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I get a lot of e-mails from readers who are interested in starting a handyman business, but have a few roadblocks holding them back. Those roadblocks are usually unanswered questions or assumptions based on bad information.

There is a lot of bogus information out on the Internet today. In this article I’m going to address 3 Myths that I believe hold a lot of people back from the the freedom and fulfillment of owning  a handyman business. I’ll show you why these myths just aren’t true and how I’ve proven it with my own business.

If you are thinking about starting a handyman business but still aren’t sure, keep reading. Or, just watch the video below.

3 Myths About the Handyman Business - YouTube

Myth #1:  You need to know how to do everything.

Many people believe that in order to start a handyman service, they need to know how to do everything: plumbing, electrical, HVAC, door repairs, appliance repairs, you name it.

 The Truth

This is simply not true! Nobody knows how to do everything. Every handyman runs into issues that he can’t fix.  Every handyman has customers ask for work that he or she is uncomfortable doing. It happened to me all the time.

The truth is that you can be very profitable by offering limited services. Take a trash removal service for example. All they do is drive to a home, fill up their truck with trash, and haul it to the dump. Another example is a garage door repair specialist. All they do is fix and install garage doors and make quite a bit of money doing it. Some handyman businesses out there only do simple maintenance and take care of To-Do lists.  Stuff like changing out light bulbs, replacing faucets, patching up paint, and hanging pictures.

If lack of skill is something that is holding you back, I recommend going through the short exercise in this post to determine which service you can start offering right away.

I got started with very little experience and just learned as much as I could along the way. Each time I was faced with a new type of job, I would get online and do a few minutes of research.  I’d check out 3 or 4 videos on YouTube, read some forums, and get an overall feel for how to approach a project. I’d then apply my own common sense to the job. Sure, there were challenging times, but that just made it that much more fulfilling when I finished the job.

Sometimes a customer would ask me to do work that I had no idea how to do.  In those cases, I would simply state that I don’t have a lot of experience with that type of work and I’d recommend that they go with a specialist. This actually gained a lot of trust with my customers. They loved my honesty.

The benefits of not knowing everything

Being faced with challenges everyday forces you to learn, which is good for your brain. Your brain is a muscle that needs to be exercised.

Not only is it good for your brain, but solving problems is a huge confidence booster. It feels great to solve a customers problem and then get paid for it.

Being faced with unique challenges also keeps the job interesting. You’ll never be doing the same mundane task all day as with most desk jobs.

Myth #2:  Small jobs aren’t profitable

I’ve had several people come to me with concerns of job size and If I wish I could do larger jobs. Here are my thoughts. You can make more money on larger jobs simply because you are working for eight hours at a time instead of for shorter periods of one to three hours. However, larger jobs usually require more work and are more stressful than doing several small jobs each day.

If you believe small jobs aren’t profitable, then you either aren’t charging enough or your service area is too large.

My interview with Steve, a handyman that has been in the business for 20 years is a valid example. In fact, he actually prefers small jobs like replacing a garbage disposal or changing out a kitchen faucet.  He can go knock out 3 or 4 quick $75-$100 jobs by driving a few blocks down the road and then spend the rest of the day doing something fun.

One thing to consider is that  Steve limits his service area to only a few miles and has a minimum charge of $75 – 2 critical decisions that make, instead of break, his business model.

Benefits of small jobs

Small jobs are less stressful than larger construction jobs. For one, you don’t need any help so you don’t have to deal with hiring employees. Secondly, they usually aren’t very complex. This is a good thing when trying to estimate how long something will take. Thirdly, they don’t drag on for weeks while customers pressure you to work faster.

Small jobs are great for all those people that think they have ADD. If you get bored easy, you probably won’t be doing a small job long enough to actually get bored. Additionally, if you offer a wide range of services, you are always changing it up with unique jobs and a variety of customers. This helps keep things interesting and challenging.

Myth #3:  Charging by the job is the ONLY way to charge.

I’m sure you’ve heard this before. Any handyman that you talk to that has been doing this for more than 5 years will tell you that charging by the job is the only way to go. They’ll also explain that they started charging hourly and lost a lot of money because of it.

I have to agree. You can make more money charging by the job because as you get more efficient you can do jobs faster and increase your hourly rate significantly without having to tell your customer that you charge more.

BUT, and this is important, these same handyman don’t remember what it’s like getting started.  They’ve been doing it for so long that they know how long things take, how much materials cost, and consequently, how much to charge. They don’t seem to remember that they charged hourly for a reason, and that was because they lacked experience.

Since I started my handyman business, I have been experimenting with both charging methods and believe that charging hourly can be better for someone that is new to this business.

In fact, you’ll probably make more money charging hourly in the beginning because things always take longer than you think. I’ve bid on several jobs that ended up taking me twice as long as expected and I lost money because of this lack of experience.

Benefits of working by the hour

Working by the hour saves time by eliminated the need to provide quotes. Also, you don’t have to sit and think about everything that goes into the job. You can just get started and be payed for the time you are figuring things out. It also eliminates a lot of stress and allows you to focus on promoting yourself and growing your business.

By setting a solid hourly rate right away, you can confidently tell anybody that you talk to exactly how much to charge. This eliminates one of the barriers customers have to get over to hire you. If they know how much you charge before they call, they are pretty much ready to hire you. If not, that is one more thing the customer has to figure out before they make their decision. Depending on your hourly rate, you’ll likely eliminate working with many waste-your-time customers.

Need help setting your prices?  Check out “The $100K Handyman” – a guide to pricing your handyman services for maximum profit and customer satisfaction 

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Ready to start a home based handyman business and want to know the best way to get started?

Like most people in your shoes, you probably have one or more of the following questions:

“What’s the first step?”
“How much experience do I need?”
“What kind of licensing do I need?”
“How much money can I actually make?”

I’ll answer them all here. But regardless of what questions you have or how much experience is under your belt, starting a handyman business the smart way should always consist of the same steps.

And in this article, I’m going to walk you through the first 5 steps to starting a successful handyman business. By completing these first steps, you will create a clear business plan that is sure to bring you profit, freedom, and satisfaction.

How To Start a Profitable Handyman Business - YouTube

STEP 1: Choose Your Services

The very first step you should take is to evaluate your current skills and decide on the services you are going to provide.

You may be thinking, “Don’t I need to be able to do everything?”

The short answer is no, you don’t. In fact, you can generate large profits by offering a limited range of services. In fact, in some cases it can be more profitable to specialize.

For example, I’m unable to do any plumbing, electrical, or HVAC work without a license in my state. This limits my services significantly, yet I still have more business than I could possibly handle.

Additionally, think about all of the other handyman-like service businesses out there such as garage door repair companies, lawn care companies, locksmiths, home security installers, masons, and many more. These businesses all focus on a specific service and are still highly profitable.

