Radiant was first opened under the name Brad Casebier Plumbing in 1999, and the owners later rebranded the company as Radiant due to the positive and upbeat energy the name has.
This move toward a brand name rather than a person’s name was initially made to show that Radiant was a team effort, rather than a single person running the show.
This was especially important when being contacted by builders because the relationships are much different when operating at this level.
At that same time, Brad’s wife joined the company as the first service manager and they changed their focus. From this point on, they would not only offer new construction but servicing as well.
The entrepreneurial drive that initially caused the owner Brad to open his own business was a steady progression. He grew up in a community of friends and family members that all had their own businesses, and always loved the idea of directly serving his community.
Radiant came from a humble beginning, and a desire to better the life of Brad’s family. The vision of something greater and truly building a strong business came later.
One of the most difficult aspects of running a business like this is cash management, says Brad. The challenge of doing collections and keeping your vendors paid can be very stressful, and it takes a lot of caution to succeed.
Brad is thankful for the amazing business coaches he has found along the way, and his only regret is not charging what he was worth from the very beginning, instead of bidding low to undercut the competition.
He would also have started with a coach right from the beginning, rather than wait until he was in a difficult spot. Brad says that there’s so much help out there from people with so many amazing resources, and the prospect of somebody not asking for help is completely mind-blowing.
2019 has been an amazing time for Radiant to be in business due to the changing nature of the technology, and the steady influx of young people coming into the trade has been very interesting.
The educational environment is such that young people are pushed by society to go into college, and careers like Plumbing or HVAC are largely considered a “fallback career,” especially in the high-tech environment we have here in Austin, TX.
This is further evidenced by the fact that college students are often hired by Radiant to answer the phones, while the tradesmen are out making six figures. Even the idea of going into debt for your education is unnecessary, and those in the trades actually get paid while receiving their training.
As far as Radiant, they’re currently split right down the middle, 50% of the revenue coming from plumbing and the other 50% coming from air condition and heating services.
The edge that Radiant has over other home service businesses in the area is its people. They are incredibly selective of who they hire, and they pay very well which means their team is always loyal and happy.
Out of hundreds of interviews, very few are let in the gate to represent the face of Radiant. Technology is also a massive factor in helping Radiant in its day to day processes, though the learning curve can be a little steep at first.
The more recent addition of an IT manager on-site has helped tremendously to understand the technological aspect of this business. There is a strong move toward constantly upgrading this technology and getting better reporting, especially with the dispatching side of the business.
Making sure the ideal tradesman goes to each service call, plus taking geography into account for environmental purposes is the current focus.
Another focus is maintaining the culture and reputation of the Radiant team while growing at the current pace. Brad and Sarah want to always maintain that “mom and pop” feeling of personalized care throughout the entire life of the business.
The quantity of people means that it’s harder and harder to get direct access to the owners, so transferring the level of care of respect from team managers to the newer team members is one of their primary areas of focus.
There is also room for their team members to grow as Radiant continues to recruit new members, and that’s a wonderful thing for such a great group of people.
One of the many plans Radiant has is to continually become more efficient and environmentally friendly with regard to the emissions and to have a service that’s truly beneficial to the world.
One of their current projects is building clean water wells in impoverished areas of Africa. On their office wall, they have a number of water jugs, each representative of their current business goals. Once each goal is achieved, they then donate to a charity that builds these wells, thus helping hundreds of people.