Is it really possible to start a handyman business from nothing? I get asked this question quite a bit so I figured I’d take some time to answer it and set the record straight. In short, the answer is absolutely YES. I started my handyman business with no money at all so I know it’s very possible.
Myth: It takes money to make money
This is absolutely a myth; not true at all. With a little creativity and a lot of ambition, you can make money from nothing at all and that applies to many businesses as well as a handyman business. I know for a fact because I did it myself. I will outline a simple plan below how to start a handyman business with no money at all.
#1 Take advantage of free resources
There are so many free resources available today that can help you start a handyman business without any money at all. You absolutely need to take advantage of them.
If you are ready to start a handyman business and want to get customers now you need to head on over to Google Places (http://www.google.com/places/). I have written a post about how to set up a Google Places listing here. It will take a week or two to get your places listing all set up since they need to verify your address but start now and you’ll be able to start getting customers soon.
Listen, I personally don’t advertise on Craigslist anymore. I haven’t done so in many years but I still recommend it to new handymen because it is completely free and it actually does work. You can literally post an ad in the morning and have a job lined up by the afternoon of that day. I don’t need to use Craigslist anymore for my business because I stay plenty busy without it now but if I was starting over from nothing, you better believe I’d be on there every day posting ads.
Let me reiterate something. If you want to start making money as a handyman right away, get on Craigslist immediately. I’ll get emails every so often from struggling handymen who tell me they are having a hard time getting business. That really should not happen if you are posting and ad on Craigslist at least once a day.
I’ll be honest. Posting on Craigslist is a pain. That’s why I stopped doing it a long time ago. There may be a lot of competition in your area so your ads get pushed down quickly, your ads may get flagged, there are things that work against you. But that doesn’t mean you give up. If you are struggling to get more business, you better be on Craigslist everyday.
Google Places and Craigslist are two valuable FREE resources that you cannot overlook.
Use some of that earned money for more marketing
So, if you have created a Google Places listing and have been posting ads on Craigslist, you should have money coming in from jobs. You need to allocate some of that money for more marketing right from the beginning. I talk to too many handymen that don’t have any type of marketing budget and that is a mistake. Believe me, I don’t like to spend money where I don’t have to so I don’t. I only spend money and time on the things that I’ve seen produce great results.
I love marketing my handyman business online. I get most of my business from my website so that is naturally where I’m going to suggest you spend some time and money. It’s a very low cost marketing method that can produce excellent results, if you do it right. If you have a little time (which we know you do) and a little know-how, you can actually create yourself a decent website. I’ve written a lot of information on what makes an effective handyman website here. Otherwise, you’ll have to pay someone to either create you a professional looking website or subscribe to a service that takes care of it for you.
If you already have money coming in from jobs you got from the free resources above (which you should) and you should also start feeling the effects of word of mouth (if you are doing good work) then you need to be allocating some of that money to other effective marketing methods like your website that I described above.
If you do this, it will ensure that you always have new business coming in and it will be easily paid for. And guess what? It didn’t cost you a dine to start getting this business. You effectively started a handyman business from absolutely nothing. The plan I laid out above is the exact plan that I used to start my handyman business. I got my first very critical customers from Craigslist and everything grew from there. You can do this too. It takes work but if this is what you want, it’s so worth it!
You really can start a handyman business from nothing!