As a handyman, you are typically going to have a much broader range of services that will span several trades, but you can certainly get started by offering what you know how to do and grow from there. That’s how I started my handyman business and I’m still learning new skills every day.

So the first thing you need do is make a list of all of the possible services you can offer right now.

And if you’d like some ideas, then I recommend reading a free report that shares 10 profitable handyman services you can do without a contractor’s license. Click here to read the free report.

STEP 2: Learn the Handyman Laws in Your State

One of the best ways to ruin your day is to start a business as a handyman only to later realize you need a contractors license. Hopefully, you don’t find this out the hard way like I did and I reach you in time.

Before you get too excited about the services list that you just made, it’s time to do some reading on the contracting laws in your state (every state is different). You need to find out which services you can and can’t offer without a license, or you need to figure out what license you need in order to provide the service you want to provide. In many cases you won’t need a special license at all.

For example, in my state I can’t do any electrical, plumbing, or HVAC without a license in those specific trades. Also, I can’t do jobs over $1,000 without a contractors license. So basically I can do anything under a $1,000 that isn’t plumbing, electrical, or HVAC without a license. That may sound very limiting, but it’s actually totally fine. There are plenty of jobs that fit within those limits – more than enough to run a profitable business.

Despite the fact that I could do bigger jobs and potentially make more money with a license, not having a license actually works better for my business model since I focus on small repairs.

You can get a pretty good idea of the laws in your state by going to your state’s contractors board website and reading there. Typically they will have a FAQ section for handymen which will outline laws related to small repairs and maintenance.

To learn more about handyman licenses and laws read this article.

STEP 3:  Define Your Ideal Customers

Not everyone is your customer. 

When I first started my handyman business, I didn’t really understand this concept and worked for anybody I could. I’d lower my prices to get jobs, take on jobs I wasn’t good at, and basically tried to serve everyone who would hire me. Because of this I ended up getting some bad reviews and I way undercharged for my services.

Finally I learned my lesson. Never lower your rates to get customers. Design your business around helping a specific type of customer and focus on helping them. Your services simply aren’t a good fit for everybody in your city.

I can’t stress this enough. Targeting the right customers for your business is essential, and will have a dramatic impact on both your enjoyment and your profits as a pro handyman.

This is true for any business, and it’s especially true for a handyman, plumber, electrician, or contractor because you’ll be dealing with your customers face to face.

If you are targeting customers you actually enjoy working for and who are willing to pay decent rates for your services, you’ll be happier, they’ll be happier, you’ll get more referrals and repeat business, and you’ll make more money. If you try to work for everybody you’re going to struggle financially or emotionally – probably both.

By spending some time figuring out who would benefit most from your service and who you actually want to work for, you can avoid this frustration and your success will be accelerated dramatically.

STEP 4:  Set Your Pricing

It’s time to figure out how much to charge.

But first, let’s answer the bigger question on your mind…“How much can you make as a pro handyman?”

It may surprise you, but it’s not uncommon for my students to generate a six figure income while doing basic services. Personally, I’ve made up to $200 per hour and typically average just under $100 per hour.

So, the handyman business can be surprisingly profitable IF you set it up properly.

And as with any type of business, having a good grasp on the financial side of things is essential – especially when it comes to setting your handyman rates.

Deciding how much to charge is one of the most difficult parts of starting a handyman business because of the psychology and limiting beliefs involved. This is where I see the most mistakes with my readers. Not only do you need to consider things like your experience level, efficiency of work, ability to sell, reputation, and professionalism, but you also need to understand what you must charge to actually turn a profit.

Then you need to have the balls to actually charge that much!

It’s no easy task when you probably have some self doubt about your skills and abilities to start with. (Don’t worry, most people do.)

But here’s the deal. This problem has already been solved!

You don’t have to just pick a number out of thin air or base your rates on what your friends or family think. You don’t have to undercharge, waste time, and leave money on the table while you learn pricing the hard way.

Instead, you can follow a proven system for setting your pricing that guarantees you generate a healthy profit. (Nothing against your friends and family, but they probably aren’t your ideal customers so their opinions don’t matter!)

STEP 5:  Develop a Marketing Strategy

At this point, you should have a good idea of the services you are going to offer, who is going to buy them, and how much you are going to charge.

The next step is to figure out how you are going to reach your ideal clients and then convince them to buy from you. That’s right, it’s time to form a marketing plan.

The good news for you is that people are actively searching for your services every single day of the year and sometimes is just a matter of putting your message in front of them. The bad news is that there are a lot of other handymen out there with the same thing in mind.

Don’t worry, there’s more good news. Most handymen are terrible marketers and by putting a little extra effort in your marketing you can make a killing. The fact that you are reading this website puts you way ahead of the pack.

Your goal in this step is to figure out which marketing methods are going to be most effective and have the highest ROI (return on investment).

So sit down and study your ideal clients’ behaviors, desires, and frustrations so you can come up with the best methods for promoting your handyman business and gaining those customers.

Or, you can just download this free handyman marketing report where I share the most effective method for attracting high paying customers.

Either way, you’ll want to spend some time on this because it will have a big impact on your success.

And once you take these five steps, you’ll have a solid plan for dominating as a pro handyman. You’ll have a new feeling of excitement, a boost in motivation, and you’ll be ready to claim your freedom and finally start a business. Obviously, you won’t get this all done in one sitting. So take your time and knock out each step one at a time (and don’t forget to take advantage of the training products I’ve created to help you.)

P.S. Ready to jump start your business?
If so, save yourself time, accelerate your results, and avoid common mistakes by following my complete step-by-step system for starting a profitable handyman business. Click here to learn more.
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The handyman business works great as a part-time business. The overhead is low and it only takes a few hours per week to generate a profit as long as you charge enough for your services.

So in this article, I’m going to break down the numbers to show you exactly how much you would need to charge in order to make an extra one thousand big ones each month while only working 5 hours per week total.

This is totally doable by the way. And I think it’s an excellent way to dip your toes in the water before you dive all the way in and go full time as a pro handyman.

Plus, $1,000 extra each month is nice. You can buy all kinds of fun stuff and experiences with that much moola.

Let’s dive into the math and get a realistic view of how to do this.

How to Make $1,000 Per Month In Just 5 Hours Per Week

First we need to figure out how many hours per month five hours per week equates to. So, let’s take 5 hrs and multiply that by 52, since there are 52 weeks in the year. Then, we’ll divide that number by 12 since there are 12 months in the year. That gives us 21.7 hours per month.

Now, many people might be tempted to just take $1,000 and divide it by 21.7, but it’s not that easy. If you did this you would get ~$46 per hour. But if you charge that much, you’d actually make much less than $1,000 per month because you aren’t accounting for taxes or expenses – a mistake I see happening way too often.

Just because your business generated $1,000 doesn’t mean you get to keep $1,000. I know that’s obvious to anybody who has been in business, but those who haven’t often don’t realize this.

