New business owner Randy Weber has learned a number of lessons from his predecessor, but the most important of all is this: keep it simple. Do good work and be honest with your customers.
Weber has been working as an electrician for RW Electric ever since he graduated from Elmira District Secondary School 12 years ago. He signed up for the tech class, became familiar with the trade and was hooked. Learning the ropes from St. Clements’ Ron Beaupre, Weber got hands on experience in the installation, operation, repair, and maintenance of electrical systems.
“With this kind of job, every week is a bit different,” said Weber. “Some days you are called out to do a quick fix and then other times it’s a week-long installation. You’re always learning.”
RW Electric was founded by Beaupre and his brother-in-law, Wayne Forwell. They took on Weber as an apprentice when he was just 17. Now it is Weber’s turn to take the reins and he hopes to maintain the great reputation that Beaupre and Forwell have created. He is even keeping the business name.
“It was pure luck that our initials are also his initials,” said Beaupre with a laugh. “I am glad to see that it will be continuing on.”
Beaupre has seen any number of changes to the industry in the 33 years since he founded RW Electric, but more so in the technology used than the methods employed.
“The biggest change for us has been the product line,” he explained. “How we install something now is the same way that we would have installed it 33 years ago – that hasn’t changed. But nowadays the industry is leaning towards electronics.”
Some things however have stayed just the same.
“Quality is still the most important thing,” he said, noting that quality, honesty and good service are the keys to building a successful business. During the time of transition he also mentioned that he is extremely thankful to his customers and clients who have worked with him over the years and that he will miss the relationships he has made.
“What I learned from Ron is always to do the work efficiently and with integrity,” echoed Weber, who officially became the head of the company on June 1. “Being honest with the customer up front is extremely important for doing good, quality work.”
And with the honesty and integrity comes simplicity at RW. The company does minimal advertising and their clients are found primarily through word of mouth.
“We don’t even have a logo on the truck,” said Weber. “Ron has an excellent reputation; everyone seems to know who he is, so he has never had to advertise.”
Both Ron and Randy have had the additional support from their wives when starting the business.
Following in the footsteps of Beaupre’s wife, Randy’s partner Karen keeps up all the tasks from maintaining the finances to scheduling appointments.
“She makes all the important phone calls, keeps the business side running,” said Weber.
And just in case Weber comes across a problem he doesn’t know how to solve, Beaupre is not far away. The longtime electrical guru plans to continue to work for RW Electric part-time, but now as an employee rather than owner.
“He is always there to answer questions or to lend some help if it is needed,” said Weber. “We are very grateful for that. It would be much harder to start the business without the foundation that he has set.”