As a handyman, there is more to the job than just fixing things and helping people with small home improvement projects. If you are considering being a handyman, you probably already have a wide variety of skills. But get ready—you are going to need a lot more. Here are six things that all handymen should be aware of.
As a professional handyman, you will be using some risk management skills. It is important to mitigate your risk and make sure you are following state regulations.
Working in other people’s homes puts you and your business at risk for many things, like damage to property and injuries to yourself or others. To reduce your financial exposure, you will need insurance, particularly liability insurance. Before you decide one way or the other, you should know what the handyman insurance cost will be. You might be surprised at how affordable it is, and it will provide you with peace of mind and lower your risk of exposure to client injury and property damage.
You can save money by getting a policy that is tailored to your specific business, so be sure to look for an insurance company that offers bundled packages. An agent will be able to walk you through the various features that are available and let you choose the ones that minimize your risk. Otherwise, you’ll be paying for features that you don’t need and wasting money that can be used to improve other parts of your business.
Take some time to shop around when looking for the right policy. Talk to people that understand the risks associated with being a handyman. Also, be sure that you make coverage a priority over expense. There is no sense getting a policy that doesn’t cover you adequately.
If you don’t know whether you should be licensed or certified to be a handyman in your state, you should visit the National Contractor License Service to determine the specifics of your situation. The type of licensing you need to be a handyman depends on what state you work in and even how big the job is. It might also vary depending on what type of work you are doing.
Some states require you to be certified to work on certain systems, and some only require registration for you to be a handyman.
Marketing yourself is one of the best ways to get leads for new jobs, and you simply can’t rely on word of mouth at first. There are many places you can advertise as a handyman. Even Craigslist and Facebook are great places to advertise for most handymen.
Having a website is a good idea because people will want to know what you can do and what your rates are. This is a great way to showcase your skills and advertise your worth. Having a website to answer people’s questions can reduce the number of phone calls you have to make, which can eat up a lot of your valuable time. There are also web apps that match handymen with local demand, like TaskRabbit.
You can use all of these methods to get your name in front of customers in as many ways as possible. So, along with all of your other handy skills, you also need to find a little bit of the marketing genius inside you to meet the marketing needs of your business.
While customer service might not be your specialty, you will need to have a solid set of customer service skills to deal with the public to drill the porcelain tiles. People complain, and if you aren’t responsive to their complaints, it can negatively affect your business.
The best course of action is to always be friendly, on time, and meet the milestones on your contract. Communicate with your customers. If you will be late meeting a deadline, let them know ahead of time and see if you can smooth the situation over.
As anyone who is an expert in customer relations will tell you, it does not benefit you to put off dealing with an unhappy customer. Sometimes, people just want their opinion to be heard, so make sure you are taking the time to let your customers tell you how they are feeling. And if you are getting phone calls from an upset customer, call them back before it gets worse.
Unless you have a crew of handymen, which isn’t very common, you will likely be working by yourself a lot of the time. While that might seem ideal if you are tired of putting up with a demanding boss or annoying coworker and thinking about becoming a handyman, the truth is, we all need some social interaction. If you are used to working with large groups of people, you will likely be lonely from time to time.
Most jobs that a handyman does are seasonal, so it can be hard to stay busy all year round. But if you plan ahead for the needs in your area, you can develop a customer base for all seasons.
During the fall and winter, you can work on cleaning out gutters, cleaning chimneys, and repairing heating systems. In the summer, painting and exterior yard work could be profitable. By advertising specials for the seasons, you are likely to get more work during the slower times of the year.
Imagine a day that starts with calls, then a site visit, ordering parts, another site check, more calls–you get the idea. It can get overwhelming when you are trying to wear too many hats and do too much.
The fact is, you need to price these hours into your projects and plan them into your schedule. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for a handyman is $43,180 per year, which equals about $20.76 per hour. You don’t make this by charging $25.00 per hour to do a job. You have to charge $60-70 to be able to account for all the time doing small tasks that you will be confronted with every day.
You will have to wear a lot of hats if you are going to be a handyman. Just be aware and plan for it, and you should be able to manage these challenges with success.