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Hello,

I just relocated due to my wife dying and I'm finding that it is difficult to find employment where I'm currently living. They want you to have a business license and liability insurance. I allowed mine to expire. I've been in business before and know what needs to be known regarding estimates. My problem is marketing and advertising.

I only have $500 to my name. I know that salesmanship can take a man from a small job to a company that has been running for ten years. In the past, I've tried it all... SEO, flyers, newspaper, etc. The only thing that worked for me in the past was word of mouth and Home Advisor. I can't join Home Advisor as I do not have a current license and liability insurance. I considered Craigslist, but was in horror after reading some of the posts on there and how little guys are asking for their work.

So, I've considered hitting the pavement. I'm going to go door to door and find a job somehow. Salesmanship will rule all with this strategy. Does anyone have any tips? Should I dress up in a suit? :eek: I've tried this strategy before and it has never worked out. But, if I fail, I could end up homeless.

Thank you for any advice, gentlemen.
 

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First I want to say I am sorry for your loss.
To address your immediate question, I have years of experience going door to door, so I will give you my best advice.
1. Form a plan. You can't just go door to door asking if people need a handyman. They will see you are desperate, and nobody hires the desperate. You need to approach houses like a contractor starting his own business. You have a specialty and you are drumming up your beginning clientele. You need to decide what that specialty is, and then decide what you want from the encounter. Do you want to give them a presentation? An estimate? Just get their phone number for later? What do you want? When you decide where you want the encounter to go and what you have to offer you are off to a good start.
2. Write out a script. This doesn't mean you have to robotically say the same thing at every house, but this will keep you on track and away from stumbling over your words. Also, it is good to write out your rebuttles to their objections too.
3. Map out an area. You waste time and energy just going willy nilly. You need to decide beforehand what streets you are going to hit, and go up one side of every street and come down the other. Hit every house in a calculated pattern.
4. Stay organized. Bring a clipboard and write down every encounter. Who was home, who wasn't at home, phone numbers, call backs, visit again, etc. etc. Write it down, that way you maximize your productivity by going back to houses who weren't home or who needed to speak with their spouse or whatever.
5. Be prepared for rejection. A LOT of rejection.
6. Connect. Just go out there and connect with the community. Chances are people aren't going to need whatever service you are offering right away. But if you become friends with them, another project may come up that they could use some help with. You get your foot in the door and do a good job for them, then you have a referral source.

Bottom line is, it'll probably take more time than you are going to be comfortable with. And it will be really easy to get down (after suffering a loss and being on the verge of homeless, anybody would). You'll have to fight that, because if you let it get to you, you will give up. Also, people can smell desperation.
But if you stay the course, you will build a business. Many before you have.
 

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Also, I am sorry for your loss. Welcome to CT.

While agreeable to Anthony in banging doors, I disagree with the script. Scripts or for performers and I think you will find most people don't enjoy unplanned performances by second rate actors.

Do you have business cards?
Maybe a couple non alcohol advertising T shirts... With the sleeves still intact. Grab a notebook and start knocking and as you sit and expect an answer to the door opened. At this point you need to stay at a fair / safe distance so their confort zone enought to step outside and see what you see. I liked 8:00AM -11:00 PM as a good time.

Introduce yourself and let the conversation fill in them blanks. Now, photos are great arranged in such a way it looks professional. Now with these photos coupled with some text and suggest what needs to be done.

I'm not too proud to knock on doors. I've gotten good people non swearing, some just waveme away but if you are presentable and decent they too will talk! depending on the local, I'd choose 40-60 year old will have the best response.

You should post your location.

If you are presentable and speak something they understand you"ll be writing estimates that day.


Good luck,
Ron
 

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Particulate Filter
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I started on craigslist. You will too. 500 is not enough to do anythung but eat for the week and buy a tank of gas.

Check labor gigs. Check barter and offer a cash price for any work that people are trying to trade dvds for. Check skilled trade out for miscategorized postings. Get a craiglist notification app so anytime a term cones up youre interested in youre instantly notified.

Time to husle!
 

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Don
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welcome to CT. also please keep all your personal info to your self and not the clients, you can share them with us.

knocking door to door is a great way to introduce your self, make sure you have a business card. you can let them know your the neighborhood handyman.
even do a few CL jobs just to get your self out there
 
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I can't see what state your in, but the number one place the California State Contractors board uses for sting operations is CL. They are using it to bust non licensed contractors. Just a heads up, it's an easy target for all the state enforcers.
 

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In all fairness, while I agree with your sentiment Roofcheck, the script isn't there to have a scripted conversation. Writing out the script simply helps keep your mind focused and remembering how you worded your presentation. Once you write it out you can put it away. Be as natural as possible for sure, but sometimes communicating with strangers can be difficult and if you are all "uhhs" and "uhms" your message will get lost.
 

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Sorry about your loss and good luck with your search. Another place to get work can sometimes be temporary work agencies. A friend of mine got hired in a field that wasn't related to what he did but that he met the basic requirements for and he ended up liking the work and staying there after the temp contract ran out.
 

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I was short on time when I posted before, and I would make sure you are operating within your states guidelines as far as licensing goes.

I have had a decent amount of success (landed maybe 10 jobs in 3 months) using a craigslist listing generator like this one.

You want to make sure you repost it immediately after it expires. Create more then one advert. and test the reception they get. Play around with a nice clean head shot of you in the image, keep it very simple dont list 100 different services. Put your main service in the title of the post, pay attention to what makes the phone ring.
 

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If you post what state you're in someone here might need some extra help. If you're in the Atlanta area send me a message. Good luck.

Also, when work for slow in 08 and I was tired of sitting around I too knocked on doors. Lots and lots of doors. Using a decent script will help. As suggested, don't be mechanical in your delivery but focus on over coming basic objections. You should be able to find a decent script online as a starting point. One more thing you can do for free is start a google+ local page and fill it out. It won't get you work but having somewhere you can send people online will add some legitimacy with strangers. If you are familiar with home advisor you might check if red beacon from Home Depot is available in your area. You don't have to verify things and you don't have to pay for a lead unless you actually get the job.
 
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