According to MyMajors.com, the salary of a handyman is $27,000 a year. It makes great work as a weekend, retirement, or second job business. This might be what made you think about becoming a business owner. If you’re looking to be the owner of a brand new handyman business, you might have questions. These questions might look something like:
“What’s the first step to starting a business?”
“What kind and how much of an insurance policy to I need to be safe?”
“Are there laws I need to know?”
“What type of work can and will I best be able to do?”
These are all important questions. USA Today said that 20% of businesses fail in their first year. Preventing this, you can plan and make sure you’re ready. Luckily, when you have the right information, this can all be done. Today, we are talking about those very questions in regards to handyman work. In specific, we’ll go over what services you can offer, the laws you need to look up, writing your business plan, and how that will all affect how much insurance coverage you need.
STEP 1: What Type of Work Will You Offer?
When you came up with the idea of a handyman business, you probably thought about what type of work you’d offer. If you didn’t, do it now! This will affect everything you do every step of the way. From what type of marketing strategy to proper handyman insurance coverage, what you offer will impact the entire businesses process.
You might wonder if you can do everything. You might also wonder if you should do everything.
In reality, handyman professionals often can not do everything. In fact, most would not want to anyway. That is what specializing is all about. It is true, you might know how to do more than the normal person. However, that does not mean you can or should do everything at your job site.
Take time an hour or two to get a list of everything you know how to do. Next, take a look at the list and think about it. What would you really want to get paid to do for others? After that, it’s time for the next step!
STEP 2: What Laws Do You Need to Know About?
The laws you will need to follow will differ in every state. Some will require you to have a license depending on specific types of work you do. Others will need you to have proof of insurance coverage for certain areas based on the job site you work on. The fastest way to end your career as a business owner is to start a business without following the proper laws.
With the list you’ve made previously, it’s time to do some reading. Check into the laws in your state. If you want to work in many states, check in to the laws for each of them as well. You’ll need to find out which services you can do provided the laws you have to follow. During this research, don’t be surprised if your list of services shrinks down to only a handful. Use all information from the type of insurance needed to the licenses required to perfect your list.
STEP 3: Writing Your Business Plan
Not everyone you meet is your client.
Not all types of marketing will work for you.
Not having the cost of your services planned out can kill your business.
This step is the easiest to explain. That said, it’s the hardest to actually complete. You will need to come up with a full and complete business plan. This plan should outline everything from what types of insurance coverage you will need to who your target market is and how you market to them.
Many online templates can be found that that can help you at least get started. Completing this will have you well on your way to ensuring you have a real business in your hands. In fact, writing a business plan forces you to make sure your idea is a viable company. With that done, it’s time for the most important step.
STEP 3.5: Getting Your Business License
Before getting insured, you need to be a real business. When you wrote your business plan, you might have listed one of your major steps as getting a business license. This is easy and takes no time at all. Aside from the waiting you might have to do to get it in the mail. It’s best if you contact a lawyer or accountant with this step. These are the people that can give you the best advice. They’ll let you know how to file and how to keep your business operating safely for taxes and employment sake.
Step 4: What Insurance Coverage Will You Need?
With your business plan, license, and services ready, it’s time to talk to an insurance company. Before you go to talk to an insurance agent, you will need to think about a number of things. These will be things like how much a chance you have of causing of property damage to the job site, how likely it is that your or your employee will receive bodily injury and even things like stolen tools or cars you’ll drive or have.
There are many types of insurance you might need to think about getting and these include:
- Workers Compensation: which helps pay for the medical bills. These can be the bills of you or your employees should they receive personal injury or bodily injury while on site working.
- Commercial Auto Insurance: this helps to cover your business in the form of the cars and trucks you or your employees will drive. It protects in the case of an accident or worse if they get stolen.
- General Liability Insurance Policy: this policy is great for protecting against a myriad of things. In many people’s cases, this will be the only type of insurance they need to run the business.
- Umbrella Insurance: this is usually a direct add-on to your handyman liability insurance and covers much the same things.
No matter what type of business insurance you choose to get to protect yourself, it’s always smart to obtain a free quote. You can get these from an insurance agent and they will let you know the insurance cost and coverage you will be facing. You should always get a quote from multiple reputable insurance agents to make sure you are getting what you need at the best price. Talking to an insurance agent will make sure that you receive an insurance quote perfect for your offered handyman services and needs. Your agent will be able to provide you with explanations and answers to questions you want to be answered right away. They can go over each of your handyman insurance coverages, talk about your insurance premium as well as provide you with any proof of insurance that you may need on the spot.