My Handyman: No Job Too Small
My Handyman: No Job Too Small

Welcome to my website!

So you want to start your own small business

Starting Up a Small Business

 

Introduction:

There is an unmistakable feeling of freedom and control when you are the owner of your own business.  Each business owner will tell you the same.  But do not think for a moment that there are not headaches troubles and frustrations.  All those frustrations there are, and they are at times numerous, some at the startup of the business, and most all the way through running the business on a daily basis.  It is all worth it and then some. {what are you trying for here?} Think about it this way: you are the boss.  That one fact is the driving force for many entrepreneurs.  Making your own decisions and making your own mistakes.  As a worker, you tend to be an armchair quarterback.  There always seems to be time to sit back in your chair in the office, or stand around the water cooler, or maybe you’re leaning on a shovel on-site and say, “If I were running this company…”.   Well now is your chance.  

Before I go on, it is very important to remember what you wanted to accomplish as an adult, when you were a child.  Policeman, fireman, doctor, architect, etc.  Some people realize their dreams early and some do so later in life.  I know that when we are small we tend to play out our dreams, but as we get older and life begins to take over, the reality part of lives we start heading or are shoved in another direction.  Highschool, part time jobs, full time jobs, college, then careers.  Some skip the college part and some don’t.  I went to college.  I have a couple degrees and a lot of life experience.  The option of starting a business has a lot of unknown factors and I would say that the vast majority of people do not like the idea of the unknown.  It is a giant gamble and if you don’t gamble you might want to stay behind the desk working for someone else.  Steady paychecks, security, benefits, credit scores.  Having your own business, you need to jump in, adapt, and move on.  Pay is like a rollercoaster ride, a lot of ups and downs.  It seems like some days you’re eating steak and some days you’re eating peanut butter and jelly.  When you have a nice steady paycheck, you know exactly what you are bringing into the house.  You know exactly what your bills are.  You know exactly what your extra expendable funds are.  If you are on a salary, that number doesn’t change.  If you’re hourly, that number changes each week depending on whether you are on time or if you worked overtime.  if you’re smart you use the hourly wages to your advantage and work as many hours as you can to make as much money as possible.  I have found that if you work salary you tend to just coast at your job.  Come in a few minutes late or leave a couple minutes early.  Maybe you’re the other end of that theory.  You come in early and leave late.  That tells me that you are the type of person that is a go-getter.  You want to get ahead and advance if there is room to in the company.  You may be at the top and need something more.  You start looking for a part-time job or you are looking to leave your job for another job for more money and better benefits.  Either way you look at it, you’re restless and want more.  

If there is anything that I have learned about starting a business is that you need support.  The support of your family, and the support of your ideas from the banks and the material suppliers.  Be very careful who you talk to and do a lot of research before you open your wallet and start pulling out money.  

Where do you do research?  Well, it all depends on what business you are starting.  If you are starting a franchise all the research you need is in the information the origin company will give you.  Then they check your financial history, and hopefully you pass their questionnaire.  Then you qualify for a franchise in their company.  You pay a price for their name and purchase their products from them and you have a business.  Granted you may have to ask corporate of you can do major things like purchase equipment or expand your square footage or open another location outside your particular zone you are allowed to operate in.  Yes, this is owning your own business but it is under the watchful eye of a corporation.  If you fail, then all is taken from you.  The same with creating a startup business, if you fail all you invested is gone.  But not your dream of independence.  Those who have the courage to start up a business have it in their mind that they can do it again and again.  Never listen to the naysayers.  If you know you can do it, then do it.  If you let someone take your dream away from you, then what else are you going to let them take? I have found that once I started working for myself I got it in my head that I would never work for anyone else.  From the time I quit my day job and started concentrating on my business full time I have had so much work that I haven't had to work for someone for a constant paycheck.  I can only see that the work I do and the customers that call me again and again means that I will always be self-employed.  

 

Getting Started:

I started my business back in 2011, when my son was a senior in high school.  Just about 3 months earlier I was asked to create two offices in a building that where the same size.  So, in the process of doing that job (which I did evenings and weekends because I had a full-time job) I learned that one of the offices was for an IT manager.  He in turn asked me to do some work for him in his basement so he could get it ready for sale.  After talking with him during his project he suggested that I start a handyman business.  He kept going on and on about how there are a lot of people that he knew that could use a good handyman.  The more I heard him talk about it, the more I started seriously considering it.  

