How to Start a Handyman Business
Our Step-by-Step Guide to Launching a Successful Handyman Business in 2023
Hey there, future entrepreneur! Ever dreamt of being your own boss, working with your hands, and making a good living while you’re at it? Well, buckle up and get ready for a wild ride into the heart of the handyman hustle.
Starting a handyman business in 2023 is not just a fantastic way to put your skills to good use, but it’s also a golden opportunity to rake in some serious dough.
In this ever-changing world where the DIY spirit is celebrated, a handyman service is like a breath of fresh air. People are always on the lookout for professionals who can help with home improvements, repairs, and renovations.
But remember, to make a mark, you’ve got to roll up your sleeves and come out of the gate with stellar service and top-notch workmanship. After all, a good reputation isn’t something that grows on trees.
We pow-wowed with successful handyman business owners to develop a roadmap to your success – from the essential first steps to tips on building strong customer relationships.
We’ll help you navigate the ins and outs, the highs and lows, and everything in between. Ready to hammer out the details? Let’s go!
Adapt your rates to match the fluctuating demands in your local market. Start your pricing just under your competition to gain an edge.
Ingrain your handyman business into the community and ask your happy customers to recommend you to local friends.
Strive to exceed your customer’s expectations and decrease client turnover by meeting expectations and over-delivering.
Offer a range of services and work closely with your homeowner clients to understand their needs and upsell the next project.
In This Article
- Research and Planning: Steps to Start a Handyman Business
- Show Me the Money: Financial Planning
- Your Business Roadmap: Crafting a Business Plan
- Financial Considerations
- Marketing Strategies: How to Market a Handyman Business
- 10 Step Action Plan to Build a Successful Handyman Business
- Pricing and Estimating Jobs: A Crucial Component of Your Handyman Business Success
- Conclusion: How to Start a Handyman Business
Research and Planning: Steps to Start a Handyman Business
Alright, you’re fired up and ready to take the plunge into the world of the handyman hustle. But where do you start? Let’s not beat around the bush, starting a business is like taking a trip into the wild – exhilarating, but you’ll need a map to navigate. In this section, we’re going to lay down the groundwork on how to start a handyman business that’s not just any run-of-the-mill venture, but a roaring success story.
Deep Dive into Market Research
First off, it’s critical to have your finger on the pulse of the current handyman scene. Is there a demand for a new handyman service in your locality? Are there many handyman businesses you’ll be squaring off against? Answering these questions requires some good old-fashioned legwork. Dig into the local market for your handyman services and suss out the competition. Remember, knowledge is power, and understanding the lay of the land can give you a leg up in this game.
Getting Legal: Licenses and Registrations
There’s no two ways about it – running a business means dealing with the legal side of things. To get your handyman business off the ground, you’ll need to jump through a few hoops.
- Business Name: Your business name sets the tone for your brand. It’s your first impression on your potential customers, so it’s essential to make it count. Here are a couple of tips to guide you in choosing a catchy name:
- Tip: Consider using words related to handyman work to make it clear what services you provide.
- Resource: Use online tools like Namechk to see if your desired business name (and related social media handles) is available.
- Business Structure: Your choice of business structure affects your taxes, liability, and even your ability to raise money, so it’s important to understand the options.
- Tip: If you’re just starting out and running your business alone, you might consider starting as a sole proprietor. As your business grows, you can consider reorganizing as an LLC or Corporation.
- Resource: The U.S. Small Business Administration has a guide to choose your business structure that can provide valuable insights.
- License and Registration: Complying with the laws in your area is crucial to avoid penalties and keep your business running smoothly.
- Tip: Research local regulations extensively before starting your business. Requirements can vary greatly by state and even by city.
- Resource: Most U.S. states have online resources detailing license requirements. Check with your state’s Secretary of State’s website, or consider using a service like LicenseSuite to find out what licenses you may need.
Show Me the Money: Financial Planning
Turning a profit is the name of the game, and that requires a clear picture of your business finances. First, start small and nail down your startup costs. Will you be operating out of a home office or renting a workspace? What tools and equipment will you need to provide handyman services? In general, starting a handyman business can set you back anywhere between $1,000 to $5,000.
