By Maddy Vitale
Dimitri Georgopoulos, owner of Geo Electric, 2051 Route 50 in Woodbine, keeps a slip of paper on the wall by his desk. It is a reminder of how he runs his business. Be on time. Be on budget. And always give the customer the highest quality service.
“I love doing my job and I want my workers to do it to the best of their ability,” Georgopoulos said amid multi-tasking Tuesday morning. “Electrical work is really fascinating. You are taking so much power that is hiding behind a little screw.”
He flipped through work orders that filled his desk, all neatly arranged in four rows. From wiring additions, new kitchens and bathrooms, to rewiring an old house, a commercial building or an apartment complex, business is booming.
There was a job to rewire a senior housing complex in Atlantic City. Another job was to wire sconces in a home in Ocean City.
Georgopoulos gave both assignments to one of his electricians, discussed the specifics, and off the employee went.
He employs six electricians, owns a bucket truck and five work vans.
And on a typical day, his fleet is out servicing homes and commercial properties throughout Atlantic and Cape May counties.
The no-nonsense-style business owner, who moved here from Greece in 1991, begins his workday at 8 a.m. Often his day ends around 7 p.m., amounting to about a 60-hour workweek, which includes Saturdays, he said.
But that is the price of running a successful business, he noted.
Georgopoulos said he believes in hard work and building good relationships with the business or homeowner, contractors, inspectors and anyone else involved in a job.
“I try to have good relationships with people, and if I make their lives easier, they will remember,” he said.
Judging by the number of jobs Geo Electric has on any given week – into the hundreds – people remember.
Most of Geo Electric customers are in Ocean City, Sea Isle and Avalon. But with a good reputation and 11 years in the business, word of stellar workmanship travels. So, does his fleet of work vans.
Expanding beyond the company’s traditional service area of Atlantic and Cape May counties, Geo Electric is doing a big job soon in New Gretna in Burlington County.
The team of skilled electricians, advised by Georgopoulos, knows how to trouble-shoot and do multiple projects. That is one of the things that helps keep the business thriving.
Their ability comes in handy when there are problems with summer rentals that need to be fixed immediately.
Georgopoulos’ son, Niko, an electrician, has been working with his dad for 4½ years.
“It took a couple of years to get a grasp of what is going on. You learn something every day,” Niko Georgopoulos said.
He likes working with his dad, but he really likes that he isn’t in an office all day.
“I get to see the world,” he said.
Fellow electrician Rich DeBevoise joked, “You mean you get to see Atlantic and Cape May counties.”
The two laughed together while stripping wire waiting for Georgopoulos to give them their jobs for the day.
The office and supply room were filled with everything one would expect in an electrical business, outlets, wire, light fixtures, screws, safety goggles, helmets and jackets.
But everything was stacked, coiled or hung up.
Niko Georgopoulos joked that his dad is a bit of a neat freak.
That attention to detail helps Geo Electric deliver the best finished product and services to its customers, they said.
And when it comes to training, Dimitri Georgopoulos makes sure both he and his employees have the most current training in the field. He attends monthly meetings to discuss changing specifications and requirements.
Manuals on electrical design lined his bookshelf. But the latest edition was the one that counts. From spacing out electrical outlets, to different ways to wire a home or building, the work can be difficult and intricate, he said.
That is why it is so important to make sure you go to a reputable company to do the work, he said. Geo Electric is licensed and insured, things that should be at the top of a potential customer’s list when looking for someone to do electrical work, Georgopoulos said.
“In times like (Hurricane) Sandy and other floods we have in Ocean City and Sea Isle, all of a sudden people appear from nowhere calling themselves electricians because they carry screwdrivers,” he said.
The result can be shoddy work or even a fire hazard.
Georgopoulos doesn’t always tell people what they want to hear. For instance, he gave examples of times when he turned away work because potential customers asked him to do things that were wrong and could even present a safety hazard.
“Business is about money. But you have to get money the right way. You’ve got to sell your services, but at the same time, you can’t try to trick people,” Georgopoulos explained. “Safety is definitely first. We will address it to the homeowner and if they want to hire someone else, that is fine.”
The best advice he ever got was from an electrician who worked into his 80s.
Georgopoulos recalled, “He said, ‘Do everything by the book.’ I stick to that advice.”
For more information visit www.geoelectricsj.com, call Geo Electric at (609) 628-2653 or email Dimitri Georgopoulos at: firstname.lastname@example.org.