So let’s do some better math that includes these basic expenses.

Since you are just operating part time on a small scale, there’s a good chance you can keep your expenses lower than you would if you went full time. Let’s say you already have your own tools and a vehicle you can use. At a minimum, you would still have the following expenses.

Very basic expenses for a lean part-time handyman business:
  • Liability Insurance: $70-$100 per month (optional but a good idea)
  • Vehicle Mileage and Gas: $75 per month
  • Tools and Supplies: $40 per month
  • City Business License: $300 per year = $25 per month
  • Marketing Budget: $50 per month

Total Expenses: ~$260 per month (not too bad, eh?)

You’d also need to pay self-employment taxes – which at the time of writing this are 15.3% of your gross profits.

So assuming your expenses are $260 and you are in fact going to pay your taxes, how much would you need to charge?

Well, the math gets slightly more complicated, so I’m not going to break it down here. I’ll just tell you. (You can go to this article too see the math.)

You’d have to charge $66.39 per hour.

But…that still isn’t 100% correct.

That’s because if all you have is 5 hours per week to dedicate to your business, then there is zero chance that you will get paid for all 5 hours. You’ll have to spend time driving, picking up supplies, following up with customers, quoting jobs, and doing things like accounting.

Let’s say those business admin tasks take an average of 1.5 hours per week. That only leaves 3.5 hours per week to actually make money – which is 15.2 hours per month.

So if you spent a total of 21.7 hours working in your handyman business, you’d only bill customers for about 15.2 hours. Obviously that will vary, but it’s a good estimate to start with.

And, since you are working fewer hours, you’ll need to charge more in order to hit the $1k per month. Factoring in these admin tasks bumps your hourly rate from $66.39 to $94.78.

So that puts your target hourly rate at about $95 per hour. That’s how much you would need to charge if you only wanted to work 5 hours per week.

How to Make $95 Per Hour Doing Basic Handyman Services

To many who read this $95 per hour sounds like a lot, and it is. There are many handymen out there who make nowhere near that much – and as much as I try to teach them how, many still haven’t found me yet.

But I assure you it is totally doable.

The key to making $95 per hour isn’t to just charge $95 per hour. You’d probably get some resistance from customers with this rate depending on where you live and the type of services you are offering.

Instead, you’ll want to charge flat rate for as many services as possible. Sure, you may charge a lower hourly rate (for example $75 per hour) for certain jobs like I talk about in my pricing guide. But if you charge a flat rate for other services it can bump your average hourly rate to well above $95.

I’ll just give you a couple of examples of common jobs where you can make $100 or more per hour.

#1 – TV wall Mount – You can easily charge $100 to mount a TV and it usually takes 45 minutes to an hour.

#2 – Fence Repair – If you use the method I demonstrate in this video, you can make up to $200 per hour.

#3 – Door Repairs – There are several small door repair jobs that are easy to quote and can easily help you hit the $100/hr mark.

There are three examples and there are plenty more. I mean, you can clean gutters and make $150 per hour if you setup your business well. $95 per hour really isn’t that crazy once you get a handle on your pricing and marketing.

And the best way to increase your rates even further is to specialize like I talk about in this post. That allows you to become more efficient and able to provide more value to your customers in less time.

What Would a 5 Hr Work Week Actually Look Like?

In order to make $1,000 each month, you’d need need to make about $332 per week in income from labor.

That could be accomplished with just one fence repair on the weekend. Or, by doing three TV wall mount installs throughout the week after work.

Or, a couple of door repairs on a Saturday morning. This would allow you to start your business and still have a life outside of work. Huge bonus.

Reality Check

I’m not here to sugar coat things or make them look easier than they are. So here’s a reality check.

First, In order to reach this point you’ll need to invest some time and effort setting up your business. While there may be some people who will fill their 5 hours per week by simply throwing up a few craigslist ads or posting to their friends on facebook, for most people it won’t happen instantly.

Second, in order to hit the $100 per hour range you’ll almost certainly have to do some decent marketing. At a minimum you’ll want to build a website and get some reviews on websites like Thumbtack or Yelp.

And third, you’ll want to have a strong enough lead flow (jobs coming in) to where you could be somewhat picky about the kind of jobs you take on. Otherwise you might find yourself driving too far or doing unprofitable jobs like painting – which would reduce your profits substantially.

I think these are minor inconveniences, but I did want to mention them since they will take time and effort to solve.

Taking Your Business Full Time

The great thing about starting your business part-time is that when you’re ready to go full time it’s just a matter of scaling up what you’ve already created.

So here’s how the math is likely to work out once you go full time.

Hours invested might go from 5 to 40 hours per week, where you’ll provide handyman services for approximately 28 hours per week.

Monthly expenses would likely jump from $260 to ~$1700 per month.

Here’s the cool part. If you can maintain the same hourly rate of ~$95 per hour, your income will jump from $12,000 per year to $100,000 per year.

So by starting out with the goal of making $1,000 per month in 5 hours per week, you will essentially create the framework for a six-figure handyman business. That amount will easily replace the income from most desk jobs.

If you’ve been thinking of starting a business for a while now and just haven’t pulled the trigger, hopefully this article will nudge you in the direction to give it a try. And when you’re ready to start a profitable handyman business, my complete step-by-step guide is right here waiting for you.

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Handymen are always asking me for the best way to advertise a handyman business.

Is it Home Advisor? Thumbtack? Craigslist? Direct mail maybe?

My answer is always the same. Basically I tell them something like this…

Online marketing has worked the best for me and my clients. That means building a good website, optimizing it for SEO, and then focusing on getting reviews on other platforms like Yelp or Google My Business.

There are a whole bunch of reasons this works best which I won’t get into here, but here’s what I rarely have the time or motivation to explain…

This online marketing strategy is just a tactic – and without at least a surface level understanding of marketing principles it doesn’t matter what marketing tactic you use, it probably won’t work very well.

Why?

Because if you don’t know how to sell yourself to customers, the tactic you use to get their attention won’t matter.

Even if you do everything right from SEO to getting online reviews, you could be making one or two mistakes that repel your ideal customers and attract customers looking for cheap labor. And the same is true with any marketing method you may be using.

Tactics vs. Principles And Why Most People Suck at Marketing

Tactic an action or strategy carefully planned to achieve a specific end.

Principlea fundamental truth or proposition that serves as the foundation for a system of belief or behavior or for a chain of reasoning.

Most businesses are focused on marketing tactics, totally forgetting about principles. And I get it. It seems like the quickest way to business success. Just find out what’s working for others right now and do the exact same thing. Skip all the hard work and go straight to the good stuff.

And there is some value to this because certain tactics yield much better results than others. Twenty-five years ago advertising in the local newspaper was a great way to grow your business. Now it’s rarely worth doing. That tactic has lost it’s effectiveness.

The effectiveness of any given marketing tactic will change over time, so it is nice to know what is working right now.

