This Week's Herman Trend Alert

Leadership in Normal 2.0

  The Herman Trend Alert

November 30, 1999

Single Source Maintenance Convenience

31 days until January 1, 2000
397 days until January 1, 2001

Convenience is becoming increasingly important to us. As we scurry from home to work, and then on to the gym, volunteer activities, family, and social pursuits, there's precious little time left in our schedules. We just can't do it all-and that's frustrating to us! Too much to do and too little time.

We look for conveniences like fast and efficient shopping, on-line banking, ready-to-heat meals, and concierge services to shuttle the kids, plan the parties, order the tickets, and make all sorts of arrangements for us.

One of the challenges for homeowners is the ongoing maintenance of our properties, from changing light bulbs to reshaping the landscaping to painting the house. The time and expertise required make household maintenance inconvenient, directly contrary to what most people seem to be seeking in their lives today.

Our forecast: entrepreneurial maintenance providers who are keen marketers will discover ways to provide a variety of services through consortiums, strategic alliances, and referral services. Their creative marketing will make it more and more convenient for homeowners to take care of routine maintenance, as well as those projects that are a bit beyond the ordinary.

Much of the collaboration and consolidation in the property maintenance industry will be on a local level, but there are already national relationships that will make things easier for homeowners. Example: The Dwyer Group, based in Waco, Texas, is a franchisor of inter-related maintenance service companies. The franchises specialize in carpet care, appliance service, plumbing service, heating and air conditioning, electrical service, and glass replacement. The company continues to explore ways of integrating the services from both national and local marketing perspectives so the 900+ franchisees can benefit from their mutual relationship with the parent company.

Whether connected to a franchiser or some other kind of network like Contractors 2000 [], local maintenance entrepreneurs will find ways to connect for mutual marketing benefit. The real benefit will come to consumers who have to select a service firm from the Yellow Pages. Recommendations and relationships make a difference, particularly to time-challenged homeowners who just want to get the job done.

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