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How to start a handyman business in 6 steps

How to start a handyman business

If you're passionate about helping people and fixing things, then starting a handyman business could be the perfect opportunity for you. In this guide, we'll take you through the steps of starting and running a successful handyman business including the pros and challenges, how to create a business website, how to make money as a handyman and even give you some inspiration from existing handyman sites.

What is a handyman business?

A handyman business is a service-based type of business that provides a wide range of home repair and maintenance services. Some might refer to this venture as a boring business, but running a Handyman business is steady and reliable, and typically offer services like:

  • General repairs such as fixing leaky faucets or unclogging drains

  • Home improvement projects such as painting, tiling and installing flooring

  • Small remodeling projects such as adding a deck or building a new shed

  • Efficiency upgrades such as installing energy-efficient appliances or windows

Why start a handyman business?

With handyman businesses generating around $54,000 in annual revenue on average and a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.5% through 2033, it’s easy to see why you might want to start a business in this field.

The average homeowner spends $2,335 per year on home repairs, maintenance and insurance, with the home improvement industry currently worth over $530 billion. More and more people are hiring handyman businesses to do their home repairs and maintenance as they do not have the time or skills to do it themselves

These stats show that there’s plenty of opportunity for new handyman businesses, but before diving in, you’ll want to think carefully about the benefits and challenges.

How to start a handyman business in 6 steps

01. Create a business plan

Your business plan should include all the aspects of your business, from your target market and executive summary to your marketing strategy to your financial projections. Its purpose is to keep you and your team on the right path, as well as describe your business to potential investors.

It goes without saying that at this stage, you should take your time doing your research. Make sure that your business plan is sound before you start spending money on equipment and handyman marketing. When you got describe or name your business, keep your target audience in mind. Think of messaging that resonates with your core customer. If you’re struggling to find the perfect name, try using a business name generator.

Once you've written your business plan, write a concept statement to outline your vision.

how to start a handyman business, create a business plan

02. Select a business structure

There are several different business entities and structures available to handyman businesses, such as sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company (LLC) and corporation. Each structure has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it is important to choose the one that is right for your business.

how to start a handyman business, types of business entities

03. Obtain financing or capital

Starting a handyman business can be expensive, so you will need to secure financing or startup capital to get your business off the ground. There are a number of different ways you can raise money for a business, such as loans from banks or credit unions, grants from government agencies and investment from angel investors or venture capitalists.

starting a handyman business, getting a business loan

04. Set up accounting and bookkeeping systems

It is important to set up accounting and bookkeeping systems from the start of your business to track your income and operating expenses. This will help you to stay on top of your finances and make sure that your business is profitable. You'll also need to stay on top of your corporate tax liabilities, if any.

05. Source the specific equipment you need

You will need to source a variety of tools and equipment to start a handyman business. The specific tools and equipment you need will depend on the services you plan to offer.

06. Register your business

You’ll want to register your business in your area and get the right insurance and licensing for running it.

Thinking of starting another type of business? Check out some of these creative service business ideas to help get you started.

how to register a handyman business

If you're itching to kickstart your handyman business within a specific state, you can check out these resources to ensure you're well-equipped for state-specific regulations or any information tailored to your location:

How much does it cost to start a handyman business?

The cost of starting a handyman business can vary widely depending on various factors such as location, scale and your services. Here are some key expenses to consider when trying to calculate how much money you'll need to start this type of a small business.

Starting a handyman business typically requires an initial investment of US$5,000 to US$25,000.

  • Licenses and insurance ($500 - $2,000)

  • Tools and equipment ($2,000 - $10,000)

  • Advertising and marketing ($500 - $5,000)

  • Reliable vehicle ($5,000 - $20,000).

  • Incorporating your business may cost an additional $500 to $1,000.

  • Establishing an online presence with a website and social media accounts is essential and may cost anything from free to start, up.

  • Setting aside working capital for initial expenses and potential fluctuations in income is crucial.

  • Pricing structures for your services should consider competition and local demand.

(All costs are in US$).

Popular handyman business ideas

  • General handyman services: general repair and maintenance

  • Home improvement and remodeling: kitchen and bathroom renovations

  • Outdoor maintenance: lawn care, gutter cleaning and fence repair

  • Specialized services: plumbing, electrical work, carpentry

  • Emergency repair: 24/7 services for urgent plumbing and electrical repair issues

Tips for managing your handyman business

Here are some more tips that will give you a head start when it comes to launching your handyman business.

  • Do your research: Before you start your handyman business, it's important to do your research and understand the industry. This includes understanding the competition, the target market and the financial requirements.

  • Get experience: If you do not have any experience in the handyman industry, you may want to consider getting some experience before you start your own business. This could involve working for another handyman company or volunteering your time at a local handyman agency.

  • Invest in marketing upfront: As you launch your business, make sure to consider your marketing plans and expenses upfront, taking steps to proactively get your business in front of the right people. All the while, you'll want to make sure to keep your branding consistent—which starts with having a unique brand position and visual identity. If you don’t already have a logo, you can use the Wix logo maker to find some options.

  • Network with other businesses: Networking with other businesses in the handyman industry can be a great way to get advice and support. You can network with other businesses at industry events, online forums or through social media.

  • Provide excellent customer service: Customer service is essential for success in the handyman industry. Make sure that you provide your customers with a positive experience from start to finish.

