You’ve taken some huge steps and successfully launched your home improvement business. You knew that small business ownership would present challenges in the first few months and you’ve tackled them head on.
You navigated the home improvement contractor license application process, learned how to file quarterly taxes, and bought a competitively priced home improvement contractor’s insurance plan to keep you and your family safe from lawsuits. With those hurdles behind you, you’ve got time to focus on starting your handyman business down the path that will give you a predictable handyman salary.
With nearly 650,000 people in the construction industry and new handyman salaries hovering around $35,000, you need to think about how you can set your business apart from the competition. If you’re in a position where you’re interested in adding to your service offerings to grow your revenues and reduce the number of referrals you need to give away, here are three great home improvement business ideas for independent contractors.
Tap Your Artistic Side
Seriously, tap into your artistic side and use it as a platform to show customers that you’ve got a unique look and can command premium prices. We all remember the first time we saw a log carved with a chainsaw to look like a bear. That craftsman turned an inexpensive piece of wood into a nice profit center with a few well placed swipes of a power tool and you could do the same with the tools and materials you’ve already got in your shop.
We’ve seen electricians and plumbers turn inexpensive building materials into expensive, well designed lighting solutions that customers are happy to shell out big bucks to bring into their homes. Whether you’re building Edison bulb lights, custom coffee tables that feature industrial or automotive parts, or are testing the limits of custom masonry, well funded customers are willing to pay a premium if it means having a unique conversation piece.
Exploring your artistic side means that you’re accepting your role as a craftsman, rather than just a swinging hammer. As an artisan, you can elevate your clients’ spaces and they will talk about your work with their friends. Excited customers are an outstanding way to create motivated clients without spending a cent.
Tis the Season
Not quite at the level where you want to try elevating an entire creative industry by yourself? That’s okay! The holidays come around every year and along with bad weather they bring a flock of parents who are begrudgingly climbing ladders to hang lights, assemble decorations, and do the tasks we hate to make the memories we love.
If you’re not afraid of heights and want an easy business that has steep profit margins, consider advertising your services to mount holiday lights and assemble other decorations. For an added benefit, consider making a donation to an appropriate local charity and advertise a discounted rate when customers book installation and removal at the same time. Customers will love the chance to make great holiday memories without the added work of putting up decorations.
Just Follow the Instructions
Want an even easier way to boost your bottom line? How about a side gig that doesn’t require expensive tools, comes with instruction manuals, and can be done without a professional workshop? If you live near apartment buildings or colleges, consider branching out and offering furniture delivery and assembly for a flat rate. It’s no secret that people hate building furniture with names that they can barely pronounce, so why not help them take the stink out of their most recent trip to a discount furniture store.
Using websites like Craigslist and Facebook, you can build a steady stream of people looking for help moving and assembling furniture. As you get more familiar with the furniture kits, you’ll get faster and that will drive up your hourly rate. For bonus points, approach the landlords and property managers of the apartments you’re visiting and offer your services whenever they turnover apartments and need them overhauled before leasing them again.
Whether you’re a master who is ready to take your professional world by storm and show your artistic side or are just starting out and are looking for a fast way to add some dollars to your bottom line, the truth remains the same. There are great opportunities out there for small business owners who are interested in getting work done and delivering world class customer service.