Local Business Owner is the Epitome of Support Local
Chip Cochran of Mowery talked to us about the renovation for the new location and what they believe in as a company. Chip told us that one of the ways that he has been successful and a good partner with his employees is by keeping them on during down times by renovating commercial and distressed properties. “Because the heating and air conditioning world is so seasonal, what a lot of companies do is lay off [their] people. When they are busy, they have to start all over. I prefer to keep a core of good people – I have never laid anybody off, ever… which is rare in our business.” That is laudable in light of the recent economic situation throughout the county.
Dedicated to supporting the local economy with not just his employment practices, Chip attempts to keep money in Brownsburg and Hendricks County whenever there is an opportunity. He said, “Why not put the money here?” He gave the example of even the local Brownsburg Speedway® gas station in which, he asks his employees to fill up here because even though it is a large corporation, they might hire more local people if the demand is great here. “Everything I do is here. I use the local sign company. I use the local body shop. I use the local printer… because I think that is the way it is supposed to be.”
“If the service is as good and the pricing is as good – there’s no choice. I say, ‘I’m going to see you somewhere… the gas station, the grocery store, a restaurant, when I do… I want you to come up to me and shake my hand and say, Chip, your guys were awesome. You did what you said you’d do. You got me heat when it was Christmas Day or my water heater blew up, and you fixed it.’ I’m going to see you somewhere – I don’t hide. My business card has my cell phone number on it. Not very many owners have their cell phone number on their business card. It is sitting on the front desk. Anyone who wanders in the front door can have the guy who owns the place’s cell phone. I believe that if you are going to write a check to Mowery, then I want you to know who owns the place.” Chip said.
“This all sounds corny to some people but people have for years asked me why do I think I am successful. I never had an answer. I just do what I think you’re supposed to do. Then, I later thought about it. Now, my answer is this… I have never aimed for the dollar bill. So, what I do is always just aim for doing what’s right for a customer and for an employee. Then I turn and look behind me, and there’s dollar bills behind me – because I am doing what I am supposed to do. If you aim for the dollar bill, you do something wrong to get it if that is your only goal. I think you make poor decisions to get that dollar. If you aim for doing what is right, the dollars take care of themselves.”
“Mowery has been here since 1970. They’ve been located here on Main Street [Brownsburg] at five different locations. [We] started out where the CVS® is. They tore down the building to build the CVS. That was Mowery. Then they moved down the street. They moved to where Mars & Venus is then to 402 E. Main and now to this location. It is kind of cool that we’ve grown as much as we have and that we are taking care of stuff all over Central Indiana. I bought Mowery 10 years ago.” Chip told us.
While talking about the staff at Mowery, Chip told us, “I want to work with people that I like and respect and who like and respect me. People are going to do a lot better job for you if you do things that way. I can be amazing, but I don’t get to talk to everybody. I don’t get to go to everybody’s house to service their furnace or toilet. I have to surround myself with amazing people… really, really talented people. I’m not afraid to hire people smarter than I am. I hire good people – Someone is a great person, and they want a job here. I’ve got a great person. I can teach them how to fix a toilet. I can teach them how to fix an air-conditioner… but I cannot teach them how to be a good person. I start with a really quality person and then I teach them. Customers, when they open the front door, in 2 seconds, they’ve made a decision about you. They’re going to invite you into their home. You’re going to walk around in their house. It has to be somebody that they feel comfortable with.”
Secret to Success
Chip gave the secret recipe for his success. He said that it is good people, fair pricing, doing what you say you’ll do and showing up on time dressed and behaving professionally. When we spoke with Chip, we also toured the facility and met the people that work there. Every person there was in a great mood and genuinely pleasant and friendly. That sort of experience comes from legitimately liking what you do.
Talking more about the reason behind the move, Chip explained that one of the reasons they chose to make the transition to the new building is to place everything under one roof. Before, there were multiple locations for product and storage but now it is all together.
While the building sat empty, he had considered purchasing the property a number of times; however, Chip said that he did not feel as though the opportunity was right. Around February 2014, he began to consider how to best make the move and negotiations began. A price was agreed upon, closing happened, and then construction began. The building has a new roof, new heating and air-conditioning, new duct work, new insulation, new doors and windows and a number of facade improvements. “This building was an eyesore and sat empty for a long, long time and turned it into a really nice locally-owned business I sit here every day and hear customers say when they walk in the door, ‘Thank you guys for what you’ve done for our town.’” Chip said.
Mowery is located at:
710 E. Main Street
Brownsburg, IN 46112
Office: (317) 852-2958