How To Start A Handyman Business: The Ultimate Guide

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Have you ever had to call out a handyman to come and fix something in your home? The answer is most likely yes – or at least you know a couple of people who have!

That notion is what underlines why a handyman business is a great idea. Services are consistently in-demand, the industry is very flexible, you can be your own boss. Most importantly, you could earn some good money.

If you are considering taking up the handyman trade, here you’ll find an easy-to-digest guide on how to start your successful handyman business.

What You Need to Know on How to Start Your Own Handyman Business

Before venturing into the intriguing world of the handyman industry, you’ll want to make sure that this is the right business for you. Like every trade, starting your own handyman service has its upsides and downsides.

One of the pluses is that it’s a versatile business, meaning you can learn various skills to offer many different services. Those skills can translate into more opportunities in the future.

However, a noticeable downside is all the competition – and subsequently lack of job security. Being your own boss is great – but there will be days where the work feels it’s dried up.

Here are a few things to consider before taking the leap to start your own handyman business.

  • Handyman services are continually in-demand with growing homeownership
  • The work can be very inconsistent
  • Most handymen choose a specialty niche in parallel with their location
  • You’ll need a variety of basic skills, and at least a couple of advanced ones
  • There is quite a bit of equipment you’ll need
  • It doesn’t cost that much to start a handyman business

Why Start a Handyman Business?

If there is nothing that concerns you too much, there are plenty of good reasons to start a small handyman business. We’re all looking for a decent reward for our efforts. Here are some of the potential outcomes of operating as a tradesman.

  • The handyman market is worth $4.4 billion in the United States
  • Handyman services are growing about 2% every year
  • You can always pivot to other niches of handyman work
  • The average earnings of a handyman are $42,000 a year
  • The low barrier to entry means you can get started right away
A handyman while performing his task with a drill machine.

Learning How To Start a Small Handyman Business Isn't Hard!

The low barrier to entry has been mentioned – and while it makes the industry competitive – that doesn’t mean that anyone can’t succeed. Before starting your handyman business, it’s worth considering a few things to forge a path to success.

  • Learn about the handyman needs of your area, asking some of the questions below:
    • Does your neighborhood have older buildings?
    • Are there quite a few commercial outlets and offices in the area?
    • Do businesses have factories and industrial machinery?
    • Is the community seeing younger people move in?
    • Does the public infrastructure in your region have a lot of wear and tear?
  • Hone in on the skills you need to learn by identifying the most in-demand service
  • Get equipment dedicated to that niche
  • Learn, practice, and study your competitors

Nothing is hard to grasp. This guide will help set the foundations to spring up your new handyman business.

Everything You Need to Know About Starting a Handyman Business

The handyman industry is one full of diverse job sets and work skills. The guide is broken down into a general overview of how to get your small business started, informing you of all the essentials.

Here is what the guide will be highlighting:

  1. The Different Types of Handyman Businesses
  2. How to Get Your Handyman Business Noticed
  3. What Skills and Knowledge You Need To Get Started
  4. Finding Your First Customer
  5. The Equipment You Need to Start a Handyman Business
  6. The Startup Costs of a Handyman Business
  7. How Much You Can Earn With a Handyman Business License
A handyman's business - inside the store

What Kinds of Handyman Businesses Are There?

A handyman will often learn a broad range of basics to set the groundwork for their new business as a sole proprietorship or limited liability company. However, most will specialize in a specific skill. As mentioned, the best one to learn is by investigating the demands of your surrounding area.

Remember, you can diversify your small business plan at any time to grow to a handyman franchise – but focus on one trade first. Here are some of the most common small handyman work services required throughout the United States:

  • Fixture Replacement
  • Drywall Installation
  • Installing Smart Home Upgrades
  • Interior and Exterior Painting
  • Tile Installations
  • Power Washing
  • Window Repair
  • Small Appliance Repair
  • Plumbing
  • Deck and Patio Repair
  • Air Conditioning Repair
  • Door Repair
  • Furniture and Appliance Set-Up

What Can You Offer To Make Your Handyman Company Stand Out?

It’s no secret that there is a lot of competition in the handyman field. The first question asked when entering the trade is getting noticed. What can you do to make your new business shine amongst the crowd?

Apart from excessively marketing your services as a licensed contractor, there are a couple of ways that you can forge a business structure that gets noticed. That involves scoping out the handyman that is competing against you.

Have a look at some competition research to do when developing your handyman business:

  • Check what services they offer and what work they specialize in
  • Look at the prices for their services
  • See where their business is based (location)
  • Investigate their client base (if they are residential, commercial, or industrial clients)
  • Notice how they market themselves (social media, flyers, word of mouth, etc.)

Take note of this information from your competitors, and think of how you could improve their offerings. You can leverage these tidbits in getting your first potential client outlined further in the guide.

A handyman doing research of his competitors

What Are The Skills and Knowledge Needed To Be a Professional Handyman?

It’s been mentioned that the handyman industry covers a broad spectrum. It’s challenging to be a guru in every aspect of handyman work. But it is advised to learn the range of essentials before choosing a specialization.

Some of the basic skills and knowledge you’ll need to learn are:

  • Understanding the principles of building and construction
  • How to paint and decorate
  • Installing and repairing common household appliances
  • Basic plumbing
  • Changing and replacing light bulbs
  • Heavy-lifting
  • Maintaining your tools
  • Carpentry
  • Minor electrical wiring

This does sound like a lot to learn. However, you can just learn the skills of your businesses specialization if you want to. Understanding the basics of the above is recommended, though. It can help you expand in the long run.

