About the Author
Chuck Solomon founded a successful home improvement business serving the Triangle (Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill) area of North Carolina that he sold in early 2012. He created a new business opportunity called Nest Home Improvement. Mr. Solomon has been a handyman most of his life, helping his dad and uncles with home projects starting at an early age. He went on to college and graduate school and worked for non-profits, consulting, information technology and human resources fields but always did handyman/home improvement projects for himself and others. This guide book is the compilation of the many hours worked in starting and growing his own home improvement business. When not fixing things, Mr. Solomon enjoys hiking, paddling, cooking, traveling and spending time with his family.
Frequently Asked Questions
Many prospective readers have questions before they make the decision to purchase and then delve into this guide book and I attempt to answer those queries here. This guide is not a ‘get rich quick’ scheme but a framework for starting and running a successful service business. Success with your business like success in anything you do will be determined by the amount of time and effort you put into it.
Why did I write this guide book?
I wrote this guide as a compilation of what has and hasn’t worked for me in my own business. So others may learn the business side of contracting. I believe many individuals (contactors included) start their businesses with little to no training and experience in what it takes to start and operate a successful business. This is a recipe for failure for many. Often times an individual is working in the trades sector for someone else and decides to go out on their own. I applaud the person that wants to go out on their own and start their own business. However, I caution that they should go out on their own but not do it alone. My goal in writing this guide is to help great contractors become great business people. The said truth is many contractors while greatly skilled at their respective trades are not the best business people. This is clearly evidenced by the large number of contracting businesses that go out of business each year. Business skills can be learned and developed with training over time. This guide is a great first step in building those better business skills. My hope is that you can put into practice many of the guide’s lessons to start and grow your own contracting business. Helping contractors be better business-people is my main goal.
What qualifies the author?
This guide book builds upon an earlier publication I authored, How To Start A Successful Handyman Business on CD ROM which was published in 2005. My background is as a white collar professional turned to a blue collar business owner. Having received a bachelors degree in business and psychology and a masters degree in human services administration has provide me with an excellent education training ground for my current profession. I have helped to start and operate several successful (non-contracting) organizations and my own home improvement contracting business established in 1992. So I started the opposite way most contractors start out in business. I was great at the business-side and had to learn the trade skills side. Most contractors are great at the trade skills and have to learn the business-side. Success in this business depends on being skilled with both the trade skills along with the business skills.
Who is the target audience for this book?
This book is for anyone that has a desire to start and operate a successful handyman/home improvement business in the United States or Canada. This book will provide solutions to help great trades people become great business-people. Whether they are starting a brand new business or expanding an existing one, this book will help them set and reach their business goals. The topics covered are mainly focused on a small business (less than 10 staff) just starting out or wanting to develop business systems that will help to be more productive and ideally more profitable at the same time. The information contained in this book is geared towards a handyman business. However, other home improvement businesses such as, painting, plumbing, contracting, landscaping, electrical contracting, HVAC, paving, grading, power-washing, chimney sweep, gutter cleaning, window cleaning, pool and spa, remodeling, masonry, chimney sweeping, flooring, tiling, carpentry, windows and siding would also benefit. Readers should know that a handyman/home improvement business is primarily a customer service business. That is to be successful as a handyman/home improvement business the principals must be always focused on delivering great customer service. Delivering a superior service but with inferior customer service typically means few or no repeat customers.
What is the author’s goal for readers when they are done reading the guide?
This is mentioned above but bears repeating. The goal of the author is to help contractors become successful business people. Success in business is to be profitable and is self defined. Business success like most things one is successful at requires tenacity and a lot of hard work.
Why did you order the book this way (marketing, operations, financial)?
Generally, the typical business cycle starts with marketing and providing the service (operations) and then keeping track of everything (financial and compliance). Each of the components of the guide are important and may be read out of order as each is developed as a stand-alone chapter. Businesses need to perform each of these tasks (marketing, operation, financial) every week or even every day to be successful.
Does this guide cover topics related to handyman franchisers?
The purchase of a handyman franchise or other home improvement business franchise is not a part of this guide book. A handyman franchise offers a buyer a complete business system which has many costs but also many benefits. Most franchisors will have a business prospectus to review. It is best to review that information thoroughly.
Your comments and constructive feedback regarding the guide are welcome and encouraged. Feel free to email me. Also, be sure to check back to this website for updates and additional resources to build your business. I am also available for consulting services to help you start your home repair business, or bring it to the next level. Please email me to learn more.
Best wishes and much success!