How to Start a Handyman Business


Have you ever thought about starting your own handyman enterprise? If you’ve got the right aptitude for fixing things and want to be your own boss, learning how to start a handyman business could be for you.

This article will walk you through what you need to know about how to start a business as a handyman, including the steps, important advice, and strategic insights.

Why Start a Handyman Business?

Starting a handyman business can be a lucrative and fulfilling endeavor for many. Given the perpetual need for maintenance and repair services, there’s a sustainable market for skilled individuals in this trade. Here are several compelling reasons why someone might consider launching a handyman business:

  • Diverse Client Base:
    • Homes: Homeowners constantly need repairs, whether it’s fixing a leaky faucet, repairing drywall, or installing new fixtures.
    • Commercial Properties: Businesses, too, require regular maintenance to ensure their spaces are safe and functional.
    • Offices: With the wear and tear of daily operations, offices often need upkeep or modifications, from assembling furniture to fixing electrical issues.
  • Flexibility:
    • Work Schedule: As a handyman, you can set your own hours, which means you have the flexibility to work around your personal commitments, be it family, education, or other jobs.
    • Scope of Work: Choose the kind of jobs you want to take on. If there’s a particular skill you excel at or enjoy more, you can specialize in that.
    • Geographic Mobility: Handyman skills are not limited by location. If you move or travel, your skills are always in demand wherever you go.
  • Steady Demand:
    • Rising Industry Sales: The fact that the industry reported more than $7 billion worth of sales in 2020 highlights the significant demand for handyman services.
    • Recession Resistance: When economic times are tough, people often choose to repair instead of replacing or renovating, meaning handymen might see more business during economic downturns.
  • Low Entry Barriers:
    • Initial Investment: Starting a handyman business doesn’t require a huge capital investment. Often, you can start with the tools you already have.
    • Training and Skills: While formal education or a license might not be necessary in every location, continuous learning and enhancing your skills can set you apart.
  • Job Satisfaction and Independence:
    • Direct Impact: Seeing your work’s immediate results and your client’s satisfaction can be immensely gratifying.
    • Autonomy: Being your boss means making the decisions about how you run your business, from choosing clients to setting prices.
  • Expansion Opportunities:
    • Broadening Services: As you gain experience and learn new skills, you can offer a wider range of services to your clients.
    • Hiring and Growth: As demand grows, you can hire other handymen, thus transforming from a solo venture to a larger operation.

Considering these points, it’s clear that starting a handyman business can be a beneficial step for those who have the skills and the drive to provide quality service. It offers financial prospects, flexibility, and the gratification of helping others.

Who Employs a Handyman and What Do They Do?

Various types of people need handyman services for everything from repairs to improvement projects and maintenance. These groups include:

Property Management Companies

These companies can use a handyman for a variety of things. Jobs include everything from fixing broken appliances to replacing light fixtures and fixing leaky faucets. A handyman can also help property managers with emergency repairs and other requests from tenants.

Handymen also look after exterior duties for rental properties like landscaping.

Private Individuals

Homeowners and other private individuals can hire a handyman. They can use help with outdoor tasks like landscaping and gardening. They can also help inside with painting walls and upgrading light fixtures as well as general repairs and maintenance.

Small Businesses

Small businesses can use one of these helpers for office maintenance. Handyman can help by fixing issues with plumbing, restrooms, and break rooms and looking after electrical issues.

A small business can hire one person to assemble shelving units and organize stock rooms.

The Fundamentals of Starting Your Own Handyman Business

You’ll need to put together several building blocks to start a business. Check out the following.

Research and Market Analysis of Handyman Jobs in Your Area

how to start a handyman business

Proper research and market analysis are critical to get your business started on the right foot. Good market research helps you identify demand and assess the competition in three critical areas. That helps you to put together a pricing strategy.

Creating a Business Plan for Your Handyman Service

how to start a handyman business

A good business plan will be specific and concise. It’s important to be clear when you are defining your niche and services. Mention general repairs, plumbing, or electrical services as they are suited to your business.

A detailed financial plan is important, and that needs to include ongoing expenses and startup money

Here’s some excellent advice from the Small Business Administration.

Opening a Business Bank Account

how to start a handyman business

Getting the right information means acquiring the right documentation, like an employee identification number and handyman business names. You’ll need personal information, too.

Handyman vs. Contractor (What’s the Difference?)

The handyman doesn’t usually require a license. They work on general repairs and maintenance for commercial residential places. Contractors focus on big construction and renovation work. They need to be licensed and also have subcontractors.