Next, it’s time to open a business bank account to keep your personal and business finances separate – trust us, your future self will thank you. Depending on your business structure and needs, you might also consider business loans to get things rolling.
And let’s not forget about business insurance. Accidents happen, and in case your business is sued, you’ll be glad you have coverage. Depending on the nature of your handyman work, you might need general liability insurance, workers’ compensation, or even commercial auto insurance.
Your Business Roadmap: Crafting a Business Plan
Finally, with all the groundwork laid, it’s time to map out your journey with a robust business plan. Think of your business plan as your compass – it outlines your goals, strategies, and financial projections. But remember, a business plan isn’t just a fancy document for investors or small business loans. It’s your guiding light, helping you stay the course as you grow your handyman business from scratch.
Your business plan should touch on key aspects such as:
- Market Analysis: Who are your customers? What are their needs? Who’s your competition?
- Services: What services will you offer? How do you plan to stand out from other handyman businesses?
- Marketing and Sales: How will you attract customers and generate repeat business?
- Financial Projections: What are your projected income and expenses? How soon do you expect to turn a profit?
Starting a handyman business might feel like a mammoth task, but remember, every big venture starts with small steps. By following this guide, you’ll be well on your way to carving out your slice of the handyman market in 2023.
Navigating the fiscal seas of a new business can be a tricky endeavor, but with the right guidance and a pinch of savvy, you’ll be sailing towards profitville in no time. Let’s turn the spotlight on the financial aspects to consider when setting out to start your handyman business in 2023.
Startup Costs: What’s the Damage?
Let’s cut to the chase, you can’t start a business without some initial investment. But fret not, starting a handyman business isn’t going to break the bank. Here’s a rough estimate of the typical startup costs you’ll encounter:
- Equipment and Tools: Think drills, hammers, ladders, saws, and all that jazz. The essentials could set you back around $500-$1,000.
- Vehicle: You’ll need reliable transportation to get you and your tools from point A to point B. If you already own a suitable vehicle, great! If not, factor in the cost of acquiring one.
- Marketing: From business cards and flyers to a killer website, marketing expenses can range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars, depending on your approach.
- Insurance: Handyman insurance is a non-negotiable. The cost depends on a variety of factors, but expect to shell out between $500 and $1,500 per year.
- Licenses and Permits: The cost varies depending on local regulations, but ballpark it at a few hundred dollars to play it safe.
Put it all together, and you’re looking at average startup costs for a handyman business ranging from $1,000-$5,000.
Keeping Your Pennies in Order: Business Bank Account
As the old saying goes, don’t mix business with pleasure, and the same goes for your finances. Opening a separate business bank account is a must-do. It keeps your personal and business finances separate, simplifies bookkeeping, and paints a professional image to your clients.
Remember, you’re not just running a business, you’re building an empire, and that starts with handling your finances right.
In Case of Emergencies: Insurance
Rolling up your sleeves and diving into handyman work comes with its fair share of risks. That’s where business insurance comes in. It’s your safety net, protecting your business in case things go awry.
Some of the insurance types you might need include:
- General Liability Insurance: Protects you if you cause bodily injury or property damage while working.
- Workers’ Compensation: Mandatory in most states if you have employees. It covers medical expenses and lost wages if an employee gets hurt on the job.
- Commercial Auto Insurance: Covers your work vehicle and any damage caused during work-related trips.
Insurance might seem like a heavy expense, but it’s cheaper than dealing with a lawsuit, trust us.
Mastering the financial aspect of your handyman business might seem like juggling flaming chainsaws, but with this guide in hand, you’re all set to take on the challenge. After all, building a profitable handyman business isn’t just about having the skills to fix things; it’s about running a tight financial ship too.
Marketing Strategies: How to Market a Handyman Business
Now that you’ve got your financial ducks in a row, let’s switch gears to something equally important: marketing. Just like a handyman with a well-stocked toolbox, a business owner needs a solid marketing strategy to build a successful handyman business. But don’t just take our word for it, let’s break it down!
Welcome to the digital age, where having an online presence isn’t just an option, it’s a necessity!
