How to Start a Handyman Business
By Pamella Neely
If you enjoy fixing and repairing things around the house, consider starting a handyman
business. Each time something in the household breaks, a homeowner is forced to call in a
professional plumber, electrician or carpenter. The fees these professionals charge for
something as inconsequential as replacing a bulb or fixing a switch may cause your
eyeballs to pop. If you start a home handyman business you can carry out all these little
repairs for people at a much more reasonable rate.
These days there is a lot of scope for a home handyman business. Some of the simpler
things you can do include replacing light fixtures, installing windows, fixing leaking
faucets, painting, replacing doors, doing bathroom repairs, constructing fences, installing
mailboxes, and even doing a run to the dump. If you're good with your hands, the sky is the
limit. As you gain experience and confidence you can take on more advanced tasks.
The key to a good business strategy is proper planning. Start with a good business
plan. List the things you know you can do. Once this is done, decide how much you'll
charge. Handymen charge either per job or per hour. Unless you've done a job before and
are confident you can get it finished fast, always try to get paid by the hour.
Your fee should recover your material costs, gas and labor charges. Inflate it a bit to
include a margin for profit, and be sure to leave enough profit to pay your own
self-employment taxes. Don't price your services too low. This will make it difficult to
increase them later as customers will get accustomed to your rates. Your business plan
should also include your initial finance requirements, expenses and expected earnings.
For a handyman business startup you'll have to invest in some tools. At the onset, only
get those which are absolutely necessary and then add on as your business expands. Some
essential tools all handymen must have include a hammer, a level, gloves, goggles,
screwdrivers, wrenches, adhesive tape, a measuring tape, a ladder, drills, a flashlight,
and a breathing mask. You will probably want to get a few power tools as well. Start with
a drill and a sander.
Know Your Market
Generally the elderly and single working people are more in need of handymen than
others. The elderly cannot go about fixing stuff on account of their deteriorating health.
Working men and women just don't have the time. So figure out where these people are
located and advertise extensively. Take every opportunity to distribute your business
card. You can also advertise through bulk mailers, newspapers and brochures. Another
viable market is rental agents. They require handymen when things need fixing in their
leased homes. More often than not they send the wrong person for the wrong job. A plumber
may be sent to fix a light bulb and so on and so forth. So visit a few rental agents and
tell them about your services.