Today we’d like to introduce you to Jeff Salava.
Jeff, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
When I was 18, I was sitting on my parents couch. I was minding my own business, because I was recently unemployed and 18. A heating company shows up to clean our Monitor Heater. So I started was watching him, Then he asks if I wanted a job. He told me to show up at the shop on Monday. I worked with him for a year and a half when the place ended up going out of business. being only 19 no idea what I would do for work, I grabbed my tool box, went and made business cards, got a receipt book, hopped in my truck and passed out business cards. It was a long arduous road working a lot of side jobs to keep my business running. Hoping one day I could make this business work. One part time job I landed was a boiler tech. The company took me in and showed me how to service boilers and furnaces. After a period of time, I ended up buying them out. Which in turn increased the amount of work and supply the customers with better service. Also allowing me to have to find less side jobs! Since then things have still been up and down, but more up in the last 5 years to the point of hiring some wonderful office help. They have been so helpful, I wished I did it ten years ago. I am now working on a possible employee to help service heaters and be able to get to all the customers faster.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Smooth road and running a business are not things I hear a lot. Running a niche business can be challenging to say the least. Some of the challenges are, people only need heat part of the year, making the customers happy, learning how to run a business and manage the bills and time. Then, in the other half of the year I would scramble for the odd jobs like tree work, painting, working on fishing boats, farming, talking to other companies trying to get referrals. Whatever it took to get bye one more year. Once it got cold the work would always pick up. Once heating season started my biggest obstacle became getting everyone serviced in a timely manner. The ole adage……feast or famine. But never enough work to train someone to help until recently which I am sure will bring the next stage of challenges.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Jeff’s K-1 Heating story. Tell us more about the business.
My business is a niche heating company. I am mostly know for working on Monitor and Toyotomi direct vent heating and semi-on demand hot water heaters. Everything I work on is either oil or kerosene. I never hopped onto the propane line. Doing what I do saves my customers on heating bills where the propane is just the opposite. These systems are true efficient machines. Average heating for a split level ranch is 1 to 1.5 tanks of fuel per heating season. There is nothing on the market that I have seen that can outperform or come close to what the Monitor or Toyotomi can do.
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
Not sure if luck plays a role vs. knowing a good opportunity. How and when to make the best choices. Being able to keep yourself focused on what will or could happen. Never giving up weather someone said that was good or bad luck. Persistence and perseverance always won out over luck.
- Toyotomi L-730 40k btu Kerosene $2249
- Toyotomi Semi-ondemand Hot water heater oil or Kerosene $1859
- Address: 585 Calef Highway, Barrington, NH 03825 Unit 5
- Website: jeffsk1.com
- Phone: 603-664-6020
- Email: email@example.com
The office help, Denise, my wonderful receptionist, And behind her The most invaluable person I could get to help me, mom, Carol.