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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
If any one cares to share, and to narrow this topic.... I am a carpenter/handy man. Started out as a roofer...nearly 20 yrs ago.... that lead to fixing rafters/plywood, that led to fixing siding, that lead to windows, that lead to doors, that lead to additions and decks, got slow that lead to toilet swapping and the whole guantlet of handyman torture, vinyl flooring, doorknobs, then i just became a outright dude with tools do it all kinda guy. My work and quality is good, so dont hand me no s&%t about the handyman part... ok? There is a bigger need than ever for a handyman these days with most contractors being too much about the big money to help anyone out with a window screen.... If you dont believe me askk your wife how many times she's almost went to the phone book to get something fixed that you wouldnt do!!!!!!!! Call me a liar!!!!!!!!!

Any how.... Just lookin to get a spark of ambition here..... work is slow, i came off a 2 week vacation and followed it up with another week with nothin much to do. I'm getting bored at home and need to rethink the direction i want to go from this point.

Bacically, what facet of the trades have you seen stay constant and bring in (decent) or even good money? Given the economy. Where are folks still spending money? Have to's and stuff like waterheaters im sure, but where should i direct my efforts to get back to keeping busy? The handynman bit is ok, really i like to help people, it's great to be the guy that fixes their problem.... i just gotta find some meat and taters.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
BTW, if you post during bankers hours, every day, and smell like cheap scotch wiskey you will certainly have lots of good input....I'm sure, but dont ask me to partner up ok? (smile)

Seriously, im in Cullman AL so as to not sound like i'm trying to steal anyones business, this is a small town that is basically a hay field littered with some trash and some upper class. No real industry here, maybe sawmills if you count uncle bubbas chainsaw mill and cousin enis's crosscut (hand saw) sawmilling service and pecan shelling service, towing and road side assistance, carburator repair and **** hound stud service.(Enis stays busy... but smells like a horny old **** hound) Mental picture..... Eh, gads.... reminding self that's only a made up character.... i hope....
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Been here 3 years, and the folks are great really, cullman is very nice. Has a beautiful lake and there is still some construction there, but not enough for the new guy in town to score up a job. I reccommend any one come to cullman to visit/ live.... no crime hardly, streets quiet as a church on monday after 8-9 o'clock. Great schools, did i mention the most beautiful lake in the world? (Lewis Smith lake for all you web searchers)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
is that a poke or a compliment? Not enough info for me to tell.
 

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Lack Of All Trades
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Folks are spending money on small repairs and installs. That's all I do. With state of the economy, most folks aren't gettin' those kitchen and bath remodels. They are just trying to hold on to what they have and ride it out.

To get work, you may have to drive out to the next largest city near you and start networking with the locals. Find the big box stores and start there. I've got a few jobs just from shopping in them and have had someone ask me a few questions about a product, method of installation, etc., then they want my phone number-I usually take their's- so I can call them instead.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
man, u an i think alike... i worry one day there gonna kick me outta lowe's for nonpayroll services offered, or give me a job... i know more about that place than the manager does. I stopped the other day to ask a guy if he needed help choosing gun nails for his framing gun, he was gonna buy 16d ringshank for fome garage shelving made out of 2x4 pine, untreated... i told him, as i could clearly see he was a novice, that he was overspending and the glue coat nails would even hold better in white pine, ofcourse he appreciated the savings, but dint flip me the difference... I hang out in there alot. I feel tempted to mingle more and more each time i go in there.

What installs do you seem to get more of? I get some screen doors and toilets, hate old toilets, man, 45-50 bucks doesn't even come close to what i wanna charge.... Know what i mean?
 

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If you're in a small town doing handyman work you long term success comes from building a tight customer base from repeat business from referrals and word of mouth. Treating every customer like hes your best friend.

Usually in a small market doing that type of work you shake the bushes and trees to knock some work loose when you slow down. Meaning you contact your old customers just to get yourself back in their mind again and jog their memory about that small project that they still need to get done. You'd get a lot of the oh yeah, I'm glad you sent that, it reminded me we needed to get X done...

