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Handyman With Too Much Work

 
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Old 05-31-2012, 07:36 AM   #1
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Handyman With Too Much Work


I'm hoping to get some advice for help with my situation. I've been a handyman for 8 1/2 years. My schedule fills to the point where I have too much work to do. I currently have over 40 projects on my list and estimate I'm booked for 12 weeks. All my business comes from referrals. I don't have time for anything but my business. The one thing I don't want to do is hire any employees. Is there anyone who has experienced this and can offer some suggestions? Thank you.
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Old 05-31-2012, 07:41 AM   #2
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Re: Handyman With Too Much Work


Welcome to CT.
Just raise your prices and that should help solve your problem.

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Old 05-31-2012, 08:25 AM   #3
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Re: Handyman With Too Much Work


I'm the same way right now, trying not to take any more on and then another phone call that I can't say no to. I've just been pushing through the pain. Just about burnt out. good luck
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Old 05-31-2012, 08:44 AM   #4
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Re: Handyman With Too Much Work


When I get to much on my plate there are a few other guys in town I refer people to. It works out that when I am slow one of those guys is booked up and throws me a job.
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Old 05-31-2012, 10:47 AM   #5
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Re: Handyman With Too Much Work


If you need time for yourself, then just say no and block a week or whatever time you need and don't work during that time. If it's referrals that you get your work thru then they will understand. If you don't take a day or two here and there you will burn yourself out and then sometimes your business will suffer. You will lose the drive to keep going and then look out.
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Old 05-31-2012, 11:14 AM   #6
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Re: Handyman With Too Much Work


if you don't want to hire a helper to lug stuff around for you on the bigger jobs or an office assistant to help you so you can be out in the field instead of taking phone calls and doing the books...then i would say you need to raise your prices.
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Old 05-31-2012, 01:59 PM   #7
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Re: Handyman With Too Much Work


Quote:
Originally Posted by Handy Matt View Post
The one thing I don't want to do is hire any employees.
Why?
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Old 05-31-2012, 04:54 PM   #8
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Re: Handyman With Too Much Work


Quote:
Originally Posted by Handy Matt View Post
I'm hoping to get some advice for help with my situation. I've been a handyman for 8 1/2 years. My schedule fills to the point where I have too much work to do. I currently have over 40 projects on my list and estimate I'm booked for 12 weeks. All my business comes from referrals. I don't have time for anything but my business. The one thing I don't want to do is hire any employees. Is there anyone who has experienced this and can offer some suggestions? Thank you.
I've been busy since 1976. Just tell your customers they have to wait until you can get there. Only a few wont.
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Old 05-31-2012, 04:56 PM   #9
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Re: Handyman With Too Much Work


why not hire a 'helper'-even a young guy can serve a purpose. this might require your business model to change-if you are charging T&M, adding the extra guy may be a little more tricky.
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Old 05-31-2012, 06:54 PM   #10
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Re: Handyman With Too Much Work


theres nothing wrong with having a couple of injuns, we all gotto learn to hunt and skin the the kill, pass on the skils and traits that are good.
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Old 06-01-2012, 10:42 PM   #11
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Re: Handyman With Too Much Work


are you legal ?
if not , i really wouldn`t want to help you .
i know this sounds shi##y ,
but these days guys who say they are " handymen" are just basically people who slip under the law , and take work away from legal contractors who have to pay the whole cost , and lose out to illegals who don`t have overhead , like license , and insurance..
they don`t want to hire people ,because they are illegal , and don`t want to get caught.
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Old 06-02-2012, 07:43 AM   #12
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Re: Handyman With Too Much Work


Here we go again............
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Old 06-02-2012, 08:13 AM   #13
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Re: Handyman With Too Much Work


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Originally Posted by CSB View Post
Why?
That was my question too, why not hire people? I did years ago and never looked back.
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Old 06-02-2012, 10:59 AM   #14
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Re: Handyman With Too Much Work


Deciding to hire help is kinda scary but if your that busy than its probably time. Get them working with you and get some trust in them and you'll be able to send them out do little stuff.

If your not losing jobs due to price than you need to raise them. Raise your price 10% and you can do less work and make more money. You may even get time for yourself!
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Old 06-02-2012, 11:16 AM   #15
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Re: Handyman With Too Much Work


IMO a good handyman is hard to come by.
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Old 06-03-2012, 01:57 PM   #16
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Re: Handyman With Too Much Work


Thank you for the responses. I've been busy and have not had time to reply.