Examples of successful handyman businesses to inspire you

These handyman websites built on Wix effectively showcase their expertise, catalog of services, portfolio of work and more. Check these sites out and make your own website with Wix.

  • A1 Nerdy Homes offers comprehensive handyman and home repair services across New Jersey. Their informative website provides details about financing, the ability to request an online quote, plus a gallery of completed projects including appliance installation, fence building, deck refinishing and room remodels.

  • Handyman Meno has a simple, professional website promising efficient and friendly service in checking off your homeowner to-do list. They offer drywall repair, floor and cabinet installation, picture/mirror hanging, plumbing and painting.

For more inspiration, you can check out these service business examples to help you get your creative juices flowing.

Benefits of starting a handyman business

  • Be your own boss: One of the biggest benefits of this type of business is that you get to be your own boss. You set your own hours, make your own decisions and reap the rewards of your hard work.

  • Create a supplemental income: Handyman businesses can be a great way to create a supplemental income. You can start small and grow your business as you see fit.

  • Low startup costs: The startup costs for a handyman business can be relatively low. You’ll need to purchase some basic tools and equipment, but you may be able to find used items second-hand or even borrow from friends and family. Basic hand tools can range from $10 to $50 a piece, while more advanced equipment like power tools, storage, ladders and scaffolding can range from $50 to $500 per item.

  • High demand: The demand for handyman services is high, especially in urban areas. This means that you have a good chance of success if you can provide a quality service at a competitive price.

  • Flexibility: Handyman businesses can be very flexible. You can adjust your rates and services to meet the needs of your customers. You can also expand or contract your business as needed.

Challenges of running a handyman business

  • Skill diversification: Handymen are expected to have a broad range of skills in various trades such as plumbing, electrical work, carpentry, painting (see how to create a painting business plan) and more. Keeping up with these diverse skills and staying updated on industry trends can be demanding.

  • Scheduling and time management: Coordinating appointments, managing client expectations and ensuring that you complete projects within the promised timeframe can be challenging. Balancing multiple jobs while maintaining quality can be difficult.

  • Unpredictable workload: The workload in a handyman business can vary greatly. Some periods may be extremely busy, while others might be slower. Managing your resources during these fluctuations and maintaining a steady income can be a challenge.

  • Competition: The handyman industry is often competitive, with many other businesses offering similar services. Standing out from the competition and showcasing your unique selling proposition can be challenging.

  • Licensing and regulations: Depending on your location, there might be specific licensing, permits, and regulations that you need to adhere to. Staying compliant with local laws can be time-consuming and complex.

  • Physical demands: The work can be physically demanding, involving lifting heavy objects, working in uncomfortable positions, and being exposed to various weather conditions.

  • Safety concerns: Working with tools and in various environments can expose you to safety hazards. Ensuring proper safety measures for both yourself and your clients is crucial.

How profitable is a handyman business?

The profitability of handyman business ideas can vary depending on several factors, including your location, market demand, the competition around you, your pricing strategies and how efficient your business operations are.

The demand for handyman services can differ based on the location of your business. Urban and suburban areas with a high population density often have more potential customers.

Alongside this assess the demand for handyman services in your target market or area. Areas with a growing population or an aging population may have higher demand for home repair and maintenance services. The same could be said of areas with older properties.

The level of competition in your area can impact your profitability. If there are few handyman services available, you may have the opportunity to charge higher rates and build a larger client list. However, if there's intense competition, you may need to be more competitive with your pricing and offer a variety of services.

On this note diversifying your services can increase your profitability. Offering a wide range of services, such as plumbing, electrical work, carpentry, and general maintenance, can attract more customers. Then determine competitive yet profitable pricing. Consider the rates charged by other handyman services in your area and factor in your costs, including materials, labor, and overhead.

Mistakes to avoid when starting a handyman business

Navigating the early stages of starting a handyman business comes with its own set of pitfalls. To get your business off to the right foot, here are some common mistakes to avoid:

Underestimating costs and overpromising

  • Mistake: Believing you only need basic tools and can wing it on complex projects.

  • How to avoid: Thoroughly research equipment, material and potential permit costs. Be honest about your skillset and don't promise jobs you can't confidently handle.

Ignoring paperwork

  • Mistake: Skipping licenses, contracts and insurance.

  • How to avoid: Get properly licensed and insured for your specific services. Use clear contracts outlining project scope, costs and payment terms.

Marketing misfires

  • Mistake: Relying solely on word-of-mouth or expecting instant online success.

  • How to avoid: Develop a strategic marketing plan leveraging targeted advertising, online directories and community engagement. Offer referral programs and build a strong reputation through quality work and excellent customer service.

Pricing panic

  • Mistake: Undervaluing your services or competing solely on price.

  • How to avoid: Research average rates in your area and factor in skill, experience and overhead costs. Consider offering tiered pricing for project complexity.

Customer service slip-ups

  • Mistake: Unreliable communication, messy work or neglecting follow-up.

  • How to avoid: Be professional and transparent at all stages. Maintain a clean work environment and address any concerns promptly. Remember, satisfied customers are your best referrers.

Starting a handyman business checklist

  • Research and planning

  • Legal considerations, including business structure and registering

  • Licensing and permits

  • Financial plans

  • Equipment and tools, including vehicle

  • Marketing strategies

  • Make a website

  • Service contracts and pricing

  • Safety measures

  • Customer relations and support

  • Continuous learning

Other business ideas you might be interested in

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