JimBo’s Plumbing first opened its doors in October 2005 – what started as a small venture to fill a need has expanded to be the go-to name in the industry for Macon County. As Jimbo Ledford approaches the 15 year anniversary of doing business, he reflects on the changes to the industry and how he has adapted over the years.
“When the business first opened, pre-2008 economic crash we grew at an exponential rate employing up to 10 full-time employees and working what seemed to be around the clock,” said Ledford. “The downturn really didn’t affect the plumbing business until about 2013 and even then we still employed around six full-time employees.”
Between the recession and now a global pandemic, Jimbo’s Plumbing has downsized to operate as a two-person business, prioritizing needs to best be able to serve clients.
“Currently we are a 2 person operation, myself and Melissa Spencer who works in the office and also helps me on the field when we decide to take on a larger project or I need another set of hands for a tricky task,” explained Ledford.
While Ledford has worked with clients throughout Western North Carolina, his shop’s primary focus as of late has been the Franklin area.
“We have been sticking mainly to the Franklin area and haven’t had to travel much further than Cowee Valley,” said Ledford. “We have built a client base locally that keeps us busy and allows us to answer calls when needed.”
Plumbing isn’t just clogged toilets and leaky pipes – the scope of Ledford’s skills and talents afford him the experience needed to work on a variety of different plumbing issues.
“Before I started plumbing I didn’t understand it at all,” he said. “Most people don’t realize the complexity of plumbing and just think when you turn the water on it comes out and then it goes down the drain and away. There’s so much involved with a plumbing system and plumbers like to joke that we save more lives than doctors and vaccines by providing society with the means to stay clean and sanitary and if you search just a little bit plumbing is even biblical. God demands that the waste be taken away from the village and that’s what plumbing does. So, you could say I’m doing God’s work.”
JimBo’s Plumbing holds an unlimited license allowing them to cover almost every aspect of plumbing service. They do residential, commercial, remodels, additions down the basic service work such as repairing a drippy faucet. Recently, they were even hired to handle the complexity of installing the plumbing and pipes needed for a large residential saltwater fish tank.
“We also hold a residential fire sprinkler installation license,” said Ledford. “We installed the plumbing system for the new police station and social security building in franklin, as well as the large remodel of the town hall and the community building.
Despite the ups and downs of owning a business, Ledford credits his 15 years of service to the fact that he loves what he does.
“I truly enjoy my work and my job. I enjoy helping people with a problem or with a dream,” said Ledford. “Plumbing has taken good care of me and allowed me to make a good life for myself.”