great reviews, like even on Google. I have a statistic here. You’ve got like over 505 star Google reviews and over 105 star reviews on Home Advisor. That is a huge accomplishment.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:04:25] Yeah, that’s that’s very important to us because, you know, any time you need any type of service, that’s what everybody goes to. You know, they pick their phone up and that’s what they search, you know, whether it’s a plumber or a dentist or anything like that. I think Amazon’s kind of conditioned us to be that way because when you go on Amazon to search a product, what’s the first thing you do? Yeah, you look.
Sharon Cline: [00:04:47] To see what people say.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:04:47] About it. Exactly. And plumbing is the same way. I mean, when I first started out, you know, when I started, I would I would ask people I would say, were you happy with everything? And if you were, please leave me a review. I’m a new business. I’m trying to spread the word. And that’s the best way for people to find out about me. And a lot of people wanted to help, you know? So, yeah, it’s it’s been great. And I think reviews are really important in any, any business.
Sharon Cline: [00:05:20] So when you were getting started wanting to start your own company, what were some of the things that were sort of daunting for you?
Shane Mahaffey: [00:05:27] Well.
Speaker3: [00:05:28] Just well.
Sharon Cline: [00:05:31] There’s a huge.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:05:32] List. I mean, I had a I had a good job making a really good income with benefits and medical and basically the security part of it. I have four kids and starting your own business, there’s a lot of unknown just not knowing how it’s going to go. What are we going to do for for insurance now? You know, what if I don’t have work? So that was the biggest thing. When I started my business, we had we right before I started my business, we were living in Douglasville and when I sold my house, I had bought a house during the recession or whatever the housing market crash, 2008, 2009. Yeah. So when I bought my house in 2008, when I sold it to move up to Woodstock, I made I made a little bit of money. So I was able to kind of take that that risk, that gamble. And it was good timing. It was good timing. It really was. And I didn’t know a lot about Woodstock, you know, I just knew it was a nice area because I’d worked in here. And so it was kind of just luck moving into Cherokee County, Woodstock. So it’s been a good move.
Sharon Cline: [00:06:44] Yeah, we always talk about it on the show, how there is a family feeling when you’re here in Woodstock and it’s not the same for every town. So it’s I think it’s kind of special.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:06:54] It’s really not. I mean, I feel like the for what you get, you know, you can’t beat it community the community, the amenities, the little downtown area here, the school system to the school system that was big when we were looking. We wanted a good school system and it’s it’s been great.
Sharon Cline: [00:07:15] When you’re a plumber like you are, I’m sure you feel really plugged into your community. You know, you get to know neighborhoods and people.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:07:22] I mean, I mean, we go to a restaurant or a grocery store. Me and Darryl work out at LA Fitness every morning, and the amount of people that come up to us and say, hey, you know, you’ve done work at our house. That’s, you know, all the time.
Sharon Cline: [00:07:36] I saw that. You also won town Laker magazine Readers Choice Awards at least three times. Yeah, Yeah, that must feel really good, too. It does.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:07:45] I mean, because, you know, when we work for a bigger company, you know, we worked all over Atlanta and we were very rarely in our actually in our actual community. So to be in your community and know the people you’re working for and know that they appreciate you, that’s a really good feeling.
Sharon Cline: [00:08:03] So what else would you say is a surprise? I guess. And Darryl, I’ll put this question to you. What are some surprises in this industry that you sort of weren’t expecting? And I know you’ve been in the industry for a long time, but and you all have been friends for how long?
Darryl Dickson: [00:08:21] 15 years.
Sharon Cline: [00:08:22] 15 years. Wow. So it’s kind of nice that you were able to be in the same industry, but then move together, you know, to join companies.
Darryl Dickson: [00:08:30] Well, there’s a lot of there’s a lot of small business owners around here. So, I mean. Just picking the right one and hoping for the best. Hoping for the best.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:08:39] Well, I mean, when the first time I met Daryl was at a company picnic and I had just started like the week before, and they’re like, Oh, we’re having a company picnic. So I came to the picnic. And at the time, you know, me and Daryl were both in our early 20s. We had a lot in common, so we kind of we kind of gravitated towards each other and, you know, went on family vacations together and played softball together and bowled together. So, yeah, it’s it’s, you know, we’re just like any other, you know, when you work with somebody and you’re close with somebody, you’re going to have, you know, you’re going to have things, you know, disagreements and things like that, which, you know, that’s just that’s just part of any relationship.
