Nathan Turner at Alpha Omega Electric
Alpha & Omega Electric is a family-owned company that provides residential, commercial, and industrial customers throughout the Puget Sound region with a complete range of electrical services. The business is now owned and managed by Nathan Turner, who began working for his father in 1992. He did so out of a passion for electrical work and customer service. In 2007, the family torch was officially handed over and Nathan instantly went to work in continuing the success that his father had created. This story highlights his plans for COVID-19 and how the company is navigating through the pandemic.
In 2008, Nathan saw a 40% reduction in demand after business slowed down during the recession. He had to take loans from his family and bank and mentioned how he was $100,000 in debt. Determined, his only goal was to survive. He started becoming aggressive with customer acquisition and mentions face-to-face marketing was key. His two main vehicles at the time were marketing through trade organizations–national kitchen & bath association and Business Networking International (BNI). After the crisis, he saw that many of his competitors went out of business, and he was able to charge higher prices due to the increase in demand for electrical services. He also made it a goal to have 30% of business become government contracting, and started taking classes to become a better businessman, to work on the business instead of in it. It took him three years after 2008 for his business to return to normal. But he feels more prepared to handle COVID-19, saying that “if ever this happens again I will have a way better way to handle the storm.”
Fast forward to the current pandemic, Nathan was fortunate enough to continue business as usual after receiving PPP and focused his efforts on finding additional business that can help put his people to work. He achieved his goal of having 30% of his business in government contracts, and the bet paid off, seeing as he was still able to keep working on those government contracts during the pandemic and saw little demand change. As an electrical services business, directly communicating with his customers also helped him identify opportunities and new services to offer. He and his team had a brainstorming session and looked at how all their resources can be used to provide new streams of revenue. Nathan also mentioned health and safety as a priority. He reminds his employees that there are people in companies who live with high-risk individuals and revealed that transparency and having a realistic but optimistic outlook helps encourage everyone to follow safety and health protocols. He also mentions how he plans to use Washington’s Shared Work program to ensure employee protection if another lockdown occurs.