I'm Keith Paul. My wife Debra and I are the founders of HandyPro International, LLC. We were certainly no strangers to business when we launched HandyPro in 1996. After selling our Garden City, Michigan pizzeria, Pizza Junction, Deb and I saw a new business opportunity to help protect homeowners from dishonest contractors after Deb's grandmother lost $2,000 to a kitchen remodeler who took the money but never completed the work.
We decided to establish a referral system to connect seniors and home owners with reputable contractors. We did all the background checks ourselves on electricians, plumbers, remodelers and handymen. We expanded into referrals for two-income families that needed a handyman. After helping others, we saw an obvious need for trustworthy handymen that provided quality service. So we began to hire our own handymen and provide the services ourselves.
By the year of 2000 our company, operating as HandyPro Handyman Service, began getting a lot more calls from seniors or their family members seeking help to install wheelchair ramps and stair lifts as well as grab bars, walk-in tubs and specialized plumbing and door fixtures to enable people with arthritis to turn on a faucet or open a door. Recognizing a niche market opportunity, HandyPro returned to its roots in 2008, refocusing our marketing efforts and services to the elderly and people living with disabilities.
Our success has a lot to do with what I learned while running our businesses. Here are the three most important lessons I've learned:
- Customer satisfaction is the only way for true success.
- Take care of your employees, they are the backbone of any company. Ensure your business model attracts only A+ employees. Your employees will never give better service to your customers then you give to your employees.
- Set yourself apart from the competition. You must continually set yourself apart from any other company by giving such a great experience to your customers that they say, "I'd be absolutely crazy to do business with anyone else but HandyPro!"