Starting a worthwhile handyman business will take a lot of time, money, and planning. For many, it may seem incredibly unrealistic to want to build your own business, but if you are willing to put the work in it can be extremely rewarding. It may be reassuring to know that most current business owners also did not know where to start or know much at all about starting their own business. If you are feeling lost or overwhelmed, this article is going to break down the basics of starting a new handyman business and offer advice for business planning and managing.
Building a business is a marathon, not a sprint
To build a handyman business that is sustainable for years to come, your goal should be to grow steadily over long periods of time. As you should know by now, there is no such thing as ‘getting rich quick’ as a contractor. In order to grow a strong, long-lasting business, you will have to take most of the money your company earns the first few years and invest it right back in.
By investing your profits back into your handyman business, you will be able to set your business up for success and growth by establishing a strong foundation for the future. Being consistent over a long period is the best way to build a lucrative business.
Plan for success
Now that you know the importance of having a long-term mentality when starting a handyman business, you can move on to the actual planning. Your company has a greater chance of being successful if it starts with a solid business plan. A business plan is much more than just an idea of what your business will do; it entails many critical factors that will help start and keep your business running smoothly.
Costs are one of the most common things people like to avoid preparing for. There are many costs involved when starting a business that need to be considered when developing the business plan including startup costs, operating costs, equipment needs, and more. Having a realistic idea of expenses your handyman business will incur will allow you to prepare your finances properly, and avoid any surprises.
Get licenses and permits
Another important factor to consider when creating your business plan is the need for licenses and permits. Although this tends to be one of the least exciting elements of starting a business, legally it is one of the most important. There are many online resources available to help you get the proper paperwork for your specific type of new business. Whether you are forming an LLC, Corporation, DBA or one of the many other structures, resources like LegalZoom can easily help you get the information you need to get started.
Now to remain in business, you must be sure you have the necessary permits, insurance, and licenses at all times. It is different for every business but you should look into the forms of insurance needed when there are employees, buildings, as well as general handyman business liability insurance. The Small Business Administration website is a great tool to use when figuring out what types of insurance, licenses, and permits your business needs.
Find potential customers
One thing many entrepreneurs underestimate is how hard it is to start landing customers. As a handyman, it’s important to know where your customers are looking for help and let them know you’re ready to help. That sounds easy enough, but the days of marketing your business through the Yellow Pages are gone, so you need to put in the time and effort to market to customers over the internet. Fortunately, we’ve put together a list of the best lead sources for contractors, but here’s a shortlist of the ones you definitely need to get yourself listed on:
Make sure you sign up for an account on all of these sites and take the time to fully complete your listing with all of the important details including your company logo, up to date contact information, a link to your website, and high-quality pictures of your work. Once you start landing jobs, build out a system of following up with happy customers and asking them to leave reviews so your customers’ words help sell your services.
Once you get a new lead its important that you respond quickly and professionally. If you set an appointment to come out and quote a project, show up on time and be prepared. Having a tool on hand like JobFLEX’s estimating app (more on that below) will allow you to build a quote right on the spot and email them a PDF before you leave. Creating an accurate, professional quote that potential clients don’t have to wait for is an excellent way to get a leg up on your competition and start landing jobs immediately.
Ask for help
When starting a new venture like a handyman business, it seems like the information is never-ending. All the small details and steps can be incredibly daunting, especially if this is the first business you’ve started. The good news is there are likely several business owners in your community that would be more than happy to help you. Asking questions, learning from, and bouncing ideas off the people that have done this before can be one of the best resources to help you get your business up and running.
Having mentors when going through a process like this can help set your business ahead of your competitors. Experienced handymen, business owners, or retired professionals can give you the tips and tricks they have learned throughout their careers and you can apply them to your business.
Effectively manage your business
There are so many tools available to help make owning and operating a business easier than ever and one of the biggest mistakes new business owners make is not using these tools. Technology is meant to simplify and advance our businesses and neglecting to use the various management tools will only delay your progress.
Keeping your business organized can be half the battle of owning it. A big key is knowing what to track to ensure that your business is profitable – something a lot of handymen do a poor job of when they’re just starting out. Check out our post on how to measure profitability to learn some key tips to becoming and staying profitable.
Fortunately, there’s a lot of great technology out there to help you run your business and that’s why tools like JobFLEX exist; to make your life easier. JobFLEX is a low-cost solution to managing leads, quotes, and invoices while retaining a professional and consistent look with your documentation. This app will create PDF quotes and invoices that will be ready to be emailed to your customers before you leave the job site. JobFLEX is the ideal tool for a startup handyman business’s cash flow because it allows you to invoice immediately upon completing a job and set consistent payment terms to make sure you are getting paid when you are supposed to. Get started with a free trial of JobFLEX to see what this app can do for your new business.
JobFLEX also offers a starting point for pricing
Are there other apps and software on the market that can help you create invoices and estimates? Yes. But ask yourself as someone starting a business, how many of them can help you set your initial pricing? Figuring out a sensible starting point for services and supplies can be a tall task, especially for a handyman who can work on a wide variety of projects. That’s why we provide downloadable handyman price lists which provide a massive list of items and services with industry average pricing for common services and items used on handyman jobs. You can download and adjust this list and then upload it right into the JobFLEX app so your updated pricing is available with just a few taps on your Android device!
Hopefully, this article has given you the courage to take the next steps towards being your own boss. Use this as a resource to help guide you in developing a handyman business plan and reach out to the professionals around you as you start your journey.