How was your franchise/opportunity originally conceived and started?
The original handyman business was started in 1998 in Denver Colorado by Andy Bell. We franchised starting in 2001 and were purchased by Ace Hardware in September, 2019.
What was your original vision for your company? How has that changed over time?
Our goal has always been to the most professional handyman service that positively changes the home improvement industry, and now with the Ace Hardware backing, we believe this is achievable!
What do you believe is the single most important factor when choosing a franchise?
You should be absolutely passionate about the business you are starting. You should want to make a difference in your community, through both your customers and your employees and work to achieve something greater than simply financial success.
Why should someone choose your franchise over other similar franchises?
The Ace Hardware relationship will help our handyman achieve the "home name brand" that everyone knows and relies on for all their small to medium home projects.
What makes your industry attractive?
The handyman business has proven to be a steady and growing industry segment including over the recession in 2008-2009 and throughout the most recent Covid-19 issues. We are an essential business in all 50 states.
What types of qualities do you look for in potential franchisees?
We want people with a servant leadership who want to make the world a better place, through one customer, one craftsman and one project at a time. Beyond that, business experience is much better than construction experience, which is not needed at all.
What do your franchise fees and royalties cover?
Our franchise fee covers our significant upfront onboarding pre-training and training programs to ensure every franchisee receives a strong foundation of knowledge in their business. Our royalties cover ongoing innovation, research and development, relationship and vendor growth for the existing franchisees.
How do territories work for your franchisees?
Our territories are defined by zip codes, and a standard territory will have enough zip codes to equal between 60,000-80,000 households.
Why has your franchise model been successful?
We have been creating, defining and refining this business model for over 23 years now. The original founder is still involved so we have a tremendous amount of tribal knowledge from the beginning of our inception. Additionally, we have taken the care to make sure franchisees who join our system are an excellent fit and will see the success everyone is working to achieve.
Where do you see your franchise in 5 years and 10 years?
Our franchise will be a common brand name in the world of home improvement and repair. We will be across the U.S. and advertised in every local Ace Hardware store.
What is your favorite advice for new franchisees to help them succeed?
Find a franchise with a business concept you love, that has a solid background to help you achieve the financial success you seek, and then follow the plan. Stay the course, do what you believe you are buying, and then look to improve your own and your franchisor's business model in the future.
What would you tell potential franchisees that may be nervous about the financial burdens of starting a franchise?
Starting any business is a risk, including franchises. If you take the time to investigate and go through extensive due diligence, you should select a franchise model that has a proven track record, that has a documented plan and is run by people you trust.
Can you explain your financial assistance (if applicable)?
Franchisees have been very successful in utilizing the SBA financing for our model since we are SBA approved.
On average, how long does it take to start a new franchise from the franchisees point of view?
The investigation of a franchise can take between 6-12 weeks, then once you sign on as a franchisee with Ace Handyman Services, your onboarding and pre-training is 8 weeks and then you attend Owner Training for a week. From signing to opening, our average is under 90 days.
What was your background and experience before founding this franchise?
Andy Bell came to the handyman business through his hospitality background. Andy wanted a better work/life balance than running restaurants, and discovered there was a tremendous consumer need for a reliable, professional and dedicated handyman service, so he wrote a business plan and started the business in Denver, CO in 1998.
Do you have any franchisee testimonials or success stories that you would like to share?
Do I need construction experience?
NO! Most Ace Handyman Service's franchisees have no background in the trades or construction. A background in business, leadership, and a passion for helping others are much more important qualifications.
Do women succeed in this business?
YES! We have excellent female owned franchises that are frequently in our top 10 of owners. You don't do the handyman work, you create a team of talented craftsmen who perform the work.
Can you find good craftsmen to hire?
YES! With our name brand, finding, hiring and keeping talented craftsmen is easier than ever before. We have an entire program and system for recruiting through software, interviewing, onboarding and retaining craftsmen to work for us as W2 employees.