But the principles of attracting customers NEVER change.

And not only that, but marketing principles are what make the difference between your phone blowing up with eager customers or staring at an empty schedule.

Here’s an example…

Let’s say we are both posting ads on Craigslist for our handyman businesses. I’ve been in business for 10 years and I know EXACTLY what to say to get people to hire me.

You, on the other hand, are going to have my two year old son write your Craigslist ad.

Who do you think will get more customers?

This is an extreme example, but I think it illustrates the point pretty well…

The content of your ads is equally, if not more, important than the advertising method that you are using.

But, let’s go a step further because marketing isn’t just about writing good ads. Everything you do in your business is marketing – from how you dress to what you drive and whether or not you decided to wear deodorant today.

It all matters. And it all depends on one single marketing principle…

The Mother of All Marketing Principles – Understand Your Customer

Most unsuccessful businesses are unsuccessful because they don’t understand their customers. Those business owners make assumptions about what their customers want based on their own mindset and beliefs. They assume everybody thinks just like they do.

Successful business owners on the other hand take the time to learn about their customers – with an understanding that everybody has a different world view. They know everyone places different levels of value on different things.

Some customers want the best prices and they’ll drive 30 miles to save $5 on shampoo. Wal-mart markets heavily to these budget-minded customers.

Some customers value convenience over everything else and will pay $20 to save five minutes looking for a parking spot. That’s why valet parking exists.

Some people cringe at the idea of paying a plumber $200 to fix a toilet. Others happily hand their money over with a big fat smile and a sense of relief.

You get the point. Everyone is different. Everyone considers different factors when deciding who to hire or what to buy.

And when you actually understand your customers’ unique needs and interests, everything gets easier. Not only can you write better ads that grab their attention and get them to call you, you can provide the exact type of service they want.

If you’re a plumber and know your customers tend to value social status over saving a buck, you’ll know to sell them premium plumbing fixtures.

If your customers are super busy and barely have enough time to even dial their phones to call a handyman, then you know convenience is important to them and you’ll focus on making everything easier for them – even if it means charging higher rates.

And you’ll know to mention these things in your advertising!

This is so important that I could talk about it for hours and give a thousand examples. The sad thing is that many still wouldn’t internalize how important this is.

Does this all sound like common sense? Principles always sound like common sense once you learn them because they are fundamental truths!

But knowing what to do is different than actually doing it. So the real question is…

How Well Do You Understand Your Customers?

If you’re about to say…”I have so many different kinds of customers and they want all kinds of different things” then there’s your problem. Stop trying to work for everybody. When it comes to marketing it’s always more effective to target one specific type of customer per ad.

If you’re about to say…”I’ve been doing this for 20 years and I understand my customers. I just need to learn how to reach them.” Are you sure? If you knew them so well wouldn’t you know exactly how to reach them?

The truth is that we could all get to know our customers better. Even as I’m writing this I’m realizing there is a lot I still have to learn.

The good news is that you don’t have to be perfect with this stuff to get results. Usually the practice of just trying to empathize with your customers is enough to generate useful marketing insights that you can use to fill your schedule.

So, before you start even thinking about what tactic to use, start with the basics. Build a foundation for your business and marketing efforts by taking the time to get to know the people you’re trying serve. Talk to them. Ask them questions, and really listen to them without applying your own world view to everything they say. You’ll be amazed at what you learn.

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Thumbtack can be a fast and easy way to get customers and grow your business, but should you try it?

I’ve talked to several pro handymen who love Thumbtack, but when you read online reviews it’s like Thumbtack is out there killing babies or something. People are pissed.

So who should you trust, and most importantly, should you use it to generate leads for your business? That is the ultimate question I’ll answer in this article.

I’ll talk about the controversial issues around Thumbtack, the pros and cons of using it, how much you can expect to pay for a lead, and tips for maximizing your results if you decide to sign up and test it for yourself

Common Complaints From Thumbtack Pros and Contractors Issue #1 – A recent jump in lead prices

In September of 2017, Thumbtack announced a new feature called “Instant Match.” As this new feature rolled out, Thumbtack changed how they charge for leads and the cost of leads has increased significantly as a result.

In one review on ConsumerAffairs.com, a Thumbtack pro said, “I sent a message to 2 different customers that would have normally been $8-$15 each only to discover (once my card had been charged) that those two bids now cost me $65.”

Another reviewer mentioned that leads that used to cost $3-$15 now cost $55. Assuming those reviews are accurate, that’s over a 700% increase in the cost of leads!

But wait just a second.

When I dug deeper I found out that most leads don’t cost anywhere near $50 or $60. In fact, most small handyman jobs cost about $8.25 per lead. Those higher priced leads are most likely for large contracting jobs like kitchen remodels and home additions.

Did Thumbtack raise the the price of leads? Yes, they did. But leads are still a bargain, especially when compared to Home Advisor.

Additionally, when Thumbtack boosted the cost of leads, they also changed how they charge for a lead. So instead of charging you just to submit a bid, they only charge you when a customer actually responds to your bid or hires you. So while lead prices have gone up, the amount of leads you’ll actually pay for have gone down and significantly reduces the amount of fake leads.

Issue #2 – Too much competition

Another complaint is that too many pros are competing for each lead. Where it used to be a maximum of three to five pros submitting bids on a job, now there could be as many as fifteen bidders on a job according to some reviews.

It’s difficult to verify this, however. Nowhere on Thumbtack’s website tells you how many pros can bid on a job. Definitely not ideal, but not a deal breaker either.

Issue #3 – Reviews and Accounts Being Deleted

If you read the fine print in Thumbtack’s Terms of Service you’ll learn that Thumbtack can delete your profile without warning and without explanation.

So let’s say you’ve been on the platform for 2 years, built up a solid profile with dozens of five-star reviews. If Thumbtack doesn’t like something about your profile they can straight up delete it without even providing a warning. Or they can just delete your reviews if they think they are fake.

Now, they probably won’t delete your profile as long as you follow good business practices. But it’s still risky putting the well-being of your company in the hands of somebody else.

But Is Thumbtack Effective?

Look, if Thumbtack didn’t work for handymen, contractors, house cleaners, and dozens of other service providers, it would quickly disappear. But it hasn’t. Instead, it’s now known as a unicorn (a privately held company worth over a billion dollars). In 2015 Thumbtack was valued at a whopping $1.3 Billion and it has continued to grow since.

Anytime you read online reviews on sites like BBB and all you see are bad reviews, understand that happy customers aren’t leaving reviews. Only the pissed off people who feel like they were screwed have enough motivation to leave a review.

There could be a hundred extremely happy pros for every negative review you find online. But do you really think that pros who’ve struck lead generation gold are going to tell everybody about it? No, they’re going to milk it for as long as they can.

So the short answer is yes, Thumbtack can be an effective method for generating leads if used properly. Like I said, I’ve spoken to several pros who use it and like it.

