Welcome to my June 2013 monthly income report!
This marks the end of my 19th month in business as a handyman and also my 19th report.
Just in case you’re a Handyman Startup first timer, I write these reports each month discussing my business in detail. I share how much money I made, what marketing methods brought me that money, my expenses, and other useful insight for all you handymen who want to go pro and dominate the home service industry.
If you want to make more money while only working for customers you like, these reports are for you. If you don’t enjoy your current 9-5 job and desperately want to quit, these reports are for you, too.
Here’s what I’ll discuss in this month’s report:
- Record Profits for my Handyman Business and an awesome hourly rate.
- How my truck graphics paid for themselves twice over this month.
- Another reason to treat your existing customers like gold.
- Why I failed at my goal and what I plan to do about it.
A Win For the Truck:
If you’ve read my other reports, you may notice that the vinyl stickers on my handyman vehicle do not bring in a whole lot of business. However, the branding on my truck is still a critical part of my overall marketing strategy. While it doesn’t bring in leads directly, it helps to sell my services and creates brand recognition.
This month I witnessed my truck help land me a $700 job.
It all started when I was working for one of my best clients, a lady that found me via my website and has been hiring me at least once a month ever since. Consequently, this client had recommended me to pretty much the entire street. Well, at least everyone that she knew on the street.
I was just finishing up installing a higher security door lock on her entry and garage doors and was just about to leave when the neighbor lady came out to greet me.
The neighbor then mentioned that she had seen me there several times before and recognized my truck. She also stated that the customer I was working for recommended me highly.
Long story short, she ended up hiring me to install a shower enclosure and a few other small jobs that totaled a little over $700.
The point of this story is that my truck had a huge impact on me getting her business. Sure, the recommendation was a critical part of that, but my truck is what got her to take action. If I would have been driving an unmarked, or even poorly marked truck, it’s likely that she wouldn’t have noticed and would have gone about her day, completely forgetting about me and the recommendation she received.
This experience, among many similar experiences, has really demonstrated the value of a well branded work vehicle.
Old Customers Popping Up All Over the Place
One thing that never ceases to amaze me is when an old customer that I haven’t seen or heard from for six months calls me for more work.
Just when I think that I’ve lost a customer’s business, they pop up out of the blue and hire me again. I love it.
This month two of me best customers that I hadn’t heard from for months called me up and hired me for over $2,000 worth of work. It was a huge surprise because I had thought they both found somebody else. I mean, these customers were hiring me every month if not every week prior to just not calling anymore at all.
Before they finally did call, I sat there wondering what I did wrong. Thinking “maybe I charged them too much” or “maybe they just found somebody that offers a better service.”
Needless to say I was really happy that they called as I thoroughly enjoy working for both of them.
The reason I’m bringing this up is because this isn’t the first time this happened. I’ve had customers call for more work up to a year after the first time they hired me.
I think there are a couple of lessons to be learned from this.
The first lesson is pretty obvious – always do good work. By consistently doing your best to deliver on exactly what you say you’re going to do and really keep the customer’s best interests in mind, there is no way that your business won’t grow. By doing good work, customers will go out of their way to keep your information on hand for the next time they need you. This is in addition to recommending you to others of course. Instead of having to continuously search for new business, old customers will just come to you.
The second lesson to take away from this is the importance of existing customers. As you have seen from my monthly income reports, at least 50% of my income (and way more in most cases) is from existing customers. If these two customers would not have called me back, my income would be much lower or I’d have to spend a bunch of time trying to get new business to make up for the gaps in my schedule.
I’d like to think that these customers hire me again and again because I offer great service and follow through on my commitments. I know that I’m not perfect and I miss calls and the occasional appointment, but when it comes down to it they know I’ll get the job done right.
Simply making a strong effort to do the same will likely bring you similar experiences.
Income and Expenses
- Existing Customers: $4,803.77
- Search Engines: $1,477
- Referrals: $760
- Direct Job Costs: $1,303.86
- Mileage: $261.03
- Phone: $69.82
- Insurance: $94
- Mailbox Rental: $126
- Tools: $15.97
- Bank Fees: $10.63
- Work Shoes: $129.27
Total Income: $7,040.77
Total Expenses: $2,010.58
Net Profit: $5,030.19 (last month: $4,137.68)
Billable Hours: 76
Income from Labor: $5,606.52
Average Hourly Rate: $73.77
Another amazing month for my handyman business! Not only did I have record profits this month, but I also had the second highest hourly rate since I started my business.
Those are pretty damn good numbers considering there were only 4 weeks in June and I only worked 3 days per week. Well, that’s not totally true. One of the weeks I ended up working an extra day just to keep up with the demand. But still, my new schedule kicks ass and I can’t believe I made that much working as few days as I did.
As I mentioned earlier, existing customers are extremely important to my business. This month they accounted for 68% of my total income. That is something you just can’t ignore. Without my existing customers I would have spent way more time marketing, quoting, and would have probably had a lower hourly rate. My existing customers help me to remain more consistent with my work load and make me feel more secure with my income. I really can’t stress their importance enough.
If you take a look at my expenses, you may notice that I haven’t done any marketing this month as with the previous 5. I didn’t spend one dime to gain new customers. However, I still gained 7 new customers this month.
How did I do it? I built a good website and an excellent online presence which passively brings me new business every week. This allows me to just go to work and essentially wait for people to call me, instead of working my ass off trying to get in touch with them. Gotta say I love the digital age for that reason.
Another thing worth mentioning is my hourly rate which was almost $74/hour. This is evidence that I’m getting more efficient with how I work. I’m better about having the right tools with me, the right hardware, and knowing exactly how to approach jobs.
Last month I set a goal to investigate the possibility of limiting my service area significantly. Did I do that? Nope. Epic failure. I was actually so busy this month planning for a week long camping trip, producing content for this blog, and working for clients that I really didn’t have much time to do any thinking!
So, this month I’m going to make it my goal to edit the content on my website to limit my service area by about half. I’ll still service existing clients outside of this area of course, but I’d like to limit how far I have to travel for new business.
I’m not gonna lie, I’m kind-of scared to do it. I mean, telling more people that they can’t hire me feels wrong on so many different levels. But, I also believe that my future success and happiness rides on my ability to make tough, uncomfortable decisions. So, I’ll go with a slightly modified Nike slogan for some motivation “Just fucking do it!”
Enjoy my monthly reports? Then you’ll love this.