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20 Steps on How to Start a Handyman Business in UK

Please note that if you intend starting this type of business, it is advisable to first look at the existing laws and zonal regulations in the United Kingdom or the city you reside in to know what is expected of you. The bottom line is that you need to pay a visit to the regulatory bodies in your city to get all the information you need before you can legally launch your handyman business in the United Kingdom.

You can start your handyman business from a small town in the United Kingdom and if you are good at what you do, it won’t be too long before your brand becomes a nationally recognized brand especially if you go into franchising.

20 Steps on How to Start a Handyman Business in the UK

  1. Understand the Industry

The handyman services industry provides general maintenance and repair services to residential and commercial customers, including plumbing and electrical repairs, appliance installation and repair, painting and carpentry.

The handyman services industry was affected adversely by the fall of the housing market. This resulted in a low demand for the service. When the demand for minor household repairs and maintenance rose, the revenue decline was moderated. The industry has now benefited from the acceleration house market and the increase in household income.

It is important to state that in the United Kingdom, handymen operate within the general home repair industry and this industry is made up of both handymen as well as general contractors. In the United Kingdom the average cost a Handyman charges is around £40 per hour. Daily rate for tradesman is around £120 per day or £160 if laboner is required.

The industry grew as a result of the shift in focus from do-it-yourself (DIY) to do-it-for-me (DIFM) as the eighties drew to a close. This was because time became more precious for the coming generation than money. By the mid-nineties’ handyman businesses began to appear all over the place to cater to people who did not have time to fix little problems in their homes.

In 2003, the handyman industry was one of the fastest growing sole trader businesses in the United Kingdom and the industry keeps expanding further. This sector is a resource for the growing number of aging homeowners and is also a source of business opportunity for entrepreneurs.

Starting and operating a handyman services business in the United Kingdom can be demanding, but the truth is that it can be rewarding at the same time. One good thing about the industry is that it is open for both big time investors and aspiring entrepreneurs.

  1. Conduct Market Research and Feasibility Studies

  • Demographics and Psychographics

The demographic and psychographic composition of those who patronize handyman facilities cut across businesses such as corporate organizations, households, players in the real estate industry and anyone who needs to fix one or more things in their facility or home hence the demographic composition for handyman services business is all encompassing.

So, if you are thinking of launching your own handyman service, then you should make your target demographics all encompassing. It should include all construction companies, facility managers, households, players in the real estate industry and office facility owners in and outside the neighborhood where your business will operate.

In essence, your target market can’t be restricted to just a group of people, but all those who need the services of painting and decorating companies.

  1. Decide Which Niche to Concentrate On

In as much as there is no distinct niche when it comes to handyman services, a handyman may decide to choose one or more areas where they can specialize in and some of the areas are;

  • Plumbing repair
  • Drywall installation and repair
  • Electrical installations
  • Carpentry services
  • Appliance installation and repair (TV wall mount installation)
  • Flooring installation and repair
  • Roofing repairs
  • Gutter cleaning
  • Kitchen makeover
  • Bathroom remodel and Shower remodel
  • Attic insulation
  • Deck repair
  • Door installations
  • Fence repairs
  • Interior and exterior painting services
  • Yard and power tool repair and maintenance
  • Building and gardening service
  • Other related installation, maintenance, and repair services

The Level of Competition in the Industry

Surviving in the business world as a handyman requires more than your expertise, but also how to network with key people that matters in the real estate, facility management, and construction industry.

The fact that the any serious minded and hardworking person can become a handyman with little or no formal education makes the industry open to all and sundry hence the increase in the level of competition in the industry. So, if you are starting your handyman services business, then you should be ready to compete with both professional and non – professionals.

The truth is that no matter the level of competition in an industry if you have done your due diligence and you brand and promote your services or business properly, you will always make headway in the industry. Just ensure you are well – equipped, your workers are well – trained, your project, finishing and customer care services are top notch and you know how to reach out to your target market.

