Miguel Dunkley wants all of his customers to be comfortable, whether it be cool during the hot season, warm during the cold season, or to keep their food items properly preserved.
Dunkley, a client of 1-800Accountant, facilitates this desire through a small business he started with his kids called Cool Refrigeration, LLC. Based in Pompano Beach, Florida, on the east coast of the Sunshine State, the business includes himself, his son, and his daughter – both of whom are teenagers. His son has the title of vice president, while his daughter works as her father’s secretary.
Cool Refrigeration, LLC is a home-based small business that was officially launched in August 2013. The company offers a variety of services, primarily revolving around repair on home refrigeration, cooling, and heating systems. Dunkley can come out to service a refrigerator, a freezer, an air conditioning unit, or a heating unit. He also offers duct cleaning and provides advice on how to improve the ventilation in homes.
Although he mostly focuses on residential properties, he occasionally does work for clients who operate businesses in commercial facilities.
Dunkley, who has worked in this industry for many years, says he got his kids involved in helping him with the business for several reasons.
“I thought it would be a good idea to teach them about working in a business,” Dunkley says. “A lot of parents out there want their kids to be involved in their line of work, but I really want to teach them skills about working and having a job. This is going to be a family-owned business, and if it grows into something big, they’ll be there to have something to work on.”
He says there are several steps that have to be taken in a specific order to properly repair the units and appliances he fixes.
“There is a chain of command to go through to see what’s wrong with a refrigerator or an A/C unit,” he says. “It’s basically a checklist of things to go down. I use basic hand tools and a vacuum to do most of my jobs.”
In addition to being one of the many driven small business owners out there, Dunkley also maintains a part-time day job with a local air conditioning company.
Dunkley admits that making money is certainly a nice reward of operating the business, as it would be for all small business owners. However, he does get satisfaction out of completing jobs and making his customers happy when their air or heating units are fixed. He says he hopes to focus on the company 100% of the time at some point.
“I hope to eventually have this business full time,” he says. “It’s all about increasing your volume of customers calling you and getting the jobs. Referrals are a huge part of this. I just have to get more financing to get more equipment and make my work run more efficiently.”
Small Business Competition
Competing with other small businesses isn’t always easy. In Dunkley’s view, he thinks making the customer the number-one priority rather than worrying about other competing companies is a must.
“You have to give the customer everything they want to be satisfied,” he says. “Getting recommendations from customers who refer others is what it’s all about.”
Small business marketing is also part of the equation to be successful. Dunkley hasn’t done much traditional advertising and instead has used word-of-mouth and distributing some flyers as the main ways of spreading the word about Cool Refrigeration.
Like fellow small business owners, he has faced some challenges in putting his company on the map. Funding is at the top of his list.
“There have definitely been some financial challenges,” he says.
Dunkley, who has personally funded his small business, recommends that others look into government loans, grants, and other sources of funding. In some ways, he wishes he had done this from the get-go.
As a 1-800Accountant client, he says he’s been satisfied with all the accounting assistance he’s gotten from the national accounting and business consulting firm.
“You guys really call me and get me situated on everything I need to do, especially with all the paperwork,” he says. “When I first started this business, I didn’t know I had to pay quarterly taxes. I wasn’t sure what you can declare as income. 1-800Accountant has helped me figure out all of that.”