[Q&A] How Much Should I Charge For My Handyman Services?

Question:

Travis,

I just recently started my handyman business and my biggest concern right now is with pricing. How much should I charge for my services?

Thanks, Jim

Answer:

Jim,

There’s really not a one-size-fits-all approach to pricing your handyman services. For starters, I encourage every handyman to price jobs flat rate. It’s not easy to start out like that because you will underestimate jobs if you don’t have a good idea of how long something takes. The handyman price list can help with that though.

Don’t get discouraged if you underestimate the first few jobs. Just like with anything else, it’s a learning process and you will get better at it. If you start pricing jobs flat rate from the beginning you won’t have to deal with this later. I come across many guys that priced by the hour for the first few years of their business and even when they switched over to flat rate pricing there was still a learning curve. I recommend starting out that way so you get it over with right from the beginning.

Now that I got that out of the way, you’ll need to come up with a target hourly rate. You’ll use this to price your jobs. Think about how many working hours you plan to have in a typical day. Try to be conservative here. If you are just starting out (like you said) and you haven’t done a ton of marketing yet, you may only average 4 hours a day or so that you actually work on projects for customers. So, how much do you need to make in those 4 hours to meet the goals of your business?

Obviously, you are just starting out so you won’t be able to command higher rates like an experienced handyman will but you do need to come up with a starting point. Remember, if you are charging flat rate (not hourly), you can adjust your pricing at any time and your customers would never know (because you aren’t telling them how much you make per hour).

For a handyman just starting out I would recommend starting at a bare minimum of $30 as a target hourly rate. I almost cringe when I write that number because it’s actually very low. Almost any area in the US or otherwise should have no problem supporting that target hourly rate. Remember, don’t tell your customers you charge $30 per hour. If they have you give them a quote on a job that you expect will take you 4 hours to complete, your estimate would be $120 ($30 x 4). So the only number that you tell them is $120 to complete the job. If you get it done sooner, good for you.

I’d recommend starting there and adjusting up as you see fit. As you gain more experience and become quicker at completing jobs, you can adjust your target hourly rate to a higher number. Also, feel free to add in a trip charge too if you’d like. So if you wanted to have a trip charge of $40 you’d just add that to your target hourly rate to come up with the final estimate. The trip charge helps for jobs that don’t take very long. You wouldn’t want to go out and do a 1 hour job for $30. With a trip charge, that 1 hour job would be $70.

Sorry it was kinda a long answer but it’s not a simple question. I hope that helps.

-Travis

Comment Policy:Your words are your own, so be nice and helpful. Please, only use your real name and limit the amount of links submitted in your comment. If your comment looks spammy it will be deleted.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

I'd love to know what you think about this post. Let me know by submitting a comment.