At that time in my life I was working full time during the day as a salesman for a lawn and tree company representing the commercial customers.  My accounts numbered in the high four hundreds so I knew how to get customers, talk to customers and close the deal without {dropping my pants} on the price to have the customer sign with us.  I was also working part-time in the evening and weekends doing retail vitamin sales.  By that time, I had been working the part time job for three years.  

I was getting excited about the prospect of working for myself, and when I want to do something a couple of things happen:  I become consumed with the thoughts of it and I do an enormous amount of research.  I researched things like who else in town is doing it, do I charge tax, do people really want a handyman, is there a lot of legal crap to open and run a business, do I need a storefront or storage space, etc.  My research took a couple months and sometimes I just took a break from it to think and see if the inner want to open a business is really there or is it just a fleeting dream.  Sometimes I questioned myself if I were even good enough to work on my own for a customer without screwing up.

In my head I began thinking about all the companies that are out there that have been in business for many years and the one that are just starting up.  Some started up with massive amounts of money and some started up with just a few dollars.  Some had investors and some went bankrupt.  All that have gone and succeeded seem to have the same initial thought, I call it the “jump in, adapt, and push on” theory.  In my mind if you say “I’ll try” you are leaving room to fail.  You need to say “I will” or “I won’t”.  be very black and white.  

 

 

DBA:

After all is said and done I said “I will”.  I went to my bank and sat down with the bank manager.  She was very nice to me and we spoke for about an hour.  I told her that I wanted to start a handyman business and I then was asked questions that I never thought of.  How large a job will I accept, how small of a job will I do.  Do I have a list of jobs that I can perform?  Do I have a DBA (Doing Business As) certificate from the county I live in.  Do I have insurance? Now I’m wondering how much is this going to cost me.  

Well I guess I have some additional research to do.  I made a couple phone calls and learned about insurance.  I was able to find a great insurance man that owned his own company and I went to visit him.  He and I had a talk for about two hours and we got along very well together.  He priced out the insurance that I may need and it was very affordable and I can pay in quarterly payments.  He told me about what a DBA was and where to get one.  I left his office and drove into the city and found the county court building and applied for a DBA.  I requested a name and it was available.  The price $35.00, not bad and not as scary as I thought it might be.   It was very easy.   I then turned around and went back to my insurance guy and gave him my DBA name and got the insurance I needed.  Leaving the insurance office, I drove back to the bank and sat with the manager again.   She was surprised to see me but when I want something I don’t let it wait, I go after it until it is done.   I gave her $100.00 to put into a commercial checking account.  Now I’m a business.   I called my tax accountant and told him what I was doing and he was very supportive and extremely helpful.  He told me to get a EIN (Employer Identification Number).  That night I got on-line and applied for an EIN and got it by email in a matter of moments.  I am now an official business in the great state of New York as a sole proprietor.  Now how do I get business to come to me?

First, on the sides of my truck I bought magnetic signs with my name and phone number on it.  They fit nice but the truck was no prize to look at.  A crappy blue pick-up truck.  I bought a cap for the back from a co-worker at my daytime job, and used C-clamps to secure it to the bed.  I paid $1800.00 for the truck.  I loved driving it around because it was very beat up and needed a lot of body work.  In the meantime, I advertised in a very small local paper that was delivered to homes free of charge.  I put the add in the paper for a six-week period.  The add cost me about $400.00.  From that add I got a start with approximately six customers.  From those customers I got referrals from those customers friends and family.  The work started coming in slowly, but surely.  I liked that the work was slow because that gave me a chance to control the work and to figure out the timing of each job along with travel time and just visiting with the customer to create a relationship.  

I only had the truck for a year and a half and it died on me.  I took the truck to the junkyard and I got $400.00 for it.  I started using my son’s truck since he was in Italy for his sophomore year in college.  That truck served me well till he came home.  Knowing he was coming home in May, I bought the truck I currently am using.  It’s a 2010 and I bought it in 2012 with 300 miles on it.  The back was filled with racks and shelves and security.  The next truck I get will be the same as this one.  I started out with the magnetic signs but then I decided that it was time for a professional look.  I was told of a place that could not only design the logo for my company but also install the decals on the truck.  They did a great very professional job for only $800.00.  

