If you have a range of skills that people need, then taking up a job as a handyman (or, indeed, a handy-woman) can provide a reliable source of income – especially once you’ve built up your base of clientele through word-of-mouth. But how do you go about following this line of work? Let’s take a look.
What does a handyman do?
A handyman is a jack-of-all-trades. They can do basic electrical and plumbing work; they can paint and decorate; they know how to use a saw and a drill and they’re strong enough to help move furniture and smart enough to assemble new purchases on behalf of someone else. You’re there to provide a hand where bringing in a specialist might be overkill.
How much will I earn?
Your hourly rate will depend very much on the job being done, and it can vary from £10 per hour all the way up to £60 and even beyond. This is because you’re effectively switching jobs constantly, and some jobs (like light-bulb-changing) will require less skill than others (like plastering). Naturally, you’re the one setting the rate, so you’ll decide, ultimately, what your earnings will be.
Working for yourself provides a great deal of freedom. You’ll be able to choose your own hours and set your own pay. You’ll start life as a sole trader, but as your business expands, you might look into changing its legal structure.
Your biggest priority should be ensuring that you can pay your annual tax bill when it arrives, and filing your self-assessment tax return before the deadline (which, in the UK, is the end of January). If you want to simplify this, then get a professional accountant to do it for you, as this will save time and hassle.
While you don’t need any formal training, a relevant qualification in an area you’re unsure of will usually allow you to work to a higher standard, and with a greater degree of confidence.
Should a mistake happen, you don’t want to be caught without insurance. That means public liability insurance, personal accident insurance, and tool insurance.
You don’t want to be asking your clients if you can borrow some of their equipment – that will look unprofessional. Stock up on hammers, spanners, screwdrivers, sanders, extension cables, and painting supplies. Don’t forget also to invest in a toolbox or tool bag that’ll last, preferably from a reputable vendor like RS Components.