How to Start a Home-Based Handyman Business: Turn Your Skills into Cash - Schedule Your Jobs - Build Word-of-Mouth Referrals - Manage Insurance Issues - Handle Paperwork--From Permits to Invoices - Work Smart and Safe


Terry Meany, author of Knack Home Repair & Maintenance, provides all the necessary tools and strategies one needs to turn skills into cash by launching and growing a handyman business. He explains how to get started, develop a service manual, screen clients, serve customers, learn from the competition, ...

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Terry Meany, author of Knack Home Repair & Maintenance, provides all the necessary tools and strategies one needs to turn skills into cash by launching and growing a handyman business. He explains how to get started, develop a service manual, screen clients, serve customers, learn from the competition, and set up a home office—as well as how to use the Internet to develop the business.
• Turn your skills into cash
• Schedule your jobs
• Build word-of-mouth referrals
• Manage insurance issues
• Handle paperwork—from permits to invoices
• Work smart and safe

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780762752775
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/4/2009
  • Series: Home-Based Business Series
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 586,139
  • Product dimensions: 7.50 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Terry Meany is the author of Knack Home Repair & Maintenance (GPP), Working Windows (Lyons), The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Plumbing, and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Electrical Repair. A former contractor, he lives in Seattle, Washington.

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Table of Contents

Introduction ix

01 So You Want to Start a Home-Based Handyman Business 1

Congratulations---Or Should You Run for the Hills? 1

The Eternal Handyman 2

Turning Skills and Work Experience into a Business 2

Self-Employment: Being Your Own Boss---Or Is Everyone Your Boss? 3

What Can You Offer That's Unique or Different? 5

Show Me the Money 6

Personality Profile 8

Meet Your New Partner, the Government 12

Family Life 12

02 Envisioning Your Business 14

Adjusting Your Rose-Colored Glasses 14

Who Needs You? 15

Role Models 17

Your Headquarters 18

Time Frame 19

It Costs How Much? 19

Your Competition---Friends or Foes? 22

Picking and Choosing Your Work 22

Hitting the Road...or Not 25

Making Your Lists and Checking Them Twice (or More) 26

Staffing 27

Customers---The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly 32

Put It on My Tab 38

03 Writing a Business Plan 41

We Want to See Your Plans... 41

Explain Yourself 45

The Dreaded Marketing 45

Organization and Management 48

Off to Work You Go 48

Selling Trinkets 50

According to the Law... 51

Starting Up 52

Fixed Costs, Variable Costs, and Estimated Fees 52

Plan B 55

04 Financial Planning 56

The Big-Ticket Items 56

Open Your Checkbook 57

Insurance 58

A Bonding Experience 63

Let Me See Your License and Registration, Please 65

Legal Eagles and Number Crunchers 65

Smaller-Ticket Items 67

Marketing 69

Taxes 71

Enough with These Expenses; Let's Talk Income 71

Is It Enough? 74

If the Numbers Don't Work Out... 75

05 Getting Started 76

First Things First 77

Licensing 79

Banking 80

The Tax Collector Cometh 81

Dreaming of a Paperless Office 82

Estimates and Contracts84

Marketing Materials 88

Finding Suppliers 91

Business Vehicles 92

06 Your Home Work Space 94

Filling the Space 94

Technology Rules...with Exceptions 96

Office Printer 97

Connecting to the Outside World 98

Other Office Supplies 102

Work/Repair Area 104

Vehicle Storage 105

07 Financial Management 107

Handyman and Collection Agency 108

Paper Dollars 109

Digital Dollars 109

Snail-Mail Payments 109

Mechanic's Lien 111

Small Claims Court 113

Collection Agencies 113

Your Turn to Pay 114

Cash Flow 115

Bank Line of Credit 116

Equipment Allowance 117

Vehicle Maintenance 118

Savings and Retirement 120

08 Taxes and Recordkeeping 127

Good Accounting and Recordkeeping Lead to Easier Tax Filling 129

Filing Tax Returns 131

Who You Are Determines Which Forms to Use 132

Reducing Your Taxes with Deductions 133

About That Office Deduction... 134

Do It Yourself or Hire a Tax Service? 136

Employees 138

09 Legal and Ethical Issues 139

Legal Requirements 140

Policies and Procedures 141

Employees 141

Income and Taxes 143

Cash 144

Trade and Bartering 144

Contracts Count 144

Hourly Fees 146

Client Confidentiality 146

Up Close and (Too) Personal? 147

Smile, You're on Candid Camera 148

A Few More Job Concerns 148

Substituting Materials 149

Waste---Toxic and Otherwise 149

Lead-Based Paint 150

When It's About You 151

When It's About the Customer 151

10 Marketing Your Business 153

People Are Talking about You 154

Blogs 156

Crank Up the Printer 156

Customer Targets 158

Direct Mail 159

Special and Seasonal Promotions 166

Preferred Installer Status 167

Charitable Work 167

Internet Marketing 168

Marketing a Niche Service 168

Everyone Likes a Freebie 169

Radio and TV 171

Stretching Your Marketing Dollars 172

11 The Internet and E-Commerce 175

Your Web Site 175

Forums 181

Craigslist 181

Paying for Internet Advertising 182

12 Training and Certification 184

Online Info 184

Back to School 186

Other Community Resources 187

Industry Certifications 187

Books 188

Magazines 189

Historic Preservation Training 190

Safety Training 190

Law School 192

13 Business Endgame 193

You're Established; Now What? 193

Time to Widen Your Vision? 194

Lifestyle Choices 195

Those Pesky Kids 196

Employees 196

Temporary Laborers 197

Contracting Out 198

Specialty Work 198

Grunt Work 200

Bigger, But Not Always Better, Customers 200

Time to Close Up Shop 201

What You're Selling 202

Pre-Sale 202

Setting a Price 203

If Your Price Isn't Met... 204

Letting Go 204

Appendix A Hiring and Firing Employees 206

Appendix B How to Figure Your Costs 213

Resources 217

Index 222

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  • Posted May 25, 2012


    Chock full of ideas and lays out may pitfalls one might not think of. Great book and I would highly reccomend it.

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