How to get paid for your handyman services

After you perform handyman services for a client, you’ll need to get paid. Which payment methods will you take? I’ll outline the pros and cons of taking different payment methods below and let you know the payment methods that I take in my own business.

How many different payment methods should you offer?

You’ll want to offer enough different payment methods to make it convenient for your customers to pay you but you also don’t need to go overboard with it either. You’ll find that most customers will pay by either cash, check, or credit card.

What payment methods should you offer?

Like I stated above, you’ll find that most customers will either pay by cash, check, or credit card. In fact, these are the only payment methods I accept in my handyman business and that’s because it covers basically every single customer you’ll come across.

Cash – While nice to have, it just means you’ll need to run to your bank at some point to deposit it. I actually don’t really prefer cash all that much.

Checks - I like checks because I bank with Chase and I deposit all my checks using my iPhone so I don’t even have to visit a branch to make a deposit. Of course there is always the possibility of check fraud or bounced checks but I have to say, in all of my years running my business I’ve only had one bounced check and I simply contacted the customer and got it resolved. Remember, you know where they live!

Credit Card – Accepting credit cards is nice because it’s convenient for your customers but unfortunately there’s going to be a fee on your end to accept the payment. The fee is usually around 3%. I’ve just made sure that I’ve built that fee into my pricing so I don’t even think about it anymore.

Credit cards to accept

I use Square (http://squareup.com) to run credit cards. It plugs nicely into my iPhone and deposits the money into my bank account usually by the next business day. You can get a free card reader by visiting their website and then downloading the app. Taking payments is very easy and the fees are reasonable.

Square Fees: 2.75% for swiped transactions, Square Wallet payments, and Square Market transactions and 3.5% + 15¢ for manually-entered transactions.

If your customer’s invoice is large you can simply encourage them to pay with a check to avoid any fees.

Square works with any US-issued and most non-US issued cards bearing a Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover logo including the following card types:

  • Credit
  • Corporate
  • Debit
  • Gift
  • Pre-Paid
  • Rewards

The nice thing about going with something like Square is that you don’t have to open a merchant account or pay any monthly fees that usually accompany them.

Other payment options

There are other payment options out there but I find that they have too many drawbacks so I don’t bother with them. One in particular being PayPal. It’s easy to take payments with PayPal (they also have a card reader for your phone) but I just don’t like having my money go into a PayPal account then have to transfer it to my bank account.

Payment Terms

Unless you are working for a lot of Realtors or companies, you’ll find that most of your clients will be paying for your services right after you perform them. That’s the way I like it. I don’t like waiting a month for a couple hundred dollar check to come in. That being said, you’ll have a hard time getting any other payment terms from Realtors or companies. You’ll have to make a choice if it’s something you’d like to deal with. Some Realtors will even want to pay you after a house closes escrow. I think that’s absurd and I don’t allow it at all. Tell them you can collect a check or run a credit card over the phone immediately after performing the work then they can decide if they want to use you or go with someone else. or, if you do decide to work for them, make sure your rates are increased to compensate for the hassle.

Any other payment methods that you can recommend? Offer them in the comments below.

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