CEO Spotlight

Why People are the Key to Unlocking your Business’s Potential, According to Chimney Scientists’ Joe Ochal

Joe Ochal

Finding the right staff for your company is one of the biggest challenges of running your own business. Get it right, and a new employee can transform an enterprise. But get it wrong, and the new hire can be a drain on your resources, sapping your time, money, and energy.

Joe Ochal, Founder of Chimney Scientists, has experienced both and believes that the right kind of employee can be the key that unlocks your commercial potential.

As the boss of Chimney Scientists, Ochal provides the people of Pennsylvania’s Chester, Bucks, and Montgomery counties — and some areas of Delaware and Philadelphia — with comprehensive chimney maintenance service, including inspection and repairs for fireplaces. 

Chimney Scientists also offer a complete range of fireplace add-ons, such as stove connections and gas fittings for easy operation. 

Muscular Operation

The company has gone from strength to strength since it was first established in 2014. The first change came when Ochal decided to translate his job cleaning chimneys for his uncle at Chester County Hearth and Home into his own independent commercial enterprise. 

Ochal has always believed that to perform at a higher level, you need to have the right tool for the job. You can get by with inferior equipment, but you will have to work harder and lower your expectations of what you are able to do, as a person and a company. Investing in quality hardware is essential for the success of your business.

“Our goal has always been to be the best at what we do. To do that, we need the right tools. We have invested over $250,000 in specialized chimney tools from the highest quality ChimScan inspection cameras to Thermocrete pump and auger systems and specialty roofing scaffolding,” said Ochal. “This investment ensures that our customers receive the very best chimney service possible.”

Problem Solvers

Ochal applies this philosophy to his employment strategy too. But he isn’t as interested in someone’s experience, though some prior expertise is always welcomed, Ochal is focused on the person beneath the overalls.

 “For a good installer, you do not need to have any experience in chimneys. However, having construction experience would be very useful. When you work in construction, you encounter a lot of obstacles in your job. That is why we like to work with people who have positive attitudes and who are excited to find solutions in their work,” he said.

After all, it’s no use having the best chimney engineer in the field if they don’t have the character to match. When considering a new member of the team, Ochal focuses on their personality more than their credentials; he can always boost the skillset of an employee himself or by signing them up for a course. 

“It is much harder to iron out a negative attitude than it is to train up a team member. We already spend approximately $3,500 per year, per team member, on education to maintain and provide up-to-date chimney services,” he explained. “This ongoing investment in new techniques is to ensure the safety and protection of our staff, as well as of our client’s home investment. But no amount of money or professional training is going to change a person’s personality.”

Investing in Employees

Yet, and this is crucial, this is not just a one-way street. It is often cited that, even if the salary is good, work satisfaction and being appreciated by your boss are just as important as money. And making sure that his team members are happy outside of Chimney Scientists is important for Ochal.  

He speaks to his team about their future, getting them to invest wisely and think about their 401k, other pensions, and further investments that will allow them to be fully financially independent as they mature. “I believe that, here at The Chimney Scientists, we’re trying to set you up, so you make more money on your financial investments than you ever could by working,” shared Ochal.

The founder’s holistic and selfless approach might send shivers down the backs of some SME owners. But by thinking about his staff’s welfare and future — in tandem with making sure customers are getting the best possible service — Ochal guarantees a professional and diligent workforce, a satisfied client base, and the long-term survival of Chimney Scientists.

About The Chimney Scientists

Joe Ochal is the Founder of The Chimney Scientists, serving the Philadelphia area. The Chimney Scientists is a full-service chimney and fireplace company that provides chimney and fireplace repairs, inspections, and cleanings, as well as historical restorations. To find out more about chimney repairs, please visit https://chimneyscientists.com/


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