Are you ready to learn how to start a handyman business? You’ve come to the right place.
I’ve created this comprehensive guide to walk you through every step of the process, from choosing your services to marketing your business.
Following my step-by-step instructions, you’ll learn how to open a handyman business properly, avoiding unnecessary risks and costly mistakes.
How To Start a Handyman Business: 10 Easy Steps
Determine your services.
Create a business plan.
Get the necessary licenses, permits, and certifications.
Open a business bank account.
Buy tools and equipment.
Determine your rates.
Draft your service contract.
Promote your business.
Bring in your first customers.
What do you need to start a handyman business?
Follow this 10-step guide.
1. Determine the Services You Want To Provide.
The first step to starting a handyman business is determining the services you want.
This step is important because you want to focus on services you are skilled at and enjoy doing.
It is also important to consider the needs of your target market.
List Your skills.
Evaluate your strengths.
What types of handyman work are you good at? What do you enjoy doing?
Whether it’s plumbing, electrical work, carpentry, or a combination of skills, understanding your abilities is key.
Research Your Target Market.
What services are in demand in your area? What are other handymen charging?
Here are some of the most common things clients expect from repair businesses.
How to locate a stud
Using a stud to hold shelves, TVs, and other things in place
Putting spackle in holes in the wall
Putting down loose tiles
Sealing off sinks, tubs, and baths
Fixing taps that leak
Drains that are clogged (with or without a snake)
Fix pavement cracks
Change the toilet seats and shower heads.
Clear the gutters
Locks, doorknobs, and hinges should all be changed.
Change the filters
Putting up and taking down window screens
Simple electrical tasks, like moving light switches and plugs
Determine the Services You Want To Provide.
Once you understand your skills, the demand for different services, and your target market, you can start narrowing down your list of services.
Here are some examples of handyman services that you could offer:
Door and window repair
General home repairs
2. Create a Business Plan.
A business plan is a blueprint for your handyman business startup. It outlines your goals, strategies, and financial projections.
It’s also a helpful tool for attracting investors and lenders.
Here are some specific things to consider when creating a handyman business plan:
Communicate your business structure using these elements.
Define your short-term and long-term goals. What do you want to achieve with your handyman business?
Describe the specific customer segments you intend to serve.
Highlight what differentiates you from other handyman businesses in your area. Whether it’s your expertise, exceptional customer service, or unique offerings, make it clear why customers should choose you.
Provide details about your business.
List all the handyman services you want to offer. Be comprehensive, covering everything from plumbing and electrical work to carpentry and renovations.
Define your target market and explain why your services perfectly fit them.
Describe your unique selling points. Share how your skills and values will benefit customers.
Products and Services
Specify the services you’ll provide and their prices.
Detail each handyman service you’ll offer. Make it clear whether it’s fixing leaks, installing fixtures, or repairing homes.
Provide transparent pricing information. Consider hourly rates, flat fees, or project-based pricing.
Discuss your competition.
Provide in-depth insights into your ideal customers. What are their demographics, needs, and preferences?
Analyze your competitors, including local handyman businesses, contractors, or DIY alternatives. Explain how you plan to outshine them.
Stay updated on industry trends and mention how you’ll adapt to changing customer demands.
Marketing and Sales Strategy
Lay out your plan to attract and retain customers.
Describe your marketing channels, including your online presence, social media, local advertising, etc. Explain how these channels will reach your target market.
Outline how you’ll convert leads into paying customers. Whether it’s through consultations, estimates, or promotions, be clear about your approach.
Explain how your business will run effectively:
Discuss whether you plan to hire employees or subcontractors, and specify roles and responsibilities.
Detail how you manage tools, supplies, and inventory.
Describe your approach to customer service excellence, addressing inquiries, complaints, and feedback.
Explain your financial outlook.
Starting your own handyman business can be challenging at first, so it is essential to have a projected revenue to estimate your income, considering your pricing, service volume, and market demand.
List all anticipated expenses, including your equipment, marketing, and insurance.
Highlight how your business will manage cash flow, ensuring stability and financial security.
3. Create a Business Entity and Get the Necessary Licenses, Permits, and Certifications.
This groundwork is essential to ensure your business operates smoothly and within the bounds of the law.
Here are some things to consider:
Choose a Business Structure.
The most common business structures for handyman businesses are sole proprietorships, limited liability companies (LLCs), and corporations.
Each business structure has advantages and disadvantages, so choosing one right for your business is important.
An LLC for handyman is a must if you’re serious about knowing how to run your handyman small business.
