There’s a good chance that your home services business was profitable in 2020. What started with a sudden lockdown became a quick shift to full-time working from home and virtual learning. Almost overnight, many homeowners realized that their home desperately needed repairs. Some realized how uncomfortable their space was during the summer or winter months. For others, the issue was skyrocketing energy bills.
Spending more time at home means homeowners are considering their indoor air quality and comfort more than before. It has caused homeowners to notice things they likely wouldn’t have otherwise, and as a result, take action. The lines have blurred between discretionary and non-discretionary home improvements, maintenance and repairs.
I cannot believe we are having a national conversation about the merits of ‘the office’ and absolutely none of them factor in things like:— Naomi Beecroft (@BeecroftNaomi) September 7, 2020
WFH means increased energy bills
WFH means hard to compartmentalise work
WFH means hard to ensure Health and Safety being followed
In fact, the home services industry’s current projected growth has attracted entrepreneurs, investors and franchisers alike to get involved in the booming opportunities to come. A recent Franchise Insights study projects a 22% jump in buyer interest for home services franchises. This means more competition in the coming years.
With 22.5% growth in interest, the home services industry has come out on top as #1 in overall franchise interest! People are realizing the essential nature of these businesses, which make our @Neighborly brands even more attractive. https://t.co/bFW9MgyZ0C pic.twitter.com/LjacPcDSgZ— Bradley Stevenson (@bradstevenson73) February 5, 2021
The Current State Of the Home Services Industry
In 2020, one of the biggest beneficiaries of the pandemic was the home services industry. Solar energy, duct cleaning, HVAC and plumbing were among the big winners. The data speaks for itself. And the current home services business market is thriving. There are currently five million industry professionals employed in over two dozen skilled trades.
And as it stands today, there are over 511 million home service jobs each year, which equates to roughly 16 jobs per second. That number is expected to grow exponentially over the next five years alone.
Projected Growth by the Numbers
For exact numbers, we turn to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics to break it down by industry over the next 10 years. Job outlook for plumbers and duct cleaners is expected to grow at a rate of 4%. Demand for IAQ experts is expected to grow at 7%, and HVAC at 14%.
Four percent is the average job outlook rate, so nothing to worry about there. If anything, be thankful you aren’t in the restaurant industry, which has been absolutely pummeled by the pandemic.
What is interesting and what should be taken note of, however, is the job outlook for IAQ and HVAC. Adding these specific skill sets and offerings is fairly easy for a home service industry professional. With effort and training, you could potentially bring in an extra $15,000. And with a little hustle, you could bring in even more. That is especially true as schools and businesses continue planning to safely reopen with federal funding exclusively for IAQ and HVAC improvements. Just one of these jobs could easily help take your business to the next level.
How You Can Grow Your Home Services Business in 2021
There are many options to improve business, but the most important opportunities are ones that will also differentiate you from the competition. And, an important priority is ensuring a stronger focus on the customer. With increasing market projections, here are a couple unique tips to help earn more customers.
Focus on the Benefits
An easy fix is to focus on the benefits of what your business offers rather than the features. That might require big adjustments to your company message. Take your website for instance. Is it mostly selling products and features? Is it focused solely on your team? Chances are website visitors won’t care about that as much. Instead, customers want to know what’s in it for them. Address their problems, questions and concerns. Hone in on the benefits your solutions can provide. You can use social media posts and web content to accomplish this.
Improve the Customer Experience
Think about what your business can do to improve the customer experience as a whole. For me, it was a recent Spectrum internet service appointment. The day before, they provided an image and bio of the technician. Then, on the day of the scheduled service, I could see where he was on a map in real-time and the expected arrival time. When you create a unique and memorable experience for your customers, your business remains top-of-mind.
Differentiate Your Business
It’s important to look for creative ways to differentiate your home service business. Adding services that customers want and competitors don’t offer is a great starting point. Beyond that, also look for ways to differentiate your company personality, approach to customer service and social media posts. The point is to stand out in a noisy world. Taking a thoughtful and practical approach to achieve differentiation helps keep existing customers and create new ones.