Jack Crocker’s father owned a remodeling company when he was young, so when Crocker (pictured, center with wife Nicole and staff) was ready to leave corporate America in 2011, he knew what he wanted to do. Thus, Classic Home Improvements was born, marrying the best practices of both big and small remodeling companies.
“We wanted to be able to offer whole packages, not just services, and be a contractor for a lifetime,” says Crocker. “One of the most important things is, it’s not like a mom and pop shop. Having clear policies and procedures, we’ve always started with that, and then look for technology that can complement that.”
A recent addition to the company that’s been popular with customers is a personal shopper. The position grew out of salesmen offering products and advice to clients, but around a year ago it became a formalized position for someone with a greater background in design. “[The] personal shopper talks about their style, gets a good feel for their space and guides them down the road,” Crocker says. “They go and help clients with selections. She can swing by the project and pop in and visit, talk with the owner. “
The personal shopper has generated positive feedback for Classic Home Improvements, and while referrals and repeat customers are still the heart of its leads, Crocker knows that the days of a good word by itself are in the past. “It’s the ultimate compliment, but it’s naïve to rely on that alone. Clients don’t only read reviews; people are more savvy. What’s interesting is, we keep a tremendous amount of data. Something that didn’t work 18 months ago, we’ll have success with.”
- Classic Home Improvements investigates all different kinds of technologies to deploy, but doesn’t invest fully unless the time is right. “We looked into the cloud a few years ago and didn’t add anything. We waited. Now, what we’ve found is a cloud software that stores all of our data and can be manipulated in real time. We didn’t have to re-define our business to fit a platform,” Crocker says.
- To manage growth and ensure the company is taking the right steps forward, Crocker completed a 50-page business plan last year to take stock of existing projects and potential avenues for growth. “With my corporate background, one of the things I learned was a business planning process. As opposed to just hiring one new person, how are we going to do that next level of growth?”