LLCs protect you from risk in more ways. For example, your personal assets will be safe if your business fails.
Making an LLC helps your business look more legitimate. If you’re a real business, people will be more likely to let you into their homes or businesses.
File the Necessary Paperwork.
Once you’ve chosen a business structure, you must file the necessary paperwork with your state government.
The requirements will vary depending on your business structure and state, so check with your state’s website or business development office for more information.
Each state has specific laws governing handyman businesses.
1. Learn state-specific regulations.
Research your state’s handyman laws. You can find this information on your state’s contractor licensing board website or by contacting the board directly.
Pay attention to the following:
Do you need a handyman license to operate in your state? If so, what are the requirements to obtain a license?
Project size limits
Are there any limits on the size or scope of projects that handymen can legally perform?
Are there any services that handymen are prohibited from performing?
2. Business License and Contractor’s License
You must complete an application and pay a fee to obtain a business license or permit from your city or county authorities.
The specific requirements will vary depending on your location, so check with your city or county clerk’s office for more information.
Whether or not you need a contractor’s license will depend on your state and the scope of work you will be undertaking.
You will need a contractor’s license if you perform any work requiring specialized skills or knowledge, such as electrical work, plumbing, or HVAC.
To find out if you need a contractor’s license and apply for one, visit your state’s contractor licensing board website.
Decide on Your Business Name.
Give your business a name. When choosing a name for your business, ask yourself these questions:
Does it explain what you do?
Is it simple to remember?
Does it stop weird acronyms?
Can I get it as a domain name? Use Namechk to ensure the domain name and social media accounts are free.
Use Shopify’s business name creator to see if the name you want is shown in Better Legal’s Business Name Search.
4. Open a Business Bank Account.
A business bank account is important if you want to know how to grow a handyman business.
A business bank account will help you keep your personal and business finances separate, making tax time easier and protecting you from personal liability in case of a lawsuit.
A business bank account also helps you with the following tasks.
Separate your personal assets and business expenses.
Track your income and expenses more easily.
Get professional banking services, such as loans and lines of credit.
Make it easier for customers to pay you.
Here are some additional tips for opening and using a business bank account:
Consider opening a business credit card to help you build your business credit and earn rewards on your business spending.
Set up online and mobile banking to manage your business finances from anywhere.
Monitor your account activity regularly to identify any unauthorized transactions or errors.
Reconcile your account statements regularly to ensure your bank records match your business records.
5. Get Business Insurance.
Protect your business and clients by securing the right insurance coverage:
General Liability Insurance
Purchase general liability insurance to safeguard your business from accidents, injuries, or property damage during projects.
For example, if you accidentally damage your customer’s property or injure someone while working on their home, general liability insurance can help cover the costs.
If you have employees, consider worker’s compensation insurance to cover their medical expenses and lost wages in case of workplace injuries.
This insurance covers your employees if injured or sick while working for you.
Some states require handyman businesses to be bonded. This bond assures clients in case of incomplete or subpar work.
6. Purchase Tools and Equipment.
Equipping yourself with the right tools and equipment is the lifeblood of your handyman company.
Even though you’ll be going to the hardware store a lot as a handyman, you should still have these tools on hand.
Hand tools – hammer, screwdriver set, pliers, wrenches, tape measure, level, utility knife, saw
Power tools – drill, circular saw, jigsaw, sander
Specialized tools – Depending on your service, you may need specialized tools such as a drywall router, plumbing tools, and electrical tools.
You will also need some basic equipment
When you start getting more jobs, consider investing in additional tools and equipment, like a generator, compressor, or trailer, depending on the jobs you plan to do.
For some additional tips in choosing the right tools and equipment for your handyman business:
Don’t feel you need to buy all the latest and immediately buy tools. Start with and add more tools as you need them.
Choose tools that can be used for a variety of tasks. Doing so will help you to save money and avoid buying unnecessary tools.
Invest in high-quality tools that last longer and perform better than cheap tools.
Take care of your tools. Keep your tools clean and well-maintained. This will help extend your tools’ life and make them safer.
Costs To Establish a Handyman Business
I made this estimated breakdown of the startup costs for a handyman business for you to see how much small business owners prepare when starting a home repair business (or handyman business).
Tools and equipment – $2,000 – $5,000
Business insurance – $500 – $1,000
Licenses and permits – $100 – $500
Marketing and advertising – $200 – $500
Total – $2,800 – $6,500
Your biggest ongoing expense will be maintaining, repairing, and replacing your tools and vehicle.
You must also pay for workers’ compensation and payroll if hiring employees.
