A local contractor has used social media to his advantage, garnering more than 100 contacts because of it.
Entrepreneur Chad Ruppel said he has found success in using Facebook to promote his business.
Facebook is currently the top website for social networking in the world.
According to smallbiztrends.com, the media giant has more than 1.79 billion monthly active users and more than 1 million small to moderately sized businesses using the site for advertising.
Chad Ruppel — owner of Ruppel Residential, a tile and contracting service in Vassar — said social media has helped his business because he could reach multiple people at one time.
“These days more people can be reached through social media,” said Chad Ruppel. “No one really uses phone books anymore. They get online to find the services they need.”
Ruppel Residential does not have a physical location, but does have a phone number for contact other than the Facebook page.
It is through Facebook and personal referrals Chad Ruppel said he gets most of his work, and now has at least 120 customers from Tuscola, Genesee, Saginaw and even Oakland counties.
Chad Ruppel said his initial contact with customers is through Facebook, but after he meets the client, he sends their work estimates through his email email@example.com.
Ruppel Residential is a fairly new business, opening in March 2015.
Before he was an entrepreneur, Chad Ruppel said he wanted to start his own business after working in union-based jobs with the Michigan Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers Local 2, 21031 Ryan Road, Warren. His last job was at Artisan Tile, 9864 E. Grand River Ave., Brighton.
After having his first child, Chad Ruppel said a friend got him a job in the union. He took the job not truly knowing what is involved with tile work but had previous experience with masonry and concrete jobs. He said he began to love the tile work and continued for 11 years.
“I just wanted to work closer to home and put more money in my pocket,” Chad Ruppel said.
Chad Ruppel and his family live in Vassar. His wife, Brenda Ruppel, said with Chad Ruppel’s own business he is able to have more time with his wife and their four children Shye, Easton, Hudson, and Ireland.
“I guess now we’re now able to attend more family functions and children’s activities together,” said Brenda Ruppel. “He’s home just about every night for dinner — whereas before he was working in towns far away and wouldn’t get home until late depending on traffic.
“He’s able to create his own schedule and work around anything we have going on as a family and of course the kids adore their daddy, so they’re happy they get to spend more time with him.”
Tile contractors install tiles such as porcelain, ceramic, marble for commercial and individual customers in a wide variety of buildings and work irregular hours. The work of a tile contractor includes installing back splashes, the tiled wall behind a kitchen sink, that average about $600.
The average shower remodeling costs without tile is about $3,500, Chad Ruppel said.
Chad Ruppel is currently the only employee of Ruppel Residential. As the sole worker, he said the work is a lot slower than a commercial business, but he has more control over the quality he puts into the job.
One of the downsides to being the sole employee is long work days because he’s the only one involved in construction. But for Chad Ruppel, the positives seem to outway the negatives.
In addition to working closer to home, the freedom of being his own boss and making his own schedule for nearly two years are major benefits.
“I’ve always worked for someone else,” Ruppel said. “(Now) I get to spend more time with my family and I can be involved with the community too.”
Having his own business has allowed him to become a member of the Vassar Area Chamber of Commerce and work with community events like Riverfest and the Fall Festival, both of Vassar.
One of his customers, Jennifer Corlew of Davison, heard of the business through a friend. She said Chad Ruppel almost completely redid her bathroom top to bottom.
“I left some comments on his Facebook and then I shared his page to all my friends on Facebook,” said Corlew. “I’ve been able to refer him to a couple of people who are looking to get some work done.”
Corlew said the work was well done from Chad Ruppel.
“He was great to work with,” she added. “If he wanted to adjust something a different way he worked with me. I don’t know anything about bathrooms and he worked pretty closely with me to get it done.”
To contact Ruppel Residential, call 810-247-1252 or contact on Facebook at http://bit.ly/2iFwssT.
Debanina Seaton is a reporter for The Advertiser and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.