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Old 10-15-2012, 02:24 PM   #16
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Opening a handyman business... your advice?


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Mike, I know you mods have superpowers, but what the heck are you talking about???
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Old 10-15-2012, 02:29 PM   #17
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Opening a handyman business... your advice?


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Mike, I know you mods have superpowers, but what the heck are you talking about???
That's funny...At 5am op had a link posted which now I see has vanished.

Some mods post a reason when they edit an op, some don't. I wish they all would, it can get confusing when things vanish from a post that others have already commented on.
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Old 10-15-2012, 03:27 PM   #18
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Opening a handyman business... your advice?


Hey everyone... thanks so much for all your input. I will definitely take some time and re-read all the posts carefully. A little more info about my situation:

- I have a new truck, but no signage. As I am contracting for a handyman company now, I'm not sure I can have my business logo on the truck. I might have to go with the magnets, but I agree with the poster that recommended decals. I'll read my contract with and see if I can have my own logos on the truck.

- I see your point about the term "handyman". Honestly, I am not skilled enough in anyone craft to claim I am an expert in that field. So handyman is a good term for me. About my pricing... I think I am at a good starting point with approx $30 per hour. When I fill a 40 hour week regularly, I will consider raising my prices slowly.

- I will get a picture on the home page as suggested. thanks for the critique.

- About the staircase that was/is not up to code... That is my cabin in the U.P. The inspector let it go

Thanks everyone for the advice and encouragement. I was getting down about the lack of responses, so this helps! And I did finally get my first call from my door hangers... its for a deck powerwashing and re-stain. Hope I get it!
And sorry about posting my website... I was not trying to sell anything to anyone... I was just trying to get some constructive criticism on the site
Thanks
Scott

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Old 10-15-2012, 03:34 PM   #19
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Opening a handyman business... your advice?


If your contract states you can't have your logo on your own truck, then I'd look into seeing if you can get your logo and contact information printed on some large magnets. Put them on your truck and only take them off for calls from your handyman company.
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Old 10-15-2012, 04:00 PM   #20
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Opening a handyman business... your advice?


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That's funny...At 5am op had a link posted which now I see has vanished.

Some mods post a reason when they edit an op, some don't. I wish they all would, it can get confusing when things vanish from a post that others have already commented on.
New members do not know (or read?) the rules about posting links, so some mods remove them. We allow trusted members to link to their websites in their signatures only. We prefer new members become established before linking to any sites, personal or otherwise as a spam preventative.

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Old 10-15-2012, 06:18 PM   #21
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Opening a handyman business... your advice?


Wrap your truck or at least get magnetic signs for both sides and your tailgate. You can get those on the cheap from Vista Print.

Craigslist and Backpage posts daily - make sure you have an image on your posts for better open rate - upload a copy of your postcard that you did showing your 20% discount and put the 20% discount in your Craigslist and Backpage ads

I honestly don't think marketing to only your town of 5000 is enough. Your mailing will probably only yield a 1% return, so I would market a couple of towns away.

Offer a small spiff to your friends, family and neighbors and current clients if they refer someone that turns into a job for you - give them 5% or offer them a free drain rodding or something like that. Something that you can do fast but will make them feel like they are getting something good.

Do a small mailing or better yet go drop off cards at your local real estate offices. New home buyers end up getting a punch list from their home inspectors when they are buying and they will need someone to do those repairs. Offer to refer clients to the realtors in exchange for them passing your card to new home buyers. For that matter, see if you can work something out with local home inspectors - sort of a mutual referral thing.

Just some random thoughts... GOOD LUCK!!!
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Old 10-15-2012, 08:51 PM   #22
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Opening a handyman business... your advice?


Scott---get your post count up to 20 and the PM me---I'd like to talk to you---perhaps I can help you avoid some of the mistakes I made many years ago---

And your price is still to low----figure out your over head --including selling time and expenses---I'll bet you are at $7.00 plus in overhead alone.
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Old 10-15-2012, 09:31 PM   #23
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Opening a handyman business... your advice?


It's great that your getting out door to door, doing mailings etc. but don't forget about low price or free want ads. Some people refuse to advertise their services in Craigs List because they feel it targets the tire kickers or those who want something for nothing. However, in one week of advertising on CL I signed a $5200.00 remodel with a GC. The local Nickle Ad paper brought me $750 the same week. My total investment was a $12 ad. Don't overlook these types of resources. Another resource I use is networking with other trades. Example: tell plumbers you patch/repair drywall and give them some cards.
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Old 10-15-2012, 10:14 PM   #24
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I wouldn't trust anyone with magnetic signs, they scream "Here today, gone tomorrow". If the company won't allow personal vehicles to be signed you might consider blank magnetics to cover it up at work. Magnetics are a pain though if you want to keep your paint job looking good. If so you need to make sure both surfaces are clean and dry.
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Old 10-15-2012, 10:30 PM   #25
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Another resource I use is networking with other trades. Example: tell plumbers you patch/repair drywall and give them some cards.
Networking is critical for a start up. Op has to get out there and physically talk to people and if you're persistent it will open up a few doors. How the start up handles those doors will determine success or failure (on the work side anyway).

Word of mouth is everything, it can make or break you, there are no shortcuts, it all has to be earned.
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Old 10-16-2012, 12:10 AM   #26
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Opening a handyman business... your advice?


Make sure you're not getting ripped on your printing costs (you likely are) make sure you're not getting ripped on your mailing costs (you are). I can mail a 9"x12" postcard (yes, that's HUGE) full color both sides to 5,000 homes for UNDER $1,300. Buying lists for YOUR kind of mailing is one of the biggest wastes of money.

As was said $30 hr is a joke, if as stated above you have $7 hr in over head 30-7= 23 then you have taxes on top (figure 40% because self employed costs you more in taxes) And you're coming out with $13.80... Hmmm... Oh by the way you might need health insurance... You need to know your overhead and trust me, it's a LOT more than you think.
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Old 10-16-2012, 12:24 AM   #27
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Opening a handyman business... your advice?


$7 per hour overhead? I doubt it. For me by myself my overhead was about $15/hr, or $600.00 per week.
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Old 10-18-2012, 02:25 PM   #28
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Opening a handyman business... your advice?


Is this crazy, but what about a nicely designed T-shirt with your website on it? Wear 'em everywhere you can.
It might get people asking you, rather than the other way around.
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Old 10-19-2012, 03:30 PM   #29
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In my humble opinion the stigma of a handyman is one that is not an expert in any one field like plumbing...electric...roofing, but a handyman is one who knows a little about a lot.

I probably would not let a self proclaimed handyworker work on my locales. Just my opinion and hope I have not offended any self procalimed handyworkers.

Scott, I love the name of the business. I think having the right name is half the battle for a small business.

What are you the very best at? If you had to pick one or two things that you really are confident doing, what would they be?

It is easier to be successful in business with a rifle than a shotgun. Do one or two things, and do them right.
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Old 10-19-2012, 11:43 PM   #30
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Opening a handyman business... your advice?


Check your insurance before you put signs on your truck. Most insurance companies will raise your rates.

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