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When having a handyman matters, Handyman Matters is ready
Handyman Matters is based in Lakewood, Colo., and has 185 franchise offices in the U.S., Canada and the United Kingdom.
John Murray opened the Oklahoma City franchise last September. Not a handyman himself, Murray comes to the industry from a marketing and business management background.
"This is a business model," Murray said. "We set up the business to market and sell the services of these guys in a fashion that's different than your typical handyman business, which is traditionally a guy in a truck doing it for himself."
People call Murray in search of a handyman to do jobs that typically are too small to attract the interest of general contractors.
"People call us to change light bulbs, clean gutters, do kitchen remodels and all kinds of things that are sometimes considered piddly," he said.
About 80 percent of the company's business is residential, but they also do commercial work for large retailers and local businesses.
Murray currently has seven handymen working for him. Each has at least 10 years experience. He said he could probably support 15 handymen working the Oklahoma City market, which stretches from Edmond to Norman and Yukon to Choctaw.
"A good size piece of dirt," he called it.
Each of his handymen is bonded and Handyman Matters conducts full criminal background checks, including sex offenses, and a credit check. Their work is guaranteed for one year.
"The customer doesn't pay until he's satisfied. That's pretty unique in an industry that is second only to used car dealers in complaints to the Better Business Bureau," Murray said.
"We typically have packaged this thing to where the customer has recourse. We have an office and an office manager," he said. "You can call us or call our national headquarters if something isn't right, rather than chase the guy down the street as he's leaving."
Handyman labor is sold by the quarter hour and the repairmen are kept busy.
"We're selling these guys' time, and they don't have time to burn," Murray said. "They've got other jobs bumped up against the one they're doing."
Murray, 43, said he could have used the money he spent to buy the Handyman Matters franchise to open his own construction business.
"But there would have been no national presence," he said. "This way, all of the sudden I was big."
Andy Bell, president of Handyman Matters, said Murray is exactly the kind of franchise owner for whom he is looking.
"John was a great fit for our business model because he had past experience owning his own businesses, had strong marketing and business management skills and was very process oriented," Bell said. "He had the entrepreneurial bug, and since our business does not require construction experience, but rather strong marketing and management skills, he really stood out as someone that could make a difference in the community."
Bell said Handyman Matters had been interested in expanding to Oklahoma City for quite some time.
"We saw a real commitment from the mayor, local businesses and the community to revitalize the downtown," Bell said.
"The canal, the city lakes for recreation, sports facilities and the entertainment, along with the continued community commitment through the support of additional bond approval to keep developing the city's strength, has made Oklahoma City a place any national company would be proud to be a part of."