I’ve had a few people email me and ask me what I would focus on first if I were to start over from scratch in a new city. This is actually a good question because it forces me to really think about what it takes to get a handyman business up and running as quickly as possible while focusing on only the essentials. I’ve carefully thought about the very first things I’d do if I were to start a handyman business from nothing in a new city.
Keep in mind, the tips I give below assume you’ve already come up with a name, have tools, and are ready to start getting some work. This is more about getting your first customers.
First things first, I’d get a website
I’ve always believed that any legitimate business needs a website. A well built website lends a ton of credibility to your business right from the instant. Be careful though because the opposite could be true if you throw up a sloppy website. It could actually hurt your credibility rather than help it if you don’t take your time and choose a website platform, company, or service that will actually make your business look good online so choose wisely. I recommend a website built with WordPress. I’ll go into detail more about websites in another post though.
By getting a website built first, you’ll see that some of the other suggestions below will fall into place better than if you didn’t have one. Actually, even before you get a website, you should secure the domain name for your business. I recommend NameCheap.com. It’s the company I use to register all my domain names.
There are a few reasons that I recommend getting a website built right away. The most important reason is that it’s been such a huge asset to my handyman business. I get virtually all of my business from my website. Not only that, but the customers that come from my website are pretty much already sold on using my business for their home repair needs. They’ve already seen some of my work and read a lot of my great reviews so once I talk to them, there’s really no selling going on. We set the appointment and we’re good to go.
I can certainly say my website is one of my business’s greatest assets so that’s the very first thing I’d do when starting a handyman business from scratch.
Second, I’d get listed on the most important directories
Once I had a nice website created, I’d sign up for the top local business directories. The ones I’d go for right away would be Google, Bing, and Yelp. Of course there are plenty more that I would eventually sign up for but these are the three that I would get working on right away. I’d fill out each profile completely, add pictures, all my business info, and link to my website.
Website directories like Google Places and Yelp are integral to getting noticed by home owners searching for a handyman on the web. Pair those business listings with a great website and you’re on track to really get found. Make sure you spend some time when creating these business listings as they will be there for the life of your business. Make them accurate and make your business look good.
Why do you need these listings?
You’ll have a really tough (or impossible) time being found in your local area if you don’t have any locally targeted content out there on the internet. Sure, you can create content on your website and I highly recommend that you do that but business profiles on sites like Google Places and Yelp are huge in helping you get found when someone is searching for a handyman in your area. There’s really no reason not to do it. It’s free.
Here are links to get started adding your business to local sites:
Third, I’d start posting ads on Craigslist
Personally, I don’t post ads on Craigslist. I don’t need to anymore. But, if I were starting over from scratch in another area, I’d definitely get on Craigslist and start posting ads.
Truthfully, posting ads on Craigslist is no fun at all. You’ll find that other people will flag your ads, they’ll get pushed down by competitors who posts a ton of ads each day, and there are a number of other reasons that you’ll eventually hate posting on Craigslist. So why do I suggest even doing it? Because it works and you can start getting business from it right away.
If you’re struggling to get customers right now, then Craigslist can help propel you into a full schedule. Just think of it as a temporary marketing method until you get the others (like your website) up to par.
If you need a more in depth article about posting ads on Craigslist, see this one.
Get started now
If you’re just in the beginning stages of starting your handyman business or maybe you haven’t yet started, do yourself a favor and hit the ground running. These three things I’ve outlined in this post will help you get up and running in no time and help you to start bringing in money for your new handyman business.