Attribute Handyman Contractor
Scope of Work Typically handles small jobs and repairs in homes. Handles larger scale projects, such as remodeling, structural work, or installations.
Licensing May or may not have a professional license, depending on jurisdiction. Typically required to have a state or local license for specific trades (e.g., plumbing, electrical).
Cost Generally charges less due to the smaller scope of tasks. Might charge more due to the complexity and size of the project, insurance, and licensing requirements.
Training May have varied experience in multiple minor trades but not necessarily formal training in any specific one. Often has formal training or apprenticeship in a specific trade or construction management.
Duration of Job Jobs are typically short-term, often completed within a day. Projects can span days, weeks, or even months.
Insurance & Liability Might have basic insurance. It’s always a good idea to ask. Typically carries liability insurance and worker’s compensation to cover larger projects and teams.
Specialization Generalist; knows a bit about many home repair tasks. Specialist in one or more trades or oversees specialists as part of a larger project.
Tools and Equipment Carries tools for a variety of small jobs. Might have access to more specialized or heavy-duty equipment for specific trades.
Contracts Might work on verbal agreements or simple written ones for small tasks. Often requires formal contracts detailing scope of work, payment terms, and other specifics.
Permits Might not pull permits for small repairs. Typically familiar with local permit requirements and can pull necessary permits for larger projects.

Legal Requirements and Permits for Handyman Businesses

Following are some legal aspects of a successful business.

Look into General Liability Insurance and Business Insurance

how to start a handyman business

The most important thing here is to make sure the coverage protects against property damage and bodily injury. Look at equipment and tool protection too.

Consider Obtaining a Handyman License

how to start a handyman business

You may or may not need one of these licenses. However, it might be necessary if you need insurance and/or permits for some projects. Check by location since you might need a business license and a contractor’s license.

Check Handyman Laws

how to start a handyman business

A handyman can be considered a contractor if the project is a certain size. Generally, many states don’t have specific laws for this job. However, here’s a list of requirements by state.

Startup Costs to Consider When Starting a Handyman Business

A handyman needs start-up money. Following are some of the bigger expenses.

Tools and Equipment

how to start a handyman business

You’ll need the best handyman tools to get started, which will include items like an impact driver, circular saw and top-of-the-line cordless drill. Those initial costs can set you back more than $1000.

A telescopic ladder system can cost around $400.

Permits and Licenses

how to start a handyman business

A general business license is typically required. Depending on where you live they can cost between $50 USD up to $400 USD.

Marketing and Advertising

how to start a handyman business

Advertising online is the way to go. Search engine optimization for a website can cost approximately $ 300 USD to $1000 USD a month. Social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook are free or have low costs.

Expense Category Items/Description Cost
Tools and Equipment – Impact driver
– Circular saw
– Top-of-the-line cordless drill
More than $1,000 USD
Telescopic ladder system Around $400 USD
Permits and Licenses General business license (Cost varies by location) Between $50 USD to $400 USD
Marketing and Advertising Search engine optimization for a website Approximately $300 USD to $1,000 USD per month
Social media platforms (Instagram, Facebook) Free or with minimal costs for promotions and advertisements

How to Start a Handyman Business From Home

Starting one of these businesses from home means you won’t need to pay rent or maintain a commercial space. However, there can be zoning regulations and restrictions.

Types of Handyman Services to Offer

There are different types of services under the handyman banner.

Home Repairs

how to start a handyman business

These professionals can handle carpentry and repairs as well as electrical and plumbing fixes like leaky faucets.

Renovation Services

how to start a handyman business

They also offer renovation and remodeling for items like kitchen cabinets and countertops. A good handyman can also replace tiles and fixtures in the bathroom.

Seasonal Maintenance

how to start a handyman business

A good handyman can look after cleaning your gutters and even insulating pipes and checking heating systems before the winter.

Odd Jobs

how to start a handyman business

They can also look after odd jobs around the house like installing wall mounts for TV or putting together tables and chairs.

Steps to Launching a Profitable Handyman Business

Following are some steps that can help you launch your business.

Sourcing Materials

how to start a handyman business

Starting a business means looking to local suppliers like local hardware stores. A startup can also find materials through online marketplaces like Home Depot and Amazon.

Setting Up Your Pricing Model

how to start a handyman business

You need to strike a fine balance between competitive pricing and undervaluing any of your services. Transparency is key with a written hourly rate project estimate. Always add in the cost of labor, materials, and additional charges.

Marketing and Branding

how to start a handyman business

Your logo needs to be consistent across all of your marketing. That includes a website, as well as flyers and business cards.

How to Operate a Successful Handyman Business

Following are a few more tips on how to be successful.

Quality Workmanship

how to start a handyman business

Before and after photos are an excellent way to show off the quality of your work, positive feedback including customer testimonials, is valuable.

Customer Relationship Management

how to start a handyman business

Updating the progress on each project is an excellent way to maintain a good relationship with customers. Following up after a job is done and asking for feedback works

Scaling Your Operations

how to start a handyman business

Being able to diversify your services means hiring more staff. Specifically, target online marketing campaigns to draw more customers.

FAQs: How to Start a Handyman Business

How profitable is a handyman business?

The amount of money you can make depends on how much work you take on, your location, and the kind of services you offer. Averages put profits around $ 30,000 USD-$60,000 USD annually.

Is a handyman business a good idea?

This is a flexible business with low startup costs and an excellent opportunity to grow. However, the industry is competitive and the jobs can be demanding.

How should handyman services be priced?

Cost-based pricing takes into account overhead, labor, and materials. Market-based pricing takes into account the competition within your area.

Does a handyman always need Business Insurance?

Liability insurance generally protects a handyman against property damage or accidents. It’s possible to operate without business insurance but it is never a good idea.

Image: Envato Elements


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