Bolton: 4th generation family business

January 26, 2021

Since 1925, Bolton has been one of the most trusted names in North Carolina’s service industry. Bolton is a family business dedicated to serving Asheville and Western North Carolina. They currently offer a wide array of plumbing, heating and air conditioning services. Bolton’s mission is to continue to build a trusted brand while ensuring the satisfaction of both  customers and employees.

What’s a little known fact or trivia about your business?
If William E. Bolton Sr. had not taken the job offer from Capital Construction Company in 1923, our business might not be here today. The Capital Construction Company was formed to construct the Sir Walter Raleigh Hotel –  Raleigh’s oldest surviving hotel building. William E. Bolton Sr. was hired on to oversee the installation and first year of maintenance of the hotel’s steam heating system. Only a year after completion, the building became known as NC’s “third house of the legislature,” with over 80% of the state’s legislators taking up residence there. The hotel even had a gentlemen’s club in the basement called “The Sphinx Club.” Representative William “Billy” Watkins once said, “More laws were passed at the Sir Walter than at the Capitol itself.” This was before the Bolton Company helped construct the State Legislative Building in 1963. The Bolton Family suspects W.E. Bolton Sr. had seen enough of the politics and formed his own business in 1925.

How has your company grown over the years?
Our company is currently transitioning from 3rd to 4th generation. William E. Bolton III’s experiences with his own brothers gave him an idea, split the company into two separate businesses so that his sons can make decisions as they see fit – each overseeing their own operations (and possibly making their own mistakes) while still learning from each other and partnering where it counts the most. Marcus Bolton is currently the operations manager for Bolton WNC, Inc. in Asheville and his older brother William E. Bolton IV owns and operates the Raleigh business, Bolton Construction & Service, LLC.

What was the biggest hurdle you had to overcome?
One of the biggest hurdles we have had to overcome is recruiting qualified candidates who are passionate about trade work. Aside from branching out from the usual platforms such as Craigslist and Indeed, we have started a 4-year apprenticeship program that offers tuition reimbursement upon successfully passing of each module with a minimum pay of $22 per hour upon successful completion of their Journeymen’s certification! We also offer tuition reimbursement for the HVAC program offered at A-B Tech and have sought out plumbing programs at community colleges across the state. In addition to these programs, we have attended career days, focusing on Middle School age kids, in hopes of enlightening teachers and students alike of a respected career field that requires unique skills and years of training.

What’s on the horizon?
As 2021 begins, we are eager to focus on our customer’s experience start to finish! We want to be sure that customers are provided with the option that best suits them when it comes to how they contact us, schedule service, pay, and receive their invoices. With our customers in mind, we recently started offering on-site payment solutions when the technicians finish their work, financing for those in hard financial times, and paperless service as a default wherever possible. We hope that the experience leaves each customer saying “Wow, that was easy!” We will also continue to prioritize feedback from both our customers and technicians. Earning a 5-star rating is hard work – and no one knows that more than our team members with true grit; our incredible field staff out there getting it done, day or night. As customer expectations continue to increase, we also need to continue asking our fellow team members – “How can this business better serve you as well?”