How to Start a Handyman Business

handyman.

Starting Your Own Handyman Business

For someone good with their hands and fixing things around the house, then a handyman business could be a viable option for you. Whether you’re considering a full-time or part-time business, a one-person operation, or a big operation with a large staff, you’ll find the information you need to get started in this article.

We’ll start with the steps required to start a handyman business. We will then go over a few considerations to think about before you get started. Then, we’ll get to the resource section for tips, insights, and resources that can help you start and run your handyman business.

1. Research the Industry

Research is one of the most important steps you can take before starting a handyman business. Therefore, let’s look at three important considerations you should keep in mind.

a.) An Inside Look at The Business

One of the best ways to get information about a handyman business is to speak with owners and people running a handyman service.

There are several ways to do this:

a man with a toolbox.You can search for handyman businesses and franchise opportunities and contact those people telling them that you’re considering starting your own handyman business. But before doing so, you’re also considering purchasing a business or franchise to determine which better route to take.

You can also contact business owners that you won’t be in competition with and see if you can interview them for information.

People may be reluctant to speak with you because they see you as a threat and competition, but that doesn’t mean you can’t try.
Some people will be open to the idea, and when you and you may even be able to build a relationship with them and brainstorm ideas where you can both benefit.

For more on this method, see An Inside Look Into The Business You’re Considering.

b.) Expand Your Knowledge of the Handyman Industry

It’s important to know your industry inside and out. The more you know about the handyman industry, the better your decisions will be. In addition, there are many resources you can look at to broaden your knowledge.

For example, you can look through articles, videos, subscribe to newsletters and blogs, and numerous books that can help you with various repair jobs.

Learning is ongoing, and if you schedule an hour or two a week and make it a habit, you’ll always have the latest information regarding running the business, plus information related to repair jobs.

Click Here for the Latest Publications Related to a Handyman Business.

c.) What Type of Handyman Business Will You Start?

What type of services will you offer? Some services, such as electrical and plumbing, may require certification.

Some people want to tackle any job, while others choose to specialize in certain services.

As a specialist, you can charge more. Furthermore, the quality of service will be better because you’re more familiar with the work.

As a result, you can more effectively market your services and give quotes since you know how much it will cost for parts and how long it will take.

d.) Choosing a Location

The location you choose it’s an important factor in the success of your handyman business.

If you locate in an area where there is no demand for handyman services, it makes no sense to service that area. On the other hand, if you locate in an area where the market is flooded with handyman services, it will be difficult to get started.

The best location has a demand for your service, and the market isn’t saturated.

Commercial or a Home-Based Location?

Many people locate from their homes, especially if running a part-time or one-person business.

You can always start from home, and if your business expands, you can relocate to a commercial location.

For more, see Choosing the Best Location for Your Business.

2. Choose a Name for Your Business

You want to choose a name that’s memorable and appropriate for your handyman business. If you search online for handyman business name ideas, you’ll get a list of sites that offer ideas that you can use to get your creativity flowing. You’ll also get a list of name generators you can use.

I would use the above to generate ideas only and get my own creativity flowing. Because everyone has access to the same names, you want something unique and something you can register. In addition to a business name, you want a matching domain name for your website.

For Handyman Business Name Ideas, See Google’s Latest Search Results.

3. Identify the Legal Structure of Your Business

There are a variety of structures you can use when registering your business. Many small businesses start off as sole proprietorships. This means that you and the business are one entity.

tools in tool a belt.It also means your personal assets and the business assets are considered as one. With a sole proprietorship, you can’t have partners, and if the business goes bankrupt, your personal assets are not protected.

On the other hand, registering your business as a limited liability company (LLC) or a corporation protects your personal assets in case of a lawsuit or if the business goes bankrupt because this type of structure is considered a separate entity.

Many small business owners will start off as a sole proprietorship, and if the business starts to grow and sees success, they are converted into an LLC or a corporation.

Depending on your plans and how much you want to expand will determine the best structure to use. If you’re thinking of anything other than a sole proprietorship, I recommend speaking with a professional to structure your business and make sure everything is complete and legal.

For More, See How To Register Your Business Using These Resources.

4. Get a Tax ID

Depending on the type of business structure you choose will determine if you need a tax ID.

If you have one employee or more, you will require a tax ID. However, if you start off as a sole proprietorship and have no employees, you don’t need a tax ID.

For more see Here’s How To Get A Business Tax Id.

5. Apply for Permits, Licenses, and Registration

You’ll want to research what types of permits and licenses you’ll require for your handyman business. You can go to City Hall, and they will have information regarding the requirements. They can also direct you to state and provincial licensing. There may be special requirements depending on your location.

