How to Start a Handyman Business – Simple Guide for Best Results

In today’s DIY era, the demand for skilled handyman services continues to grow. Whether it’s repairing leaky faucets, installing light fixtures, or tackling home improvement projects, there’s no shortage of work for capable handymen. If you’re considering venturing into the world of entrepreneurship, starting a handyman business can be a rewarding opportunity. This guide will provide you with a step-by-step roadmap on how to start a handyman business and turn your passion for fixing things into a successful enterprise.

How to Start a Handyman Business

What Is a Handyman?

A handyman is someone who fixes things around the house or at work. They don’t have to be an expert at everything, but they can do a lot of different tasks like fixing pipes, painting walls, or putting up lights. They can work in houses or offices. Being a handyman means doing odd jobs that need to be done to keep a place working right. You don’t need to have special licenses, but some people might get certified in one thing.

You can learn by working with someone else or volunteering to help with building projects. If you work for yourself, you’ll go to different places every day, indoors and outdoors. Your days will be different all the time, which might be one reason why you’d like this kind of job. Many tasks a handyman does are things that homeowners could do, but they might not have the time or ability to do them.

Types of Handyman Services:

There are limitations to what a handyman can do. There are some areas of speciality where you can’t work without a license. Still, there’s a lot you can do when you provide these services.

  • General maintenance: Cleaning gutters, removing old grout, applying caulk, replacing window screens, removing dry rot, fixing doors, and lawn maintenance.
  • Repairing flooring: Repair or refinish different types of floors (wood, vinyl, laminate, or concrete).
  • Deck work: Repair broken rails, replace deck boards, do deck staining, and power wash outdoor areas.
  • Drywall repair: Patch-up drywall and stucco damage (cracks, holes, and dents)
  • Painting: Fresh and touch-up paint jobs for the interior and exterior of homes and buildings.
  • Assembly: Assemble furniture, cabinetry, or exercise equipment.
  • Installing trim: Install or repair trim, baseboards, door casings, and crown moulding.
  • Replacing fixtures: Install faucets, replace door handles and cabinet pulls, and change out lighting fixtures that are already wired.
  • Installing tile: Tile installation for floors, bathrooms, and kitchen backsplashes.

As a handyman, it’s crucial to know your limits. State laws vary: in some, you can only do major construction with a contractor’s license. Exceptions exist, but they often have cost limits. Without a license, extensive electrical or plumbing work may be illegal.

Write a Handyman Business Plan:

The first step in starting a handyman business is to write a business plan. It is a great way to outline your vision for your business. Business planning also helps you identify strengths, weaknesses, and competitors. If you’re getting startup capital from an outside lender, keep in mind that most potential investors want to see business plans before they can provide any funding.

Make sure your handyman business plan includes the following:

  • Cover page with your business name and document title
  • Table of contents to help with easy reading
  • An executive summary that covers the plan’s big details on a single page
  • Business overview introducing and describing your business
  • Handyman services list that you plan to offer customers
  • Pricing strategy for your handyman services
  • Market analysis to evaluate your service area
  • Competitive analysis of other local handyman businesses
  • Marketing plan for advertising your business and winning new customers
  • Employee planning, including hiring timeline and needed roles
  • Financial projections and cash flow strategy for your first year of business

Get a more complete guide to writing a business plan from the Small Business Administration.

Get the Required Handyman License for Your State:

It’s easy enough to become a handyman and join the home services industry, but you need to do it legally. Different states have different handyman licensing requirements. For example:

  • You don’t need a handyman license in California, but projects must be under $500.
  • You also don’t need a Florida handyman license—and there’s no value cap.

Check with your state licensing board to see what’s required in your area, like whether you need a handyman or general contractor license. There may also be local rules in addition to state-level requirements. Make sure you stick to the requirements of your federal or state license.

Secure Funding for Your Handyman Business:

The best way to start a handyman business is with good financial planning. Make a list of everything your business needs and how much it costs, then figure out how you’ll pay for it.

