As Entrepreneur points out in a recent article, many home remodeling businesses went through a very lean period during the housing decline, and after recession had gripped the nation firmly. Some businesses that hit a low in 2009 were never able to bounce back.
What was the difference between those companies that failed, and the ones that got creative? Here are several approaches that Entrepreneur indicates were helpful in making sure that home improvement businesses didn’t go out of work, and actually did well.
Getting a Partner Who Knows the Business
In 2008, Princeton Air Conditioning Inc. realized there was no way they could continue to make money based on their current model. Sales were down and revenue might not pick up anytime soon. Instead, they decided to offer energy-efficiency services like geothermal heating and insulation. It was the right time for it. But how could they make that switch with no experience? They decided to become a franchisee of GreenHomes America. This allowed them the proper training, services and know-how. Today, these services make up a third of their business.
Turned to Consulting
Matt Vetter saw his home remodeling business going downhill, with revenues falling 30%. For a drastic change, he decided to consult for quick-service restaurant franchisees with new store construction and development. He already had the knowhow from being part of a former construction franchise — now, he was turning his knowledge into something people wanted. Today, Vetter charges up to $7,000 per client.
Using Good Marketing
Rusty Meador founded Beach and Barn, a residential remodeling business, in 2009. Approaching the market during a recession turned out to be difficult, and Meador admits that he “wasn’t differentiating” himself from the competition. The company came up with a new logo of a rooster (representing work) on a surfboard (representing fun). After customers expressed interest in wearing it, Meadow and his wife were able to sell the shirts online and in area stores. It makes up 10% of their revenue, and helps generate interest in their company and differentiate them from local competitors.
Went With a Successful Franchise
One woman, Daphne, opened up a remodeling business before the recession hit, without a lot of experience in the field — she had always liked planning her own home and figured she could build on that. Before her company went completely bottom-up, she decided to buy into a kitchen remodeling franchise instead. This helped Daphne get the training she needed, and set her up with a winning construction franchise business plan that otherwise would have taken years of trial and error for her to come up with.
Are you interested in working with a construction franchise, or any of these various solutions? Let us know in the comments.