Online lender OnDeck named All Clear Plumbing of Hainesport, NJ its Small Business of the Month for February 2019. The nine-person company is the first small business in the State of New Jersey to receive the OnDeck award.
All Clear Plumbing got its start in January of 2001, when Lou Tropeano, a 20-year veteran of the plumbing industry decided to strike out on his own. Tropeano’s initial goal for his new business was to provide quality plumbing services to local residents and commercial businesses in Burlington and Camden counties in New Jersey.
“After a slow start, business took off. The key for me was advertising in the Yellow Pages section of the phone book,” says Tropeano. “Back when I started the business, everyone used the Yellow Pages to find contractors like me. My ad was a good one and soon my phone was ringing off the hook.”
Tropeano and the team of licensed professionals at All Clear Plumbing built lasting relationships with both residential and commercial accounts. As the company grew, Tropeano also added heating and air conditioning services (HVAC) as service options for customers.
Year after year, Tropeano kept advertising in the Yellow Pages but he began to notice a change during the last recession.
“Everyone ended up moving to internet advertising, so I fell behind when the Yellow Pages began to fade away as a resource,” says Tropeano. “Customers were looking online for the services I offered, but I wasn’t yet advertising online where they could discover me.”
Soon, Tropeano was finding it harder and harder to find customers, leading to financial difficulties and even thoughts of closing the business. However, intrigued by talk of online small business lending, Tropeano went searching on the Web for a reputable lender that could provide quick capital and found OnDeck.
Once approved for financing, Tropeano used the capital to pay off business debts and invest in online marketing. He hired a web developer to create a website for All Clear Plumbing and increased his online advertising presence. Seeing the return on his loan from OnDeck, Tropeano subsequently applied for and was approved for additional financing that was invested in new technology.
“Business is doing great now,” said Tropeano. “I feel lucky that I found OnDeck. They have been a terrific financing partner. I now employ a crew of nine, and two of them have been with me for 18 years.”
The Small Business Spotlight series from OnDeck is designed to highlight and reinforce the vital importance of small businesses. Every month, OnDeck spotlights the achievements of its small business customers and how they are thriving as a result of receiving capital from OnDeck.