So, you fancy yourself a handyman. That’s fantastic. Because when “do-it-yourselfers” discover that they really shouldn’t have done it themselves, they are going to come looking for someone like you to clean up the mess.

With the ever-depressing job market, people are seeking news ways to make a living, and an increasing number of people are following their passion and setting up their own handyman companies.

But before you advertise your grand opening, there are a few things you are going to need to prepare ahead of time if you want to do a second job as a handyman. The first job is easy. It is the repeat business that will keep you in business.

Get all the tools you could possibly need.

While there are no specific qualifications required, it is helpful if you are familiar with all aspects of the trade. The key to success is to offer as wide a range of services as possible.

Shockingly, this does not go without saying. When you go to someone’s house to do a job for which you are charging several hundred dollars, you need to make sure you have every tool with you that you could possibly need for the job. More times than I can count, handymen have asked me if I had basic things like levels and flat-tipped screw drivers because they had left theirs at home.

Even if you do a good job, the chances of getting called back are greatly diminished the moment you make it clear that you were not really prepared for the job. If you didn’t know you would need a tool for a job, you are telling the client that you don’t know what tools are needed for the job. That translates into you not really knowing what you’re doing. Counterintuitively, one of the best ways to secure client trust is to be honest about what you don’t know, and are not qualified to do. If they have reason to doubt both your competence and your integrity, your handy-business is over, at least with them.

It pays to get insurance.

In the contractor business, the difference between a professional and an amateur is summed up in a couple of words: licensed and bonded. Licensed means having documented proof that you have the proper training to do the job you are setting out to do. Bonded is having enough money set aside to settle disputes and other issues related to the job. Let’s face it: if you are a jack of all trades hoping to make a little extra money on the side, you are probably neither.

That doesn’t mean that you can’t do the job. But it does explain why you are not a more mainstream contractor. That’s okay. What you need are mad skills, a high level of personal charisma, and really good insurance. Talk to other contractors or handymen and ask them about their insurance policies. If you need professional-grade insurance for professional-grade liability you can also talk to the team at This is the kind that covers general liability, equipment liability, and contractor bonds. Before you knock someones wall out, make sure you are prepared for the unexpected.

A website can help you find customers faster.

Everyone needs a website, even a handyman. First, why wouldn’t you have a website. If you are doing jobs for people over 60, it may not matter. Even so, for them, you will need a business card. For people under 40, if you don’t have a website, you’re not really serious about your business. Getting a website up and running is less expensive than a pack of cheap business cards, and much more useful.

A website is more than your calling card. It is also your portfolio. If you want someone to trust you to punch a hole in their wall, you need to be able to show them some before and after photos of other work you have done. Starting a website for your handyman business is quick and easy. There really is no excuse not to do it.

Once you have insurance, tools, a website, and a referral or two, the only thing left is to get a good scheduler, and a few reliable helpers. You’re going to be very busy.

Customer relation is crucial.

Perhaps one of the most crucial keys to success in any handyman business is attitude and behaviour towards customers; being friendly and approachable is fundamental to build and maintain trust between you and your clients. People want to be able to rely on you, and so honesty and dependability are invaluable qualities when dealing with customers. Being responsive to your clients cannot be compromised.

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