This is the second of a series of posts that I’ll be doing every month. In these monthly reports, I’ll first discuss the events that took place during the month and what I accomplished with my handyman business. Then, I’ll go over my income and my expenses in detail and discuss the reason for these results. Lastly, I’ll finish up discussing what my plans and goals are for the following month.
I’m sharing this for a couple of reasons:
- I want to help anybody looking to start a handyman business to understand what to expect financially. I remember when I was first considering starting a handyman business (about 4 months ago), my primary questions were “how much can I make and how much will it cost to start?” Well, it turns out I still don’t know the answer to that question, but I’m definitely going to find out.
- I think it is an excellent way to track my progress and keep myself accountable. If you read my post, 5 Steps to Ensure Success, I mention how important it is to write your goals down and tell people. That’s exactly what I’m doing here.
Events and Accomplishments
January 2012 marks my second month in business. Just like in December, my primary goals were not to make money, but to set myself up for success in the future. I did some really good things for my handyman business this month and I’m starting to feel more like a legit business owner. I made some good contacts and experimented with some interested marketing strategies as well. Overall, I consider this month a successful one, even though my income was pretty weak.
In order to differentiate myself from other handyman out there, I decided to get some custom uniforms with my logo embroidered on them. My intention is to look more professional, and to eventually be able to demand a higher price for my services. I can already say that it has been successful. Not only do I feel more professional, but I’ve already received compliments from two customers. One of these customers happened to be an owner of a local moving company. As it turns out, they are in need of a regular handyman to fix all the damage they cause to customer’s houses while moving. The owner was very impressed with my uniforms and was equally excited that he had met me! I’m sure I’ll be getting reoccurring business from him and I have my uniforms to thank for that.
This is something that I should have had a long time ago, but didn’t get around to having made until early in January. This was because I wanted to have my logo designed and all my information set up before making the business cards. If I could go back, I would probably have just had some really generic cards made that included my name and contact information. I ran into several situations where I may have benefited from giving out a business card, but didn’t have any to give. I finally got them though, and they look great.
Company Phone #
I wanted to have a way to separate business phone calls from personal calls so I could answer the phone differently depending on who was calling. I also didn’t want to give my personal number out to everybody.
I ended up finding a really good solution that was absolutely free. It’s called Google Voice and you can set it up by clicking here. You can pick your own phone number and have it forwarded to your current cell phone. I set my phone up so that when somebody calls my business number, my caller ID displays my business number and I know it’s a business related call. Brilliant!
I spent a significant amount of time in January improving my website and working on SEO (search engine optimization). Basically, I’m trying to get my handyman business website to the first page of google whenever somebody types in “Reno Handyman.” I’m currently being bounced around between pages 6 and 10. It takes time and effort to get to the front page, but I think it will be more than worth the time I put in.
Craigslist can be an excellent way to get customers, but so far not for me. I’ve had ads running on Craigslist for the last 3 weeks and have only received one call and one e-mail. I believe this is partially due to being a novice Craigslist advertiser, and very heavy competition due to the economy. I’ve seen people post handyman services at $10/hour! Unfortunately, that’s what most Craigslist customers are looking for. I’ll continue my experimentation with this and once I figure it out, I’ll dedicate a post explaining how to advertise on Craigslist.
Income and Expenses
- Existing customers: $320
- Materials: $189.28
- Business Cards: $77.74
- Office Supplies: $43.32
- Service Magic: $150
- Uniforms: $299.51
- Bank Fees: $14.00
- Vehicle Mileage: $42.18
Next Month’s Goals
Ok, time to get down to business. It’s money making time…
Goal #1: Net at least 1,000 dollars for the month of February
Looking at my previous two months performance your probably thinking I don’t have a chance. Well, you may be right. I do, however, think this is a very good goal. It’s doable, but I’ll have to push myself to get there. I’m really gonna have to hustle to get enough customers to fulfill this goal.
Goal #2: Gain 3 quality customers
The single most important part of any service business is to build a customer base that buys from you repeatedly. The cost of getting new customers is too high and takes too much effort, so I’m going to focus on building relationships with at least 3 customers this month. I will do this by being responsive, providing uncommon service, and exceptional quality of work.
Goal #3: Get my accounting in order for under $300
My current income doesn’t justify paying top dollar for a CPA, but I do want to make sure I maximize the money that stays in my pocket. I need to keep Uncle Sam’s grubby little fingers out of my wallet as much as possible. I’ve set a budget of $300 for this specific task.
Goal #4: Do a muscle-up
I recently joined a CrossFit gym, and it has been a great experience so far. But, I’m unable to do a muscle up. This elusive maneuver has been my nemesis ever since I joined 2 months ago. I’m going to put my mind to it and knock it out this month, hopefully.
You may be wondering what this has to do with a handyman business, right? Actually, a lot more than you may think. Working out gives me more energy throughout the day, relieves stress, and just makes me feel awesome. It’s a great way to boost my mood and get me ready for the day. It’s also great potential for some business. I’ve already met and built relationships with several people that will potentially hire me in the future. I’ll let you know how it works out.
OK, I’ll end it here. I apologize for the length of this post, but there is a lot to talk about. Hopefully this has provided you with some helpful insight into starting a handyman business. I’d love to hear what you have to say so don’t forget to leave a comment!
Til’ next time…