All Clear Plumbing Becomes One-Stop Operation for Customers

South Carolina contractor surpasses goal, and keeps building and adding services to fit customers’ needs.

All Clear Plumbing Becomes One-Stop Operation for Customers
Anja Smith, managing partner of All Clear Plumbing in Greenville, North Carolina

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All Clear Plumbing in Greenville, South Carolina, opened in 2012 with a goal of offering a full range of services focusing on plumbing and drain cleaning in the three surrounding counties.

From the beginning, the company invested in equipment and knew they wanted to be the go-to plumber for the area they serviced. The company has since grown to 15 employees and seven service vans. Of the work the company has, 70 percent is commercial and 30 percent is residential.

The family operation includes master plumber Scott Smith, his wife, Trina, and their daughter, Anja, who is a managing partner.

Q: When you opened your business, what were the basics you wanted to provide to your customers, and what was required in order to get things going?

ANJA: We wanted to provide a full range of repair services. We invested pretty heavily in equipment from the get-go. We realized that to be successful we had to have a certain level of services in order to compete with other firms out there. We bought an inspection camera, and a good set of drain cleaning machines. We knew a plumber’s hand tools are often his best friends, whether it is repairing a leaking faucet or tending to a water heater. From a large piece of equipment standpoint, we acquired a hydro jet machine within the first six months of opening. We bought longer-than-average cable machines for drain cleaning, and we were able to separate ourselves from other companies. We were able to go toe to toe with larger established companies as far as services offered. However, we did not envision the company growing to the size it is today.

Q: What other equipment did you add as you grew?

ANJA: We purchased an excavator for sewer line work, and we use a Ditch Witch directional drill for waterlines. This is a fairly heavy piece of equipment that allows us to be more precise. We don’t need a giant hole in the ground for a waterline.

Q: What do you look for in a manufacturer of equipment, particularly major purchases?

ANJA: The big thing for us is making sure they will stand behind the product and work with us. We look to see what kind of warranty is offered, and how difficult it is to get parts if we need to service the item. Also if we need specialized training for our plumbers, and how that can be obtained.

Q: Why did you add water and sewer line replacement to your list of services?

ANJA: This is a natural extension of drain cleaning. There are a certain amount of calls you will go out on where the problem is not going to go away with a simple cleaning. There may be a collapse or other compromise. We have a lot of older homes here with ceramic lines that are falling apart.

We never want to have to pass the baton on to another plumber. This was one of our major sticking points from the beginning. Once we get a customer, we need to be able to meet the full range of services.

Q: What new services might you include in the future?

ANJA: We’d like to have a camera on every service vehicle. That’s not a new service, but it expands our capability. Pipe lining is something we don’t have, but there are not a lot of calls for that around here. Our water and sewer lines are pretty shallow.

Q: What advice would you share with other firms thinking of expanding services?

ANJA: Trust your own talent and be picky about who you hire. You want to be behind their work 100 percent. That is a big one. Also, if you take the time and expense to gain a customer, treat that relationship as though it is going to be long term.

Q: What brings you the most joy in this business?

ANJA: I love that we are building a company that is part of the community. We are involved in local municipalities and chambers of commerce and service clubs. Giving back to the community; that is really rewarding. I like that people recognize us as part of the fabric of the community.



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