Should You Use It To Grow Your Business?

Honestly, it depends. I don’t personally use it because I can generate more than enough leads through my website (and those leads are free).

However, I do recommend Thumbtack to many of my readers and clients who are just getting started because it’s a great temporary solution. Buying leads is good for the short-term while you work on longer term marketing strategies like building an online presence.

So if you’re just starting your business or you need some customers fast to fill your schedule, give it a try. Test it. Learn how to use it properly (which I’ll discuss below), give it a fair shake, and if it doesn’t work for you, stop using it.

Simple.

Don’t be like many people I’ve seen that are so scared of being scammed that they won’t try anything and end up leaving money on the table as a result.

However, I do have a word of warning about lead generation services…

Here’s What NOT To Do

The only problem with using websites like Thumbtack is when they are your sole method of getting new customers.

Instead, view Thumbtack as a tool for getting leads quickly while you work on other marketing methods that you have more control over.

You’ll also want to do things like build a website, get some reviews on websites like Yelp, and do some SEO to get your website to show up in google so you can generate free leads.

Just like when investing your money, you want to DIVERSIFY where your leads come from to reduce risk and keep your schedule filled all year.

Never outsource your entire marketing efforts to one company that you don’t control. They can change things at the blink of an eye and literally wipe you out. Or, they can force you to lower your prices in order to to compete.

The Details – How Exactly Does Thumbtack Work?

Thumbtack’s goal is to make hiring a plumber, handyman, gardener, dog groomer, or any local service business as easy as ordering products from Amazon.

Customers visit their website, enter a bunch of information about the service they are looking for, and then Thumbtack connects the customer with multiple pros who have the opportunity to bid on jobs and sell themselves to customers. Thumbtack then charges the pro when the customer hires them or communicates with them.

Basically, Thumbtack sends you leads that you can bid on, and then they charge you for those leads.

This is very similar to Home Advisor with a few small differences.

As a pro, you sign up, create a profile, customize your settings so Thumbtack knows what services you offer, and then you wait for jobs to come through. You get to set your service area, hours, services, and rates.

Once a job comes through, there are three ways to submit a bid…

Bidding Method #1 – Manual Bids

When a job comes through that matches the services you offer and it’s in your service area, Thumbtack will notify you by text, email, or both. Then, you can look at the details of the job and decide whether or not to submit a bid. You can be as picky as you want with jobs you bid on.

Bidding Method #2 – “Instant Match”

This is Thumbtack’s latest upgrade to the platform, and it basically allows you to submit bids automatically for certain jobs. You setup your preferences, create a pre-written response, and when jobs come through Thumbtack will automatically send your bid to the customer. (This is good if you charge hourly).

Regardless of whether or not you use Instant Match or just manually bid on jobs, you only pay for the lead once the customer hires you or responds to your bid. This helps to reduce the amount of fake leads which is a huge problem with Home Advisor.

If you don’t bid on any jobs? You don’t pay a dime. At least not for now, although that will probably change in the future.

Thumbtack Pricing – How Much Does It Cost for Pros?

As with all lead gen services, the answer is that it depends. According to Thumbtack’s website, “The cost of each quote will vary, depending on the value of the job and the number of available and interested pros in the area.” There is no cost to sign up.

So, bigger jobs like kitchen remodels will cost $50+, while smaller jobs like replacing a toilet or a day of handyman services will be in the $8-$10 range.

However, I’m sure Thumbtack is constantly adjusting their rates to go as high as possible while still being competitive enough for pros to keep using the platform. This is a huge reason why I never recommend relying on lead generation companies solely for leads. They basically have you by the balls and there’s nothing you can do if they decide to hike rates.

Are Background Checks Required?

According to Thumbtack’s website, they “sometimes require pros to take background checks.”

So no, background checks are NOT required across the board. It’s not clear how they determine who needs one so you’d have to sign up to find out for sure.

What I Like about Thumbtack
  • You only pay for leads if you submit a quote and the customer responds. This allows you to pick and choose which jobs you bid on.
  • The website allows you to get jobs quickly which is nice if you’re just getting started or need to fill gaps in your schedule.
  • You can see what your competition is charging and do market research before starting your business.
  • It’s easy to stand out if you put some effort into your profile.
What I Don’t Like About Thumbtack
  • You don’t control it so you’re at their mercy.
  • It may encourage pros to drop their prices and potentially force you to drop your prices to compete (depends a lot on services you’re offering and the time of year).
  • It can be time consuming going back and forth with customers.
Thumbtack From a Homeowners Perspective

This review wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t talk about the experience the homeowner has while using Thumbtack. And like any good detective I spent some time to investigate that.

Here’s what they do really well for homeowners:

  • Their website is top notch – This is a huge trust builder for homeowners, and while you’re browsing their site you get the feeling that you are being well taken care of.
  • There are lots of pros to choose from (at least in my city) – Within seconds of entering a job I had 3 different options of handymen to choose from and more came over the following days.
  • Pricing is transparent – I knew how much the handymen charged right away.
  • It’s easy to communicate with pros – You can message pros directly through the website to get your questions answered. From a customer stand point, this is a great way to get a feel for how well the pro communicates and their style.
  • Reviews are mostly from verified customers – Just like any online directory, they have reviews, most of which have to be from verified customers – although they do allow pros to ask non-Thumbtack customers for up to 10 reviews.

Thumbtack makes it really easy to find independent contractors. The hole process for the customer is streamlined, professional, and easy to use. In fact, I can see myself using it in the future for random services I may need.

And, as time passes, I’m sure the platform will continue to improve, more service providers will sign up, and Thumbtack will get even better for homeowners. That’s nice, but it also means they will have more control over the industry.

Quick Tips for Maximizing ROI

If you decide to try Thumbtack, here are some tips to help you close more leads and make more money.

#1 – Add a Good Picture Of Yourself

Most handymen just put their logo or a picture of a recent job for their profile pic. Don’t do that! Customers want to see who they are hiring. By simply having a professional headshot of yourself on your profile, you’ll get 10x as many jobs that you quote – which also means you’ll pay less to get customers.

#2 – Communicate Quickly

Think about it. Customers are using Thumbtack to save time searching for a pro. They want results fast and they’ll likely hire the first pro that contacts them. Sure, on jobs like kitchen remodels customers will want to talk to three different pros and weigh their options. But on smaller jobs they just want to hire and move on.

#3 – Prune Your Service Offering

Once you’ve bid on 25-50 jobs, go back and look at your history to see which jobs you were hired for and which jobs you weren’t. You’ll probably notice a pattern. Certain types of leads will never turn into customers, so change your settings and stop wasting your time bidding on those jobs. Conversely, you’ll find that certain jobs have a very high closing rate. Double down on those.