Now I have a truck with decals, insurance, tools and the will to work.  Now how do I get the work.  Some of the jobs I got in the beginning where from friends and family.  They are the best customers you can have because they are the ones that are testing you and letting you try to hone your craft.  Once the work is done with friends and family then there is the dry spell.  If you’re trying to start up a business then you can’t always rely on them.  Now it’s time to start getting the word out and do a little advertising.  I had a lot of choices.  Internet, Facebook, Instagram, newspapers, local papers, etc...  I decided on the local very small paper.  I figured that the kind of work that I want to do is all the small projects that you can’t find someone to do.  I want to let the kitchen remodels, bathroom remodels, roof jobs and all the other large jobs that can be written off your taxes go to the big guys.  They are called capital improvements.  I want the jobs that are general maintenance.  

The local paper was great.  I advertised only once and it was for five weeks.  The add was only $200.00.  I truly hesitated to spend that money.  I was very uneasy about spending money and not knowing if I would get any kind of return.  I know it was only $200.00 and I’d already spent $800.00 on the decals and not to mention the cost of the truck.  I can always use a truck.  Everyone can use a truck.  So, I made the leap.  The customers that I was looking for with the kind of work I am doing is everyone.  The customers that my advertisement attracted where wonderful and I became very thankful and loyal to them.  Whenever they called me I went to them right away.  Those wonderful customers told their friends and family and they told their friends and family too and so on and so on.  

I have to say that there is nothing like the inner thought that my wife Miho loves me and supports me 100% in the work that I do and my vision for our future.  She loves me and I love her so very much and I will live the rest of my life knowing the I am loved and I will love her the rest of my life.  Along with my beautiful loving wife I have a son, Alex.  I love that boy who is now a very good man.  He is also one of my biggest supporters in the work that I do.  Yes, I just do Handyman work but it is my work, and I love doing it.  He said one time something that has always rattled around in my head and when I work it comes to the front.  He said “Pappa, your good is most people's best”.  

I will admit that I do not care what people think of me.  If I did I would be hiding under the bed and eating M&M’s for breakfast, haha.  If you’re going to start a business, yes you need to only worry about the customers you work for and with.  But anyone else that says anything, is crap.  All you need in your business mind is the belief in what you do and the drive to do it.  For every time someone says something negative and tries to put you down that should the juice that you need to move you forward IF you really believe in yourself.  If you know deep down that what you are doing is going to be a benefit then there should be nothing to stop you.  That is drive.  Drive is looking beyond the comments.  Just remember that the wrong supporters and the lack of drive WILL destroy your dream.  Always remember what your dream is and make sure you have drive and the want to proceed with what you have been working for so long.

 

 

Insurance:  

I have a business.  I’ve advertised, and I have multiple bank accounts.  I have a lawyer the I meet once in a while.  Not just any lawyer, a lawyer that works for me and wants to help.  Usually a good lawyer, that is good for you is a person that is down to earth, that wants to see the little guy succeed.   Your accountant is just as important if not more important than your lawyer.  This is the person that knows about your business as much as you do.  Think about that before you choose a lawyer and accountant. A good lawyer will make sure you are all set legally to start a business.  A lot of the information that you will need to get started you can find on the internet.  There are hundreds of sites to get advice.  An accountant is the one that will make sure you also are legal and can make sure that taxes are collected at the correct rate and mileage reimbursements.  Now let’s talk insurance.  I have found that for me there are only a couple kinds of insurance that I may need.  Liability insurance alone or liability with comp insurance.  Liability is for a company with only one person.  A sole proprietor.  The typical amount to get is $1,000,000 with $2,000,000 aggregate.  With the type of work that I do this is plenty of insurance.  The chances that I will make a large enough mistake that I am sued is very slim but legally, I need insurance.  The category that I am under is light carpenter/handyman.  This type of insurance allows me to work on residential properties only and that is exactly what I want. This insurance costs me $800.00 a year and I have multiple ways to pay.  Yearly, quarterly, or monthly.  Liability with comp is for a company with employees.  With comp added this type of insurance allows you to work on residential and commercial properties.  The cost of the insurance is also increased.  In my type of business, it will increase to about $4000.00. This will vary from business to business.

