Brad Fluke calls himself a true believer in the idea that you make your own luck. When his father started a handyman service called Tom’s Honey Do, operating out of a two-car garage, Brad became its first employee. He soon found that there was an abundance of work consisting of the jobs spurned by remodelers and even franchised handyman companies.
“Everybody has their specialty, but nobody wanted to change a faucet, hang a chandelier, or fish the weeds out of smokestacks,” he says.
Fluke further built The Honey Do Service by analyzing all the negatives that homeowners associate with remodelers and handyman companies, then addressing them one by one. “Homeowners don’t want you to show up late,” he says. “And they don’t want you on the phone, [and] talking to another client.”
He created a brand out of such lessons, including company uniforms, and defined procedures and cleanup, so that Honey Do personnel would be viewed as “honored guests” in the home. Having identified a vocation, he says, “we knew we could charge appropriately and make it a profitable business.”
Next, Fluke found a building and went to the bank for a loan. The bank asked for a business plan, so he created one. When the bank refused to approve the loan because, Fluke says, “it didn’t feel that a handyman business warranted a storefront location,” Fluke found other financing. Within three weeks of opening, the company’s volume of work quadrupled.
- A major difference between Honey Do and other handyman organizations is that the handymen don’t sell the job. When a homeowner calls, an estimator/salesperson goes out to estimate and sell the job, including collecting a deposit. “We listen to what you need, present some options, then let you make the choice on what you want us to do next,” Fluke says.
- While most handyman organizations price their jobs on a time and materials basis. Honey Do works on a fixed cost per proposal because that’s what the homeowner wants, Fluke says.
- After looking at many estimating software programs, Honey Do built its own proprietary software. Salespeople connect via tablet or computer. They can point and click and the system does the math. As soon as homeowners had the ability to build their own estimate, Fluke says, closing ratios went way up.