Top 7 skills every handyman needs

If you ply your trade as a handyman, or are planning to do so, then you are likely very good with your hands, a practical problem solver, and a person with a wide range of handyman skills and an even wider set of tools. A true jack of all trades.

However, being an expert at fixing things is only one part of achieving business success as a skilled handyman. You will also benefit from have a strong handle on a whole range of business skills and business knowledge – both technical and soft skills. For example, investing in handyman insurance is something that can help reduce the risks to your handyman operation.

How to become a handyman

Whether you have just become a handyman, or have been plying your trade for some time, it never hurts to revisit and refresh the following technical skills and soft skills. Doing so will provide the groundwork for sustaining and growing your handyman business over the long-term. It can even be inspiring. If you’re new to the handyman trade, think of this list of skills as your handyman start-up checklist.

Recommended reading: How to start a handyman business in Australia

1. Expert communication skills

You may be the most technically skilled handyman in town, but your handyman business may not go too far if you only have the technical skills but no communication skills. To become a handyman, it is essential to hone your communication skills, whether in the field liaising with customers or in the office speaking with suppliers or business regulators.

Expert communication skills enable you to move through jobs quicker and with fewer mistakes, which means everyone is happy. Good communication starts with mapping out each stage of a project, so your clients know exactly what to expect. Be diligent in following up with your clients at each stage, so they are kept in the loop with your job progress.

Other key actions and handyman skills to remember that will help you become an expert communicator include:

  • Following up with clients or potential clients within 24 hours whenever they send you an email inquiry. Make sure to include next steps in your reply.
  • Send appointment reminders so your handyman clients know when to expect you so they can plan to be home.
  • Provide an itemised invoice to your client as soon as possible after you’ve completed their project. It’s courtesy, and also a great way to ensure quick payment.
  • Once you’ve sent a quote to a client, schedule a follow-up call, which will increase your chances of securing the work.

2. Consummate customer service skills

Providing great customer service should be a given for all business owners, but it is especially important when you become a handyman and compete with many other handymen in your area for the same jobs. While the importance of providing a great customer experience to clients may be lost on some handymen, it won’t be forgotten by your grateful clients.

Most customers will appreciate your extended efforts to provide a pleasing customer experience. And if that becomes something that you pride yourself on as a professional handyman, as word of your delightful customer experience spreads you will be able to charge a premium for your handyman services.

Your handyman clients will pay more for great customer service and become regular customers. With that in mind, remember that customer service is a broad skill set, and it’s okay to start out small. Start with being transparent. Let each client know exactly what they should expect when working with you. Follow through on the things you say you will do, and back it up by a customer service policy and warranty options.

3. Organisation skills

Not everyone is organised by nature, but everyone can benefit from becoming great organisers. This is especially true of sole traders who choose to become a handyman.

As a busy handyman tending to multiple jobs in potentially far-flung locations on any given day, the more organised you can become, the less stressful your working days will be. Not only that, but you’ll also become more efficient, enabling you to complete more jobs on schedule, much to the delight of your customers.

4. Pricing strategy skills

Many handymen start out by doing odd handyman jobs for friends and family on the side and charging a rough estimated price, if any. But once you’ve formalised your handyman business and it becomes your main source of income, it’s time to develop and lock in your pricing strategy.

Once you decide which handyman jobs will be your main bread and butter, develop a pricing strategy for each category of work. Your pricing strategy should be influenced by your services (including the time each standard job will take you to complete), the supplies you will need, and any other job-specific expenses you may incur, including any travel costs.

You may choose to quote at a standard hourly rate, or by job. Either way, having a plan in place before you start pitching your services to potential customers will make it easier for you to provide consistent and accurate estimates and quotes.

5. Business marketing skills

All business owners can benefit from marketing to help raise awareness about their brand and the services they offer, and handyman business owners are no different.

If you’ve never marketed your handyman business, it might be worth considering, whether via traditional marketing activities such as press releases or advertisements in local newspapers, or through digital marketing channels such as social media and email marketing. And if you don’t already have one, a company website is a great investment for raising the profile of your handyman business.

Recommended reading: Essential marketing strategies for handyman business

6. Job selection skills

When you’re first starting out as a handyman, you may feel like you have to accept every single job that comes your way. And that may be true for a while, but you’ll soon reach a point where you’ve grown your skills, customer base, and expertise to where you can pick and choose the jobs you do.

When you get into a situation where you have more clients on your hands than you have time to service, you may unintentionally put yourself in a position where you’re cutting corners to satisfy everyone.

You may start rushing a little on jobs and start compromising on the quality of your work. Or in your rush to get to the next job on time you may start skimping on the personal touch when it comes to customer service. When this starts happening, it’s time to start learning how to say no, or risk shooting sullying your reputation.

7. Business risk management skills

Risk management is something that every type of business owner can benefit from learning – for the sake of their livelihood, if nothing else. Developing your risk management skills will help ensure the future of your business. Because things may not always go according to plan.

Small business insurance, such as handyman insurance, plays an important role in protecting small business owners across many industries. Business insurance products such as Public Liability and Professional Indemnity can provide cover for your handyman business and help reduce your risk.

Handymen, just like all other business owners, can benefit from actively reducing the risks to their business. And a great way to do just that is to invest in business insurance*. As you consider your handyman business plan, it may be worth considering handyman insurance to protect your business so you can keep doing the work you love.

*This information is general only and does not consider 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. © 2022 BizCover Pty Limited, all rights reserved. ABN 68 127 707 975; AFSL 501769

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