Does a Handyman Need to Have a Contractors License?

There are very few areas where a handyman can get a handyman license, so the question becomes: How can I work legally as a handyman and still make a good living? It seems that every state in the Union has licensing requirements for all aspects of construction.  You have to be a licensed contractor to do any major work…jobs like…

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Do I Need to Have a Catchy Name for My Handyman Business?

If you’re interested in selling your business down the road you will want to have a catchy name.  It would be pretty tough to sell Jim Smith’s Handyman Service to Jenny Jones! But there are some downsides.  Using a fictitious name (any name that isn’t your given name) will cost you some extra money.  Once you’ve chosen the name you’ll…

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How Much Insurance Coverage Should I Have?

If my commercial experience is typical, $1,000,000 worth of general liability insurance is a good starting point.  On my latest renewal I discovered that raising my limit to $2,000,000 did not increase my premium.  Ask your agent for quotes on both coverage limits. The more assets you have, the more important liability coverage is and the more coverage you need. …

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Do I Need an Email Address and My Own Domain Name?

Yes on both counts.  An email address and a domain name will help to build your credibility.  They prove that you are serious about your work and give your clients another way to communicate with you. I encourage you to get your own personalized domain name and use it for your email address and your webpage.  There are many free…

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Should I Ask To Be Paid in Cash?

No.  And don’t offer a cash discount.  Never tell a customer that you prefer to be paid in cash.  Asking for cash is bad business and a dead give away that you are cheating on your taxes.

Should I Accept Personal Checks?

Yes!  Most customers pay by check.  However, when in doubt do what the corner merchant does to cover himself.  Write the customer’s driver’s license number on the check to prove you checked their ID.  In order for the police to help you collect on a bad check, you will need to be able to prove who it was that signed…

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What About Preliminary Notices and Mechanics Liens?

Here is a definition for you:  A Preliminary Notice contains language which describes the details of the contract and who the interested parties are to the transaction.  It also makes a statement to the property owner that a mechanics lien could be placed on the subject property, what the consequences of such a lien placement are, and what their remedies…

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Does the Truck I Drive Really Matter?

Yes!  A handyman’s truck should tell the world that they are dealing with a reasonably priced professional.  It should indicate to your customers that the owner is clean, organized, efficient, and serious about their work. Buy a good used truck or a basic new truck like I did.  Don’t get anything too flashy because it will make you look too…

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How Can I Set Myself Apart From My Competition?

It is very easy in this business to put yourself ahead of the other handymen in your area: Answer your cell phone when it rings unless you’re in the middle of a conversation with a customer.  Return messages the same day (or night). Use a hands free device.  If your work is interrupted by a call, you can keep working…

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Should I Charge for Mileage or Travel Time?

I don’t charge for travel time or mileage within my normal area but many contractors do.  The plumbers and electricians are particularly known for this.  Check to see what other handymen in your area are doing. When traveling outside of my normal work area I always charge for mileage and/or travel time. If you charge for mileage, use the federal…

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