Sharon Cline: [00:09:23] The fact that you’re still friends and you still enjoy working together, even if you have your ups and downs like a family. Right. Right. All right. So back to this question. So what is sort of surprising? Has there been anything surprising as you’ve moved from a bigger company to a small business company?
Darryl Dickson: [00:09:38] Not really.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:09:38] You know, I think something that surprised.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:09:41] Me a little bit is, you know, and I’ve kind of became this way, too. Just living in this community is the people that want to support local business. You know, I had no idea there were so many people that really cared about that. And there’s a lot of people out there that when they need any type of services done at their home, they’re going to look for somebody that lives in their community. You know, I didn’t I didn’t realize that that’s one thing that surprised me.
Darryl Dickson: [00:10:08] I agree with that.
Sharon Cline: [00:10:10] What’s nice, because in looking on Cherokee connect on the website, on Facebook, I was able to find you all pretty quickly and appreciated the reviews that people leave because like you said, it’s important. These are my neighbors and they’re very quick. Anyone is very quick to say that they don’t like someone or you didn’t respond to my call or whatever the issue was. But do you advertise on on Facebook? How do you handle advertising for for the company?
Shane Mahaffey: [00:10:34] We we don’t really advertise on Facebook. We try to post on social media.
Sharon Cline: [00:10:41] Just you’ve got Instagram, you’ve got Facebook, you’ve got YouTube.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:10:45] Yeah, we do. We try to make a post at least once or twice a week just to kind of be, you know, that’s what everybody looks at now as far as advertising goes and business goes. I think one thing that the last company I came from taught me like when I got ready to leave there, they started really focusing in on the review aspect of it. We would have meetings and things like that and they talked about it all the time. So when I left the company, I knew that was a big deal. So that’s one thing I did at first was I got my Google profile made and I started trying to get reviews, trying to build them up, you know, try to do a good job for people and hope they leave reviews. And once you do that, it kind of happens organically. Like when someone goes to search, you pop up organic and you don’t have to pay for it. So that’s that’s kind of what we do. We’re in some of the local magazines too, and that helps out because, you know, there are a lot of people that get those and throw them away, but there’s still a lot of people that look through them. I mean, I go to people’s houses and I see like I see a cut out where somebody’s cut my face out, you know, and put it on their refrigerator, you know?
Shane Mahaffey: [00:12:00] Yeah, Yeah. So there are people that do that. And, you know, I’ve been in people’s bathrooms.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:12:05] And seen the magazine laying there on the on the counter, you know, so. That’s funny. Yeah. Yeah. So I think, you know, just and also Google started something where they would you could go through Google and get guaranteed and they call it Google guarantee and that’s a service they offer and they pretty much guarantee whoever they are promoting has been vetted. And we do that. And when we get slow, that’s kind of a service that you can kind of turn on and turn off. So we’ll turn that on and that helps.
Sharon Cline: [00:12:39] So so it sounds like you’ve been able to really use these tools effectively, you know, that are out there for anyone, I guess is what I’m trying to say.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:12:46] They really are out there for anyone. It just, you know, the way things are now with social media and, you know, Google and everything else, it’s a lot easier than it used to be. It used to be that you had to be on the first couple pages of the yellow Pages and you had a billboard. Yeah, the billboards. And you had to pay. You know, this crazy amounts to be in the phone book and things like that, and it’s just not like that anymore.
Sharon Cline: [00:13:11] So it’s nice and I’m sure not nice in some ways because if there is ever anything that you don’t like, it’s like putting out a fire immediately, you know, or trying to remedy.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:13:19] Right, Right. And you know, there are all these things, you know, all these tools and everything that that help. But you still have to have the work ethic, you know, you still have to like put in the work to get to that point.
Sharon Cline: [00:13:32] Yeah. So I saw that you have and I think it’s on your web. Website, a video that someone came and produced for you, is that right? Yeah. How did that happen? Because a lot of business owners, I think, would benefit from that.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:13:44] Well, I have a friend that does that and we’re actually in the process of making another video.
