Nearly 34 years ago, at the request of his father and with some borrowed tools in hand, Loren Vickers installed his first set of garage doors. “I think it took me two days and I made about 50 bucks for the two days of work,” said Loren.
Shortly after that fateful experience, Loren says he realized there was a growing need for garage door installation in Northern Arizona. So in 1976, the locally-born Vickers set up his first shop in a 10-foot by 20-foot rental storage unit. Today, Loren Vickers Overhead Door staffs 10 full-time employees and has multiple warehouses and a showroom in East Flagstaff – a far cry from what started out as a single-man operation.
“[The business] evolved over the years from me being hands-on all the time and doing everything to me being more of a manager and business owner,” explained Loren.
Loren credits the business’s expansion in part to his wife, Susan, whom he married in 1984. Susan moved to Flagstaff in 1976 to attend Northern Arizona University and as she puts it, “ended up here permanently and have been working beside Loren for 26 years now.”
In the beginning, however, the couple, both of whom came from families that had small construction businesses where their parents worked together, was intent on not running the company as a husband-and-wife team. It was an effort to keep their work and home lives separate, though Susan says that idea only lasted about six months.
“It’s difficult for one person to do every- thing that needs to be done in a service-based business, so it just seemed natural that the best person to help pick up the slack would be someone with a vested interest… me!” said Susan.
“Susan has been a big part in helping the business grow to where it is today,” said Loren. He believes Susan’s involvement in daily operations is crucial to the continued success of Vickers Overhead Door.
The company services approximately 30,000 customers throughout Flagstaff, Paige, Cottonwood and other surrounding areas in Northern Arizona. Besides expand- ing their clientele, Vickers Overhead Door has managed to stand the test of time by making it a point to keep their service offerings diverse. Loren believes if his business “just specialized in one thing,” it wouldn’t be nearly as successful anymore. Susan adds, “we expanded from mainly residential work to doing large and small commercial as well as residential.”
Quality customer service is another key component to Loren’s long-standing success as a business owner.
“We want to treat people the way we would like to be treated if we needed someone to come to our home to fix something,” explained Susan. “We try to keep up with the most current trends in the garage door industry and have those things available to our customers and to train our staff to be knowledgeable about the products we sell.”
And the Vickers’ customer service-oriented philosophy has not gone unnoticed. Local business owner Tom Ramsey, of Ramsey construction, has known Loren for the better part of 20 years and insists there is no one else’s work he trusts more.
“Loren is there when he says he’ll be there and he fixes things when they need to be fixed. Most other guys in the business just seem to come and go, but Loren’s been here for a long time and there’s a reason for that.”
Ramsey is certain that it is no coincidence that Vickers Overhead Door has been around so long. Loren’s commitment to high quality workmanship and honesty and the strong connections he’s made with many other Flagstaff business owners is the simple but effective formula that keeps customers coming back.
“Loren and his family are great people,” said Ramsey. “They’re well known around the community and everyone speaks highly of them. I just appreciate him being my friend.”FBN