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Old 08-07-2012, 07:58 PM   #16
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can one really make a living being a handyman???


I started out with a 1986 ford pickup and almost no tools because I had been living on a boat for many year,
Within a few years I had up to 9 emplyees, 4, trailers, 2, trucks.
The economy tanked in this area so bad I let everyone go and I'm down to only two trailers working by myself when I feel like it, and never been happyer.
No more payroll, no one skipping out on me for payment, no more 7 days a week, And no more loosing about 30% for taxes.
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Old 08-08-2012, 05:29 AM   #17
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Within a few years I had up to 9 emplyees, 4, trailers, 2, trucks. The economy tanked in this area so bad I let everyone go and I'm down to only two trailers working by myself when I feel like it, and never been happyer.
No more payroll, no one skipping out on me for payment, no more 7 days a week, And no more loosing about 30% for taxes.
Iíll add one to the list (for me anyway)ÖNo more of my employees assuming that all of their personal problems are somehow my problems too.

I never would have imagined that the byproduct of the economy crashing would be getting MY life back.

Regardless of what the future holds Iíll never return to that chaos again.
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Old 08-08-2012, 06:05 AM   #18
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Iíll add one to the list (for me anyway)ÖNo more of my employees assuming that all of their personal problems are somehow my problems too.

I never would have imagined that the byproduct of the economy crashing would be getting MY life back.

Regardless of what the future holds Iíll never return to that chaos again.
Well said.
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Old 08-08-2012, 10:17 AM   #19
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can one really make a living being a handyman???


I always just was myself and maybe a helper, had 2 for the summer sometimes.
Thought about going bigger but realized what many of you have as well.
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Old 08-08-2012, 12:39 PM   #20
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can one really make a living being a handyman???


why shouldn't you be able to make money? if you do it right and

charge a fair amount for your time you should stay busy. there are

countless contractors in different trade that do shoddy work and have

been in business for 20-30 years making money.

i mean no disrespect to anyone on here.

i am sure you have seen your share of hack contractors also.

i've been in the construction for 40 years and have seen fewer

professional jobs then hack jobs.
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Old 08-08-2012, 09:29 PM   #21
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i am sure you have seen your share of hack contractors also.

i've been in the construction for 40 years and have seen fewer

professional jobs then hack jobs.
The crash took care of a lot of them, but since the economy is getting back on its feet, I'm seeing more and more of them coming back.

If you can make it happen, dude, more power to you. I guess I'm too lame to not know where my next paycheck is coming from.
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Old 08-08-2012, 09:59 PM   #22
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can one really make a living being a handyman???


Good point about the paycheck thing.

Realize all the money you get aint yours!.
Bills need to be paid, your running a business.
Some pay themselves a bi-weekly salary just like a job, put money into the 'business account' when have lots of work so when things are slow you can pull some out.
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Old 08-08-2012, 11:43 PM   #23
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can one really make a living being a handyman???


Sure you can make money at it. However as mentioned above there are a few things to keep in mind:

charge enough to make a living-it is surprising how much expenses and overhead take out of your profit.

Go into it with some money saved. I found after a year or two it was fine when I had repeat clients who would call me regularly (the problem then was being TOO busy) however at first there will probably be some lean times when a job ends, especially in the winter.

Learn to use contracts and scope of work: This will eliminate confusion between yourself and a homeowner, as to exactly what is being done for the money: IE are the closets getting painted, is the ceiling getting two coats, is the price of the door hardware included in the estimate, etc.

Get liability insurance to protect yourself.

If people try and get you down in price-Don't do it, and probably look for better customers if they make a big deal of it. The price is the price of what it will take to do the job. You are in business not a charity.

When I was self employed I always enjoyed the handyman jobs better than the bigger jobs for the most part-in and out quicker, less stress and more variety. Look to get on with property managers and the like.
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Old 08-08-2012, 11:52 PM   #24
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Go over to http://www.contractortalk.com/f16/pr...success-27899/ and read the 32 page of info there.

If you are unwilling to put in the effort to figure out pricing, then you probably shouldn't be running your own business.
Lots more to running a business then just doing the Job.
Bookwork, advertising and office skills come into play.

I used to be part of that forum. Sister forum to this DIY. Some from there post here also.
Join it if you are serious lots of good info.
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Old 08-09-2012, 09:01 AM   #25
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Lots more to running a business then just doing the Job.
Bookwork, advertising and office skills come into play.
So true...I've been self employed since 1987 and have become an accountant, tax preparer, marketer, website developer, etc. Liability insurance and proper licensing for your area would be important, and don't forget to save money back for taxes. Will you have to collect sales tax? That's another permit you may need. If you can make a home office to write off come tax time, even better. My write off for business use of the home (600 sq. feet in my case) offsets the self employment taxes nicely. I can even write off the mileage when I drive the car for business purposes, which needs to be documented also. None of this is really difficult, just takes some time and worth it to be self employed!
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Old 08-09-2012, 11:18 AM   #26
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Thanks for all the great advice. I've got money tucked away for bad times. I understand the paper work involved. I really much prefer to do a quality job for people that are willing to compensate me accordingly. My hope is that my clients are middle to higher end. I've no desire to cater to the lower end that usually just care about a cheap price and not about quality product. I've had to deal with them in my previous life and they were always a PITA.

I've got a lot of Microsoft and Boeing friends. I may start out networking through them and see what happens

Last edited by NWFixer; 08-09-2012 at 11:21 AM.
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Old 08-09-2012, 02:57 PM   #27
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Business cards and professional looking decals on a truck are a good start.
Truck/van does not need to be new just in good shape and kept clean.
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Old 08-11-2012, 11:55 PM   #28
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Thanks for all the great advice. I've got money tucked away for bad times. I understand the paper work involved. I really much prefer to do a quality job for people that are willing to compensate me accordingly. My hope is that my clients are middle to higher end. I've no desire to cater to the lower end that usually just care about a cheap price and not about quality product. I've had to deal with them in my previous life and they were always a PITA.

I've got a lot of Microsoft and Boeing friends. I may start out networking through them and see what happens
You have a lot to learn, Wait until you try to get your last check and then you will see how friends are. You will need deep pockets to cover costs if you intend to have those clients. I have had to wait 120 days for final payment, no reasons they just couldn't get to it.
Maybe if I did not have a licence it would have been easier

Make sure you have proper contracts and Insurance.
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Old 08-12-2012, 02:26 AM   #29
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I found middle class clients to be the best .
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Old 08-13-2012, 01:13 AM   #30
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I don't care if they are middle, high, or low. If NWFixer plans everything right he should do good, The last thing he needs to worry about would be his final payment. I always take in consideration how much I want to have vested in a job not what my client level of income is. I have had up to 6 draws for a simple bath remodel just so I have a fair level of pay.
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