Where most businesses strive to fill gaps in the market, one innovative niche construction business leveraged the opportunity to fill some pretty big holes.
Started in 2008, The Patch Boys found its footing in the midst of the economic recession when most trade businesses were closing their doors. How? By carving out its own unique market niche and starting where others in the trades industry usually leave off: patching up holes in drywall left over from home renovations, repairs or installations.
“Let’s say you call a plumber to fix a leak in your pipes,” explained founder and CEO Leo Goldberger. “Once he’s done fixing the pipes he leaves you with the bill, and a big hole in the wall. And who do you call to fix it? Big construction companies don’t want to waste time going out for small patch jobs, and small companies or independent contractors charge an arm and a leg. So what do you do? You call us.”
The Patch Boys Concept
Goldberger discussed the sense of competition that exists amongst skilled trade professionals and general contractors, who can generally handle both skilled trade work and construction. But the Patch Boys took a unique approach and positioned the business as a partner rather than a competitor by focusing on a single service: repairing damaged drywall. This eliminated any competition and allowed the business to capture its initial customer base through referrals from others in the trades industry.
“We come in after they finish their work and patch up the holes,” said Goldberger. “That’s all we do, and because that’s our specialization, we do it really well and have a system to do it quickly and efficiently…We’re in and out in 3-4 hours, and in that time we fix it, patch it, paint it and complete it. We’ll also clean up afterwards by vacuuming or wiping up the dust and mess.”
The Patch Boys has since widened its market to include a wide variety of drywall repair jobs, from damage cause by mold, water damage or situations like children playing baseball in the home, to every day wear and tear from furniture rubbing up against the wall. With so many scenarios that cause drywall damage, The Patch Boys are kept busy and the service is in demand.
The Franchising Model
The Patch Boys just recently started franchising its business model in April but already has 5 franchisees successfully in operation, with several more prospects positioned to jump on board over the next few months.
Current territories include multiple counties in NY, NJ, MA and NH. The Patch Boys is proud of its territory development strategy, said Goldberger, which allows unlimited growth to its franchise owners. He added that the territory sizes are large and well protected, with opportunities for multiple franchises in each state due to the various counties and sections.
The Patch Boys’ franchising program also offers a special discount for veterans, with Goldberger having had several family members serve in the armed forces.
“I have a weakness for veterans…I appreciate what they do for this country and the sacrifices that they make. So that’s the way that I can give back to them.”
Hands-On Training and Support
With a comprehensive franchisee training and support program in place, franchisees are not required to have a background in construction, which also makes it a viable option for veterans looking to start their own business.
“This is the great thing about our franchisee profile,” said Goldberger. “Anybody and everybody can do this because we train our new franchisees from top to bottom. Even if you don’t know how to spell the word ‘construction’, by the time you finish our week long training program, you’ll be ready to handle everything.”
Support is also provided through a comprehensive CRM system, also equipped with a communication system that allows franchisees to stay in touch so they can share information or ask each other for advice or support. Head office is also available for any type of support and follows up with each franchisee twice a year to ensure everything is running smoothly and to see if the franchisee requires any additional training or assistance.
“We’re very hands on,” suggested Goldberger.
The Patch Boys Difference
In addition to a unique business concept and strong support, The Patch Boys offers several other key advantages for franchisees:
1. Low investment and low overhead – The Patch Boys is set up to have extremely low start-up and overhead costs, with overhead costs that work out to less than 5% and, according to Goldberger, costs mere “pennies per month.
2. High profit margins – “Our profit margins are unreal,” claimed Goldberger. He went on to explain that franchisees can expect to secure a customer base within 4-6 weeks of setting up their business and are positioned to hit the profit margin within months of opening.
3. Year-round demand – Unlike seasonal businesses – like HVAC in the summer months or heating services in the winter – business for The Patch Boys is not seasonally dependant since there is always a need for drywall repair. “Our business is also almost economy and recession proof,” said Goldberg. “Because no matter what, people will always have the money and the responsibility to fix a hole in their dining room.”
4. Marketing support and lead generating strategies – The Patch Boys helps its franchisees attract new business with effective marketing and advertising strategies that have proven to be highly effective. From branded Smart Cars with wrap-around advertising, to lead generating concepts like following up with multiple skilled trades and industry professionals or visiting online industry chat rooms and searching for keywords that indicate the need for drywall repairs – such as “holes in wall” or “little holes” – The Patch Boys is always on the look-out for creative ways to help its franchisees generate new business.
Opportunity Continues to Call
Just when they think they’ve seen it all, a new opportunity for business will come along for The Patch Boys crew. They now have a regular customer who calls them every few weeks to repair the damage left behind from big parties he throws in his home every month. Goldberger said the office now expects his calls every month and they look forward to hearing the interesting stories about the most recent party and the damage left behind.
“We are constantly amazed at the different kinds of scenarios we come across where our services are needed. So the business opportunities really are endless.”
For more information, please visit www.thepatchboys.com
Article written by Diana Cikes, Franchising USA