Debra M. Cohen launched her business, Home Remedies®, in February, 1997. The company pre-screens and refers home improvement professionals ranging from painters and plumbers to electricians, General Contractors, handymen and architects. Contractors in the network pay a pre-negotiated commission for work secured which means that the referral service is free to homeowners.
“Once Home Remedies® was successfully up and running, I realized that other communities were in need of a service like mine,” Cohen said. “Rather than expanding too quickly, I decided to document my business model and share it with other entrepreneurs. To date there are approximately 400 HRN’s like mine operating nationwide and 90 percent of them are run by moms.”
Outsourcing is a way that Cohen maintains balance between her business and personal lives. “In order to optimize my work hours, I outsource any jobs/responsibilities that don’t fall within my area of expertise–web design, accounting, database management, etc.”
In addition, she said that she breaks her day into blocks of time devoted exclusively to work, family and an hour each day for personal time. “I’m much more productive when I know that I have limited hours to work and taking an hour or so break from work each day is essential,” she said.
When asked what advice do she had for other mom entrepreneurs, Cohen insisted that it imporssible to be an expert at every aspect of business ownership. “Consider setting up a Board of Advisors and invite a few professionals with specific business or industry expertise to join. You can turn to them for time saving advice and guidance,” she suggested.