I’ve been asked recently by a few people, quite understandably, why I started a new company: Haven Environmental. The conversations usually go down the same path, ending with a “you’re how old?” or “can you make a living at that?” At which point, my answer is always the same: 56, and maybe. The real answer is I see some opportunity. I’m not reinventing the wheel, or trying to challenge the industry models, just see the need.
Before I go into anything else, I want to give credit to my wife of 32 years (don’t know what is wrong with her), for naming the new company. You have to have a good name, and all my ideas were stupid. She came up with Haven Environmental.
The dictionary defines the word “haven” as “a safe place, free from danger.” That perfectly describes a company doing inspection and indoor environmental testing, right? We want to fulfill the mission to create that safe place, free from danger for homeowners, but also work within the restoration industry to raise the level of quality of delivered services.
Haven Environmental really has two parts.
Part 1: This is a needed service!
Property owners need access to more preventative and inspection-based services. Just as we go to the doctor for wellness checkups, structures can use the same care. This is all about working with residential and commercial clients, realtors, and others to provide solutions for the built environment. We can be there to look at a property before something becomes a major problem. Think of it has preventative measures. I’m pretty sure we can add value to that area of service.
If a problem is found, our sister company, Cleantec, is nearby to handle the restoration work. Which leads us to part two.
Part 2: This supports restoration work.
The second, and arguably much more interesting part, is the work performed to support the people who deliver restoration services to those home and business owners. We are talking supporting technicians, contractors, adjusters, carriers, TPA’s, and industry associations. Again, the same customer service rules apply: bring a “team” of experts to the project.
Most disaster restoration companies are small, and most are looking for ways to grow and make more money. Partnering with or creating a company like Haven Environmental means having the ability to offer add-on services beyond traditional restoration work. The companies would complement each other and benefit from each other over time. For smaller companies, it would simply be cost prohibitive to try to have existing restoration specialists do inspection and assessment work. However, an offshoot means a small company can access services to expand its reach and depth.
Coming from a restoration contractor background, I’m naturally wired to want to find cost effective, simple solutions to problems. This is where I see opportunity across the board for others who can integrate companies like ours (Haven Environmental & Cleantec).
If Haven Environmental can guide a building manager, one truck carpet cleaner, or mom and pop cleaning service who may have gotten themselves in over their head on a restoration project, then it will have shown its value and fulfilled what I envisioned it to be. If our clients gain confidence in our services and know we bring in the right contractors for the job, then our other end users will receive value as well.
The last time I started a new company, I was 33, and put my back into it for a long time (young man strength) to get it where it is today. At 56, maybe I’m just starting to understand I need to work with my brain, not my back.