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How to Start a Profitable Home Repair Buisness

Updated on November 20, 2010

Rotted wood repair(don't stand on a ladder like this) find a taller ladder

Don't be afraid to work for yourself

In today’s economy many people in the construction business are searching for work. Many other people in other fields have been let go or laid off due to the lagging job market. To these people, I say don’t wait for someone to hire you, create your own job. There is an expanding market out in the home repair business and people with the right attitude and knowledge can make a decent living in this field.

Have you ever considered the fact that if there is ten percent unemployment, that there is ninety percent employment? That means there is a lot of people out there still working and spending money. A lot of these people are home owners and will be constantly seeking out people to help with minor repair problems around their homes.

Don’t get me wrong, this is not for everyone. You need to have working knowledge of how to use ladders, power tools, hand tools and repair techniques. But, if you are the hands on type, either from the sub-contract field or the homeowner that does all your own repairs, you could actually make a go of this.

First, don’t be fooled by the national companies that offer franchise opportunities to their handyman business. Most of the time they are the ones that make all the money and when thing go wrong, it’s you that is on the line. I’ve see people that spent thousands of dollars on franchises that only lasted six months in the business, and not only did they lose their investment in the franchise fee, they walked away with a lot of disappointed customers.

OK, so how do I get started, you ask? First you will need a business license. Go to your local planning and zoning department or court house and ask where you can apply. You will need to let them know that you will not be a contractor. In most states, to be a licensed contractor you will need a contractor’s license. But, to be a handyman service, if you stick to small jobs less than $2500.00 all you will need is a business license. This will normally run you between fifty and a hundred dollars.

Once you have your business license, get liability insurance. You can usually get a policy that will cover up to 500k (five hundred thousand) for less than eight hundred dollars a year. This is a small price to pay if something does go wrong. Without this insurance you can be sued and lose everything you have and everything you ever worked for. Don’t let this happen to you!

Now you have your insurance and business license and you’re ready to start. You will a need a few business cards. You can make your own from your home computer or have them printed. I suggest that if you have them printed visit some of them on line sites. You can have them printed and shipped to you for less than twenty five dollars per thousand if find the right deals. Vista print is the one I use and they allow you to create your own templates and offer very good deals on other products. Once you have your cards, let’s get at it.

First, let’s get our name out there. If you live in a neighborhood and know your neighbors talk to them and let them know that you are out there. Word of mouth is your best advertising. Don’t be afraid to talk to people, if you are then quit now. You have to market yourself. Take any project that comes along no matter how small. Set your fees according to the size of the project at first, I suggest a seventy five dollar minimum on small jobs, this will cover your time and gas if it’s local. You figure out after awhile hot to set your prices for your particular market. Don’t be afraid to ask for your money either, if you completed the task, you worked for it, you deserve it.

Once, you have done a few small jobs and people are happy ask each one if you can use them as a reference. As you go to the next job this will come in handy. When you can give people a reference list for work you’ve done, they are more likely to use you. The more you do the more reference you gain and the more likely your prior customers will recommend you to their friends and acquaintances.

Once you get started you will be amazed at how fast things will begin to grow. If you do quality work for a fair price you can stay busy. Now this is not a get rich quick scheme, but you can make a decent living once you get going. If you are sitting at home right now, then it will be definitely more than you’re making now.

Let me emphasize, you have to willing to work at this just like anything else. You can’t lie in bed just because it cold outside or raining. You have to be willing to give a hundred percent effort. There may be times when you can’t do physical work because of the weather, but you can continue to market yourself. Go the local home improvement store and walk around with cards in your pocket. If you see a store customer that looks like they may need some help walk up and talk to them. They could be a potential customer. I have done this on several occasions and walked out of the store with a new customer for different projects. There a lot of way to market yourself, the more you get use to talking to people the more comfortable you will be in your conversations. Beware, don’t Bullsh_t anybody. Don’t promise more than you can do, it only ends badly for everyone.

But, if you can be honest with yourself and your customers you can do this. Remember, this will take time, but if you try, in the next ninety days you could be making at least five to six hundred dollars a week. By the end of six months, if you stay at it and keep promoting yourself, probably twice that much, if not more. Being in business for you self isn’t easy, it takes discipline and hard work.

I have been in the construction business for over twenty years and have made a very good living for me and my family. I think there is plenty of room out here for hard working honest people. There are a lot of homes and business that will need maintenance for years to come.

Good luck on this endeavor if you decide to jump in, but remember that things change constantly and it’s up to you to continue to educate yourself on the latest trends and home improvement techniques. You can read the one of the latest trends for energy savings at http://hubpages.com/hub/Builders-need-to-include-this-item-as-standard-in-every-new-home

This is an ever expanding market and could be right for your next venture.

A Truck like this is a very important tool

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