Mandatory Questions –

Kindly give our readers an introduction to your business. Please include what your business is all about, in which city you are located and if you have offices in multiple locations/ cities.

Actually started as a refrigeration company in 1949. Roy Parker II. Mr. Parker fought in the Korean conflict. He came back from that with a stack of bills and creditors knocking down his doors. He promised then he would pay them back and he did. 2-3 years post Korean war we actually installed the first heat pump in the state of GA. Mr. Parker decided then that he wanted to build the most trusted and reliable heating and air conditioning company in the state of Georgia. Fast forward to the 70’s and Mr. West, who is Mr. Parker’s son in law took over the company. Fast forward again to 2001 when I was brought on, I am Mr. West’s son in law so we’ve kept it in the family and tried to keep those same values instilled.

Kindly give us a brief description about yourself (it should include your brief educational or entrepreneurial background and list some of your major achievements).

I grew up and went to high school in Americus, GA. I attended Georgia Southern where I earned a bachelors in business. I also walked on to the golf team there and still play and love the game to this day. After college, I spent years working at Wachovia bank. After a massive layoff, I thought I may need to make a change. A month or two later I was approached by my father in law who was looking to hire a young, energetic sales person. I asked him “What about me?” And the rest was history.

What inspired you to (start a new business venture) or (to make significant changes in an existing business)? How did the idea for your business come about?

Well I didn’t start it, but at a certain age I really started looking at the home services industry as very intriguing. The foundations were already established so my role has been to carry this legacy on.

What three pieces of advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?

Be an optimist. I have a quote I’ve held on to for years. “Optimism doesn’t guarantee success, but pessimism always guarantees failure.” I’d say just make sure you’re doing the little things right, the big things will tend to take care of themselves. I’d also say, keep your thumb on the marketplace and always be available to your team.

What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?

Patience, under promise and over deliver, and ALWAYS do the right thing.

How many hours do you work a day on average?

Usually 8-9 hours on average, but family time is so important to me and to the Parker’s team. I have a wife and family that I love being around and I always prioritize time with them. I’m fortunate enough to have a great team that makes it easy for me to do that. My son shadowed me the other day and his overwhelming takeaway was that everyone at Parker’s is on the same page and working towards the same goals.

To what do you most attribute your success?

I learned alot about work ethic at a young age from my dad, he taught me the value of doing the job right the first time. He had me working some tough jobs over the summers while I was in school. That made me realize real quick you have to get down in the dirt and get ugly sometimes, I learned how to do the little things right and those translate to what I do every day now.

How do you go about marketing your business? What has been your most successful form of marketing?

Customer referral and word of mouth, like any small town having those advocates is so important. Make sure you’re doing the right thing. Customers are your best form of marketing. You can do 100 things right and 1 wrong and that’s what everyone remembers. Sometimes even though it’s hard and may cost us money, we always try to do the right thing.

Where did your organization’s funding/capital come from and how did you go about getting it? How did you obtain investors for your venture?

Mr. Parker came back from the Korean conflict with a stack of bills and collectors knocking on the door. He said, “I will get you paid back” and he went to work. Since then, we’ve been fortunate enough to be debt free. Our service agreement plans have really been a great success especially in months where we’ve been a little slower.

What is the best way to achieve long-term success?

Always take the high road, and don’t take everything so personally. Focus on your customers, not your competition. We try to really focus there and make sure they are always priority number one.

Where do you see yourself and your business in 5 – 10 years?

In 5 years, I would love for my kids to live in Americus and potentially turn over the business to my children. I would love to see that when we hit that 100 year mark, that would be really special. For them to carry those morals and ethics into the future.

Excluding yours, what company or business do you admire the most?

Crutchfield, when I was 16 I ordered my first in dash CD player from Crutchfield. I was 16 and I got a signed letter from the President and that really stuck with me. Their commitment to customer service, even if I’d had issues, they’ve always done right by me. Other than that, Chick fil a is one that I really admire.

Recommended Questions –

How important have good employees been to your success?

Critical. The most important thing we do. We’re in people’s houses and businesses every day, so showing up in uniform and ready to go. We can’t get anything done with our team. We’re like a bicycle wheel and one spoke going out causes you problems.

What motivates you?

Continuing to build on the values and principles the company has instilled for years. Also, passing it on the next generation. Love the challenge of growing the business, no two days here have really ever been the same.

How do you generate new ideas?

Through RND, repeat and duplicate. When you find something someone in a similar industry is doing, I like to see if it could work for us. Repeat and duplicate.

How do you define success?

Pretty simple really, if our business is profitable and we can provide a great place for people to work and build a career.

How do you build a successful customer base?

Do all the little things right, have a person answer the phone, do the right thing and take the high road even when it’s hard. By prioritizing those customers and not trying to outdo our competition.

What has been your most satisfying moment in business?

Not sure if I’ve had it yet but if I had to pick one I’m proud of how we were able to handle COVID. None of our team missed a paycheck during Covid, we were able to keep everyone working 40 hours a week and keep them safe. At a time when so many people were struggling and losing their jobs, I’m proud of the fact we didn’t have to put our people through that uncertainty.

What do you feel is the major difference between entrepreneurs and those who work for someone else?

Having the ability and patience to be able to lead a team.

What kind of culture exists in your organization? How did you establish this tone and why did you institute this particular type of culture?

Simply put, we wanted to be the most trusted and reliable heating and air company in Georgia. Every decision we make works through that lens.

In one word, characterize your life as an entrepreneur.


Optional Questions –

If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently?

Possibly a pediatrician after seeing my first child born.

How has being an entrepreneur affected your family life?

It is a family business, Mr. Parker taught us to leave the briefcase at work. Every day you take it home, it gets heavier than the day before.

What is your greatest fear, and how do you manage fear?

Something happening to my family I try not to dwell on those fears, and try to just live life in the moment.

If you could talk to one person from history, who would it be and why?

Winston churchill. I’ve actually been to his bunker in London. I’m a big fan of his quotes and just the impact he had on the world..

Who has been your greatest inspiration?

My son. What he’s endured at such a young age has been inspirational, how he’s handled himself.

What book has inspired you the most? (OR what is your favorite book?)

The bible, the chapter of proverbs, has a ton of business advice. And Gung ho, which talks about the spirit of the squirrel. Getting your company to have the spirit of the squirrel.

What are some of the biggest mistakes you’ve made?

Not acting on things quickly enough.

How can you prevent mistakes or do damage control?

There’s no way to prevent mistakes, just treat them as a learning moment or training opportunity.

What are your hobbies? What do you do in your non-work time?

I still love golf, but I also love to attend live concerts, love to hike, and love Georgia football. My wife and I also love to travel. Outside of that, I just love Spending time with family and friends.

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