|This article is an orphan, as no other articles link to it. Please introduce links to this page from related articles; try the Find links tool for suggestions. (November 2009)|
|Founded||Chelmsford, Massachusetts (June 1996 )|
|Services||Home maintenance housecalls|
|Parent||Service Brands International|
Mr. Handyman International, LLC is a franchise business, headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan in the United States, that provides home repair services for homeowners. It is a subsidiary of Service Brands International. The chief executive since 2011 has been Alex Roberts. It operates in the United States, Canada, China, Ireland and the United Kingdom.
The company was founded in Chelmsford, Massachusetts in June 1996 by David Lavalle under the corporate name Mr. Handyman, Inc. The business concept was purchased by SBI in 2000 and franchising efforts began that same year.
The business operates as a franchise. There is a headquarters that handles advertising, public relations, training, signage, and other matters such as information technology. For example, decisions such as scheduling software are made at the corporate level, but used by individual franchise owners to expedite customer service; in 2009, it uses software by Servant Systems to manage customer relations, scheduling, customer invoicing. Under the franchise model, individuals can buy a right to an exclusive Mr. Handyman franchise territory with permission to operate with the brand name Mr. Handyman provided they observe specific rules regarding how to run the business. A Mr. Handyman franchise agreement typically gives a franchise owner the exclusive right to take service calls within a clearly delineated geographical area. A franchise costs approximately $110,000 with a franchise fee of $14,900, according to Sara Faiwell, a spokeswoman for the corporate firm. Some see a benefit of franchising as "entrepreneurship under the safety net of a tried-and-true business umbrella" but forecast a 1.2 percent decrease in franchise businesses during the 2008-2009 recession. In 2005, according to a survey released by the Washington-based International Franchise Association showed 909,000 franchised establishments in the United States employing some 11 million people. Franchises offer training, advertising and information technology support, lower procurement costs and access to a network of established operators. One Lehman Brothers executive, after being let go from the Wall Street firm, bought a Union, New Jersey Mr. Handyman franchise.
Individual franchise owners hire handyman workers which they call "technicians", give them trucks, and sometimes provide tools, and pay them on an hourly basis to perform work. They do background checks on prospective employees. The firm provides insurance coverage in case of accidents or damage. Technicians do a range of services including tile work, painting, and wallpapering. Services offered include kitchen installations to tiling to laying brick. Typically firms charge an hourly rate averaging around $100/hour; one firm charges $88 per hour. The firm targets a work category which full-fledged remodelers and contractors find unprofitable, that is, projects which are too small for general contractors to find profitable. Trends such as a "poverty of time" and a "glut of unhandy husbands" have spurred the business. A trend is that fewer homeowners are inclined to do fix-up jobs; one reporter commented "my family's fix-it gene petered out before it reached my generation." A consumer was quoted by a reporter explaining the decision to hire Mr. Handyman: "'I couldn't find anyone to come in and help me because the jobs were too small', said Meg Beck of Huntington, who needed some painting and carpentry done. She turned to Mr. Handyman and said she liked the fact that the service has well-marked trucks and uniformed technicians and that a dispatcher called with the names of the crew before they showed up." Sometimes homeowners contact the service after trying, but failing, to do repairwork themselves; in one instance, a Minneapolis homeowner spent $3,000 and a Mr. Handyman technician finished the project. Mr. Handyman pitches clients by asking prospective customers about their To Do lists. The firm does odd jobs, carpentry, and repairs.
In 2004, there were 127 local franchises in 28 states, according to one reporter. One estimate is that the market for home repairs and improvements in the United States was $126 billion and is increasing by about 4% annually. Competitors include handymanmatters.com, housedoctors.com,canadabesthandyman.com, yellowvanhandyman.com and online referral sites such as homedepot.com, lowes.com and servicemagic.com. Mr. Handyman president Alex Roberts offers advice for homeowners such as tips about insulating which sometimes appears in newspapers and which helps publicize the company. The firm is adding franchise units and expanding internationally. One estimate is that revenues in 2009 were between $75 million and $100 million. The firm has 250 franchised units in the United States and Canada in 2009, according to a press release. Another estimate is that there were 300 franchise units in 2009.
- Michelle Slatalla (August 5, 2004). "ONLINE SHOPPER; $220 for Two Hours? Clocking Mr. Fix-It". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-10-17.
- PRNewswire (Aug 19, 2009). "Servant Systems Tools Help Mr. Handyman Finish the Job Better Than Ever". Reuters. Retrieved 2009-10-17.
- Deborah L. Cohen (Feb 24, 2009). "Franchising heats up as economy cools down". Reuters. Retrieved 2009-10-17.
- Nancy Cook (Sep 14, 2009). "Left Behind By Lehman -- The financial firm's top execs have mostly been reabsorbed by Wall Street. The company's rank-and-file haven't had it quite so easy.". Newsweek. Retrieved 2009-10-01.
- PAULA GANZI LICATA (April 3, 2005). "WHERE WE LIVE; They Make House Calls: The Range of Services Grows". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-10-17.
- SUSAN SAULNY (May 16, 2009). "Even to Save Cash, Don’t Try This Stuff at Home". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-10-17.
- Kathryn Canavan (2009-10-15). "Easy steps can cut winter heating bills". USA Today. Retrieved 2009-10-17.