Mike Losoya, Jr., General Manager/Owner
As a youngster, Mike Losoya, Jr., Owner/General Manager of Mike’s Plumbing & Electrical, Inc., was fascinated with all manner of electronics.
“I always had a thing for opening electronic devices, either to make them work again or just to learn about what was inside them,” he said.
When he reached high school, he had to choose between electronics or going into the electrical shop class.
“I chose the electrical class because it was more of a trade to get into,” he said. “My family had taught us to find something to make a living with, something to support us. I took the class for two years and found I was good at it, and I liked it. I also liked to compete.”
Mike won an interschool electrical competition in south Rio Grande Valley which catapulted him to the regional competition in Dallas. There was a good chance Mike would have won, but he will never know since his coach was too afraid to leave the hotel to go to the competition. Without his coach’s assistance, he missed important information and did not win.
“But,” he said good naturedly, “we enjoyed the trip.”
Settling in to work in Corpus Christi a few years later with his new bride, Mike received a phone call from his dad, Mike, Sr., who was a plumber. Chisum Plumbing, the business where he was employed, was closing. When Mr. Chisum gave his three plumbers his blessing to drum up business from his customers they already knew, Mike, Sr. decided to take advantage of the opportunity to open a plumbing and electrical repair company. He wanted his electrician son to join him.
Mike, Jr. took a deep breath and said yes to his dad.
“My dad only had a third-grade education because he had to help his father and grandfather. He was the oldest of his siblings and knew he had to earn an income for his family,” Mike, Jr. explained. “He was an extremely hard worker and set a good example for us both in work ethic and in following through with responsibility. Those lessons have always stayed with me.”
In October of 1980, they first worked from a house Mike, Sr. had convinced him to buy.
“Everything my dad told me was pretty wise,” he said.
Luckily, he learned one of his most important lessons the first year in business. That lesson has become the backbone of their customer service.
While installing an expensive copier, he found he had forgotten his voltage tester, so he just guessed which was the correct wire to install rather than taking the time to get the piece of equipment. He was wrong, and the customer called to say the copier did not work. After confessing his wrongdoing, what his dad had taught him was seared in his memory: “If we cause damage, then we are going to fix it and pay for it.”
Fortunately, the plane ticket for the repairman to come from Houston to repair the copier was less than $100 those 41 years ago. But it set firm the very basis of their business.
“I think that lesson is what has kept up the quality of our workmanship,” Mike said.
Another example of his dad’s wisdom was, “There’s more than one way to complete a job.”
A local nursery needed work done, but thought the bid from Mike’s Plumbing was too high. Mike, Jr. and his dad went out to their truck and worked out another plan which would bring the cost down. Though they did not make money on that transaction, they found a lasting customer in the owner who simply wanted to know how badly they wanted the work.
Mike’s Plumbing & Electrical, Inc., does commercial and residential work with an emphasis on service. A few years ago, they added HVAC as well.
“We believe that customers are for life if you treat them well,” Mike, Jr. said. “Our customers are why we’re in business. A residential customer is the one who is always going to be loyal to you. They are the ones we thrive on and look forward to doing work for. We’re aiming for customers for life and being someone they can trust.”
In order to do this, Mike’s Plumbing offers a 100 percent satisfaction guaranteed. With son, Kris, overseeing the 46 employees, family is a big part of this company with a daughter handling the marketing, another son doing IT work, and his youngest daughter answering phones.
A long time Chamber member, Mike, Jr. felt that as a McAllen business, he wanted to support the Chamber and the work it does.
A strong company that provides good benefits for its employees, Mike, Jr. believes if you follow your protocol, follow your responsibilities, everything will fall into place.
“I think the key,” he said. “is when everybody simply does their job.”