Julie Daniels, owner of Handyman Matters in Palm Harbor, has found great success as a small business owner. Despite the challenges of running a small business in a tough economy, the retired U.S. Air Force captain continues to move ahead, growing her franchise nearly 200% over the past year.
There's a Market for an Honest and Reputable Company
"It's been a terrific run," Daniels attests, "and I'm nowhere near stopping yet! I've been working with the Florida SBDC at Pinellas County for the past eleven months, exploring opportunities that will allow Handyman Matters to continue building, literally and figuratively."
Handyman Matters offers professional assistance with everyday home repairs, improvements and remodels across the United States and Canada. Drawing on previous experience on construction sites and her determination to open her own business, Daniels purchased a Handyman Matters franchise in 2008. "I did my research," she explains, "and Handyman Matters offered a quality franchise at the right cost. And, after having been taken advantage of myself by an unscrupulous contractor, I knew there was a market for an honest, reputable company that follows through."
The Right Candidate, The Right Solution
"Julie is an excellent candidate for the small business services we provide," says Dr. Cynthia Johnson, Senior Manager and Consultant of the FSBDC at Pinellas County (FSBDC at PCED). "She's consistently responsive and dependable as a FSBDC client, as well as in her role as business owner." Since becoming a FSBDC client, Daniels has received technical assistance to help expand the company into new markets, market its service effectively and find qualified employees.
Handyman Matters was awarded their first $5,000 government contract in January 2011 and plans to seek more opportunities with local government.
FSBDC Propels Business Forward
Additionally, the FSBDC has helped Daniels develop marketing strategies through one-on-one consulting and scheduled business classes, and connected her to WorkNet Pinellas' Long-Term Employment Advancement Program Stimulus (LEAPS) program, which assists Pinellas employers with funding new job creation. Julie was able to utilize the LEAPS program for a new hire as she grows her business.
"Working with the FSBDC has definitely helped move my business forward," says Daniels. "There are so many programs and opportunities out there to assist small business owners, and the FSBDC staff knows how to match clients to the right options for their needs."