Shawn Kumar has reinvented his business four times, twice since being named Big50 in 2000. And now he may have finally found his niche.
Kumar started in universal design, then formed We Build in San Dimas, Calif., to work with banks on foreclosed properties. That boosted volume to $2.7 million. But the red-hot real estate market dried up the foreclosure market. Kumar started Handyman Solutions, but he could never equal the volume, or profit, of We Build.
Last March, still running his handyman business in Los Angeles county, Kumar started a DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen franchise. Working from Brea, Calif., in the high property value demographic of Orange County, he's booked months out.
The franchise provides sales and installation systems, better prices from national vendors, and well-packaged television ads and home show booths. Combined, they build Kumar's customer base and provide him with a saleable entity once he's ready to retire.
"Handyman is a numbers game, strictly a business," Kumar says. "Kitchens and baths are more stimulating. There's the design; you get to build a customer relationship."
Kumar figures with a 500,000 population base, the sky's the limit, but he hopes to hit $1.5 million on solid margins soon.