Starting a home repair business is a great way to get your feet wet as an entrepreneur. There is a fairly low barrier for entry because you can easily start out as a one person operation and the cost to start up is low. I started my handyman business as a one man operation and continue to operate in this manner. It’s profitable , low risk, I work for myself, and I enjoy it. In this article I provide a step by step process for starting a home repair business based on my experience.
Since you are interested in starting a home repair business, you are probably handy and posses most of the skills required, or at least enough handyman skills to get started. A common misconception most people have about this industry is that you need to have a ton of construction experience and know how to do everything. This just ins’t so and I’m living proof. If you have the desire to help people, can work well with your hands, and can solve common problems with a home, that’s all you really need.
Ok, so enough talking about why this business is so great, lets get down to how to start a home repair business.
It’s as easy as 1,2,3………4,5,6…….7,8….OK, there’s a few steps.
As with any other business, there should be a lot of thought and planning during the initial setup. I’m not a fan of writing a business plan and believe it’s only necessary if you are trying to get outside funding. However, forming a strategy and planning are crucial to business success.
Step 1: Are you cut out for this business?
The success of your home repair business isn’t going to be determined by how smart you are or how well you planned your attack from the beginning, the long term success of your business will be determined by your motivation. If you don’t enjoy what you are doing, the motivation will slowing wither away and so will the profits.
Another thing to consider is whether or not you are a self starter or need direction in order to be effective. There are a lot of decisions you will need to make everyday and even the small decisions count. Possessing the ability to make these decisions reasonably fast and move to the next thing is paramount.
I recommend reading this article to help you decide: Lifestyle Design and Choosing to Start a Handyman Business .
Step 2: What services are you going to offer?
Start by listing your handy skills and then try to figure out which services you would enjoy doing. Are there any services that gets you excited to think about? I know that I really enjoy setting up home theatre systems so that is one of the primary services that I offer. Whenever I get the chance to set one up, it’s the highlight of my work week.
Often times people enjoy what they are good at. If you are really good at repairing washing machines you might find yourself enjoying it even though somebody else would hate it. That feeling of excelling and being the best at what you do can really make a difference and keep you motivated.
Licensing is required for certain trades and the laws governing these licenses vary in each state. Make sure to check your state laws before offering or advertising for any home repair services.
Another thing to consider when deciding what services to offer is your target audience, which leads to the next step.
Step 3: Who’s homes will you repair?
Choosing a customer base is a very important part of the process and there are a couple things that are worth considering. First, choose a customer base that actually needs home repair and is willing to pay for it. An example that immediately comes to mind is single women 50+ that live alone. Chances are, these women not only have money, but are more than willing to give it to an honest home repair person so they can live comfortably. Another plus is that this group typically lacks the skills or desire to complete most home repair tasks. This is only one example as there are several profitably groups to target.
The second thing to consider, something that most people forget about, is which audience you want to work with. Liking the type of people you deal with will make business much more enjoyable.
Now that you’ve chosen your target market, getting to know them will help you reach them with advertisements. Try to learn how they shop and where they go when they need a home repair. Then, be found in those places.
For more on choosing a target market: Targeting the Right Customers
Step 4: Setting up Shop
Now that you know what home repair services you will provide and who you will provide them to, it’s time to get everything in order so can start raking in the cash. You may choose to postpone some of theses steps and complete them as you go, but keep in mind that it gets more difficult to focus on these items while balancing a customer schedule.
Here is a list of some of the tasks you should complete for the initial setup.
- Choose a name for your home repair business.
- Choose a business structure for your handyman business.
- Open a business bank account.
- Have a logo designed. It helps you look professional and helps your customers remember you.
- Get some business cards and begin handing them out right away.
- Set up a business address separate from your home address.
- Get some liability insurance if necessary.
When I started my handyman business, the first thing I did was tell my friends and family what I was doing. This allowed me the opportunity to start getting business right away and helped fund some of the items on the above list. It’s not likely that you will be overwhelmed with business from telling friends and family, but it may just provide that extra bit of money and motivation you need to move forward.
Step 5: Market Your Services
This is where you will spend the majority of your time during the first couple of months in business. Just because you set up this awesome, well branded business, doesn’t mean the calls are going to immediately start pouring in. People don’t know you exist and it’s time to let them know.
Depending on who your target market is, you’re marketing strategy and the marketing methods you employ will be different from the next guy. I’m assuming you have a limited budget so you won’t be able to try everything at once. You can start by first employing the strategies that you believe will be most effective and then moving on from there. Continually testing new methods and tweaking existing methods, along with tracking the results, will help tremendously in the effort to reach your audience without breaking the bank.
Since you are reading this post, you probably know the power of the Internet and Google. Getting your home repair business listed online is a free and effective way to reach many audiences. Much of my business comes from people simply searching the keyword “handyman” in a google search and finding my business. In fact, the majority of my marketing efforts and testing is done online. The other portion of my business comes from word of mouth and existing customers.
Starting a home repair business is the easy part.
It’s true, a home repair business is pretty easy to set up. The difficult part is actually getting the phone to ring and keeping a steady flow of business. There 1,000 different ways to market this type of business and 990 of those don’t work. The goal of this blog is to help you find the ones that do work.
To learn more, follow me on twitter @bigDHandyman or subscribe to my rss feed.
Have questions or just want to know more? Leave a comment below. I check them daily and I would be more than willing to help out.
As always, thanks for reading.