Tips For Finding The Best Handyman Jobs That Pay Well – ConsumersLocal
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Tips For Finding The Best Handyman Jobs That Pay Well

Quickly & easily find handyman jobs near you!

If you’re a handyman, handywoman or handyperson, your business should be booming. Here are a few reasons why:

  • About 80% of America’s 137 million homes are said to be at least 20 years old. And 40% are at least 50 years old. Repairs and improvements are part of owning an aging home.
  • Uncertainty during the coronavirus pandemic means more people are working from home and channeling their travel budget into improving their homes.
  • More and more millennials are buying homes, and want them fixed up to their standards.

It’s no wonder that by 2022, home improvement sales are expected to skyrocket to $465 billion. That’s a lot of assembling, installing, painting, flooring, plumbing and replacing.

Whether you’re just starting out or have been at it for a while, it’s helpful to think about how to keep your business competitive and earning as much as possible.

1. Put Together a Business Plan

Starting a business without a business plan is a little like setting out on a trip with no destination. It can be fun to be adventurous and spontaneous on vacation, but not when you’re running a new business.

Start by thinking about what you want to achieve with your handyman business. Then set a few goals and create milestones that will help you know you’re achieving them. Ask yourself things like:

  • How much money do I want to make?
  • How many clients do I want to have?
  • What kind of clients do I want to have?
  • What kind of work do I want to be doing?
  • How many hours do I want to be working each week?
  • Will I have employees?

Write down the answers for three upcoming time periods: in six months, in three years and in five years. Then set a calendar notification to review your business plan at these intervals to find out if you’re on track. Don’t worry—you can adjust as needed. Think of your business plan as a living document that changes with the experience and wisdom you amass daily as you run your business.

2. Learn About Your Area’s Legislation

The last thing you need is to get hit with a fine or have your business’ reputation damaged because you operate outside the letter of the law. It’s important to be aware of which services require you to have certification or a license. For example, many U.S. states require a license for electrical, plumbing or HVAC work.

Another thing to consider is that there are limits on the amount you can charge as a handyman. In some areas, any job that costs more than $500 will require a contractor’s licence. In other regions, that number might be $3,000.

It’s important to learn the laws in your city or state. You can do some online research by searching for “contracting laws.” Another resource that’s helpful in sorting out business licensing requirements is LegalZoom.

3. Consider Small Business Insurance

Here’s another unexciting, but essential, part of running a successful handyman business. No matter where you operate or what kind of work you do as a handyman, you should consider getting business insurance. Some states require handyman insurance, so it’s important to look into the requirements.

There are many types of business insurance to choose from, but the main ones to consider are:

  • Liability insurance: Basic protection that covers your business against accidents, injuries, and negligence claims
  • Professional liability insurance: Protects businesses against negligence claims if they’ve made an error on the job

You may also explore coverage for injury, illness or long-term disability insurance in the event you’re unable to do the physical work your job demands.

4. Scope Out the Competition

Before you start a handyman business, it’s helpful to do a competitive analysis. Google “handyman” and the name of your city or town to find out who else is offering similar services in your area. Look for things like:

  • Their services
  • Their prices
  • Their geographic location
  • Their customers
  • Their marketing plan (how/where they advertise or attract new business)

Armed with this information, you’ll have a pretty good idea of what handymen in your area with a similar skill level charge. You’ll also know what kind of clients they serve, so you can decide whether to find customers like them or look for a different kind of customer.

5. Choose Your Services Wisely

When starting a business, it may feel natural to take on any and all jobs you’re qualified for. After all, it would feel counterintuitive to only offer a handful of services, right? Not necessarily. Sometimes it makes sense to specialize in only the projects that are in high demand, are reasonably high in value—and that you can do well, and fast.

For example, hanging pictures is a common ask for many handyman business owners. But there’s a ceiling on the price you can command for that simple task. It may make more business sense to turn down the smallest jobs and focus instead on doing bigger jobs like replacing toilets, installing kitchen cabinets or doing small repairs.

Similarly, you may have a lot of skills (that’s what makes you handy!), but you’re exceptionally good at installing drywall or building decks. You may choose to focus mainly on a handful of tasks that you do very well and enjoy most. With your expertise, you can command top dollar for those jobs and do only the work that you like.

6. Price Your Services Appropriately

Arguably the most important decision you’ll ever make about your handyman business is how much you charge (i.e., by the hour or by the project). While you can always adjust these numbers from time to time, prices are usually fixed for a period of at least six months.

Most handyman businesses have an hourly or a flat rate for particular jobs. When determining how much you’ll charge per hour or per project, consider the following factors to be sure each job is profitable:

  • Time (be fair to yourself about how long a job is going to take, including travel)
  • Skills (you can charge more for jobs with specialized skills, e.g., building a staircase versus painting a fence)
  • Preparation (will you have to move furniture, buy supplies or prepare the work area? These are all considered billable time)
  • Expenses (if you’re using pricey pieces of equipment, factor in the cost of wear and tear)
  • Taxes (consider what government taxes you’ll have to pay as a business owner and factor them into your price)
  • Licenses (do you have a particular license to do certain jobs? They probably have an annual fee; be sure to consider the cost of maintaining credentials)

While it’s helpful to assess the market rate for the kind of work you do, don’t be afraid to charge more than that if you’re highly skilled or there’s high demand. Good clients recognize that you get what you pay for and are willing to shell out a little more for a job well done.

7. Don’t Work for Just Anyone

While we’re on the subject of clients, let’s define what that means. A “good” client:

  • Doesn’t waste your time with long phone calls or in-person meetings to discuss each project
  • Isn’t motivated only by the cost of your work, i.e., quality is more important to them than price
  • Agrees to your payment terms and makes payments on time
  • Trusts your expertise
  • Hires you again and again
  • Refers you to others

When you get the sense that a homeowner is interviewing multiple handymen to find the lowest price, badmouthing a former contractor or is vague about what they want done, do yourself a favor and move on. Find a more straightforward customer who doesn’t raise red flags.

Remember: Not everybody is your customer. Start a handyman business that is discerning. Pick the “good” kind of client and cater exclusively to them.

8. Do the Chores People Hate

Busy people are often thrilled to outsource not just the chores they can’t do, but also the ones they hate to do. One way to make yourself indispensable is to take on those dreaded jobs in your handyman business.

Think cleaning out ovens, defrosting freezers, moving furniture around, organizing garages and doing paint touch-ups. Be sure to add these odd jobs to your website or other marketing materials so clients start thinking about all the household problems you can solve.

9. Widen Your Skills and Service Inventory

If you’re generally handy and have some training in skilled trades or other specialties, you’re in a great position to accommodate the typical jobs where a handyman is needed. But if you want to grow, consider broadening your skill set.

If there’s a type of job that particularly interests you, consider additional training so you can offer even more specialized services in your handyman business. Think about upgrading a skill that complements one you’ve already mastered. For example, use your carpentry skills to build an entertainment unit and your technical skills to hook up all its devices.

10. Go the Extra Mile for Clients

Want to start a handyman business that grows exponentially? Don’t forget to pay attention to the small things you can do to exceed client expectations right from the start.

That might mean presenting your own solutions when preparing a quote, being willing to work late nights or early mornings to accommodate a client with a crazy schedule, or doing a bit more work than you quoted in order to go the extra mile. The small things really do mean the most when it comes to building a trusting relationship between you and your customers.



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