  1. Know Your Major Competitors 

Here are some of the most popular handyman services companies in the United Kingdom;

  • London Handyman Services
  • My Handyman Services London
  • Able Handyman Services
  • Handyman & Maintenance West Midlands
  • London Handyman Pro Services
  • Daves Handyman Services Ltd
  • Marts Handyman Services
  • Bob’s Handyman Services Manchester
  • Paul Shipton Handy Man services Ltd.
  • One Stop Handyman Services
  • Bolton Handyman
  • Sj Group – Building & Handyman Company
  • Able handyman/Property maintenance service
  • JT Handyman Services
  • Bristol Handyman Team Ltd.
  • GH Handyman Services
  • Shauns Handyman Services
  • Dan Tailby – Handyman Services
  • Three Spires Property Services
  • Robinsons Handyman Services
  • Cambridge Handy Man & Van Removals & Clear

Economic Analysis

When starting a handyman services business, you just have to get your costing cum economic analysis right if your intention of building the business is to generate profits, grow the business and perhaps expand the business and start competing at the national level.

When conducting costing and economic analysis for your handyman services business, you just have to critically examine these key factors; products, place, pricing, and promotion. As a matter of fact, you would have to continue to review these key factors at regular intervals while running your handyman services business. As a handyman services business owner, you just have to have a proper grasp of your competitive landscape if indeed you want to maximize profits and be in the frontline of the industry.

  1. Decide Whether to Buy a Franchise or Start from Scratch

When it comes to starting a business of this nature, it will pay you to start from the scratch as against buying a franchise. Besides, it is easier to start and run a handyman services business in UK from the scratch without leveraging on a known brand name. People will patronize your services based on your creativity and your ability to fix their facility or appliance.

Please note that most of the big and successful handyman services companies around started from the scratch and they were able to build a solid business brand. It takes dedication, hard work and determination to achieve business success.

On the contrary, if you decide to buy a franchise, here are some of the available companies you can choose from;

  • Metro Plumb
  • Metro Rod
  • Drain Doctor
  • Greensleeves
  1. Know the Possible Threats and Challenges You Will Face

If you decide to start your own handyman services business today in the United Kingdom, one of the major challenges you are likely going to face is the presence of well – established and all-purpose handyman services companies and of course other technicians in your target market location.

The only way to avoid this challenge is to create your own market; concentrate on households, small offices, startup construction companies, house staging companies and startup businesses who need the services of a handyman services business.

Some other threats and challenges that you are likely going to face when you start your handyman services business are mature markets, bad economy (economy downturn), stiff competition, volatile costs, and rising fuel prices.

So also, unfavorable government policies, seasonal fluctuations, demographic/social factors, downturn in the economy which is likely going to affect household / consumers spending and of course emergence of new competitors within the same location where yours is located. There is hardly anything you can do as regards these threats and challenges other than to be optimistic that things will continue to work for your good.

  1. Choose the Most Suitable Legal Entity

The United Kingdom has a wide array of options that you can choose from if you are looking for a business structure to build your business on. The most important thing is to select a business structure that will best serve your overall business vision and mission.

In the UK, you have the option of choosing Sole trader, Limited company, Private limited company (LTD or Ltd), Public limited company (PLC), Limited liability partnership (LLP) or Guarantee Company (LBG).

If you are not sure which business structure to choose from, then consider going through the quick preview below;

  • Sole Trader

A sole trader is a business-type where one person owns and runs the entire business. It is the simplest business structure you could adopt. It is very suitable for any one-person business. A sole trader is entitled to all/any profits of the business but is also liable for any debt/damages incurred. In the UK, there are currently over 3 million registered sole traders, and the number is growing with a massive influx of skilled freelancers.

  • Limited Company

A limited company is a legal business structure, that means the business is a separate entity from its owners. This means the owners are only liable for any business debts to the extent of the amount of money they have put into the business, thus limiting any exposure for business owners beyond their total investment. There are two types of limited companies you can incorporate in the UK.

  • Private Limited Company (LTD or Ltd)

In a private limited company, the owners privately hold shares. This is the most common and preferred incorporation structure for most small businesses in the UK. Over 5.2 million limited companies are operating in the UK now.

The bottom line is that if you have plans to grow your small handyman services business beyond yourself (one person) and then sell it, then a Private Limited Company would likely be the most suitable structure.

