Why do some handymen have too many customers and others don’t have enough? Is it location? Is it skill level? Is it how much they charge?
When I polled my readers a few weeks ago…
- 35% said they didn’t have enough customers.
- But 25% said they had TOO many customers and couldn’t keep up with demand.
Why such a big difference? What are the 25% doing that works so well? It’s probably not what you think.
Last week two of my existing customers called me to handle some door repairs. Normally this would be business as usual, but the reason they called was unusual.
Those existing customers didn’t call me because I was the first handyman to pop into their heads, or because I’d been working for them for several years, which I had.
In fact, both customers (these are two separate customers) didn’t even think about me for this particular repair. Instead, they went straight to google and searched for somebody who specialized in fixing doors.
And guess who popped up?
You guessed it! I did. But there’s more that makes this situation interesting…
These are both long-term clients of mine. They both hire me on a regular basis, and one has hired me at least once a month for the last 5 years! Yet, she still didn’t think of me to fix her doors. What!?
I would be more surprised but at this point I expect it. It happens all the time. And, this is a major hint why some handyman businesses are booked solid and others struggle to stay busy.
Since I’m not the kind of person to just drop subtle hints, here are 5 key marketing insights from this unexpected situation that can have a huge impact on your income.
#1 – Customers Don’t Know Your Business
Don’t assume customers know your skills or the service you offer. In most cases they don’t. It’s up to you to tell them what you can do for them.
Despite the fact that those customers had been hiring me for years, they didn’t know that I’m good at door repairs. You’d think that it would be obvious that a handyman could solve that problem.
But, there are a LOT of different repairs, and a LOT of handymen who offer completely different services. How are customers supposed to keep track?
That’s why it’s up to YOU to communicate what your offer – especially if there is something you’re really good at.
#2 – The Right Marketing Strategy Will Work For Years
The reason those two customers found me in Google was because of an article I wrote over 5 years ago, and it still shows up in Google. Because of that article and the online presence I built for my business, I was able to completely stop hustling for customers a long time ago.
That means no more paying for leads or posting ads to craigslist. If I want more customers I simply answer the phone.
But, that wouldn’t happen if I just focused on short-term marketing strategies like paying for leads, craigslist, or direct mail. Sure, those strategies are great to help boost business from the start, but they’ll never get you ahead.
If you want a consistent flow of new leads coming in – automatically – online marketing is the best friend you haven’t been properly introduced to yet.
#3 – Don’t Suck
You don’t have to be the best, but offering a quality product/service is the foundation of any good marketing strategy.
If you suck to work with and do poor quality work, nothing else matters. Nobody even cares what other services you offer.
The good news is that you don’t even have to be that good either. Here’s why you can do very well even if you aren’t the best.
#4 – People Don’t Think of a Handyman When They Need a Repair
If somebody needs a fence repaired, they’ll open up their web browser and type in “fence repair.”
If somebody wants a fridge repaired – they’ll search for “fridge repair” or if they know the industry, they might search “appliance repair.” Rarely will a customer know they could call a handyman.
In fact, from my experience, very few people even consider hiring a handyman. Gone are the days where every house has a tight knit relationship with a handyman that handles all their needs.
Most people don’t even know what a handyman really is!
Sure, there are still people out there who call their handyman for everything. I have several of those customers. But, they aren’t the norm. The norm now is that people build a relationship with their phones and computers. When they need a repair, they look to Yelp, Google, or one of the dozen other options.
And as I demonstrated above, they do that even when they already have a handyman.
#5 – Get Your F-ing Business Online!
I’ll stop hinting at it and just say it. If you want to consistently fill your schedule with profitable jobs, build an online presence.
If you think you can get by without doing so, great. But I can guarantee you that you’re leaving money on the table.
And no, I’m not talking about throwing up a crappy one page website or a Facebook page and then complaining to me that it didn’t work. Of course that wouldn’t work. If it was that easy everybody who do it. And honestly, would you really want it to be that easy?
When I say get online, I’m talking about building a solid online presence that leverages the tools and technology that exist today to really kick ass with your business. It’s not rocket science, but it will take effort.
Good marketing is the foundation to a profitable and sustainable business, and it’s what differentiates the highly profitable handyman businesses from those that struggle to turn a profit.
The good news is that marketing isn’t some magical or illusive concept. It’s not some innate skill that you either have or you don’t. Just like most things, it can be learned.
With just a bit of time, effort, focus, and by avoiding pitfalls, you can literally double your profits by learning this essential skill.
How To Market a Handyman Business
If you’d like to learn how to attract more customers, here’s where to start. Download my FREE guide…
“80/20 Handyman Marketing”
You’ll learn the one simple marketing strategy that will keep your schedule booked solid all year long without paying for leads.