Every business is different and what everyone expects out of a business is different.  In my case I have a minimal number of tools and I purchase the materials that I need for each job.  If there are materials to return, then I return them.  If the customer wants the leftover small amount of materials like a small amount of drywall compound or paint, then I let them keep it.  This way I don’t need a warehouse or a storage shed to store materials.  My truck houses all that I need for my jobs.  

 

 

Advertising:

Now it looks like I am ready to work.   When I got my first job I was a little nervous.  I went from one job to the other.  What that means for me was I already had a full-time job during the day.  I have always worked and most of the jobs that I have held were day jobs.   When I started the business, I worked it evenings and weekends.  So, I would work all day and go directly to my new business job then go home at around 10pm some nights.  To go visit the customer, just like any other sales position your first impression is key to showing the customer that you are professional and not trying to take advantage of them.  I dressed nice, have a short haircut, clean shaven, no piercings, no smoky smell.  Look confident and make the customer feel comfortable.  Look at the projects that the customer wants you to look at.  Do not appear to be looking at other things in the house while you are with the customer.  Listen, listen, listen.  Let the customer talk without interruption take notes and ask permission to take pictures if it is necessary.  Always be as polite as possible.  Your customer, no matter how small the job is a person with feelings and if they trust you they will call you again.  I have found that when a potential customer calls you they either saw your truck, saw your ad, or heard about you somehow, either by family, friends, or acquaintances.  I have also found that the potential customer will ask you to do a small job first to see if you answer their call, show up on time, finish the job, clean up after you are done, and be respectful of their property.  After you pass the first test the primary list is made up and they contact you again.  After the primary list comes the secondary list with the jobs that are not so important.  Then here comes the third and not final list of items.  These are the items that they say you can get to whenever you have the time to get to them.   If you do great on the first job (the test job) you will be the guy they want to work on their home.  

When I approved the design on my truck there were things that I wanted and things that I did not want.  I wanted large lettering, and a design that was not complicated or too busy looking.  I have been told when I ask the customer how they heard of me that most of the time they saw my truck.  So, for me advertising once and having a very good design on my truck was good way to start.  To date, my truck and word of mouth has been the way I have gotten about 95% of my work.  

I do look at the paper and listen to the radio for advertising from my competition.  Sometimes I’m a little disappointed in what I hear.  When an ad states that the company advertising Is “honest, has integrity, can be trusted, or is reliable, we treat our customers right” think that that is insulting to the reader of the ad, the potential customer.   All those things should be the backbone of every company and how you work.  You should not have to tell a customer you’re honest you have to SHOW them.  Actions speak louder than words, ALWAYS.

When you do show up on time dress nice.  If you are meeting a potential customer for the first time, wear a nice shirt and clean pants.  If you get the job, show up again on time and wear something that may look like a uniform.  If you don’t have a uniform create one.  Buy about six shirts and have your company name put on by a professional.  The cost for inexpensive shirts is less than $100.00.  It is worth it because it makes you look professional.  I bought six green poly-cotton short-sleeve shirts and had my company name embossed on the upper front left side on each.  Then as I became comfortable and the cooler weather started coming, I bought four long-sleeved poly cotton sweatshirts.  No zippers and no hoods.  It just looked better.  I picked green for both the shirts and the sweat shirts.  I have some green in my logo so I wanted to carry that color from the logo to the shirts.  I picked green for part of the logo because my son was born on St. Patrick’s Day.  We are not Irish at all and I really never liked green very much but my son is my inspiration and he loves green.  

Now I’m ready, let the work begin.  I have a truck, I have tools, I have and ad in a local paper for a couple weeks, I have clothes, and I have drive.  Still working my full-time day job, it took about two weeks before my first phone call came in.  I was so excited.  It was very interesting because I realized that all of the sales training that I had over the years is now coming into play.  Not the part of negotiation or closing the deal, but being able to just listen and respond and talk to a customer.  Each time you talk to someone for the first time in any business you have about 20-30 seconds to show them you are not a lying cheating salesman.  If I were selling a specific item, that task is even harder.  But I am providing a service and just selling myself.  That’s why you should look and dress nice.  Every time I visit someone I am basically going on an interview.  If you are comfortable at interviewing you will be fine.  If you are the nervous type then after a couple time seeing new potential customers you will get more comfortable.  This is where believing in yourself comes in.  if you really want to succeed and truly believe in your product and yourself you will succeed.  

