Member Spotlight: Greg Shepherd with Ascent Mobility
on June 19, 2020
Greg Shepherd, owner of Ascent Mobility, entered the home modification industry six years ago after working in corporate accounting and finance for the first twenty years of his career. His experience included working with bigger companies, but he later felt that working for a smaller company would be a better fit.
“I began looking for my next move and seeing what was out there,” said Greg. “It seemed like moving to a smaller company would be a good choice.”
Greg ended up purchasing Ascent Mobility after discovering that the business was the right size, and that the work he would be doing would be interesting and would help people.
“I pretty much started from scratch in terms of knowledge, equipment, and the industry itself,” stated Greg.
As the owner, Greg does a little bit of everything, including sales, installation, service, and back office work like accounting, marketing, and more. Greg has learned a lot on the job throughout his time with Ascent Mobility, including how to ensure that their customers’ needs are met with compassion and a sense of urgency and priority.
A team made up of five people, Ascent Mobility finds employees that truly care about the work and have true compassion and empathy for their customers, which are primarily senior citizens. The other part of that is addressing their clients’ needs quickly and efficiently by having a sense of urgency whenever the phone rings.
“The business is never really a 9-5 job,” mentioned Greg. “We’re always on call, whether it’s after hours or on the weekends, to make sure our customers’ equipment is working and helping them right away if it isn’t working. We always want to make sure their needs are being met.”
One example of this is when a client submitted an inquiry on their website on a Saturday morning, and Greg and his team were able to meet with that client later that day. The client was a woman whose husband had a stroke and spent the last 11 months in rehab, and they needed accessibility products for him to be able to come home safely. Some of the products needed were ramps, stair lifts, and an ADA toilet. Greg and his team were able to install the ramp and grab bars just a few days later, and their client was able to come home that week. They quickly followed up with the remaining products and finished the project over the course of 1-2 weeks.
“Our goal was to get this customer home and continue living there safely and comfortably, and it was a good project for us,” said Greg.
Like many business owners, Greg has experienced some challenges in the industry, including modifying their product lineup and finding the right products that work best for them.
“We want to have a wide enough product offering, but not too wide,” explained Greg. “We want to be experts on products we install, so we can’t have too wide of a product offering that we are no longer experts. Events like the VGM Heartland Conference were great for us and helped us connect with vendors like Bestbath and EZ Access that had the products we were looking for.”
Other areas that Greg mentioned are sometimes challenging include the marketing efforts that go into targeting their audience of seniors.
“To reach our targets, there’s no one silver bullet,” said Greg. “We do a little bit of everything so that we are reaching our clientele.”
Although there are difficult parts of the industry, Greg finds that there is an inherent satisfaction in the work that they do, and the products and services they provide help improve their customers’ lives. Greg enjoys seeing the reactions of his clients when a job is complete, whether it be through hugs, tears of joy, or being offered a meal after.
“People are so appreciative of the work we do, and they’re happy to show it,” said Greg. “Even on the toughest day, we know that we are doing good work out there. The products and services we offer are inherently helpful to people. We provide things that are good and that goes a long way.”