Four Seasons Radiator Service, Inc. is a family business located in Madison Heights, Michigan. Colleen Beattie does bookkeeping, payroll and all the office duties for the business, which was founded by her father back in 1971. The company specializes in repairing automotive heating and cooling systems. They also sell parts over the counter for those systems, as well.
Madison Heights has over 1,300 businesses operating within the city’s borders. Over a hundred of those are major companies, but the rest are comprised of small businesses. Colleen expressed that there’s a great deal of family pride that goes along with being able to service customers for over 40 years at the same location.
“DTE Energy did a profile on our business as far as
how we could save money on electric and other utilities.
They gave us some really good tips.”
Who is your ideal customer?
“The general public is our ideal customer because our busiest season is the summertime. Air-conditioning is something that people can’t go without! When it gets to be eighty or ninety degrees, you can’t ride around in your car without an air conditioner, so we have a lot of work come in during that time of the year.”
What’s one of the biggest reasons for your success?
“We’ve been here for so long and it’s a word-of-mouth city, but we’re also in a really good location. We are located just off the expressway and we’re right by the mall. There’s also a dealership right across the street. We get a lot of exposure just because of where we’re located.”
DTE Energy has been by to visit your shop. What did that entail?
“They came here and did a profile on our business as far as how we could save money on electric and other utilities. They gave us some really good tips.”
What kind of tips did they offer?
“They gave us some sink aerators and other items to help us be more energy efficient, and assessed our energy loss around the windows and door. They advised us that the next big thing that we have to do is change all of our incandescent bulbs to LED lighting.”
Have you noticed a difference since you made these changes?
“Our water usage has gone down since we installed the sink aerators. Some customers forget to turn off the faucet — and some employees! I feel good knowing that we’re being more conscious and it’s not just going down the drain.”
Are there any challenges you face as a company? Any hoops you’ve had to jump through in the past?
“One of the challenges that we are currently facing has to do with how our world is changing so much. People used to keep a car forever and you would just continue to repair it. But nowadays, people aren’t keeping their cars, so cars are coming in that are pretty darn new. It can be difficult to make the repairs that we used to do because there are so many computers involved.”
How are you tackling that challenge?
“We are reaching out to different avenues like school buses and heavier trucks in order to repair those types of heavier duty vehicles. They are still out there in the workforce, so that’s one of the major places we’re focusing our attention on.”
Support a local Detroit business and your fellow business owner:
Four Seasons Radiator Service, Inc.
Address: 45 West 14 Mile Road, Madison Heights, MI 48071
For more tips and inspiration for small business owners,
visit CBS Small Business Pulse Detroit.