For example, some states require a licensed contractor for jobs over $3,000. Each state or province has different laws, so you want to look into that. Another thing you want to keep in mind is that you can’t perform jobs such as plumbing and electrical without having a licensed contractor. You must research these issues before taking on any job.

Visit the Licensing and Permits Page for More Information.

6. Create Your Corporate ID

A corporate ID consists of business cards, your logo, letterheads, envelopes, website design, etc.

Your logo is how your customers identify your business. Sure they go by the name, but some people connect when they see your logo.

Your corporate ID is part of branding your business. However, it can be expensive to produce. If you’re focussing on a small one-person operation, then you can get away with just business cards and your logo. On the other hand, if you’re focussing on a larger operation, you can start with business cards and a logo and add the other components later.

For More See:

How To Design A Business Logo – Make it Good It Might Last Years.

How to Design Business Cards That People Will Pay Attention To

Business Signs – Have a Look at These Ideas.

A Complete Introduction to Corporate Identity Packages

7. Writing a Business Plan

All successful businesses have a business plan. Even if you’re starting a one-person operation, creating a business plan is a good idea because it forces you to focus on where you are going and how you’ll get there. In addition, a business plan makes you focus on what type of customers you’re targeting, your services, your business structure, etc.

If you’re planning on a bigger operation and you need funding, you will need a business plan because a bank won’t even process your loan application without one.

You have a few options when creating a business plan. You can use a template and fill in the blanks. You can use software that will guide you through the process step-by-step. Or you can hire a professional to write your business plan.

For more, see How To Write A Business Plan.

8. Estimating Your Start-up Cost

a man holding a handsaw and a drill.Estimating your start-up cost is relatively simple for a handyman business.

However, sometimes it can be overwhelming because you want to ensure you have everything on your list. Don’t worry as you get prices, many issues will appear, and you can add them.

Another point is you don’t need to have all the tools before getting your first job. Instead, you can buy tools as you need them. This will reduce your start-up costs and allow you to focus on the right tool when a job comes up.

For more see Estimating Start-up Costs: Are You Missing Anything?

9. Get the Funding for Your Business

To get the funds you need for your start-up, you’ll need to have your business plan in place and start looking for start-up funds. Most people start with their existing personal bank.

It’s important to keep in mind that banks know start-ups are high-risk loans; therefore, if your loan is declined multiple times, don’t take it personally; instead, ask why your loan was declined and try and address the issue before moving to the next lender.

Suppose you’re starting your handyman business as a one-person operation. In that case, you may have the funds you need because starting a handyman business doesn’t require a lot of start-up cash, especially if you’re not investing in a trailer and a truck and using your own tools during the start-up phase.

Also, take a look at our post on, Getting a Small Business Loan.

10. Choose a Bank

a man using a drill on a kitchen cabinet.You’ll need to have a bank for your handyman business. It may be the same bank you have now. Just make sure you separate your business account and your personal account, especially if you’re starting off as a sole proprietorship.

When it comes to the bank you’re choosing, it’s not so much the bank as it is your relationship with your banker. A strong relationship with your banker can get you out of a jam, and they can streamline processes for you to help you acquire new equipment, obtain short-term loans, and manage your finances.

Establishing a relationship with the right bank and banker is in your best interests.

For more, see our page on How To Choose A Business Bank.

11. Acquiring a Merchant Account

Many of your customers will be paying you in cash. But you will have some that will want to pay using their debit or credit card. To process those payments, you’ll need a merchant account. Your banker can help you apply for an account and streamline the process.

Merchant accounts come with ongoing fees, so if most of your customers pay cash, you can use a service like PayPal for those that must use their credit cards.

PayPal’s processing fee is more expensive than using a merchant account, but if you have low volume, it may work out cheaper for you in the long run.

See How To Open A Merchant Account for more information.

12. Get Your Business Insured

Having insurance is a critical part of starting a handyman business. However, I can see someone starting a small handyman business and skipping the insurance.

Imagine you’re on the job for a customer, and the house catches on fire and burns to the ground. What would you do if you didn’t have insurance? You could lose everything you worked for.

Insurance is affordable, and you shouldn’t perform any jobs without it to protect your employees, business, and customers.

A competent insurance broker will guide you in obtaining the correct insurance and making sure you have enough of it.

For more, see our page about business insurance.

13. Office Setup

The more successful you are in your business, the more you’ll need your office for administrative tasks preparing quotes, and managing your business. So, you want your office set up to your preference. In addition, you want to make sure it’s comfortable and have all the equipment you need to be effective.

For more see, Here Are Considerations for the Setup of Your Office.

14. Choosing Suppliers

a wrench.You should find a supplier who you can depend on. If you establish a relationship with your supplier, you’ll get better service. For example, if you need a part in a hurry, they will get it for you in the shortest time possible.

