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D&T Mechanical Contrators | | Owner##comma## Laborer##comma## Customer Service | | Sole Proprietor
Donna Lyons is the owner of D&T Mechanial Contractors in Richmond##comma## VT. D&T Mechanical Contractors is a boiler repair and installation company.

What kind of training or education did you acquire before your venture?
I started this company in 1983. I have had years of experience in accounting and office work. I went into boiler repair work because their were not many companies in the State of Vermont that did this type of work##comma## I am the ONLY woman owned boiler repair company.

What services or products does your organization offer?
My company is located in Richmond##comma## VT. We service Upstate NY##comma## all of Vermont and New Hampshire. I hold a National Board ##quote##R##quote## stamp which allows me to make repairs and alterations to boilers and pressure vessels##comma## we also install boilers##comma## Piping including Gas##comma## Steam##comma## Condensate and Process. Fabrication of metal items. And I also have an ornamental iron work line. I also do custom iron work.

What type of business or organization do you operate?
I am a sole proprietor. I chose this because at the time my son was under 18 and my goal is to pass this business on to him when he is ready to take control of it.

How many employees do you currently have?

How did you originally discover the idea for your organization?
I reviewed what was available for customers and then set down and developed a business plan to cover as much as possible which out stretching my resources too far.

How did you originally fund your organization?
I financed some of the opening costs myself and also took out a business loan which was repaid within 5 yars.

Are you the founder of your organization?

Do you believe there is any distinct culture within your organization? If so, please describe it.

What obstacles or challenges have you faced in your organization?
The biggest obstacle that I have over come is being a woman in a man##aps##s field of work. I have overcome it by letting my work speech for me. Word of mouth between customers has been my best asset.

Did you accept any advice along the way? Do you believe new organizations should be open to such advice?
Advisors are VERY important. One of the best pieces of advise I heard 10 years ago was ##quote##watch your pennies and the dollars will take care of themselves.##quote## It sounds simple but it is true.

Did you receive any help along the way from other businesses or organizations? If so, how and from whom?

What have been the keys to success in your business? What do you believe are the keys to success?
Good workers. Money management. Growing Customer Base are all keys that helped make my business what it is today. Also being versital enough to change/adjust to economic changes.

What kind of relationship do you establish with your customers or clients?
I have kept my edge by making sure that my customer##aps##s are 100% satisfied when I leave the job site.

What types of marketing do you employ?
Word of mouth in the mechanical industry is the best marketing.

Do you employ any web or online marketing?
No##comma##boilers are still repaired the old fashion way.

What role does trust play in business or in your organization?
Sometimes I would spend too much time worrying about what the competition was doing. My best advise is to just do your job and not worry about what others are saying or doing.Your work will speak for itself.

Did you struggle with starting your own organization or venture? Why did you decide to begin on your own?
Being a single Mom for a few years changed what I needed to do with my professional life.Time will my child was very important and also making enough money to support my household.

What books or resources would you recommend for individuals starting off now?
Don##aps##t worry about the small stuff

Do you notice any trends in the marketplace? If so, what are they?

Do you believe networking and contacts are important? If so, how?

What do you think about contracts and other legal obligations? Are they important in your business?

If there is one thing that would sum up your advice to new entrepreneurs, what would it be?

What, if any, final advice do you have for new entrepreneurs?

This addedinterviews article was written by Donna Lyons on 3/9/2005

Donna Lyons D&T Mechanical Contrators Sole Proprietor