“Supporting your friends and neighbors is what you are supposed to do.” Daniel
Describe your business.
Preventative home maintenance company. We come in once a month or once a quarter and do everything you are supposed to do as a homeowner but realistically no one does. That includes everything from delivering water softener salt, cleaning your air exchanger, cleaning your dryer vents, doing a once over on the house. Peaking our head up in the attic to ensure there aren’t any pests. We are doing everything that as a homeowner you should be doing. We do it as a professional and put it on a schedule.
What made you decide to open this business?
I studied business in college and worked in the corporate world for several years. I really wanted to do something that was new and creative that no one else was doing. After working in the service industry for a few years, it was obvious homes were being neglected and because of that, people were putting a lot of money into reactive maintenance. We are trying to prevent things before they are broken. I love working with people and I love the relationship aspect, the customer service aspect. To have people be happy with your service is something I have found super rewarding. I really wanted to get that. With the previous companies I worked for, I didn’t have that one on one customer aspect. With this model you have the same person in the home all year. It becomes a personal relationship.
What has surprised you most when owning a business?
The amount of effort it takes to get people to sign up. Just getting people to say yeah, let’s gets started. I even tell people if they aren’t happy, I won’t charge the first month and you can cancel. Getting people to sign on the dotted line. I am more of a farmer than a hunter, not an aggressive sales guys. That part has been the most difficult. I bet I have had a thousand people say how this is such a good idea, we need this in our house, but they won’t commit.
What would your customers say they love most about your business?
One of my first customers. As I was leaving, they said their air quality and our water quality has significantly improved. We have never been this comfortable in our home. Our humidity level is where it should be. Everything you are doing is a noticeable change. I don’t come in and paint a wall, so you can’t see a lot of the work I do. You can’t tell I am doing it until longer term. To have people living a more comfortable lifestyle because all this work is being done is super rewarding to me. That has been one of my favorite parts. They always have a smile on their face when I show up at their home. To have people be happy with the service you are providing is priceless to me. Some of my customers are setup on plans that cost them less than cable a month.
What’s the most memorable experience you’ve had working with a customer?
One client, guy is a hard working business owner and just didn’t have time for this stuff. We pulled out his air exchanger and filters. There was approximately 7 or 8 years of dust and I don’t think I will ever forget that. People don’t know what they don’t know. Most houses aren’t too bad, but seeing those extremes… People don’t know what it is or don’t have time.
Who are some of your business idols and role models? And why?
I really like to read autobiographies. I really like the creator of Zappos, who is all about customer service. My mom started a business in 1981, she is now booked out until August. My brother David started his company out of college. Took a loan for his first truck and his business has grown to about 50 employees. There are a few other local guys. All people that have pulled me underneath their wing and shoot me straight.
What do you like most about being an entrepreneur?
The risk and reward is just awesome. I love the peaks and valleys. Some days are mountain top experience and really encouraging. Then the days that are really challenging and you need to grind through, am I even making money any more. Going through those and finding out what the customer wants is very interesting to me. Just to be humbled in that experience.
Do you have any advice that you want to share with other entrepreneurs?
Listen to the market. Listen to the customer and learn what they want. Ask a lot of questions. Ask people who have done something similar. What I found with my mentors, if you ask questions, they are more than willing to give you their full story and then some. Have a really strong support system. Having people to help through those peaks and valleys because it is not easy.
What do you love about this neighborhood?
I am a huge fitness guy, have two golden retrievers, so I am out on the Luce Line, utilizing that all of the time. I love the bikes, how active everyone around here is. In general, it is just a happy place to be. Everyone is very nice. You get to know a lot of people. The community here is all genuine. People are active and fun.
What are your favorite places to go in the neighborhood?
Going down to Wayzata for a happy hour. I am a huge fan of the original Pancake house. I love going to the BLVD in Saint Louis Park. It always comes back to, they have great customer service. Boating on Long Lake.
Why do you think it’s important for people to shop local?
You are supporting your friends and neighbors. The money stays local which is helping everything that makes this place awesome, the schools, parks, neighbors. You are helping the area become more prosperous. I try really hard to shop local. You never know where that person is, they could live 2 or 3 houses down from you.