If you’ve been paying attention to economic news in recent years, you’ve probably heard about the “side hustle”. This is where you have a job, but you also do some freelance or contract work on the side to earn some extra income. This used to be referred to as moonlighting, but whatever you want to call it, many people are finding that their home repair skills are worth a lot of money as a side gig. If you’ve considered starting your own side business as a handyman or home improvement specialist, below are some tips to help you get started:
Have The Right Supplies And Tools
Having a selection of quality tools and parts is essential when you work for yourself as a home improvement pro. Because you won’t have the budget of a big company backing you up, you can buy washers, nuts, bolts, nails and other supplies from your local hardware store or online until you start making some money. After you’ve been in business for a bit, you’ll have a better idea of what you’ll need and can start purchasing wholesale.
Likewise, don’t go with the cheapest tools, but you also don’t have to spend a fortune on expensive tools just yet either. You know your business and the types of jobs you’ll be completing, so think about the degree of difficulty you face when completing jobs. Purchase tools that are in line with this degree of difficulty, and make sure they will last long enough until you can save up to get higher-quality tools.
Know The Law And Get Licensed
Just because you’re working in home improvement on the side doesn’t mean that your services are immune from legal requirements. Most areas have licensing requirements for handyman services providers, and you may also need to obtain a business license from your local government. Additionally, consider opening a separate bank account for your business finances as you may have tax liabilities each year depending on your income and expenses. As a contractor, you’ll probably be under tax rules as a sole proprietor, but as your business grows, you may consider transitioning to a limited liability corporation (LLC) which will change your tax liabilities.
Market Your Services
The Internet provides plenty of free ways to promote your services and market your skills. You don’t have to put up a full website to market your services online, but it never hurts to create a social media page and start inviting friends and family to like and share it. Remember to promote your services often, but don’t overdo it either. You want to maintain your professionalism and only market your skills when and where it’s appropriate.
Also, don’t be afraid to ask people for referrals. People tend to trust recommendations from family and friends, so make sure you have business cards available to leave with people each time you complete a job. You can also consider offering referral discounts as a way to incentivize customers to spread the word.
Think About Insurance
Once again, just like with licensing, you’re probably going to need to have some type of insurance in place. Whether this is a requirement in your area or not, it’s simply a good idea for any type of home repair and maintenance professional to carry general liability insurance.
You’re going to be working on homes, and accidents and mistakes in the home improvement space can lead to lots of costly damage. No matter how skilled you are, you should prepare for the unthinkable even if you aren’t required by law to carry insurance.