An Interview with the Owner...
Updated: Jan 22, 2020
Recently, I had the privilege to sit down with Will Fraser of Parkbench.com and ERA Courtyard Homes over a delightful bowl of Pho. The site parkbench.com provides a sleek platform that acts as a one-stop community hub for events, services, and restraunts unique to specific zipcodes. Will Fraser manages the 73160 and 73170 zipcodes and snagged me for a quick bite and an interview to find out a bit more about Truecraft and pass is on to the Moore and OKC areas. Here's our conversation:
Describe your business.
"Well simple answer is we fix things and build things. Those are the tasks that we do, but that's not what we're about. The heart of it is: we help people. The more I provide handyman services the more I see that I am truly helping people."
What made you decide to open this business?
"It was a pretty clear alignment of my skills and knowledge and other people's needs. I have no shortage of business ideas, but when you see a clear alignment between a skill and a need, that's magic. My ability to fix things, solve problems, and in general understand how a home works give me an ability to add a lot of value. We, as a culture, are extremely busy and often the care of your home can get put on the back burner. I keep things running smoothly so you don't have to!"
What has surprised you most when owning a business?
"How much I legitimately enjoy it! I thought I would enjoy it but I didn't realize how much I would. Not just the discretion it gives me with my time, but rather the joy I feel when leaving a customer's house when I get to deal with the things that have been hovering over their heads for so long and causing them stress in the background of their lives. To see that stress gone and see them look "lighter", that fills me up! When I go home and my wife sees that joy on my face, she enjoys what I do too."
What was it like when you first started?
"I think I second guessed the "need" aspect of the equation at first. I saw the opportunity but questioned whether it was a true need, but as I've done this longer the more it is validated over and over that it is truly a need and the customers I have gotten to serve clearly demonstrate that better than I could have ever imagined."
What is something most people don't know about the business?
"Confusion about what a handyman can offer value-wise. When you have all these different things in the back of your mind that you know that you need to be maintaining and fixing and it seems to always fall to the wayside, it creates quite a pile of stress running in the background. I can tell how freed up people feel after I clear their to-do list. I think people don't really see the space that a handyman operates in, [which is between the big job you'd call a General Contractor for and the stuff that you do because it fits into your skills or schedule. Basically it's that huge area of 'things you know you should be doing but get pushed to "next week" over and over again]"
What would your customers say they love most about your business?
"That they can trust me. If I say I'll be there at 9:30am then I'll be there then. If I say something is X then it will be X. If I say I will do something it is done. That is what I hear people talking about the most because it is hard to find."
Who are some of your business role models?
"Definitely Dave Ramsey - He's one of the main reasons that I've been able to start a business. I had some margin in my finances that allowed me to start this business and deliver the value to my customers that I do! He has great business acumen as well.
My dad was vital for instilling and modeling work ethic in me.
And then there's Seth Godin for his creativity and ability to look at things differently that has made me look at things differently."
What do you like about being an entrepreneur?
"Currently as a solo entrepreneur I like that I control the brand. So, if I want my business to be known for serving people well with a smile, professionally, and with sharp appearance, etc . . . I am in complete control of that. As I'm building this company I get to ensure that I am building what I want my business to be known for."
What advice would you share with other entrepreneurs?
"The world tells you that you have to start with seed money and an IPO and all this flash, bang, and grandeur. When you realize that a business is truly about providing value for people then you'll see that you can really do that one person at a time and grow from there. And really if you'll do that on a smaller scale at first you'll be able to do it better, grow slowly with money that comes from customers that are currently validating your business model."
What do you love most about the neighborhood?
"The parks are great! The splash pads, the Station, the PARK (Plaza Towers mega park). Now that we have a little dude (our 1.5 year old son) running around, those are tremendous assets!
Why do you think it's important for people to shop local?
The longer I live the more I find out that what really matters is relationships. You can buy something online but you can also go down the street and buy it at the same (or similar) cost AND build a relationship. That relationship is far more valuable than we may think."
What’s the most memorable experience you’ve had working with a customer?
"A lady that I worked for early on was a great experience. I did a small job for her a couple days prior and then she called me again for a new job. I didn't really have the time to fit it in my schedule but managed to work it in at the end of the day. She told me on the phone she had tried doing it herself and just couldn't. When I pulled up she literally dropped everything and came over and gave me a hug . It was a memorable and vivid picture of the thankfulness that drives me!
Do you have any exciting plans for the future that you want customers to know about?
"Yes! We are going to be introducing Home Maintenance Packages that will likely be quarterly visits that will put your total home maintenance on auto-pilot! We've had huge demand for it and you can look for that early in 2018."
Well that wraps up our conversation. Head on over to parkbench.com/73160 or parkbench.com/73170 and check out the great interviews and coupons available for local businesses and restaurants.
Shared from: https://parkbench.com/blog/truecraft-handyman-service-repair-maintenance-73160-oklahoma-city-ryan-huggins