Delicious Mexican Food

While enjoying a delicious meal at a Mexican place with my wife I learned a valuable marketing lesson.

The food was damn good.  I’m talking about delicious nachos and the best molcajate I’ve ever tried.  Well, it was the only Molcajete I’ve ever had, but it blew my mind!  (See the picture)

Yet, the place was pretty much empty.  This concerned me because this place could shut down, which would mean no more Molcajete for me.

Not good.

This gave me the desire to help them out.  I figured that if I tried to give them marketing advice, they’d just smile, say thanks, and not take it.  So instead, I helped them in a way they couldn’t refuse.

I decided to do something I never do and gave them a great online review.  I downloaded the Yelp app to my iPhone, took a picture of my food, and left a 5 star review raving about my experience.

This is when I learned a valuable marketing lesson.   [Read more…]

Computer Screens showing graphs and charts

Are you a handyman, contractor, or plumber who is trying to get more customers?

If so, it’s about time you optimized your Google My Business Profile and start taking full advantage of the free and effective marketing tool.

When I first started my handyman business three years ago, I set up a Google Places (now called Google My Business) profile, and within a couple of days I was already receiving leads from it.  Since, it has helped me generate many leads and continues to play a significant role in my online marketing strategy.

I love tools like this because they help lower the barrier of entry to get started as a service pro.  In this article, I’ll share how you can use this free tool to grow your business. [Read more…]

Lost Money in the Garbage

Some people say that what you don’t know can’t hurt you.  I’m gonna call bullshit on that one.

Often, it’s the things that you don’t know that can hurt you the most.  At least I find this to be true when it comes to business.

I’ll explain.

When I first started my handyman business, I did a lot of things right.  I spent gratuitous amounts of time making sure I looked professional and on marketing my services.  I also made a strong effort to provide great customer service, do what I said I’d do, and always provide quality work.  This focus on marketing, quality, professionalism, and service is what led to my current success as a handyman.

However, I also did a couple of things completely wrong.  For example, dropping a customer’s brand new 50″ plasma on the ground and shattering the corner was a clear mistake.  Answering the phone and showing up to contractor board sting operation was another experience I’d like to take back.

Yet, neither of these two mistakes ended up costing me all that much money.  My biggest mistake ended up costing much, much more.  Over $50K in my first year in fact. [Read more…]

7 Power Tools To Never Leave The Shop Without

Angle Grinder Tool Shooting Sparks

Are you just starting your handyman business and wondering which tools you need to carry with you?

Unfortunately, there isn’t a simple answer.  It pretty much just depends on the services you offer.  As I’ve said before, just because you’re a handyman doesn’t mean you have to know how to do everything or even be prepared for everything.

Spend some time deciding on the services that you will provide and then get the tools required for those services.  Or, even better, just buy tools as you need them.  That’s what I did.

Eventually, you’ll get your tool situation dialed in to fit your style.

Personally, I have a minimalist approach to the tools I carry with me to keep things simple.  If I don’t need to cut mitered edges, I won’t bring a chop saw.  If I’m not going to do a lot of cutting or benchwork, I leave the sawhorses at home.  This not only eliminates the need to tow a trailer, but helps keep my truck clean and organized.

However, there are certain tools that I use often enough to where they have a permanent home in my truck.  Here are the 7 power tools that I never leave the shop without. [Read more…]

A man thinking in front of a lightbulb.

In this blog post I’m going to share a simple, but rarely implemented strategy to get re-inspired, boost your motivation, and help you get more done while enjoying the process.

Recently, I took 3 straight weeks off to just evaluate, think, and strategize.  That’s right, I didn’t work, answer my phone, or even worry about what wasn’t getting done.  And I have to say, it was the best thing I’ve done for myself and business in a long, long, time. [Read more…]

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Need help with your bookkeeping or accounting?

Good news!  In this episode, I interview Randal DeHart, the leading expert in outsourced construction bookkeeping and accounting services for small construction companies across the USA.

And, Randal isn’t just an accountant, he’s also a former plumbing contractor with 20 years of experience.  So, not only does he understand handyman businesses from a accounting perspective, he understands it from the contractor’s perspective.

Randal’s been involved in the construction industry pretty much since he was born as his dad was a contractor.  After going to school to become an accountant, he decided, like many of us, that he didn’t want to work in an office.  So, he changed his direction and set out to become a plumber.