I run a different type of business in a different sized market so we more advertising driven so what we do keeping the work flowing for us won't really appy to you. But if you don't have that established customer base to draw from, then advertising of some sort will start bringing some new work your way, you just have to determine what you can afford to do.

It will come down to do you have more time or money? If you have more money then time you need to put your money to work in some direct advertising sources or if you have more time then money you need to put your legs to work and spread the word through cheaper but more personally labor intensive marketing like door hanger or flyers spread in neighborhoods by yourself. That will get your phone to ring, it always has and always will.
 

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If you're in a small town doing handyman work you long term success comes from building a tight customer base from repeat business from referrals and word of mouth. Treating every customer like hes your best friend.

Usually in a small market doing that type of work you shake the bushes and trees to knock some work loose when you slow down. Meaning you contact your old customers just to get yourself back in their mind again and jog their memory about that small project that they still need to get done. You'd get a lot of the oh yeah, I'm glad you sent that, it reminded me we needed to get X done...

I run a different type of business in a different sized market so we more advertising driven so what we do keeping the work flowing for us won't really appy to you. But if you don't have that established customer base to draw from, then advertising of some sort will start bringing some new work your way, you just have to determine what you can afford to do.

It will come down to do you have more time or money? If you have more money then time you need to put your money to work in some direct advertising sources or if you have more time then money you need to put your legs to work and spread the word through cheaper but more personally labor intensive marketing like door hanger or flyers spread in neighborhoods by yourself. That will get your phone to ring, it always has and always will.

Yep, very good advice for starters !! :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
always some wise ass........ GC (i note) having some interjection to make on nothing but pure speculation....... here, i make simple for you...k....????

My wife said so, there!!!!!

No really, i Private messaged some details about the "Vaccation" to Darwin... sorry about that.... would help if i had added those details to the thread.... Maybe i can copy/paste from my PM to darwin... fill you in a bit, so you dont have to sound like an ass.... see, im no liar, i think you's an ass-holio. Sorry Bro, have hard time being friendly with GC's, nothin personal, just envious..... haven't made that step yet, been trying like hell for a few years... Just envy. every one that reads my post can tell that about me, i make no bones about it. Alot of GC's are good at finding excuses, plausible denyability... jumbojacks catch phrase... fits ya know? that's the GC game... i hate that... I aspire to be different than those guys... What's your excuse? How's that cheap scotch workin out? got your mouth in overdrive, how bout getting your ass outta gear.... let off the clutch man.:thumbsup::no:

Try to paste that now... c if i can do that or not....
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
cant find the message i sent, nothing n my sent messages folder.... odd?

Any how, the supposed vaccation was to go up to Wisconsin, see my sis in law get hitched, poor bastard, and pack up the mom in law in Rockford Illinois, drive the caravan of rented trucks and trailers, should have gotten a full sived semi for a single woman, man she has the stuff, and unpacked her here in Cullman AL at her new home, that took 2 weeks, and now i have been on my arse for a week.

3 weeks, no paycheck, i'm sorry.............im grouchy

had to go up there....wife would have killed me if i even could have choosen to stay home.

I worked like a hebrew slave the 2 -3 weeks prior to leaving for the trip to catch up on all my jobs, small as they were, must have been 20 jobs completed in 14 days... no s*#t, busted my hump, not to leave customers hangin, as i knew the move would be a marathon..... now i get back and hurt myself good... been sick about that too, back probs...and just not back to my self yet. taking advantage of some down time and trying to rethink where it is i am goona wanna go from here. Soooooooooooo........ some vaccation right? The best part of the deal is i got drunk for the first time in a long time,(me daddy now,) on freeeeee wine at the reception. I drank 3 bottles i guess in like 3-4 hours. Good buzzzzzzzzzz. Wife was so supprised i was drinkin.... she's the drinker usually, i'm the driver.

But thanks for making me get so off topic on my own thread, MR WYOMING!!!!!!! Just like a GC.... smoke and mirrors and distractions.... you guys, i tell ya!!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Know how to tell when a GC is lying?


