If you lost your job during the pandemic but acquired numerous practical skills over the years in home repair because of work you’ve done on your own home or from summer jobs, consider making a living by starting a side hustle as a handyman. Many stressed-out homeowners are always looking for a good handyman to help them out with small repairs around the house.
Once you’ve done several jobs, you will acquire a wide range of skills. At some point, after you’ve saved enough money and learned how to do different kinds of home repair, you might even want to consider starting your own handyman business.
With that in mind, here are 5 tips on how to help others as a side hustle and then build your own service business.
1. Specialize in a particular type of home repair. If you do a particular type of home repair more than others, you could increase your earning potential by focusing on specializing in that area. Perhaps you’ve found temporary work laying shingles for local roofing contractors and now know enough about this aspect of roof-repair to help homeowners who need someone to do some shingle repair work. Because you’re only specializing in one specific kind of roof repair, your startup costs will be lower when you start a company than if you launched a full-service roofing company. By specializing in everything from general repair work to roofing, you’ll reduce the level of competition. Then, by specializing even more, by focusing on shingle repair work alone, you might find it easier to get work as a subcontractor for a roofing company or work directly with homeowners who need to replace a few damaged shingles. A narrow specialization also means that you’ll also have less to learn since you’re not spending time and energy learning how to do many types of roofing jobs.
2. Register a business name and get a business license. Once you have built up some capital and acquired experience, then formally set up a business. If you have access to some funding and already know more than enough to tackle all kinds of repair work, you might prefer to start a company right away rather than doing repair work as a side-hustle. Select a name for your business and verify that another entrepreneur has not already taken it. Registering your business will not only make it a legal business rather than just a side hustle, but clients will now pay more because you’ve registered a company with your state and have a business license. Once you have your own company, you’ll also be able to get basic business insurance. This is less than $1000 a year and will protect you should you ever have an accident at a job.
3. Get equipment and buy a truck. Besides working with hammers, screwdrivers, wrenches, and small power tools, consider getting more specialized equipment. The type of equipment you’ll need will depend on whether you remain a general handyman or have specialized in a particular kind of repair work.
4. Buy a pickup truck. You’ll also benefit by getting a truck rather than using your own vehicle to go to job sites. A pickup truck will make it easier for you to transport all your larger tools and bulky equipment and materials, such as ladders, plastic pipes, and wooden planks. Rather than investing in an expensive new vehicle, look for a good deal on a used pickup truck.
5. Advertise your business in as many places as possible. You can display your brochures or flyers in general contractor supply stores and home improvement stores. You could also advertise by taking out an ad in your local newspaper and visiting home improvement trade shows and passing out your business cards.
Although you might start out working as a handyman in a small way by fixing leaky faucets in homes, as you develop skill and experience, you’ll be able to build a company and market your service to homeowners, businesses, and apartment complexes. When you are offered more work than you have time to do, hire and train people to work for you.