Are you technically inclined, or are you quite uncanny with your hands? If YES, then you should consider starting a handyman business in Australia. Please note that if you intend starting this type of business, it is advisable to first look at the existing laws and regulations in Australia to know what is expected of you.
You also need to pay a visit to the regulatory bodies in your city to get all the information you need to legally launch your handyman business in Australia. You can start your handyman business from a small town in Australia and if you are good at what you do, it won’t be too long before your brand becomes nationally recognized especially if you go into franchising.
20 Steps on How to Start a Handyman Business in Australia
Table of Content
- Understand the Industry
- Conduct Market Research and Feasibility Studies
- Decide Which Niche to Concentrate On
- Know Your Major Competitors in the Industry
- Decide Whether to Buy a Franchise or Start from Scratch
- Know the Possible Threats and Challenges You Will Face
- Choose the Most Suitable Legal Entity
- Choose a Catchy Business Name
- Discuss with an Agent to Know the Best Insurance Policies for You
- Protect your Intellectual Property With Trademark, Copyrights, Patents
- Get the Necessary Professional Certifications
- Get the Necessary Legal Documents You Need to Operate
- Raise the Needed Startup Capital
- Choose a Suitable Location for your Business
- Hire Employees for your Technical and Manpower Needs
- Write a Marketing Plan Packed with ideas & Strategies
- Work Out a Reasonable Pricing for your Services
- Develop Iron-clad Competitive Strategies to Help You Win
- Brainstorm Possible Ways to Retain Clients & Customers
- Develop Strategies to Boost Brand Awareness and Create a Corporate Identity
Understand the Industry
The Tradesman and Handyman Franchise industry consists mainly of sole traders that operate in a franchise network and perform a range of skilled and manual jobs, including gardening, building maintenance, plumbing, fencing and painting.
The franchise business model has become more prevalent in the economy over the past decade, particularly in highly competitive markets. The outbreak of COVID-19 is expected to adversely affect the industry in 2020-21. The Tradesman and Handyman industry in Australia is indeed quite large.
Statistics has it that there are about 7,996 registered and licensed trade and handyman services scattered all across Australia responsible for employing about 92,63 and the industry rakes in a whooping sum of $1 billion annually.
The industry is projected to grow at 6.2 percent annual growth within 2015 and 2020. The companies with the largest market share in the industry in Australia are; Jim’s Group Pty Ltd, Belron Australia Pty Limited and VIP Home Services Pty Ltd.
The Tradesman and Handyman industry in Australia is forecast to gradually recover from the current recessionary conditions over the next five years. The projected return to favourable trends in household discretionary income and overall construction activity, along with a modest rise in the number of housing transfers, are forecast to provide a solid platform for industry expansion over the period.
Households are anticipated to increasingly outsource labour-intensive manual tasks, while the number of households is forecast to continue expanding over the next five years.
Starting and operating a handyman services business in Australia can be demanding, but the truth is that it can be rewarding at the same time. One good thing about the industry is that it is open to both large and aspiring entrepreneurs.
Conduct Market Research and Feasibility Studies
- Demographics and Psychographics
The demographic and psychographic composition of those who patronize handyman services cut across facility managers, players in the real estate industry and anyone who needs to fix one or more things in their facility or home hence the demographic composition for handyman services business is all encompassing.
Decide Which Niche to Concentrate On
In as much as there is no distinct niche when it comes to handyman services, a handyman may decide to choose one or more areas where they can specialize in and some of the areas are;
- Plumbing repair
- Drywall installation and repair
- Electrical installations
- Carpentry services
- Appliance installation and repair (TV wall mount installation)
- Flooring installation and repair
- Roofing repairs
- Gutter cleaning
- Kitchen makeover
- Bathroom remodel and Shower remodel
- Attic insulation
- Deck repair
- Door installations
- Fence repairs
- Interior and exterior painting services
- Yard and power tool repair and maintenance
- Building and gardening service
- Other related installation, maintenance and repair services
The Level of Competition in the Industry
Surviving in the business world as a handyman requires more than your expertise, but also how to network with key people that matter in real estate, facility management and the construction industry. The fact that the any serious minded and hardworking person can become a handyman with little or no formal education makes the industry open to all and sundry hence the increase in the level of competition in the industry.
