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    16 Replies Latest reply on May 27, 2008 10:36 PM by MRFINANCE

    How can I grow my home Improvements business?

    chroman Newbie
      Hello everyone, I'm 27 years old and I decided to singed up to this community because I'm just amazed of the great things you guys provide to people in here. I give all of a A+++..

      I started painting houses on weekends and evenings in 2004 as a part time job. I was working for a mortgage company(champion Mortgage) full time so it was extra cash for me. On March of 2007 I was lay off from champion after 5 years because of the market being bad. - anyway, after this happened I decided to go full time on the home improvements business. The first thing I did was to register a business name, got my myself Insurance for the business, finally went and got a construction license. Months later I decided to create a website so people can see my work. It's been 10 months now and I will be honest "it's not easy to run a business".
      The reason I'm here today is because I need everyone's adviced on growing my home improvements business. I'm doing okay now because I have currents jobs in process. However, I would like to know how I can reach to new customers. Currently my clients are "word of mouth" clients, which is great, but I want more. I'm currently working only with residential customers only, however, one of my goals for 2008 is to work with for big companies, but I don't know how to do it or if I'm ready. I'm not sure if a need a business partner,, sometimes I just want to stop this and look a normal job, but I take a 5 minutes break and I'm back to work.
      Please help..
        • Re: How can I grow my home Improvements business?
          Lighthouse24 Ranger

          Three groups you can find easily and approach naturally to build your business are home sellers, home buyers, and realtors.

          Home sellers may need your help with fast, affordable home "makeovers" to maximize their selling price and profits. This group is easy to find ("For Sale"signs are a dead giveaway). You can take or mail your brochure (or business card with a web address) to the seller's home, and follow up by giving the seller specific examples of how much various remodeling jobs (new bathroom floor, new kitchen countertops, etc.) could increase the selling price of the home.

          Home buyers obviously like the house they're purchasing, but in an older home, there is probably still an ugly paint color, floor covering, or countertop they'd like to change. If the home seller didn't hire you to redo it, maybe the buyer will. Follow up with them after you see a home placed under contract or sold.

          Real estate agents may also help. I know an owner of a window replacement company who simply went to advertised open houses to meet real estate agents. When he thought he'd met one with whom he "hit it off" and could build a working relationship, he'd write a rock bottom proposal for replacing the windows on the house being shown and leave it with the agent. Sometimes the agent would pass it along to the seller with a recommendation to proceed with the work, and sometimes not -- but he made repeated contacts with the same agents and eventually began to get work and referrals through them.

          Hope this helps. Happy New Year and best wishes.
          • Re: How can I grow my home Improvements business?
            LUCKIEST Guide
            chroman, I agree with you "it's not easy to run a business", BUT we are here to help.
            Lighthouse always has great suggestions. I will try another approach. SCORE.
            SCORE helps business people succeed and is FREE. They talks about Business and Marketing Plans
            You can visit a SCORE office and talk to a Counselors as often as needed or visit SCORE online.
            Please email me at " ". Would like to talk to you.
            Good luck, LUCKIEST
            • Re: How can I grow my home Improvements business?
              DomainDiva Ranger
              Get a booth at a Home & Garden show...get a booth anywhere.

              Now for the hard part....get people to write letters and ask them to take phone calls or make phone calls to prospective clients. ALSO, if something gets way out of whack...fix it fix it fix it...and worry about the money later. In your business goodwill is 99% of a referral.
              • Re: How can I grow my home Improvements business?
                guru2008 Wayfarer
                Wow Home Improvment's, hum....Hum..... many of my properties need some TLC.

                First you really should look to have your skills evaluated. I'm a little concerned with "its not easy running a business" what I'm trying to say is what's with the mortgage GIG my first thoughts are that mortgages companies pay better usally have benifets. I like the Idea of painting on a freelance basis and pocketing the extra cash, But your question was how to reach new customers???? Ok here goes

                Home Depot, Lowes, etc have like an affilitate program, you might possible be buying supplies their now?? They pay top dollar, but at the same time you have to meet their criteria. but once your setup and can take on the bussiness your in the gravey train If you need a contact I might be able to have a very successful buisness owner that I know who works this area and have him e-mail you directly. But please put your bussiness model together with help of course and be prepared to listen.


























