new business

Discussion in 'Other Trades Talk' started by hammer, Aug 30, 2005.

  1. hammer

    hammer New Member

    thinking of starting a handyman business. would have to work around existing job to start with so would mean working weekends until hpoefully it takes off. any advice on starting up, pitfalls, who i'd need to register with etc would be gratefully received.
  2. panlid

    panlid New Member

    put an advert in local paper till you get enough work. do you accounts weekly. if looking at a job for a price and you cant think, tell them you'll ring them up later. dont haggle.cheeky b****s everywhere. get an accountant and he will register you with in.rev.
    register your nat insurance with local tax office.
    dont need to register with any trade bodies.
    if you get the prices wrong at first then dont rush the job. take your time and make sure its right and turn up or phone up when you say you will. believe me this is easy when you are not busy. the real test is when your overloaded with work, stressed out and tired.
    good luck!
  3. handyman.

    handyman. New Member

    some on here will say "dont call yourself a handyman". Well i feel my customers are not stupid enough to fall for the "property maintance and repair" tag.

    A handyman is what a lot of people are looking for. I have way to much work and have increased my rate to £30 first hr, £15 per hr rest of day.

    Dont do electrics, dont do gas. Get pro tooling, if you can only afford one good un, get a makita 18v hammer drill.
  4. handyman.

    handyman. New Member

    arrive on time........customers love that :)
  5. panlid

    panlid New Member

    dont be tempted to shag their dogs when their not looking:)
  6. hammer

    hammer New Member

    thanks for the replys. what about public liability insurance ?. i thought ** their dogs was one of the perks
  7. gadget man

    gadget man Screwfix Select

    . i thought ** their dogs was one of the
    perks's ***** their daughters!!..:)
  8. trustedman

    trustedman New Member

    what about public liability insurance

    I thought I would get away without it when I went on my own 2 years ago, the guy I had been working for only got it when he was asked for it on a job. That was till I drilled through my first pipe, that raised my blood pressure, anyway I fixed it, lucky on a tiled floor and next to the front door so I got off lightly. Anyway I have it now and it only cost me £150 which is not much for a piece of mind.

    I trade as property maintenance and repairs etc, it does me nicely, I am booked up till mid november.

    I advertise in the local village papers and post offices, my advice would be to turn up people are desparate for someone who will turn up, especially for the small jobs.

    Try targeting an area that has a lot of older people living in it, they are desparate for jobs to be done and they love recomending you to their friends if you are good and trustworthy.
  9. owen

    owen New Member

    Turn up on time for both jobs and quotes.

    Be friendly and polite.

    Be reasonably smart, i've just had some t-shirts made up with my logo and look a lot more professional. The same goes for your van, only cost me £85 to get it signwritten, people like to see a company name instead of plain white transit, also brings in business. The thing to rememeber is that even if you're only a handyman, you still want to appear as though you behave in a professional manner.

    I always send a written quote detailing exactly everything that is included, even for small jobs. e.g. if you are changing a door, are you taking the old one away? If you are, you have to budget for disposal if your local tip doesn't take trade waste. Try to send
    the quote as soon as possible after visiting the job.

    Like sid says, as you start up don't worry if a job takes longer than you budgeted for, just make sure you do it right, as this is what is important for most customers (as well as cost, obviously). Just make sure you learn from your mistakes when quoting for the next job!

    Word of mouth is far more valuable than newspaper adverts, although adverts will be essential until you get up and running.

    PL insurance is cheap, you'll probably never have to use it but i don't think it's worth risking not having it.

    Handyman is right about tooling, you may think that £30 SDS drill is a bargain but when you lose a days pay because it broke on the third hole you'll wish you spent the £120 or so for a decent make. Also, good quality tooling makes the work more enjoyable instead of a chore.

    I have been self-employed for about 15 months, and love it. I work harder and earn less (not much less though) than in my previous job, but love the fact that i don't have a boss, and enjoy the work i do. I mainly do joinery work, although not qualified as a joiner i do a good job because i enjoy it, and am able to make a living from something that was my hobby (sure i'll get loads of abuse from the proper joiners on here for this!). The point is that as long as you do a good job for a fair price, the chances are you'll do well.

    Good luck!
  10. handyman.

    handyman. New Member

    I never quote!! I only estimate. No adverts, just a nice business card. All word of mouth.

    I have found that not doing any cash in hand jobs gets you even more work. People think your very professional!!
  11. handyman.

    handyman. New Member

    dont be tempted to shag their dogs when their not

    Why?? whats wrong with that
  12. 12benny

    12benny New Member

    handy, i found out the hard way that there is no legal difference between a quote and an estimate, written or verbal. All imply a contract was made.
    Would you talk some more about "no advertising only business cards etc."
    Ref. the dog business i think its only fair to give a dog a chance, so it has to be when they are looking.
  13. handyman.

    handyman. New Member

    yes b12,but an estimate is an estimate!! If it runs over it runs over. I still get paid. My customers trust me.

    My customers all know each other somehow all through the chain of people. I had a nice glossy business card made up, with a matt back. On the back is appointment details ie job, date,time. From has my website etc. Customers seam to thing this is very good. cost £150 plus vat for 5000. I also have an A board outside jobs. Thats it, no adverts in papers or anything.
  14. Roofer

    Roofer New Member

    dont be tempted to ** their dogs when their not looking

    But it's OK if you're Corgi registered
  15. panlid

    panlid New Member

    im just saying if you have no work to start then paper is a good source of work. pays the mortcage. dont be so snotty and smug you gimp;)
  16. handyman.

    handyman. New Member

    LOL sid...........

    Try a beauty salon, its how i get most of my jobs. Get the wife in a small salon and leave some cards. The hairdressers is a good place as well. All these places have woman going to them who need a handyman ;)
  17. handyman.

    handyman. New Member

    and i like being snotty and smug :)
  18. trustedman

    trustedman New Member

    I have found that not doing any cash in hand jobs
    gets you even more work. People think your very

    Someone gave me a great piece of advice if a customer says what about cash say 'yes please'. Why should you lower your rate for someone.
  19. panlid

    panlid New Member

    i never lower price for cash.
  20. just wait till you're VAT registered then see how much cash you get offered.

    I politely say, "Sorry, thats Fraud, I don't get involved with that" normally stops any problems.

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