So, if you are starting your handyman services business, then you should be ready to compete with both professionals and non – professionals. The truth is that, no matter the level of competition in an industry, if you have done your due diligence and you brand and promote your services or business properly, you will always make headway in the industry.
Know Your Major Competitors in the Industry
Here are some of the most popular handyman companies in Australia;
- Jim’s Group Pty Ltd
- Belron Australia Pty Limited
- VIP Home Services Pty Ltd.
- NexGenTradies – Handyman Services Perth
- TradeMarc Handyman Services
- Skilled Handyman Services
- Halcyon Handyman Services
- TEAL handyman and home maintenance services
- Judd’s Handyman Services
- ALLFIX Handyman Services
- Top Gun Handyman Services
- Forest Lake Handyman Services
- Hills Handyman Services
- Retro Handyman Services
- Handyman and Gutter Cleaning Perth All Suburbs
- Bill’s Handyman Services Pty Ltd
When starting a handyman services business, you just have to get your costing cum economic analysis right if your intention of building the business is to generate profits, grow the business and start competing at the national level. When conducting costing and economic analysis for your handyman services business, you just have to critically examine these key factors; products, place, pricing, and promotion.
As a matter of fact, you would have to continue to review these key factors at regular intervals while running your business. As a handyman services business owner, you just have to have a proper grasp of your competitive landscape if indeed you want to maximize profits and be in the frontline of the industry in Australia.
It is important to note that truck fueling and servicing are some of the most important factors contributing to the overall cost of a handyman services business and should be considered as a major factor when carrying out your costing and economic analysis.
Decide Whether to Buy a Franchise or Start from Scratch
When it comes to starting a business of this nature, it will pay you to buy a franchise of a successful handyman services company as against starting from the scratch. This is because in Australia, franchise businesses are likely to be more effective in collectively marketing and promoting their services than independent tradespeople.
As a result, more businesses in Australia have joined franchise networks to boost their exposure and gain a competitive edge in their local markets. Please note you can equally choose to start a handyman services business in Australia from the scratch without leveraging on a known brand name.
People will patronize your services based on your creativity and of course your ability to fix their facility or appliance as against relying on a brand name. If you decide to buy a handyman franchise in Australia, here are some of the available companies you can choose from;
- Hire a Hubby
- Jim’s Building Maintenance
- Skilled Handyman Services
- Gutter Knight Australia
- Flatpack Assembly Services
- The Graffiti Eaters
- Reliance Roof Restoration
- Fantastic Services Group
- The Local Guys Test and Tag
- Talbots Automated Doors and Gates.
Know the Possible Threats and Challenges You Will Face
If you decide to start your handyman services business today in Australia, one of the major challenges you are likely going to face is the presence of well – established and all-purpose handyman services companies in your target market location.
The only way to avoid this challenge is to create your own market; concentrate on households, small offices and also startup construction companies and house staging companies who need the services of handymen services from time to time.
Some other threats and challenges that you are likely going to face when you start your handyman services business are mature markets, bad economy (economy downturn), stiff competition, volatile costs, and rising fuel prices.
So also, unfavorable government policies, seasonal fluctuations, demographic/social factors, downturn in the economy which is likely going to affect household/consumers spending and of course emergence of new competitors within the same location where yours is located. There is hardly anything you can do as regards these threats and challenges other than to be optimistic that things will continue to work for your good.
Choose the Most Suitable Legal Entity
Generally, you have the options of either choosing a Sole trader, Partnership, Company or Trust for your handyman service. Ordinarily, sole trader should have been the ideal business structure for a small – scale handyman business in a small neighborhood.
But if your intention is to grow the business and sell franchise all across Australia, then choosing sole trader is not an option for you. Although, in Australia, available statistics show that the most popular business structure for handymen is to operate as a sole trader.
This is the cheapest and easiest business structure to setup, and available data shows that 86 percent of handymen and property maintenance businesses settle for sole trader, 10 percent choose the Pty Ltd company option, and just 6 percent operate through a trust.