If you are considering operating a mom-and-pop kind of handyman business or to operate as a one-man business, then a Sole Tradership would probably be the best structure to build your business on. But if you have plans to build a business that has a significant amount of senior management, capital and that deals in services, then a Limited Liability partnership would be the best choice.

  1. Choose a Catchy Business Name

When it comes to choosing a name for your business, you should be creative because whatever name you choose for your business will go a long way to create a perception of what the business represents. Typically, it is the norm for people to follow the trend in the industry they intend operating from when naming their business.

If you are considering starting your handyman business in the UK, here are some catchy names that you can choose from;

  • Job Theophilus® Handyman Services, LTD
  • Chirs Williams® Handyman Services, LTD
  • Lance Princewill© General Contracting Services, LTD
  • Kingsway® General Contracting Services Company
  • Noble Team™ Handyman Services, LTD
  • Mendy Kent™ Handyman Services, LTD
  • Perfect Fix© Handyman Services, LTD
  • Green November® General Contracting Services Company, LTD
  • Mike Spencer© Handyman Services
  • Fix Pro© General Contracting Services
  1. Discuss with an Agent to Know the Best Insurance Policies for You

In the United Kingdom and in most countries of the world, you can’t operate a business without having some of the basic insurance policies that are required by the industry you want to operate from. Thus, it is imperative to create a budget for insurance and perhaps consult an insurance broker to guide you in choosing the best and most appropriate insurance policies for your business.

Here is some of the basic insurance policies that you should consider purchasing if you want to start your own handyman business in the United Kingdom;

  • General insurance
  • Health insurance
  • Commercial Umbrella Insurance
  • Public Liability Insurance (PLI)
  • Professional Indemnity Insurance (PII)
  • Employers Liability Insurance (ELI)
  • Key Man Insurance (KMI)
  • Trade Credit Insurance (TCI)

You can contact the following leading insurance companies in the UK to purchase the needed insurance policies for your handyman services business;

  • Aviva PLC
  • Old Mutual Ltd
  • Prudential PLC
  • RSA Insurance Group PLC
  • Direct Line Group Insurance PLC
  • Hiscox Limited
  • Admiral Group PLC
  1. Protect your Intellectual Property With Trademark, Copyrights, Patents

If you are considering starting your own handyman services business in the United Kingdom, usually you may not have any need to file for intellectual property protection / trademark. This is so because the nature of the business makes it possible for you to successfully run it without having any cause to challenge anybody in court for illegally making use of your company’s intellectual properties.

But if you just want to protect your company’s logo and other documents or software that are unique to you or even jingles and media production concepts, then you can go ahead to file for intellectual property protection.

  1. Get the Necessary Professional Certification

Aside from the results you produce as it relates to providing handyman services cum repair services, professional certification is one of the main reasons why some handyman services companies stand out. If you want to make impact in the handyman services industry, you should work towards acquiring all the needed certifications in your area of specialization.

Certification validates your competency and shows that you are highly skilled, committed to your career, and up-to-date in this competitive market. These are some of the certifications you can work towards achieving if you want to run your own handyman services company;

  • City & Guilds Certificate for Handymen
  • DIY Home Improvement and Maintenance Diploma
  • Membership of The Handyman Association, or The United Kingdom Guild of Handymen

Please note that you can successfully run a handyman services company in the United Kingdom without necessarily acquiring professional certifications as long as you have adequate experience cum background in handyman service.

  1. Get the Necessary Legal Documents You Need to Operate

It is a fact that you cannot successfully run any business in the United Kingdom without the proper documentation. If you do, it won’t be too long before the long hands of the law catch up with you. These are some of the basic legal documents that you are expected to have in place if you want to legally run your own business in the United Kingdom;

  • PAYE
  • Business and liability insurance
  • Council Permit
  • Certificate of Incorporation
  • Business License
  • Business Plan
  • Employment Agreement (offer letters)
  • Insurance Policy
  • Online Terms of Use (if you have a website)
  • Online Privacy Policy Document (basically for online payment portal)
  • Company Bylaws
  • Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
  • Commercial Vehicle Operator’s Registration for trucks (especially as it relates to conveying your toolbox and equipment to the site)
  • Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
  1. Raise the Needed Startup Capital

Starting a standard handyman services business in the United Kingdom is not capital intensive especially if you choose to launch the business on a small scale and you are the only full – time employee on your payroll.

