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Handyman business?

Discussion in 'Trade Talk' started by markyyyyyy, 10 Jan 2020.

  1. markyyyyyy

    markyyyyyy

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    Hi,

    I'm currently self employed in something unrelated to trade / DIY.

    Work has been drying up for the last year to the point where i am getting concerned.

    I have always been very much into DIY, and i'm practical at most things, apart from electrics and gas (which i couldn't do anyway because not qualified / registered)

    I am therefore thinking of starting up a business alongside my current role as a handy man.
    I'm after any thoughts / advice from people out there already doing the same
    Is there a demand our there for this type of work?

    Many thanks in advance
     
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  3. stem

    stem

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    A friend of mine does it, but it came about by accident. He started out as a window cleaner and was often asked if he could do other small jobs that required a ladder. Then he got a contract cleaning the windows in some flats for the landlord, who then engaged him to do other minor repairs and some gardening. Then the letting agency also started to use him for repairs and general maintenance. He then became a NICEIC registered and now does electrical repairs & PAT testing. Work from private clients is still rare though, and he believes that he needs the regular work from the letting agency to keep him going. It pays well (he says) but they expect an immediate response when a tenant reports that they have a leak, the immersion heater has failed, or a door has jammed. etc. He believes they wouldn't keep him on if he turned down their work or was busy doing something else. He's sold his window cleaning round now.
     
  4. footprints

    footprints

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    I did it for quite a few years after redundancy word of mouth was almost all my work. A good place to advertise is parish magazines, school / club news letters etc.
    Once one member is happy with you your name gets passed around.
    I found leafleting a total waste of time.
     
  5. markyyyyyy

    markyyyyyy

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    thanks to you both for your replies.

    May i ask, what were the most common jobs people want doing? Would you expect i can have 2 - 3 full days per week doing it?

    thanks
     
  6. footprints

    footprints

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    Decorating, Putting up shelves, hanging pictures, plumbing and laminate floors mostly, but every day was something different which is the nice thing about it.
    You will have to be prepared to do the odd silly job like changing batteries on smoke alarms as long as you get some other work from them that's OK.
    The key thing is to keep local so if you get one like that you can pop in on your travels, while shopping for materials for other jobs, or on the way home.
    3 to 4 days should not be a problem to find.
    A decorating job can be a week or so.
     
  7. markyyyyyy

    markyyyyyy

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    brilliant thanks!

    Just out of interest, did you charge for the small jobs such as replacing batteries, or did you do it for free in the hope of repeat business ?

    cheers
     
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  9. footprints

    footprints

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    They were usually regular clients so a freebie while doing another job or drop in when passing. If you get a first one you need to cover the battery cost, nominal fiver or say pop the kettle on love and call it quits if they look like a good prospective customer it's up to you.
     
  10. Charlie George

    Charlie George

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    Local websites such as Nextdoor Digest/local Facebook groups quite often have people asking for small jobs, or putting together flat packs.
    People will be impressed if you turn up on time be tidy and courteous and your name will soon get known, good luck.
     
  11. markyyyyyy

    markyyyyyy

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    Great, thanks for the info. Sounds like there is some work out there, with potential to grow into a more professional outfit in terms of contract work.

    To start off with, do you feel its not professional turning up in an estate car? ie. do you feel that a van is necessary to start off with?

    Cheers
     
  12. Charlie George

    Charlie George

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    A car is fine for majority of jobs to begin with,as only small tools will be needed,the only problem i can see using a car is tools on show unless you remove them. Just stick to car for a while and see how you get on, buying a van will add to costs.

    Ketai aka cuboid seems to make a living as a handyman, see his posts to make you feel confident.
     
    Last edited: 10 Jan 2020
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  13. KenGMac

    KenGMac

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    On the customer service side, if you say to a customer I will be with you at XXX but are running late [say 10 Mins] phone ahead and say you will be late.

    If possible try hard to arrive on the agreed time?
     
  14. Mottie

    Mottie

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    Try very hard. Nothing ****es people off more than waiting for a tradesman to turn up when he said he would especially if it’s your first time with that customer.
     
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