Different skills a Handyman needs to learn

Where Can I Learn Everything?

There are vast resources to learn how to become a handyman. YouTube tutorials are plentiful, as are dedicated handyman blogs teaching you the beginnings of expert applications.

You’ll need to practice a fair bit to hone in on your skills – but this can be done at home. Handyman schools shouldn’t go amiss either – they can teach you a lot about the business before getting started.

Learning and practicing under the supervision of a senior Handyman.

Finding Customers for a New Handyman Business?

Now that you’ve gauged your competition, you can think about how you will find your first potential customer. Here are 3 channels that can best help you get started in getting your handyman business off the ground.

1. Create social media pages and a website

Building social media pages and a website is one of the most lucrative ways to gain your first customer. Create Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts with your clever handyman business name. Then post content to showcase what you can do and tell your business’ story.

2. Register and optimize a Google My Business account

The importance of a Google My Business account cannot be stressed enough! The first thing customers will do when they need a handyman is Google for services in their area. Registering and optimizing your Google My Business account will show your business’ availability and service that matches their request.

3. Join up with third-party handyman platforms

Creating accounts on third-party platforms like Houzz, Craigslist, and Home Advisor presents your services tailored to an area. It will have a significant impact on getting found!

Lastly, don’t forget to keep marketing yourself outside getting your first customers! With all the competition, it’s easy to lose your place in the handyman pecking order.

Keep handing out flyers, telling friends and family, and posting social media content about your services.

What Do You Need to Start a Successful Handyman Business?

So, you’ve got your business idea and vision, a customer plan, and your skills – now all you need is a few things to get started. Again, the broad nature of the handyman industry may require some specialized tools for your services.

However, we can list the general things you’ll need to cover most of what you’ll be offering. So, without further ado, let’s get your business’ assets together!

Equipment

While you’re learning your handyman specialty, be sure to write down the tools they are using – and research what the best equipment is to grow your small business. Add that to the list of tools that you will need below:

  • A tool kit to include:
    • Socket wrench
    • Needle-nose pliers
    • Screwdrivers (flathead and Phillips)
    • Tape measure
    • Utility knife
    • Claw hammer
    • Tape (electric and duct)
    • Vise grips
    • WD-40
    • Stud finder
  • Cordless drill
  • Handsaw
  • Circular saw
  • Reciprocating saw
  • Wet and dry vacuum cleaner
  • Angle grinder
  • Oscillating tool
The equipment needed to start a handyman's business

Software

The likelihood is that you’ll have at least a smartphone to run your small business with. The only software you’ll really need is invoicing software to get paid quickly and manage your accounts.

The world is your oyster when it comes to invoicing software. There are free and paid options. However, usually, the paid options offer more flexibility and functionality.

Research different options. Find one that’s easy for you to use and adapts to your style of business.

The invoicing software in your smartphone that is a must-have

Handyman Licensing Requirements, Business Insurance, and Documentation

It’s not uncommon for handymen to do small cash jobs every now and then. If you really want your handyman business to thrive, invest in the documents. You will need some permits, licenses, and accreditation from the relevant authorities.

The recommended documentation is:

  • Handyman Insurance – talk with your local broker about options (small business insurance, general liability insurance)
  • Handyman License Requirements and Business Permits – check with your local government business bureau about necessary documents (state license, contractor license)
  • Business Bank Account
  • LLC Registration
  • Tax ID

It’s also wise to research any local legislation regarding the handyman trade.

How Much Does It Cost to Start a Handyman Business?

Now that this guide has established what you need to know about the handyman industry and the equipment you’ll need. It’s time to ask that dreaded question. How much is this going to cost to get started?

Costs can vary depending on specialization and the local area. However, let’s outline all the average costs involved below:

Asset Required

Cost

Handyman Tools

$500

Contractor’s License, Permits, and Documentation

$700

Business Insurance

$2000

Invoicing Software

$300

Website (annually)

$120

Flyers and Business Cards

$200

Social Media Campaigns and Ads

$300

TOTAL COSTS

$4,120

So, as you can see, starting a handyman business can be done for under $5000. You’re probably wondering how long it would take to get that back?

We can look at pricing and potential earnings below.

Calculating the costs involved in starting the handyman business

How Much Can You Earn With a Small Handyman Business?

Depending on your specialization, pricing for a general contractor can range from $55 an hour for more trivial jobs to $300 an hour for more complex tasks. Even if you were doing small jobs at $55 an hour, it wouldn’t take you too long to recuperate your startup costs and overhead expenses!

Again, you’ll need to price your services based on your competition and demand in the area. Remember, you can expand your offerings and increase your prices to garner new handyman business.

The hourly rates, jobs, and their average pricing are tabled below for an idea:

Job

Estimated Time

Average Hourly Rate

Heavy lifting, leak repair, window fixes

1-2 hours

$55

Small-scale drywall repair

2-3 hours

$150

Window replacement, woodwork repair, door installation

3-4 hours

$225

Full-room carpet installation, set up heating appliance

4 hours

$300

If you were to do a carpet for a whole room, you could be earning $1200 for one home repair job! You probably won’t be making this much when you are gaining your footing in the business. But with growing skill and professionalism – it’s possible to get there pretty quick.

Conclusion

The handyman world is diverse, exciting, and one of the most versatile trades out there. If you are starting out as a handyman business owner for a side-hustle or a new career – know that it is rewarding.

Learning the tools, tricks, and triumphs of the trade are straightforward but numerous. Keep your patience, scout your competitors, and you can be a celebrated, profitable handyman business in no time!

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