Making mistakes is a part of life, but when you’re running a small business, the stakes are often high. A mishap or accident could derail your handyman business before it has the chance to really take off. Fortunately, some mistakes can be avoided with a bit of planning.
Here are five handyman business tips to help you avoid small business mistakes that are common to the trade:
1. Undercharging for your services
Charging too little is a common mistake that many handymen and handywomen make. Setting prices is often difficult and confusing, especially when you’re a new small business owner. However, undercharging could make it impossible to earn a decent living in your trade.
Why do handymen undercharge for their services? There are a few reasons:
- Guessing at what you should charge rather than using a proven formula or guide
- Forgetting to factor in all job expenses, such as travel time, job time, materials used, and business overhead
- Trying to win business by undercutting the competition
Undercharging can hurt your business. You may end up throwing in the towel early because it seems unprofitable when you might have a great business on your hands! Charging too little may also put off customers who look elsewhere when you start hiking up your rates.
Setting your prices correctly from the start helps you build a more realistic picture of your handyman business. It can help you set goals for growth, better understand how profitable your business could be, and ensure you aren’t devaluing your skill and expertise.
2. Accepting jobs above your skill level
Attempting work that you’re not properly trained for is another common handyman mistake. There are a few reasons why you might be tempted to do this too:
- To fill your schedule during slow periods
- Overestimating your current knowledge and skills
- Mistakenly believing you can learn a complicated new skill on your own
- To impress a customer who might lead to larger jobs or referrals
Accepting work beyond your skill level is often a recipe for disaster. Costly or dangerous mistakes and long project delays will likely get you fired from the job. Bad word-of-mouth and online reviews could devastate your professional reputation. In a worst-case scenario, you could be hit with an expensive lawsuit.
Honesty is usually the best policy if you’re called out to a job you can’t handle. The homeowner may appreciate your candor, especially if you can refer them to someone who can do the work. They might be more likely to contact you for future jobs that are in your skill set.
Recommended reading: Essential Handyman Skills to Grow and Grab Opportunities
3. Working without handyman insurance
A lot can go wrong when you’re working in other people’s homes or businesses. Even if you work carefully, accidents and mistakes do happen, such as:
- Accidentally causing a customer or other contractor to injure themselves
- Unintentionally damaging someone else’s property or belongings
- Damage to your tools or having them lost or stolen on the job
Any of the above scenarios (and plenty of others) could greatly impact your business finances. Compensation claims, lawsuits, and necessary repairs are often expensive. These unexpected bills chip away at your bottom line and may even lead to bankruptcy if an incident is serious enough.
Handyman insurance, such as a General Liability policy or coverage for your tools, help protect your business and bank accounts. Instead of paying for claims yourself, your insurance takes care of the expenses for you. Handyman insurance helps create a safety net, so you can more easily bounce back from incidents that might otherwise damage your small business.
4. Not taking customer service seriously
You might not think of handymen as working in a customer service role, but they are! You’re providing a service to busy home and business owners, one that they expect will be completed skillfully and professionally. It’s essential that you live up to their expectations.
Common customer service mistakes include:
- Turning up late to jobs
- Providing an inaccurate or incomplete quote
- Leaving a mess behind when you leave a customer’s home or business
- Neglecting to follow up with the customer after the work is done
Keeping your customers happy is a key part of running any successful business. As a handyman, this might mean taking extra care when entering and exiting a property, alerting customers of potential issues that could cause delays, and answering their questions about the work you’re doing for them. Small steps often go a long way!
Recommended reading: 5 Customer Service Tips for Handyman Businesses
5. Forgetting to ask for help
With hard work and a little luck, your handyman business may soon be thriving. This is great news—until it isn’t. There is such a thing as having too much work, and it could lead to mistakes such as:
- Errors that cause delays or work to be redone
- Missing deadlines, such as paying your bills or filing business taxes
- Neglecting other parts of your business, like bookkeeping, marketing, or replying to customers
You might consider getting help to run your business as it grows. This may mean taking on an apprentice to lessen the workload, hiring a professional bookkeeper to stay on top of invoices, or getting part-time help to respond to emails and phone calls.
Letting others take control of parts of your business could help it grow even more. It will help free up your time to focus on additional customers, learn new skills, or focus on areas that have been overlooked.
Avoiding small business mistakes
Now that you understand some common small business mistakes, you can plan ahead and hopefully avoid them. With time, your handyman business could thrive as you provide an essential service to your local community.
BizInsure makes buying handyman insurance simple. In as little as 10 minutes, you can compare quotes and buy coverage for your small business. Get started now!
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