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The Pros and Cons of Starting a Handyman Business

Written by Posted On Wednesday, 25 April 2018 08:21

For some people, the idea of working for themselves can seem very attractive. Owning your own business can be a lot of work, but it also can feel more rewarding than working the average 9-to-5. Being your own boss can allow for greater flexibility in your schedule, more variety to prevent stagnation, and a sense of accomplishment that you won’t find in a desk job.

Those who have a garage full of tools, a wealth of home construction and repair knowledge, and a desire to work for themselves may be considering starting a handyman business. Handyman work can offer a lot of advantages: startup costs are usually low, you can work part-time, overhead costs are relatively low, and you can choose what work you wish to do.

Of course, running a successful business isn’t easy: there are some downsides to consider. We'll look at the pros and cons of starting a handyman business today, so you can decide.

Licensing and Insurance

Way before the first job is ever accepted, some legal matters need to be handled. In most areas, to operate a business requires a business license. Information regarding the matter should be clarified locally, as every city will have different laws regarding the opening and operation of your business. Your local municipality may have restrictions that must be met before a license is issued, so keep this in mind before you start your journey.

Liability insurance is another requirement for any new business – especially in the sometimes potentially-risky work handymen perform; it can protect you from debilitating litigation. Thankfully, affordable liability insurance for handyman companies is available – if you do some shopping around. For less than $1,000 a year, in a lot of cases, you can protect yourself from liability and instill confidence in your clients by proclaiming that you’re licensed and insured.

Being Your Own Boss

The freedom of working for someone else: this can be the biggest advantage for a lot of people when they consider starting their own venture. It isn’t uncommon for many to have a strained relationship with their direct supervisor(s); for some, it can be downright abusive. For many people trapped in a corporate job, the dream of having no one but yourself and your clients to answer to can seem like absolute bliss.

As the proprietor, you get to choose what you get paid for the work you do. You probably won’t get away with charging prices significantly above the market average for very long, but an experienced handyman can find a lot of wiggle room to make both themselves and their customers happy with the price. Cutting out the overhead of a bloated contracting firm leaves a lot of extra cash that can go into your business, helping it grow even more.

Many people feel like they could improve productivity and overall mood at their place of work with a few staffing changes of their choosing. It can be frustrating when you feel like you have to do more than your fair share of the work. When owning a handyman business, you have complete control over who represents your company.

Advertising and Gathering Clientele

Generally, when you work for someone else, the work is already laid out for you. A small business owner will be responsible for getting the word out on the services offered to potential clients. A new business can expect to have a less than ideal amount of work in the beginning, prior to their reputation growing. Word of mouth advertising is a good, free method to get your name in people’s heads when they have need of the service of a handyman.

There are many low-cost advertising methods to consider. Online communities like Craigslist offer cheap or free ad listings. Facebook can be another online resource to allow for more people to find you through both free and paid advertising. Business cards are the perfect way to quickly exchange information with future customers.

Do not neglect your online presence: more and more people rely on business information available online to influence their decisions. You want to keep the basic information up to date at a minimum, to lessen the risk of losing both prospective and current clients.

Focusing on Work That You Enjoy and Understand

The ability to find a niche and specialize your work can be a big advantage when taking the risk of starting a new business. You may discover that an immense amount of profit can be earned within a niche and/or niches that are under-served where you have real skill. With a good pool of customers, almost any area of expertise can be yours to dominate. Don’t be afraid to explore your interests and expand your knowledge in the pursuit of a focused, effective business.

Starting your own handyman business can be a fulfilling endeavor for the entrepreneur-in-training. As with most worthwhile goals in life, you will have some problems and hardship to deal with along the way. But, for many, finding the satisfaction that comes with marching to the beat of their own drum outweighs any negatives that come with the territory.

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