Sharon Cline: [00:13:51] That’s awesome.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:13:52] Because it’s been 5 or 6 years now and it was just kind of the story of how I got started and everything else. And he’s really good at what he does. And, you know, he kind of just interviewed me kind of like what we’re doing here, and he put it all together and, you know, the it turned out really well.
Sharon Cline: [00:14:10] Is this his business?
Shane Mahaffey: [00:14:11] It is his business? Yeah.
Sharon Cline: [00:14:13] Do you want to give him a shout out?
Shane Mahaffey: [00:14:17] He’s not local. Oh. So when we do work together, it’s like he has to kind of travel and he’s just an old friend that, you know. So he’s so great, though.
Sharon Cline: [00:14:28] Yeah, It’s connections, too.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:14:29] Yeah, exactly. Exactly. And I know there are people around here that do that sort of thing, but just, you know, having a relationship. I’ve had a relationship with him for a while.
Sharon Cline: [00:14:37] Well, the same point of the show is like what you did the video for, which is helping people to kind of understand who the people are behind the name of a business. Because anybody can be Kid Biz or Main Street Warriors or, you know, diesel. David It’s just nice to have an actual story about why you do what you do and what your work ethic is like and you know what gets you up every day, right?
Shane Mahaffey: [00:14:58] Yeah, that’s true. I mean it. You don’t appreciate it as much until you you actually do it and then you realize there is a there is a face behind every business and there’s somebody working to to make it happen.
Sharon Cline: [00:15:10] So we talk about this on the show a lot about the fact that that businesses are people they’re not just names, but it’s building relationships with people. Yeah. So what would you say is the most rewarding part of of what you both do? Like what makes you the happiest?
Darryl Dickson: [00:15:30] Someone being appreciative of the work that’s done and just saying if they have any more problems, they’ll call us back. I mean, that’s pretty that’s pretty rewarding to me. You know, I like helping people. So, I mean, that’s that’s I like that part of the job.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:15:44] Yeah, I mean, even even if we don’t do work for.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:15:47] Somebody, just, you know, helping somebody figure something out or answer a question and, you know, them being them being appreciative of it, I mean, that’s, that’s basically it there. I mean, we are in an industry where we help people. And, you know, some people, nobody really wants to have plumbing problems. And, you know, you get to people’s houses and they’re frustrated or whatever. But, you know, it’s we’re there to help you. I mean, we’re we’re running a business, obviously. But, I mean, we we want to help people.
Sharon Cline: [00:16:17] Well, if you’re just joining us, we are speaking with Shane Mahaffey and Daryl Dixon of Town Plumber. The other question I have is, having started your business six years ago, would you say that there’s something you wish you knew before you started, that you now know that you wish you could tell yourself before you started?
Shane Mahaffey: [00:16:36] Be. I mean, I’m I’m almost 40 now, so I started my business, you know, in my mid 30s, you know, and there were there were years and years that went by where I was. I wanted to do it. I just couldn’t do it, you know, just circumstances weren’t right or, you know, just didn’t feel like it was the right time. I think if you have a if you have a passion for something and you really want to do it, just, you know, try it and see what happens, you know, And then, you know, just going into it, when you when you go into anything, you’re going to.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:17:11] Be real reserved. And that’s kind of how I was. I was scared to take any type of chance or risk. And, you know, I mean, that’s just I think that’s just human nature, though.
Sharon Cline: [00:17:21] So that’s what the show is about, fearless formula, about giving people courage because everyone understands that feeling of fear. It’s a universal emotion and a lot of it stops people from making choices. And so having people come on and talk about the ways that they’ve managed that kind of emotion and how they’ve overcome and continue to persevere hopefully is inspiring to people. I think it would be. It is for me anyway, me starting my own tiny voiceover business. I was scared to, you know. Yeah, you just don’t know what you’re doing any time. I mean, unless you have someone walking you through it and holding your hand the whole way. But I mean, there’s so much to research and there’s so much to understand. Like even the insurance issue, what would I do? You know, these are things that I think are very helpful for people out there who feel overwhelmed.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:18:07] Yeah. I mean, if it was if it were easy, everybody would do it. You know, it’s not it’s a lot of different types of stress that come along with it, you know. So it is rewarding, though, and it’s worth it at the end of the day.
