Are you a handyman? Or have heard many compliments from people that you have got the skills of a handyman but are always hesitant of opening a handyman business. Well, no worries. We have brought you the handyman startup guide to explain to you in detail – “how to start a handyman business?”
These guidelines will not just help you to set up a handyman business but help you to analyze your skills and strength to identify your niche in the industry. 2021 is the perfect time to start a handyman business and become successful in less time because of the changing consumer Habits due to COVID-19.
Believe it or not, COVID-19 has impacted every business in different ways, and if you were looking for a perfect opportunity to start a handyman business, no time is better than today. The handyman industry is thriving and as people are converting their travel expenses into home renovations.
What Are The Pros And Cons Of Opening a Handyman Business?
Before you went ahead and learned how to start a handyman business? You must understand and know about all the pros and cons of opening a handyman business. It is essential if you want to become a successful handyman in your local area and use your handyman skills to help others and maximize your profit.
Every business owner must know how to overcome the obstacles in the journey of becoming a successful entrepreneur. It is only possible if you are aware of the advantages and disadvantages in advance.
This will help you to prepare for future endeavors and dealing with different kinds of customers at once. If you are aware of all the pros and cons of starting a handyman Service. You will be more focused on the key areas that need your attention and use the pros of being a handyman in your favor.
Pros Of Starting a Handyman Service
- You get the freedom to choose your work and have flexible working hours that suit your lifestyle. If you want you can opt for the part-time handyman service in the beginning while focusing and managing other aspects of a small-scale business or extend the hours if you like the work to gain initial experience.
- The start-up cost of opening a handyman business is relatively low than other small-scale businesses. It mostly depends on the niche of the handyman business you want to start.
- Your earning is upfront and immediate. You don’t have to wait for your earnings for a month or so. You get paid mostly in advance or receive partial payment which means you only have to invest in the tools that you need to set up a handyman business.
- Handyman service is an art of public relations. You don’t need any marketing and advertising strategy to run your business. Your work can speak for itself and as a handyman, you never know what kind of business opportunities you will get from the recommendation.
- The profit margins are quite high in the handyman business. At lower jobs, your profit ratio is easily 65% which can go higher depending on the locality you serve and work profile. This allows you to expand your business and manage daily expenses.
- You are your boss! You can decide to utilize your skills to become a commercial or residential handyman.
- A handyman business is not impacted by the recession. There is always a strong demand for a handyman business in the industry and rapidly increasing every year.
Cons Of a Handyman Service
- Handyman’s business requires skills and strength. You always have to be in good physical condition if you don’t want to hamper your work.
- Handyman’s business runs on referrals so it could take some time to establish your name in the market.
- Only the skills are not enough, you need professional working experience and comprehensive knowledge in all aspects of your niche to turn your business profitable.
- You may require the license to start a handyman business in some niches. Consider it as the first step of a handyman startup guide. However, license requirements for every niche are different and can be challenging if you don’t meet the criteria.
- You need to purchase the complete set of tools, business or liability insurance, car management funds, fuel cost, etc at the beginning.
- Initially, your overhead expenses can be more than your profits and you might need subcontractors for a big job.
- Some handyman jobs are seasonal, so you need to pick your jobs carefully.
- Despite the flexible hours, some jobs require immediate attention for which you have to be available 24/7.
- There is always a chance of getting injured on the job. Therefore, you have to prepare all the time for you and your employees. It is a messy business; you have to be prepared for every kind of messy situation.
What Tools Do You Need To Start a Handyman Business?
Most of your startup cost is going to spend on the tools you need to start your handyman business. If you are dead set on learning how to set up your handyman business? Then here is the basic list of tools you will need to create a handyman business successfully.
- Hand toolkit- it is one of the basic requirements of opening a handyman business. No matter what your area of focus or whether your area is a corporate or residential handyman. You will always need a hand tool kit that includes a hammer, screwdriver, pliers, nails, wrenches, squares, chisels, and so on. You can easily get this toolkit from your local hardware store or supermarket.
- Painting toolkit- this is an additional toolkit. Not every handyman needs this toolkit unless you are painting or remodeling the house is a key service area. However, some jobs require both especially if you excel in drywall installation, plumbing, kitchen, or bathroom remodeling business.
- Plumbing toolkit- plumbing toolkit is another essential toolkit that a handyman requires. Mostly all types of handyman jobs require crimping tools, pipe and gasket cutters, etc. Having a plumbing toolkit is always an advantage as it broadens your target customers and increases the local business growth.
- There are a few other types of equipment which you might not need initially but when your business flights you must have them such as Saws, Drills, and ladders.
- There are few other types of equipment that you might need if you offer the relevant services such as cleaning equipment, lawn and gardening tool kit, power washing, window installation, and so on.
- No matter what kind of handyman services you offer to your client, you must have safety equipment such as gloves, tool belts, knee pads, and a proper storage place and cabinets to organize your tools.
What Are The Basic Setup Costs For Opening a Handyman Business?
Starting a small-scale business is always complicated and needs a lot of guidance. Estimating the startup cost to set up a handyman business is very crucial. You would be surprised to know that unlike other small-scale business startups, the cost of opening a handyman business is relatively low.
