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My Monthly Report – October 2013

Welcome to my 23rd monthly income report for my handyman business!

I write these every month and this one marks my 23rd month in business as a handyman.  In these reports I share how much money I made in the last month, how I made that money, and anything else interesting that happened along the way.

I also share quality tips to help you either start or grow your own handyman business.

If you are new to the blog, I’m no millionaire (not even close).  In fact, this is my first business venture and I’m still learning a lot along the way.  What I do have is the desire to succeed and grow as an entrepreneur, learn everything I can about marketing, and most importantly, enjoy myself along the way.

I’m hoping that my story can help you do the same (if you’re interested).  If you are still working that job you hate and wake up un-exited every morning, these reports are written for you.  Also, if you are a home service provider looking to dominate the competition, these reports are for you, too.

It Gets Better Every Month

Running a handyman business isn’t always a bed of roses, but I’m finding myself enjoying the business more every month.

Why?  For one, I’m getting much better at my job.  Every day I learn new skills and refine existing skills allowing me to make more money easier.

For example, this month I had a record high billable hourly rate for my business of over $81/hour.  That’s an incredible improvement over the $25/hour I originally charged.

Additionally, I have a lot more confidence when dealing with customers.  I now know what to say, when to say it, and how to say what the customers wants to hear.    Getting better at communicating with customers is a great skill to develop for this business.  As Jim discussed in my last podcast, confidence goes a long way when interacting with customers.

Even though I am making more money per hour, I actually feel like I’m giving customers more value.  This also feels good.

At first, I wasn’t sure what my services were worth and at times felt as though I might be too expensive.  But now, after seeing the kind of work other handymen do and that they don’t really care about the customer, I actually feel like I’m giving the customers a deal.  I’m really helping them out because I actually care.

Another factor that’s really helping me enjoy being a handyman is that I barely ever have those feelings of doubt about my business.  During the first 1.5 years I’d get very worried if I didn’t have enough customers to fill my schedule.  Now, I know that if I don’t get a phone call for a few days, that I’ll soon have a rush of business to fill my schedule.  I actually enjoy the slow times now.

And lastly, being a handyman is empowering.  Being able to figure anything out or fix anything feels flat out awesome.

No Reward Without Struggle

If I didn’t get started with my handyman business when I did, I wouldn’t be enjoying my business the way I do now.  I’d probably still be working at a job I hated and for a boss I couldn’t stand.  After all, that was the comfortable thing to do.

But, instead of settling for this less than an ideal lifestyle, I went against the grain and started a handyman business even though the chips were stacked against me.

Despite having almost no handyman experience and zero business experience, I just got started.  That’s what makes all the difference between those who get what they want, and those who sit on the sidelines.

It wasn’t easy to do and there where plenty of struggles.  But honestly, those struggles are what make the high points 50 times better.  Struggling creates that hunger deep down within you to achieve your goals.  It drives you and makes you do things you didn’t think were possible.

Just think about the last time you were starving.  How much more enjoyable was your next meal when compared to a normal everyday meal?

That’s exactly how enduring pain and discomfort when pursuing your goals feels.  When you finally reach them there is no better feeling.

So, if you are still sitting on the sidelines, just know this.  There is never going to be a perfect time when all the stars align.  You have to get out there and make it work to really enjoy the freedom and lifestyle that you’ve always wanted.

Whatever it is that you want to do or achieve, just get started.  And know that every time you are struggling it will soon be followed by pure elation.

Income and Expenses

Income (by lead generation source):

  • Existing Customers:  $1,758.32
  • Online Marketing:  $2,850.59  (Learn how here)
  • Referrals:  $262.50

Expenses:

  • Direct Job Costs:  $402.48
  • Mileage:  $283.63
  • Phone:  $69.82
  • Insurance:  $94
  • Tools:  $130.91
  • Bank Fees:  $2.78
  • Business License Fees:  $105
  • Home Advisor:  $20.40 (forgot to turn off my leads, dammit)

Total Income:       $4,871.41
Total Expenses:   $1,004.02
Net Income:           $3,867.39  (last month:  $3,176.54)

Billable Hours:  54.25
Income From Labor:  $4,428.68
Average Hourly Rate:  $81.63

Another great month for my online marketing as well as my average hourly rate.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I really love the internet for generating leads.  There is just so much opportunity that it creates once you figure out how to make it work for your business.  Not only did it get me a ton of exposure for my business, but brought in $2,800 in revenue from brand new customers.

