Written by David Silverberg
Since 2008, Oddjob.ca has enlisted its roster of carpenters, builders and handy folk to service a variety of duties in homes or offices. These kinds of jobs aren't major projects, such as removing mould from a flooded basement, but smaller annoyances such as carpentry trimming, weather-stripping, fixing small leaks in faucets or hanging and affixing a painting.
“We get done what a contractor won't do,” says founder and CEO Justin George. “Contractors won't show up for the small stuff so we've built a niche around those projects.”
You name an issue around your home and George will likely have someone available to tackle it, thanks to his staff employing a bevy of useful skills.
Working with up to 50 clients a month, Oddjob.ca takes all requests via a simple online form and George notes his company gets back to inquiries within 72 hours, maximum. An estimate is sent to the prospective client, as long as they live in the GTA. The farther suburbs aren't in Oddjob.ca's servicing proximity as of this writing.
May to September are their busiest months but George doesn't need to market too heavily then, thanks to word-of-mouth spreading the news about Oddjob.ca's capabilities.
“Everyone on our team is dedicated to customer service, they all have a handy background and they all enjoy what they do,” says George.
In fact, his top challenge is not being able to take on as many clients as he'd like, due to having less capacity than they anticipated. “In the coming years, we'll be focusing on getting more trucks out there and helping more people,” he adds.
It sounds like Oddjob. ca has fast become many Torontonians' go-to company for, well, those odd jobs around the house. The company's testimonials page is impressive: One High Park resident wrote “Odd Job was a breath of fresh air. These people were never so much as a minute late, and when they were on site they didn’t waste time at all.”
Another happy customer wrote: “It can be difficult to find a trustworthy, detail-oriented plumber/electrician/contractor. Justin’s the guy. He’s genuine and really seems to love what he does.”
What does George find most fulfilling about running Oddjob.ca and being on site with clients? “When I've done some work at a house and I can literally see a homeowner's shoulders drop and a smile appear on her face and she tells me the problem they were dealing with for six months was fixed in 10 minutes.”
As for where George would like to take his startup in the coming years, he envisions a mobile app that is like “a handyman in your pocket.” Oddjob.ca would resemble something similar to Uber or Airbnb where the app handles all booking requests and the client can follow the Oddjob.ca truck as it traverses traffic to reach the client's home.
“After all, convenience is the commodity of the future,” George says.
Photo credit Zlatko Cetinic, Images Made Real