Friday, March 20, 2015

Home Maintenance and Repair Service - Business Ideas

Home Maintenance and Repair - Business IdeasHome repair involves the diagnosis and resolution of problems in a home, and is related to home maintenance to avoid such problems. Many types of repairs are "do it yourself" (DIY) projects, while others may be so complicated, time-consuming or risky as to suggest the assistance of a qualified handyman, property manager, contractor/builder, or other professionals. Repair is not necessarily the same as home improvement, although many improvements can result from repairs or maintenance. Often the costs of larger repairs will justify the alternative of investment in full-scale improvements. Maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) or maintenance, repair, and overhaul involves fixing any sort of mechanical, plumbing or electrical device should it become out of order or broken (known as repair, unscheduled, or casualty maintenance). It also includes performing routine actions which keep the device in working order (known as scheduled maintenance) or prevent trouble from arising (preventive maintenance). MRO may be defined as, "All actions which have the objective of retaining or restoring an item in or to a state in which it can perform its required function. The actions include the combination of all technical and corresponding administrative, managerial, and supervision actions."

Owning a home maintenance service business can be very rewarding in today's market. Whether you are skilled in carpentry, plumbing, electrical work, painting or roofing, many homeowners prefer having a reliable contractor to go to when a repair issue arises. Even if you specialize exclusively in a particular home maintenance area, there are steps you can take to increase awareness of your business and, therefore, your client base. Identifying potential clients, offering promotions and collecting referrals are a few ways to can successfully grow your business.

If you're the type who can (and likes to) do just about anything around the house--mend a leaky faucet, nail down those sagging shingles, paint a wall, unstick a sticking door, repair a broken cabinet or build a garbage can enclosure, then this might be just the business for you. You'll be on-call in your neighborhood for all those jobs that aren't quite big enough to hire an expensive contractor but are beyond the homeowner's expertise or time constraints. This is a business with room for growth: According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Americans spent nearly $43 million on home maintenance and repairs in a single recent year. The advantages to this business are that you can work from home, you can start on a shoestring, you're always doing something different, and it's gratifying. People are delighted when you can save them money by doing the job yourself and appreciative of skills that they don't possess. You'll need a variety of home-repairs skills--everything from minor plumbing to minor electrical to painting and carpentry. You'll want people skills because you'll be dealing with a variety of personalities on their home turf, and a good sense of logistics to help you determine which jobs to schedule in what order.

Startup Costs: Under $2,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Franchises Available? Yes 
Online Operation? No

Maintenance types

Generally speaking, there are three types of maintenance in use:

  • Preventive maintenance, where equipment is maintained before break down occurs. This type of maintenance has many different variations and is subject of various researches to determine best and most efficient way to maintain equipment. Recent studies have shown that Preventive maintenance is effective in preventing age related failures of the equipment. For random failure patterns which amount to 80% of the failure patterns, condition monitoring proves to be effective.
  • Operational maintenance, where equipment is maintained in using.
  • Corrective maintenance, where equipment is maintained after break down. This maintenance is often most expensive because worn equipment can damage other parts and cause multiple damages.


In telecommunication, commercial real estate and engineering in general, the term maintenance has the following meanings:

  • Any activity – such as tests, measurements, replacements, adjustments and repairs — intended to retain or restore a functional unit in or to a specified state in which the unit can perform its required functions.
  • For material — all action taken to retain material in a serviceable condition or to restore it to serviceability. It includes inspection, testing, servicing, classification as to serviceability, repair, rebuilding, and reclamation.
  • For material — all supply and repair action taken to keep a force in condition to carry out its mission.
  • For material — the routine recurring work required to keep a facility (plant, building, structure, ground facility, utility system, or other real property) in such condition that it may be continuously used, at its original or designed capacity and efficiency for its intended purpose.
Manufacturers and Industrial Supply Companies often refer to MRO as opposed to Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM). OEM includes any activity related to the direct manufacture of goods, where MRO refers to any maintenance and repair activity to keep a manufacturing plant running.

Industrial supply companies can generally be sorted into two types:

  • The ones who cater to the MRO market generally carry a broad range of items such as fasteners, conveyors, cleaning goods, plumbing, and tools to keep a plant running.
  • OEM supply companies generally provide a smaller range of goods in much larger quantities with much lower prices, selling materials that will be regularly consumed in the manufacturing process to create the finished item.

Identify Potential Clients

Homeowners are the natural market for your services, but don't overlook other possibilities. Another market consists of condominium or apartment building managers who don't employ an on-site maintenance person. Research neighborhoods in your local area to find high concentrations of potential clients. A community of senior citizens or an area of older homes or condos where maintenance is more of an issue may be a good source for new clients.

Traditional Promotions

No one will know you offer home maintenance services unless you market to them. So, slip flyers or postcards listing the home repair services you offer into the door frame or under the mat at residences in your target neighborhoods. Include your contractor’s license number to build trust, and prominently feature your contact information to make it easy for new clients to reach you. Always ask for a referral as soon as you finish providing services in a client’s home. Form a networking group of people who sell to the same target market, such as landscapers, cleaning services, pool companies and interior designers, to build relationships that lead to referrals. 

Digital Promotions

A website helps people find you on the Internet, a necessity in today’s web-based world. On the services page of your site, create categories to show the types of services you offer, such as painting and drywall, electrical, plumbing and carpentry. Then, provide details about the types of project you handle under each category. For instance, under painting and drywall you might mention hanging drywall, patching holes and removing old paint or wallpaper. Sign up with online referral services, such as Angie’s List and Service Magic, to get referrals from their sites. Encourage clients to post reviews of your work on these websites since prospective clients depend on those reviews when choosing a contractor.

The Market

Your customers will be mostly homeowners, but you can also target owners or managers of small apartment buildings or condominium complexes who don't have a maintenance person on staff, and small shopkeepers and real estate agents who may need help with a vacant property. Deliver fliers detailing your services to potential customers by tucking them under doormats or making them into door hangers. (Don't place them in mailboxes--the U.S. Postal Service gets very upset about this.) Place ads in your local newspaper and in your neighborhood Yellow Pages. For small-business commercial customers, hand-deliver fliers or brochures and explain your services. You may not get any takers the first time you visit, but don't get discouraged. A repeat visit or two can often seal a deal.

Needed Equipment

In some states, you'll need a contractor's license, so be sure to check with your local contractor's board or commerce department before you start. You'll want to be bonded. And you'll need the handy-person's stock-in-trade: hammers, screwdrivers, pliers, wrenches, grip vises, flashlights, a cordless saw, a step-stool and ladder, and paint brushes and rollers. You should also have a pager so customers can reach you during the day and a pickup truck for making house calls.

Stay in Touch

Send an occasional email or a newsletter that reminds homeowners of seasonal chores, such as roof repair in summer. Highlight a recent project to provide ideas and use testimonials to build credibility. In addition to reminding prospective and current clients of your business and of home maintenance projects they may need to address, these messages also make homeowners aware of others skills you have and encourages them to use your services for multiple projects.


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