First, I need to answer one contractor who was questioning my 'legality'. I carry a $1,000,000 liability policy for my business. I have handyman insurance for my tools and equipment. I am licensed and bonded. If a project permit is necessary I apply for it. I call in outside contractors for projects I can't take on officially (like breaker boxes) or need assistance with. There, that's taken care of.

I have never wanted to hire employees because of the added responsibility and an added aspect of the business. Now I have to manage not just the jobs but people as well. In Ohio there's a requirement for Workmen's Compensation when you have people working for you. That's an expensive undertaking. That is why I've kept it a one man operation.

I've considered raising my hourly rate. I've never looked into the going rate for a handyman in the northeast Ohio area, however, so I don't know if my rate is high or low at the moment? There was a suggestion for raising the rate by 10%. Does anyone have insight for finding out what the acceptable rates are for independent trade professions?

I do have a vacation planned for the first week of July. And this year I was called for jury duty at the end of March. I lost an entire week's work right there, but it did give me a break. The jobs kept piling on, though.

That's enough for now. I look forward to additional feedback.
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Old 06-03-2012, 02:32 PM   #17
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Re: Handyman With Too Much Work


Hey Matt
i get the not wanting to hire someone
i personally think the advice i agree with the most is to schedule jobs on your terms
and explain to some customers that yes you want to do their job , but they have to take their place on your schedule and explain why it is worth it for them to wait for you And the value you offer .
If they cant wait for you then well that just helps with the problem of too many customers
I am from mass and every one i know or most guys have the opposite problem there just isn't enough work right now , our state has been hit extremely hard for the last few years and most of us are scraping by
I think having too much work is really a blessing and you will figure out the best way for you to get some time for yourself
Good luck
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Old 06-03-2012, 02:45 PM   #18
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Re: Handyman With Too Much Work


Matt, I am also in Ohio and as a painter find myself in a similar situation. All my work is referrals and my schedule is full.
I like to think I am not the cheapest in town, I am hired to do about 50% of my estimates so I think I am pricing OK. I keep slowly raising my rates to see what the market will bare.
I make sure that my customers are willing to wait, and it could be months. Most are, if not then I try to referre them on.
I work set hours, I like to start as early as the job will allow and always stop at 5:00pm, very few exceptions. I have worked for other painters in the past and there wasn't enough hours in the day or week. I always said I would not be like this.
My wife is willing to do most of the office work and that helps considerably.
Take a break if you feel you need it.
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Old 06-03-2012, 03:00 PM   #19
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Re: Handyman With Too Much Work


Matt
You will always be limited in how much you can earn if you are the sole person doing all the work and there is nothing wrong with that. If you aspire for growing a business then you need help. There are a few ways of getting help with the work (referring it out, hiring employees, hiring sub-contractors, using a PEO to deal with workers comp and employer headaches etc.)

You have already done the hardest part of business and that is attracting an abundance of customers and recurring work. Kudos to you!
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Old 06-03-2012, 04:58 PM   #20
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Re: Handyman With Too Much Work


Quote:
Originally Posted by Handy Matt View Post
I'm hoping to get some advice for help with my situation. I've been a handyman for 8 1/2 years. My schedule fills to the point where I have too much work to do. I currently have over 40 projects on my list and estimate I'm booked for 12 weeks. All my business comes from referrals. I don't have time for anything but my business. The one thing I don't want to do is hire any employees. Is there anyone who has experienced this and can offer some suggestions? Thank you.
If you want to be a one man show, you really need to raise your prices. You'll need extra days to work on the administrative portion of your business, you need some days off as well. Personally, I don't understand the people that are against having employees. To me that's like telling yourself your time is no more valuable than the people doing the work. Why not use employees and free up more of your time to do the things they can't do? Such as market your business? Run your company?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Handy Matt View Post
Does anyone have insight for finding out what the acceptable rates are for independent trade professions?
They range from $10 an hour to $80 an hour. I'm not joking, those are rates I've seen and had to compete with. Keep in mind 9 out of 10 contractor's fail within the first five years, and the reason is mostly due to not charging enough for the work you do. So whatever this "acceptable rate" is, it's probably so low that it will make you go broke, because that's what most contractor's are doing. Just stay on top of your books and if you are making enough to cover your overhead while earning a wage with a 10% profit, then your rates should be fine.

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Last edited by KennMacMoragh; 06-03-2012 at 05:30 PM.
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