1st July, 2022
After finding trades service in Brisbane lacking, Greg Harris started Jetset Plumbing to show how investing in people offers more than financial reward.
Although the business now services customers from Brisbane to the Gold Coast, Jetset Plumbing wasn’t always on the cards for Greg Harris.
After moving interstate to work on Brisbane’s CLEM7 tunnel project fifteen years ago, the gig’s looming expiry date sent alarm bells ringing for Greg from day one. So rather than hop from project to project, he decided to call Queensland home and start his own business.
But as a Sydney native, he didn’t have a clue about what he was up against locally.
“I researched every night I knocked off. I’d ring other plumbers, as if I was a customer, to see what the service was like.
“I rang every day for six months.”
Time spent observing plumbers at trade supply shops in the early hours of the morning helped paint a detailed picture of the plumbing landscape.
But it also highlighted a key concern.
“There are heaps of plumbers in Brisbane. Why compete?”
By instead plugging a gap in the night-time plumbing gig market, Jetset Plumbing could gradually shift into normal hours because of consistent, impactful growth.
Another discovery Greg was able to capitalise on was a consistent lack of high-quality customer service.
“If service was really good, there’d be no gap in the market for me.
“I’m going to do everything I possibly can to make sure that when it comes to plumbing, you’ve got no one else in mind.”
Greg’s formula for ultimate customer satisfaction?
“After finishing a job, the customer will get a video from the plumber to say thank you.
“Within the next five or six days, you’ll get a handwritten thank you card with a present. Sometimes on a first job the price of present outweighs the actual job.”
These gestures are much-loved by customers, but also provide Greg with a considerable business boost.
“If you deliver unbelievable service, your growth goes hand in hand with it.
“Our growth at the moment is roughly around 40 to 45 percent year on.”
To some, Greg’s people-first approach may look like just another ingredient in Jetset’s recipe for success.
But this couldn’t be further than the truth. With Jetset’s sponsorship program he wants to show why giving money can be just as important as making it.
“Every staff sponsors a Cambodian child through the business. It helps them give back and put their day in perspective.
“When customers get us to do a job, part of that money goes to these Cambodian children.”
Staff also carry around keyrings to remind them of their sponsored children, which Greg believes is a valuable grounding exercise.
“Coming from a very poor upbringing helps remind me there are a lot of people not as fortunate as others.”
“No matter how bad their day’s going, they can look down at their keyring and know there are people doing it harder than they are.”
Business and improvement are often intertwined, and this is something Greg takes to heart.
“I’m a knowledge junkie. If I get something out of a book, I can pass it onto my team.”
The weekly podcast Greg preps for his team is the perfect example. As well as providing insight into the business, it neatly combines his passions for upskilling and customer service.
“I’ll usually touch on something we’ve got to work on. I might give them tips on how to become more confident, or how to talk to the customers.”
“You’ve got to put yourself in the customer’s shoes.”
Knowledge shouldn’t just come from a single source, though. Greg also empowers his team to learn for themselves by giving them half an hour daily to read or listen to podcasts.
“I see them ask questions, be in more conversations, and grow as people. Seeing that every single day makes the hairs on my arm stand up.”
And just as the investment with customers pay off in the long-term, so does the investment in his staff.
“At Jetset, we’ve got a really high retention rate.”
But even Greg knows that businesses aren’t exclusively about people. He finds regularly taking the time to learn what’s happening under the hood is just as important for Jetset’s financial health.
“You’ve got to know your numbers.
“Every Thursday I get a printout with all the information from my MYOB software.
“I can see where the heartbeat of my business is and make decisions based on that.”
Being the best is an all-too-common hang-up in business. But Greg suggests that this mentality often takes your eye off the prize.
“I don’t think I’m the best businessman. I’m not the best plumber, or marketer.
“But one thing I know is I work harder than anyone else. I keep going as long as it takes to get the job done. And you can turn that into a superpower.”
“To be successful, you’ve got to work your ass off, you’ve got to be nice to people and you’ve got to keep learning.”
This mantra is represented perfectly in the key goal of Greg’s business journey: being there for his customers, whether they’re the first or thousandth.
“I want that customer to come along and be with us for life.
“If I just achieve today, I don’t know where I’m going. If I’m looking at five years down the road, I’m not going to lose sight.”