How to start handyman business

Updated: Aug 10




Congratulations on deciding to take your 1st step: start your own handyman business! Looking up for this type of article is a major step! “What's the first step?” you might ask. Well there it is - you reading this article! “Do I need any experience to start a handyman business?” you may wonder. “Do I need any handyman license?” “How much money can I really make as a new business?”

We`ll respond to them all here. Regardless of what questions you have or how much expertise you have with starting a business, the proper method for starting a handyman business should always include the same phases.

In this post, we`ll show you how to go through the phases of starting a successful handyman business. By completing these initial stages, you'll be able to create a firm business plan that will undoubtedly provide you with money, flexibility, and happiness.


1.Assess your Skills and Choose Your Services


The first step you should take is to assess your present skills and pick the services you'll offer try to imagine your potential customers and think what will they need. “Don't I need to be able to do everything?” you may be asking. The quick answer is no, you don't. In fact, offering a restricted range of services can result in substantial earnings. You will be rewarded more if you are considered a professional in one area.

For example, think about all of the other handyman-like service businesses out there, such as garage door repair companies, Painting, floor installation, lawn care companies, locksmiths, home security installers, masons, and many more. All of these companies specialize in a certain service and may be quite profitable.. They choose a skill they are good at and built their business as a professional in this area of expertise.

As a handyman, you'll be able to offer a wider range of services than as an electrician, plumber, or HVAC professional. However, you can get started by offering what you know and develop from there.

The first thing you must do is make a list of all the present services you may provide.

You can offer installation of new items or even basic maintenance and repair as many of your clients may just need basic help with small odd jobs. Some services you can offer:

  • Change lightbulbs

  • Painting

  • Changing interior doors

  • Installing base boards

  • Installing floors/carpets

  • Hanging TV`s, Pictures etc

  • Hanging rails for curtains

  • Changing locks

And, the list may go on and on.... You can charge per the hour to help with small repairs around the house.


2.Learn the Handyman Laws in Your State


Starting a small business as a handyman and then discovering you need a contractor's license is one of the most aggravating experiences imaginable. I hope you don't have to learn this lesson the hard way.

Before you get too enthusiastic about the services list you've just constructed, it's time to familiarize yourself with the state's contracting rules (every state is different). You'll need to find out whether certain services are prohibited without a license or what type of license you'll need to provide the service you wish to offer. In many situations, you wont need any special license at all.

For example, in most states, you cant do any electrical, plumbing, or HVAC without a license. Some may put a cup on the amount you can charge per project without a contractor license. That may sound very limiting, but it’s actually totally fine. There are plenty of jobs that fit within those limits – more than enough to run a profitable handyman business.

Although you may get bigger jobs and potentially make more money with a license, not having a license actually may work well for your business model since you will be focused on small repairs and many time those have bigger margins.

You may get a decent idea of your state's regulations by going to the website for your state's contractors board and reading. They usually provide a FAQ area for handymen that covers topics such as minor repairs and maintenance. You can also try calling them or your county and ask over the phone about handyman work licensing requirements.


3.Target Market: Find Your Ideal Customers


Do not take any and all jobs! Not everyone is your customer.

When you start a company as a business owner, one of the first things you need to think about is your company's reputation. If you don't understand this concept and work for anyone , you might lower your prices in order to get work, take on projects that you aren't qualified for, and simply try to satisfy everyone who would hire you. This can end up with bad review and overall slow your growth.

Finally, Never lower your rates to get customers. Design your business around helping a specific type of customer and focus on helping them. Your services simply aren’t a good fit for everybody who needs a repair by a handyman.

Some customers just want the lowest prices or can’t afford to pay a professional rate. Other customers don’t mind paying higher rates as long as you provide good service, this is why reputation is key.

Some customers live forty miles away, while others are just a short five-minute drive away.

Some customers only want the best of the best, and other customers just want the job done so they can move on with their lives.

There is profit to be made with all of these customers, but deciding on the kind of service you want to offer is essential.

Targeting the right customers will have a dramatic impact on both your enjoyment and your profits as a pro handyman.

This is true for any company, and it's even more so for a handyman, plumber, electrician, or contractor since you'll be interacting directly with your consumers.

You'll be happier, they'll be happier, you'll get more referrals and repeat business, and you'll make more money if you're targeting customers that you genuinely like working for and who are prepared to pay a fair price for your services.

Many handymen are dissatisfied financially or emotionally if they try to satisfy everyone - usually both.

By spending some time figuring out who would benefit most from your service and who you actually want to work for, you can avoid this frustration, and your success will be accelerated dramatically.


4.Budgeting: Set Your Pricing



It's time to figure out how much to charge. But before we get into that, let me ask you the most important question on your mind.

How much can you make as a pro handyman?

Well that's an important question that can be answered only by going over your expenses first. As you can technically say you charge $300 per hour but if your expenses are $250 or worse $350 it doesn't mean much. So, figuring your expenses are an essential part of pricing your services.

Startup cost: Make a list of all the things you will need to start a handyman business, such as:

  • Costs of all the tools needed to make the service repair.

  • Cost of the licenses (if any are even needed)

  • Cost of travel- maybe make sense to know how much it cost you to travel per mile derived.

