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New businesses

31 May 2016

New businesses Image

For our local “Mr Fix It” Richard Jeney, otherwise known by his business name as Clever Dick The Handyman, it’s often the smallest jobs that are the most satisfying.

While his business specialises in everything from repairs to bathroom renovations, he said it was the little jobs that often caused people the most frustration.

“When a customer rings and says that it’s only a couple of small jobs we say no they’re actually the ones that we love because it’s the little things that actually make the biggest difference in people’s lives,” he said.

“Coming to hang a picture up, fix a cupboard because it’s not closing properly is what we love because that’s actually the annoying stuff.”

Having started the business four years ago in Port Melbourne, Richard’s service team has since grown to three additional workers and two vehicles.

An engineer with over 15 years experience, he said the steady growth was largely attributed to a strong focus on customer engagement and willingness to take on any job, big or small.

“When I started the business my philosophy was do what you say you’re going to do. It’s pretty simple,” he said “The biggest complaint I’ve heard from most people is that tradies never turn up and they’re just terrible at communication.”

“Given my background in engineering, communication is not a problem for me. All they want to do is hear your voice and that’s the main thing.”

The Clever Dick name is now widely recognised around the Port Melbourne, South Melbourne and Albert Park area and Richard said the business’s presence was increasingly growing in Docklands.

“I would like to at some point I always have one ute dedicated to Docklands. It’s a nice area to work in. It’s close, we know it reasonably well and, like with anything, you get to know it more and more,” he said.

“Residents are time poor and the other big factor is affordability. It’s a case of ‘sure, I could do it’ but I’d prefer to get someone in who’s actually going to do it properly.”

While smaller jobs are a large part of what has made the business what it is, it also specialises in renovations and larger project work including decks, bathroom renovations and flooring – to name a few.

Richard said the exceptionally high standards, which underpinned his and his team’s philosophy for its work, meant they always attracted repeat business based on building strong relationships with its customers.

“I heard a line once, which was ‘always be cautious about asking a question if you don’t always know what the answer is going to be’ but I do like that because there is going to have to be an element of truth that’s going to come out,” he said.

“When you stand back and ask a customer are you happy with the work we’ve done, I know I’m happy with it because as far as I’m concerned if we’ve met our standards then I know that’s going to be at a customer’s standards.”

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