Canadian Contractor

Steve Payne   

How a 19-year-old entrepreneur, founder of Fixopolis, might inspire you

Canadian Contractor

Dylan Sher was 17 when he started to get Fixopolis.com on the drawing board. He'd gone door-to-door for window cleaning and HVAC companies. "I can't believe this was the way contractors found their customers," he says.

Dylan SherI don’t think Dylan Sher, 19, is going to turn out to be the next Mark Zuckerberg, but that’s not to Dylan Sher’s discredit. He’s doing fine as he is.

Sher’s website, Fixopolis.com, is modest, tidy and unpretentious.

And its existence is exactly why you have to have faith in our particular industry.

Right now, as you read this, Sher is likely nose-deep in a textbook at the University of Guelph, where he is an agricultural business student.

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Sleeping as little as he can these days, Sher runs Fixopolis alongside his academic studies.

He single-handedly bootstrapped Fixopolis.com into existence two years ago, back when he was 17… you know, young and idealistic.

He says that finding an “angel investor” to fund him to the tune of $100,000  has been “the most memorable milestone” of his life.

Fixopolis is a site that connects homeowners and qualified contractors in the Greater Toronto Area. Sher has set it up to focus on maintenance-type projects, which currently include window cleaning, painting, eavestroughs, yard cleanup and snow clearing.

Sher has come up with a unique quoting engine that “has the ability to understand job specifications by asking a defined set of questions, and thereby allowing registered contractors to pay only for jobs they wish to work on.”

Fixopolis then has an “end-to-end process that helps verify, review and rate contractors for homeowners,” Sher’s promotional materials say.

Yes, HomeStars and Trusted Pros are way out in front in this field in Canada, but Sher is scaling up Fixopolis quickly to keep pace, adding new categories every day.

We think that Fixopolis is a nice story. It’s a massive underdog. Which makes it something to cheer for.

And we like that Sher’s chosen focus for his business goes right back to “learning the ropes” through Quality Homes, Kenilworth, Ont., near Mount Forest. And working as a door-to-door salesman throughout his grade-school and high-school years, with HVAC and window-cleaning companies.

“I couldn’t believe that this was the way contractors found their customers,” he writes on his blog on Fixopolis.com.

Neither can we, Dylan Sher, neither can we.  Good luck with your site.

 

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