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HomeMates- A One-Stop Shop for Home Services
by Startacus Admin
We aren’t ashamed to admit that we’re not very handy.
Even if we were there’s very little chance we’d ever find the time to get anything DIY related finished… sadly our home maintenance to-do list fulfills a function which is purely decorative.
The problem we face is not a new one- there simply aren't enough hours in the day, and for as long as that issue has existed there have been innovative businesses springing up to offer some solutions to help us all in our DIY & domestic maintenance endeavours.
Recently, we came across a business called HomeMates, a startup which has taken an unusual and innovative approach to solving these particular problems. Rather than enabling people to complete their own projects (which has been the general trend recently) HomeMates unapologetically lets you hire someone else to do if for you.
We we’re really intrigued by the concept and decided to have a chat with Yan Dedinska (marketing communictions manager) who filled us in on all the details.
Tell us more about HomeMates - what inspired you to start the business?
London is a very busy city and its citizens usually don't have enough free time - this is what inspired us. Our one stop shop provides a wide range of services including cleaning, gardening, plumbing, building and refurbishment. We have gathered a team of tradesmen, who are able to meet all the requirements of our customers' demands when it comes to their domestic projects. For instance - if you are making a renovation, we are able to carry the whole process out.
How big is the home service industry in the UK?
The construction sector is indicating a strong growth this year – one of the best for the last seven years. The Construction Products Association forecasts growth of 5,2% for 2015. Private housing repair, maintenance and improvement is expected to grow 4% per year until 2017, so that's a pretty positive look in the future. But there is a shortage of skilled professionals within the labour market industry in the last few years. You can actually see that for yourself by doing a small research on the client's reviews and feedback for booking a craft – based service by a random company. It is hard to find and recruit qualified specialists due to the fact that there are many people, who don't have the knowledge, experience and qualifications to do such a job, but provide it as a service. This is a problem that we are trying to solve by training skilled young people.
How does your one stop shop type service benefit the general customer?
We have established HomeMates with the aim of providing affordable and high quality handyman services, which saves the customer time, efforts and unnecessary hassle. We send a technician to the premises at client's earliest convenience. Our employee identifies the problem and discuss the time and the expenses it will take to fix it. Basically, we do all the job on customer's behalf.
In terms of geography, where at the moment in the UK do you cover? Any plans to widen your geographical base?
For the time being we cover all London areas and our customers can unconditionally rely on us seven days a week. We receive hundreds of calls from customers who live outside Greater London and would like to book a service with us. We would like to inform them that we are currently working on expanding HomeMates and becoming available in the neighboring regions – Manchester and Oxford are among our top priorities.
Going back to that initial eureka moment, how easy was it to go from your original concept to fully operational and trading business?
No beginning is easy, it requires a lot of motivation, dedication and last but not least people you can have trust in. There will always be someone trying to discourage or fool you but if you follow your own path you will definitely achieve what you want.
Any advice for fellow self starters about to go for it and start their own business?
First of all, find the motivation and the right people you can work with, never underestimate neither the competitors nor your abilities but, of course, don't expect great results a month or two after you start your business. Be patient and hardworking – this rule applies not only to the handyman industry though.
And HomeMates plans for the next 12 months - any sneak peeks you can share with our readers?
Well, as we have already mentioned we are planning to expand our business. 12 months is a lot of time, we can not predict what is going to happen but we assure you that all future projects will intend improving the quality and increasing the number of the content customers.
In case of any changes and significant events (that will undoubtedly happen), your readers will be the first to know.
Mi-IDEA Manchester Networking Event
27th Sep 2016
The teams from CISCO and Manchester Science Partnerships have teamed up to create Mi-IDEA, a post-accelerator designed to foster and nurture digital innovation in the North West of England.