Every month, Digital Workflow features an entrepreneur who is truly going out into the world and getting it done. For the month of October, we’ve chosen The Builders, LLC (a veteran owned and operated company located in Oklahoma). Owned by a husband and wife team (Chris and Jami) and a close family friend (Mike), the company strives to help make home modifications (and remodels!) for the disabled, the elderly, and fellow veterans more affordable. You can find The Builders, LLC on both Facebook and HomeAdvisor! Here are their 10 answers to our 10 questions!
Digital Workflow: Briefly tell us what you do.
The Builders: We are a veteran-owned remodeling business doing basic home remodeling and specializing in disability renovations.
DW: Why did you start your business?
The Builders: We wanted to start our own remodeling business to not only help serve our community, but to also combat the stigma of untrustworthy contractors. We strive to maintain transparency while presenting and supporting a family-friendly environment with our clients.
DW: Who is your target audience?
The Builders: Our target audience is any homeowner looking to improve their home. However, we specialize in disability renovations. So, we work hard to help the elderly as well as disabled civilians and veterans who need their homes to accommodate their needs.
DW: How did you learn about target market’s needs?
The Builders: Unfortunately, we’ve heard from our own family and friends about how expensive and unreliable contractors have been during their personal experiences. No company in our area promotes disability remodeling. Most contractors that end up doing these projects price gouge these necessary jobs as “specialty projects.” We’ve had many calls about widening interior doors just to people don’t aren’t confined to their bedrooms or living rooms because of a wheelchair or other mobility or medical equipment. We aren’t going to charge an arm and a leg so that someone can move about their own home. We want to change the industry and serve our community.
DW: What types of projects do you find yourself handling most often?
The Builders: With summer just behind us, we’ve done a lot of wheelchair accessible decks and ramps. We’ve also widened many interior doorways.
DW: Without giving away too much information, what’s the worst project you’ve ever worked on?
The Builders: The only one that comes to mind that could count as a “worst” would be a room addition we completed. The weather just wasn’t on our side! Something that should have taken a couple of weeks turned into something that took us over a month. Unfortunately, we cannot control Oklahoma weather. 🙂
DW: Tell us a little about your most memorable project, why it made an impact on you, and what you learned from it.
The Builders: Our most memorable project would have to be the first sweet elderly couple we built a ramp and deck for. Insurance wouldn’t help their claim about needing a ramp. The wife had a really hard time climbing the steps to their home. They had limited funds and they felt hopeless. They were referred to us by a family member so we went out to look (without charging them, of course) and see if we could help. We worked with them on what they could afford to create an efficient solution. Needless to say, there was a very emotional end to this project! They were so thankful. We knew right then and there that this is definitely what we were supposed to be doing. It was a two-day job, but our labor made their life so much easier.
DW: What’s the best thing about having your own business?
The Builders: The best thing about owning a business is that we know exactly what is in our power as far as what we can do to help our clients. We make all the decisions for a project based on the needs of the client. We office out of our home, too. So, one of us is always home with our children. Our line of work is extremely rewarding. When you have a woman in tears because she’s no longer confined in her own bedroom and thanking us because we completed the project within her budget, that is the biggest payoff of all.
DW: What’s the worst thing about having your own business?
The Builders: The worst thing about owning a business is that it is real work. Hard work. We don’t get time off or sick days. If we’re off-project, that’s a problem. There’s also office work that must be done. We don’t get to “clock out” because we own a business. Since we office from home, that’s a whole new type of time management that we weren’t honestly prepared for at first. It’s really not just a job, it’s an entire lifestyle.
DW: What’s your best tip for someone who is thinking about starting a business?
The Builders: Plan for the worst and work for the best. Do all of your research and then do some more! Write up a business plan even if you don’t think you need one. (If you need someone to help you write it up, we’ve got the best referral!) Thoroughly work through all of your ideas and determine how to execute them effectively. Remember, not every business is an instant success.