After very successfully starting, growing, and selling his plumbing company, he got back into accounting and now does it full time, focusing solely on helping contractors, handyman, and other tradesman grow their businesses through an intelligent and strategic approach.

I’m honored to have Randal on the show and I’ve personally gained a lot of highly valuable business knowledge from him.

Here’s what we discuss in this episode: [Read more…]

Marketing words on a gold grid resembling a computer chip

Are you stuck competing with cheap labor?  Are you struggling to generate a healthy profit because there are so many other handymen who are willing to do the same job for less?  Are you afraid that your bids are too high?

A while back, I wrote a blog post and discussed a simple tile repair where I made $225.  After publishing this post, I got an e-mail from one of my readers who said “There is no way I could charge that much in L.A.  There are too many illegal immigrants here to compete with.  Here, that job would only bring about $50.”

At the time of getting this e-mail, I thought he could be right.  Maybe I’m just in a better area that is less competitive for price and that’s why I’m able to charge more.  Maybe some areas just won’t support a high-end handyman.

However, I’ve realized since that this is not the case at all.  If fact, it doesn’t matter where you live, there will always be cheap labor to contend with.  There will always be somebody who is willing to do a job for less.  To the reader who wrote me this e-mail and to countless other handymen and contractors, this would appear as a pricing problem.

But, this isn’t a pricing problem at all, it’s a marketing problem.  Here’s why. [Read more…]

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Are you still on the fence with whether or not a handyman business can actually work?  Or, are you hesitant to get started?  If so, you’re going to get inspired by this episode where I share a great interview with brand new Australian handyman business owner, Justin Terrill.

This is the first time I’ve had a handyman on the show who is just getting started, and it turned out amazing.

Justin started his handyman business only a couple of months ago and is already booked out two weeks in advance while charging a premium for his services.  He was previously a teacher, when he realized that he enjoyed working with his hands much more.  So, he put his skills that he learned from working on a farm to good use and got started with his handyman business in Sydney, Australia.

I got in touch with Justin when he contacted me to thank me for helping him get started.  As a member of the Handyman Web Academy and a reader of this blog, he took action on the knowledge that he learned and has had amazing results.

It was inspiring to talk with Justin, and even though he’s just getting started, I learned a lot from him.  Whether you are just getting started or have been in business for a while, Justin’s got some great insights to share.

Here’s what we cover in this episode: [Read more…]

Smartphone with functionality icons

Ever since I’ve started my handyman business, I’ve pretty much operated entirely from my phone, only using my desktop for monthly accounting and marketing purposes.

When it comes to managing customers, quoting jobs, taking notes, tracking payments, taking credit cards, or scheduling, it’s all done on this amazing little device they call an iPhone.

No paper what. so. ever.  I like it that way.  And, the best part is that all of this software is so cheap that anybody can use it.  For example, the main App I use to run my business only set me back $12.99. (now it’s only $5.99)

I love technology, and as it turns out, my customers enjoy it as well.  I recently received a positive review from a customer and one thing she mentioned was that she liked how I was tech savvy.

Not only does this technology save me some serious paperwork headaches, it adds value to the customer and makes my business more efficient.

So, if you’re still walking around with a notepad, a schedule book, and a rolex of your customers, it’s time to upgrade.  Here’s how to do it for practically no cost. [Read more…]

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When I started my handyman business 3 years ago, I didn’t look like the typical handyman.  I didn’t have much experience, I didn’t have a reputation to help spread the word, and I looked like I was 18.

Let’s just say customers weren’t sprinting to their phones in a mad dash to call me.

That’s why I knew I’d have to go through extra steps to make myself look professional.  I had to find a way to look like I was actually an established business.  Otherwise, what reason would a customer have to even trust me?

So, I spent some time branding my business.  I did all the things necessary to make it appear as if I’d been doing this for a while.  I went out of my way to differentiate myself from other handymen.

As it turns out, overcompensating for my weakness ended up helping my business tremendously.

Not only did the extra time branding my business convince customers I was worth hiring, but it increased my perceived value in their minds.

The fact that I looked like I was a kid didn’t matter anymore.  I presented myself as if I had my shit together, and that was enough to convince them to at least give me a shot.

Of course, haveing a pretty logo designed and putting on a uniform didn’t get me customers by itself.  I still had to put effort into generating leads.  But it certainly helped close the deal on many occassions and it continues to do so.

That’s why in this podcast, I discuss the power of branding and tips for creating your brand.  Whether you are just getting started or have been in business for a while, a great brand can take your business to the next level. [Read more…]