Idea No 4 – Handyman services

I was inspired  by my friends at http://fencinghorsham.co.uk who are great all-round handymen.  They got into fencing by chance because so many people were asking them to build or repair fences for them. It became a standing joke and my pal Jon became known as “Fencer Jon”.

That gave him an idea and he moved from being an all-round handyman into something more ambitious. He now has two teams of fence contrators and is about to get another van and take on another couple of workers. It’s been a huge success story.

But I digress!  The starting point for Jon and his partner was being good at everything. You know what they say – Jack of all trades, master of none. But sometimes that’s no bad thing. There are many people who just don’t know where to begin with DIY so that has opened the door for many “Jacks” who know how to hang a picture, mend a fence, paint a door and have made a living or a part-time income from it.

Look around you at the ageing population of the UK. There are millions of older people who no longer want to climb a ladder or reach up to paint the ceiling. It has created huge opportunities for younger people who are prepared to learn these skills and offer them at a reasonable price. I doubt you’d ever have to worry about putting bread on the table if your could turn your hand to a dozen handyman jobs.

Some of them need virtually no skill at all, so perhaps that could be a good starting point for you if you don’t have any training or experience in DIY.

Could you put together a piece of furniture from Ikea? It’s not rocket science but it’s surprising how many people just can’t do it. Once you’ve done a couple of chests of drawers (probably the hardest item to assemble) then you’re set to go. Offer your services for a reasonable rate – say £20-30 and you’ll be surprised how many people are willing to pay. If you can’t even put together a self-assembly chest, then offer to do it for friends to gain experience. You can’t really do any damage unless you start drilling holes!

I’ve already mentioned fencing and you can start there by mending fences. It’s a matter of looking at the fence to see how it’s constructed. Then buy wood to fit and nail or screw it together. It’s not difficult but again many people will be prepared to pay in order to avoid having to find a hammer!

Other simple things to start with – that require no skill at all – could be car washing, sweeping paths and tidying gardens (but be sure to check with the householder what they want removed. There’s nothing more devastating than someone removing all your prize flowers).

Perhaps you could do odd jobs in the garden like moving around pots, mowing the lawn, laying down bark or even watering hanging baskets. Then again some people need their dog walked or their gutters cleaned. These are all tasks that can be undertaken by a handyman and will bring in the cash.

As you progress, as long as you’re polite and helpful, you can be sure that you’ll get recommendations. You can build up a nice little round, then as more work comes in you can start to pick and choose the jobs you really want to do.

That’s where we came in with Jon and his fences. His successful business came from his willingness to do anything and everything to earn some money and keep his customers happy.

There’s no reason you can’t do the same and become a success yourself in whatever field you choose. Part-time, full-time – it doesn’t matter.

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