If you don’t already have the startup capital you need, get small business funding through avenues like:

  • Business loan: Apply for a small business loan or a business line of credit that you can pay back later to help deal with costs.
  • Personal loan: Tell your friends and family members that you’re starting a handyman business and ask if they could provide a small startup loan. They may be willing to support you in exchange for a stake in your business.
  • Credit cards: Consider getting a business credit card while you’re getting your finances in order. Make sure your card has a low-interest rate and a rewards program for every dollar spent—and pay it off every month to avoid further debt.
  • Government funding: The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) offers national funding programs to help you become a small business owner, like loans and investment capital. The Government of Canada also offers business grants and financing.
  • Jobber Grants: The Jobber Grants program offers $150,000 in available funding to recognize excellence in small home services businesses.
  • Business financing: Bypass the bank and get access to flexible business financing through Jobber’s partnership with Stripe Capital. Eligibility is based on your history of sales paid through Jobber Payments, so you’ll need to be up and running for a little while before you can apply for financing.

Decide Which Handyman Services to Offer:

This is one of the most important parts of your handyman business startup checklist—figure out which services you’re able and willing to provide to customers.

These are some of the most common service ideas to add to your handyman services list:

  • Furniture building, assembly, and wall anchoring
  • Painting/staining walls, cabinets, and furniture
  • Hanging wall art and shelves
  • Drywall repair
  • Bathroom and kitchen leak fixes
  • Fixture and hardware replacement
  • Blind and curtain installation
  • Tile installation, repair, and maintenance
  • Minor appliance repair or replacement
  • Childproofing and accessibility improvements
  • Furnace filter and window screen replacement
  • Gutter and window cleaning
  • Siding, gate, and fencing repair and painting

The handyman repair and installation services you offer will depend on how much experience you have and which clients you decide to work with.

Purchase Handyman Tools and Equipment:

Whatever your client’s home improvement project or emergency repair might be, you’ll need the right tools for the job. Pick up these basic handyman tools when you head to the hardware store:

  • Allen wrenches
  • Broom, dustpan, mop, and bucket
  • Duct tape, masking tape, and painter’s tape
  • Extension cord
  • Hammer
  • Hand saw
  • LED flashlight
  • Level
  • Nail and screw sets
  • Paintbrush
  • Picture hanging nails and wire
  • Pliers set
  • Power drill
  • Putty and caulk
  • Putty knife
  • Roller brush and handle
  • Rubber mallet
  • Safety glasses, gloves, and earplugs
  • Sandpaper
  • Screwdriver set
  • Shop vacuum
  • Socket set
  • Stud finder
  • Tape measure
  • Utility knife with extra blades
  • Wrench set

Only buy what you need for the first job or two—a basic toolkit should have lots of these items. As you start to take on more jobs, get the tools you need when you need them. You don’t need to buy the best or newest equipment, either.

Define Your Business’s Ideal Customers:

Who do you want your customers to be? It’s easy to say “everyone,” but not everyone is the right fit for your business—you might run into difficult customers or the wrong type of work. It would help if you determined who your target audience is and who would be most likely to work well with you. Put together an ideal customer profile (also known as a buyer persona) that includes factors like:

  • Demographic (e.g., age, income, family status)
  • Geographic location
  • Needs and wants that you can help with
  • Required qualities in a service provider (e.g., speed, price)

Register Your Handyman Business:

When you’re ready to start providing services, it’s time to look into business registration and licensing.

Here’s how to register a handyman business:

  • Choose a name: Pick a handyman business name that describes who you are and what you offer. Make sure it’s memorable and unique in your geographic area. Once you’re done that, create a logo using an online tool like Looka.
  • Register the business: Go to your local registry to register your handyman business. If you’re in the U.S., you’ll need to pay the business registration fee, trademark your business name, and register your domain name.
  • (Here’s how to register your name in Canada, the U.K., or Australia.)
  • Choose a business structure: In the U.S., you can register your business as a sole proprietor, partnership, or limited liability company (LLC). There are more business entity options in other countries. You can also decide if you’d like to incorporate your business.
  • Get a business license: A business license allows you to work in your area legally. Contact your local Chamber of Commerce to see what type of license you need and apply for it.
  • Get an EIN: If you plan to have employees or work with a partner, apply for an employer identification number (EIN) so you can accurately file taxes with the Internal Revenue Service.

