Learn How To Start Or Grow A Handyman Business

HS017 – Grow Your Handyman Business With Chuck Solomon

In this episode of the Handyman Startup Podcast I’ve got a special guest – Chuck Solomon.  Chuck is a former handyman business owner, an author of multiple books, and a business consultant.

He’s literally written the book on how to start and grow a handyman business.  (See resources below for a link.)  He’s also just an all around nice guy who’s looking to help tradesmen like you grow your business.

Just like most handymen, Chuck kind of fell into the business and before he knew it had a list of customers asking him to do all kinds of work.  He capitalized on the opportunity, offered excellent service, and soon enough he was running a successful biz.

After 10 years, Chuck decided to hang his hat and sell his business and became a consultant.  He’s now using the valuable knowledge he gained during his own journey to help others.

Back in episode #10, Jim Copenhaver talks about the importance of mentors.  Chuck was one of the mentor’s he was speaking of who helped him build his business.

Talking to Chuck in this episode is very humbling as it makes me realize that there is still a lot I can learn about this business.

Here are a few things we cover in this episode:

  • Why you shouldn’t give free quotes and what to do instead.
  • How to build instant credibility with customers.
  • Who you should hire first if you’re looking to grow.
  • How to find and hire skilled labor step by step.
  • How to qualify customers and avoid tire kickers before they waste your time.

Resources mentioned in the podcast:

Thanks for listening!  And if you get a chance, be sure to leave a written review on iTunes.  It helps me tremendously and you may even get a shout-out on the next episode.

Comments or Questions?

Know somebody that I should interview for the podcast?  Or, want to be interviewed on the podcast?  Let me know in the comments below or send me an e-mail:  bigd at handymanstartup.com.

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  • LaToya June 26, 2014

    Very good interview, I really like the customer qualification process mentioned 🙂 We give free quotes, but mostly over the phone. We have the potential customer send pictures to help give accurate quotes 🙂 Thank you Chuck and BigD

  • Chuck Solomon June 28, 2014

    Thanks for having me on your program. I hope your listeners can glean a few tips from my comments to help grow their business!

    • Dan Perry June 28, 2014

      It was my pleasure, Chuck. Every time I talk to you I learn something about this business and I guarantee if people actually apply what we discussed then their business will grow.

  • The Fence Guy June 28, 2014


    Thanks for another great podcast and thanks to Chuck for taking the time to do the interview. I actually have his book sitting on my desk right now and knew I had to listen to this episode.

    Thanks for all the great information you have provided. I’ve been reading your posts and listening to your podcast since March as I slowly find my way with my business. I’ve purchased and read your First Year Review and have to say that all of your content is top notch.

    Have a great weekend!

    • Dan Perry June 28, 2014

      Thanks! I’m glad you liked the interview and my Yearly Report. There’s plenty more where that came from!

  • LaToya June 28, 2014

    Great interview. We give free quotes but mostly over the phone. Requesting pictures help to provide accurate estimates. Thanks as always. 🙂

  • Eric K June 28, 2014

    Hi, Dan
    As usual, you have some great content in this podcast. I wish I had someone like you and Chuck in the beginning to coach me on my business marketing strategies. I’ve been applying your tips for quite a while now and have noticed a big change for the better. I spent just a few weeks building my online presence and boy has it paid off. I’ve learned that getting your customers to post reviews is also paramount to your success. I’m also going to employ Chuck’s tips regarding quoting over the phone. I’ve made some big mistakes in the past driving all over giving free quotes and ended up having my time wasted. I’m looking forward to improving that area as well. Keep up the good work, Thanks for sharing. -Eric

    • Dan Perry July 7, 2014

      That’s awesome, Eric. It’s great to hear that you are actually applying these tips and strategies and getting real results. Nice work!

  • Lee Wakehouse July 10, 2014


    Hello I started listening to the podcast and couldn’t stop. I want to start my own handy man business and can’t wait to listen to all of the podcasts. I am currently researching what licenses if any I would need to obtain in VA to do small repairs. Chuck was a delight to listen to and I plan on getting his book very soon.


    • Dan Perry July 10, 2014

      That’s a great place to start, Lee. Thanks for listening!

  • PATRICK FEARICK July 16, 2014

    I think im gonna take estimates on a case by case basis. Repeat customers will always get free estimates. Customers within a close proximity will get free estimate. But I think its a good idea to charge for estimates far away. If you think about it, for the small type of jobs that we do, it does not take much time to stop by, look at the job, get a feel for the customer, and then bounce. Its not like were writing up huge proposals for a full house remodel. You can also plan your estimates around your jobs, so their in nearby towns. You bang the job out and stop at the estimate for 15 mins and then go home. Also from what I researched, you will not survive in some markets if you do not give free estimates. You need to do your homework for the area you live in first to see if charging for estimates is a good business decision. Another site with much valuable info is contractortalk.com

    • Dan Perry July 16, 2014

      Good points, Pat. Thanks for sharing that.

      Just remember, not giving free (in person) estimates does NOT necessarily mean charging for estimates either. You can choose to not do in person estimates at all as I’ve been moving toward in my business. Once you’ve gained enough experience, you can talk it over with the customer on the phone and feel them out right there. No need to visit. If it’s a unique project, have them text or e-mail some pictures. I believe this is what Chuck meant.

      I’m actually writing a dedicated blog post about free estimates right now to share my experience and evaluation of free estimates. I’ll be posting that soon!

  • Very good interview. I really like it.. Thanks for your views that you share with us. It will help me to complete my assignment also by taking ideas from your interview.

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