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Coffee Talk Expert

About our Guest Expert Mark Bower of Aberdeen Mobile Home Repair

Mark Bower, owner of Aberdeen Mobile Home Repair, felt the itch to be an entrepreneur way back in college. So it's no surprise that he turned his talents for home repair and construction into a thriving business back in 1996 and he hasn't looked back. Since starting his business in Aberdeen, South Dakota, Mark's business has grown from doing odd jobs for $8 an hour to doing large-scale remodels for up to $100 an hour. He's developed a reputation as an expert and has lectured and consulted others regarding manufactured home repair. Mark's been an expert witness in lawsuits regarding manufactured homes as well as helped agencies complete projects for HUD and FEMA.

Mark's repair expertise and biz savvy are the result of several years of owning different businesses and taking entrepreneurial leaps of faith as he learned the ropes of various industries. His background includes working in retail management and owning apartments, a bowling alley/restaurant, and a shipping and packaging business.

He realized after these lackluster business experiences, he needed more of what all successful businesses had: good marketing and selling techniques. So he took a sales position with a company selling mobile homes to hone his sales skills. Despite winning a sales contest with this company, he unexpectedly found himself laid-off with no prospects in sight.

Undaunted, Mark discovered a demand for general handy work in his area, so he decided to start his own home repair business and eventually decided to specialize in the niche market of mobile or manufactured home repair.

"I describe myself as a learning machine. I spend hours a week reading and learning. I ache for more knowledge about my industry, about running a business. I strive to be the best, to always be on top of my game. Competition demands that I do. I'm not afraid to try new adventures. I've fallen flat on my face before. You can't be afraid to fall, or you'll never start."

If you'd like to learn more about Mark or Aberdeen Mobile Home Repair, you can visit his website!

Mark's Answers

I've started a new business selling natural cosmetics. However, I'm not very good at handling objections to my product and it's costing me sales. Any help?

How does one go about testing a new idea for a unique type of food service without investing large amounts of money in equipment that satisfies the health regulations?

I have known for years that I want to own and run my own business.... I took a job with a rental car company, thinking it would be more related to my marketing degree. Basically, I feel like this job is sucking the life out of me. I have no time or energy to pursue my dream.... Do I stay with the rental car company or do I go to my previous job in order to have the time to pursue my dream?

I've decided to plunge into the world of small business and form my own graphics & design company. I'm home-based .... I'm having a real hard time finding business, even with people that I created for in the last 21 years and I have a good reputation for being talented and knowing this end of the business. I need help fast!!!!!

I have decided to have my own home based business and now I need a name and what to charge for the service. I'm very close to marketing myself but any help or input from anyone familiar with this would be greatly appreciated.

I miss having colleagues and people to talk to on a regular basis. I find this whole home-based business, SOHO stuff so disheartening too.

I recently purchased a business from a person who played the sweet granny..... Former owner never paid customers ... Company has been blacklisted ... Can anyone give me a jump start!?

I'm an artisan (plumber) and I want to start and incorporate my own business. To do this, I need to train other plumbers to the standards that I require. I've been seeking other plumbers, but my fear is that when I have trained them, they'll leave and branch out on their own. How can I prevent this? Any ideas?

Give me just about any piece of carpet and I can install or repair it...but trying to find out if there's a market for the 50 page Report or Booklet that I wrote on Carpet Rip-Offs and Scams and how to get the word out is a whole other ball game.....

I want to launch a website, and I'd like to know how to find sponsors, so I can post their banners on it, and get money through the referral service. What are the rates? Is it worth it?

Have always been handy with home improvements. Thinking of taking this knowledge and using it to repair, remodel homes as a handyman...Has anyone done what I am thinking about? .... Where should I start?

I want to start my own painting company, and need start-up cash. I was wondering if it's possible to use money from a 401k (from a previous employer) to finance this?...if anyone had any ideas on where I can research how many new houses are going up in a specific area and how many other paint companies are in competition for these new homes? I also was wondering if I should turn to the SBA for a loan? I know I have a lot of questions and I appreciate any help anyone can give me on any or all of them.

I've been thinking about starting a portable welding business....Does anyone know first hand what kind of business there is for this type of start-up? Or if there's anyone out there with some advice or ideas to improve upon this biz idea, it'd be much appreciated!

I used to own an apartment building and there were times when I would have used an apartment repair and preparation business. My question is, does anyone out there do this kind of work, and if so, how do you approach it?


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