As the weeks went on and on more and more calls, came in and the work was keeping me busy a couple nights a week.  Then, of course there is keeping your paperwork in line and straight.  If you fall behind on your paperwork it can overwhelm you in the future.  Paperwork is not that big a deal.  Keep it mind that if you have work on your desk before you leave for the night you will have the feeling that there is unfinished work that has to be done in the morning and that is all you can think about.  Get all your work done before you leave.  Clear off your desk.  Finish everything from the day before you leave for the following day may bring many unexpected surprises that can hold your attention and you will not be able to finish the previous day’s work.  Bad news.  Now you have to do the physical work on top of the paperwork and if you do not finish each day’s work then you are behind.  

I worked seven days a week and said yes to nearly everyone.  Remember, when you first meet someone you are also interviewing them as a client too.  You have the choice whether to work for that person or not.  I was in sales for many years and I, over the years of meeting many people in my years of sales have acquired the ability to size up a person in moments.   Most people can size someone up in moments but it just sounds great to say that sales have helped me acquire this gift.  Everyone has this gift, but not everyone exercises it.  How many times have you met someone for the first time and immediately said “I like the guy” or “I don’t trust the guy”?  It’s a gut feeling.  If you trust your gut, use your gut.  

In my case I had some knowhow and some tools.  I started by accepting small work to get used to working for customers and making sure that the customer is happy.  When you own your own business, you need to remember that your name is on the project.  They called you.  They want to trust you to do the job right.  Don’t do a half-assed job.  When you do the job properly, the customer then trusts you and there is a very good chance that they will refer you to their family and friends.  This is the best compliment that you can get from someone.  You were praised enough that another person called you because your customer found someone that can help.  One of many ways to gain and keep a customer’s respect and attention.  Each customer is different and their needs also differ.  

When you get a call from a prospective customer return the call either that day or within 24 hours.  It is very important to put yourself in the shoes of the caller.  They want you or information from you, that could potentially employ you.  I have always treated a potential customer as an active customer.  Generally, I have found that when I am asked for the first time to do some work for a customer, the task is small.  You know, to test me.  Will he show up on time?  Will he do the work correctly?  Will he keep me in the loop of what he is doing?  Will he clean-up and leave my home clean or cleaner than before the project started?  Will he cheat me on the price?  I am sure there are more questions and concerns the customer has so, treat them like you want to be treated.  Show up on time. Do the work correctly. Inform the customer of what you are doing along the way.  Clean-up everything and be respectful of their home.  Be honest with the agreed upon pricing.  

I have noticed over the years that about 70% of my new customers that called me without a referral test me with a very small job first.  Then the second project list comes out with the priority list, the important list.  Then the third list, the almost as important list.  Then the final list, the when you can get to it list.

I am sure that it is a very natural feeling of trust and mistrust toward anyone that you don’t know.  We are all strangers to each other and we all know how to take advantage of someone, purposely and accidentally. Remember, no one wants to be known as a cheat or a scoundrel.  Not only is it not morally right it is very bad for business.  Business is your livelihood and your reputation and your name are on very project and on your company.

 

 

Givers and Takers:

Just like your company and other companies, some are good and some are not.   Like your customers and potential customers, you have what I call, givers and takers.  You know what I am talking about.  If you’re not sure of what I’m talking about, let me give you an example and what my definition is.  

Let’s start with givers.  You are very familiar with givers.  These people are the ones that do things for you without you asking.  Let’s use a family gathering as an example.  Every family has givers and takers.  The givers in the family are the helpful ones, the ones that ask if they can help as they are first coming into the house.  These are the family members that before dinner help cook and set the table.  These are the family members that after dinner help clear the table and start washing dishes and put dishes in the dishwasher.  After all is clean then out comes the coffee and dessert.  And when everyone is fed and all is cleaned up, they still stay in the company of those helped prepare the meal.  This is an example of just family members.  After hearing this, I have a feeling that you are running every family member through your head and are picking out the givers in your family and among your friends too.  Businesses are exactly the same.  Not only the owners but also the workers.  

