HandyWoman: Say Goodbye to Cowboy Builders

There's a new sheriff in town - and she's changing the rules! Tina Huelin is launching a totally new concept in property maintenance in October 2006. HandyWoman has been set up to deliberately provide business opportunities for women in an area where they are traditionally under-represented, that of the building trade.

The HandyWoman format has been 3 years in development and has been successfully trialled in Tina's home city of Cardiff. It empowers women on a number of different levels by providing them with training in business, technical and practical skills such as basic carpentry, plumbing, painting and decorating. The concept fills a gap - providing multi-skilled operatives to carry out non-emergency small jobs.

In order to introduce the HandWoman format into the marketplace it is being launched as a franchise opportunity.


The HandyWoman franchise is structured in such away that it provides continuous help and support from the outset. Following an initial outlay of £14,700 the potential franchisee is sent on a one month intensive bespoke HandyWoman training campaign. This covers a cross section of business and practical skills and must be undertaken by each franchisee. It includes advice on the financial aspects of running a business, setting financial targets, accounting etc, plus basic training in each of the manual skills and help in finding the correct premises and employing the right staff. Support includes the following:

  • The HandyWoman format provides franchisees with both business and multi-skilled property maintenance training using the HandyWoman approved training centres, which are supported by both government and Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) programmes.
  • Bespoke marketing programmes have been developed to help new franchisees get their HandyWoman business up and running. There is specific branding - uniforms, vehicle signage etc.
  • HandyWoman provides help in recruiting staff, and finding the appropriate premises, plus on going support for the franchisees and their operatives to gain new skills and obtain professional qualifications.
  • HandyWoman provides a 3-year cash flow and operating plan plus easy to operate accounting package to help each franchisee monitor their business.

In addition to the franchisee their staff must undertake a two-week intensive multi-skilled training course before being allowed to operate as a HandyWoman employee. Staff and franchisee will be continually provided with training courses to maintain and improve their manual skills to an advanced level to enable HandyWoman to stay ahead of market trends.