  • Cost of any subcontractors- You may hire subcontractors that are specializing in some specific areas to help you to complete the job.

  • Cost of annual expenses- You will need to take into consideration the life cycle of your expenses as some costs maybe annual or biannual those can include repairing your vehicle, Buying new tools etc. Choosing to fix an old tool rather then replacing by buying a new one can also save some money.

It may surprise you, but it’s not uncommon for pro handymen to generate a six-figure income while providing basic handyman services. You can make up to $200 per hour and typically an average of just under $100 per hour with the right business plan.

If you put together a handyman business correctly, it might be surprisingly lucrative.

It is also important to understand the financial side of things, especially when establishing your handyman fees.

Deciding how much to charge is one of the most difficult parts of starting a handyman business because of the psychology and limiting beliefs involved. This is where we see the many mistakes happen. Not only do you need to consider things like your experience level, efficiency of work, ability to sell, reputation, and professionalism, but you also need to understand what you must charge to actually turn a profit especially the cost of you preforming the work.

Then, you must have the stones to actually charge that much!

It's not easy when you're probably feeling some self-doubt about your skills and competence to begin with. (Don't worry, most if not all people do, especially when starting their own business)

You don't have to just choose a number at random or base your fees on what your friends or relatives believe. While you're learning pricing the hard way, you don't have to undercharge, waste time, and leave money on the table.

Do a market research contact 20 local handymen services and ask about their pricings, discounts etc..

The following are some of the things you should look at:

  1. Look at the competition price range. Make sure you're not looking at any that are significantly underpriced since they may have made a mistake in their all business and barely exist- you don't want to be one of them.

  2. Realty check: Once you've decided who among the 20 local handyman resembles where you want to be, inquire about their availability. If they're really busy, this will tell you whether their pricing and business model is effective in bringing traffic.

  3. How they communicate, and how they appear: Examine the factors that justify their charges. Are they wearing company logo tees, notes with writs, or a sales strategy? etc., Do they describe the procedure in detail? Do they have a portfolio of their completed work to show you? do they provide references, etc.?

Finally, combine both your expenses and pricing form the market research and figure out what will make sense to you.


5.Develop a Marketing Strategy


You should by now have a firm understanding of the services you'll provide and the startup costs they'll require, as well as who will buy them and how much they'll pay.

The next step as a small business owner of your new handyman business is to figure out how you'll reach out to your ideal clients and persuade them to hire your handyman services. That's exactly what it implies. It's now or never to start developing a marketing plan and a social media future strategy for reaching local clients, as social media platforms are an excellent tool for connecting with customers.

The good news for you is that people are looking for services on a daily basis all year. Handyman services are in great demand, and the need is on the rise, maintenance and repair.

The bad news is that there are many other handymen who share your objective.

Your goal in this step is to figure out which marketing methods will be most effective and have the highest ROI (return on investment).

There are few things you can start with when building your marketing plan:

  1. Find a business name for your new handyman services. It should be something that does not limit the number of services you offer in the future once you grow a successful handyman business.

  2. Print some business cards- Even when you buying supply for a client you can bump into a potential clients at the store that are looking to hire, that can be a great opportunity to spared the word. Tell them a bout your skills and how you can help them.

  3. Another great way to market your services is to open open a Google my business account- this will make you appear in the online local google searches and on google maps, which many people use to find services close to their area. it's possible that visitors will be able to call you right from the Google map. These online applications will allow customers to reach out to you right away, so make sure you include a phone number in this account.

  4. Spread the word among friends and family- Be carful not to underprice yourself with referrals made by your friends and family! Know your worth.

  5. Branding your business: This step can wait and be developed as you grow your business but it certainly to have it on the back of your mind to build your business as a brand, you can consider the following:


  • Online presence- build a website: You can build your own website via platforms such wix.com or hire a professional website developer- you can find many freelancers on fiverr.com

  • 1-800 number

  • T-shirs with your logo on it


  • Social media: Facebook page/Instagram- posting pictures of your completed jobs and tagging your happy clients.

  • Create a goggle ad

  • Create a Facebook ad.


6. Legitimize your handyman business.

Create an LLC- An LLC also called a limited liability company protects the personal assets of the business owners from business failure. At BusinessRegistration we offer free LLC formation for new business owners (You will still pay the fee charged by your State). As part of the LLC formation you will need to designate a Register Agent for your LLC. The Registered Agent will be responsible for receiving legal notices for your LLC and he must be available during business hours M-F. You can hire BusinessRegistration to be your Registered Agent for $10/month and cancel the service anytime.

  • Get an EIN number- This number is used to open a business bank account and also will be used to file your Taxes.

  • Get a handyman insurance- Usually a general liability insurance will cover you if anything goes wrong when you preform your services. You should contact an insurance agent to determine which plan will fit best for the services you provide.

  • Get a contractor’s license (optional depending on the type of work you want to do)

Bottom line

Once you take the five steps listed above, you’ll have a solid business plan and marketing plan for starting a handyman business. You’ll have a new feeling of excitement, a boost in motivation, and you’ll be ready to claim your freedom and finally start a handyman business. Obviously, you won’t get this all done in one sitting. So take your time and knock out each step one at a time. It may look like a lot but every house start with the 1st brick, one step at a time.



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