For Steve Rice, a new business venture in Powell River simply builds on his more than 20 years of experience as a mechanic and parts specialist. However, he says branching out on his own allows him to put the focus on qualities that matter most in running a successful small business: customer service.
“My main focus is customer service,” says Steve. “I’m well known for that in this town.”
Multi-Power Equipment and Repairs will focus on repair and maintenance of lawn and garden equipment. Its grand opening on Monday, March 26, is just in time for the busy spring and summer gardening seasons when people often bring their equipment out of storage only to discover it is not in working order.
“This is the time people pull the lawnmower out and it doesn’t start,” says Steve.
The business will also handle some electrical and air tool repair, blade sharpening and chain sharpening, and may give consumers the option of sourcing used or hard to find parts.
“I’m not carrying an equipment line,” says Steve, “I have many suppliers and can source parts for most makes and models.”
Rice says the option of using used parts appeals to many customers.
“Some people like to go that route; it involves some recycling,” he says. “We’ll be offering used parts and in some cases I might have used equipment to sell.”
As the business becomes more established, Steve says he wants to start a pickup and delivery service on scheduled days and expand his work site. However, as the business is just starting, he wants to be on hand as much as possible to answer questions and meet new customers.
Steve says communication is key for running a successful business, as he knows firsthand the frustration of dropping off an item to be repaired only to wait with no updates on the item’s status. Multi-Power Equipment and Repairs customers will be informed every step of the way, he adds.
“I’m very adamant about staying in touch and giving people a timeframe of what the status is for their equipment,” says Steve. “It’s really important to follow up and keep communication with them.
Steve moved to Powell River five years ago with his wife, who is originally from the area. The couple has lived in many places in the province but is glad to be back on the coast, says Rice, who was born and raised on Vancouver Island.
After working in the industry for many years, he says he decided to start a business of his own because he sees a need in Powell River and will be offering a service that is not currently available. Along with great communication, getting the job done on time is always his aim, he adds.
“One of my mottos is to get things done in a timely fashion,” he says. “I know that’s frustrating for a lot of people sometimes waiting months for something. My goal is to get things in and out the door.”
Steve says he also believes in honesty and helping customers troubleshoot and problem solve when he can.
Multi-Power Equipment and Repairs is located at 9467 Powers Road, south of town off Highway 101.