By Joe George on February 25, 2021
For the past 20 years, Bernard Woods has been helping the less fortunate communities in Garfield, Lawndale, and the rest of the Chicago area. He undertakes end-to-end electrical contract works from residential to commercial and also fixes HVAC issues.
At some point, we all would have got exposed to ‘that technician’ who does not take time to diagnose and find the root cause of an electrical malfunction. He would just come in and try not to give us an actual layout of what we need and what we do not need. But instead, he tries to sell us things that we do not need, right?
But Bernard is a lot different. He is big on building relationships with all his customers. “Lot of my customers are seniors and people living out of town, and they have problem trusting. They want the right technician to come in, give an actual quote and not try to take them for a ride”, says Bernard.
“What makes me different is that I work hand in hand, upfront personal with my customers. I get them to familiarize with me first and then my business. I create a bond with my customers so that they have full trust in my ability to give them the right analysis of the repairs they need for their homes.”
Bernard, the owner of ‘The Marilyn Management’ was born and raised in the Chicago area, and he knows the neighborhood like the back of his palm.
Bernard is what we like to call a Local Business Hero, a self-made entrepreneur who brings true value to his community. High standards of professionalism and the strong work ethics of small business owners like Bernard is the infrastructure of Chicago’s economy.
We sat down with Bernard for a quick interview.
Q: What made you enter this space?
A: “When I was younger, I have seen family members and older people struggling to get a much-needed repair to their properties done due to financial hardships. So, while growing up, I understood how important it is to be able to help my community, not only because a lot of the big service providers were located so far away, but also it would cost a lot of money to hire these big companies. So, when I grew up, I wanted to start a company that not only provides quality services but affordable solutions to the folks in my local area.”
Q: What made you come up with this name?
A: “My mom used to always talk about holding the community together, and from my childhood days, I have developed a passion for helping the local community. So, when she passed away, I decided to name the business after her.”
Q: Is there a personal philosophy that got you on this path?
A: “My thing was to go to school and get educated on the career that I wanted, but at the same time, I wanted to get involved in something that actually provides service to the community that I lived in. So even during my younger day, I use to undertake community-related projects and things of that sort.”
Q: How many people work for you?
A: “It’s just me right now. I had two employees, but during the pandemic, I lost those guys. I wasn’t able to pay them.”
Q: What is the most unusual situation that ever happened to you on the job?
A: “I got an emergency call from a lady one day, at around midnight. I went out to the location and found out that power was down in her basement, but it later turned out that the primary issue was related to plumbing. There was a lot of water pouring down to the basement, and the sump pump was out. So, I explained to the lady that, first, we got to get a plumber as I couldn’t even get down and do anything with that much water. She tried calling few numbers but could not find anybody at that time of the night. I was in an awkward position to get down and do something that I am not trained on. Even though it was horrifying, I took the courage and went down and got it back on to help pump the water out of there.”
Q: What did you learn from that whole experience?
A: “There are times when you got to step out of your norm to get things done. Instead of thinking, ‘it’s not my department,’ or ‘I don’t do that kind of thing,’ you may want to take a couple of minutes and look at what is the right thing to do in a given moment and just get to the action. If you are able to do it, why not do it! By doing this, you could prevent something worse from happening.”
“You know what! Out of that situation, I earned that customer. I did not charge her for the extra work I did. And later one day she called me back to do some electrical work. So, I gained a customer by helping a customer.”
Q: If you could share one tip that will help someone looking for an electrical contractor, what would it be?
A: “My tip would be to say, if you are in search of an electrical contractor, get somebody that is local, somebody that is small. The bigger the company, the more the customer will be looked upon like just a number. When you hire the small guy, he will connect with you more and will treat your concerns like his own. He’ll be genuinely interested in helping you rather than selling you on things that you don’t need.”
Bernard enjoys fishing. He said he had some good time to be alone in nature with not many people around due to the pandemic. He also loves the city. “I like the diversity that Chicago has,” says Bernard.
If you are looking for a professional electrician or any type of HVAC repairs, Bernard should be your first choice as he comes with the experience of 20 long years. He also supports our troops and seniors over 65 years of age with a 25% discount. Call him at 773 982 4422 or visit www.themarilynmanagementllc.us. Seriously Great Guy!
If anyone wants to support Bernard’s passion for helping some of the less fortunate communities, please visit – https://pxlme.me/BernardWoods
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