Chris Buitron is the CEO of Mosquito Authority, the nation’s leading licensed professional tick and mosquito control provider.
Throughout the pandemic, the home services industry was the most stable category of business aside from grocery and general merchandise. This is not surprising as most people dramatically increased their time spent at home either due to remote working requirements or the inability to pursue other leisure activities.
The last two years also shifted how people evaluated their lives and the investment they were making in their careers. This caused many to really think about their financial futures and that included exploring entrepreneurship. The U.S. Census Bureau reported the greatest increase in new business applications in 15 years as people opted for more control over their time. We certainly saw that increased interest in the home services industry, and we continue to see it even as the peak of the pandemic has passed.
In their evaluation of entrepreneurship, future business owners are differentiating between trending business opportunities and those with a stable, growth-oriented foundation as a wealth-building strategy. Knowing the difference is a smart investment move when choosing your path to owning your own business.
According to a report by Angi, the home services industry is a $506 billion dollar market in the U.S.—more than our combined exports to Canada and the United Kingdom. There is a home service job being completed every 16 seconds. Yet, even with thousands of home service companies in operation, the market is nowhere near saturated. I believe there is plenty of room to join this growth-oriented industry for four key reasons:
1. The housing market. There are two considerations here. First, more people are buying homes, resulting in more demand for home services. Second, the established homes are in need of improvements.
2. Constant demand. Home infrastructure like roofs, appliances and flooring don’t last forever and eventually need replacement. Family dynamics also change—from young families with children to empty-nesters and retirees—each needing their home to provide different value as their lifestyles change.
3. DIY burnout. Even the most adept do-it-yourselfers cannot do everything, so home services are needed to fill in the gaps. Busy professionals simply don’t have time, and aging adults don’t have the energy for projects. The DIY shift has moved more to do-it-for-me in the area of home services.
4. Aging at home. People are living longer and healthier and are able to live in their homes longer than ever before, especially with the help of home services. Many older people are mortgage-free and have the income to spend on these services, which makes more financial sense than leasing in a lower-maintenance living situation.
The home services industry is not as influenced by economic challenges as other industries, and the pandemic proved how important a factor this is when it comes to owning a business. Overall, entrepreneurial ventures are more recession-resistant.
Building Wealth With Home Services
Business acquisition service Acquira shared investment thoughts on why home service companies make strong acquisitions. One factor that recession-resistant business categories had in common was their service area; they prefer at least a 50-mile radius. In comparison, the service area for brick-and-mortar businesses such as laundromats, car washes or restaurants is a five-mile radius. This brings a key element into the discussion on building wealth in your business: How to attract customers.
Having spent many years in marketing leadership, one of the most effective ways my company drew customers from the competition was to have a solid and consistent way to communicate. In the home services industry, this is a key factor to success, and today, it includes being technologically proficient. Targeting the type of customer you want is a key growth strategy, and to do that you have to reach people where they are; that means going beyond geographical boundaries to having a solid online presence.
Another wealth-building strategy that franchises do well, which independents can also pursue, is scalability. The home service industry has two key options to scale your business.
1. Adding locations. You can increase your services by opening more locations for your business. You will save time opening more locations because you know how to replicate your business. There are also financial savings in being able to cost-share among locations in the areas of banking, administrative services, staffing and bulk purchasing.
2. Adding a complementary business. The home services industry provides an excellent opportunity to grow your business by adding another service to what you currently offer. For example, a landscaping service may add a pest control service, or a renovation contractor may add a painting service. Adding a compatible service to your business, especially one where employees can be cross-trained, can be quite financially rewarding.
Venturing Into Home Service Entrepreneurship
There are many ways to be fulfilled in your life as an entrepreneur. You can find a line of work you are passionate about and pursue it relentlessly. You can also strategically build a lifestyle plan and choose a business that will make that happen for you. Most of the time, a little bit of both is involved.
I’ve found that owning a business is not only about being in charge of your life today, but it is also about building the future you want. You can make money owning a business, and you can build wealth by making smart financial and lifestyle decisions. I hope I have helped you see how the home services industry offers many avenues in which you can build the life you want, and if done properly, create a good business to sell when you are ready to retire.