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Hello! I am new to the group. First a little background. I have worked for numerous contractor over the past 10 years. Started out as a laborer and quickly worked my way up. I have 2 rental properties that I gutted and renovated mostly on my own. I am very handy in home repairs. I have been moonlighting doing small punch list repairs. Now it is time for me to start my own handyman business. I am taking it slow and plan on being in business by march 1st 2006. My to do list is as follows:
incorporate my business
get licensing
get insurance
get bonded
design logo
design and order brochures, contracts, business cards and letter truck
order uniforms
come up with my rates
advertise
signs
write business plan (working on)

I am sure I am missing a ton of other things and thought I may find some help here. I am in a good position financially thanks to wife and rental properties so I should be ok not having much or no income for a while. I will show up prepared to complete the job at the time of estimate. I plan on charging 75hr. This seems to be a competitive rate in the Philadelphia area.
As far as tools I am set in this department. Just a few things here and there needed!

Thanks!!
 

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DGR,IABD
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cruise182 said:
I will show up prepared to complete the job at the time of estimate.
In my opinion, that the way that any service business should operate. It eliminates buyer's remorse, and it saves you trips back and fourth. For service related work, people even prefer that you do the work sooner (like now) rather than later.

cruise182 said:
I plan on charging 75hr. This seems to be a competitive rate in the Philadelphia area.
Everything I was reading sounded fantastic, until I got to that sentence. In my opinion, setting your rate by the prevailing rate in your area is mistake number one. I liken that to Lemmings following each other off a cliff. Determine what your actual costs are and the profit you need, and then set your rate. Don't worry about anyone else. The rate that is "right" for you will be "wrong" for another outfit, and vice-versa. Having worked in your area before, I can see you also having no problem getting 100 bucks an hour for your services, buy you might find that you can make the profit you need only charging 65. You really need to do the math, and don't worry about what the other Lemmings are doing.
 

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Have a professional design your logo, brochures, cards etc...

Phone numbers, PO Boxes, vehicles, forms, equipment, equipment, equipment.

In addition to setting your rates on your own business model, I say you must know the going rate to know if you are charging too little! Charge AT LEAST the going rate.
 

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cruise182 said:
Hello! I am new to the group. First a little background. I have worked for numerous contractor over the past 10 years. Started out as a laborer and quickly worked my way up. I have 2 rental properties that I gutted and renovated mostly on my own. I am very handy in home repairs. I have been moonlighting doing small punch list repairs. Now it is time for me to start my own handyman business. I am taking it slow and plan on being in business by march 1st 2006. My to do list is as follows:
incorporate my business
get licensing
get insurance
get bonded
design logo
design and order brochures, contracts, business cards and letter truck
order uniforms
come up with my rates
advertise
signs
write business plan (working on)

I am sure I am missing a ton of other things and thought I may find some help here. I am in a good position financially thanks to wife and rental properties so I should be ok not having much or no income for a while. I will show up prepared to complete the job at the time of estimate. I plan on charging 75hr. This seems to be a competitive rate in the Philadelphia area.
As far as tools I am set in this department. Just a few things here and there needed!

Thanks!!

Cruise,

If you are serious about building a viable repair business my recommendation is you investigate Case Handyman’s franchise. http://www.casehandyman.com/

I have zero affiliation with this group in fact in some respects they may be a competitor to our network. What I have heard of their business model is excellent. A key component is their computer system that generates the proposal, price, job cost, accounting etc.

Some people think franchises are expensive but a quality proven franchise is actually a lot less expensive than going on your own. If my memory is correct the SBA data shows that over 70% of franchises succeed and 70% of independent business start-up fail.

The odds for failing are so high because of all the wasted time and effort with “trial and error” vs. simply applying “best practices” determined by others.

Even if you never go with Case Handyman the research alone into the handyman business will be worth your time. You will quickly see it is not a simple business if you are serious about building a viable business and not just earning wages.

Just my 2 cents…Richard
 

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The part I see missing from your equation...having employees is more expensive and time consuming than you can imagine.

How many hats can you wear at once? Can you estimate, bid, negotiate, mobilize, perform and collect money all at the same time? If you plan to be successful, all of the above will be happening at the same time.

Your next step is to interview and hire an accountant familiar with construction.

I wish you hard work and its rewards, as good luck is reserved for drunks and fools.

:Thumbs:
 

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a good plan is a good place to start, however be prepared to tear it up repeatedly. just because it looks good on paper doesn't mean it will work well. sharp uniforms and company logos can't hold a hammer.
 
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