Experienced construction engineering manager Sergei Zharkov has a dream – to create a startup that provides comprehensive services for managing home renovation projects. He was inspired with this idea while working in construction services and consulting in Florida in 2022-2023, during his post-completion Optional Practical Training (OPT) after graduating from William Jessup University (California) with a Master’s degree in Business Administration. OPT allows eligible foreign students to work in their field of study for up to 12 months after completing their education. Zharkov decided to use this opportunity to gain practical experience in the American construction industry, which was related to his major field of interest.
As Sergei worked on various projects, he noticed an issue that many Florida homeowners faced when they wanted to renovate their homes. They did not have the professional skills needed to properly select a contractor, choose the best materials at the best price, and ensure proper execution of work. They also often encountered problems such as exceeding the budget and deadline of the project, low quality of work, contractor dishonesty, and lack of control and transparency. The customers wasted a lot of time and money on finding and hiring various professionals, negotiating contracts, supervising work, resolving disputes, and dealing with paperwork.
Sergei realized that the American market needs a solution that would allow these homeowners to save time and money, as well as get the best result with the available budget. He decided to move forward with a startup that would offer them a service that would take care of everything from start to finish, from developing the design project and preparing the estimate, to project management, supervision, contracting contractors, and purchasing materials.
Zharkov would like to leverage the power of technology to make the process more efficient, transparent, and convenient for all parties involved. Sergei envisioned a system that would use electronic document management for approving and signing of construction contracts, a digital project management system for planning and monitoring work, and an electronic accounting module for budget control. He also wanted to provide effective communication between customers and performers, helping them to find optimal solutions and resolve potential disputes.
Sergei believes that this endeavor is realistic due to the unique combination of his engineering and business education paired with his extensive experience. Zharkov is certain that he can create a team of specialists, using his knowledge and skills, which he acquired during the implementation of the contracting system of basic contractors for the construction of industrial and civil facilities abroad. He is planning to create a minimum viable product, based on his experience in the development and implementation of the electronic document management system for approving and signing construction contracts. Sergei is planning to adapt his application to the local market and improve it based on feedback from potential customers. The prospective startup will launch a marketing campaign, using Sergei’s knowledge and skills in the fields of marketing and sales gained while working with large companies.
Zharkov discusses how he knows how to optimize and improve his prospective products and services, using his knowledge and skills in the field of design, quality, and work control. He would like to add new features and capabilities to his software products and improve their design and usability. After the successful start of business in Florida, he definitely plans to scale this business to other regions of the country, using his knowledge and skills in the field of national and international business and cooperation. He intends to use various strategies for scaling, such as franchising, licensing, mergers and acquisitions, cooperation with local partners, etc.
Zharkov believes that this startup would be in extremely high demand in the American market and incredibly helpful for Americans, as it solves an actual problem that many homeowners face when they want to renovate their homes. This startup would also offer them a unique value proposition that differentiates it from traditional companies that provide home remodeling services. Last but not least, I think that this project leverages technology to make the process more efficient, transparent, and convenient for all parties involved. Good luck!
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