It may be a cliché, but everyone’s dream job is doing something they love. That way, it’ll never feel like they’re working, especially when they’re their own boss. It’s even better when they’re making a difference in others’ lives. Mark Laskey has gotten to know this well over the years.
When Mark was 13 years old, he started working for his neighbour, who was a well driller at the time. During Mark’s days as a high school student, he gained valuable experience and learned useful skills. After he turned 18, Mark started his own company that still exists today.
Established in 1976, Mark ran Laskey’s Services as a one-truck operation. Building upon the time with his neighbour’s company, Mark also began doing the pumps, installations, and service of water wells. By 1983, Mark had opened his shop and expanded Laskey’s Services.
Located in Strathroy, Ont., Laskey’s Services is one of the few businesses in the area that specializes in well drilling. It provides services for housing and commercial needs, such as drilling wells and treating water, with the equipment to solve just about any water issue.
Once a solo show based out of Mark’s garage, Laskey’s Services has grown into a 17,000 square foot location, with 13 vehicles and 15 employees. Through the growth of his business, Mark can offer more services to the community compared to when it initially launched.
After two years of working out of his first location on Metcalfe Street, Mark purchased the property on Maitland Terrace, where Laskey’s Services operates today. In 1989, Mark purchased his neighbour’s business, began well drilling, and further added to his services.
In addition to its water treatment and well drilling services, the expansion of Mark’s business incorporated heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) to the list. Laskey’s Services can administer the installation of gas furnaces, air conditioners, and geothermal heat pumps.
At its store in Strathroy, Laskey’s Services has provided retail products to its customers for over a decade. These items include the likes of pumps and electric motors for wells and irrigation systems, not to mention the recent inclusion of pool and spa treatment supplies.
“For me, service has always been my focus and the most important thing for our business,” Mark said. “If you take care of people, they will always come back. We take pride in answering the phone after hours and on weekends, which I believe is the reason our clients stay with us.”
Given its 24/7 emergency service phone line, the enthusiasm for quality customer service is what drives Laskey’s Services. Its employees receive on-call pay over the weekends, with some of its biggest clients calling and supporting Laskey’s Services for the past 40 years.
While Laskey’s Services is often attracting new customers to grow its business, one key element of its success is the retention of previous customers. As a one-stop location with excellent service, Laskey’s Services appears destined to remain a staple of Strathroy.
Even when Mark retires one day, there’s a plan in place to continue the business beyond his time as its owner. Two of Mark’s sons, Craig and Sean Laskey, are following in their father’s footsteps and inching toward owning and managing Laskey’s Services down the road.
Similar to Mark’s experience working for his neighbour, Craig began as a part-time employee with Laskey’s Services in high school. Upon graduating, he transitioned to a full-time role and now has over 20 years of experience, specializing in drive points and water pump installation.
Sean later joined the company in 2007, enabling Laskey’s Services to diversify its offerings through heating and cooling. Starting with his grandfather at McInnis Gas, Sean became a licenced HVAC technician and certified gas technician, along with several other accolades.
Between the two of them, Craig and Sean have varying skills and expertise, setting up Laskey’s Services for even more success well into the future. With the ability to learn from their father, Craig and Sean will know what it takes to run Laskey’s Services for years to come.
Craig and Sean’s succession planning has become a less common practice, with fewer people taking over their parents’ businesses nowadays. Despite Mark’s impressive accomplishments with Laskey’s Services, he and his sons needed business support to begin this process.
Through CFDC Middlesex’s business consulting and financing services, the Laskeys received expert advice and separate funds to start the transition. As the clients in this scenario, Mark, Craig, and Sean received the high-quality service they provide for their customers every day.
“CFDC Middlesex stepped up and truly made it easy. The paperwork wasn’t overwhelming for us at all. They made the process very simple and were quite helpful and friendly to deal with,” Mark said. “They were always smiling and willing to work with us on our business needs.”
Like every small business in Middlesex County, Laskey’s Services felt the impacts of COVID-19 in their day-to-day routines. To protect the health and safety of its customers and employees, Laskey’s Services began offering curbside pickup and delivery over the phone and email.
At the onset of COVID-19, the company’s water and HVAC services remained available for essential and emergency calls. Laskey’s Services was also accepting electric motors and water pumps for drop off and repair, while its staff members ensured an increase in sanitation.
The response to COVID-19 from Laskey’s Services focused on serving its customers, which is the primary factor in all of its decisions. This high-quality service, as well as its offerings, will still be in great demand when Craig and Sean eventually take on and share their father’s role.