The Jack of All Trades has gotten a bad reputation. The implication is that someone who knows how to do a little bit of everything isn’t good at anything. The fact is these skills are perfect for the handyman who wants to make some extra cash or turn it into a full-time small business. Someone who knows how to do a little bit of everything can help someone paint their walls, install new faucets, and help construct a deck. They are perfect for those tasks that require more knowledge, skill, and tools than the average homeowner have, but don’t require licensing to do.
If you’re ready to start your handyman business, there are some important factors to consider. You don’t want to get yourself into a bad situation and you don’t want to take on tasks that you aren’t capable of doing.
What are you good at?
The life of a handyman may include anything from switching out light fixtures, to putting in baseboards or painting a house. It’s important to look at all the things you can do, you like to do, and that you are comfortable doing to build your handyman business. Once you settle on the tasks you are best at, you can create a plan to get the word out about what you’re doing.
Some home repairs are regulated at the state level. It’s important to know your local laws and to understand where you fit in those laws. While you may be allowed to fix a leaky pipe in a bathroom, your local laws may not allow you to re-do all the plumbing in a house.
You’ll want to register your business with your state or county. There are several options and they each have certain benefits. Many handymen choose to go the sole proprietor route to start, but for others, they choose an LLC. In general, there is more personal risk as a sole proprietor if something goes wrong, so a lot of handyman businesses choose to start a single-member LLC instead.
No matter which way you decide to set up your business, a liability policy with at least $1M in coverage is a good idea. You never know what could go wrong when you are fixing someone’s home or yard, and you want to make sure you can cover those expenses if something bad happens. Additionally, you could include personal injury in the policy to cover any injuries you may incur. Falling off a ladder can lead to anything from bumps and bruises to broken bones and hospital stays.
Value of good reviews
Word of mouth is the best way to build your business. When you do a great job, people can’t help but want to tell others about you. Another way to build your reputation is by signing up for a quality review site. They help customers find contractors, handymen, and more. You can easily ask your past clients to write a review on the site to help you tell others about your good work.
At its core, marketing is simply about sharing what you do with others in a way that makes them want to use your services. Nowadays you don’t need a huge marketing budget to make a big impact. You can leverage Facebook groups, websites like Craigslist, Angie’s List, and even your website to draw in new customers. SEO is a powerful tool that many small businesses underestimate. A website with well-developed SEO, combined with a Google My Business listing can help you grow online.
Tools of the trade
What tools do you have? And what tools do you need? If you take on a handyman job, make sure you have all the tools you need to complete the job. There are certain items like tarps, coveralls, and sprayers that help with paint jobs. You may need specialized wrenches to get into tight spaces under a sink, and you might need hedge trimmers if you take on a landscaping gig. Other tools might be a little pricier. You may eventually need a truck or trailer to haul everything you need to work. Be creative though. A minivan with all the seats down or out can haul small ladders and even two-by-fours of smaller lengths.
Set Clear Expectations and Boundaries
Make sure your customers know what you can and cannot do. They must understand the limitations of hiring a handyman, especially from a legal standpoint. You can also use contracts to help set those expectations in advance. Online services like Legal Zoom have general contracts that can be used for your business. A small business lawyer might also be a great resource if you want a more specialized contract.
Small Business Loans
If you need tools, a new truck, or other business supplies, a small business loan might be needed. Some banks will lend low amounts like $500 or $1,000 for small business expenses. These might be in the form of a credit card or line of credit. Other banks will give larger loans for specific needs. You may need to wait until your business is more established before you get access to these loans, but in the long run, they are a great asset as you build.
What happens when you grow? You may need to hire help. This is a great opportunity to hire people that can help you make the jobs go faster. Two people painting for instance can get more area done in a shorter amount of time. While you will need to pay the help, overall it means more opportunity to increase your income. You’ll want a solid contract in place with your workers and they may need to carry their insurance unless your policy will cover them too.
Starting a handyman business is a great option for a man or woman who has a lot of different home repair skills. People love small businesses and they love to support people who do a great job. With the right things in place, you can easily start getting paid to help people with repairs around the house.