How to Start a Handyman Business

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Blog summary

It’s time to turn your handyman skills into a business. Thus, here we have laid out 9 simple steps to make your journey of starting a handyman business easier.

Starting a new business can be an exciting yet intimidating experience. Especially when you are trying to enter a lucrative and competitive market such as the handyman service industry.

Currently estimated at $4.7 billion, it is expected to grow even further with the rise of residential and commercial buildings.

So the big challenge is how to start a handyman business such that you make space for yourself and reap the rewards of this growing industry.

This may pose a lot of questions in your mind such as:

  • Where to start?
  • What are the prerequisites?
  • Where to focus?
  • How to stand out from the rest?

We get it. This is why we have made it simpler for you with 9 steps you need to follow to start your own handyman business. So, let’s take one step at a time.

1. Decide the Services You Will Provide

The first step in starting this business is creating a foolproof handyman business plan that can help you set a solid foundation for your success. You need to start planning by shortlisting the handyman services you need to handle for your residential clients.

Decide your services

Multiple services can be offered for a successful handyman business, such as interior and exterior. These handyman services include:

No. Interior handyman services Exterior handyman services
1 Furniture assembly Gutter cleaning
2 Paint and stain Pressure washing
3 Drywall maintenance and repair Window washing
4 Minor plumbing Screen installation and repairs
5 Minor electrical Exterior paint and stain
6 Minor carpentry General yard maintenance
7 Window coverings Fence and gate repairs
8 Interior winterizations
9 Tiling

For more details, check out our blog on Handyman Services List. You can filter some handyman service jobs based on your skills and the services most in demand.

Once you have finalized the handyman services, you need to:

  • Choose a business name
  • Find your target audience
  • Research your competitors
  • Do a SWOT analysis

2. Decide Your Service Pricing

Your handyman service pricing is very important. It determines:

  • Who is your target market and
  • How you deliver value

For example, you are more likely to attract high-end clients who demand better quality and value if your pricing is higher than the industry’s average.

On the other side, a bigger group of people look for low-priced handyman services with as much quality as they can get.

The second aspect of your pricing is your pricing model. There are 2 common ways a handyman charges for a project:

  • Per hour

    Here you need to decide the amount you will charge for every hour of the service you provide. It can vary as per the experience level of your employees.

  • Fixed price

    Fixed price means that you estimate the amount you will charge based on the size of the project and the services needed. This removes time from the equation and can be even more profitable if you complete the project quickly.

When deciding on your pricing, take utmost care of the profit you will make with each service you provide. Profit is one of the most crucial elements you need to run your handyman business.

However, you also need to ensure that you set a price that your target audience will be willing to pay. So make sure that you hit the sweet spot that brings you enough profit yet the pricing stays appealing to your potential clients.

Quote Your Prices Professionally

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3. Register Your Business

You must register your handyman business to legally run it. So once done with the initial planning, it’s time to jump onto the execution and start your business registration.

register your business

While filing your business registration, you need to select your new business to be registered as:

  • Sole proprietorship
  • Partnership
  • Limited liability company (LLC)
  • Corporation

Many handymen choose to start their business as a sole proprietorship or partnership (if having any business partner). Why? Because both these options are easier and faster to start with. However, they have their downsides.

An LLC or a corporation is relatively more complex to establish and run. But they offer better financial security to your personal assets.

So measure all 4 options and choose the business structure that best fits your needs.

4. Get Licenses and Certificates

Based on the state in which you start your business, you need to follow different laws to acquire the required handyman license and certificates to run the business.

Get licenses and certificates

To help you find your state’s handyman license requirements easily, we have already compiled them for you. Check out the documents and minimum experience you will need to apply as a handyman contractor in your state.

As you start your business, you can be asked to show your license at any time. Providing services without the appropriate business license will land you in legal trouble and also damage your brand name.

Thus, you must get the handyman’s license and work within its scope so you can keep your business away from unwanted headaches.

5. Define and Know Your Target Audience

Once you have set the foundation for starting your handyman business operations, it’s time to make your target audience aware of your services.

Often businesses start appealing to everyone to buy their products/services. That’s a huge mistake, especially when you are just starting out.

So define who you want to target based on your brand positioning and pricing model (as we discussed earlier). But that’s just half the battle. 

You also need to know your target audience more than any of your competitors. Thus, ask yourself these questions:

  • Where do they live?
  • What do they do for a living?
  • What challenges do they face that you can solve?
  • Where do they spend their time?
  • What is the best way to reach them?
  • What’s their purchasing behavior?
  • What factors do they keep in mind before hiring a handyman?

    Pro tip: The better you know your target audience, the better you can serve them. Thus, the more you will gain a competitive advantage.

6. Start Marketing Your Business

If you have done a good job in knowing your target audience, marketing to them will be much easier and more effective. Marketing is important because, as you have just started, nobody knows you and your business yet.

Start marketing your business

A good marketing strategy will: 

  • Introduce your business to your target audience
  • Build your credibility, and
  • Attract them to go for your service over others

To start marketing your business, first, you need to figure out your budget so you can choose the best options that fit it. The good news is that you don’t need a huge budget to get going. You just need a great marketing strategy.

There are two most common ways many handyman businesses approach marketing. Let’s look at both of them:

  • Organic marketing

    Organic marketing is the best form of marketing out there. It is almost free yet highly effective. But the problem is that it can take a lot of time before you start getting the results.