Here’s a table highlighting some key online marketing strategies to help you start your own handyman business:
|Strategy||Description||Why It Matters|
|Website||This is your digital storefront. Make sure it’s professional, user-friendly, and showcases your services effectively.||Your website can reach potential customers you might not otherwise connect with. Plus, it adds credibility to your business.|
|SEO||Search Engine Optimization helps your website rank higher in search engine results, increasing your online visibility.||SEO can be a game-changer. It attracts organic traffic to your site, giving you a chance to convert visitors into customers.|
|Google My Business||Register your handyman business with Google My Business. It’s free and helps local customers find you on Google Search and Maps.||The majority of people use Google to find local services. Google My Business can significantly improve your visibility to potential local customers.|
|Social Media||Utilize platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn to connect with customers, showcase your work, and share positive reviews.||Social media allows you to engage with your customers, build relationships, and increase your reach.|
|Handyman Software||Use handyman software to manage bookings, invoices, and customer communication.||Handyman software can streamline your business operations, leaving you more time to focus on the work you love.|
While the digital world offers vast opportunities, let’s not forget the power of good old-fashioned face-to-face interaction.
The following table gives an overview of the offline marketing strategies that still hold water in 2023:
|Strategy||Description||Why It Matters|
|Networking||Connect with other professionals, attend local home shows, and become part of business associations.||Networking can lead to referrals and partnerships, which can help grow your business.|
|Word of Mouth||Deliver excellent service and encourage satisfied customers to refer you to their friends and family.||Word of mouth is a powerful marketing tool. Happy customers can be your best advertisers.|
|Direct Mail||Send out postcards or flyers to targeted neighborhoods advertising your services.||Direct mail can be an effective way to reach potential local customers and keep your business top of mind.|
Knowing your target audience and tailoring your messaging to resonate with them is the golden rule, whether you’re marketing online or offline. Making your handyman business stand out from the crowd is the goal, and by taking these strategies to heart, you’ll be well on your way to doing just that. And as you prepare to roll up your sleeves and start offering your services, remember that marketing is just one piece of the puzzle.
Up next? We’ll take a look at the details of building a successful handyman business. So, keep your hard hats on and let’s continue this exciting journey to success!
10 Step Action Plan to Build a Successful Handyman Business
So, you’ve decided to start your own handyman business in 2023? That’s fantastic! It can be a profitable venture if you know what you’re doing and take the right steps. Here is a handy 10-step action plan to help you learn how to start a successful handyman business.
Step 1: Understand the Market
Start by conducting market research in your local area. Identify other handyman businesses, what services they offer, and their prices. Use online surveys or in-person interviews to learn about potential customers’ needs and preferences. Study your state’s handyman laws to ensure you’re compliant.
Actionable Tip: Use resources like the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Fact Finder for demographic data and the Bureau of Labor Statistics for job market data.
Step 2: Create a Business Plan
Detail your business vision, mission, and values. Include a market analysis, description of services, marketing and sales strategy, and financial projections.
Actionable Tip: Use free business plan templates from resources like SCORE or the SBA.
Step 3: Get Legal
Register your business with your local and state government. Ensure you have any necessary licenses and permits, like a contractor’s license.
Actionable Tip: Visit your local Small Business Development Center or consult a business attorney to understand your legal requirements.
Step 4: Secure Insurance
Research different types of business insurance, including general liability insurance, worker’s compensation insurance, and commercial auto insurance.
Actionable Tip: Use online comparison tools like CoverWallet to find the best insurance for your needs.
Step 5: Determine Your Services
List the services you are most proficient in and enjoy doing. Consider starting with a smaller range of services and expanding as your skills and resources grow.
Actionable Tip: Survey potential customers or use online tools like Google Trends to determine the most in-demand services in your area.
Step 6: Set Pricing
Calculate your pricing based on the cost of materials, labor, and overhead expenses. Ensure your prices are competitive but still profitable.
Actionable Tip: Use software like Jobber to track job costs and ensure you’re pricing accurately.
Step 7: Gather Your Tools
Acquire high-quality tools for the services you offer. Consider investing in business management software to streamline your operations.
Actionable Tip: Research and invest in high-quality tools that will last. Try Home Depot or Lowe’s for a wide range of options.
Step 8: Market Your Business
Create a professional website and establish a presence on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Register with Google My Business to improve your local online visibility.
Actionable Tip: Consider hiring a marketing agency or freelancer to help with website design and SEO. Platforms like Upwork and Fiverr can be useful for this.