His lips are moving.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks Mike, i started this thread for just that type of response.... sometimes the question we ask we know the answer to, but need the accord with others to see that's really the direction we want to go. I'm even considering a new venue, or atleast focusing on fewer things than trying to keep "doing it all" I dunno. That's why i asked for input here. Again, i like helping people with their homes/property. I also like a little more glorious work sometimes too. Those are the jobs that seem to be fading away. I'm a great framer/builder too, i love to do additions and such, but hard to get them now a days.

Keep the suggestions coming. I'm liking the feed back, tho i might not remember to reply to each post know that i am paying attention... i need the encouragement fellas. really, almost depressed here. Need a spark under my ass.

Marketing is expensive... i dont really budget much for advertising like i should, but know i should. I just haven't seen anything really work that i've thrown $ at in the past. Even the phone book adds ran me a few tho a year back when... and i got like 2 calls for bids. Talk about a waste of money. I need something... just dunno what. Suggestions there welcomed too. Door to door is my budget right now... me po boy now. really. I have no right being self employed i guess, should be flippin burgers, sorry situation.... I still do around 3-500 a week when it's hittin, but this last 3 weeks has really wore down the piggy bank. Anyone got some money they wanna loan? I'll pay you back with some good home made wine, wait, that's just old apple juice that got left out too long.... any body like vinegar flavored apples? dolla 2 98 a gallon, good stuff man..... (hands shaking, eyes watering)
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Nice.





Andy (a GC in CA.)

Ya know how to tell when a GC's telling the truth?

It starts out with, "I'm gonna be honest with you....
Then usually goes " it was all the masons fault.... but the painters can fix it.
Then backed up with, "i know you're upset that this is taking so long, but i've got 4 other jobs i already took a down payment on that i need to get started befor they get mad and sue me... as soon as i can make some more money i'll get someone out here to put on your door hardware, finish the paint and get the roofers to clean up their mess.

Oh, wait, that's me telling the truth. Roofers rarely clean up their own mess ver well, anyhow.

GC's dont lie much, but they are real creative with laying blame i suppose.:whistling

All in good fun, we know there's guys like that out there.... that's why some of us shine.... spread the word, rid the world of hacks and thieves. More work for the good guys. Yeah!!!!!:clap:
 

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hahaha. Wow I got the fuse lit on your tampon! I was just plain with you peter so don't get hard! I actually agree about 25% of my sales are handy Andy type jobs. I have alway said if you are willing to do jobs now one else wants they pay well and theres plenty of work. The down side is you have to have a hardware store in your truck and they are tuff to schedual. You show up to fix a sticking door and end up rebuilding half the house.
 

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Work

I have been so slow that I cleaned up my shop and have found so much that I have saved ,I don't need to go to the supply stores for a while, like ten years LOL:thumbup:

I have done mailing to my old clients from 1985, emailed all the tire kickers from service magic and have done the door hanger deal. That is what has worked for me.

Remember a cheap looking door hanger will bring you cheap clients.

Walking seems to work for me, just dress professional, because here in NY some people might think you are envading their homes.
 

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I have been busier than a one legged man in an ass kicking contest. But i have been doing the handy man thing too so this helps. I would say i do Electrical 3 days a week and other odds-ends the other 3-4 days. I have been losing some work here and there to other contractors since my mini-ex is still in the shop "2 months" but i am still busy otherwise. I am doing some roof and siding work tomorrow, replacing an electric heater, pressure washing a small deck and replacing some trim in a small bedroom on Saterday. Sunday i have a ceiling fan in a cathedral ceiling to install, installing a remote with it too, if time permits i have 5 bushes/shrubs to install on another job.
 

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There is a bigger need than ever for a handyman these days with most contractors being too much about the big money to help anyone out with a window screen.
So true.

Of course, when things slow down, suddenly everyone is a handyman. :rolleyes:


If you're in a small town doing handyman work you long term success comes from building a tight customer base from repeat business from referrals and word of mouth. Treating every customer like hes your best friend.
Well said. :thumbsup:
This has been a key to my success.


I have been busier than a one legged man in an ass kicking contest.
To address the OP, I've been busier than ever the past few months. Actually thinking about hiring a helper just to keep from getting behind (more than I am).

Might have to hire a second one when all you "handyman" go back to your regular jobs. :whistling
 
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