Graeme Semple’s first business, a home maintenance service called Cargo Bike Handyman, has been trading successfully since 2010 — cargo bikes, instead of vans, are used to carry tools and materials.
As Graeme says, “There was a tendency for some people to view the cargo bikes as being part of a grandiose green philosophy, but it was just about simplicity.” This pragmatism helped to strengthen the evolution of Graeme’s second business — a decorating and refurbishment service — which grew from a simple discovery: many of his clients were amateur landlords.
“We kept refining the service by being alert to new products and equipment as they were released — it all gave us an advantage, because the decorating trade is still quite attached to the methods of the past. We also learned that we liked the simplicity of working in unoccupied rental flats because working in fully furnished and occupied homes is always challenging to some degree — so we started thinking about a streamlined service for landlords” Graeme says.
Graeme went on to secure a place on the Innovating for Growth programme run by the Business and IP Centre at the British Library, which provided some solid guidance and inspiration. The business was then listed for a Guardian Small Business Network award.
By late 2014, the plan for the new business was developed: a simplified and streamlined decorating service for London landlords.
As Graeme explains, “We realised that a lot of the old ways of doing things, like needing to meet the tradesmen at the property to get a quote, and the delay in the quote arriving, were ripe for being improved with some processes and technology. The Trim service means landlords don’t need to visit their property beforehand, or wait for a quote, as the packaged flat-rate prices are all-inclusive. We’ve also added an easy online credit card facility.”
“We think there’s a big advantage for landlords in our decision to specialise purely in rental properties — it means we can really respond to the demands of a narrow between-tenancies window. We’re excited about building a specialist service for landlords in general, and LandlordZONE members in particular.”
Trim Decorating — discount code for LandlordZONE subscribers
The team at Trim are pleased to offer all LandlordZONE members a discount code — TrimLZ1 — valid until 31 Dec 2015.
This code will give a 10% discount on all packages.
Visit Trim Decorating to make your booking .. or call 020 3151 2351 if you would like to speak to a project manager first.