It’s said that the famous artist Vincent Van Gogh only sold one painting in his entire lifetime, despite churning out more than a few (including the iconic Sunflowers and Starry Night). This represents a sad truth – being good at something doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll have many clients, or make a lot of money.
Unfortunately, this holds true in the present-day home renovation industry. In its 2015 version of the annual Emerging Trends in the Remodeling Market report, the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University notes, “Unlike other industries within the broader construction sector, remodeling remains highly fragmented with large shares of self-employed contractors and small-scale, single-location payroll businesses.” The report also indicates that larger-scale “design/build and full-service firms” are seeing more success and outpacing smaller-scale firms.
So, what are small business owners and independent contractors to do? Look for jobs at bigger firms, and put their entrepreneurial dreams on hold? Settle with “doing OK” instead of thriving and expanding their client pool?
“Home improvement and repairs account for 1.8 percent of U.S. economic activity”
Being good at your craft is part of the equation – the other is being seen. In a competitive industry with myriad people and firms vying for the same business, it’s important to stand out. The Emerging Trends in the Remodeling Market report says, “Companies that are focused on branding and customer satisfaction, developing and retaining skilled labor, and finding innovative uses of technology will gain [a] competitive advantage.”
The “branding” and “innovative uses of technology” parts aren’t easy. Marketing can be costly, and the time you spend figuring out how to use new technology could be spent practicing your craft. Making yourself known and gaining new business is tough in a crowded marketplace, and there are seemingly endless sites to list your business on – some of which are free, but you can be outranked by those with budgets to pay for placement; others charge upfront for a listing. This makes it difficult to establish a brand and showcase your work. Word-of-mouth referrals are great, but having a platform where you can put your work and referrals on display can attract business more consistently.
You don’t have to be a Van Gogh
Home improvement and repairs account for 1.8 percent of U.S. economic activity. With a $300 billion industry and a modern, internet-driven era, there’s no reason to be a starving artist (or starving construction pro). Think like a homeowner – if you’re looking for someone to create your ideal home, you want to know what you’re getting into. Star ratings are somewhat helpful, but viewing a collection of a renovation professional’s work is even more valuable and referrals from real people help to instill more trust. Also, the easier it is to get in touch with someone a homeowner is interested in hiring, the better.
The Kukun Professional Network
Kukun is out to change the fragmented, antiquated home renovation industry, and bring it online. That’s why we’ve developed tools that help homeowners understand the renovation process, and alleviate its common pain points. With Kukun, users can:
- Create detailed project plans and get personalized cost estimates
- Calculate the potential ROI of 29 different project types
- Add photos and notes to project plans, then easily share them with professionals and friends
- Use our RFQ template to standardize the bidding process
- Opt to have industry pros contact them about their projects
“Kukun users have estimated more than $421 million in renovation projects since early 2015”
We know that part of shaking up the renovation industry is making it easier for talented, honest industry professionals to find new business. We want to create a common language between home renovation professionals and homeowners. That’s why we created the Kukun Professional Network, a place where everyone involved in the home improvement process – architects, interior designers, contractors, subcontractors, real estate agents, etc. – can be seen, for free. With the Kukun Professional Network:
- You can create an eye-catching profile complete photos of your work, personal references, and business info in minutes.
- Leads come to you – homeowners can opt to be contacted by a pro with the click of a button.
- Review detailed project plans and RFQs sent by potential clients, making it easy to establish expectations and stay on the same page with new clients.
- Learn about emerging industry trends with the Home Renovation Pulse Report
Watch: Kukun Helps Industry Pros Find New Business
Finding new ways to make money shouldn’t cost you money. That’s why the Kukun Professional Network is free to join – no hidden fees or surprises. Kukun users have estimated more than $421 million in remodeling projects with our tools since we launched in early 2015, and we want them to make those plans realities. That won’t happen if they can’t find you, the dedicated home renovation professional.