How to Start a Handyman Business CheaplyCredit:

How to start a handyman business cheaply:

A handyman business is perhaps one of the easiest and cheapest ways to start your own business.  You can start your own business any month of the year, spring, summer, fall, or winter.  It is also one of the easiest small businesses to transform into a larger company.  Many multimillion dollar businesses have been started by handymen working out of their truck or garage.  In this article, we’ll discuss the ins and outs of starting a handyman business and how just about anyone can do it on a shoestring budget.

Step 1: Deciding what Type of Handyman you want to be:

There are many types of handymen.  Most have skill sets that allow them to be “handy” in several different areas.  This is what makes a handyman different from a tradesman.  A handy man may be able to install a new sink, but that doesn’t make him a master plumber.  A handyman may also be able to build a new back porch, but that doesn’t make him a master carpenter.  The term “jack of all trades” definitely refers to handymen.

An important part of being a handy man is realizing which jobs you have the skills for and which should be left to masters in the craft.  Of course, as your handyman skills increase, you may find yourself becoming more and more confident in your capabilities to complete more complex jobs.

When first starting out as a handyman, you’ll want to decide what type of jobs fit your skill set.  If you can do basic carpentry, you may be good at building small additions to homes.  If you know a bit about electrical work, you may be able to replace or move sockets to more convenient areas.  These are just a few examples.

If you don’t have any skills whatsoever, you can still work as a demolition and trash removal handyman.  It doesn’t take much skill to remove certain types of structures or waste.  Lawn work is also a great field for the unlearned handyman.  If you don’t have skills but would like to learn them the basics can usually be found in books at your local library or on the internet.

Step 2: Assemble your Tool Kit:

Once you’ve decided what kinds of services you’ll be offering to your clientele, you’ll need to collect the necessary tools to perform basic work in those fields.  Perhaps you already have tools laying in your garage or shed.  Have a look around.  Most people have more tools than they think.  Yard sales are also a great place to pick up equipment.  Just be sure to ask the seller if you test any electric tools in their sockets before you purchase them.  Craigslist is also a great resource for inexpensive equipment.  It may also be your best bet of locating those hard to find tools that just aren’t showing up at yard sales.   The internet is also a great location for new tools.  It can make comparison shopping for the best deals especially easy.

When buying tools be sure to buy the best tools that you can find.  Doing so will keep you from having to replace them after a couple of jobs.  It will also let you get back most of your purchase price if you decide to get out of the handyman business and sell them in the future.

Step 3: Finding Jobs:

Finding jobs as a handyman has become easier than ever before.  It used to be that local handymen would post up their skill set and contact information on billboards located around town.  They would also have a stack of business cards handy near the cash registers at local establishments such as hardware stores.  While these methods are still very effective and inexpensive, web forums like craigslist have made it easier to reach thousands of people in your local area.  When looking for jobs, don’t forget to mention that you’re doing work to your friends and family.  Oftentimes they’ll know of someone who needs a hand even if they themselves do not.

Step 4: Completing the Job and Collecting your Pay

When you go to investigate a job lead, be sure to ask the customer if they’ll be providing materials for the job or if that will be your responsibility.  This will allow you to provide a good estimate of what you'll be charging.  You’ll also need to decide if you want to be paid on a project basis or on an hourly basis.  Whatever you and the customer agree on becomes your verbal contract and you’ll be obligated to complete it.  Remember, a friendly attitude goes a long way in securing the terms that you would like.

While working, be sure to do a good job on whatever project you’ve been hired for.  A customer who appreciates the work that you’ve done is more likely to refer you to their neighbors and friends as well as call you back next time they need a hand.  Before you collect your payment, be sure to ask if the customer is satisfied with the job.  This shows that you care more about the work you’ve done than your pay.

After collecting your pay, remember to thank them for their business.  By doing this, you’ll ensure that your name is on top of the list next time they need to call someone.  Also, after collecting your pay, remember that this money counts as income and you will have to pay taxes on it.

Once you’ve completed a few jobs, your name and reputation should be starting to get out around town.  You can then take the business as far as you want.  When you start to find larger projects, you may want to consider hiring help to make your jobs go faster.  Before you know it, you might just have a large business of your own.