Father and son Nick and Tim Dvorak discuss how they got into the business and the secret of lasting more than a decade despite tough competition.
What's the nature of your business?
We do home repairs and remodels and our business is geared almost exclusively to the homeowner. Our goal is to provide the homeowner with an on-time appointment, a free estimate that's priced by the job and quality work. We're a licensed general contractor, fully bonded and insured and we do guarantee our work in writing.
What's the history of your business?
I had spent my career in a construction-related industry first as a manufacturer and later as a marketing consultant. When I sold that company, I didn't want to quit working, so my son, Tim, and I purchased a franchise from Handyman Connection and operated with them for 10 years. We then dropped the franchise and changed our name.
Why did you two decide to change the name?
We wanted our customers to understand that we are a licensed general contractor offering them a legitimate service.
Tim: With our previous name, people thought we only did handyman things. They didn't know we do a lot more, including carpentry, electrical, flooring and remodeling.
What's one of your fondest memories from your time with your business?
An elderly couple had a leak in one of their faucets and didn't know where it was coming from. I went to look at it and figured out it was a spray hose that was worn out. I told them they just needed a new one, and it could be fixed the same day. The joy of the lady when she said: "That's all it was" — it was gratifying to see the smile on her face.
What are your biggest challenges?
Unlicensed operators. These people routinely overcharge, fail to complete work, do shoddy work, take large sums of money from homeowners and leave them holding the bag. It's hard to compete with so many of them.
What are your biggest rewards?
Completing projects and repairs for our customers; satisfying the customers, and getting smiles on their faces.
Nick: The fact that 43% of our business is either repeat or referral from an existing customer.
What is your philosophy on customer service?
Service, service, service. It's really the only thing we have to sell along with the quality work. There are a lot of people who can do the work but can't provide the service. We make sure our customers are happy so they will use us again.
What's the secret for staying in business for so long?
We say what we do and do what we say. Our customers know who we are, what we do and how we do it. We constantly reinforce our staff about quality work and good customer service. And we have fun doing it.
Home Repair Contractors
Owners: Nick and Tim Dvorak
Location: 5184 N. Blythe #103, Fresno
Phone: (559) 453-2460
Annual sales: $400,000
Online: www.hr-contractors.com/" target="_blank"__gt__http://
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