#4 – Get Some Reviews

This one is obvious. According to Thumbtack, 85% of pros hired on thumbtack have at least one review. You don’t need 100 reviews, just a couple to give potential customers some peace of mind.

Let’s Sum it Up

Thumbtack can be a great tool to help you fill your schedule when time is of the essence. Just don’t rely on it as your sole source of leads.

There’s a Better Way To Fill Your Schedule

Don’t pay another dime for leads. Learn how to attract high paying customers to your home service business consistently and reliably in this free report.

“80/20 Handyman Marketing”

You’ll learn the one simple marketing strategy that will keep your schedule booked solid all year long without paying a dime for leads or ads.

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When I first heard the saying “work smarter not harder,” it stunned me. I just sat there slack-jawed and confused while the guy that said it casually got up and walked away.

It happened in a college class, and ever since that moment I’ve been trying to figure out what it actually means.

I remember this experience because I felt dumb – like a neanderthal banging stones together while everyone else were driving flying cars.

I now had a big question looming over my head…”how does somebody actually work smarter instead of harder?”

Whatever the answer was, I wanted to do that.

But I didn’t realize until much later that It’s not the answer to that question that is valuable, but the question itself.

No matter what you’re doing, this question has the power to jolt you out of default mode and ask – “how can this be done faster, easier, or better?”

The answer is always different, but there is usually value in asking. You just have to remember to ask (which is surprisingly difficult). Then you need to actually take action and test the answers you come up with (even harder).

Sometimes working smarter means challenging common assumptions like the idea that giving free quotes is required to run a handyman business (Hint: it’s not).

Sometimes it’s a matter of finding a mentor who can show you an easier path. And it’s almost always a matter of delaying gratification to focus on the long term.

Whatever it is, if you want to double your business (and your income) year after year, then you will certainly need to work smart – and probably hard too.

So in this article I’m going to share how to work smart to experience consistent growth in your business, year after year, without making overly risky decisions.

Maximizing Profit vs. Increasing Profit Potential

Assuming you are actively trying to make more money, there are two ways to do that: maximizing current profits and increasing profit potential.

#1 – Maximizing Current Profits

This would include obvious things like working more hours or simply raising your rates.

For example, let’s say you currently charge $50/hr as a pro handyman. To maximize profits, you could take on more jobs and work more hours, or you could increase your rates and charge $60, $70, or even $100/hr.

The logic here is straightforward:

More Jobs = More Money
Higher Rates = Higher Profits

And this is a worthy place to spend your time. There are plenty of ways to maximize your profits as a handyman, and you should learn them all.

However, if you only focus here, you’ll eventually hit an income ceiling because there are only so many hours in the day and there is a limit to how much you can charge. That limit is likely higher than you think it is, but there is a limit.

So unless you go beyond maximizing current profits, your income will eventually stagnate. Not necessarily a bad thing, but the purpose of this article is to show how you can double your income, year after year. So let’s talk about the second way to grow your income.

#2 – Increasing Profit Potential

This would include activities like learning new skills, hiring employees, building systems in your business that save you time or enhance your effectiveness, getting a contractor’s license, testing new revenue streams, or even starting a completely new business.

Increasing profit potential is all about investing your time now, probably unpaid, so you can increase your value or leverage, and therefore, potential profits.

So, let’s say you’ve hit an income ceiling in your business. You’re already charging as much as customers are willing to pay and working as many hours as you can. Investing time and effort to increase your profit potential is how to break through that ceiling.

And there are infinite ways to increase profit potential. Here are a few examples:

  • Improve your marketing and target higher paying customers
  • Acquire new skills that people will pay higher rates for
  • Move to another city with a better economy
  • Start selling your extra leads to other contractors
  • Test out different pricing models
  • Build systems that automate common tasks and save you time (one of my favorites)

To use the Michael Gerber saying, this is like working “on” your business instead of “in” your business. However, increasing Profit Potential also includes working “on” your life and personal development as well.

So, maximizing profits is about short term strategies that pay more today. Increasing Profit Potential is about long term thinking and doing things now that will pay off big tomorrow.

Unlocking Consistent Growth – Year After Year After Year

The key to consistent growth is to balance your time between making money now (Maximizing Profits), and focusing on future growth (Increasing Profit Potential).

Too much time spent on either will stifle growth, so the right balance is key.

By focusing too much time on maxing out profits today, you’ll hit an income ceiling. By spending too much time on future profits, you risk running out of money and motivation. So, you need to make enough money to support your life today, while investing the remainder to grow.

One of the beautiful things about owning a business is that you get to decide how you spend your time, which is a unique asset that most people simply don’t have. That means you can seek that balance.

Employees are stuck being squeezed by their bosses for every ounce of productivity every day, and rarely have time to think, strategize, or develop themselves. Being free of that is a huge advantage.

Use that advantage. Here’s how…

Step #1 – Understand Your Finances

The first step is to understand how much money you need today in order to maintain your lifestyle. This is important because it helps you determine how many days or hours you need to work “in” your business right now (providing services), which also helps you figure out how much time you are able to work on increasing profit potential.

Step #2 – Schedule Time That Is Non-Negotiable

Just like you’d schedule a job for a customer, schedule time to focus on future growth – whether that is attaining new skills or knowledge, or working on your business. And, ideally that time isn’t going to be during the weekends or after hours.

Save that time for rest and recovery. Trying to do hard work that requires tough decisions when you’re already tired is ineffective (i.e. working hard and dumb). Not only does it lead to poor decision making, it’s not sustainable or enjoyable. It’s just a quick path to burning out.

Never try to do too much at once. And when you do, make sure it’s only done in short bursts because burnout sucks, and it ends up slowing you down in the long run.

So, instead of trying to work more, try to work the same amount, but just spend less of that time providing services and more of it working on future growth – a.k.a. increasing your profit potential.

For example, once I got my handyman rates up to a certain point, I scaled back my schedule and only provided services three days per week. I was still able to generate enough profit to support my lifestyle, and the rest of my time was spent building the very website you’re reading right now.

Maybe you can only afford to spend half a day on increasing profit potential. That’s ok as long as you invest that time wisely. If you do invest it in the right things, you’re income will raise to the point where you can work fewer hours and make the same amount of money.

And that’s the beauty about this process – it’s a virtuous cycle. The more time you invest in increasing your profit potential, the more time you’ll have to spend on increasing profit potential. That’s because your income/hr will naturally grow over time and it will take fewer hours to make enough money to support your lifestyle. That allows you to invest even more time in future growth, which leads to even more growth.

If you do this consistently and with discipline, you’ll eventually be able to stop working completely, and all of your working time will be solely on increasing your potential profits. You’ll be a business owner instead of a business operator.

It’s kind of like investing money so that you have more money later, but instead you are investing time and working smart so you have more time and money later.

Why Doesn’t Everybody Do This?

This concept is easy to grasp – spend time and effort working on improving yourself and your business and your income and freedom will grow over time. But as always, implementing things in real life is much more difficult. And there are several reasons this is especially hard to do.

