Tuesday, September 28, 2010

House Doctors Brand Manager Wins National Creative Award for Talents

Just this month we have the pleasure of celebrating not only our growth (signing three new franchisees within two weeks), but we also get to celebrate the accomplishments of our Brand Manager, Michelle Southworth.

Michelle has just won a national award for her creative talents in a competition to seek out the next design for Marshall’s 2010 football t-shirt. That’s not the only place that Michelle’s graphic design talents are utilized. Michelle is the creative brains behind all marketing and advertising collateral for House Doctors.

In a Q&A with Michelle she gives an inside glimpse into the insights behind the creative.

When did you start with House Doctors?

I started in July 2007.

What is the strategy behind House Doctors creative?

The strategy behind all of our creative is to appeal to our target audience. All of the House Doctors creative is very much focused toward the woman of the household. We like to use imagery that is appealing to women, and also portrays a feeling of trust. People are ultimately calling House Doctors and inviting them into their homes; this in itself requires a certain amount of trust. We want someone to be able to look at a House Doctors advertisement or website and feel comfortable with our brand and service before they even pick up the phone to call.

Have you ever given the House Doctors brand a creative refresh? If so, when and why?

When I started with House Doctors, we were in the process of launching a new logo. During this transition, my main responsibility was to re-create all of the marketing collateral with the new logo, and create a new brand image. In the past 3 years, that image has evolved, and will continue to evolve in efforts to keep our brand image relevant and appealing to our target audience.

What messages do you want to convey in the creative?

The most important message that we want to convey in our marketing pieces for House Doctors is creating a professional brand image that our customers will trust. In the professional handyman industry, there are a lot of people who will operate the business on their own who are not certified and do not provide professional service. Our franchisees for House Doctors provide licensed and insured employees. Creating a professional image really helps set us apart from our competition who cannot provide the same quality service as we can.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

House Doctors Franchisee featured in The Phoenix

The Phoenix has recently published an article on the new legislation regarding lead-based paint. Ron Galipeau, House Doctors franchisee and EPA-certified lead-based paint renovator, spoke with reporter Justin Finneran about the issue and how consumers can check to see if they may be affected. Check out the article here to read more:

Visibility of EPA Lead-Based Paint Standards Still Lacking
By Justin Finneran

Ron Galipeau is the owner/operator of Chester Springs’ House Doctors, a professional handyman franchise serving Chester, Montgomery and Delaware counties. He is an EPA-certified lead-based paint renovator, and has a second certified renovator on his staff. They make sure that each job is set up properly and safe to work in, and oversee the cleanup phase and final safety testing. The certification requires eight hours of initial renovator training, two of which must be “hands-on training”, conducted by an EPA accredited trainer. Once complete, the certification lasts for five years. (Read More)

Friday, September 10, 2010

Franchisee Profile: Hugh Sutherland

Franchisee Since: 2005

Franchise Location: Alexandria, DC, Arlington, Falls Church, Fairfax Co.

How Hugh Sutherland Got Started With House Doctor…

Hugh Sutherland has a history of entrepreneurship. He founded a company called Washington Courier, a package delivery company based in Washington DC. He developed the concept and grew the business. About 7 years ago, he sold it to pursue other career interests. In the interim before becoming a House Doctor franchisee, Hugh continued his involvement in real estate, fixing up and selling homes. It was at this time that Hugh started to notice a trend in the professionalism of handymen in his area. Whenever Hugh needed repairs done to his home, he called local handymen to come and fix the problems and most the time, those professionals turned out to be unprofessional, unreliable and inefficient. That’s when Hugh got the idea to look into business ownership in the handyman field.

Hugh was faced with two options. The first, start his own independent business or second, become a franchisee of an already-existing business. He chose the latter because he could use the knowledge of the support staff already in place to help him develop his business quicker than he could on his own.

What Intrigued Hugh Sutherland about House Doctor…

Out of all the franchises in this field that Hugh researched, House Doctors was by far the most ambitious, serious and professional according to Hugh. He was delighted and impressed by their ability to balance priorities and support his individual efforts through marketing, website development and management, SEM, and negotiation of contracts with vendors.

Something Interesting About Hugh Sutherland’s Business…

Despite economic conditions, Hugh has seen a 25% increase in his business this year. He equates the uptick in his business to a solid influx of repeat customers, people keeping their homes and fixing them up, people working harder, staying busier and still needing those repairs done, as well as the economy starting to pick up.

Hugh has 10 years of experience in the home improvement industry behind him, and realizes that customer retention is the key to growing a business. In order to do so, he provides superior customer service, including 24/7 support to answer calls and schedule appointments; he hires handymen in his territory in order to ensure reliability and calls his customers to give him updates on their repair services.
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