Smith Handyman | Smith Roofing & Exteriors
Go Big or Go Home
A Passion Comes to Life
There comes a time in every entrepreneur’s life when they need to make a decision. For Chris Smith, that decision came back in 2015. “I was traveling all the time, on the road doing telecom construction work,” he says. “I knew that I wanted to run my own business and knew that renovating houses and selling them would be a good start.”
Chris began flipping houses. “In a matter of months, people were approaching him asking him to come do jobs for them when he was nearby working on houses,” says Taryn Smith, Chris’s business partner. “He just kept getting requests for remodel work and repair work, small things that a lot of people had been in need of getting fixed.” After several months of flipping houses and doing small requests on the side, Chris and Taryn took the next step.
Smith Handyman Service is Born
Chris was getting so many requests for work —some remodeling, some small maintenance and repair—that he decided to make it official; and their new business, Smith Handyman Service was born.
The company grew quickly from the start. They began getting larger remodeling jobs, were hired more, invested in more equipment, and bought a location (which they eventually outgrew). Taryn joined the business full-time to work on the administrative side.
Today, Smith Handyman Service boasts 32 employees with 23 vehicles on the road tackling projects. A team of technicians handle smaller projects where they commit to quick turnarounds. Larger-scale remodeling projects are also a priority for the company, and the remodeling team knocks it out of the park time and time again. Chris says it’s their culture that lends itself to this success.
“One of the things I realized pretty early on was that most employees are only as good with the customer as their employer is with them. I knew that to be successful, to have qualified people, to have a good team. I needed to take good care of my crew. And that’s how Smith Handyman Service has grown,” Chris says. “I’m proud to say that, with Taryn’s help, I have a solid team and incredibly low turnover.”
Enter Smith Roofing & Exteriors
As 2020 approached, Chris and Taryn saw a window for another opportunity. Since around 2018, Chris remembers, “I began to see an opportunity in roofing as we were getting more and more of that type of work.” He recalls feeling that, perhaps, Smith Handyman Service needed a sister company, one with a name that more accurately described the kind of work that the market offered, one that could help them to really expand their business. The solution? Smith Roofing and Exteriors.
The two companies continued to grow—even more quickly during the pandemic, as homeowners decided that the best place to put their money was in home improvements. Like their customers, Chris made some improvements of his own. The growth that both companies experienced during that time led to the purchase of a fleet of vans, as well as an expansive new showroom.
“When we built our showroom, we didn’t want to simply showcase products,” Chris says. “We also built a kitchen, a bathroom, and an outdoor pavilion so that we could showcase the craftsmanship that goes into our work.”
Every Project is a Referral
For Chris and Taryn, their mission is a simple one: do the job right, make the customer happy. And when you run a business that relies on referrals, as the Smith companies do, you know just how important that is.
“You can advertise all day long,” Chris says, “but if you can’t back up what you’re putting out there, you’re not going to be in this business very long. We started out with a kitchen here, a bathroom there. Today, because of the work we do and the way we treat our employees and customers, we’re taking on whole house remodels, huge outdoor living spaces, decks, covered porches, and even building additions on houses. I remember thinking early on, ‘I need to go big or go home.’ I guess you could say I did both.”
Smith Handyman Service: 1544 Schaeffer Rd. Suite A, Knoxville, TN 37932 | (865) 966-7648 | smithhandymanservice.com
Smith Roofing & Exteriors: 1544 Schaeffer Rd. Suite B, Knoxville, TN 37932 | (865) 507-0033 | smithroofingservice.com