|Typical fees:||10 to 20 percent of the repair cost; $45–$55 per hour if|
|you are also providing handyman services yourself|
|Advertising:||Yellow Pages, community newspapers, coupon books,|
|banner ads on community-oriented Web sites, your own|
|Web site with testimonials|
|Qualifi cations:||Good communications skills|
|Equipment needed:||Cell phone, van well stocked with tools if you’re going on|
|Staﬀ required:||Yes (stable of handymen willing to work on-call)|
|Hidden costs:||Workers’ compensation, tool maintenance costs, liability|
What You Do
A handyman network is the perfect way to fi nd employment for the retired tin-kerer. You’ll run a business similar to a referral service, where you get the call and then match a fixer-upper to a customer in distress. You will dispatch one of your dozen or so handymen to a caller, then sit back and let the work happen. When it’s done, the handyman will bring you a completed work order and a check for the service rendered. At regular intervals (typically twice per month), you’ll cut a check to each handyman for his percentage of each completed job. You’ll be handling everything from dripping faucets to deck-building or possibly even roofi ng. The possibilities are limited only by your staﬀ ’s capabilities. Make sure to hire a wide variety of specialists, so that you have enough workers to cover any anticipated project. If you are handy yourself, you can pick and choose which jobs you most want to work on and refer out the rest.
What You Need
If you already have a van for carrying your tools and equipment to house calls you make personally, or if you are simply oﬀering referral services, you’ll need only $500–$1,000 to get started in this business. With some hard work and heavy promotion, you can turn a profit of $20,000–$45,000. One tip: make sure you advertise on your van; it’s surprising how many handyman networks get referrals that way.
Keys to Success
It’s a win-win situation . . . you’re helping out retired and possibly displaced workers who need to do something to make ends meet, but you’re also helping a customer solve a problem in his or her home. The income is not fantastic, but it’s respectable, and there’s always room for you to make a few extra bucks if you personally take on jobs.