How to start a home maintenance and repair business in 8 easy steps

 How to start a home maintenance and repair business in 8 easy steps

Do you love home improvement? Have you spent the last few weekends saving money by fixing something around your house? Do you want to turn your hobby into a business and make some extra cash on the side? If so, you should start a home maintenance and repair business! This article will walk you through the steps of starting your own business, all while being able to work in your pajamas.

1) Consider your strengths

As with any business, it’s important to figure out what your strengths are. If you enjoy working with people, a job as an executive assistant might be right for you. Or if you’re more of an analytical thinker, being a financial planner could suit your skill set well. Be honest about your skills when starting a new business and remember that nobody is good at everything. Find opportunities where you excel and embrace them! 

For example, if your top strength is numbers, think about businesses like bookkeeping or accounting firms. And if you have excellent communication skills and enjoy helping others solve problems, then perhaps customer service would be a great fit for you.

2) Outline the services you offer

First, outline your service offerings. Do you have experience working with large appliances? Or are you skilled at painting walls? Think about your previous work experience as well as any hobbies or interests that could translate into skills. Brainstorm all possible services before evaluating how many clients you can handle. Be honest about how much time you’ll be able to devote to each job—overbooking is a common mistake among small businesses! For example, if you only have one day per week to dedicate to repairs, then stick with smaller jobs like hanging pictures and replacing batteries.

3) Decide on pricing strategy

Many customers expect contractors to charge $100-$200 per hour for their services, but you have several options when it comes to pricing your own services. You can charge a flat rate, based on square footage or material used; you can offer packages (like the front yard only, the house interior only) that reflect your overall hourly rate; or you can set fixed prices for specific jobs (e.g., $125 per hour for small projects like fixing loose hinges). Be sure to include an estimate of how long each job will take, so your customer knows what they’re getting into before they hire you.

4) Create a marketing plan

Your marketing plan will tell you how you’re going to market your business. Without it, you might be like every other hopeful entrepreneur who launches a startup without a solid plan for getting new customers. It can help you determine which social media platforms are best for reaching potential clients, as well as which online advertising channels are most cost-effective. A good marketing plan should also spell out exactly what kind of content you’ll produce (blog posts? videos? infographics?) and where that content will live (your website? LinkedIn?).

5) Join relevant social media groups

Networking with other small business owners is one of the best ways to get your name out there, get valuable feedback on your services, and find referrals. One great place to do that is on social media groups—make sure you’re part of any groups related specifically to your area of work. Another great way is through online forums; popular sites like Yahoo! Answers allow experts (and aspiring ones) alike to ask questions, offer advice, and gather feedback from members with similar interests. In addition to getting you up-to-speed on what people are asking about or looking for, it also gives you a chance to build relationships with potential clients. If someone has already asked about something you can help them with, shoot them an email introducing yourself and offering your assistance. They may not be ready to hire yet but they will remember when they are.

6) Set up your website

Creating a website can be daunting, but it’s really quite simple—especially if you use one of many low-cost or free WordPress plugins. Just be sure to save your username and password so you can get back into your site in case anything happens. Once you have your site up and running, take some time to fill out all of your information on Google My Business (formerly Google Places). This will help ensure that potential customers can find you online when they search for services like yours. It’s also important to get listed on Yelp, Angie’s List, Thumbtack, Facebook, and any other local directories where people are likely to look for professionals like you. Also consider getting involved with organizations that serve your industry or specialty; even better if they offer networking opportunities!

7) Advertise your service

You’ll need to attract your first customers. To do so, advertise your services (ideally online) or get references from past clients. Offer free estimates on initial work, like basic plumbing repairs, so you can prove that you know what you’re doing—and get some positive word of mouth going. Think about handing out cards at community events where other small businesses might be looking for help. Finally, ask your friends and family if they know anyone who needs handyman services; sometimes all it takes is one referral to bring in steady income.

From there, keep these tips in mind: Make sure you have liability insurance and worker’s compensation coverage before starting up. Charge by project rather than by hour—you want your customers to think of you as a trusted partner instead of just an hourly employee.

8) Get customer referrals

While old-fashioned customer referrals will always be one of your best growth strategies, there are still plenty of ways you can get word out about your new business. A great way to start is by blogging about it—tell people how long you’ve been in business and how much you love what you do. You could also reach out directly on social media and comment on other related industry blogs. The sooner you start, the sooner your name will become synonymous with quality workmanship. And don’t forget to ask for referrals; whether they hire you or not, most customers like feeling appreciated. They might even pass along some leads! (Bonus: If they know someone who needs your services, they may refer them as well.)

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