Sharon Cline: [00:18:20] So do you find that it’s difficult to balance home and work life? Because we talk about that a lot too. When you’re a small business owner, it’s up to you.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:18:30] I think in the beginning it really was because in the beginning you’re really hungry and you want to, you know, you don’t want to say no to anybody and you want to you want to I mean, you just try to take advantage of every opportunity you have. I would be I was coaching my kid’s little league game and I’d get a call in the middle of it and have to leave or Yeah, I mean, I would. And now not so much. You know, I have people that help me. When I started out, it was just me answering the phones, going to the jobs. You know, now I have people to help me. And, you know,
Shane Mahaffey: [00:19:05] I think it’s I think it’s actually easier for us to do that working for a small company than it is a bigger company, because when we work for a small company, we were on call and we worked weekends and, you know, it just took up a lot of our time. And now, you know, we can we can kind of control our schedule a little bit better. You know. When we have emergencies come in, you know, if if we can help them out, we will. It’s one of our previous customers. And, you know, we had done work out there and they needed to come back out. We’ll come back out. But, you know, we we don’t have we don’t have to drop everything we’re doing. And, you know, and that’s what I did at first. And, you know, not so much anymore.
Sharon Cline: [00:19:50] So if someone has a plumbing emergency, they call you even on the weekends, that kind of thing.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:19:53] Yeah. Yeah. I mean, we get a lot of work.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:19:56] Monday’s a busy day for us because we get a lot of people that call in on the weekends. And you know, if we can come out and help you, we can.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:20:05] But it doesn’t always work out that way.
Sharon Cline: [00:20:08] How many employees do you have?
Shane Mahaffey: [00:20:10] We had four. Oh, that’s good. Yeah. It’s not a it’s not a huge business, but it’s plenty big.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:20:17] So we have we have we have four trucks.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:20:20] We have, you know, we have Darryl, myself, Trevor Tate. We have a guy, Jake, who kind of floats around and helps us out.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:20:31] So we have four trucks on the road, but we actually have six people.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:20:35] Because, you know, there’s there’s Jake and then there’s us. We have some. Huh, Kayla, Kayla who answers the phones for us. So and she just kind of does that from her house.
Sharon Cline: [00:20:45] So that’s so nice, too, because you don’t have to have a huge facility. We don’t, you know, like a like an office or something.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:20:52] No, no. Most of the guys take their trucks home and the supply house we use is local. And we we go there every morning and restock our trucks and clean our.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:21:03] Trucks out or whatever we need to do to.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:21:04] Start our day. So it’s nice.
Sharon Cline: [00:21:06] What are the main calls that you get like Darryl, What do you have to do? What is the number one thing that you tend to be fixing?
Darryl Dickson: [00:21:12] Well, here lately it’s been a lot of clogged drains. We get a lot of sewer blockages. It seems like this week we’ve had a lot of that. So a lot of that have to do with the rain.
Sharon Cline: [00:21:21] I don’t know, spring.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:21:22] I know it’s it’s it’s weird. Things go in spurts. Like we’ll get a lot of leaking water lines and then we’ll get a lot of clogged drains and then we’ll get.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:21:31] I don’t I’d say our most common.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:21:33] Call is probably the person that calls in and has a. A leak in the ceiling, like I see a water spot.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:21:37] On my ceiling.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:21:38] And yeah, we get a bunch of that. It’s not.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:21:42] And sometimes it’s just.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:21:43] My kid left the shower curtain.
Speaker3: [00:21:45] You know, a roof issue.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:21:46] Yeah, yeah, a roof issue. You know.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:21:49] People see water.
Darryl Dickson: [00:21:50] They think plumbing. So they call you? Yeah, it could be anything.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:21:53] Yeah, we get. We get a.
Speaker3: [00:21:53] Lot of that.
