How to Start a Handyman Business: A Comprehensive Guide

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By Jacob Maslow

Do you need the ultimate guide to launching your own handyman business? Whether this is your first experience in the industry or you have many years of knowledge, it’s never too late to get started! Launching a successful handyman business can be achievable with time and effort. Read on for an overview of what starting a handyman service involves, from understanding licensing requirements to equipment sourcing. Also included are essential tips on pricing jobs correctly, developing customer relationships, and marketing yourself as a professional contractor. By the end of this comprehensive guide, you will be ready and armed with all the tools needed for success in running your own viable and profitable handyman service!

Table Of Contents:

SWOT Analysis of a Handyman Business

how to start handyman business

Before starting your handyman business, conducting a thorough SWOT analysis is crucial. This process will help you identify your venture’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. By understanding these factors, you can make informed decisions and create strategies that set your business up for success.


  • Versatility: As a handyman, you can offer various services such as plumbing repairs, electrical work, or carpentry tasks. This versatility allows you to cater to different customer needs and increases your chances of securing jobs.
  • Demand: There is always demand for skilled handymen who can fix things around homes or businesses quickly and efficiently.
  • Low Overhead Costs: A handyman business typically requires minimal investment in equipment and supplies compared with other types of companies. Additionally, many handymen operate out of their homes, further reducing costs.


  • Limited Growth Potential: The size of your market may be limited by the number of households or businesses within driving distance from where you’re based. Expanding beyond this area could require additional resources like hiring more staff members or investing in new tools/equipment.
  • Inconsistent Workload: Depending on local demand for services at any given time, there might be periods when work is scarcely followed by times when it’s abundant – making income unpredictable sometimes.


  • New Markets: You can explore new markets by offering specialized services such as smart home installations or energy-efficient upgrades, which can help you stand out from the competition.
  • Partnerships: Collaborating with other local businesses like real estate agents or property management companies could lead to more job opportunities and referrals.
  • Online Presence: Establishing a solid online presence through an optimized website and social media channels will allow potential customers to find your business quickly.


  • Competition: The handyman industry is highly competitive, with established businesses and new entrants vying for market share. Providing excellent service at reasonable rates is essential to remain a top choice.
  • Economic Downturns: Economic downturns may cause homeowners or businesses to cut back on non-essential repairs and maintenance tasks, reducing demand for handyman services.
  • Licensing Requirements & Regulations: Depending on your location, specific licensing requirements might need to be met before starting a handyman business. Additionally, staying up-to-date with any regulation changes is crucial for long-term success.

Investigating these elements can provide you with valuable information to help ensure the success of your handyman venture. Use this information when planning your next steps in establishing your thriving business.

By understanding the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats associated with a handyman business through SWOT analysis, one can make informed decisions about how to pursue success best. To ensure success, it is essential to pinpoint a specialized area of focus to gain the highest yield from your business.

Key Takeaway: 

Before starting a handyman business, conduct a SWOT analysis to identify its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. A handyman’s versatility is advantageous in offering various services; however, limited growth potential and inconsistent workload can be challenging. Exploring new markets by offering specialized services or collaborating with other businesses could lead to more job opportunities, while staying ahead of competitors requires exceptional service at competitive prices.

Identifying Your Niche

how to start handyman business

Starting a handyman business requires you to identify the specific services you will offer and focus on your niche. This is crucial for setting yourself apart from competitors and ensuring your clients know exactly what they can expect from your services. Here are some steps to help you find the right niche:

  1. Analyze local demand: Research homeowners’ needs by checking online forums, talking to neighbors, or visiting local hardware stores. Find out which types of repairs or maintenance tasks are most commonly requested.
  2. Evaluate your skills and interests: Consider what kind of work you enjoy and have experience with. Think about the types of work you like to do and have knowledge in – it could be plumbing, electrical stuff, woodworking, painting, or any other specialized area.
  3. Create a list of potential services: Based on your research and personal preferences, create a list of possible services that align with local demand and your skillset.
  4. Narrow down the options: Choose two or three primary service offerings based on their profit potential and how much time it takes to complete each task efficiently. Here’s an extensive list of handyman niches for inspiration.

In addition to focusing on specific repair tasks like fixing leaky faucets or installing ceiling fans, consider offering related services such as home inspections for new buyers or seasonal maintenance packages. By identifying a niche within the broader field of handyman services, you can better target your marketing efforts and establish yourself as an expert in that particular area. In addition, by developing a specialized niche in the handyman services market, potential customers will have an easier time locating you and trusting your proficiency in home repairs or maintenance.

Pinpointing a specific area of expertise is imperative to creating a thriving handyman business, enabling you to concentrate on the best services suited to your abilities and preferences. With this knowledge established, establishing your business structure is now.