Takers are the exact opposite of givers.  You probably figured that one out all ready.  Takers are the ones that come into the house and sit at the table or on the couch and do nothing.  They seem to be the entertainers of the family or the spiteful members.  At the end of the visit they leave without lifting a finger to help in any way.  They may even leave with leftover food without really being prompted.  The funny thing is the givers know that the takers will do this and they let it happen to keep the peace in the family.  And the thought that this is the way it has always been and will be.  That’s family.  And just like business.  We spend more time with our co-workers than our families on average.

 

Salesmanship – How to Treat Customers:

Business is not much different than family.  Whether you own a business or are a worker.  A business owner that is a giver is one that opens a business and runs it not only to make money but as to help people in need that cannot do the job themselves.  A taker in the business world is one that is in business just to make money.  [Now, don’t get me wrong, we are all in business to make money.  But, when it is at the expense of the customer and getting a negative reputation then the business taker is going to cheat you, do a bad job for you, and make a negative name for himself. He will have a hard time getting referrals for himself.  I’m sorry that I can’t help choose a company for you for the work that you would like done.  But what I can do is hope for you that you look hard at the people you want.  Then trust your gut.  Never choose the most expensive and never choose the cheapest and when I mean the cheapest I mean the guy that is so low it is ridiculous.  There are no guarantees you will get a good company to work for you, just be careful.  Maybe what I should do is start a consulting firm that helps you choose a company for you.  Choosing is not easy and having someone to help choose is comforting, not guaranteed just comforting.

Always try to keep in mind that yes, you should always keep your policy on how to treat a customer like you would like to be treated but on the other hand it is much more important to treat the customer like he wants to be treated.  Common sense? Not always.  In the beginnings of starting a business it is hard enough to get customers, research materials, fill out paperwork, do the physical inspections, fill out the quotes, etc...  You’re the owner, secretary, field worker, mechanic, maid, and salesman.  Yes, salesman. Every time you go to a customer’s house you are selling yourself and your company.  Maybe you didn’t sign on to go into sales but here you are.  Salesman and worker.  Now what do you want to be?  You can be both. You are both.  You WILL be both.  If you want your business to succeed you will be both.  It’s not hard.  Yes, treat the customer like you would like to be treated. But remember, they are not you.  Treat them like a person.  A good salesman can generally feel out a customer in about 15-30 seconds.  They then can determine what the customer is like.  Happy, sad, angry, on guard, friendly, shifty, honest, etc... It is your job to figure out what is going on with your customer and adapt to their feelings to be able to do any business at all.  You have hurdles too.  You have to assure the customer within the first 15-30 seconds of your initial meeting weather on the phone or in person that you are not a lying cheating salesman.  

Salesman is not a swear word.  It does have at times a negative connotation.  In the past salesmen would be pushy and borderline rude.  They would tell you anything and do anything to get the sale and you wouldn’t know what hit you until it was too late and you had the product home and realized that you paid too much, bought what he wanted you to buy instead of what you wanted, bought, ect..  That’s because they probably worked on commission, or had pressures to sell, sell, sell. The salesmen, in those times also dressed like a stereotypical salesman.  Bad suits, slicked back hair, too much cologne.  There are still salesmen like that around and the way sales is conducted nowadays compared to sales 30 years ago, there is a very big difference.  Back then there were no classes, scientific studies of sales and human behavior, and seminars to attend to become a skilled salesman.  Sales for some comes naturally.  Sales for others takes years of watching other salesmen and developing a style by gathering information from the other salesmen.  Still, sales are not for everyone.  You have to have a very thick skin.  Meaning, you have to shrug off criticism and negativity.  You have to remember that sales are generally commission work.  The more you sell the more money you make.  If you don’t sell then you don’t get paid.  Commission is a rollercoaster ride of pay and emotion.  In pay, some days you’re eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for dinner and some days you’re eating steak and potatoes.  

