Jo McCabe is the owner of Mr. Handyman in Manassas, Virginia, a locally owned small business that specializes in all major and minor home repairs. She was interviewed by Ellen Scott, Community Web Producer, and featured as the week’s Super NoVA on November 9, 2011 at wusa9.com for her booming local business and her ability to build her success on skills she learned from her days in military service.
McCabe began her military career in aircraft maintenance for the Navy. Later she spent eight years in physical security where she was overseeing the Navy’s northeast region managing 1,500 people. Shortly after her exit from the military in 2008, she decided to put her MBA and management skills to use and bought the Mr. Handyman franchise. The transition from the military to business was not difficult for McCabe, she said, because being in the military gave her so many lessons to take away and apply to everyday life.
“Just take what you learned and build on your strengths. Leading a team of men and women in the military and leading a team of technicians and customer service reps is actually very similar, as long as you stay true to the system that’s in place,” said McCabe.
Why does McCabe believe her business has been so successful?
“I can’t stress its importance enough – surround yourself with a good team. At the same time, you have to be a flexible leader. Don’t hesitate to ask questions and make decisions based on input from your team. Focus on the basics and master those basics with good training. Like the military, Mr. Handyman offers the structure necessary to succeed, making it a great opportunity for me to transform myself from a military leader into a business leader.”
Why is Mr. Handyman so successful? The biggest competitive advantage we have is when it comes to lead generation. We are able to match customers who have a need for service with our franchise owner in that area. Most homeowners these days are shopping for home repair on the Internet. With our size, infrastructure and savvy marketing department, we are able to become that first opportunity for customer acquisition.
A huge concern for anyone starting a business right now is how they will get customers. The way we’re able to do this is through our robust website, pay-per-click campaigns, SEO tactics and other traditional marketing methods. When a consumer is at home searching for “dry wall repairs” or “wood rot replacement,” Mr. Handyman has specific landing pages designed for these repairs.
Another advantage of buying into a Mr. Handyman franchise is scalability.
When you start your own business, it’s limited. We have systems
and technology in place to help grow and manage a business with multiple
technicians and multiple vans.