Tony Trapp Remodeling and Repair in Madison started out in 2002 as a one-man handyman service, a way for Tony Trapp to create a job for himself. With the help of UW-Madison Small Business Development Center (SBDC), Trapp turned his job into a residential remodeling and repair contractor firm, soon to add a fourth employee.
“In early 2009 I wanted to grow it and make it a business. So I looked around for business coaching,” says Trapp. “I looked at other services that would cost quite a bit of money, and that’s when I found the SBDC. They offered the same thing with no cost.”
Trapp received valuable assistance first from SBDC business consultant Jack Reiners, who has since retired, and then from Michelle Somes-Booher. “They really helped me stay focused and develop a plan,” says Trapp. “They have helped me in planning for growth. I recently rebranded the company and went from having a simple website to a professionally designed website that was part of an integrated marketing plan. It was all part of a rebranding strategy we developed.”
Tony Trapp Remodeling and Repair currently provides kitchen, bath and basement remodel services, energy retrofits and other home repairs throughout Madison and Dane County. Since deciding to grow his business, Trapp says he does “three times the gross sales volume now than we did in 2009.”
Trapp credits his impressive sales growth to the assistance he received from the SBDC. “It’s a great service that really helped us stay on track.”
Even through the recession, Trapp’s business has thrived. “Being an active member of Madison's local National Association of Remodeling Industry chapter (NARI of Madison) has kept us ahead of many new industry regulations, raised the level of quality in our business, built stronger relationships in the remodeling community and increased the quality and volume of our referral business,” notes Trapp, who became a Certified Remodeler through NARI three years ago and currently serves as treasurer on its board of directors.
“Time management is increasingly important and the SBDC helped me plan and stay focused on where my time is the most valuable in the company,” says Trapp. “To control cost during our growth, I outsourced key office areas to local Dane county companies, so I was able to spend more time with customers and work on the business, and less time on paper work, answering every phone call personally while still keeping jobs in the community.”
The firm’s success has enabled him to step out of the field and focus on project management and estimating. “And I was able to take my first week-long vacation in over eight years,” adds Trapp.
Trapp is in the process of hiring a second full-time sales estimator, which will mean additional growth for the company. “Having another person do estimates and do sales and project management is the next big step for us, the next stage of growth. Then we can hire additional carpenters to support that person.”
For more information on this successful remodeling and repair business, check out its website at www.tonytrappllc.com.