Updated November 26, 2021
A handyman business can be a good business to start for someone who has gathered a wide range of skills, and can competently tackle the type of work a customer would expect to have done. The hourly rates you can charge are eye-watering, the work hours can be great, and the demand for handyman services is reaching an all-time high.
I interviewed three people who started a handyman business years ago, and asked them what you should know about how to get started in the handyman business, and how to run and grow your business.
First, I wanted to know what background they came from – how do people polish up the wide range of skills they'll need, before starting a handyman business? Or is it common to just get started and figure it out as you go?
So I asked my three founders – how did you get started in the handyman business?
did you work with someone as a handyman before? or did you just get started on your own?
The idea of starting a 'handyman business' tends to come to people who are already quite handy, and have experience in doing the things that customers need done.
I wondered if there is a minimum set of skills you need to operate the business?
What training, what skill, and what experience is needed? Could you hire experienced people to help you?
I asked the three successful handyman business owners:
can you start a handyman business with limited experience? can you learn most things as you go?
So my three founders confirmed what I suspected – a basic skill set is that starting point, and you can build from there. All the basic or advanced experience you already have is a very useful foundation moving forward.
You just need your tools, and some customers, and you're in business.
I asked my three experts how much money you need to get started in this business, and what you need to buy.
is it an expensive business to start? what equipment do you need as a minimum, to start earning money?
Once you get the basic equipment and then you get some clients, you'll be earning an income almost right away. And it can be a fairly good hourly rate, depending on how you charge.
Each handyman business owner I spoke with said they have plenty of work. The handyman business has such huge demand for services that you'll soon have as many work as you want.
I asked the three successful handyman operators how much you could expect to earn as you get started in this business, and as you get more established.
is it a profitable business to run? can you expect to earn a good income quite quickly?
A handyman business can bring in a very good income, and once you get your base of regular customers it's quite a stable business.
Generally, the answer seems to be – you can expect to earn anywhere from $5,000 to well over $10,000 a month with a handyman business – depending on how much you want to work, and what you're charging for your services.
It all starts with the first client, and then, more of the same.
I asked my three successful handyman business operators:
do you advertise? do you buy leads? is there something that works really well?
As you're getting established in the industry, you'll have phone calls and customer enquiries coming in. People will be enquiring about your services, and will be asking you to help them.
Turning those enquiries into paying clients is the next task.
Usually, that's pretty simple – just be helpful and answer their questions, and they'll use your services. If you do a good job, they'll probably use your services over and over again, as well as recommend you when their friends and family ask if they know someone.
I asked my three industry experts – how do customers choose which handyman business they'll hire?
what do clients really care about? what are they looking for in a handyman service?
When you start advertising your handyman business, you'll start getting calls from companies – all trying to sell you something. But how do you know what is worthwhile, and what is a waste of money?
I asked my three founders whether there was an item or service they regretted spending money on.
is there something that sounds like a good idea, but is actually a bad purchase?
All three of the handyman business owners I spoke to have built nice businesses for themselves, and, they said it's not difficult. They all report having more work than they can handle.
I wondered what a typical workday looks like for someone running a handyman business.
I asked my three founders – what is a typical day for you now?
is it busy all day every day? is it an enjoyable business? how's the work/life balance?
Running a handyman business comes with a good lifestyle. Every day is different, and you can schedule quiet days and busy days to suit your other activities.
I wanted to know whether there were any 'bad operators' in the industry, or if other handyman businesses were taking nasty shortcuts.
I asked my three experts:
are there shady operators doing things the wrong way? or is the industry mostly full of professionals?
The basic principles of do a good job (especially with communication!), charge a fair price, and treat the customer fairly seem to stack up in the handyman business as well. Just don't try to be the cheapest – it won't lead to a growth in business, it will just lead to financial problems for you. Customers are already paying more, so why not stick with what they're willing to pay.
I asked my three experts whether it's a super competitive industry in their area, or, whether they just offer their rates and let customers decide whether they pay full price or go with a cheaper option.
do you follow up bids? do you offer discounts? or do you just give your rates and leave it at that?
the three successful founders share their keys to success in this industry, based on their own experiences
Assuming you have the basic skills required, the handyman business is a good option to consider, in just about any large city in the world. It's super easy to get started, the equipment can be as cheap as $500 or $1000, and in most places around the country the demand for services is much higher than the existing businesses can handle.
I have spent over 100 hours learning everything there is to know about the handyman business, by talking to industry experts and handyman business operators. I have compiled it into the worlds most useful guide, How to Start a Handyman Business. You can check it out here.
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