                • Re: How can I grow my home Improvements business?
                  Buffalo Adventurer
                  Doing home improvements and running a home improvement business are two different things as you are finding out. Michael Gerber has a book call the E-Myth that addresses many of the issues you are facing and will face in the future as your business grows.
                  In line with my area of expertise I suggest that you get your company name, logo, phone # and website put on your company vehicles. Also some yard signs with your company info on them to stick in your customers front yard. Company shirts and hats are another good idea. Maybe some bumper stickers to put on your friends and relatives cars. Refrigerator magnets to give customers so they have a handy way of remembering you.
                  Make sure that everything you do is consistent in terms of design and color. The idea is to build a "brand" that will get you noticed and remembered.Good luck and welcome to the forum!!
                  1 of 1 people found this helpful
                  • Re: How can I grow my home Improvements business?
                    chroman Newbie
                    WOW..great ideas Thanks!!.
                    I will take everyones' advice. .. Buffalo, do you or anyone know of any company that could provide me with shirts and signs for my company at a good price?
                    • Re: How can I grow my home Improvements business?
                      slavaret Adventurer
                      Luckiest, this is one area where I would agree a formal business plan is essential.

                      I think contracting jobs that cannot be outsourced to China have a much better future in the US: less competition, more pricing power.

                      The problem here is ripoffs and flakes. The key is to project professionalism: a new truck with a rack, logo and a toll free number big enough to read on the freeway, a clean uniform, a good phone system / website, good phone skills, timely response and prompt service. A nice sign on the lawn telling people who you are while you are doing the job. Nice gestures showing you care about the property you are working on - like plastic floor coverings for your car at better car mechanics.

                      Apart from the truck, these things don't cost much but make more affluent consumers more comfortable doing business with you and give you more pricing power - people would be willing to pay a little more if they sense professionalism and reliability. Word of mouth would still be the best advertiser - if people are happy and got more than expected - they will go out their way to get your business - but you still have to ask. Maybe a follow up feedback letter with a pre-paid return envelop asking how you did, where you can improve, WHO ELSE can benefit?
                      • Re: How can I grow my home Improvements business?
                        mainstreetifs Wayfarer

                        Email me at

                        I am in the commercial insurance business but most of my clients are large trade contractors including painters, I will let you know what they do to get business. I would just post it here but there is a lot of information.
                        • Re: How can I grow my home Improvements business?
                          LUCKIEST Guide
                          chroman, One more item, Yesterday's (Wed Jan 2) Personal section of the Wall Street Journal
                          has an article of interest. "Spending Wisely On Remodeling. Might be helpful.
                          • Re: How can I grow my home Improvements business?
                            scsurfguy Wayfarer
                            Do you have a website that we can check out? You stated that you would like to work for larger companies. What city or state would you be willing to travel to to work. Local, Statewide, National? And how many people work for you?
                            • Re: How can I grow my home Improvements business?
                              Remodeler Newbie
                              Dear Chroman,
                              I own a remodeling and a business consulting company. My mission is to improve the reputation of the remodeling industry by helping small remodelers improve their business. We all hear horror stories about the remodeling industry. I suggest several things to improve. First is to join NARI (the National Association of the Remodeling Industry) They have been a tremendous resource for me. Second, get a subscription to "Remodeling" magazine. They have excellent articles to help you improve. There are also other trade magazines that offer subscriptions for free.
                              I just developed a free on-line business analysis program that is available at Go to the web videos link and click on "The Balanced Business". It is a 16 minutes long video and takes you through every aspect of running a successful remodeling business. (or any business) Also visit for more information. Please let me know if the program helps you and good luck with your new business.
                              • Re: How can I grow my home Improvements business?
                                int4852 Newbie


                                The following are a few tips regarding the home improvement business. I started my landscape business with my own money and the determination to give it all I have, no previous business or landscaping experience. Four years later my business is thriving and the limits are endless.
                                We are in the same boat with respect to our industry being as looked at as unprofessional, etc...But we also get paid to make things beautiful....

                                Take a look at the following and see where you can improve:

                                If you want to be treated like a professional look and act like one.

                                DO NOT ever cut corners..

                                Treat each customer as if they were your first and last...

                                Referrals are the best marketing you can have but takes time. Once you get going and offer a great service the work will find you..Trust me..

                                Partnerships fail at least 80% of the time...I am part of that 80%...

                                Never give up. If it is your passion and you enjoy taking something old and outdated and making it

                                For many customers this is the biggest investment they are going to make and for them to put their money and trust into you that is something to not take for granted.


                                As far as working for builders be aware that you should be well funded to take on bigger projects since it takes longer to get paid and when working for most residential customers they, most of the time, look for quality and value when most contractors what the lowest price and will sacrifice quality..

                                Just a few tips from my experience...Good luck because the fun, if you want to call it that, has just started for you..
                                • Re: How can I grow my home Improvements business?
                                  MRFINANCE Adventurer
                                  Boy such a wealth of KNOWLEGE I couldn't begin to give better advice.


                                  Ok I will. Hand out leaflets of your service and try something like Val-pak coupon mailers.