Open letter to South Africa’s students‚ universities and government‚ represented by Minister in the .
If you are good at fixing things and working with your hands, the handyman business is one of the most lucrative you can get into with minimal start-up costs.
To start operating you only need a few household tools and you have to advertise the type of work you do.
To create an awareness of the existence of your business, you can distribute business or rubber-stamped cards, notices on community and supermarket boards and advertise in your local newspaper.
Another good way to advertise is to attach magnetic signs to your car or truck as soon as you can afford it.
Try to be very specific about what you do when you advertise.
This will prevent calls for things that you don't do and spark the interest of people who can use your services. You must deal with all those that you are most comfortable with.
As you progress the number of tasks you will be able to handle with confidence will increase and be added to your new communication collateral.
In case you need special tools, buy them as you need them for specific jobs and let the job help pay for them.
If they are unique tools you can sometimes include the total cost in your bill.
On the other hand, if buying tools is too expensive you can consider hiring them when the need arises, even on a daily basis.
At first you might want to charge by the hour, but it will be better for both you and your customers to charge by the job. You will make a little more money and the customer won't have to worry about going over budget.
When you charge by the hour you must make sure that your working pace aligns with the amount or else you might lose customers. They will think that you are deliberately working longer in order to charge them more. You must avoid doing that at all costs.
While you are working, always look around for other jobs that you could take care of. You can do them by charging less money if you are already there and in that way you will make a bit of extra cash.
You must always look presentable, act professional and avoid long discussions with your customers unless it is necessary
Avoid taking people for granted and always keep your word. If you say you will be there at a certain time, make sure that you are.
Always remember that many businesses have failed because the owner neglected his customers.
You can hire helpers, but be sure that they measure up to your standards of honesty and good work before letting them go on a job on their own.
If you can find reliable helpers with additional skills, you will be able to expand your services.
Work with your helper first, until you are sure he or she can handle jobs and then send them out on jobs where they get paid by the hour and you by the job.
If you get stuck there are plenty of repair manuals around. Many are on file in your local library.
There are two major potential problem areas in this business: overloading yourself with too much work and taking jobs that you find you cannot do.
To avoid this trap, make sure that your customers understand you are a "helper" and that you will do the job if you can. If you can't, say so as soon as you can and refer the job to someone else. Don't charge.
Of course, if the professional you refer the job to pays you a finder's fee that's fine.
Another definite "no no" is not keeping your word.
It takes time and money to build a reputation in any business, but a good reputation can be ruined quickly if the word gets around that you don't show up when you promise to or your work is not up to scratch.
Pay your bills, keep your word and do a good job and your business will thrive.