B2B ID: Charlie Lessard, Whatever You Need!
NAME: Charlie Lessard
JOB TITLE, COMPANY: Managing partner, Whatever You Need! LLC
WHEN THE BUSINESS STARTED: The owner, Thom Herman, founded the business in 2006. I have been affiliated with Whatever You Need! LLC, since June 2009.
WHAT WE DO: We provide many services, including but not limited to personal assistance, concierge, laborer, handyman, remodeling, painting, landfill runs and commercial and residential cleaning services. We serve commercial and residential properties.
EXPERIENCE: Thom Herman has owned four retail stores, owned and operated a 50-room hotel/restaurant/discotheque with rentable store fronts, taken foster children under his wing, run a group foster home, worked as a teacher and currently has a thriving psychotherapy practice and owns a rental property consisting of multiple therapy offices and function room. My background and experience stems from more than 15 years in sales and service and seven years in providing handyman and remodeling services.
THE MARKET: Individuals and businesses
HOW YOU REACH OUT TO IT: Radio, mailings, posters, Internet and 90 percent word of mouth and referrals.
WHAT FINANCING HURDLES HAVE YOU FACED AND HOW HAVE YOU HANDLED THEM? With the difficult economy, clients perceive our services as discretionary spending when deciding how their dollar can go further. This, in turn, has lowered the number of phone calls we receive.
KEYS TO SUCCESS: We believe in consistency in service, business integrity and excellence in communication, internally and externally. We improve on these principles on a daily basis.
CHALLENGES: The economy is our main challenge. We need to juggle having the right amount of assistants, with the right skills, to service our clients and their current needs. It’s also a challenge when the economy creates busy and dry spells on an ongoing basis. This creates an issue of hiring the right people and not having the ability to guarantee the hours they need. Re-hiring and re-training are time consuming and costly.
MISSTEP YOU LEARNED FROM? I found myself avoiding the facets of the business that I found boring, mundane or that gave me anxiety due to my comfort level. This is a challenge I deal with on a daily basis, but being aware and fighting through the resistance has improved personal performance and the growth and reputation of the business.
WHAT OTHERS COULD LEARN FROM YOU? Do everything that is important for the business and growth. Do everything that needs to be done. It will never be as bad as you perceive it to be. Like the owner always quotes, “Reality is always kinder than the stories we layer on it.”
WHO HELPED MENTOR YOU PROFESSIONALLY? Owner Thom Herman has been the best mentor I have ever had. With all of his prior businesses and experiences, he knows what pitfalls could show up and guides me to avoid problems down the road by doing what needs to be done today. It also doesn’t hurt having an owner who is also a well-respected psychotherapist to guide you in a more personal way.
TOP GOALS FOR 2013: We want to focus on growth. We will focus on the commercial market more heavily. We know that growth in commercial business will bring in steadier and more consistent revenue to build a base of revenue for the company. We will continue improving on our residential performance.
ADVICE FOR OTHERS SEEKING BUSINESS SUCCESS: Many will doubt you. That’s okay. Most likely, they are not running a growing and profitable business, maybe no business at all. Their doubts in you reflect what they feel about themselves.
PARTING THOUGHT: We have learned the value of reinventing ourselves and remaining flexible in this economy.
This B2B ID was compiled by Janice Beetle. Beetle Press offers writing, editing and graphic design services. www.beetlepress.com. To suggest a subject for B2B ID, email Beetle at firstname.lastname@example.org.