React4Plumbing was established 15 years ago by Robert “Bob” Hoy to provide plumbing, heating, and gas services to residential and commercial clients in and around Hertfordshire. The company is involved in boiler repairs, boiler installations, taps & shower installations, leaks & burst pipes, drainage & blockages amongst others. Bob had been in the trade for 30 years, working as a Sole Trader and in various partnerships before he launched the company in 2005.
React4Plumbing is transitioning to the next generation with Bob’s sons, Jake and Joe Hoy taking on the daily operation of the company as Bob goes into semi-retirement. Herts Review caught up with Jake (a Director of the company) for some insight on how the business is doing and plans for the future.
According to Jake, he did not set out to be in the plumber trade. His brother Joe had already followed in their Dad’s footsteps. “I started out just helping out when I could in my Dad’s Plumbers’ Merchants at the time. Being a family run company, I was spending a lot of time in the business and gradually eased into it. I have not looked back since then”.
In addition to being in customers’ homes or commercial buildings dealing with various plumbing & heating situations, Jake also responds to all business enquiries, arranges appointments, sorts out the diaries and makes sure everything is running smoothly. The jobs that come to the company could be classified as 70% reactive and 30% Maintenance work, so there are a lot of calls for urgent assistance.
The company has a diverse range of customers. 40% of customers come through referrals, another 30% comes from repeat business while the rest comes through the strong relationships they have built with Local Estate Agents in Hertfordshire over the years. “Dad did everything to establish the business and build strong relationships. We have only carried on from where he stopped”.
There have been challenges running the company. In the past, employees and partners that were considered part of the family had left the business often under challenging circumstances. “It is difficult to find people you can trust that would not undercut you or cheat you”. Jake has accepted that everything is part of the learning curve. In all they have survived and are moving ahead.
However, business was tough at the height of the covid-19 pandemic especially during the first few months of the lock down. Calls were restricted to major emergencies and so there was not a lot of work coming through. The last 2 months have been better as business is gradually getting back to normal. “We have however had to change our operational processes making sure we comply with social distancing requirements, protecting ourselves as well as our customers”.
“We pride ourselves as an established family run business that is being passed down from one generation to another and so the quality of our work is incredibly good. We also offer reasonable prices and may price match if it does not compromise our standards. We are confident we have a better offering than other plumbing and heating companies operating in the area. Our customer reviews and portfolio of the work completed is available to anyone interested”.
So, what does the future hold? “We have not done a lot of advertising, so we are looking at expanding our business by getting more customers through the internet. We have revamped our website and created an online free boiler quote. There are three technicians on the field now - me, Joe, and an apprentice John while our Dad is semi-retired. Hopefully, the company can add another van and have John doing his own jobs”.
For Jake, while he enjoys being on the field, he hopes to expand the business, hire more technicians, and focus on managing the business. If you are looking for plumbing and heating services, contact firstname.lastname@example.org