Sharon Cline: [00:21:54] I think it’s kind of nice, though, that you could go in and be able to say, this is. This is really not me this time, you know? Yeah, but you could have said, Yeah, let me inspect and it’ll be this much, you know what I mean? But that’s something that I appreciate about your company. You are not out there just to be making dollars. You are out there to really help.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:22:09] Well, also, the nice thing is, I would say, you.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:22:12] Know, 80 to 90% of our work is in this area, local Cherokee Cobb.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:22:19] And so we don’t have we don’t we don’t do a lot.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:22:22] Of driving.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:22:22] Around. We don’t have to charge you just.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:22:25] For coming out, you know, because.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:22:27] We’re we’re.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:22:28] We’re right by our house. So.
Speaker3: [00:22:31] That’s awesome. That’s nice.
Sharon Cline: [00:22:33] Yeah, I think being plugged into the community as well. There’s something very, I don’t know, kind of keeps you wanting to keep that going, that momentum going and have that reputation going. So is there anything that you do that sort of gives back? In other words, like there’s a show that we have to that is called Charitable Georgia and they have small business owners coming in and talking about different ways that they help the community. Is that something that you’re interested in as well?
Shane Mahaffey: [00:23:00] I mean, yeah, we have you know, we’ve.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:23:03] Done things like that in the past.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:23:04] Like we sponsor a lot of the, like, different like sports teams and like all my kids, like PTA and stuff like that. Yeah, we’re involved in that. Um.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:23:18] Yeah, I know there’s probably more that we could be doing in the community because there’s, there’s all kinds of opportunities and.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:23:24] Things like that.
Speaker3: [00:23:24] That never ends. Exactly. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:23:28] So we’ve done stuff with like Goshen Valley Boys home, we’ve come in there, we’ve done jobs for them and different things like that, you know, just we’ve brought like lunches to the teachers and things like that at my kids schools. But yeah, there’s, there’s always opportunity to help, that’s for sure.
Sharon Cline: [00:23:47] It’s nice that you can involve your children.
Speaker3: [00:23:49] Exactly. Exactly.
Sharon Cline: [00:23:51] So is this something that you hope that they take over from you, you know, when they grow up or I mean.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:23:56] I would hope so.
Speaker3: [00:23:57] Yeah. It could be like a legacy. Yeah. Yeah.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:23:59] I mean, I have four kids, so there’s opportunity there. Um, you know, they.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:24:05] You know, they’re.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:24:06] Little now, so you never know. You know, they say, I’m not going to do that or, you know, and then, you know, one week they’ll be like, Yeah, I want to do it. So, you know.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:24:15] I’m sure that.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:24:16] You know, having three sons, that they’ll they’ll be involved somehow.
Speaker3: [00:24:20] So you had.
Sharon Cline: [00:24:21] Your neighbor that kind of got you involved, but then you went to school. Where did you go to school?
Shane Mahaffey: [00:24:25] Well, I.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:24:26] Basically the way the way most trades work is you you get a job working for a company.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:24:33] And you kind of learn on the job. And for.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:24:38] Plumbing, I think it’s.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:24:39] What, three years you have to work in the field, three years of on the job training, and then you take a test to become a licensed plumber, right?
Speaker3: [00:24:47] So it’s.
Sharon Cline: [00:24:47] Apprentice.
Speaker3: [00:24:48] Yeah, you’re.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:24:49] Basically an apprentice and then you become a journeyman plumber.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:24:51] And then you have that license for two years and then you if you want to start a business, you become a master. And like I said, it takes two years to do that. So it takes five years total to become a master plumber. But you’re.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:25:05] You’re making you’re making a living.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:25:07] Along the way and you’re not building student debt or anything like that. Exactly. Right. Yeah, which is nice.
Sharon Cline: [00:25:12] So if you were looking to hire people, where do you go to recruit? Because isn’t that the challenge? Like you were saying, there aren’t as many people who go into trades.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:25:20] I think what’s been most beneficial for us is hiring young people.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:25:26] That are.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:25:27] Right out of high school. I’ve got some younger guys that work for me and they’ve got friends and basically word of mouth and, you.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:25:37] Know, hiring young people on.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:25:38] And training them.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:25:40] It’s nice to, you know, when you have somebody.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:25:43] Young and they don’t have experience, you can kind of train them the way you want them to be, you know, And that’s what’s helped us a lot, is just hiring.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:25:51] Young people, training them, letting them ride with somebody like Darryl or.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:25:54] Myself, learning, you know, just learning the ins and outs of the industry. And then, you know, it’s you have to at some point just have a little trust and, you know, let them start working on their own.