Find Reliable Suppliers
You can increase your chances of success and build a profitable handyman business if you know where and how to secure reliable suppliers for your handyman business.
Find suppliers who can provide you with the tools, equipment, and materials you need at a fair price and on time.
Here are some tips for finding reliable suppliers:
Ask other handymen for recommendations. Talk to other handymen in your area and see who they use for their supplies.
Search for handyman suppliers in your area and read online reviews—research to learn the reputation of different suppliers.
Once you have a few suppliers in mind, get quotes from each one. Doing so will help you to compare prices and find the best deal.
Here are some examples of reliable suppliers recommended by many handyman businesses:
When choosing suppliers, consider the following factors:
Compare the prices of different suppliers to find the best deal.
Choose suppliers who offer high-quality products.
Choose suppliers who have a wide selection of products to choose from.
Choose suppliers near you or who offer convenient shipping options.
Choose suppliers who offer good customer service.
7. Determine Your Rates.
Setting your rates is one of the most important decisions you’ll make as a handyman.
To determine your rates for your handyman business, you need to consider the following factors:
State or location
The cost of living and the average rates charged by other handymen in your area will affect your rates.
Prices of your competition
You need to research the rates of other handymen in your area to ensure your rates are competitive.
Skills and expertise
You can charge higher rates with specialized expertise.
Complexity of work
Some jobs, like plumbing and electrical work, require more specialized skills and knowledge and command higher rates.
I will also give you a general overview of the ranges for handyman rates in the US.
Hourly rate – $50-$80 per hour
Flat rate for basic tasks – $100-$200 per task
Flat rate for more complex tasks – $300-$500 per task
These are average rates. Your actual rates may vary depending on the factors I mentioned.
Here are some examples of specific rates for common handyman tasks.
Mount a TV. – $50 to $100
Fix a leaky faucet. – $75 to $150
Install a new light fixture. – $100 to $200
Repair a drywall hole. – $150 to $250
Paint a room. – $200 to $400
Install a new fence: $500 to $1000
8. Draft a Service Contract.
A service contract is a legally binding agreement between you and your customer.
It should outline the scope of work, the start and end dates, the payment terms, and any other relevant information.
Here are some tips for drafting a service contract:
Be clear and concise. The contract should be easy to read and understand.
Include all of the important details. The contract should specify the work that will be done, the materials used, the start and end dates, the payment terms, and any other relevant information.
Have an attorney review the contract. It’s a good idea to have an attorney review the contract before you sign it to ensure it protects your interests.
9. Develop Marketing Strategies To Promote Your Business Online and Offline.
Marketing is essential for any serious business owner, but it’s especially important for handyman businesses.
Handyman businesses rely on word-of-mouth and repeat customers, but reaching new customers and promoting your services to a wider target audience is also important.
There are many ways to market your or provide handyman services business online and offline.
By using a mix of online and offline marketing strategies, you can reach a wider audience and generate more leads for your business.
Establish an Online Presence
Today, most people start their search for handyman services online.
So, having a strong online presence is crucial to succeed in this new business front.
Here are some tips for establishing an online presence for your handyman business:
Create a business website.
Your website is important to your business and helps you make a good first impression on potential clients. Ensure your website is informative and easy to navigate.It should include information about your services, rates, and contact information. You should also have a gallery of photos showcasing your work.
Get listed in online directories.
There are many online directories where you can list your business, such as Google My Business, Yelp, and Angie’s List. This will make it easier for potential customers to find your business online.
Use social media.
I cannot overstate the importance of social media to any small business owner. Social media is a great way to connect with potential customers and promote your business. Create social media accounts for your business on popular platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Share photos and videos of your work, and post updates about your business.
Run online ads.
Invest in online advertising, such as Google Ads or Facebook Ads, to reach potential customers in your area.
Offline Marketing Essentials
Offline marketing is a valuable tool to reach potential customers in your local area.
Here are some effective offline strategies to consider:
Network with other businesses in your area and inform them about your services.
Hand out business cards, and include your contact information and a brief description of your services on your business cards.
Encourage satisfied customers to refer you to their friends and family by offering a referral discount.
Print advertising can be a great way to reach potential customers in your local area. You can run ads in local newspapers, magazines, and community calendars.
Sponsoring local events is a great way to get your business name out there and connect with potential customers. Look for local events that are relevant to your target market.
10. Bring in Your First Customers.
Once you have everything set up for how to run a handyman business, it’s time to start bringing in your first customers.
This can be daunting, but it’s important to remember that everyone starts somewhere.
