Handyman services are continually in demand. Whether a homeowner doesn’t have time to do repairs herself, or a corporation needs someone to maintain their office buildings on a regular basis – there are a variety of different jobs and customers available to a handyman (or handywoman). But are there certain things you need to know before you start a handyman business?
First, you want to make sure you are knowledgeable in a variety of maintenance, repair and trade skills. If you already know the basics, taking a class or even buying a book can help you educate yourself to handle more challenging jobs. This can help you bring in more income. If you are a self-motivated, punctual person with good communication skills, this will help you secure more jobs. Handymen who return phone calls quickly, show up on time and have a friendly personality are more likely to be asked back for more jobs – or referred to additional customers.
It may be simpler than you think to be creative with ways to increase your income. When you are competing with other local handymen, how can you stand out among the rest? Maybe you can give a faster response time to calls, or you can offer evening or weekend hours. If you are called to a job where you can offer money-saving options to your customers, you can bet that will get their attention. If a repair job is due to lack of maintenance, you can offer ongoing maintenance services for a fee so your customer can avoid future repair expenses which tend to cost much more.
So how do you actually go about starting your handyman business?
1. Learn your business – in addition to being skilled in construction, maintenance and repair, the Handyman Association of America can help. It is an online community where members share tips on home improvement and remodeling projects. Networking with other professionals is a great way to quickly get answers to questions. NaturalHandyman.com also has a large home repair links index containing more resources than you’ll probably ever need. Interview successful handymen or invest in a basic handyman business start-up guide that shows you essentials like what equipment you’ll need, how much to charge your customers and how to make record-keeping simple.
2. Get customers. You want to establish a reputable track record as fast as possible, so you can then rely more on referrals and repeat customers for jobs. So how do you quickly establish a reputation where people will want to hire you? One way is to enroll in an online handyman database like Servicemagic.com or Handyman.com. These database services screen their contractors, so customers with repair jobs can browse their websites and find a professional local handyman that they can trust. Clients can leave feedback, so after you have completed a few jobs, you’ve already established a reputation for yourself.
3. Find out which licenses you need from your local government office. Setting up free consultations with a local insurance agent, banker and accountant (you can get referrals from other local business owners or friends) can get you helpful tips on insurance requirements, financing options and tax saving strategies.
Operating your own handyman business can offer lots of benefits to you as a business owner. If you are a problem-solver, enjoy working with your hands and appreciate the freedom of working independently, this line of “work” can actually be a fun hobby-turned-career. That said, what better time to start your handyman business than… now?