Fixin' It Up
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This article was originally published with the headline "This Old House."
For five years, Mike Bulpitt and his wife, Beth, both 46, have been fulfilling a variety of home improvement needs through their House Medic franchise (an opportunity that can also be operated under the House Doctors name). Handling small tasks like lightbulb replacements, large tasks like bathroom remodels and emergencies like garage door repairs, the Bulpitts' Springfield, Illinois, franchise has found a booming market.
A former construction crew leader, Mike handles the customer relations and administrative end of the business. He begins his workday at 7:30 a.m., meeting with his five employees, discussing jobs for the day and what materials or equipment they need. Next, he returns calls to new and existing customers and prepares for estimates. Around 10, Mike leaves the office and heads to his first estimate of the day, leaving Beth to take calls and schedule appointments.
While painting and remodeling jobs are planned in advance, emergencies need to be taken care of right away, requiring Mike to balance his crew between long- and short-term projects. "If somebody calls and says 'My door got kicked in last night. What can you do to get it safe for me?' I'm going to do my best to get a guy there that day to at least secure it and make it safe, and then we can get out there later and put a new door in." The strategy is working. Repeat customers and word-of-mouth have kept business strong for the Bulpitts.