Key Takeaway: 

To start a successful handyman business, it’s essential to identify your niche by analyzing local demand and evaluating your skills and interests. Then, by narrowing down your service offerings based on profitability potential and efficiency, you can establish yourself as an expert in that area and better target your marketing efforts. Don’t forget to consider offering related services like home inspections or seasonal maintenance packages for added value.

Franchise Opportunities

Buying a franchise might be the right choice if you’re interested in starting a handyman business but don’t want to go through the hassle of building your brand from scratch. A franchise is an agreement between two parties where one party (the franchisor) allows another party (the franchisee) to use its trademark and operating system.

Advantages of Franchising

  • Brand Recognition: When you buy into a franchise, you get access to an established brand that customers already know and trust.
  • Proven Business Model: The franchisor has already developed a successful business model, so there’s less risk involved than starting your own business from scratch.
  • Ongoing Support: The franchisor provides ongoing training, marketing, and operations support.

Disadvantages of Franchising

  • Limited Flexibility: You have less control over how you run your business because you must follow the rules set by the franchisor.
  • Royalty Fees: You’ll need to pay royalty fees on top of other expenses like rent and inventory, which can add up quickly.

List of Handyman Franchises

  1. Ace Handyman Services: Ace Handyman Services offers home repair services across America. They provide professional handymen with proper training & tools. Their startup costs range from $113k to $160k, depending on location.
  2. Handyman Connection: Handyman Connection is a franchise network that provides home improvement services. Their startup costs range from $98k to $143k, depending on location
  3. Mister Handyman: Mister Handyman offers repair and maintenance services to residential clients. They have over 200 franchises in North America. Their startup costs range from $118K- $230K.Visit Website

If you’re interested in buying a franchise, it’s essential to do your research before making any decisions. Look for a franchisor with a proven track record of success and ensure the agreement’s terms are fair and reasonable.

Obtaining Licenses and Permits

how to start handyman business

Before officially starting your handyman business, it’s essential to understand the regulations in your area and obtain any necessary licenses or permits. This process may vary depending on where you live, but there are some general steps that most aspiring handymen will need to follow.

A. Research Local Requirements

The first step is to research the requirements for a handyman business in your city or state. For example, in specific locations, getting a general contractor’s license may be necessary; in others, obtaining distinct permits for particular jobs (e.g., plumbing or electrical) could be essential. To locate the specific requirements for a handyman business in your city or state, consult your local government website or contact the relevant department.

B. Obtain Required Licenses

Once you’ve identified the licenses needed for your business, it’s time to get them by applying with any necessary documentation. When applying, be prepared to provide documentation such as proof of experience, insurance coverage, and any relevant certifications. In addition to obtaining a business license, you may also need specialized licenses if offering services like plumbing or electrical work.

C. Register Your Business Name

If you haven’t already done so while establishing your business structure (see Heading 2), register your chosen business name with the appropriate authorities at this stage.

Determine Zoning Regulations:

  • Contact local zoning office: Check whether running a home-based handyman service is allowed in residential zones within their jurisdiction.
  • Zoning compliance: If not permitted in residential zones, consider renting commercial space compliant with zoning laws.

D. Acquire Necessary Permits

In addition to licenses, you may also need specific permits for certain types of work or projects. For example, some municipalities may require a permit for any task involving changing an edifice’s structure or introducing fresh electrical wiring. Research and obtain all necessary permits before starting your handyman business.

E. Insurance Coverage

Last but not least, don’t forget about insurance. As a handyman, it’s crucial to have adequate coverage in case something goes wrong on the job site. At a minimum, consider obtaining general liability insurance and workers’ compensation if hiring employees.

Establishing your business structure is essential to ensuring your handyman business’s success. Once the business structure is established, getting the required licenses and permissions to operate professionally can be tackled.

Key Takeaway: 

Before starting a handyman business, it is important to research and obtain any necessary licenses or permits required in your area. This may include a general contractor’s license, specialized licenses for plumbing or electrical work, and specific permits for certain types of projects. Additionally, insurance coverage such as general liability insurance and workers’ compensation should be considered to protect yourself and your employees on the job site.

Creating a Business Plan

A well-crafted business plan is essential for the success of your handyman business. It will serve as a roadmap to guide you through every stage of your entrepreneurial journey, from setting goals and strategies to tracking progress and making adjustments.

Setting Your Goals

To start, identify both short-term and long-term goals for your handyman business. Short-term goals might include acquiring clients within the first three months or reaching a specific revenue target in six months. Long-term goals could involve expanding into new service areas or hiring additional employees.

Market Analysis

Analyze your local market to identify potential customers, their needs, and the competition you’ll face. Look at factors such as demographics, average income levels in the area, and other businesses offering similar services (source). This info will be beneficial in deciding how to place yourself within the market.

