When Kyle Eaton’s phone rang in September 2020, the caller ID showed that his father was calling. As routine as this was, the conversation that followed was anything but. “He told me he quit his job,” Kyle recalls. “Since I was five years old, he had worked as an electrician and HVAC serviceman.” But he wasn’t without a plan. Dad was going to follow in his son’s footsteps, starting his own business just as Kyle had done in 2016. “For as long as I can remember, he has dreamed of starting his own company, and he finally did it,” Kyle adds. “I’ve never been prouder of him.”
Initially, when Kyle and his dad talked about the new business, it consisted of dad sharing updates, or perhaps asking for Kyle’s opinion on something small. Soon, however, the two realized the potential a partnership could yield. “It’s different for sure,” Kyle says of being partners with his dad. “I’ve done business with several close friends in the past, but this is the first time I’ve worked with family on such a large scale.” Like any business partnership, the two had to learn how to work together. “It’s very rewarding to be able to work with family, but it can also test your patience and abilities under pressure when you’re working with people that know you best and are comfortable with having unfiltered conversations with you,” Kyle admits.
A Perfect Pair
The father-son combo soon found their footing. Within the first six months, the start-up had returned six-figures in revenue, thanks to the combination of dad’s decades of experience and Kyle’s entrepreneurial know-how. “I’m proud that we can build something successful together in such a short amount of time,” Kyle says. “It’s a great thing to be a part of, when you know the people winning with you are some of the people you love most in the world.”
For those considering a similar partnership, Kyle offers his relatively new but already effective wisdom. First, know your strengths and weaknesses, as well as those of your partner. “I don’t know the first thing about air conditioners or repairing them,” Kyle acknowledges “But I do know what it takes to run a business, and I know what speed bumps to avoid and which growing pains are worth toughing out. Being able to handle logistical sides of the business, IT, marketing, and general tech needs alleviates a lot of stress from my parents.” But even with the immediate success, Kyle is adamant that business will never take precedence over family. “Keep in mind the long term rewards and remember that business problems can always be solved,” he says. “Customers come and go. Don’t allow work, or money, to damage relationships.”