When Should I Rent Tools Instead of Buying Them?

A Rent vs. Purchase Case Study: A pressure washer is readily available from an equipment rental yard.  The first time I needed one, in order to save on the rental fee, I borrowed a pressure washer from another handyman.  He instructed me in all the intricacies of getting it started.  After pulling the cord about 20 times and fiddling with…

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What Jobs Are Handymen Being Asked To Do?

Here is a partial list of the jobs I completed over a recent 4 month period.    I’m sure that you will be asked to do the same types of work: Installed phone extension line Hauled old wood and irrigation pipe to the dump Repaired and replaced broken sprinkler heads Sealed cracks in brick walkway Bleached and stained deck Installed closet…

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Should I Specialize in One Type of Work?

After viewing the long list of projects above, you might be motivated to specialize in one particular type of work. I have been tempted to specialize because it is challenging to do so many different types of work.  On some jobs I find myself learning as I go and having to excessively focus on avoiding mistakes or wasting materials. When…

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Do I Need to Keep a Mileage Log?

Yes.  At the time of this writing, IRS Form 2106 instructions (for 2008 returns) had this to say about record keeping for your vehicle: “You cannot deduct expenses for travel…unless you keep records to prove the time, place, (and) business purpose…of these expenses.” I keep a small spiral notebook in the visor of my truck.  Each morning I list the…

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What Should My Chart of Accounts Look Like?

Since the 1040 Schedule C is your basic profit and loss statement, I set up my chart of accounts to match the Schedule C as closely as possible.  You should need very few categories that aren’t listed on the Schedule C.  If your state has a sales tax and you have differing tax rates in your area you should break…

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Do I Need an Accountant and a Bookkeeper?

Unless you’ve had a lot of experience with taxes, you may want to have a tax preparer complete your first year’s tax returns.  In subsequent years you can often prepare your own taxes by following last year’s example. I have found that after the chart of accounts has been set up properly your bookkeeping system simply requires maintenance. Bookkeeping software…

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About Record Keeping and Taxes

Federal income taxes, state income taxes, city business license tax, sales tax, payroll taxes, wow!  Taxes and recordkeeping can be quite a load. Your record keeping will make or break your business success.  Setting your books up correctly from the start will make everything easier when it becomes time to prepare your taxes. Here are some keys to success: Open…

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Should I Incorporate My Handyman Business?

What legal business structure should I choose?  The three most commonly chosen legal business structures are Sole Proprietorship, Limited Liability Company (LLC), and S Corporation.  Because I am not a lawyer or a tax attorney I am not qualified to recommend one structure over another.  I can only tell you what I have done and strongly recommend that you consult…

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Can I Get a Contractors Discount When Buying Materials?

Any discounts you receive have the potential of being either extra profit for you or additional savings for your customer.  It’s a winning situation either way so don’t hesitate to ask for a discount. I have found that the major chains have differing policies.  One chain flat out said no, that they do not offer contractor discounts while another said…

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Making the Decision to Start a Handyman Business

Are you tired of working for “the man?”  If you were laid off, how would you like to have a job where you could never be laid off again?  Want more variety in your work?  Want more control over your time and the work you do?  Want to take vacations whenever you choose?  Do you want to be your own…

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