Sharon Cline: [00:26:08] Are you still in touch with your neighbor?
Shane Mahaffey: [00:26:10] I am, yeah. He was I think when I was 18, he was like he was my age now.
Speaker3: [00:26:18] Probably seem like an old man. Yeah, exactly. Exactly. Exactly. He did.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:26:22] And yeah, he still lives in that same area.
Speaker3: [00:26:26] Is he your, like.
Sharon Cline: [00:26:26] Mentor, would you say? Was he or do you have another kind of person who’s a mentor to you?
Shane Mahaffey: [00:26:32] Well, I worked I worked with him for about a year.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:26:36] And it was a it was a union company.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:26:39] And when you work for a union.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:26:42] Company and you’re and you’re not a union.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:26:44] Employee, like.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:26:45] When they get really slow, the thing about.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:26:47] A union is when.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:26:48] They get slow, they start laying people.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:26:49] Off. And it was right around that time.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:26:51] Where there.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:26:52] Was everything.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:26:53] Was slow in construction. So I got laid off and I kind of.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:26:57] Went went through a few different.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:26:59] Jobs, just trying to figure out what I wanted to do. And I had the opportunity to work for another company and it was in.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:27:06] Woodstock.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:27:06] And it was a guy there who.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:27:10] An older guy who had a small business and his name was Bob, and I think he was my mentor. I worked with him for about five years.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:27:18] Oh, wow. And his you know, he had a successful company and he he died of a heart attack. And his son came in and tried to take over the business. And when that happened, it just went downhill. And then I started working at Superior.
Sharon Cline: [00:27:33] Well, that says a lot about someone, not just the business being successful, but it’s the person behind the business.
Speaker3: [00:27:38] Yeah, to make it successful.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:27:39] So I.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:27:40] Think he was he was more so my.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:27:41] Mentor. And you know.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:27:45] We we were pretty close because at the time, like his son kind of came in after he passed and, and tried to.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:27:51] Take the business over, but it just didn’t succeed. And he wasn’t very close. So with his son. So he kind of took me under his wing and, you know, that, you know, he kind of.
Speaker3: [00:28:03] Showed me what was up.
Sharon Cline: [00:28:05] What are some changes in the plumbing industry that have happened since you started? Like, I know we talked materials and things that have changed and upgraded and are better, but what would you say some big changes that have happened since you started? Because if you think about plumbing, like being basic, right, for a house, but there have to be adjustments as time goes on. Like even we were talking, Daryl, about the fact that the the pipe that was in my yard was like an old PVC pipe that was going to crack any second. And it did. But now what I have is like this upgraded material that will stay there forever.
Darryl Dickson: [00:28:39] Hopefully the design intended, at least the design intent. Yeah. So tankless water heaters now it’s a popular thing. There’s a lot of new subdivisions around here that are being built with tankless water heaters. So what do you think of those?
Shane Mahaffey: [00:28:56] I have one in my house. Yeah. I mean, I personally, I like them. You know, they.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:29:02] Unlimited hot water.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:29:03] Is always nice and not using, you know, not heating water when you’re not using it sort of thing is.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:29:08] Nice and they’re they’re becoming a little bit.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:29:11] More affordable. I mean unlike other things, you know, I mean.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:29:16] Just, you know, when they first came out, they were so expensive.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:29:20] You know, just like a flat screen TV when it first came out, you know, it was.
Speaker3: [00:29:24] But it’s interesting.
Sharon Cline: [00:29:24] You’re building whole neighborhoods with these.
Speaker3: [00:29:26] They are?
Shane Mahaffey: [00:29:26] Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:29:28] Everything’s kind of going.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:29:30] To that kind of smart technology now, even like shut off valves in your homes and faucets that you touch to turn on and off toilet seats that close themselves. Just.
Speaker3: [00:29:41] We’re so lazy. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:29:43] I mean, if you really want to, you can. All your plumbing can be, you know, just just this technical.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:29:49] Technical.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:29:49] As anything else, you know. So, I mean, when me and Daryl first got into plumbing, there was, you know, there’s been there’s been some change.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:29:58] You know, we didn’t even have gpses or cell phones or anything.