Start Marketing Your Handyman Business:

Marketing your handyman business will help you attract potential customers to your business and find more jobs.

Get started with these handyman marketing strategies:

  • Word of mouth is the number-one marketing channel for any handyman business. Set up a customer referral program and ask customers to leave you online reviews.
  • Build a network of business owners and new customers by joining your local business association, attending and sponsoring local events, and promoting your business to other community members.
  • Create social media profiles like a Facebook business page, Twitter profile, or Instagram account. Your ideal customers spend time on these platforms, making them key marketing spaces for handymen.
  • Build a handyman website where a potential customer can learn about your services, see photos of completed jobs, and book services online.
  • List your business on online directories like Google Business, Yelp for Business, and Bing Places. You can also set up a listing on lead generation sites for contractors.
  • Print business cards, get branded uniforms, and buy a vehicle wrap. It will reinforce your business branding wherever you go and make your business look more professional.

Plan to Offer Amazing Customer Service:

Good customer service is essential in creating brand loyalty and ensuring customer satisfaction. The happier a client is, the more likely they’ll book your services again and refer you to friends and family. An excellent customer service experience is memorable, helpful, and personalized to the customer’s needs.

Try these customer service ideas to impress your clientele and boost customer retention:

  • Use a field service CRM to keep track of client information and personalize their customer experience.
  • Send appointment confirmation emails and on-my-way texts so customers know when to expect you.
  • After leaving a job, send a customer service follow-up email so the client knows what to expect next (like your invoice).
  • Allow customers to approve estimates and pay invoices through the client hub.
  • Send thank-you notes after completing a job, and use customer feedback surveys to learn what you did well and where you can improve.
  • Always thank customers for positive reviews and respond professionally to negative reviews.

You should also provide customer service training for your employees if you have any. It will ensure everyone is following the same process and providing the same great customer service.

Also Read: How to Start a Pool Cleaning Business – Step-By-Step Guide

FAQs:

How much does a handyman earn?

On average, handymen earn $54,612 per year. You’ll earn less as an entry-level handyman ($42,657 on average) and more as you become more experienced ($66,086).

How much does it cost to start a handyman business?

Plan to spend around $1,390–2,930+ (USD) to start your handyman business. You’ll need:

  • Business license and registration ($75–400)
  • Handyman license and certification exam, if required ($300–550)
  • Business insurance ($360–1,000+)
  • Home service software ($400)
  • Branded uniform, shoes/boots, and tool belt ($85–$250)
  • Set of starter tools with toolbox ($20–180+)
  • DIY website and business cards ($150)

You’ll spend an additional $5,000–30,000+ if you need to purchase a vehicle to help you get to job sites.

How profitable is a handyman business?

The profitability of a handyman business depends on your level of service and what you can do, your marketing, and how much growth you experience. Earning six figures with a handyman business each year is possible, especially as you grow.

Is Handyman a good business to start?

A handyman business can be excellent to start because it requires low overhead and is scalable, which is good if you don’t have much money to put into it upfront. Handyman services will also always be in demand because everyone needs maintenance work done around their homes.

What do most handyman charge per hour?

It varies depending on your location, the scope of the project, and your skill set and experience, but the national average for handymen is around $60 an hour.

Do you need qualifications to be a handyman?

You don’t necessarily need any educational qualifications or certifications, but to be a handyman, it’s good to have some experience in contracting and work similarly to what you hope to do for clients.

Conclusion:

Starting a handyman business requires careful planning, dedication, and hard work, but the rewards can be significant. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can lay the foundation for a successful and thriving enterprise. From assessing your skills and conducting market research to providing exceptional customer service and managing your finances wisely, each step plays a crucial role in building a reputable handyman business. So, if you’re ready to take the plunge into entrepreneurship, remember these key principles on how to start a handyman business and embark on this exciting journey with confidence.

Ray Austin

Ray Austin, seasoned entrepreneur and business blogger, shares valuable insights on startups, leadership, and navigating the business landscape. Join him on the journey to success through practical advice and a fresh perspective on modern commerce.
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