Meet Ms. Fix-It
Meet Ms. Fix-It:
How To Turn Home Renovation Headaches Into A Successful Business
After the purchase of our first home, my husband and I were faced with the all too familiar challenge of finding reliable home improvement contractors. At the end of a 60 hour work week we had little time left to search for qualified plumbers, painters, carpenters, etc. and were forced to blindly pick a name from the Yellow Pages and hope for the best. After one too many afternoons of waiting for contractors who didn't show, it occurred to me that if we were having difficulty finding reliable contractors in our community then other homeowners must be faced with the same challenge.
My concerns are what sparked the launch of a unique, service-based business--the Homeowner Referral Network (HRN) business--which has since expanded into a profitable cottage industry across the U.S.
The HRN business is a contractor referral service that matches homeowners with reliable, pre-screened home repair workers. The HRN takes on the time consuming task of locating and screening qualified contractors, checking to be sure that they're adequately insured and licensed and serving as a liaison between the contractor and the homeowner throughout the course of a job. HRN services are provided free of charge to the homeowner and contractors represented in the HRN only pay a commission to the network for any work secured.
The HRN business fills an important niche in the home improvement marketplace: First, it's a reliable source for busy homeowners in search of pre-screened contractors to work in their home. Second, an HRN serves as an outsourced sales and marketing force for contractors represented in the network who prefer not to handle this aspect of their business.
After extensive conversations with lawyers, business consultants, contractors and insurance agents, my HRN, Home Remedies® of NY, Inc, was launched from my home in February of 1996 with a $5000 loan, a home computer and fax. As a full-time mom, I was only able to operate my business on a part-time basis. The initial response from homeowners was tremendous and after just 3 months in business I not only repaid my loan in full but in its first year of operation, Home Remedies™ grossed almost $30,000 .
After my first year in operation, other entrepreneurs interested in the HRN concept approached me. It was obvious that there was a universal need for HRN services nationwide and I decided to document the HRN business system so that others could benefit from my experience. The Complete Guide To Owning And Operating A Successful Homeowner Referral Network© outlines step-by-step procedures on how to launch and operate a successful HRN.
To date there are more than 400 HRN's operating nationwide.
Debra Cohen is President of Home Remedies® of NY, Inc.--a Homeowner Referral Network (HRN). Ms. Cohen is also author of a business manual entitled The Complete Guide To Owning And Operating A Successful Homeowner Referral Network. To date, Ms. Cohen has assisted more than 400 other entrepreneurs launch successful HRN's nationwide. For more information about starting an HRN in your area, visit the HRN website at www.hrnbiz.com.