FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS and answers about Olin MEN
► Why OLIN Men™?
Since the 2008 economic crash, the construction industry has changed radically. Gone are the days of “go-go” development, speculation, and razzle-dazzle economic expansion. While the nation’s economy fights to recover, construction workers struggle to find jobs and different ways to survive. Since 2008, fully 50% of construction workers have found other things to do. That leaves only 50% of forces to carry on. Many of those survivors are unemployed or not fully employed, and most of these skilled tradesmen are without a sustainable way to find jobs or the owners who need their services. Meanwhile, over 5 million commercial facilities and 125 million houses exist in the United States. Every day these buildings get a little older. Sooner-or-later each building will need professional attention. Who will be left to give the attention? The answer lies in those idle construction workers who love the trades but continue to struggle to find an outlet for their skills and talent. OLIN International saw this and created OLIN Men to fill five compelling needs: 1) to provide small owners easy access to highly skilled tradesmen for jobs they often think are “too small” and for larger projects requiring professional skills and management, 2) to put skilled tradesmen back to work, 3) to help restore each discouraged skilled tradesman’s self-confidence, 4) to pass on construction skills and knowledge that otherwise will be lost forever, and 5) to help reignite the small business construction industry.
► What are OLIN Men™?
Olin Men™ are small locally owned businesses which provide reliable, professional, and highly skilled construction-related services to residential and commercial building owners. It is Olin Men’s mission is to provide the public access to exceptionally well-qualified, affordable construction professionals on projects of any scope or size, from replacing a door screen to large-scale remodeling and additions. While profit motives are important they are secondary to OLIN’s uncompromising commitment to customer care, attention, and personal service.
Olin Men businesses are wholly owned by local OLIN Men business owners. Not a franchise but a licensed operational system each Olin Men business is supported by OLIN International, LLC - creator of the OLIN Men business model. OLIN International actively participates in OLIN Men by using proprietary systems and standards to help Olin Men businesses follow their mission, maintain high standards and succeed. Uniquely characteristic to the Olin Men business model is the strategic division of critical tasks between OLIN Men businesses and Olin International. Olin Men businesses focus exclusively on customer relations and getting the work done cost-effectively and efficiently. OLIN International helps OLIN Men stay focused on the work by shouldering the more mundane and distracting aspects of business including product delivery development, standards, personnel screening, training, estimating, financial control, payroll, insurance, and advertising. The synergistic combination of focused tradesmen and systematized business operations drive OLIN Men businesses to success.
► Who are OLIN Men™?
Olin Men™ are mature, self-motivated, skilled tradesmen who are responsible for themselves and who wish to contribute to their communities in concrete ways. OLIN Men are carefully selected, friendly, reliable construction people who have chosen to make skills acquired over a lifetime accessible to residential and commercial owners. OLIN Men business owners are experienced construction business people with years of experience running small construction businesses. OLIN Men workers are hand-picked, highly skilled tradesmen who enjoy plying their trades for people who need someone who really knows what to do. Olin Men are not handymen. Olin Men are skilled construction people.
► What economic model does OLIN Men™ use?
Olin Men™ work in a “distributionist” economic environment. That is, Olin Men™ is designed to help tradesmen and helpers directly profit and benefit according to their individual skills, talents, commitment, and effort. Distributionism is superior to both capitalism and socialism in real ways. Distributionist Olin Men™ operations allow each individual worker to reap the direct benefit of his labor relative to his contribution rather than settling for a wage determined by a tightly held capitalist company that pays only what it chooses. In the same vein, Olin Men™ make what they are worth as opposed to being restricted to the same benefits allowed by a social system that rewards workers alike no matter the level of their contribution.
► Where did the name OLIN Men™ come from?
Olin Men™ is meant to inspire confidence. OLIN is an old, solid name often associated with maturity, seriousness, and dependability. Olin was the founder’s grandfather’s first name. MEN was chosen to project the most positive attributes of a man which include strength, skill, reliability, and constancy. Olin Men™ reads, “I can depend on these guys.”
► Who are OLIN Men™ customers?
Olin Men™ customers are people who own residential and commercial buildings and are willing to pay qualified workers to maintain, update, modify or add-on to them. These people tend to be members of the middle, upper-middle and upper economic classes, middle-aged and mature couples, middle-aged older single men and women, professionals, academics, and national commercial management organizations. Those for whom the lowest possible cost is most important are NOT typically Olin Men customers.
►How do we know OLIN Men™ fills a need?
The country is filled with buildings in need of attention and owners who recognize the value of continual investment in their assets. While construction workers, contractors and handymen come and go, the need remains. This work is contracted for largely on a word-of-mouth basis in a haphazard manner. Owners are constantly looking for qualified help for jobs, both small and large. Who hasn’t heard of an owner who hired a handyman or contractor on recommendation and then stepped into a nightmare? Olin Men fills the confidence gap by providing trained, skilled people on all projects, small and large. The opening of every Olin Men operation has always been met with public hopefulness that easily accessible and affordable construction people are finally available. Once Olin Men starts working and proves itself, word travels fast. So fast that control of expansion and growth soon becomes an important priority.
► How is OLIN Men™ promoted?
At first, Olin Men services are promoted via vehicle graphic packages, ongoing media campaigns, signage, and most importantly, by word-of-mouth. All Olin vehicles sport graphics specially designed to draw attention. This is the least expensive and most effective marketing tool because it is cost-free advertising campaign that is always on the move. To begin media campaigns include typically newspaper classifieds and repetitive radio spots. Signage advertising includes yard signs for larger projects and sandwich boards for small “in-and-out” jobs. Happy customers are the most valuable advertising any business can have. Olin Men recognizes this and treats every job as it most important project - putting the customer’s interests first always. Later as Olin Men operations grow, more sophisticated, more permanent advertising is added. Examples include sponsorship banners at sports facilities, underwriting of radio programming and television advertising.
► Where can an OLIN Men™ business be started?
Olin Men businesses can be started almost anywhere there are at least 30,000 people. Larger communities can support more than one business. Catchment areas of more than 150,000 people can be subdivided to allow for more than one OLIN Men operation.
How does OLIN Men™ overcome competition from similar businesses?
Small construction contractors and handymen are Olin Men’s apparent but not exact competition. Olin Men’s unusual business model sets it apart from the apparent completion by being designed and organized for maximum flexibility without sacrificing quality control, risk management, and business systems. Olin Men is neither a handyman service nor simply a construction contractor. A melding of both, Olin Men is an accessible construction resource that stays personal and professional throughout each and every job. Not a cookie-cutter franchise with branding, a little advertising, and minimum support, Olin Men businesses are built around special people who are committed to serving the community and who mean to succeed. The strategic division of critical tasks between OLIN Men businesses and Olin International allows Olin Men to focus on the real work while Olin International provides behind-the-scenes support.
► Does OLIN Men™ have a price schedule?
Olin International monitors pricing in each of its service zones to ensure that every Olin Men business remains competitive against its most closely related competitors. Olin Men does not compete with “pick-up truck” handymen and contractors or unlicensed, uninsured people who, by definition, fall below the Olin Men standard.
► How do I apply to open an OLIN Men™ business?
To begin the evaluation and application process simply send an email letter of interest to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will get right back to you.