Another example, you ordered a faucet, and it didn’t fit correctly. Your supplier may be able to return it, as opposed to walking into a hardware store purchasing a product, and trying to return it after it’s been installed may be a problem. You want a supplier that’s reliable and flexible.

For more see, How To Choose a Supplier You Can Depend On

15. Create a Team of Advisors for Your Start-up

Depending on the size of your handyman business, you may or may not require a team of advisers.

A team of advisers consists of a group of professionals that you will use to help you run and expand your business. These people are not on your payroll but may or may not require a retainer, and you pay them by the hour. Your team of advisers may include the following:

  • A lawyer
  • An accountant
  • A graphic designer
  • A business strategist
  • And IT professional
  • Marketing specialist
  • An HR specialist
  • Etc.

If you’re planning on expanding your business by having multiple locations and a large group of home repair specialists, you will use your team of advisers a lot. On the other hand, if you plan to run a one-person operation, you may only need a lawyer and an accountant.

Either way, you want to build a professional relationship with your advisers before you need their services. This can be as simple as keeping in touch once in a while.

Give them a call to see how they’re doing, or send an email. Professional relationships can become long-term, and many turn into friendships.

For more see, Building a Team of Professional Advisors for Your Business

16. Hiring Employees

a young man standing in shop.You may be considering doing everything yourself in the early stages of the start-up phase. This is not a bad idea because as your business grows, you’ll better understand the positions you need help with you’ll need to fill.

You may also be planning to stay as a one-person operation. Which is a viable option. But if you’re thinking of expanding and taking on multiple jobs simultaneously, you will need help. It’s important to hire the right person for each position.

Don’t think of cost from an hourly perspective. Instead, focus on the yearly cost of hiring an employee so you can understand the overall effect it will have on your business. For example, if you have a small crew size of five people, you’ll have an expense in the six-figure range for wages alone.

For more on hiring, see How and When to Hire a New Employee.

What To Consider Before Starting

I have presented you with the steps needed to start a handyman business, but before you move forward, let’s look at a few very important points that you should consider first.

Is Running a Business Right for You?

Many people dream about having their own business for various reasons. Some of those reasons include:

  • Getting away from a job.
  • Wanting to be in charge.
  • Improving their lifestyle.
  • Increase their net worth.
  • Having a passion for the business, they’re considering.

a man fixing a dishwasher.The Above are all valid reasons for starting a business. My suggestion is to follow your passion. When you’re passionate about the business you’re running, you’ll have the drive to keep going when problems show up. 

Without being passionate about your business, you’ll look for an exit strategy instead of a solution when problems appear.

If you had all the money you would ever need for the rest of your life and you had total freedom, would you start a handyman business?

If you answered yes, then you are passionate about a handyman business and on the right track. If you answered no, then should you be focused on that instead?

For more, see Reasons To Start a Business

Do You Have the Skills To Run A Business?

Do you have the skills necessary to run a business and perform handyman repairs?

Naturally, to succeed in this business, you have to be skilled at handyman work and managing a business. If you don’t have all the skills when starting out, you can learn as you go. Another route is to hire people for the skills that you lack.

For example, you may hire a receptionist to schedule calls and take care of administrative tasks such as bookkeeping, etc. Or you may decide to manage the business and hire a skilled repairman to take care of the jobs you send them out for.

You have to know about every part of your operation. Then, if one of your key employees decides to leave you, you’ll be able to jump in and take over.

For more see,  Do You Have These Essential Skills Needed To Run a Business?

Is It Better To Start a Business From Scratch or Buy One?

a man drilling a brick wall.Purchasing an established business for sale has pros and cons. Some of the pros include you start making money from the day you take over. Also, when you purchase a business, you purchase the customer base, and that’s a huge asset. Another point is when taking over a business, you don’t have to go through the start-up phase, which takes time and a lot of planning.

Some of the disadvantages of purchasing a business include, it’s more expensive than starting your own because you’re purchasing the customer base. The business should be set up the way you want. If it isn’t, implementing change is risky and will take time.

You want to make sure that you’re not purchasing someone else’s headaches, and you want a lawyer to make sure there are no underlying issues such as pending lawsuits, debt, and leans against the business.

Click Here To View any Handyman Businesses Listed for Sale From Google’s Search Results.

Should You Consider a Franchise?

There are pros and cons to getting into a franchise. Some of the advantages include:

  • The business is set up for you.
  • You have a proven process in place to follow.
  • The strategy and marketing are already working and set up.
  • A successful franchise is already known in the marketplace.