You can start a handyman business for under $1000 if you already have all the basic tools and equipment. But if you are starting from scratch then your initial setup cost will fall in between $5000- $10,000.
You can divide your initial setup cost between these expenses to kick off your handyman business.
- Tools and equipment
- Work vehicle, if you don’t have any.
- Business license cost and contractor’s license cost as per the legalities of your city and state
- Insurance (both handyman and liability)
- Safety gears and uniform
- Initial advertising and marketing cost such as creating a website, registering with online directories, publishing business cards and pamphlets, etc
- Cash-in-hand for day-to-day expense
- Hiring cost, if you hire subcontractors for a big job
How Do You Prepare For Launching a Handyman Business In 2021?
Now you are aware of the tools and startup cost to launch a handyman business. However, planning and launching are two different tasks. It is time for you to learn how to start a handyman business successfully.
You need to set your goals for the near future such as where you want to see yourself in the next 6 months or 1 year? Then write it down. Learn about the legalities of your local area and how they will affect your work.
Educate yourself and learn about the local consumer habits and their demand. Find out the ways to promote your business with no or minimum cost via social media channels and creating your handyman website. Decide what kind of handyman you want to become and don’t be afraid of choosing the messy work which your competitors avoid.
Learn about your competitors and their strategies. Plan your fee structure and don’t be too picky about the jobs because you never know from where you will get the big job opportunities.
Your first step for starting a handyman service is knowing about the area you want to serve. This will determine your business growth and profit margins. If you want to launch your business in an area with high competition then it might take years to make a name for yourself.
You can do a simple online search for your area to know about your competitors, target audience and demand of the handyman work and what type of services are required most. Also, find out the pay structure of your competitors to stand out among them while making a decent profit. We advise you to create a handyman business in the most demanded areas.
Business Name And Logo
Your next step should be creating a catchy and attractive business name and logo for opening a handyman business. Most of you underestimate the value of a good business name and logo. Consider this as your first impression in your consumer’s mind.
You want to name your business that is meaningful, humorous, smart, and catchy that a customer can remember without any effort. When a consumer will need your services, your name or logo should pop in their mind first without any thoughts.
Selecting your niche is an integral and crucial part of becoming an authority in your industry. You would be surprised to know that there are more than 50 niches in the handyman industry. You need to find the one where your handyman skills and knowledge can shine.
Many handymen offer services for different niches. If you are a single man launching your handyman business then we would advise you to only focus on one key area and then gradually grow your business.
On the other hand, if you are launching a small handyman business in partnership, LLC or Pvt corporation with at least 2-3 employees or making your services exclusive by collaborating with real estate agents and home remodeling agencies then you should focus on 2-3 niches to jump-start your business.
Few handyman business opportunities and ideas that will flourish in 2021-2022
1. Plumbing and bathroom remodeling
2. Kitchen remodeling
3. Car washing and painting services
4. Tile installation and flooring services
5. Window cleaning and repairing services
6. Starting a crime scene cleaning services
7. Gutter repair and cleaning services
8. Smart home up-gradation services
9. Electrical wiring and repairing services
10. Interior and exterior painting services
11. Fixture replacements
12. Chimney or AC repair services
13. Closet organizer services
14. Carpenter services
15. Construction and repair services etc.
16. Gardening and Landscape work.
Select Your Target Market
After you have done your market research thoroughly, now it is time to target your consumer. Let’s assume you want to go into a home remodeling and small repairs business then your target market is the residents in your area.
It is now time to bring those customers to you. Apart from creating a website and listing yourself in online directories. We would also advise you to register yourself with some online handyman sites or home remodeling sites where your customers can know about your services and price structure and can contact you.
Online sites like NextDoor, EasyFix are quite famous in the US and India. There are some free mobile apps for small business owners to grow their business on which you can register yourself from Google Play on your mobile as well.
These tips will help you to establish your online reputation and list you as local area handyman services. The online presence of your business is necessary if you want to build trust in your target market and attract them.
Remember if you are starting a handyman business single-handedly then you are everything- the employer, employee, accountant, admin, technician, and customer support. Besides your handyman skills and knowledge you also need management and accounting skills.
Most handyman businesses start with 1 person only and if they need helpers they hire the sub-contractors for big jobs on an hourly basis. It helps to minimize the overhead expenses and maximize the profit margins.
You can hire employees when you start getting regular contracts and jobs. It is also very important to utilize your skills for the right job and get as many as you can to flight your business. Although, it is important to focus on one job at one time to get the referrals.
Don’t stretch yourself in multiple jobs to grow your business quickly. It is very important to maintain good customer relationships to get the repetitive business over the years. you not only need your handyman skills but knowledge, public relations, marketing, advertising, management, and accounting skills to start a handyman business in 2021.
How To Source Raw Materials To Start a Handyman Business?
The biggest mistake every handyman makes is not recognizing the raw materials they need and from where to launch a successful small-scale handyman business. A handyman needs more raw materials than meets the eyes.
We are not just talking about your toolkit and equipment here. We are also talking about intangible assets such as handyman and contractors license and insurance, your business website, your business profiles on social media platforms, and Craigslist.
