8 key steps to market your handyman business

Starting up a handyman business is a popular profession among the trades sector in Australia. And you can see why. Handymen deal with general repairs across a range of services, typically around the home. From repair and maintenance work to minor skilled trades work across a range of professions, there is often no task too varied for a handyman.

But with more than 3,500 small business owners calling themselves handymen you will need to stand out from the crowd if your business is going to be a success. This is where you’ll need some handyman marketing ideas to make your business the shiniest wrench in an ever-growing toolbox.

This handyman business guide will give you some top marketing tips that will help you grow your business.

1. Get people talking about your business

One of the first marketing goals you should consider building towards is generating word of mouth about your business. This often starts organically among your friends and family members when you start but can quickly grow when you put your focus into it. The key thing here is ensuring your business service is airtight. You should come across as a professional who knows their trade and always strive to leave a positive impression no matter what job you do. That means being on time, polite and thorough when it comes to conducting your work. There is a network of friends and family that could connect with your business for every positive experience you give a customer.

Another way you could actively help generate word of mouth for your business is by urging customers to leave a review. Not only will this advertise your business to future clients, but negative reviews can help you learn from areas you may lack.

Creating buzz about your business can be an effective marketing tool that can be the difference between landing or losing a contract. The more it happens the easier it will be to organically expand your own network.

2. Advertise yourself

And I mean literally advertise yourself. Create a logo and slogan that people can recognise and whack it on a t-shirt or on the side of your ute. Being your own walking advertisement is a powerful marketing tool and can help you get your handyman business name out there. While it depends on your budget, you could go down multiple avenues when it comes to physical advertising. From magnets and business cards to signs and bus seats, physically advertising yourself is a great way to generate new leads, especially if you want build your reputation in a particular area.

3. Build an online presence

While physical advertising can be effective, your online presence can make or break your handyman business in this day and age. A handyman can connect directly with their intended audience by engaging in some online strategies. If you aren’t actively building your online network, you may be losing some essential leads to other handymen that are.

The core hub to build your business’ online presence around is a company website. Depending on how tech savvy you are, you can either build it yourself or reach out to an expert to help you develop it. From there, you can engage with your customers through social media platforms such as Facebook or Instagram, building your brand through content or competitions.

Email marketing is another way you can directly connect with past and potential customers. You can create personalised content about your brand to your emailing list, giving you a forum of self-promotion. Statistics show that email generates an astonishing $42 for every $1 spent making it an extremely effective marketing tool.

From Google Ads to SEO optimisation, there is a whole world of opportunity waiting for you online. But if you aren’t well-versed in this area – don’t worry. You may be a jack-of-all-trades, but you probably aren’t an expert in online marketing. Reach out to the people that are at least initially, and you can be well on your way to building your online presence. And the more you learn the easier it will be to generate extra leads through this avenue.

4. Get the fundamentals sorted

While you may be raring to go, it’s important to consider getting the fundamentals sorted before you launch any marketing strategies for your business. And although you don’t need any specific certificates or qualification to operate as a handyman in Australia, you’ll still need an Australian Business Number (ABN), register as a business with the right business structure for your situation, and have the right insurance.

If you decide to structure your business as a sole trader as opposed to a company, your business registration should be relatively simple and inexpensive. However, sole traders are personally responsible, legally and financially, for your business. This is called having personal liability, which effectively means your personal assets are on the line if something goes wrong.

Things sometimes don’t go to plan despite your best intentions, and it’s important to consider having adequate handyman insurance or tradesman insurance in place for when they do. A popular type of business insurance many handymen get for their business is Public Liability cover.

Public Liability insurance is designed to cover legal fees and compensation costs if a customer, member of the public or a supplier claims against you for injury or damage to their property as a result of your alleged negligent business activities. So, if somebody trips over your toolbox and breaks a bone or two, you’ll have the protection in place if a claim is made against you.

Furthermore, some clients may decide to not work with you if you don’t have certain protections in place. From a marketing standpoint, this makes ensuring you’ve got the basics right even more important.

5. Know your target audience

Every business has a target audience – even if they haven’t defined theirs yet as part of their marketing strategy. As a handyman running your own handyman small business, you undoubtedly have a clear idea about the type of customers you wish to target and roughly how many may be in your local catchment area.

But you will benefit from digging deeper to understand your target audience with the help of marketing personas. These are part factual, part fictional representations of your ideal customers. Each persona has defined goals, frustrations, motivations, customer journeys, and personal profiles.

The power of marketing personas is that they help you to clearly understand what you need to do to build meaningful connections with your target audience and increase your chances of converting them to customers.

6. Know your market

Knowing your market and your competition can really help define your handyman business and the handyman services it offers. Saying you know your market and actually being acutely aware of your market are two very different things. Your market includes your customers, as well as your suppliers and your competitors. These three groups are pivotal players that can define and influence the success (or lack of success) of your business.

There is always new competition and innovation entering your market, so it’s worth keeping an eye on what’s happening in your market and how the needs of your customers are evolving.

7. Explore strategic partnerships

The old adage that, “it’s not what you know, but who you know” applies when considering how to market your handyman business. Strategic partnerships are partnerships that benefit both parties; identifying opportunities to create them can help elevate your business to the next level.

Strategic partnerships can be formed with suppliers, complementary businesses (ie, qualified tradies who you can refer work to that as a handyman you are not legally allowed to perform yourself), and even competitors. It may be in your interest to take note of opportunities to form strategic partnerships for your handyman business.

8. Don’t forget tried and true marketing tactics

Much of marketing today focuses on digital channels, and for good reason. However, it’s still worth investing in more traditional marketing activities – because they still work.

Try sending out magnetic refrigerator cards to homeowners in the area your handyman business services. These are a great way to keep your handyman business top of mind, and when homeowners need repairs done around the home, all they have to do is look to their fridge magnet for who to call.

The bottom line

Starting a handyman business in Australia can be a wonderful career move. The job will allow you to learn new skills and you will rarely do the same job twice. Marketing your handyman business will hopefully put you in the right direction to make your handyman business stand out from the crowd. While some may be hard to get your head around at first, persisting with these strategies will likely help you develop a popular small business in your area and set you up for years to come.

* This information is general only and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. It should not be relied upon as advice. As with any insurance, cover will be subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions contained in the policy wording.
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