It Limits Current Profits

When you work on your business, you limit your current profits (assuming you can keep your schedule filled). One hour spent on improving your marketing is one less hour you can work for customers.

So, you’ll always be sacrificing a little bit of money today to make more money tomorrow.

In fact, if you consistently invest time into increasing profit potential, you will never maximize your current income. You’ll always be earning beneath your capacity. That’s a hard thing to train yourself to do.

However, when you do, you’ll always be increasing your capacity. Sure, five years from now you might be only earning 60% of your potential profits, but that’s not bad if your potential profits are $300K/year.

Results Are Rarely Guaranteed

Many of the projects you work on won’t even pay off.

Your first employee may cost you lots of time and money with nothing to show for it accept a learning experience. You may not recoup your investment until the 3rd or 4th employee.

You might read five books that don’t help you at all until that sixth book changes your life.

You could try offering a new service that might pay more, but will it really work out? Is there already too much competition offering that service? Will it be worth all the effort?

You’ll never know unless you try it, and people don’t like uncertainty. They’d rather spend time on things they know will pay – like providing services.

However, many of the projects you invest time into will work, and the benefit of those will far outweigh the failed projects in the long run. You just have to think long term, which is not a natural thing to do.

The Work Is Less Enjoyable

If those first two reasons aren’t enough to deter someone from investing time to increase their profit potential, this is the one that does it.

The truth is that higher leverage work is usually less fun while you’re doing it. For example, sitting in an office working on your online marketing is much less fun than fixing stuff for people.

Spending thirty minutes to make a checklist today so you save 2 hrs per month on your accounting later is boring as hell.

When you fix a customers home, you get instant gratification. They pay you with a smile right then and there. When you work on improving your business, the results are usually delayed. Sometimes weeks. Sometimes months. Sometimes years.

Sure, the payoff might be huge, but delaying gratification is something we humans suck at, and we certainly don’t enjoy doing it.

Then Why Does Anybody Do This?

It turns out working smart in this case is counter-instinctual – it forces you to work against your natural tendencies.

In order to break into higher earning potential, you have to sacrifice profits today, work hard on boring things that may not even work, and wait weeks, months, or even years for that effort to potentially pay off.

Who the hell wants to do that?

I don’t think anybody wants to do these things, they just want what these things will get them.

Maybe that’s social status. Maybe that’s to prove people wrong. But I’m guessing that the primary motivator is fear. Fear of falling behind. Fear of waking up 10 years from now in the same exact financial situation. Fear of never having the time to spend with their friends and family. Fear of being too old to work and living from social security check to social security check.

I know that’s what drives me to do it, and in this case I’m thankful for being motivated by fear. It’s a healthy fear because it helps me do the hard things that improve my life.

So What Should You Do?

One thing I recommend to my consulting clients is to take at least one day off each week to work “on” their business – usually a Monday or Friday. That’s often a good place to start. As time goes on and your profit potential grows, you can invest even more time into future growth.

Whatever you do, spend some time on personal and business development. Your future self will thank you.

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I don’t know of a better time in history to be a professional handyman or contractor.

Our economy is growing.

Our society is becoming less and less handy.

Houses are getting more complex.

And people are outsourcing more of their lives every day in an attempt to do more, have more, and be more.

It used to be uncommon to hire a housecleaner. It was something only wealthy families did. Now, it’s normal for a middle class family to hire a not only a housecleaner, but to hire mobile dog groomers, carpet cleaners, painters, lawn care services, dog walkers, nannies, and of course, a handyman.

Basically, there has never been such a high demand for our services. But the interesting thing is that as an industry, we are relatively unsophisticated.

While most industries have complex sales and marketing behind them, most handyman businesses are just a dude with a truck and some tools.

And I hate to say it, but for the most part, our industry sucks at marketing. Even though there is a high demand for our services, it’s still challenging for homeowners to find good service providers.

That’s why big companies like Home Advisor, ThumbTack, TaskRabbit, and even Amazon have created very profitable businesses selling customers to handymen, contractors, and other home service providers.

We have services that people want, but we suck at reaching our ideal customers. So, these big companies attempt to connect us with the customers for a fee.

Every Lead You Buy Is Another Nail In the Coffin

For most small service professionals (especially those just getting started), partnering with these big tech companies seems like a good idea. They can just buy leads easily right now and outsource the headache of marketing altogether.

It seems like a no brainer at first, but it’s actually a terrible idea in the long run. That’s because these large tech companies are slowly becoming the go-to resource for homeowners who need a service. And, as that happens, they gain control over the industry – and your business.

Suddenly, they set the rules. They determine how much a lead costs. They can charge you for low quality leads and you’ll have no choice but to pay. Anybody who’s paid for leads knows they’re already a huge hassle to deal with.

And, if things keep going this way, those big companies are going to gain even more momentum, become even more sophisticated, plant their brands firmly in America’s minds, and soon they could be setting your prices as well.

The big companies will be optimized to offer the best possible value to their customers, while squeezing the small service providers that deliver the service to the point of razor thin profits.

The same thing has already happened in other industries. Just take a look at what Amazon.com has done to retail stores and many product brands. Often, brands have no choice but to sell their stuff on Amazon, but by doing so they are essentially forced to lower their prices.

These big tech companies have deep pockets and can afford to have the kind of long term, lose-money-now-to-gain-power-later strategy that catapulted Amazon into the small business crushing behemoth that it is.

And here’s the thing. When you rely on others to do your marketing, they control your business and profits. If you rely on others to bring you work, you don’t have a business, you have a job.

A Better Way To Reach Customers

There is a better way to reach your ideal customers that doesn’t require you to hand over your hard earned profits (and future) to big tech companies.

It’s no secret the the internet is the best way to reach potential customers whether you are selling home repairs or garden gnomes.

And since the home service industry as a whole is relatively unsophisticated when it comes to marketing, it’s surprisingly easy to stand out online if you’re willing to learn how to leverage the tools available to you. Yes, it will take time, money, and energy to learn this. It’s not something that is just going to be done for you. But it’s worth it.

Building a strong online presence is an investment in your business that will pay huge dividends. Here are just a few of the benefits you’ll enjoy:

  • Lower cost to acquire a customer
  • Higher profits (you don’t have to buy leads)
  • Higher quality customers (customers who are more aligned with your business)
  • More security with market shifts
  • More control over your business and customer experience.

So, instead of your business losing control over time, you actually gain more control and your profits grow.

Good marketing also benefits your customers. Assuming you offer a great service, you’ll actually be helping customers by making it easier to find you. You’ll also be helping them in the long run by cutting out the middle man.

So you have a choice. Right now you can leverage the high demand for your services and the fact that the competition is unsophisticated to grow your business. But things won’t always be this way. The market will evolve.