You need to learn about the area’s legalities. According to some state and city rules, you can’t start handyman services without getting a contractor’s license which can be a bit challenging. We would advise you to go online and search about these terms and conditions according to your state and city rules.
It is also wise to contact your competitors and learn about the license requirements and from where they source their raw materials. Instead of sourcing your raw materials from high-end markets and private contractors, look for bulk handyman raw material providers to minimize your start-up cost.
Listed below are some good suppliers of general tools and stuff in the UK.
How To Setup Your Price Structure?
Before you go ahead and plan your price structure for your services. We would advise you to observe and analyze the services and payment plans of your competitors. There are a few factors to consider to set up your price structure.
- Check out the prices your competitors are offering for a particular service
- Analyze the services they are offering and find out the most demanding and profitable services in the market
- Setup your price according to the geographic location of customers
- Make sure you are not offering too low prices to attract your customers that you are paying out of your pocket.
- Set decent profit margins initially to attract your target audience.
- Find out how much time you will need to finish the job and set your price structure accordingly. You don’t want to over or under-charge your customer. Observe your competitor’s price structure to get an idea of how much you need to charge on an hourly basis to complete the job on time.
- Set up your emergency rates as well by making yourself available 24/7
Do You Need An Office?
Handyman jobs demand to work from different locations. Therefore, you don’t need an office to start a handyman business. You can work from home or any other location that you prefer while maintaining a permanent and constant online presence.
Once your business grows and you need a permanent place to meet clients and subordinates or to store your equipment then you can lease the office space.
Although, if your niche demands an office space or workshop for opening a handyman business such as car painting and cleaning business. Then you must look for a cheap and appropriate office on lease for at least 1-2 years.
Arranging finances for small-scale businesses is always difficult. Even though the handyman business doesn’t require a huge start-up cost, you will have to maintain the basic cash flow to run your daily operations smoothly such as vehicle maintenance and fuel cost.
But when it comes to “ how to start a handyman business without any money there is only one thing you can do. Look for investors!
Well, in such cases you should look for private and public sector investors. You can also arrange funds by asking your friend or relative to invest in your business. Whatever option you choose you need to make an elaborate business plan to convince your investors to invest in your business.
Do You Need To Hire?
Hiring decisions are based on the type of handyman services you are offering and whether or not you are a skilled professional handyman with experience.
If you are an expert in your field and want to start part-time or one-man small handyman services and now have enough working knowledge to run your business smoothly then you won’t need to hire anyone in the beginning.
On the other hand, if you are opening an LLC or Pvt corporation then you will need trained and skilled professionals with adequate knowledge and experience in their field. If you don’t have any field experience but have enough knowledge about the market, target audience and want to create a handyman business then you must hire skilled professionals for the relevant services you are offering.
What Could Be The Possible Hurdles In a Handyman Business?
Every business has its struggle and handyman business is not different. There are 4 main hurdles that can impact the growth of your business. Before you learn how to start a handyman business you must know about the obstacles and their solutions.
- Many times handyman work is seasonal. You might have a good earning in the season but after that, you might not get any job opportunity till the next season. We would advise you to opt for other handyman services in the off-season or learn new skills to get you by the time.
- Handyman’s business works on trust and customer relations. Establishing your customer base to get repetitive job opportunities from the same client is a time-taking process but if you provide excellent services and your customers are satisfied then in the long run you will get the benefits.
- Sometimes to jump-start their business, we do false or inaccurate marketing without having the complete knowledge and skills of the work profile. For example, if you are a plumber but also offer bathroom remodeling services without any training and experience or lack of the right tools then you are jeopardizing your business reputation.
- As a handyman, you should always be prepared to take emergency calls. Despite the flexible working hours when your job demands you in unforeseen situations you have to be available 24/7.
CONCLUSION: How To Start A Handyman Business In 2021
Many small-scale businesses fail not due to the lack of experience or skills but the lack of executing the planning and management skills. Just by typing on Google how to start a handyman business won’t convert your start-up into an authority in your niche.
You must follow every step of the above-mentioned handyman startup guide passionately. Do a thorough market search, select your niche, know about your competitors and target market. Arrange your finances and essential raw materials to jump-start your business.
Initially, you have to get the basic toolkit, insurance, handyman license according to the area you are going to offer your services. It is essential to familiarize yourself with the legalities of your relevant services. Plan your fee structure after analyzing the demand, target audience, competitors and cost incurred.
If you follow our ” handyman startup guide- how to start a handyman business in 2021” step-by-step then you will achieve your set goals in a specified time and get plenty of job opportunities in 2022 as well.
1. Can anyone start a handyman business without any professional knowledge?
No, you must have some kind of working knowledge to start a handyman business. An employer and employee both should have the experience and training of the handyman services.
2. How much does it cost to start a small handyman business?
It can cost between $5000-$10,000 to start a handyman business.
3. Is it necessary to get a handyman license and insurance?
Yes, the job of a handyman requires a certain skill set and one always has the risk of getting injured. Therefore, according to some city and state rules you can’t open handyman services without a proper license and insurance.