Step 9: Provide Excellent Service
Always aim to exceed customer expectations. Be punctual, professional, and respectful. Seek feedback to improve your service.
Actionable Tip: After completing a job, ask customers to leave a review on your Google My Business or Facebook page to help attract more customers.
Step 10: Keep Learning and Growing
Stay updated with industry trends, improve your skills, and expand your services based on customer demand and profitability.
Actionable Tip: Attend workshops and webinars related to your field. Online learning platforms like Coursera and Udemy offer courses on a wide range of subjects.
Pricing and Estimating Jobs: A Crucial Component of Your Handyman Business Success
Pricing and estimating jobs is one of the stages of starting a handyman business that requires careful thought and strategy. Accurate pricing not only ensures profitability but also attracts and retains clients. If you charge too little, you risk undervaluing your work and making less profit. But if you charge too much, you may deter potential clients. So, how do you get it right?
Understand Costs and Overhead
Before you can set a price for your handyman services, you’ll need to understand your costs. This includes direct costs related to the job, like materials and labor, and indirect costs, or overheads, such as insurance, advertising, and vehicle maintenance. As a business owner, it’s also important to factor in the cost of your time.
Actionable Tip: Use an accounting software or hire a professional accountant to help you track and categorize your expenses.
Determine Your Pricing Strategy
There are various pricing strategies you can employ. For instance, you could charge:
- An hourly rate: This is commonly used by many handyman businesses, especially when starting. It can simplify the process, especially if you’re not yet sure how long different jobs will take.
- A flat fee: This is suitable for standardized jobs where you’re confident about the time and resources required.
- Cost-plus pricing: Here, you calculate the total cost for a job and add a markup for your profit.
Actionable Tip: Consider using a mix of these strategies based on the job type and client preferences. For complex jobs, consider providing an estimate range instead of a fixed price.
Once you’ve got a handle on your costs and pricing strategy, it’s time to examine what your competition is charging. Although you don’t have to match your competitors’ prices, understanding the market rate will help you ensure that your pricing is reasonable.
Actionable Tip: Research local handyman companies’ prices online or call for a quote. Remember, the cheapest isn’t always the best!
Transparency Is Key
Whether you’re working as a handyman with a license or without a license, being clear and upfront about your pricing is key. No one likes hidden costs. So, ensure your estimates and invoices clearly break down the costs involved.
Actionable Tip: Invest in a good invoicing software that allows you to create detailed and professional estimates and invoices.
Regular Review and Adjustments
Your pricing strategy isn’t set in stone. Regularly review your prices and adjust as necessary, considering factors like increased costs, expanded skillset, or changes in the market.
Actionable Tip: Plan for a semi-annual or annual review of your pricing strategy. Don’t be afraid to raise your prices if necessary – just ensure to communicate this to your clients.
Remember, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to pricing your services. It might take some time and trial and error to figure out the right pricing model for your handyman business. But once you do, it’ll be a significant step towards the success of your handyman business.
Conclusion: How to Start a Handyman Business
In conclusion, starting and running a handyman business is a rewarding journey for any small business owner. From getting your handyman license, understanding the business law, to learning the handyman laws in your state – each step is a vital part of becoming a handyman.
This guide to starting a handyman business aims to equip you with everything you need to know to start and scale your business. Whether it’s understanding the steps you need to take or knowing the different parts of starting a handyman business, the aim is to help you get your business off the ground in the right way.
Remember, as a good handyman, your business needs insurance. This small business insurance will protect you from potential liabilities and ensure your business’s growth. Don’t overlook this crucial aspect, as operating a business without a license or insurance can lead to significant legal issues.
Also, keep in mind that in the beginning stages of starting, you’ll also need to plan the services you intend to offer. Do your research, understand your market, and align your services with what your potential clients need. This will help you to stand out among other handyman companies.
In addition, building a strong online presence for your business online is vital in today’s digital age. The internet is a great tool for reaching potential clients, so ensure you make your business easily accessible and visible online.
Becoming a successful handyman isn’t always easy, and there will undoubtedly be difficult parts of starting and running your business. But, by following this guide and preparing yourself adequately, you’ll be able to start your journey on the right foot. So, get your handyman license, get your tools, and get ready to offer your services as a professional handyman!