    However, there is no reason to avoid organing marketing. And you should start it early for your new business, given the potential it has. So here are the best ways of organic marketing you can try:

    • Create a website and make it rank in search engines like Google for the appropriate keywords.
    • Use content marketing with your website to showcase your expertise.
    • Provide compelling content on social media.
    • Register your handyman business in listings such as Google My Business and use local SEO to connect with the local audience.

    It demands a minimal investment of your money and thus, many smart businesses are focusing on growing organically.

  • Paid marketing

    Paid marketing is a great option if you are looking for instant results for your business. Many advertising platforms help you reach your target audience within no time. Here are some of them:

    • Google Ads
    • Facebook Ads
    • YouTube Ads
    • Instagram Ads
    • Twitter Ads

    For the best results, find where your target audience spends their time the most and focus on those 1-2 platforms.

    Then set a small budget to get the equivalent result. But the problem with paid ads is that you will get the results as long as you keep paying them. The moment you stop paying, they will stop sending you potential clients.

    The other option for you to try is traditional marketing – which is expensive and ineffective. But here are some ways you can do it:

    • Flyers and banners
    • TV ads
    • Newspaper ads

7. Invest in Quality Equipment

As a handyman business, you must have the essential tools to get started. But the question that comes up is which tools should you buy?

Don’t worry. It will be much easier for you to pick the right tools if you are clear on which services you will provide (as discussed in step 1). 

So decide on your initial handyman services before picking the right tools to provide those services. To give you an overview, here are some common handyman tools:

  • Basic handheld tools such as screwdrivers, hammers, etc.
  • Power tools like a drill, saw, etc.
  • Ladders
  • Safety equipment
  • Cleaning supplies

Now you may be wondering – does the quality of tools matter? Yes, because it is one of the factors that determine the quality of your services.

On top of that, cheap tools have a shorter lifetime. Thus, forcing you to buy them again and again. So, it’s better to invest in more reliable tools right from the beginning.

8. Open a Bank Account For Your Business

Create a business bank account before starting your own handyman business to manage your cash flow. Being a small business owner, it can get overwhelming to deal in cash and handle the capital flow of your business.

Here are the benefits of having a business bank account:

  • Get approvals for different registrations and licenses.
  • Deal with your clients and suppliers professionally.
  • Keep track of your profits, expenses, and other money-related issues.
  • Manage your employee salaries and maintain your financial balance.
  • Calculate your taxes easily.

    Pro tip: Should you choose to go for an LLC or a Corporation as your business structure, having a separate bank account also saves your money in the personal account, if you fall into any legal trouble.

9. Invest in Business Insurance

You should look for business insurance that can help you manage: 

  • Worker’s compensation claims
  • Client damage covers
  • Business risk covers
  • Other liabilities
Invest in business insurance

Business insurance is important because there will definitely be unexpected events in your journey of building a successful handyman business. And having insurance will empower you to easily recover from any damages.

It also improves your brand name and credibility in the handyman industry. How? Because investing in business insurance reinforces the fact that you care for the welfare of your clients and employees.

    Pro tip: Purchase general liability insurance to cover yourself from bodily injuries and damages to clients’ properties.

If you employ workers in your business, having worker’s compensation insurance will insure medical expenses, lost wages, and rehabilitation costs for injured/ill employees.

Another way to boost your brand and trust is to use professional invoicing software. Sending accurate estimates and invoices sets you apart from your competitors as it shows that you value transparency.

Win New Clients and Grow Your Handyman Business

InvoiceOwl is your complete digital invoicing solution so you can create, manage, and send branded estimates and invoices easily.

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Frequently Asked Questions
  1. Is the handyman service business profitable?

    Yes. With the rise in residential and commercial buildings across the country, the demand for small-scale home repair services is also increasing.

    So if you deliver excellent work for your clients as a handyman business owner, you can earn great profits with an increase in your clientele.


  2. How to price a handyman service?

    Pricing your handyman services is an important task that can be fulfilled by looking at different competitors and industry standard pricing in the industry.

    You must choose between fixed and hourly rates and pick the ideal profit-making pricing model for your handyman business.

    Once decided, you need to consider the following expenses before giving the final estimate to your prospects:

    • Service costs
    • Employee training
    • Salaries
    • Travel costs
    • Equipment costs
    • Taxes

  3. How to become a handyman?

    We recommend you to read our detailed blog post on it: How to Become a Handyman in 2024?


  4. How to promote handyman service?

    There are many ways you can promote your handyman service, such as:

    • Optimizing your website for search engines
    • Register on business listing such as Google My Business
    • Social media
    • Paid ads
    • Banners, posters, etc.

    Out of all of these, optimizing your handyman website for search engines can give you the highest return on investment. However, its process can test your patience.

Conclusion

So now you have 9 steps you need to take to start your handyman business from scratch. With a roadmap laid for you, you won’t have to make any guesses. And thus, saving your time, effort, and money.

However, even if you are just starting, you need to focus on making your business a go-to brand in your region.

And one of the ways to do it is by sending professional estimates and invoices. So try our free handyman invoice templates. Or better yet, sign up for the free trial of InvoiceOwl to completely digitize your invoicing system.

Author Bio
Jeel Patel
Jeel Patel
Founder

Jeel Patel is the founder of InvoiceOwl, a top-rated estimating and invoicing software that simplifies the invoicing and estimating processes for contractor businesses. Jeel holds a degree in Business Administration and Management from the University of Toronto, which has provided him with a strong foundation in business principles and practices. With understanding of the challenges faced by contractors, he conducted extensive research and developed a tool to streamline the invoicing and estimating processes for contractors. Read More

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