Purchasing a truck / van (for easy movement of your tools and equipment) and of course, the purchase of toolbox and equipment are part of what will consume a large chunk of your startup capital, in essence, if you choose to start the business on a small scale, you may not have the need to go source for fund to finance the business.

No doubt when it comes to financing a business, one of the first things and perhaps the major factors that you should consider is to write a good business plan. If you have a good and workable business plan document in place, you may not have to labor yourself before convincing your bank, investors, and your friends to invest in your business.

Here are some of the options you can explore when sourcing for startup capital for your handyman services business;

  • Raising money from personal savings and sale of personal stocks and properties
  • Raising money from investors and business partners
  • Sell shares to interested investors
  • Source for soft loans from your family members and your friends.
  1. Choose a Suitable Location for your Business

Starting a handyman services business comes with its own challenges; it is a business that can be started in any location as long as there are people and organizations there that need handyman services. As a matter of fact, you can start your handyman services business in your house and still grow the business to profitability since most of the contracts will be carried out on site.

Generally, in business, it cannot be overemphasized that the location you chose to start your business is key to the success of the business, hence entrepreneurs are willing to rent or lease a facility in a visible location; a location where the demography consists of people and businesses that patronize handyman services and with the required purchasing power, and lifestyle.

It is important to note that a business facility in good location does not come cheap hence you should be able to allocate enough fund for leasing/renting in your budget. If you are new to the dynamics of choosing a location for your business, then you should feel free to talk to a business consultant or a realtor who has a full grasp of the city and perhaps the country you intend to start your handyman services business.

Having said that, these are some of the cities in the UK where you can locate your handyman services business;

  • London
  • Manchester
  • Birmingham-Wolverhampton
  • Leeds-Bradford
  • Glasgow
  • Southampton-Portsmouth
  • Liverpool
  • Newcastle
  1. Hire Employees for your Technical and Manpower Needs

When it comes to starting a standard handyman services business, you will need working materials, and other related equipment, machines, and tools that will aid you in carrying out your job. It is important to state that these tools and equipment can be purchased as fairly used if you are operating on a low budget.

When it comes to choosing between renting and leasing a facility for your handyman services business, the size of the business you want to own, and your entire budget for it should influence your choice. Besides, you don’t need a big workshop or garage to operate from since you will be going out to attend to your clients.

As regards the number of employees that you are expected to kick start the business with, you would need to consider your finance before making the decision. Usually, a small handyman services company would have the owner (chief handyman) and one or more assistant (could be trainee handyman or professional handyman).

Averagely, when it comes to starting a standard handyman services business on a large scale, then you should look towards hiring an office manager, business development officer, office assistant, 5 or more full-time professional handymen, and perhaps a company truck driver (for moving workers, equipment and supplies such as ladders and machines et al to sites).

Over and above, you would need a minimum of 5 to 15 key staff members to effectively run a medium scale but standard handyman services business in the United Kingdom.

The Service Delivery Process of a Handyman Business

The services process involved in the handyman services industry depends on the niche or the services the handyman services business offers. On the average, the process starts with biding or submitting proposal for a repair contract, once the contract is won, then it is expected for the contract document to be signed and advance payment made as required.

Once the payment has been sorted out, then the business is expected to deploy handymen and equipment and supplies as required to execute the job. It is the practice for professional handyman companies to first access the risk involved and the nature of job they are to do before billing the organization that requested for their services.

  1. Write a Marketing Plan Packed with ideas & Strategies

The fact that the entry barrier for starting even a small – scale handyman service is low means that more players won’t want to come into the industry if they have the skills and training. In essence, you must come up with unique marketing strategies if you must carve out a market for yourself within the available market in your community, city, state, or country.

