Niche-Focused Handyman Services... The Future of Small Home Repair Contracting?
by Dmitri Kara
There are many types of business models for handyman company out there, starting from do-it-all local handymen, tradesmen who selectively choose and all the way to national or even worldwide franchises. To be a niche-specialized handyman seems to stand out as one of the more profitable and less stressful types of repairmen.
But why is taking on a specialty the wave of the future for handymen?
Let's step back for a second and look at where it all starts for the average beginner handyman
Most handymen start as average repairmen. Look at typical handyman/home repair ads in your local newspaper. "Big or small", "No job too small" or "I do it all". Such work experience descriptions are suitable for tradesmen with a basic set of skills. The so called "Jack of all trades" enjoys tackling various maintenance and repair tasks.
The problem is that the income of most handymen is within the lower range of the industry. One the other hand, tradesmen who choose to specialize in one or many tightly narrowed set of skills and services, i.e. wiring electrical installations for houses/apartments/or offices, heating repairs and replacements, woodworkers and joiners for bespoke carpentry and the list goes on.
Why handymen should niche-specialize?
The best option is to choose and focus on a specific trade and thus build up significant and valuable know-how. Niche-oriented handyman services naturally lead to higher rates and prices. Here's why:
1. The Standpoint of an Expert PRO
When focused at a specific trade, the handyman evolves as a professional to a point where considered an expert. When based on hard to acquire know-how and experience, the reputation of a handyman levels up as PRO, rather than merely a man of all work weekend fixer.
In most occasions potential clients need to solve specific tasks, i.e. appliance maintenance, repair, installation or let's say exterior or interior lighting and etc. home improvement. This means people need "an expert for the job".
The tighter and more complex the focus, the better and more attractive customers a tradesmen attracts. No matter if a homeowner, tenant or landlord, nobody would trust a "Sunday handyman" to repair a 4 digit American style fridge freezer, right?
People don't need: "I could handle this".
People need: "I know what to do".
2. Better handyman rates for better income and better profit
The more experienced in a certain niche a technician is, the better handyman rates/prices. Here are three solid arguments to back this up:
- The shoes of a reputable professional offer a solid grip and serve as a guarantee. Homeowners (tenants or landlords) would choose to hire a reputable expert for a job well done, because it is "safe".
- Niche-specialized tradesmen develop know-how efficiency and thus jobs done in a timely manner. Happy clients are the best clients.
- Niche-specialized handymen charge flat rates. This approach allows tradesmen to offer up-sale deals on combined or multiple handyman services i.e. fixing a leaky pipe plus changing a faucet and let's say combine those with replacing a sink, a whole bathroom seat, or why not a great deal on bathroom renovation?
3. Niche-specialized handymen benefit from better inquiry/booking rates
Like it or not, more and more potential clients browse the web for handyman professionals and the fact is, trade-specialized professionals earn more trust online, than weekend do-it-all repairmen. Customers may more often call handymen who advertise as specialists simply because these clients know what type of handyman services they need!
Niche-specialized handymen are better positioned to get those better paying jobs all tradesman want, which can lead to long-term customers for the wider variety of services they offer.. This won't make industry pros happy, since the nich-specialized handyman provides competition for many quick-but-profitable jobs... but that's simply how business works. It's fine to work hard, but you'll make a lot more money by also working smart!
Example: Imagine a potential client hunts for the right handyman to assemble and fit a flat pack kitchen and comes across a handful of handymen websites or listings titled:
- Local Handyman
- Fixed rate per hour Handymen
- Experienced Handyman Experienced Flat pack Kitchen Fitters
All handyman websites have the kitchen fitting service within their description, but which one will the client visit first? Clearly, most would click the most relevant handyman service first: "Experienced flat pack kitchen fitters."
4. It is Easier for a Niche-handyman to Team Up with other Tradesmen
To focus at a tight niche of trades allows handymen to team up easier and thus thrive faster and more sustainable in terms of business.
No matter if niche-specialized or not, professional handymen often have to solve complex repair or maintenance problems, that require know-how in a wide range of fields. In some occasions this is an absolute advantage, while in others a serious disadvantage. It is important for a niche-focused handyman to be fully aware of the extent of his/her expert skill set in order to build or join a handyman company.
A great advantage of the niche-specialized handyman is the far less amount of time required to master the trade. It takes decades to become an all around handyman, while mastering a single niche, i.e. basic electrician repairs and installations of lighting fixtures, will take way less, especially when you want to train your team or simply to find a handyman company partner.
5. Focused Handyman Services make it Easier to set and determine the right Handyman Rates
Not all tradesmen offer free quotes, but for those who do, quoting often stands for a solid time investment. This means that the average handyman beginner has to visit a bunch of locations only to determine if jobs can be handled in the first place.
This is where one of the most challenging moments for any handyman or company: How to set the right handyman prices?
To be a niche-focused tradesman eases the burden of quoting by far, especially in person. When focused at a certain range of handyman services, professionals developed fixed handyman rates and job pricing, which makes it far easier to quote upon photos or over the phone.
Plus, it even allows to outsource incoming phone inquiries to a third party. This is one of the many benefits of niche-specializing, because it allows handymen to focus on the company and business development.
6. Last but not least - Job Security
Handyman company rates are crucial, but income is only considered to be number 3 for job satisfaction. Number 1 is "opportunity to use skills and abilities" and number 2 is how secure it is in the long term.
The truth nowadays - nothing can be really 100% sure. While the market may not always need bloggers, it will always demand electricians, carpenters, plumbing experts, odd job men and etc. Although trades do evolve in their own way, they simply can not be abandoned easily.
7. You can still be a "handyman" and a "niche-specialist" at the same time!
Beginning handymen tend to do low-skilled jobs... yard or basement cleanups, small painting jobs, etc. A joke among handymen is a business card with a job description, "Anything for a buck!" But as a handyman takes on more and more work, he will find that he is learning "on the job", reading and gaining new skills. These skills, if the handyman is smart, can be expanded to be a niche service... a specialty that can increase income while still keeping the variety of work that leads to job security... with extra income to boot! A one-two punch that leads to a more successful handyman business.
Indeed, most people to go into handyman work go into it precisely because they like variety and don't want to be locked in just painting, or just carpentry. But don't dismiss the idea of also learning a specialty or even multiple specialies. It will benefit you in the long run by both increasing your income and making your services more valuable to your customers!
To sum it up
No matter if you are a beginner handyman or an expert with tons of know-how. To be a niche-specialized tradesman is an excellent way to grow client base, improve business development and of course - earn more.
About the author: Dmitri Kara is a professional at The Fantastic Handyman Services of London.