The best way to build a successful handyman business is to start by providing excellent customer service and high-quality work to your first customers. Doing so will help you to earn a good reputation and build trust with potential customers.
Here are things you can do to market your handyman business and bring in your first customers.
Network with friends, family, and neighbors.
List your business in online directories.
Use social media to promote your business.
Run online and offline ads.
Offer referral discounts.
3 Tips for Success When Starting a Handyman Business
Starting a handyman business can be a rewarding experience, but it’s important to be prepared for the challenges that come with it.
Here are a few tips to help you set yourself up for success:
1. Don’t Be Afraid to Start Small
Is a handyman business profitable? Yes, it can be.
However, don’t think you must spend thousands of dollars to set up a big business immediately. Don’t try to do everything at once or scale your business too quickly.
Don’t quit your day job if you have one, but consider doing a handyman side hustle.
Start with a few services and focus on providing excellent customer service.
Once you have a good reputation and a steady stream of customers, you can expand your services and grow your business.
2. Go Above and Beyond For Your Customers.
Building trust with your clients is essential and is the best way to keep them returning and generate referrals.
Be on time, be professional, and do quality work.
Be willing to go the extra mile, like helping them carry their groceries inside, even if it’s something small.
3. Use Handyman Software
Using handyman software can help you to run a more profitable handyman business.
Handyman software can help you with these tasks.
Track your appointments, estimates, and invoices.
Generate marketing materials.
Track your expenses.
Manage your inventory.
Consider these handyman software and apps:
Some software and apps are free, while others offer a free trial.
Compare the options and choose the right one for your needs and budget.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is Starting a Handyman Business a Good Idea?
Yes. Starting a handyman business can be a good idea, especially if you are skilled in home repairs, maintenance, and other odd jobs.
It offers opportunities for independence and flexibility, but success depends on your dedication, business acumen, and commitment to delivering quality service to your clients.
How Much Does It Cost To Start Your Own Handyman Business?
The cost to start your handyman business can vary depending on several factors, such as the size and scope of your business, the equipment you need, and your location.
However, you can generally expect to spend between $2,000 and $6,000 to start.
What Skills Can Help Me Succeed With My Handyman Business?
To succeed in a handyman job, you need a mix of technical and business skills.
Technical skills to diagnose and repair household problems, such as leaky faucets, broken doorknobs, and faulty wiring. You should also be able to use various tools and equipment safely and efficiently.
Business skills to market your services, manage your time and finances, and provide excellent customer service. You should also be able to negotiate contracts and resolve disputes professionally.
Does a Handyman Business Have the Potential For Growth?
Yes. However, your growth potential depends on factors like your marketing strategy and ability to scale operations effectively.
You can expand your services, customer base, and profitability with the right approach.
How Do You Start a Handyman Business in Florida?
Here’s how to start a handyman business in Florida.
Register your business with the state of Florida. You can do it online through the Florida Division of Corporations website.
Obtain a business license from your local municipality.
Get necessary permits and insurance.
Market your business through online and offline channels, such as creating a website, running ads in local newspapers and magazines, and networking with other businesses in your area.
If you also wonder how to start a handyman business in California, you must follow these principles in your local municipality.
How To Start a Handyman Business With No Experience?
To start a handyman business with no experience, you can follow these steps:
Identify your skills and interests
What are you good at? What do you enjoy doing? Once you know your strengths, research the handyman industry.
Get the necessary training and certifications.
While you don’t need a formal education to start a handyman business, getting training and certification in the areas where you plan to offer service is helpful.
Training and certifications help you improve your skills and knowledge and make you more credible to potential customers.
Develop a business plan.
Your business plan should outline your goals, strategies, and financial projections. It will also help you to identify and mitigate potential risks.
Market your business.
Once you have a business plan, you must start marketing your business to potential customers. You can do this through online and offline channels, such as creating a website, running ads in local newspapers and magazines, and networking with other businesses in your area.
How To Become a Self-Employed Handyman?
You can become a self-employed handyman by following these steps:
Develop your handyman through formal education, apprenticeship, or on-the-job training.
Get the necessary licenses and certifications depending on your location and the types of handyman services you plan to offer.
Purchase the necessary tools and equipment.
Market your business by creating a website, running ads, and networking with other businesses.
Provide excellent customer service. This is essential for building a successful handyman business.
The Bottom Line
I hope my guide helped you understand how to start a handyman business from the ground up.
Starting a handyman business can be a great way to turn your skills into a successful business with the correct skills, planning, and persistence. Having the proper equipment is also crucial for success.
If you want to offer a more specialized service, consider learning how to start a pressure-washing business.