Apr 29 , 2015
Are you looking to start a handyman business but are worried there might be too much competition? If so, you’re not alone.
This is a common concern for anybody getting started in a new business. Nobody wants to jump head first into a market that is already saturated with competitors.
Recently, I received an e-mail from one of my readers stating this very concern. Here’s what she wrote:
I am looking to start handyman or shall I say Handy lady services in my area. I am just feeling stuck in a dead end job and really don’t enjoy it. But my interest are supporting and helping people and I am more hands on fixing things DIY and mechanically minded. I guess I just don’t have the courage to just get and do what I enjoy. Your post etc are encouraging. I feel because there are a few handyman services in my area that there is no market for me. I understand that I have to find a niche for what I can do. Any advice would be super. Have a great day.
Others have asked this same question so I decided to share my thoughts in this article.
The Illusion of Competition
When I first got started as a handyman in 2011 I was also worried about the competition. I remember looking online for handyman services and I saw a few of them who were already doing exactly what I was planning to do. They also had great websites and looked established.
The sight of these other businesses was intimidating. My stomach would drop when I looked at their online profiles and there was immediately an me vs. them feeling toward them.
At the time, I felt as if there was no way I could ever compete on their level. They just knew so much more than I did.
I decided to push on anyway, and I’m glad I did. I soon found out that there was still plenty of demand for handyman services. Not only that, but I had seriously overestimated the competition.
Basically, when I first started my business, I viewed competition as a bad thing. Now, I actually view it as a good thing. It proves there is a viable market for handyman services.
If there is no competition for the business you are looking to start, you might want to start another business.
Why You Shouldn’t Worry Too Much About the Competition
#1 – The competition isn’t that great.
Sure, there might be 100 other handyman services in your city and that may seem scary to you. But the reality is that very few of these services are offering a quality service. Most of them are probably taking their customers for granted, providing mediocre service, and just not executing on the basics.
I hate to say it, but the handyman industry operates on a pretty low standard.
The fact that so many services are running half-assed operations leaves a big door open for you to come in and dominate, assuming you are willing to provide a great service.
#2 – Every handyman service is different.
We all have our stereotypes of what we think a handyman is, and many people tend to view them as all the same. However, that’s like saying that every restaurant is the same.
Sure, all restaurants serve food, but there are thousands different types of food they serve. There are also a thousand different ways to serve that food. When somebody goes to a restaurant, they might just want a quick bite, or they might want an extravagant experience at a fine french restaurant.
Take Mexican food for example. How many Mexican places do you have in your city? How many of them are the same? Chances are there are at least 30 in your city and they all have their little nuances that make you prefer one over the other.
This is the same with handyman services. Not only are there a thousand different services that you can offer, but there are a thousand ways to offer those services.
One guy might focus on just plumbing and electrical repairs, and the next will do TV Wall Mount Installation exclusively. These are just a couple of examples of a seemingly endless list of service you can offer.
Outside of the services you offer, there are a hundred other factors that make you different. Take the reader in the above e-mail for example. She may not realize it, but the fact that she’s a woman can be a real advantage. I’ve heard from other handy-women that they can’t keep up with all of the demand because some people (mostly single women) just trust women more than men and feel safer with a handy-woman.
There might be several hundred handyman services in you area, but there is always a good niche waiting to be exploited.
#3 – It only takes a few houses to keep you busy.
If you are going by the standard “big or small, we do it all model,” it only takes a few good customers to keep you really busy. For example, I have several customers who I can rely on to give me a full day of work every single month.
Sure, there might be 100 other handymen (that you know of), but how many houses are there in your city? Chances are that you starting a handyman business is barely going to put a dent in the market unless you are in a very small town.
For example, in my city there is over 130,000 residences! It’s going to take a lot more than 100 handymen to keep up with all that maintenance.
#4 – It’s never been easier to reach your ideal customers.
With the internet making it easier than ever for customers to find you, it allows you to niche down your services and attract your ideal customers easier and more cost effectively than you could do in the past.
The internet’s been around for a long time, but very few handyman services have utilized it’s potential to make their business more enjoyable and more profitable.
Again, this is a great opportunity for a new handyman service to get started. Online marketing is how I built my business and it’s what continues to keep me as busy as I want to be.
Evaluating your competition and getting a feel for the market before you jump into a new venture is a smart thing to do. I recommend it highly.
But, when it comes to business, you must realize that competition is a good thing and should be used to help guide you toward faster success instead of hinder you from living your ideal lifestyle.
Remember, there is always room for a quality service in this industry.
Stop asking yourself IF you can make this work, and start asking HOW.