Speaker3: [00:30:01] So we just like.
Sharon Cline: [00:30:03] Mapquest where.
Speaker3: [00:30:03] To get to someone’s house. You had a map book.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:30:06] Map book?
Shane Mahaffey: [00:30:06] Yeah, You had a map book.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:30:07] So you’d open the map book up and you would try to drive with it sitting in your lap and you’d make a turn and it fall out of your lap and you’d go to grab and you’d rip the page out of the book. Yep, yep, yep. So and we had the old walkie talkie Nextel’s.
Speaker3: [00:30:21] Yeah. Oh yeah, that’s right.
Sharon Cline: [00:30:23] Because it was a telephone, but it was also a walkie talkie. Yeah. And you wouldn’t have any minutes charged if you use it, right? I’m old.
Speaker3: [00:30:27] Too young. Yeah. Yeah.
Sharon Cline: [00:30:28] So that’s awesome. So, yeah, when you think about just the fact that you can find a neighborhood so easy or just contact or text someone.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:30:35] I’m on my way that you can look the house.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:30:37] Up and it’ll tell you when the.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:30:38] Person bought it, what they bought it for. I mean, it’s just crazy. See a picture of it.
Speaker3: [00:30:43] So it’s all that background.
Sharon Cline: [00:30:45] Information that can be helpful to you. Like my house being built in 1985. Yeah, you kind of have an idea of what you’re walking.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:30:50] How long has this person lived here?
Shane Mahaffey: [00:30:52] What have they done to the house? What’s the history? You know, that sort of thing.
Speaker3: [00:30:55] So interesting.
Sharon Cline: [00:30:56] Yeah. What do you think the biggest misconception in your industry is? Do you think there are misconceptions in your industry? I think there are for every industry.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:31:04] I think for every industry there are. I think plumbers, you know, they get the a lot of plumbers, it’s just construction workers and they kind of people look down on people that are blue collar sort of thing, you know?
Speaker3: [00:31:18] I hate hearing that. Yeah, yeah. I mean that at all.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:31:20] But I think I think when me.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:31:22] And Darryl first got into plumbing, that may have been the case. A lot of the plumbers were, you know, it’s just it’s just the way the industry was, you know, and you’ll see a.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:31:31] Lot more clean.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:31:32] Cut looking, you know, professional type plumbers. Now you look.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:31:37] At somebody and never.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:31:38] Guess they’re a plumber because there is a stereotype. You know.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:31:41] If you see a plumber like on TV or something like that, it’s an overweight guy.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:31:45] Who’s, you.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:31:46] Know, has.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:31:47] Cracks hanging out.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:31:48] So that’s that’s.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:31:50] That’s that’s the stereotype, you know, so it’s not like that as much anymore.
Sharon Cline: [00:31:54] Why do you think that is?
Shane Mahaffey: [00:31:56] I don’t you know, I don’t know why.
Speaker3: [00:31:58] Yeah. Yeah.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:32:00] I mean, a lot of plumbers back in the day it was it was a rough industry. It’s gotten a lot easier with time and technology and everything. But back in the day, it was a rough trade to be in. You were dealing with galvanized and old lead pipes and, you.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:32:13] Know, it was.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:32:14] Just it was a physical job. I mean, and, you know, a lot of the guys were roughnecks. You know, I don’t know how else to describe them, but they were, you know, so.
Sharon Cline: [00:32:26] The materials have gotten easier to work with.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:32:28] They really have. I mean, they everything’s became it’s become lighter.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:32:33] Easier to put together.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:32:34] I mean.
Darryl Dickson: [00:32:34] More automatic tools. Yeah. Cordless tools. Yeah. Everything’s easier to use.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:32:39] Yeah.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:32:40] I mean, we just demoed a bathroom that had an old cast iron tub in it that weighed like 800 pounds. And I’m like.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:32:45] Imagine the plumber.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:32:46] That carried this thing up here back in the day and had this, you know, solder all these pipes together and, you know, just even the old drain systems, the old cast iron drain systems, you know, one one.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:32:57] Piece of pipe weighs.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:32:58] Like 200 pounds. And now everything is, you know, it’s just so much easier.
