Home Forums Starting your journey Starting a Handyman business

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  • #995229
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    Hi, I am in the process of starting up a handyman business called OnCommand Handyman initially part time while I continue to work full time as a plumber for a large company, the idea is that I build up the business to a point that I quit plumbing and move into my own business full time, I plan to build it through A) word of mouth, B) internet and social media, and C) getting magnets and flyers made and doing letterbox drops approximately 1000 of each to start.

    Are there any flaws in what I have explained? Is there a way I could do these things better?

    Also I am interested in hearing from people who have started similar businesses, how did you go about starting out? What would you change? Do you have any tips? Do you find it hard to get 40 hours of work a week?

    My biggest concern is not being busy enough so any tips and feedback would be greatly appreciated.

    Bryce Barnard
    Oncommand Handyman for all your home maintenance needs all over Melbourne
    0432 119 916

    Paul – FS Concierge
    • Total posts: 3,183

    Hi And Welcome to the Forums Bryce!. It is great to have you!

    Feel free to make the most out of the Forums including setting up a signature.

    The following link has info I recommend to you.

    I hope you get a lot out of the Forums and hope to see you around.


    We have had quite a few handypeople on the Forums and most seem to do well.

    You could also try Gumtree and Serviceseeking type sites initially but their pricing seems to be a race to the bottom. That is not necessarily bad in the beginning because it will help you to determine what works and what doesn’t work.


    • Total posts: 57

    Hi Bryce,

    Considering you have a job, I would suggest you start the marketing yourself in that position through producing online content in “maintenance blog” or “how to tips website” before you starting the business.

    This is what I did wrong and what I see new business do wrong everyday. Position yourself as the ‘expert handy man’ first, and develop a local market to sell you services to. This will be a much more cost effective way to start up.

    Best of luck with it.



    Melanie – MJT Law
    • Total posts: 55

    it all sounds really exciting and scary. When I was looking into letter box drops I generally got 2 types of answers as to how to… 1) get some made up, go out in your spare time and drop yourself when you can, generally I found I get about one call for each 250 – 500 drops OR 2) you can’t get anything out of less than 5,000 drops and get it done by a company who drops – I didn’t do that but others probably have.

    It is hard to tell fact from fiction but I didn’t get much out of it myself but I am in a different industry to yours. May I suggest you drop first at the train station or at an event on the weekend that way you can perhaps get a wider net.

    Let us know how it all goes.

    • Total posts: 164

    Hi Bryce,

    Welcome to the forums.

    Your market analysis should identify the best ways for you to connect with your target market. How do the people you are targeting find businesses like yours? Is it magnets on the fridge, online or other? Or do you/they live in a high rental area and they just contact their real-estate agent? If so, you’ll need to target them.

    [USER=80147]@nduell[/USER] offers some valuable experience regarding some difficulties in establishing a business whilst working full time. Whilst it presents some challenges the key to overcome them is staging the development of your business – as Nick advises. Alternatively, or post – depending on how you want to stage it, consider commencing your business on 1 or 2 days a week (probably your weekend) you have off from your current employer. This will allow you to build up a list of clients who will act as referrals for you before you need to move to more days.

    Natalie Khoo
    • Total posts: 67

    Hi Bryce, great to hear your commitment re starting your own business! But growing something of your own while also working another job is incredibly difficult. You really need to put in everything you’ve got and it can take years to become profitable. In saying that, a good simple one-page website to complement any flyers will go a long way and any dollars on digital marketing should be spent maximising your visibility on local searches (not all of Melbourne) i.e. handyman , whether that’s via SEO copywriting or paid Google ads. Good luck!

    • Total posts: 84

    Hi Bryce
    Business plan is easy to make, the key is the execution. Follow your plan, test out and find out your best ways to engage with potential clients and your niche market, of course, you will need a network also.

    On top of that, present your business in a professionally manner is also helpful.
    Website: free with Zoho Sites, or paid with weebly
    Email: your own email free with Zoho Mail

    Internal management:
    Cloud accounting: Xero
    Job Management: ServiceM8

    Good luck.

    • Total posts: 90

    Hi Bryce,

    I’ve been handymaning it for just over a year as a mature age uni student.

    While I’m still working on my marketing, I picked up most of my work initially via a lead generator but then using that as a base to get more work. One thing I caution against is the one lead generator that markets particularly at cheap work – a search will show it up in the google ads. It simply isn’t worth it for $30/hr as they suggest.

    I don’t recommend spending more than 5% on a lead on what you expect it to return, otherwise it gets too expensive. Some companies offer discounted leads if they don’t get enough responses the first time.

    I read and re-read the articles at handymanstartup.com for inspiration.

    I guess the best thing to do would be to work on your local SEO presence. It’s probably the most effective and leads to work close to you.

    Definitely work on producing a website, install analytics into it. I sofar get 1-2 calls per 10 clicks or so per day (still working on Marketing etc).

    My goal at the moment is to spend less on leads per month. For me that means developing my online presence to something more substantial. When you see the cost of advertising for just a single click on a keyword, sometimes a lead generation company is more cost effective. If you want to spend money on advertising. Be prepared for the same lead gen services to spend Adwords on your business name.

    Consider a wholistic approach between online and off.

    Be prepared for telemarketers, but don’t ignore every out of state phone number as it could be a company wanting to set up a service agreement for work.

    • Total posts: 1

    Hello Bryce, Hope you are doing great

    Taking on the entrepreneurial journey can be overwhelming and exciting. From what I know you can do well cause of your plumbing background.

    Start off your service from plumbing and move on to different categories of options that a handyman service provides. It’s more like putting more tools to your belt into your CV.

    As of now getting leads right away could be a bit difficult if you are new to marketing. Need a solid online presence that will get you leads from the social background. After getting constant leads you can build up from there.

    Best of luck on your journey!

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