If you’d like to learn exactly how I set this up, click here.

As for the hourly rate, I was shooting for at least $70/hour this month and ended up killing that goal!  The reason that my rate was so high is because I was able to quote more jobs flat rate instead of working by the hour.  This is something that I do depending on the job and the customer.

Another thing to consider with this hourly rate is that I did a lot of small jobs.  I’m talking about jobs that only pay like $75-$150.  I really like these jobs because you can bang them out and be on your way, but they also require you to drive a lot and spend time collecting payments.  That’s why it’s very important to have a minimum service charge that helps to boost your hourly rate on small jobs.

Based on the fact that I’m getting so many more of these small jobs, I’m actually considering raising my rates for the first hour or including a trip charge for jobs under 3 hours.  Not sure about that one, but I’ll have to look into it further.

Goals for November

Goal #1 Take a Vacation without negatively effecting my business.

Many business owners feel as though they can’t leave their business without it falling apart.  I have to agree that it is a little uncomfortable, but I need a vacation!

I’m actually taking a week long trip to Hawaii with some friends and my goal is to do so without losing any good existing customers and still capturing leads that I can service when I get back.  I’ll have to set up some automated systems to make this happen, but it will be a fun challenge.

That’s it for this month.  I hope you enjoyed it!  If so, do you know anybody else who would find value in this?  Do us both a favor and share it with them!

Then, leave a comment or a question below.  (I love comments)

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  • J November 10, 2013

    Awesome numbers, this really gives me confidence. This is my final week at my current 8-5 job.

    • Dan Perry November 10, 2013

      Thanks, J. Congrats on going out on your own!

  • Chris November 11, 2013

    Hi Dan, thanks for sharing all of this info… I’ve been following for almost a year now…just curious… What are some of the small jobs you had this month?

    • Dan Perry November 11, 2013

      Keep reading, I’ll be revealing all of my jobs in detail soon 😉

  • John Fealy November 11, 2013

    Thanks for the great content. I really appreciate your honesty in your monthly report. I have been wanting to start my handyman business for a long time now but just can’t get the courage up to make the leap of faith to leave my current job. When I do my business plan I usually use an estimate of 20 hours a week of billable hours for a full time handyman business. I see you have only 54 hours billed for the month. Is my 20 hours a week unrealistic?.

    Thanks Again,

    John

    • Dan Perry November 11, 2013

      Hi John,

      Thanks for the comment. Hopefully this post has helped build a little courage for you!

      No, 20 hours is totally realistic. If you read my previous monthly income reports, you’ll see that I only work 3 days/week on my handyman business. If I was to work an extra 2 days I could easily get in 20-30 hours/week. I spend the other 2 days plus working on this blog.

      Dan

  • Tru November 16, 2013

    my name is Tru, have been interested in business for many years.. I do odd jobs on the side and am working toward my bus plan now.. I am in debt about $15,000 so my credit is bad and attention toward my finances is not directed.. I am not in a position or even want to get a laon… I do have some experience with working many different job and knowing many other owners of business… I justam not able to get started…
    I have other things I have going that are very important as well… any advice would be so helpful… thank you Tru

    • Dan Perry November 17, 2013

      Tru,

      Thanks for leaving a comment. It sounds like you already have a netword to promote your services to. I’d recommend starting by defining the list of services you are going to offer. Then you can go talk to your network of (assuming you are in good standing with these people) and let them know what you offer. It’s tough to give you advice knowing so little about your situation, but that is how I would start out.

      Dan

  • Steve November 18, 2013

    Big D,
    I have been following you since you started, built my website with your advice, however I must be missing something (like keywords) because when I google handyman for my area my website doesn’t show up. I have never had any response. Also should I open a facebook page? Just a note; for a young guy you sure have your act together!
    Thanks,
    Steve

    • Dan Perry November 19, 2013

      Hi Steve,

      It’s hard to say what you need to get your website to rank since I haven’t seen it. However, you probably need to work on your on-page and off-page SEO. You would also likely benefit highly from writing some keyword targeting blog posts to help build the authority of your website.

      There are many places to learn how to do this online. Also, in the Handyman Web Academy I break this process down into a step-by-step video course that is tailored for handymen and home service providers like yourself. If you are serious about getting your website to work for you, be sure to check out the Academy when I release it again.

      Dan

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