So, when you are drafting your marketing plans, make sure that you create a compelling company profile. Aside from your qualifications and experience in the Handyman Services industry, it is important to clearly state what you have been able to achieve in time past. This will help boost your chances in the market place. Here are some of the platforms you can utilize to market your handyman services business;

  • Introduce your business by sending introductory letters alongside your brochure to households, construction companies, home staging companies, facility managers, and players in the construction and real estate industry within your location of operation
  • Advertise your services in community based newspapers, local TV and radio stations
  • List your business and products on yellow pages ads (local directories)
  • Leverage on the internet to promote your handyman services business
  • Engage in direct marketing and sales
  • Encourage the use of word of mouth marketing (referrals)
  • Leverage on the internet to promote your business
  • Join local chambers of commerce and industries around you with the main aim of networking and marketing your services; you are likely going to get referrals from such networks.
  • Engage the services of marketing executives and business developers to carry out direct marketing for you.
  1. Work Out a Reasonable Pricing for your Services 

One key factor that will help you offer your handyman services at a price that is highly attractive is to ensure that you source your tools and working materials from sources that will give you reasonable discount. Another strategy that will help you offer handyman services at the right price is to ensure that you cut operational cost to the barest minimum and channel your efforts towards marketing and promoting your brand name.

Aside from the fact that this strategy will help you save cost, it will also help you get the right pricing for your products and services. So also, if you are able to secure business partnership as it relates to getting referrals, then you will be able to get the right pricing and of course maximize profits from your business.

  1. Develop Iron-clad Competitive Strategies to Help You Win

The Handyman Services industry in the United Kingdom is a competitive industry, and you must come up with a unique and highly creative strategy to be able to outsmart your competitors in the industry. Part of what you need to do in order to stay competitive in the industry is to continue to create easier and cheaper ways of carrying out your projects.

In other to stay competitive in this industry, you must ensure that you are always on time when called upon and always ensure that you pay attention to details when carrying out your job. The truth is that if there are fluctuations in the services you provide, customers can choose to shift allegiance and settle for other options available.

  1. Brainstorm Possible Ways to Retain Clients & Customers

When it comes to business, no matter the industry that you choose to pitch your tent in, one of the easiest ways to increase customer retention and perhaps attract new customers is to produce results and satisfy your customers always. If your customers are satisfied with your products and service delivery, they can hardly source for alternative service providers.

If your services and customer service fluctuate, you are likely going to struggle to get your customers to retain your services. Ensure that you offer your customers incentives if you want to retain them and of course continue to generate repeated sales from them.

Part of what you need to do to achieve this is to track progress, results, or outputs with the aim of improving on them quickly as the case demands. When it comes to managing your customers and building a loyal clientele base, you should purchase a customized CRM software.

With a customized CRM system, you can easily stay in touch with your clients (you can carry out quick surveys, you can introduce new products and prices to them without any hitch, you can felicitate with them on their birthdays and other anniversaries, you can keep track of their progress, you can send bulk sms and customized e – mails and above all, you can easily receive compliant and feedback from them).

  1. Develop Strategies to Boost Brand Awareness and Create a Corporate Identity

If you are in business and you are not conscious about boosting your brand awareness and communicating your corporate identity, then you should be ready to take on whatever the society portrays your business to be. One of the secrets of larger corporations is that they are willing to spend good money to boost their brand awareness and to continue to communicate their corporate identity the way they want people to perceive them.

No matter the industry you belong to, the truth is that the market is dynamic and it requires consistent brand awareness and brand boosting cum promotion to continue to appeal to your target market. Here are the platforms you can leverage on to boost your brand and create a corporate identity for your handyman services business;

  • Place adverts on both print (newspapers and real estate related magazines) and electronic media platforms
  • Sponsor relevant community – based events / programs
  • Leverage on the internet and social media platforms like; Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google + et al to promote your handyman services business
  • Install your Bill Boards on strategic locations all around the locations where you operate
  • Distribute your fliers and handbills in target areas
  • List your handyman services business in local directories / yellow pages
  • Advertise your handyman services business on your official website and employ strategies that will help you pull traffic to the site.
  • Position our Flexi Banners at strategic positions in the locations where your handyman services business operates.
  • Ensure that all your staff members wear your branded shirts and all your vehicles and vans are well branded with your company logo et al.