Springdale businessman’s skills in the outdoors easily translates to professional code at work
Springdale, SC (Paul Kirby) – Springdale businessman Link Crapps loves the outdoors, especially hunting and fishing. When he’s not at Airport Heating & Cooling, the successful business he started 25 years ago, chances are he’s either in the woods, on the water, or planning his next trip. Over the years, he’s had tremendous success in both the business and sporting world and has found that his philosophy regarding hunting and fishing best serves him in business too.
From the age of four or five, Link’s dad and grandad had him in the woods hunting. They’d load him in a truck and trained him early to listen to the baying of hounds to guide him to the game. Link learned even the smallest detail mattered, be it a smell, a small gap in your cover, or a tiny twig to deflect a shot from being true. He brought down his first buck in 1986 and he was hooked on the sport he still loves today. “If it has horns, I’ll hunt it,” Link recently said.
His grandad was the fisherman and a purest. “He’d only let me use a cane pole, he never let me use a rod and reel. If I did like he said, he could put us on the fish, and we’d catch lots of crappie. I just paid attention to the details and did just like he’d shown me.”
Link remembered those words about paying attention to the details while in school. He graduated Airport High School in 1992. By the time he was 17, he was spending lots of time on the Saluda River, especially in May hauling in massive stripers. He also picked up a bow about this time and began to teach himself how to shoot. He liked the feel of it, the fact that you had to be close, stealthy, and attentive to details to get a deer in bow range. “With a rifle you can get out there a few hundred yards. With a bow, you really need to work to bring your prey into range. We’re talking 50 or 60 yards and that’s a big difference.” Still, Link found the time to enroll in Midlands Tech to study to become a heating and air technician.
At school, Link’s teacher Mike Mansell took an interest in him. He saw how much he paid attention in class. He liked the fact that Link knew when to admit he goofed and would quickly hustle to learn the right way. Apart from teaching heating and air conditioning at tech, he also owned an HVAC company of his own. Mansell began allowing Link to sub-contract work he couldn’t get to. With the help of his dad, Link bought an old truck, set up shop in his parent’s garage, and Airport Heating & Cooling was born.
Link picked up more sub work and got busier. Soon, he was gaining his own clientele as word got out he was honest, fair, and hardworking. To Link, a handshake is a contract and morals and fairness are everything. “Everyone makes mistakes,” he said recently. “It’s how you act after the mistake, how you handle it, that really matters.”
Over the years, Link’s company grew, and God blessed him with some great employees. Some, Link took a chance on even when no one else would. For the most part, they’ve never let him down. “My team is great,” Link said. “I can trust them to take care of business like I would. They know how I am about every little detail and I’ve trained them to do it my way.” This great staff gives Link the freedom to enjoy the fruits of his labors. Many times a year, he and his faithful dog Bo pile in his truck and head out west to hunt. “I’ve hunted and harvested some huge bucks in Kansas, New Mexico, and Illinois.” He’s even acted as a guide to the CEO of Under Armour on a trip. He’s also fished South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia Beach, and hauled in giant tunas, Blue Marlins, Mahi-Mahi, and many other beautiful and tasty species.
Link said that his work and his hobby are so much alike. “There’s no book that can teach you everything in my work or my hobby. Lots of it comes from years of experience, watching someone else who’s done it just a little longer than you, and soaking in everything you can in order to get better.”
Link and his wife Jamie have a seven-year-old daughter named Chloe. They also have two sons named Tres and Hayden. They've already started enjoying the outdoors with Link and had successes themselves. His grown daughter Lauren runs the business when he’s away and although she’s seems pleasant and easy to get along with, it’s easy to tell that none of the guys can push her around. In talking about his wife Link said, “Jamie and I have a great relationship. We have trust in our marriage, and she knew what she was getting when we got married me. She lets me do my thing knowing that I’ll be back soon and won’t cross any lines while I’m gone. She’s a great wife and we have a great marriage. Lauren has also been a huge help and without her, I wouldn’t have the freedom to go and do what I enjoy so much,” he said.
The smallest details in hunting and fishing have brought Link tremendous success, and that’s how it’s been with his business. He started with repairs, moved into new installation, and now does what he calls “production” work too. This is where his techs will move into a brand-new neighborhood under construction and go from house to house installing full systems. In his type of work, details are more important than ever. Because the margin in this work is less, having to go back and fix a mistake can be a loser. “We go the extra mile,” Link said. “We caulk around all the registers and make sure everything is done right the first time. When a contractor trusts you with their work, the last thing they want is a home buyer calling them about a new system that’s not working properly after they’ve moved in.”
Even though Link loves to hunt, fish, and travel for both, he’s never more than a phone call away. “With my company, the final buck stops with me,” he said recently. “If there’s a problem that you feel is not being handled by my staff like you want, they can get me, and I’ll call you back in most cases the same day.”
If you need a HVAC system inspection, and upgrade, repairs, or a brand-new installation, Link and his staff can provide you lots of options depending on your budget. He can also put you on a maintenance contract that includes inspections several times a year, system cleanings, and preferential pricing on after-hour and emergency calls. You can reach Airport Heating & Cooling at (803) 926-9527.