Learning how to pick up a new skill is difficult. Taking that hobby and making it your life’s work is even more challenging. If you have a hobby of DIYing around the house, learning to take your skills to the next level as a professional handyperson is a challenge worth undertaking. It can be scary, but we’re here to help you start. Check out our helpful tips on how to become a professional handyperson below.
Review Licensing Requirements
The first thing you need to do before you set out to start working on a customer’s house is check for any legislative state or municipal licensing requirements. Only some states require a repair person license, but you will likely need a small business license at minimum.
Additionally—contingent on the state—you may need a contractor’s permit if the work you perform costs more than a certain dollar amount. You might end up doing some building and construction work, so make sure you have a permit before you sign any long-term contracts.
Also, ensure you have an employee identification number. You can get this information from the IRS. You want to be in good standing with federal tax requirements, so don’t overlook this crucial task.
Join Training Courses
While most agree that formal training isn’t necessary for this career, it’s still great for developing your professionalism and skills. Community college is affordable and can offer the technical skills required for the job. While not every school will offer hands-on training opportunities, business management classes can also prove beneficial. Alternatively, you could go on the internet and self-learn. YouTube and many online resources can help you learn the ropes just as effectively as real-life experience.
Get the Right Tools
To become a repair person, you’ll need the correct tools. Some items are a no-brainer, such as hammers, nails, and hog pliers. However, you may also need more specific tools, such as a heavy-duty staple gun. Whatever you do, you want to avoid getting to someone’s house only to realize you don’t have what the project requires. Owning unique tools also ensures you can offer services that your competitors can’t.
Marketing is crucial if you want to develop yourself as a handyperson. Set up a social media account and choose who you will market to for your business. Your target demographic should help guide your choices. Facebook and Twitter tend to have older individuals and millennials as users. Meanwhile, Gen Z often frequents TikTok and YouTube. Regardless, the beauty of being a handyperson is that no matter where you work, there will be homes in need of repairs and maintenance.
Set Your Services
The term “handyperson” encompasses quite a few jobs. You should know a bit about everything, but we suggest picking a branch and sticking with it. Here are a few options.
- Floor repair is a useful knowledge set to have. You’ll want to research the various kinds of wood and carpeting, whether hardwood, vinyl, or any other material. Learning how to work with each of these materials will help you tremendously.
- Door installation is another skill you should learn. You should also know how to repair locks and peepholes, caulk seals, and restore handles.
- Power washing can reverse weather damage and help clean everything from patios to driveways. It can make a property look brand new.
- It’s not uncommon to see a handyperson learn basic electrical work—which can encompass addressing busted breakers and other minor household problems.
- If you need your shelving fixed or help with new installations, you’ll likely contact a repair person.
These are just a few examples, but you get the gist. It’s important to be a jack of all trades when possible yet offer expertise in a specific task or two. Check out what you might be interested in and start to develop your skill set.
Find a Mentor
Find someone who you can shadow on the job. Shadowing gives you hands-on experience, which is invaluable when you’re out in the field. However, it also gives you wiggle room to make mistakes. If you make a small mistake with your mentor, they can likely correct it. You can contrast this with being on your own and making mistakes without realizing it.
Practice Around the House
If you can’t find a mentor, what better way to learn than practice around your house? If you have shelving that you need to fix, watch a tutorial and make the repairs without the pressure of impressing a customer. If your door knob needs repairs, study your door mechanism and explore replacement options. DIYing around the house or even breaking things down in your garage to fix them again is incredibly rewarding.
Start shaking hands and kissing babies. Well, maybe not that last part, but you get what we mean. You need to start a solid network because your business isn’t going to grow itself. This step requires the most patience because you might hit a plateau with no growth. Consider attending local conventions, participating in online forums, and even making a relationship with tool manufacturers or material suppliers.
Do You Have the Entrepreneurial Skills?
You will need entrepreneurial skills, so now is the time to brush up on them. Take a few classes on marketing and social skills. Start getting in front of people and honing your empathic and listening skills. Be human. People can tell if you aren’t genuine, so make sure you come across as friendly, helpful, and professional. Most importantly, you should embody these social skills and stick to your word. Follow-through is crucial in this industry.
Study Building Codes and Potential Violations
The last thing you want to do is get into trouble with the law. It’s crucial to understand local building codes and how a customer’s project could violate these. These building codes can affect everything, from how your clients’ house weathers storms to structural wall construction. You and the homeowner need to be aware of these rules, or else you run the risk of fines. Here is one of the most important tips for aspiring handypersons: know local building codes in and out so that you can be a resource for your customers.
You can do quite a few things to become a professional handyperson. There’s a ton to learn, but you can succeed if you take your time, practice, and invest in the right gear. Here at Salco, we offer the best tools money can buy for all your handyperson needs. Shop with Salco today to build your tool arsenal and improve your business offerings!