Feb 21 , 2018
Do you feel like your handyman business income has hit a glass ceiling?
Maybe your schedule is already full, and you’re pretty sure your pricing is about as high as it can go.
If so, how do you increase your income? How do you generate more profit when you don’t want to raise your prices, work more hours, or work harder?
At first glance, it may seem difficult. Potentially not even worth the effort. A lot of pros assume the only way to grow from here is to hire employees, and most don’t want to do that.
When you get to this point, you may even be bored with your business and feel stagnate. Sure, you’re making great money and have control of your time, but you’re missing the excitement that comes with growth.
It’s not a fun place to be. I’ve personally been in this spot a few times and each time I start to question my choice in careers. I even feel bad because I’m in a spot in my business that many people dream about, yet I’m unsatisfied. I think to myself…”What’s wrong with me? Will I ever be happy?”
But I’ve learned that this is normal. It’s part of the human condition to seek growth. It doesn’t matter if you’re a billionaire or on food stamps, the feeling of progress is essential for satisfaction and happiness.
I’ve also realized that there are always ways to grow within your business and keep things interesting. There’s always something that can be optimized for higher profits or more fun.
So in this article I’m going to share a few ways you can grow your business, break through that glass ceiling, and start enjoying the process again – WITHOUT having to put in more hours, work harder, or hire employees.
Profit Booster #1 – Lock Down a Solid Pricing Strategy
This is the first place to look because just a little bit of effort here can dramatically impact your profits – allowing you to work fewer hours or just make more money.
Like I’ve said before, if you increase your rates from $25 to $40, your profit will DOUBLE. And, if you’re charging a higher rate – say $50/hr – increasing that to $70/hr will double your profit. Then, if you can go from $70/hr to $100/hr, you’ll increase your profit by another 53% and likely generate over six figures per year in profit.
That’s a big deal.
The truth is that most handymen are undercharging for their services and leaving a lot of money on the table. The interesting part is that many of these business owners think they are already charging a lot for their services. They already think they are maxed out.
I get e-mails all the time from guys saying they’re charging $35/hr and don’t think they can charge anymore. The answer is YES, you can, and you should.
So, how do you know if your pricing strategy needs some work? If you’re asking that question, then the answer is probably yes. However, here are a few other questions to ask yourself.
Do you know exactly how much revenue you need to generate per hour, per day, and per week to hit your desired income?
Do you know how many billable hours you need to work on average to hit those numbers?
Are you aware how different methods of pricing your services (flat rate vs. hourly vs. quoting) can impact your income?
Do you know how much profit you actually generate on a monthly basis?
If you answer no to any of these questions, then good news. You probably have a LOT of room for growth by making a few adjustments to your pricing strategy. I recommend you take a serious look at my course on handyman pricing if that’s the case.
Profit Booster #2 – Optimize Your Marketing
So if your schedule is already full, why would you want to focus on marketing?
But the real question is…is your schedule filled with your ideal customers and jobs?
Or, are you driving too far for jobs, working for customers who drain your soul, or taking on jobs that you hate doing?
Often, I see a handyman who is taking on jobs that require him to drive 30 miles or more, sometimes for a one or two hour job. That’s a long way to drive when you could be driving just 5 or, at most, 10 miles to a job. If you optimize your marketing, you can start attracting customers closer together, reducing travel time and expenses. How would that effect your business?
Or, maybe you are dealing with jobs you hate, or customers that don’t respect your work. This may not impact your income directly, but it does significantly impact your enjoyment which eventually impacts your income. Better marketing will help you attract your ideal customers and jobs so you can turn down jobs you don’t want.
And, worst of all, maybe you are afraid to increase your prices out of fear of losing customers. I see this a lot when people get most of their jobs through word of mouth. Sure, your schedule is filled, but if you aren’t charging enough for the work to be worth it, what’s the point?
By improving your marketing, you can break out of these bad habits. As I’ve written about before, good marketing makes everything in your business easier and more profitable.
Don’t think you can raise your rates? Often, pricing problems are just marketing problems in disguise.
Profit Booster #3 – Develop a Specialty or Two
The handyman business is awesome because you are working on a new project every day, solving a different problem with each customer. Every job has a level of novelty to it.
However, that novelty comes with a cost. It’s difficult to streamline your business when every job is different. You need more tools, a more complicated pricing strategy, more trips to the store, and it’s hard to add other profit maximizers.
But, this can be solved by simply developing a few specialties that you’re really good at. These specialty services could be anything from building custom furniture to installing smart home technology to something simple like garage door repairs. The service you choose to specialize in doesn’t matter. What matters is that you pick a service you are good at (or interested in), that pays well, and then take the time to market that service.
Over time, you’ll naturally find ways to generate a higher income from the specialty services that you offer.
And, who knows, maybe you’ll eventually change your business model to exclusively offer those services to really streamline things.
Here’s a more in depth article of the value of specializing.
Profit Booster #4 – Fix Your Schedule
After consulting with several other pros, I’ve noticed that most are spending a LOT of time during the day not making money.
I’ve seen situations where a handyman is spending 9 hours per day out “working” but only billing for 3-4 hours.
What takes up the rest of the time? It’s driving between jobs, following up with customers, or even just waiting for the next scheduled job to start.
Of course these things are necessary and will always be there, but there are ways to dramatically reduce the amount of time spent doing them so more of your time is spent actually making money (or just enjoying more time off).
I’ve already written an in depth article about how to streamline your schedule as a service provider here, so I’m not going to go into detail about it. But, if you’re constantly running around and working but not getting anywhere, then here is where you may want to focus some time and effort.
What Should You Focus On First?
Whenever I consult with handyman business owners, I usually find opportunities for growth in all four areas I’ve discussed above.
However, I’ve found one area that generates the biggest results overall, and that is marketing. This is mostly because of the mindset shift it facilitates for the business owner.
When you’re schedule is booked out two, three, or even six weeks in advance and leads are still coming in consistently and from multiple sources, it gives you the confidence to make bold moves in your business. Your mindset shifts from feeling the need to bend to every customers will and offer discounts, to a feeling of power over your day and which jobs you accept.
The opportunity cost of taking on low profit jobs goes up. You start to feel like you are wasting your time instead of “just being grateful to have work.”
This mindset shift is powerful and it’s not something that can be taught or explained. It’s something that must emerge from the experience of being in demand.
What do you think?…Which area do you see the most opportunity for growth in your business and why?