Pricing Strategy

  • Determine how much you’ll charge for each service based on labor costs, materials expenses, overheads, etc.
  • Analyze competitor pricing structures so that yours remains competitive without compromising profitability.
  • Create packages tailored towards various customer segments – e.g., residential vs. commercial clients – with corresponding price points.

Sales & Marketing Strategies

Your sales strategy should outline how to attract new customers while retaining existing ones by providing excellent service quality at affordable prices(source). In addition, your marketing strategy should detail the various channels you’ll use to promote your business, such as social media advertising, search engine optimization (SEO), and word-of-mouth referrals.

Operational Plan

This section outlines how you plan to run your handyman business daily. Include information about staffing requirements, equipment maintenance schedules, inventory management systems, etc. An efficient operational plan will help ensure the smooth functioning of all aspects of your enterprise.

Financial Projections & Budgeting

Create realistic financial projections for at least the first three years of operation. This includes income statements, cash flow forecasts, and balance sheets that provide insight into expected revenues and expenses. Additionally, create a budget outlining anticipated costs like rent or mortgage payments for workspace/storage facilities; vehicle expenses; insurance premiums; advertising/marketing spending, etc.

Setting up your finances is essential in starting a successful handyman business. Formulating a comprehensive blueprint can be instrumental in launching your own enterprise, requiring the right approach and tactics.

Key Takeaway: 

Creating a business plan is crucial for the success of your handyman business. Setting goals, analyzing the market, determining pricing strategies, developing sales and marketing tactics, and creating an operational plan and financial projections are all essential components to consider when starting your enterprise. Remember that “failing to plan is planning to fail.”

Acquiring Equipment and Supplies

how to start handyman business

Starting a handyman business requires investing in the right equipment and supplies to provide top-notch services to your clients. As you begin your journey, it’s essential to identify the tools necessary for each task within your niche.

A. Essential Tools

There are some basic tools that every handyman should have in their arsenal, regardless of their specialization:

  • Hammers
  • Screwdrivers (both flathead and Phillips)
  • Pliers (needle-nose and standard)
  • Tape measure
  • Utility knife
  • Cordless drill with various bits
  • Ladders or step stools Safety gear such as gloves, goggles, and ear protection An assortment of nails, screws, bolts, anchors, etc.

B. Specialized Equipment Based on Your Niche Services

In addition to these essential tools mentioned above, depending on the specific services you plan to offer, you may need additional specialized equipment like:

  • Miter saws for carpentry work;
  • Voltmeters for electrical tasks;
  • Plumbing wrenches, Paint sprayers, Tile cutters.

C: Organizing Your Workspace And Vehicle Storage Solutions :

To ensure efficiency when working at job sites, all your equipment must be well organized in the workshop area where repairs can be done and vehicles used. Some popular storage solutions include :

  • Toolboxes and tool bags;
  • Pegboards for wall-mounted storage in your workshop;
  • Shelving units or cabinets for more oversized items;
  • Van racking systems to keep tools organized while on the go.

D: Building Relationships With Suppliers

Creating ties with dependable providers who can offer superior items at reasonable costs is essential when acquiring equipment and supplies. Having the necessary resources to accomplish tasks proficiently and successfully is critical.

You can start by researching local hardware stores, specialty shops, or online retailers like Home Depot, Lowe’s, and Harbor Freight Tools. It may also be beneficial to join trade associations within your niche area, as they often offer discounts on tools, supplies, and services through their network of partners.

Having the proper apparatus and supplies is a must for any handyman enterprise, so invest your time researching what you’ll require. Now that you understand the necessary tools and materials let’s discuss how to brand your business.

Key Takeaway: 

Starting a handyman business requires investing in tools like hammers, screwdrivers, pliers, and safety gear. Depending on the services you plan, specialized equipment such as miter saws for carpentry work or plumbing wrenches may also be necessary. Organizing your workspace and building relationships with reliable suppliers is crucial to ensure efficiency when working at job sites.

Branding Your Handyman Business

Creating a strong brand for your handyman business is essential to stand out and build trust with potential clients. This involves creating a unique name, tagline, and logo that effectively represents your services.

Finding the Perfect Name

Brainstorm a moniker that is unforgettable, clear to articulate, and germane to your services. Consider using words related to home improvement or repair in combination with your name or location. For example: “John’s Home Repair” or “Citywide Handyman Services.” You can also read our list of names for inspiration.

The Best Handyman Business Names and Slogans to Help You Stand Out

Crafting an Impactful Tagline

A catchy tagline helps convey what sets your handyman’s business apart. It should be short, descriptive, and highlight the key benefits of choosing your services over competitors. Examples include: “Quality work at affordable prices,” “Your one-stop-shop for home repairs,” or “No job too big or small.”

