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5 Tips For A Successful Freelance Fix-It Business


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Not every entrepreneur wants to be a life coach or an internet marketer. Some just want to do what they love to do and get paid. Others just want to do what they’re great at doing – like fixing things – and get paid.

Handymen are entrepreneurs, too.

A true entrepreneur, according to Forbes.com, is “a person who organizes and manages any enterprise, especially a business, usually with considerable initiative and risk.” This definition in this article was taken from Dictionary.com to highlight an important distinction: an entrepreneur has a primordial urge to fill a need regardless of the industry.

We’re used to entrepreneurs being internet marketers or people selling products through ecommerce. However, the definition of entrepreneur includes handyman fix-it types.

Being an entrepreneur with fix-it skills puts you in a good position to profit from a wide variety of needs in your community – needs overlooked by other local entrepreneurs.

If the above description speaks to you, here are 5 tips for launching your own freelance fix-it business.

1. Get licensed if required by law – but do your research first.

First and foremost, if you’re going to use skills that require a license, get licensed as soon as possible. Check your state laws here to find out what you need.

If you’re going to specialize in a trade, it makes sense to get licensed in that specific trade. If you’re going to run a general handyman business, a general contractor’s license might make more sense.

Being a licensed contractor will give you more credibility and can get you higher paying jobs. However, there is a downside to getting licensed. Before you get licensed, and depending on your local laws, you’re free to perform various handyman services, to a degree, as long as it’s not plumbing, electrical, or HVAC.

Once you get a contractor’s license, you’re limited to jobs within that license. Dan Perry from HandymanStartup.com shares how getting licensed would limit his services. “If I got a carpenter’s license, I would no longer be able to legally offer painting, tile, drywall repair, and several other services that I occasionally offer. Even a general contractor’s license would limit my services.”

Find out what your local laws are before getting licensed so you don’t inadvertently cut yourself off from some jobs.

2. Find reliable sources for ordering parts and equipment.

Before launching your services to the world, find a reliable source for the parts you need. Sometimes you can get parts from Home Depot or Walmart, but you still need a backup in case they’re out of stock.

It’s important to get a good deal on parts, but reliability is most important. For example, if you’re fixing the jet system in someone’s hot tub and the part you need is out of stock at Walmart, you can go through an established online source for hot tub parts. Once you’ve established the reliability of your source, you’ll know how long it will take for parts to arrive and your customers will have their needs met.

3. Remind your clients to spread the word.

Word of mouth advertising will be huge for you as a freelance handyman, so don’t be afraid to remind your clients to spread the word. If they love the work you do for them, they won’t mind being nudged to share.

4. Establish a sole proprietorship.

Although it’s perfectly legal to do business in your own name, establishing some type of business entity does have benefits. Aside from tax breaks, you’ll have access to small amounts of capital through loans. However, a hidden advantage is being listed in Google’s local business directory.

With a Google My Business listing, your business will be found by locals when searching for the kind of services you offer. You’ll be able to optimize your on-page SEO even further by listing your business address in your footer.

With a Google business listing, you’ll also be able to collect reviews from your customers to establish an online reputation of reliability and trust.

5. Specialize in what’s relevant to your community.

Whatever your local community needs, those are the services you should offer. If you live in a cold climate where people use wood stoves and fireplaces, offer to split, stack, and deliver firewood. Offer to build wood shelters. If it snows in your area and you can afford the equipment, plow people’s driveways and private roads so they can get to work on time.

Operating a handyman business as a freelancer is a good way to get paid for using the skills you already have, and support your community at the same time.