This Q&A is one in a series of articles about the business executives who help guide your BBB. This is an edited transcript of an interview with Roy Spencer, president of Perma-Seal Basement Systems, Immediate Past Chair of the BBB, and a member of the Executive Committee of the BBB Board of Directors.
How long have you been the president of Perma-Seal?
I’m the founder, and have been president of Perma-Seal Basement Systems since 1979. That’s 37 years.
What’s your background?
I received a BBA in business from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. After a brief stint in retailing, I worked for two waterproofing contractors prior to starting my own business.
Why did you start Perma-Seal?
I was disappointed in the ethics of the two companies that I had worked for. Plus I saw a lack of ethics in the waterproofing industry in general. So I started my own business based upon honesty and integrity.
How has your company evolved over the years since its start?
I began with one employee (myself) and an F150 pickup truck, today we have 240 employees and over 80 trucks. We have expanded our services from basement waterproofing to include: structural foundation repairs, crawl space encapsulation, sewer backup systems, plumbing services, and most recently, concrete raising & leveling.
Why did your business become Accredited?
We became Accredited because as a new business I wanted to give my prospective clients assurance that they were dealing with a company dedicated to ethical practices.
What benefits does your company receive from being Accredited?
Foremost, we continue to get enhanced credibility with our clients. That’s why we joined and it is still a key reason. After that, the benefit for a business person is that I’ve had the opportunity to network with like minded business owners. Many new ideas and business opportunities have come from these discussions.
Why did you decide to be on the Board of Directors?
I was honored to be invited to serve on the Board. It’s an opportunity for me to further understand the workings and challenges of the BBB. I also like to “give back” to the organization that has done so much for mine.
How do you see the BBB evolving and continuing to serve businesses and consumers?
I think the BBB is on the cusp of becoming the primary source for people to use as they look for trustworthy businesses. I think we’re turning the corner on people’s perception of the BBB. The organization is not simply a complaint agency. It is now much more than that as it becomes a reliable referral source. As a result, more and more businesses will want to become Accredited Businesses because they see the value in support such an organization. There’s value in it for them and for their customers.
What would you tell another business owner about the BBB?
I always encourage businesses to become Accredited with the BBB for two reasons: First, it will create more confidence in their business with their clients. Second, it is the right thing to do to support the BBB because without it, we would all be working in a chaotic marketplace.
How has BBB Accreditation improved your business and its actions?
We have learned what other ABs are doing as best practices and implemented some of those in our organization. My involvement with the BBB has fit nicely with our company’s vision statement: “To make the world a better place”. I feel the BBB has a similar vision in making the business world a better place for consumers, as well as businesses.