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How to start a professional handyman business

If you are a dab-hand at DIY and would like to be your own boss, then you may be considering offering out your services as a professional handyman.

While building your own business may not be as simple as building a shelving unit, if you’ve got the will to be self-employed and the determination to success, then don’t be daunted.

To help you get started, we’ve produced the following instructions on how to build your professional handyman business.

Getting started

While there are many ways to make money from home, becoming a professional handyman can certainly be one of the most lucrative, especially if you already have a wide range of skills and experience. It can also be an extremely enjoyable profession for those who love fixing things up and are always keen to get on with the next job.

No matter how eager you are to get on with the practical side of the job, you must first consider your business matters. If you are going to work for yourself, you must take all necessary measures to establish your business first.

Step 1: Register as self-employed

The first step for any new business owner is to register yourself as either a sole trader or limited company. Most tradespeople will choose to set up as a sole trader as it’s quicker and easier to set up. Whichever you choose, will have implications on how much tax and NICs (National Insurance Contributions) you pay to HMRC. 

  • Choosing a business name

    The foremost thing to consider when registering yourself as a sole trader is to come up with your business name. You can choose your own name, or a unique name which conveys your brand. While your name as a sole trader doesn’t have to be unique, you must ensure that your name is not offensive, that you are not going to cause clients any confusion and that you are not infringing upon anyone else’s trademark. You’ll also want to check that the website domain name is available. Your business name must then appear on all official paperwork, including your invoices.

  • Keeping track of your finances

    In order to be a sole trader in the UK, you must commit to keeping accurate records of all your business sales and expenses. The more organised these are, the easier it will be to complete your Self Assessment tax return. 

  • Completing a Self Assessment tax return

    It is also a legal requirement that you complete your Self Assessment accurately and punctually by the end of January for the previous tax year.

Step 2: Get insured

When working as a handyman, you will be working to make sure everything goes right, but you have to also ensure that you are covered in case things go wrong so that you remain protected – both personally and financially.

There are three types of business insurance that you need if you are going to run your own handyman business. They are:

  • Public liability insurance – to protect you in the event of a claim made by the public about injury or loss.
  • Personal accident insurance – to protect you in the event of injury.
  • Tool insurance – to protect you in the event of equipment being lost or stolen.

Step 3: Consider marketing options

You may wish to work in your local community and build business over time through word of mouth, but if you’re looking to get your business going more quickly, then you will need to consider marketing your business

You may look into designing a logo to go with your brand and then getting set up with a website and some transfers for your vehicle. You might also consider launching a small advertising campaign on social media.

Step 4: Carve out a niche

An essential part of marketing yourself is knowing what your key areas of expertise are, and what you want your niche to be.

The jobs of a handyman are – by definition – going to be varied, covering any of these areas:

  • Basic electrical maintenance, including rewiring, changing bulbs, and changing fuses
  • Basic plumbing, including fixing leaks, clearing pipes and draining radiators
  • Basic garden maintenance or landscaping
  • Maintaining and/or repairing furniture, fixtures and fittings
  • Construction or demolition
  • Painting and decorating
  • Moving and lifting
  • Clearing areas of waste, foliage, or other items
  • Assembling of furniture or equipment

While handymen are known for turning their hand to anything and everything, carving out your own niche will help you to attract clients and build public trust in you. When you are defining the your areas of expertise, just bear in mind whether there will be any additional cost implications – for example, will offering a particular service require you to purchase additional equipment – and then ask yourself if it help you make money from home.


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