The 6 percent figure for trusts matches the overall data for trade businesses, however overall trades are twice as likely to go with the Pty Ltd option, with 22 percent of them going this way compared with just 10 percent of handyman clients.
If you settle for a Company, then you should be aware that Companies are regulated by the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) and you must apply for a tax file number (TFN) and use it when lodging annual tax returns.
You will be entitled to an Australian business number (ABN) if you are registered under the Corporations Act 2001. A company not registered under the Corporations law may register for an ABN if it is carrying on an enterprise in Australia and you must be registered for GST if its annual GST turnover is $75,000 or more.
Choose a Catchy Business Name
Normally, when it comes to choosing a name for your business, you should be creative because whatever name you choose for your business will go a long way to create a perception of what the business represents. Typically, it is the norm for people to follow the trend in the industry they intend operating from when naming their business.
If you are considering starting your own handyman services business in Australia, here are some catchy names that you can choose from;
- All Needs® Handyman Services, Pty Ltd
- Dredge Guys® Handyman Services, Pty Limited
- Adeliade Fix© General Contracting Services, Pty Ltd
- Sydney Harbor® General Contracting Services Company
- Noble Team™ Handyman Services, Pty Ltd
- Lorne Cooper & Sons ™ Handyman Services, Pty Ltd
- Perfect Fix© Handyman Services, Pty Ltd
- Union Jack® General Contracting Services Company, Pty Ltd
- Henry Davidson© Handyman Services Pty Ltd
- Fix Pro© General Contracting Services, Pty Ltd
Discuss with an Agent to Know the Best Insurance Policies for You
In Australia, you can’t operate a business without having some of the basic insurance policies that are required by the industry you want to operate from. Thus, it is imperative to create a budget for insurance and perhaps consult an insurance broker to guide you in choosing the best and most appropriate insurance policies for your business.
Here are some of the basic insurance policies that you should consider purchasing if you want to start your handyman services business in Australia;
- General insurance
- Health insurance
- Public Liability insurance
- Risk Insurance
- Tool Insurance (Equipment and Auto Insurance)
- Income Protection Insurance
- Workers compensation
- Overhead expense disability insurance
- Business owner’s policy group insurance
You can contact the following leading insurance companies in Australia to purchase insurance policies for your business;
- Truckers Insurance HQ
- Seniors Insurance Co
- Coles Insurance
- Australia Post
Protect your Intellectual Property With Trademark, Copyrights, Patents
If you are considering starting your own handyman services business in Australia, usually you may not have any need to file for intellectual property protection/trademark. This is because the nature of the business makes it possible for you to successful run it without having any cause to challenge anybody in court for illegally making use of your company’s intellectual properties.
But if you just want to protect your company’s logo and other documents or software that are unique to you or even jingles and media production concepts, then you can go ahead to file for intellectual property protection. If you want to register your trademark, you are expected to begin the process by filing an application through the IP Australia website. Please note that applying for a trademark using the standard filing service will cost between $250 to $550 per class.
Get the Necessary Professional Certifications
Aside from the results you produce as it relates to providing efficient handyman services, professional certification is one of the main reasons why some handyman companies stand out. If you want to make an impact in the industry, you should work towards acquiring all the needed certifications in your area of specialization.
Certification validates your competency and shows that you are highly skilled, committed to your career and up-to-date in this competitive market. These are some of the certifications you can work towards achieving if you want to run your own handyman services company;
- City & Guilds Certificate for Handymen
- DIY Home Improvement and Maintenance Diploma
- Membership of The Tradesman and Handyman Association, or Australia Guild of Handymen
Please note that you can successfully run a handyman service in Australia without necessarily acquiring professional certifications as long as you have adequate experience cum background in the industry.