There’s a wave of opportunity, and you can either ride it or let it ride you.

Stop Paying For Leads – Use This One Strategy To Keep Your Schedule Filled Consistently

Don’t pay another dime for low-quality leads. Learn how to attract high paying customers to your home service business consistently and reliably in this free report.

“80/20 Handyman Marketing”

You’ll learn the one simple marketing strategy that will keep your schedule booked solid all year long without paying for leads.

Read Full Article
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Do you feel like your handyman business income has hit a “glass ceiling?”

Maybe your schedule is already full, and you’re pretty sure your pricing is about as high as it can go.

If so, how do you increase your income? How do you generate more profit when you don’t want to work more hours, work harder, or just raise your prices?

At first glance, it may seem difficult. Potentially not even worth the effort. A lot of pros assume the only way to grow from here is to hire employees, and most don’t want to do that.

When you get to this point, you may even be bored with your business and feel stagnate. Sure, you’re making great money and have control of your time, but you’re missing the excitement that comes with growth.

It’s not a fun place to be. I’ve personally been in this spot a few times and each time I start to question my choice in careers. I even feel bad because I’m in a spot in my business that many people dream about, yet I’m unsatisfied. I think to myself…”What’s wrong with me? Will I ever be happy?”

But, I’ve learned that this is normal. It’s part of the human condition to seek growth. It doesn’t matter if you’re a billionaire or on food stamps, the feeling of progress is what generates satisfaction and happiness.

I’ve also realized that there are always ways to grow within your business and keep things interesting. There’s always something that can be optimized for higher profits or more fun.

So in this article I’m going to share a few ways you can grow your business, break through that glass ceiling, and start enjoying the process again – WITHOUT having to put in more hours, work harder, or hire employees.

Profit Booster #1 – Lock Down a Solid Pricing Strategy

This is the first place to look because just a little bit of effort here can dramatically impact your profits – allowing you to work fewer hours or just make more money.

Like I’ve said before, if you increase your rates from $25 to $40, you’re profit will DOUBLE. And, if you’re charging a higher rate, say $50/hr, increasing that to $70/hr will double your profit. Then, if you can go from $70/hr to $100/hr, you’ll increase your profit by another 53% and likely generate over six figures per year in profit.

That’s a big deal.

The truth is that most handymen are undercharging for their services and leaving a lot of money on the table. The interesting part is that many of these business owners think they are already charging a lot for their services. They already think they are maxed out.

I get e-mails all the time from guys saying they’re charging $35/hr and don’t think they can charge anymore. The answer is YES, you can, and you should.

So, how do you know if your pricing strategy needs some work? If you’re asking that question, then the answer is probably yes. However, here are a few other questions to ask yourself.

Do you know exactly how much you need to generate per hour, day, and week to hit your desired income when considering all of your expenses?

Do you know how many billable hours you need to work on average to hit your income goals? Again, considering all expenses and taxes.

Are you aware how different methods of pricing your services (flat rate vs. hourly vs. quoting) can impact your income?

Do you know how much profit you actually generate on a monthly basis?

If you answer no to any of these questions, then good news. You probably have a LOT of room for growth by making a few adjustments to your pricing strategy. I recommend you take a serious look at my pricing guide if that’s the case.

Profit Booster #2 – Optimize Your Marketing

So if your schedule is already full, why would you want to focus on marketing?

Good question.

But the real question is…is your schedule filled with your ideal customers and jobs?

Or, are you driving too far for jobs, working for customers who drain your soul, or taking on jobs that you hate doing?

Often, I see a handyman who is taking on jobs that require him to drive 30 miles or more, sometimes for a one or two hour job. That’s a long way to drive when you could be driving just 5 or, at most, 10 miles to a job. If you optimize your marketing, you can start attracting customers closer together, reducing travel time and expenses. How would that effect your business?

Or, maybe you are dealing with jobs you hate, or customers that don’t respect your work. This may not impact your income directly, but it does significantly impact your enjoyment which eventually impacts your income. Better marketing will help you attract your ideal customers and jobs so you can turn down jobs you don’t want.

And, worst of all, maybe you are afraid to increase your prices out of fear of losing customers. I see this a lot when people get most of their jobs through word of mouth. Sure, your schedule is filled, but if you aren’t charging enough for the work to be worth it, what’s the point?

By improving your marketing, you can break out of these bad habits. As I’ve written about before, good marketing makes everything in your business easier and more profitable.

Don’t think you can raise your rates? Often, pricing problems are just marketing problems in disguise.

Profit Booster #3 – Develop a Specialty or Two

The handyman business is awesome because you are working on a new project every day, solving a different problem with each customer. Every job has a level of novelty to it.

However, that novelty comes with a cost. It’s difficult to streamline your business when every job is different. You need more tools, a more complicated pricing strategy, more trips to the store, and it’s hard to add other profit maximizers.

But, this can be solved by simply developing a few specialties that you’re really good at. These specialty services could be anything from building custom furniture to installing smart home technology to something simple like garage door repairs. The service you choose to specialize in doesn’t matter. What matters is that you pick a service you are good at (or interested in), that pays well, and then take the time to market that service.

Over time, you’ll naturally find ways to generate a higher income from the specialty services that you offer.

And, who knows, maybe you’ll eventually change your business model to exclusively offer those services to really streamline things.

Here’s a more in depth article of the value of specializing.

Profit Booster #4 – Fix Your Schedule

After consulting with several other pros, I’ve noticed that most are spending a LOT of time during the day not making money.

I’ve seen situations where a handyman is spending 9 hours per day out “working” but only billing for 3-4 hours.

What takes up the rest of the time? It’s driving between jobs, following up with customers, or even just waiting for the next scheduled job to start.

Of course these things are necessary and will always be there, but there are ways to dramatically reduce the amount of time spent doing them so more of your time is spent actually making money (or just enjoying more time off).

I’ve already written an in depth article about how to streamline your schedule as a service provider here, so I’m not going to go into detail about it. But, if you’re constantly running around and working but not getting anywhere, then here is where you may want to focus some time and effort.

What Should You Focus On First?

Whenever I consult with handyman business owners, I usually find opportunities for growth in all four areas I’ve discussed above.

However, I’ve found one area that generates the biggest results overall, and that is marketing. This is mostly because of the mindset shift it facilitates for the business owner.

When you’re schedule is booked out two, three, or even six weeks in advance and leads are still coming in consistently and from multiple sources, it gives you the confidence to make bold moves in your business. Your mindset shifts from feeling the need to bend to every customers will and offer discounts, to a feeling of power over your day and which jobs you accept.

The opportunity cost of taking on low profit jobs goes up. You start to feel like you are wasting your time instead of “just being grateful to have work.”

This mindset shift is powerful and it’s not something that can be taught or explained. It’s something that must emerge from the experience of being in demand.

What do you think?…Which area do you see the most opportunity for growth in your business and why?

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