|Rod Sutton's Editorial Archives|
Rob Blodgett has spent a lot of time systematizing his remodeling firm, Blodgett Construction & Home Improvement Co. in Grand Rapids, Mich. As a result, he has created a wealth of business forms. But as a member of Business Networks, he saw others in his group who didn’t have the systems in writing, as his company did. In fact, they would ask him for some of his documents.
The site offers professional remodelers access to a variety of documents: a sample remodeling contract, a comprehensive remodeling warranty, a work authorization, a purchase order, a noncompete form, a personnel manual and 40 other commonly used forms.
"One of the things I’ve been a champion of is getting things in writing," Blodgett says. "All these documents have their genesis in that philosophy.
"The beauty of having these forms on the Internet is that remodelers have instant access," Blodgett says. "We provide an easy way for remodelers to retrieve time-tested documents and customize them to fit their needs. Best of all, these forms are available in a text format and are downloaded directly to the remodeler’s e-mail address. A remodeler simply adds their company name to the form, and it’s ready to use. Something that would take days or weeks to create is available almost instantly. Why reinvent the wheel?"
Some of these forms took hundreds of hours to write and thousands of dollars in legal fees to create, Blodgett says. He sells most documents for pennies on the dollar. A commission calculation sheet, for example, sells for $1.95; the personnel manual goes for $69.95. Blodgett says he has always believed that sharing information helps the industry’s level of professionalism. "If I bid against somebody who is as professional as we are, I won’t be competing as much on price." Through seminars that he has done and in talking with local remodelers, Blodgett determined that the documents "have worth to people.
"They have value," he says. "Our Net manager said you have to charge enough to pay for the site, the services, [the development of the documents], and also give them a decent value. The more costly ones are the ones that took longer to put together."