Some of the disadvantages include:

  • Ongoing franchise fees.
  • You don’t have control over how you operate the business and the services you offer. The whole idea of a franchise is that it’s standard for everyone, and you can’t make changes.

Although the availability for a handyman business may be limited, it’s still looking into.

To Browse the Marketplace for Repair Franchise Opportunities, See the Latest Google Search Results. Also, see, What You Need To Know About Owning a Franchise.

 Are a Few Points to Keep In Mind:

  • As a handyman, you have different tasks all the time. There’s nothing standard about what jobs you will work on.
  • You want to make sure you quote as accurately as possible.
  • For jobs that can’t be estimated, let the client know the hourly rate and keep a strict hours log.
  • Be on time! One of the things people hate is waiting for a contractor.
  • There will be issues you’re not familiar with, be sure to research the fix before starting.
  • If there are issues beyond your skills, have a professional come while you supervise.
  • You may want to set up some joint ventures for projects out of your scope; this way, you still deal with the job, but you subcontract the work and still get the job done for your client.

Resources

Along with the steps for starting a handyman business and the considerations we discussed, I have included links to a few resources you may find useful during the startup phase and once you are up and running.

Trends and Statistics

Reviewing trends and statistics is one way to determine if the industry is on the rise or declining.

Another benefit is that you can gain ideas that you can use in your business. For example, there may be a trending service across the country that you can add to your service.

Click Here for the Latest Google Search Results Related to Trends related to the Handyman Industry.

Tools

a hammer and blueprint.You want to purchase the best tools you can afford. Your tools allow you to perform quality work in the least amount of time. For example, if you’re purchasing a cordless drill. There is one available for $75 and one for $300. The $75 model is designed for home use, and the $300 one is built for commercial use.

You may think I don’t need more than the lower-end model to save money. However, after two months, it couldn’t handle the workload and stopped working. So now you have to buy the $300 drill, and your drill ended up costing you a total of $375 instead of the original cost of $300.

Your tools are your livelihood. So make sure you take the time to research the tools and get the best when you can.

It’s a strategy to only buy tools when you need them. You don’t need to spend $5,000 on tools you won’t use immediately. Instead, when a job comes up, and you need a tool, buy it at that time.

First of all, you’ll have more money in your budget, and more importantly, when a job comes up, you’ll be able to choose the right tool because you have a better understanding of what features you’ll need. For example, you have to drill through concrete; you’ll want a hammer drill instead of a regular drill.

Click Here for the Most Recent Google Search Results Related to Repair Equipment.

Associations

Joining an association can be beneficial, allowing you to network with other members and use the resources provided by the association.

You may also want to consider joining your local Chamber of Commerce to become familiar with the local businesses and the opportunity to network with other members.

Click Here To View Associations Related to the Handyman Industry. You May Also Want To Check Out Our Page for Tips and Insights About Joining a Trade Association.

Software

Take some time to go through the software available that can help you with your handyman service.

For example, look for features that can help you create accurate estimate schedule jobs and help you manage your service.

With any software package that looks promising, check online reviews and request a demo if that option is available.

Check Out Google’s Latest Search Results for Software Packages Related to a Handyman Business.

Marketing Tips

Marketing your handyman business is an outgoing process. Without customers, you don’t have a business, and without marketing, acquiring customers will be difficult and a slow process. There’s a lot of material out there for marketing your handyman business. You just have to search for it and go through the material.

When you go through the material, choose one tip at a time and try it. Once it’s successful, then you can move on to implement more marketing strategies. One of the keys to marketing your business is effectively doing more of what works and less of what doesn’t.

Have a Look at the Latest Articles for Marketing a Handyman Business.

Books

There are many books on various topics available for you to broaden your knowledge on any subject.

For example, if you want to improve your knowledge and plumbing, you can search for books I’m plumbing repair, and for the ones that appeal to you, you can go through the table of contents for an overview of what the book has to offer.

It’s also worth noting you don’t have to go through the book cover to cover. Instead, you can dive into the chapters you’ll benefit most from.

View the Most Recent Google Search Results for Handyman Business Books.

News

Google’s news site it’s an excellent resource to keep in touch with issues related to handyman work. Type in your keyword, and you’ll get a list of the most current news articles as well as archives.

See Google’s News Search Results Related to the Handyman Industry.

Videos

YouTube videos are a great way to learn about many of the tasks you will need to learn when providing handyman services.

One of the features I like about YouTube is the length of time it’s posted for each video, allowing you to decide if you’re going to watch the video immediately or schedule time for it.

The search function of YouTube is excellent. You can type in, for example, kitchen sink repair, and you’ll get a list of all of the relevant videos along with videos related, such as faucet repair, etc.

See the Most Recent Videos Related to a Handyman Business.