Straight commission is as if you are walking into work and the boss owes you absolutely nothing in pay until you sell something for him.  Then you receive a percentage of the sale.  On the other end is something called a draw.  That is when you estimate for the year what you might make for the year in sales.  Divide that number 26 to get a paycheck every two week.  Then you are getting a steady paycheck each pay period.  At the end of the calendar year if you made more that you estimated then you get the balance due to you at the end of the year.  If you owe money because you overestimated what you would make that year then you owe money the next year.  You have to make up the money with additional sales the following year then also make what you are estimating for the next year.  Some years you make a lot of money and some years you don’t.  Each year you’re comparing last year's numbers to this year’s numbers.  Numbers meaning, amounts of money made from year to year.  What you want to do is not look at those numbers week to week, month to month, quarter to quarter.  Look at them year to year only.  Do this because people do not always buy your item the same time each week, month, quarterly or even yearly.  Sometimes your sale to them is one time only.  They have what they need and they never return to you.  Maybe they go to another supplier for some reason.  The best way as a commission salesman is to look at sales numbers yearly, there is less headaches and less pressure.  

 

 

Inventory, Equipment and Buildings:

Depending on the type of business you are opening you may need a building, equipment and inventory.  This is where you have to learn very quickly want you need and what you want.  Think about the business, what do you really need.  In my business I either work at my kitchen table and or small room in the house.  I have a filing cabinet and enough office supplies like paper, pens, printer, and a computer.  Most small businesses today have become very portable.  The need for an office, if you do not have customers coming to you, is not that necessary.  You can work with a small computer, portable printer and a flash drive.  

Equipment is different.  Maybe you need small hand tools and some power tools.  That kind of equipment can fit in a small van or a pickup truck.  This means you don’t need anything larger than a home garage to store tools and make the area into a workshop.  

If you have a larger small business like a landscaper or a furniture repairman you need a larger area to work in like a small warehouse or store front.  Now it starting to get expensive.  Now you have rent and utilities to take care of.  Whether you are working from your kitchen table or from an office building, you are going to have expenses.  How many expenses and what the amounts are will be all up to you and the type of business you are starting.  I always suggest to start out small, very small.  

Starting a business and going full guns at it and growing fast is good but not so good.  Start out slow, build up slowly, take control slowly.  By doing this you are getting used to the new business at a pace that is comfortable and manageable.  If you grow too fast there is a very good chance that you will not have the control of your business that you want.  Control every aspect of your business at all times in the beginning so you know what to do when you grow larger.  If you know how to work every part then you know what has to be done and when.  Getting the job, writing the quote, ordering the material, doing the job, clean up, billing, filing, etc..  

 

Advisors and Advise:

An advisor that gives you advise on your business is very valuable.  More valuable than you think.  But, be very careful.  Picking the wrong advisor can steer you in the wrong direction.  Pick an advisor that you trust and can be very open with and most of all is familiar with the type of work that you do.  If you’re a plumber, pick a plumber for an advisor.  If you mow lawns, pick someone that mows lawns or started out mowing lawns.   

 

 

Conclusion or Beginning?

This may be the end of this part of Starting a Small Business but this is just the beginning for you in the adventure of starting and maintaining a business.  Big or small, your business is filled with hope and sorrow, ups and downs, lefts and rights, good advisors and bad advisors, good and evil, success and failure.  Remember, where there is all of the for mentioned, the most important thing that will happen is that you will gain experience.  Depending on whether you are strong or weak all depends on what you are going to do as you experience a lot of different people.  Do you have the will to continue on or wallow and shrivel in failure?  How strong are you?  How strong are you, really?

Please, please, please, if you have any questions, ask.  If I can’t answer your question now, I’ll try to get you an answer within 48 hours.

Thank you

Q & A





 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For those of you that visited us on our previous website, welcome back! For those of you that have never seen our site, welcome!

 

For more information about My Handyman, click on our About Us tab.

Print Print | Sitemap
© My Handyman

Need Something Done?

 

 

Call My Handyman at 765-876-8087 in Muncie, IN 

 

Chris@myhandymanroc.com

 

"Everyone Needs a Handyman"

We are your specialists for:

  • Drywall repair from holes to water damage to mold
  • Painting of all kinds
  • Small plumbing jobs
  • Small electrical jobs


Check out our services page for a list of jobs we've completed