Startup Idea for Entrepreneurs

Continuing on my earlier post on startup ideas, here’s another one, although not necessarily technology related.

Start a company that provides handyman, plumbing, general repair etc services to people.

Before you dismiss the it as crazy, hear me out.

In my experience, getting a miscellaneous home repair job done in India is a nightmare. You need to first go hunting for a handyman or repairman or electrician or plumber. Haggle about the price and then decide upon an appointment time and wait for the guy to show up. And for reasons unknown, these guys are almost always late and never able to keep the scheduled time. If you have taken a day off from work or are working from home, it translates to lost work, time and money for you. You need to repeatedly check in with the guy when he’s gonna show up. Its almost as if you are at the mercy of these guys. And that just sucks.

So here’s what you can do:

Start a one place shop that will provide all kinds of repair services – electrical, plubming, general repair etc.

Your goal and USP should be to buffer the customer from bad service.  Period.

Encourage and instill value of timeliness and customer satisfaction in your employees.  By offering a superior customer experience and all-in-one shop, you could also get away with charging a little premium over others. People will happily pay a little more than have to deal with the whims and fancies of local repairman.

And its a win-win for the handymen, electricians, repairmen as well – they get to work as a salaried employee (stable pay) rather than an uncertain income.

Thoughts, feedback welcome.

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27 comments

  1. Another good idea. Collecting people who will work for you and retaining them can be a pain but no doubt its a good idea.

  2. There is a company that does this. A bit expensive. Can’t seem to remember their name. But they are doing pretty well. If i find the name will post here.

  3. superb idea.

  4. There is a company in Bangalore named handiman, which does that….

  5. Good post, It’s better for start up like us. We have got great motivation from this post. We accept such posts in the future ahead. All the best!!!

  6. It is a fantastic idea from google to indian market. by taking the perspective of internet penetration google will shortly receive greatest response from Indian consumers. It is also making people more interested towards Internet Search. When people will spend time into internet then online advertising market will grow.

  7. Fantastic idea, i had some research on this here are few stumbling blocks and some advantages. I would be the power of SMS here may work the most!

    Problems,
    These skilled crafstmen are not fixed in one location.(migrant labour)
    They have a tendency to directly negotiate and close the sale, therefore to be part of panel we have to make our costs as low as say Rs 10 a month for the person to be listed and it means having alteast 10,000 people to earn Rs 100,000 a month. Overheads are far too much.
    People may not belive the costs

    Advantages USP
    - You can get good work done cheap
    - You can also provide some sort of warranty on workmanship to take care of these people chaning residences fast (migrant labour)
    - Typically corporates / hsgn societies and other places can be contracted
    social benefits to all craftsman who would be part of it
    - Can add more specialised skilled people to increase rates
    - Can add more services,
    - may open job opportunities in smaller towns

    Where would the business come from?
    Internet
    Phone

    Who would be our users?
    Corporates
    Retailers / Market Associations
    Hsgn Society
    Individuals

    Any takers, deepeshkris [at] gmail [dot] com

    • Hi, Reference to your business plan you can call me on 9820211306. Would love to chat up on the same. Infact regardless the negative, I am already in process of setting this whole AMC jazz. Inputs from your end will be very helpful . Cheers

  8. Hi

    I had thought of a similar concept but there are certain issues in addition to the retention of labour and cost.

    – it is difficult to fix a price point before examination of the problem. eg. a tap that is leaking might be because it is loose or broken or valve. the examination is done by the craftsman that goes there and then again you are out of loop

    – inventory management if you want to provide the spare parts also. if that is left to the craftsman visiting the household, the chances of him keeping a cut on buying spare parts and compromising on the quality are high.
    if the flush of my house is not working, i will give a call to the solution provider. i dont know what is the problem. the solution providers sends the plumber. the plumber examines the flush and says xyz is to be replaced. i have a choice to either go to the market ( which is inconvenience to me) and buy the particular spare part or send the plumber. if the plumber goes, there are chances of him overpricing or getting low quality stuff. if the solution provider maintains the inventory of the parts, it involves high capital.

  9. The problem with this idea that your life is “short”. After one or two cycles of incidences of “business”, you could be thrown out of the picture!

    Real life example: I bought my desktop computer in March 2003 from a dealer. Since then, it has run into problems quite a few times. The first time, I had to call the dealer and he would send his person. While leaving, that person gave his contact no. to me. Now, when I need help, I do not call the dealer, I directly call the person on his mobile. So all the service charges that I pay go completely into his pocket without a fraction to the dealer.