Designing an Eye-Catching Logo

A professional-looking logo adds credibility to your brand and makes it easier for customers to recognize you across various marketing materials like business cards, flyers, social media profiles, etc. When designing a logo:

  • Select colors that evoke a sense of trust and dependability, such as blue or gray.
  • Incorporate elements representing tools commonly used by handymen, such as hammers or wrenches.
  • If possible, hire a graphic designer specializing in creating logos; alternatively, use free design tools like Canva to create your own.

Remember, a strong brand identity will help you attract and retain customers, so invest time and effort into creating one that truly represents the quality of your handyman services.

Branding is an integral part of any business, and it’s essential to establish a recognizable identity for your handyman services. Advertising your handyman services can help get the word out and make potential customers aware of your offer.

Advertising Your Services

Developing an effective marketing plan is crucial for the success of your handyman business. Reaching potential customers and showcasing your skills, services, and expertise professionally is essential. In this area, we will explore various marketing tactics that can assist in expanding your customer base.

Create a Professional Website

A well-designed website serves as the online face of your business and helps establish credibility with potential clients. Make sure it includes essential information such as:

  • Your contact details
  • A list of services offered
  • Pricing information (if applicable)
  • Testimonials from satisfied customers
  • A portfolio showcasing completed projects or before-and-after photos

You can use platforms like Wix and Squarespace or hire a web designer to create a custom site tailored to your needs.

Leverage Social Media Platforms

Social media offers an excellent opportunity to promote handyman services at little-to-no cost. Utilize popular platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc., by sharing updates about recent projects or posting helpful tips related to home maintenance tasks.

Tips for Effective Social Media Marketing:

  1. Create engaging content that showcases the quality of workmanship provided by using high-quality images/videos.
  2. Use relevant hashtags (#) so users searching those terms can easily find you on social media platforms.
  3. Interact with your audience by responding to remarks and communications and sharing content from other pertinent sources.

Utilize Local Advertising Channels

In addition to online marketing efforts, consider using traditional advertising methods such as:

  • Flyers or door hangers distributed in targeted neighborhoods
  • Local newspaper ads or classifieds
  • Sponsorship of local events or sports teams
  • Vehicle signage displaying your business name and contact information
  • Ask for Referrals and Reviews

A satisfied customer is one of the best forms of advertisement. Encourage clients to refer friends, family members, neighbors, etc., who may need handyman services. Offer incentives like discounts on future projects for successful referrals.

In addition to word-of-mouth recommendations, ask customers if they would be willing to leave a review on popular platforms like Google My Business (GMB) or Yelp. Positive reviews can significantly boost your online reputation and attract more potential clients.

By implementing these advertising strategies effectively, you will increase visibility for your handyman business while building trust with prospective customers.

Key Takeaway: 

To advertise your handyman business, create a professional website with essential information and showcase completed projects. Leverage social media platforms by creating engaging content and using relevant hashtags to reach potential customers. Utilize local advertising channels such as flyers or door hangers in targeted neighborhoods, sponsorship of local events or sports teams, and vehicle signage displaying your business name and contact information. Encourage referrals from satisfied customers and ask for reviews on popular platforms like Google My Business (GMB) or Yelp to boost your online reputation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a handyman a good business to start?

Yes, starting a handyman business can be profitable and rewarding. It offers flexibility in work hours, the opportunity to be your own boss and high service demand. However, to ensure success, focus on identifying your niche, creating a solid business plan, obtaining necessary licenses and permits, and effectively marketing your services.

Does a handyman need a license in Missouri?

There is no statewide requirement for handymen to have specific licenses in Missouri. However, some local jurisdictions may require specific permits or registrations depending on the type of work being performed. Always check with your local city or county government office for particular requirements.

How do I introduce my handyman business?

To introduce your handyman business effectively: create an eye-catching logo; develop professional-looking marketing materials such as flyers or brochures; establish an online presence through social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram; build relationships with other professionals who might refer clients (e.g., real estate agents); attend community events to network with potential customers.

Does a handyman need a license in Illinois?

In Illinois, there is no state-level licensing requirement specifically for handymen. However, some cities may have regulations regarding contractor registration or trade-specific licenses (such as plumbing). Be sure to research local ordinances before starting operations within any given municipality.


In conclusion, starting a handyman business requires careful planning and execution. Conducting a SWOT analysis, identifying your niche, establishing your business structure, obtaining licenses and permits, setting up finances, creating a business plan, acquiring equipment and supplies, and branding are all essential steps to succeed.

If you want more information on starting a handyman business or other entrepreneurial endeavors, check out Streetwise Journal. Streetwise Journal provides valuable guidance to help entrepreneurs reach their goals.

Remember that starting any new venture takes time and effort, but with the right mindset and tools, it is possible to achieve great things. Good luck!


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