You may have noticed that there’s a rise in websites where handymen can find new customers and projects (think Thumbtack, HomeAdvisor, etc). These sites offer a unique advantage to handymen businesses in that you can find lots of handyman jobs online from clients who are ready to hire.
But before you bid, wait! It’s easy to get lost in these sites, especially if you’re not sure what you’re doing or how to set up a successful bid.
Your time is money - so let’s go through the sites where you could end up making a good income, as well as how to create a profile that lands you more handyman jobs.
We’ll preface this section by saying one thing - each and every one of this handyman project sites needs time and dedication to deliver a pay-off. Don’t expect to swoop in and win the first project you bid on. Instead, it takes time and plenty of practice before you start winning over customers.
Now, let’s take a look at the best sites where you can find customers who are looking to hire a handyman:
This site allows you to search through projects posted by homeowners near you. Handyman.com will also match you to specific projects that seem to be a good fit based on your profile info.
This juggernaut site allows you to quickly browse handyman projects based on your location. While HomeAdvisor is billed as a contractor-focused site, there’s a wealth of projects for handymen to bid on.
This site is similar to HomeAdvisor in that it heavily focuses on contractors; however, handymen who specialize in residential projects stand a good chance of finding work waiting for them on this site.
Another great site that’s dedicated to connecting service professionals (like handymen!) to clients looking for help with their projects. Project can range in size and type, so you can find some interesting work on a regular basis.
Think of this site as social media for individual neighborhoods. Folks can post updates, ask questions, and look for services recommended by their fellow locals. This is a HUGE advantage to handymen, because you can post your services here (for free) and start building up a local base.
Once you get a few clients under your belt, they’ll start recommending you to their friends and neighbors - and that’s where your business really takes off.
If you're just starting out, we recommend avoiding sites like Angie's List for now, since they can be pretty pricey to join and manage. You want to keep your startup costs as slim as possible - and Angie’s List can quickly run into the thousands before you know it.
Poke around these sites to get a feel for how they work. In general, they all share one similarity: They help connect customers with handymen who can get the project done.
Before you can even start bidding on handyman jobs online, you'll need to register and create a profile.
We recommend spending a decent amount of time on your profile, as it will likely be the first touchpoint potential clients have with your business. Make sure you include the following info in all of your profile, regardless of which site it’s posted on:
In addition to this basic info, you should also include a few short paragraphs about what you bring to the table. Highlight your exceptional customer service, your speedy project delivery, and your ability to be adaptable to a customer’s demands.
Get a few friends or family members to read over what you wrote and ask what they think. If you have a hard time with writing, ask someone who’s good at it to help you out.
It can really make a difference in landing customers!
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Your project bid is going to be the first thing a potential customer sees - but if you’re in an area with lots of competition, chances are that the client is getting bids from other handyman at the same time.
To increase the odds of getting your bid noticed, try out the following strategies:
Seems like common sense to make sure the bid includes the customer’s name, right? You’d be surprised to learn that a lot of handymen take the “one-size-fits-all” approach. They develop a basic bid and shoot it off to any project they like - without tweaking or customizing it for the particular project.
Don’t make this mistake. It only takes a couple of minutes to customize an online bid with the person’s name and a few details about their project. It makes a huge difference, as a customer wants to feel as though you actually took the time to read their project post.
Some online sites like HomeAdvisor provide a customer’s phone number with their project proposal. If you’re interested, call the customer right away. Introduce yourself, mention where you saw their project, and ask any follow-up questions you might need to provide the client with an estimate. In this case, the old saying is definitely true - the early bird gets the worm!
You’re more likely to win a bid when you demonstrate you’re willing to conduct a project walkthrough to give an estimate. Be sure to bring your portfolio with you, even if a potential client has already seen your work. It can be helpful to remind them what your work looks like.
Hiring online can be a scary prospect for a customer. That’s why you should provide as many references and reviews as possible, as this can assure a customer that you’re a high-quality handyman. Remember to ask every client to leave you a review after a project - it helps build up a solid portfolio of online reviews.
One of the biggest complains that customers have about getting handyman quotes is that the final project estimate can be wildly different from the initial estimate. Resist the temptation of lowballing a client just to win their project.
If you’re not sure how much a project might be, provide them with as accurate estimate as possible based on your hourly fee.
Finding customers online - especially when you’re new to the handyman business - can be a pretty tough challenge. If you’re not careful, you could end up spending more time and money on online sites than you want to.
That’s why we wanted to provide you with actual strategies that work on these sites. Put in the right amount time and effort, and you’ll quickly see handyman jobs coming through the pipeline.
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I love writing about the small business experience because I happen to be a small business owner - I've had a freelance copywriting business for over 10 years. In addition to that, I also head up the content strategy here at Simply Business. Reach out if you have a great idea for an article or just want to say hi!
This content is for general, informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal, tax, accounting, or financial advice. Please obtain expert advice from industry specific professionals who may better understand your business’s needs. Read our full disclaimer
28 November 2018 • 6-minute read
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