    Also, these laborers are so low paid that they will think times over handing you over the commission or “listing” fee.

    If you want, just go to your local hardware shop and ask him to send a plumber/electrician. The person will be at your door step within minutes.

    What we are not realizing is that there already exists a strong offline “network” and they are already getting enough business that way. So mostly they won’t bother being listing with you if you would charge them.

    And what will the volume of service consumed anyways? The last time I called a plumber was 6 months back, and the electrician about 12 months back. On both these occasions combined, I paid less than Rs. 300. How frequently will a family need a plumber or electrician? Corporates? They already have these people at hand.

    • you dont list plumbers / electricians etc — you keep them on a payroll..so, they are actually your employees..

      • Its very difficult to employ these people in a real-sense. At most, its most profitable to call them free-lancers. I doubt if there will be enough work to keep them employed. And how much money the work would bring in.

        • I tend to second Rohan; our team had progressed far in launching; building awareness and subscriptions froma couple of South Delhi colonies where we were planning on launching; creating the netwrok of service providers and all that…

          Our model was a monthly subsrciption based model and our trouble was not so much the market acceptance but, fiding a steady workforce, ensuring quality and security when these guys visit workplaces.

          Also, what Rohn says is very true. All the colonies have a strong network of these handymen. And, all neighbourhoods have a services directory where the names are published/ advertised.

          BTW, these plumbers and electricians are entrepreneurs and do not like working for others :-)

  10. Hi,
    even i had thought of this sometimes back. The essence is that middleclass2.0 is not hesitant to shell out a few bucks for comfort, guarantee of quality work, and hassle free dealing with people doing laborious tasks (plumber/gardener).
    Additionally, my plan included setting up a single-point contactcentre number taking up all requests on phone. On phone you can request for plumber,car-wash,fetching milk or haldi from shop,taking your dog out, send a parcel to courier guy, or escort your old parents to station airport (yes),car-wash etc . The sense was that you are organizing a person’s life and you are acting as a Secretary to a family, just for a service charge for misc srvices (monthly/pay-per -service). I have a detailed business-plan prepared for this. If anyone interested in NCR, i may be interested to hook-up for a chat.

    -ashutosh

    • Ashutosh,
      Sometime late last year, me and a couple of other guys had done a lot of “research” on this. I will be happy to share my perspective.
      Mail me (remove the spcaes!) C A N I N D Y A at Z O H O dot COM

    • Hi, Reference to your business plan you can call me on 9820211306. Would love to chat up on the same. Infact regardless the negative, I am already in process of setting this whole AMC jazz. Inputs from your end will be very helpful . Cheers

  11. kushal parmar

    I want to startup a KPO firm in market research,data research,equity research & other such areas.
    Plz can anyone suggest me how to explore opportunities in this space..?
    If anyone has idea,plz mail me back we can workout together.
    mail-kushalparmar@live.com

  12. You are getting this one wrong. The numbers will not add up and it doesnt make sense to do this. Again you will have a cost vs service quality tradeoff.

  13. Hi
    This is nice idea.
    Hope to see more players in this field
    -Pradeep

  14. Take optimum use of manpower .Plumbers ,electricians can be asked to deliver KIRANA or do sth else in part time.Win Win situation.

    • The grocery store has enough people to do this. My local 15×8 ft grocery has atleast 5 people working at any given time of the day.

  15. Your post is very well crafted and I have learned. I

  16. Nice idea, had thought of this sometime in the past. That time i thought of all these pros and cons.

    Running a business is all about
    -managing people.(any business needs this skill)
    or you can have people who manage this for you
    - Problem of loosing business after 2-3 interactions.
    This is the problem of any business.

    What i liked here is
    -The unorganised sector will get organised.
    - This kind of service is really needed in metros.

  17. That’s good indea on above discussed business plan. We should also keep in mind in today’s competitive world on financiers. Most importantly when we require funds to start any business, our credit-worthiness is being checked and rejected most of the time if CBIL does not reflect good credit history of our.

    I would request all to discuss in this topic on my blog site at http://www.article-live.com

    Balakrishna

  18. I want to open a lak banglce and handicraft shop in UAE any one tell me whats the process and how much investment and i also want a partner
    contact +919887690816

  19. Wow, awesome blog structure! How long have you been blogging for?
    you make blogging look easy. The entire look of your web site is wonderful, let alone the content material!

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