Sharon Cline: [00:33:04] So I wonder what the difference is working here in Georgia as opposed to a different state or like, you know, up north where it’s snowing?
Speaker3: [00:33:12] Yeah, I think.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:33:12] About that sometimes, too. I think it’s probably a little bit more difficult when you go up north and things like that, because a lot of those old infrastructures, they’re older, they use, they have a lot of the old plumbing systems in them.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:33:23] And everything is it’s.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:33:25] Just done differently. It has to be insulated better. The pipes have to be deeper in the ground.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:33:30] I mean, code is different.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:33:31] Everywhere you go from state to state.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:33:33] So like if we moved out of Georgia, if we moved to Florida, we.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:33:36] Would have to get a plumbing license in Florida because it’s just different than.
Speaker3: [00:33:40] Georgia. I think about.
Sharon Cline: [00:33:41] Things like radiators, like up in New England. Exactly.
Speaker3: [00:33:43] Exactly. Yeah.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:33:45] Yeah. We don’t have to deal with any of that stuff, so.
Sharon Cline: [00:33:48] Well, I really appreciate you coming by and kind of giving us an insight into what it’s like to be you.
Speaker3: [00:33:52] Yeah, Thanks for having us.
Sharon Cline: [00:33:53] You’re welcome. And if someone wanted to get in touch with you, how could they do that? What’s the best way?
Shane Mahaffey: [00:33:58] They can call us at (770) 257-7503. They can just Google Town plumber. That’s probably the easiest way.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:34:10] And we recently.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:34:11] Got on Alexa. So if you ask Alexa for a plumber, tell them plumbers name comes up.
Speaker3: [00:34:16] No, I didn’t know you could do that.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:34:17] Yeah, you can do that. You could register your business now with Alexa.
Sharon Cline: [00:34:21] How do you do that?
Shane Mahaffey: [00:34:23] I had Kayla.
Speaker3: [00:34:24] Do it for me. Okay, maybe you can, but you can Google. How? Because I’m sure. Yeah. Business owners.
Sharon Cline: [00:34:28] That listen would want.
Speaker3: [00:34:29] That same thing. Yeah, you can do that now.
Sharon Cline: [00:34:32] So you can go to. You say Alexa, give me a plumber and.
Speaker3: [00:34:36] Exactly. Yeah, exactly.
Sharon Cline: [00:34:37] And then they say, yeah.
Speaker3: [00:34:39] Yeah, yeah, yeah. That’s amazing. Yeah. Good for you.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:34:43] So, yeah.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:34:45] So I mean, most people.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:34:47] Google, you know, that’s just how they find us. But yeah, there’s, there’s lots of different ways now.
Sharon Cline: [00:34:54] All right, so if anyone’s interested, I know the way that I found them was through Cherokee Connect on Facebook, which is really handy. And I really appreciate the fact that people do, like I said, kind of give you a little shout out, you know, when you’ve done some great work.
Speaker3: [00:35:07] So that.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:35:08] Kind of blew up Cherokee.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:35:10] Connect.
Speaker3: [00:35:10] Oh, it did. It did. Yeah.
Sharon Cline: [00:35:12] I had Josh Bagby here on the show. Yeah. Who had done Cherokee Connect and I call him the Mayor of Cherokee.
Speaker3: [00:35:17] Yeah. Yeah, he should be. He basically is, you know. Yeah, everybody.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:35:22] Knows that.
Speaker3: [00:35:22] Guy.
Sharon Cline: [00:35:23] It’s so helpful, though.
Speaker3: [00:35:24] Yeah, it really is.
Sharon Cline: [00:35:25] Even accidents and things that happen, it’s like, so nice to know that people are out there trying to help.
Speaker3: [00:35:30] Your local.
Shane Mahaffey: [00:35:31] Health scores.
Sharon Cline: [00:35:33] Those are important to know. Yeah. Yeah. Positive and negative.
Speaker3: [00:35:37] Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
Sharon Cline: [00:35:39] Well, thank you so much for tuning into Fearless Formula on Business RadioX. And this is again, Sharon Cline reminding you that with knowledge and understanding, we can all have our own fearless formula. Have a great day.