A new business is looking to connect local contractors and customers in an effort to help businesses and make life easier for residents.
Owned by Donna Frank, 1-Click Contractors launched Oct. 1, and it has already enjoyed a positive response. Frank said she had been working on the company since April, getting the people in place and testing the software the company uses.
“The last month has been busy with lining up independent contractors and qualifying them for our business,” she said in an interview with the Mercury.
Three key areas are their current focus: home repair, house cleaning and yard work.
“We’re looking at jobs that would typically take anywhere from one hour, up to a day or two for contractors who can come in and provide services from assembling products to small construction jobs,” said Frank. “We do painting, flooring tiles, tap replacement – handyman services.”
The house cleaning services would include cleaning walls and windows.
Seven contractors are already on board, with four in the home cleaning area and three in home repairs and yard work.
“We’re looking for a few more for the home repairs and yard work,” said Frank. “So it’s growing our team as we grow our customers.”
A contractor could be a 14-year-old who cuts grass and shovels snow around town, and 1-Click has a special rate for students so that they can come on board. 1-Click looks after marketing and schedulling, and connects them to customers.
“We want to make it so that ... those services are available to our customers, but also to build the strength in the youth and get them employed and making some money,” said Frank.
But they would also have contractors who could be the age of 65 looking to get some supplementary income while working two or three days a week.
“They choose their schedule, so if they don’t want to work five days a week, they can choose three days a week. They can take a month off and still come back a month later and take a job, so I think there’s a huge opportunity for finding the right people who want to work, and help out those who can’t get it done because they’re elderly. Or if they’re busy working many hours a week, it’s nice to have all these things done for you by someone else,” said Frank.
The contractors are screened, with Frank personally interviewing them and going over their references to ensure it’s someone she can trust.
“Following that, we do customer reviews, so after the contractor is done work, this customer will get a review, and so we’ll eventually have those reviews posted up with our contractors so that people can see.”
Contractors pay a monthly fee to be part of 1-Click Contractors, which covers the cost of doing the marketing and having an online scheduling app, which Frank described as very sophisticated.
“It allows me to deliver the service that I wanted for our customers,” Frank said.
The number of contractors on the website will be balanced with the number of customers.
“It’s very exciting, because as we’ve been telling people about what we will be doing, it’s unique in the area in that it covers services around your home,” said Frank. “It’s online booking, so people can just click, read the review about their contractor, book it online.”
Both customers and contractors have been receptive to the concept.
Frank came up with the idea for the business after previous experiences.
She had to book a housecleaning person in Kelowna, B.C., when one of her sons was selling his condo.
“I just Google searched and I found a place, and I didn’t ever talk to anybody, and I booked my service, and it was all handled so easily.”
Ever since that experience more than a year ago, she thought this could work in Estevan, using modern technology to connect people.
“They really like technology, and the less time it takes for them to do something, the happier they seem to be,” said Frank.
She believes there is an opportunity for growth for the business. People have already asked her if it’s a franchise.
“Obviously we’ll grow within Estevan, because when we’re first starting out and building our customers, we might start off with seven contractors, but I would expect that in a year from now, we’ll be up to 12 or 14 contractors.”