Home – New Forums Starting your journey start out offering several services or no?

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  • #990516
    Rking100
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    Hello,

    I have been thinking over a business idea for while now, it will be in the home services/ handyman category, but I don’t want it to be thought of as a handyman ‘any job’ business.

    I have previously worked for a smaller company which offered many services like lawn mowing, gardening, removalist, house hold labour help etc, but now they are a lot bigger and are only offering removalist services.

    I am wondering if i can do a similar approach, I do not want to go as broad as ‘handyman services’ but say, I start out offering 3 home services, lawn care, garage cleanups and makeovers, and bin cleaning. then, down the track i can see which one is the most popular and focus my business around that.

    OR should I do the opposite and start out with one service and progress to several others in the future?

    thank you for any replies.

    #1177335
    Peter – FS Administrator
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    Hi Rking100,

    I’m not sure that there’s a ‘right’ answer to this question, but my gut feel is generally to focus first on a narrow niche and then expand from there – perhaps look at what you enjoy most, while also taking into account what you can deliver most cost effectively / profitably.

    Our research shows that word of mouth is still one of the most powerful sources of new work, so once you build up a good clientele in one area you can likely offer more services to existing clients.

    Others may have different ideas though. Good luck with it all.

    Cheers
    Peter

    #1177336
    bb1
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    Lik Peter said, there is no right answer, and everyone can make different things work for them.

    The other question is what would you prefer to do. As an example do you only want to do Garage clean ups all day, or do you want a variety of different work.

    Also consider how much work do you think there is in each of the 3 chosen areas. Not sure if you will be flooded with work for doing Garage clean ups, I would love mine done, but a lot of people see that as a personal thing and want to decide themselves what to keep and throw, if you know what I mean. My guess (no formal survery), 90% of people need a Gararge clean up, but 0.001% will have someone else do it.

    Also another thing you need to consider and at least in the beginning can I support myself if I just do X until I get sufficient business, or is it better to offer XYZ, so bringing in more work, and then drop of YZ once X starts to get really busy.

    The other thing someone once said to me in the home services area, go for a business which brings in repeat clients, ie. something they need done every week, fornight or month. You can save a bucketload on advertising and headaches always chasing the next client. Doesnt mean no one should offer the other services, but if you have repeat clients for 80% of your work, and than pick and choose the other 20% to fill the gaps, that is a good way to go.

    From my own experience, it took 12 months to get a full schedule, in that time I was happy to travel 20K’s from home and take on almost any types of work. Once I had a full schedule, I became selective and only started taking jobs within 7K’s from home, and ones that I liked. And as I picked up a new client in my preferred area/work, I dropped off one of the others, to the point now where all of my work is in a very tight circle, and the majority of jobs are the ones i wont.

    So from my perspective (you will get 30 different opinions), I would cast the net wide, and then drop back to your niche, if you find that works.

    #1177337
    Dave Gillen – Former FS Concierge
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    Rking100, post: 206541 wrote:
    say, I start out offering 3 home services, lawn care, garage cleanups and makeovers, and bin cleaning. then, down the track i can see which one is the most popular and focus my business around that.

    I like the approach you’ve outlined here, because at present you aren’t sure which will be popular enough to build a business around.

    I would recommend the narrow niche approach in general for a small business, but only where they have already established a demand for that service. In your case you could view it as 2 phases: 1) Put a few services out there and see where you’re getting customers; 2) Double down on the most popular niche.

    Best of luck!

    Dave

    #1177338
    ThoughtMeter.com
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    I like the idea of niche as well.

    Having said that be sure to select tasks that the market (physical area) you wish to operate in requires, not whats the most profitable or your favourite tasks or what you’ve got the gear to do. Or the other option is to reverse this theory. Look for a market that requires the tasks you want to do.

    You’ve probably already thought of that but I just wanted to put it out there & encourage you to have a real think about your market.

    For example you don’t want one of your niches to be backyard tidy ups in an area with lots of unit blocks.

    Hope you find this helpful & good luck.

    Regards

    Todd

    #1177339
    arrowwise
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    Ultimately I like the idea of niche too. You can focus on your target client and expertise and just do it very well.

    As Bert said in the beginning it wouldn’t hurt to go a little more broader and open up the flood gates for increased activity. This will let more work come in and help you define your niche. It is through doing the multiple services you will be able to work out where your strengths are, the ideal customers you want and were more of the profits are.

    Set your self up in a way that you can go broader or thinner in services offered without having to change your business name and everything else that goes with it. Have the flexibility from day one, and define this in your business plan.

    #1177340
    Rking100
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    thank you for those great comments, I will take them on board!

    Arrowise– I have thought A lot about names. I will be sure to pick one that suits the multiple services, without changing it.

    thought meter- thanks for your input, the service I would probably like to do the most would be the garage makeovers, (building custom shelves, benches and finding a spot for everything) but I think it’s a bit like BB1 said, many people need a garage makeover but only a few would opt to have a third party do it., still my plan would be to work with the home owner to know what they want to keep and throw out etc..

    which is why I thought about bin cleaning, there are already a couple companys in my city doing it, the idea here is to set customers up on a 6 month/annual plans and come fortnight;y or once a month to clean them. (good for the repeat clients thing)
    there’s also opportunity for commercial/ industrial bin cleaning, but I would probably need a dedicated set-up on my ute for that… so I’m a little hesitant about putting my eggs in one basket so soon.

    I’m actually still deciding on the lawn care service, the idea was to sub my mate to do the work, whom already runs a lawn care business, im not sure if that would be a good idea though? the thought was to just be able to offer the service, so say a customer really loved my garage makeover, she decided to use me to cut her lawns as well.. but I don’t think it would be the focus of the business.

    I am still thinking i would like to offer a few services, for the marketing, I would focus on the services alone, and market them individually, so I wouldn’t be putting flyers out to unit blocks for garage makeovers.. I would get some google adwords just focusing on bin cleaning, with a link to my website that is all about bin cleaning so it looks as though that is the focus, but really it is just a page of my site, and I would do the same for the other services, personalised marketing for each, sorry I am ranting a bit. thanks again.

    #1177341
    MissSassy
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    Start out with the few services mentioned as it will make your marketing easier. If someone wants something else, they will ask and you can decide if you want to do that in addition to what you offer.

    You will find that 6 or 12 months down the track your business will likely evolve into something quite different from where you begin just based on what your customers want.

    Focus on your customer service and evolve to suit both yourself and them.

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