Get the Necessary Legal Documents You Need to Operate
It is a fact that you cannot successfully run any business in Australia without the proper documentations. If you do, it won’t be too long before the long hands of the law catch up with you. These are some of the basic legal documents that you are expected to have in place if you want to legally run your own business in Australia;
- Australian Business Number (ABN)
- Goods and Services Tax (GST)
- Business and liability insurance
- Council Permit
- Business License
- Business Plan
- Employment Agreement (offer letters)
- Insurance Policy
- Company Bylaws
- Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
- Commercial Vehicle Operator’s Registration for trucks (especially as it relates to conveying your tool box and equipment to site)
Raise the Needed Startup Capital
Starting a standard handyman services business in Australia is not capital intensive especially if you choose to launch the business on a small scale and you are the only full – time employee on your payroll. Purchasing a truck/van (for easy movement of your equipment and working materials) and of course the purchase of equipment are part of what will consume a large chunk of your startup capital, in essence, if you choose to start the business on a small scale, you may not need to source for fund to finance the business.
When it comes to financing a business, one of the first things you should consider is to write a good business plan. If you have a good and workable business plan document in place, you may not have to labor yourself before convincing your bank, investors and your friends to invest in your business. Here are some of the options you can explore when sourcing for startup capital for your handyman services business;
- Raise money from personal savings and sale of personal stocks
- Source for soft loans from your family members and friends.
Choose a Suitable Location for your Business
A handyman service can be started in any location as long as there are people and organizations that need handyman services there. As a matter of fact, you can start your handyman services business in your house and still grow the business to profitability since most of the contracts will be carried out on site.
Generally, in business, it cannot be overemphasized that the location you chose to start your business is key to the success of the business, hence entrepreneurs are willing to rent or lease a facility in a visible location; a location where the demography consist of people and businesses with the require purchasing power, and lifestyle.
If you make the mistake of renting or leasing a facility for your handyman services business in a not too visible or hidden location simply because it is cheap, then you must be prepared to spend more in promoting the business. It is important to note that a business facility in good location does not come cheap hence you should be able to allocate enough fund for leasing/renting in your budget.
If you are new to the dynamics of choosing a location for your business, then you should feel free to talk to a business consultant. Having said that, these are some of the cities in Australia where you can locate your handyman services business;
- Gold Coast
Hire Employees for your Technical and Manpower Needs
When it comes to starting a standard handyman services business, you will need a van, working materials, machines and tools that will aid you in carrying out your job. It is important to state that these tools and equipment can be purchased as fairly used if you are operating on a low budget.
When it comes to choosing between renting and leasing a facility, the size of the handyman services business you want to own, and your entire budget for the business should influence your choice. Besides, you don’t need a big workshop/garage to operate from since you will be going out to attend to your clients.
As regards the number of employees that you are expected to kick start the business with, you would need to consider your finance before making the decision. Usually, a small handyman services company would have the owner (chief handyman) and one or more assistants (could be trainee handyman or professional handyman as well).
When it comes to starting a standard handyman services business on a large scale, then you should look towards hiring an office manager, business development officer, office assistant, 5 or more full time professional handymen and perhaps a company truck driver (for moving workers, equipment and supplies such as ladders and machines et al to sites).
The Service Delivery Process of a Handyman Business
The service process involved in the handyman industry depends on the niches or the services the handyman offers. On the average, the process starts with biding or submitting proposal for a repair contract. Once the contract is won, then the contract documents are signed and advance payment is made as required.
Once the payment has been sorted out, then the handyman services business deploys handymen and equipment to execute the job.
Over and above, it is the practice for professional handyman companies to first access the risk involved and the nature of job they are to do before billing the organization that requested for their services. If the contract involves repairing of plumbing concerns in high-rise buildings, the bills would usually increase because of the risk and equipment involved.
Write a Marketing Plan Packed with ideas & Strategies
The fact that the entry barrier for starting even a small – scale handyman services business in Australia is low means that more players will to come into the industry if they have the skills and training. In essence, you must come up with unique marketing strategies if you must carve out a market for yourself within the available market in your community.
So, when you are drafting your marketing plans, make sure that you create a compelling company profile. Aside from your qualifications and experience in the industry, it is important to clearly state what you have been able to achieve in time past. This will help boost your chances in the market place.
Here are some of the platforms you can utilize to market your handyman services business;
- Introduce your business by sending introductory letters alongside your brochure to households, construction companies, home staging companies, facility managers, and players in the construction and real estate industry amongst others.
