Describe your business
Our business is a one-stop shop for all home improvement needs. We offer services that I can personally do, or if necessary, refer clients to another licensed contractor in Mountain House to keep all the business accountable within our town.
What made you decide to open this business?
There was a need for a professional and full-time service in town, but no locals were providing it. I aimed to supplement the gap with lasting and warrantied solutions through my services. Currently, I have two businesses, the first being the handyman service which is in high demand. The second business is event planning, which I launched when Covid restrictions eased. I am also preparing to launch a third business focusing on civic engagement and also serve on the board of directors.
Why did you choose this profession?
I enjoyed transitioning from a 10-year career in technology because there aren’t as many opportunities within the sector for social interaction. This has allowed me to visit everyone’s home office and connect with neighbors in the community, while fostering social interactions. I thrive on surprising and delighting people with the services I offer, as well as building personal friendships on the daily.
What drives you to do what you do? What motivates you?
My motivation comes from being able to offer something unique that others aren’t providing in the local community. I’m able to fund my passion projects like events and make them a reality without relying on third-party sponsors, which helps me stay true to my brand. I can independently finance these projects without having to worry about fitting into someone else’s agenda. That freedom of self-financing the things I love to share then allows me to pursue my passions without restriction.
What has surprised you most when owning a business?
This is my fifth business, and what surprises me the most is the semi-rare but common occasions where people don’t understand the value of a business or service. There is always someone who will do it for less, but there is an expense for their outcome. If people are looking for a specialized service and don’t want to do the research or do it themselves, they seem justified to choose what the service is valued to them and not what the worth overall. I always run into this problem with all my businesses. Not charging competitive rates and having to overcharge myself to get their value’s worth can be exhausting. The most surprising thing is when people don’t understand the lasting value and worksmanship that they are paying for.
What was it like when you first started?
There were a lot of learning from mistakes and having to do things over before I achieved perfection. I don’t allocate much of my budget for marketing. To me, it is crucial to maintain customer success and overall satisfaction. Compared to my competitors, I only spend 10% of my revenue on marketing. This lets me set a higher standard and helps me grow my business with the amount of effort and care I put into it. Even when it’s not a billable hour and I have to do a bit of extra work for free. This makes it easier for me to conduct my day-to-day business and ensure that the outcome of the job is satisfactory. Quality in my craft leads to referrals. I hate advertising to be honest. I’d rather market myself through reputation.
What do you enjoy most about your work, and what are some of the biggest challenges you face?
I enjoy challenges, whether they are big or small. There are many things that are not transparent to people, and that is why they call me for help. I not only challenge myself to learn, but I also believe that if you are not learning, you are not living. Whether it is installing a 12-foot chandelier or customizing something that no one else is able to take on, it drives me to push further. I decided not to be in tech anymore because of the repetition in my roles. This field is always fluid, and there is always something new and challenging to take on that my customers are not willing to risk trying on their own. That allows me to grow by going above and beyond my own expectations. For instance, if they see something on Instagram that they didn’t think would be possible without spending tens and thousands of dollars, I take on the challenge to make it happen for less with the same deliverable. Sometimes – I think a task is going to be easy, but it’s not, and I try my best to make it work. Whether it’s out of my own time or pocket or something has to be modified to fulfill the desired outcome. Regardless, one way or another, anything I commit to is going to get finished properly.
Do you have any plans to expand your business or offer new services in the future?
I am constantly expanding my event planning business by learning new skills every day. Although I do not offer any specific services beyond this, I do have a new business in the works, which will be announced later this year. This business model is separate from the handyman service that I currently offer.
What's the most rewarding part of your job, and why?
I enjoy being able to meet and connect with all of my neighbors, which has allowed me to make new friendships here in town.
What advice would you give to someone who is just starting out?
Never give up, don’t panic, and always think outside the box. When you confine yourself, you limit your potential for growth and will never become well-rounded in your skillset. It’s important to keep an open mind and explore all possibilities, even if it takes more than one attempt to finish.
When you're not working, what do you enjoy doing in your free time?
I have a tendency to overwork myself and not take enough personal time. However, I make sure to set aside time to volunteer and donate to the non-profit organizations in my town. I typically work 21 consecutive days, balancing full-time volunteering, handyman work, participating on the board, and running my event planning business on the side for fun. I then take a 7-10 day break each month, rather than relying on weekends, which I don’t find long enough to fully disconnect. After my monthly break, I am ready to resume my 3-week work schedule, followed by another week off.