Contractor of the Year Award winner, Mark Simmonds, cannot remember a time when he didn't want to be a technician.
As soon as he completed his apprenticeship he went into business on his own working from his mum's backyard shed.
Back then he had one vehicle, now he has 11 vehicles out on the road representing his company, Simmonds Heating and Cooling.
He also has a showroom on one of Adelaide's busiest roads and employs more than 10 technicians and apprentices. Simmonds attributes the success of his company to hard work.
“There are plenty of opportunities out there if you are willing to put in the hard work,” he said.
“Other qualities that are important in business are integrity and honesty. Sometimes this means making hard but fair calls and delivering on promises to the highest standard.”
Simmonds has grown to love the industry especially the dealer trips and golf days, he joked.
“What I love most about this industry is the people and also the fact that every day is different,” he said.
“I have a great team of staff behind me and awesome techs helping me achieve my goals but my biggest supporter is my wife,” Simmonds said when accepting his award which was sponsored by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Air Conditioners Australia (MHIAA).
Simmonds was presented with his Contractor of the Year Award by MHIAA general manager, Adrian Brown.
Asked about his plans for the future, Simmonds said he wants to increase the company's commercial division and open a second retail store.
He is obviously not ready to give up on the hard work just yet. Simmonds admits its not the easiest time to be in business.
“Cash flow is a challenge, the building industry has taken some big hits recently which has affected a lot of businesses across Australia,” he said.
“Overall this is a great trade to get into that is always in demand. A lot of young people think about being an electrician or plumber but I feel there are better opportunities in HVAC.
“We also need to protect our trade from electricians getting installer licenses.”