- Advertise your services in community based newspapers, local TV and radio stations
- List your business and products on yellow pages ads (local directories)
- Leverage on the internet to promote your handyman services business
- Engage in direct marketing and sales
- Encourage the use of word of mouth marketing (referrals)
- Leverage on the internet to promote your business
- Join local chambers of commerce and industries around you with the main aim of networking and marketing your services; you are likely going to get referrals from such networks.
- Engage the services of marketing executives and business developers to carry out direct marketing for you.
Work Out a Reasonable Pricing for your Services
A professional Australian handyman charges an average of $50 per hour for a typical housework. Nevertheless, have it in mind that the actual prices may vary depending on the type of work to be done. You can get a handyman service at a budget rate of $40 per hour if the task requires minimal effort
In view of the above, one key factor that will help you offer your handyman services at a price that is highly attractive is to ensure that you source your equipment, tools and working materials from sources that will give you reasonable discount.
Another strategy that will help you offer handyman services at the right price is to ensure that you cut operational cost to the barest minimum and channel your efforts towards marketing and promoting your brand name. Aside from the fact that this strategy will help you save cost, it will also help you get the right pricing for your services.
So also, if you are able to secure business partnership as it relates to getting referrals, then you will be able to get the right pricing and of course maximize profits from your business.
Develop Iron-clad Competitive Strategies to Help You Win
The Trades and Handyman Services industry in Australia is a competitive industry, and you must come up with a unique and highly creative strategy to be able to outsmart your competitors in the industry. Part of what you need to do in order to stay competitive in the industry is to continue to create easier and cheaper ways of carrying out your repair projects.
In other to stay competitive in this industry, you must ensure that you are always on time when called upon and always ensure that you pay attention to details when carrying out your job. The truth is that if there are fluctuations in the services you provide, customers can choose to shift allegiance and settle for other options available.
Brainstorm Possible Ways to Retain Clients & Customers
When it comes to business, no matter the industry that you choose to pitch your tent in, one of the easiest ways to increase customer retention and perhaps attract new customers is to produce results and satisfy your customers always. If your customers are satisfied with your products and service delivery, they can hardly source for alternative service providers.
If your services and customer service fluctuate, you are likely going to struggle to get your customers retaining your services. Ensure that you offer your customers incentives if you want to retain them and of course continue to generate repeated sales from them.
Part of what you need to do to achieve this is to track progress, results or outputs with the aim of improving on them quickly as the case demands. When it comes to managing your customers and building a loyal clientele base, you should purchase a customized CRM software.
With a customized CRM system, you can easily stay in touch with your clients (you can carry out quick surveys, you can introduce new products and prices to them without any hitch, you can felicitate with them on their birthdays and other anniversaries, you can keep track of their progress, you can send bulk sms and customized e – mails and above all, you can easily receive compliant and feedback from them).
Develop Strategies to Boost Brand Awareness and Create a Corporate Identity
If you are in business and you are not conscious about boosting your brand awareness and communicating your corporate identity, then you should be ready to take on whatever the society portrays your business to be. One of the secrets of larger corporations is that they are willing to spend good money to boost their brand awareness and to continue to communicate their corporate identity the way they want people to perceive them to be.
No matter the industry you belong to, the truth is that the market is dynamic and it requires consistent brand awareness and brand boosting cum promotion to continue to appeal to your target market. Here are the platforms you can leverage on to boost your brand and create a corporate identity for your handyman services business;
- Place adverts on both print (newspapers and construction/real estate related magazines) and electronic media platforms
- Sponsor relevant community – based events / programs
- Leverage on the internet and social media platforms like; Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google + et al to promote your handyman services business
- Install your Bill Boards in strategic locations all around the locations where you operate
- Distribute your fliers and handbills in target areas
- List your handyman services business in local directories/yellow pages
- Advertise your handyman services business in your official website and employ strategies that will help you pull traffic to the site.
- Position your Flexi Banners at strategic positions in the locations where your handyman services business operates.
- Ensure that all your staff members wear your branded shirts and all your vehicles and vans are branded with your company logo.