Handymen are in a great position right now as more people are looking to maintain and improve their homes. However, they’re also facing fierce competition because of the low barrier of entry, and many are entering the niche to take advantage of the opportunity. For handymen and those looking to get into the industry, there may be pain points that are not obvious.
Here is a look at a few challenges handymen can expect to face in 2021.
Online marketing is something all handymen will need to master in 2021 if they want a chance to succeed. Word of mouth has now moved online, and if the handyman’s online brand is not strong and they don’t have a presence in the local search results, it will be difficult to get a solid client base. Local SEO should be a priority for any handyman.
An first step, that may not be obvious to some, is to claim their Google My Business listing if they haven’t already. The Google My Business listing comes with a way for clients to leave a review of such local businesses. The astute handyman should do everything possible to offer top service so that it reflects in the reviews.
If there are negative reviews, make sure that to own the errors and commit to fixing them. Never argue with a dissatisfied client in the review page.
The next step is making sure that if the business has a website not only does it look good, but it performs well and has a great user experience. Search engine optimization is not just about keywords and links anymore. If the site is too slow, or even if some elements in the navigation are confusing, it could end up hurting the search results, so this is not something handymen can afford to neglect anymore.
There are now two main views of a website, desktop and mobile, and since the world has gone mobile, Google gas decided to use the mobile version of the website as the default for their searches. This means that if the mobile version of the website underperforms, the business will be penalized even if it looks great and is fast on a MacBook Pro.
The Rise of On-Demand Service
On-demand services are also gaining in popularity and have many advantages for homeowners who may need some work done. These apps have one major benefit, which is that they allow users to know exactly how good certain handymen are. This, however, could also turn into an advantage. Zeroing in on a niche and performing repeatable top class service will allow building a positive reputation and these services will then help to build a solid brand.
One of the biggest mistakes made by handymen who have limited understanding of liability, or business in general, is starting as a sole proprietor. This opens them up to all sorts of liability issues and ends up ruining too many of them. This is why they need to become familiar with simple handyman insurance and other types of insurance if they intend to work with other people.
Skills and Knowledge Gaps
Homes are getting more complex than ever, and the home handyman who wants to be successful in this business, will have to be prepared to get certification and training. Regulation is getting stricter too, and many local businesses might have to be certified to perform even seemingly simple jobs.
This may depend on the local jurisdiction. An increasing number of states require that plumbers, electricians, solar installers are licensed to work in their state, and this almost always applies to a handyman as well. This means there is a need to stay aware of any change in legislation in the state and regulations in the county and local area.
Building a Repeat Customer Base
Building a repeat customer base is one of the toughest challenges that handymen will have to face in 2021. Building a loyal client base will be difficult with all the options available. Handymen have to compete with not only apps, but multi-million dollar franchises as well.
This is why so many local workers consider reviewing a few different franchises to see if one of those makes more sense for them. Franchises come with many extras such as proven branding and marketing and many of them assign the business owner to a certain area so they can get a competitive edge. Although the cost is higher, buying into a franchise is usually much better than starting a company from scratch.
Many local businesses invest in customer management software, if they do not choose a franchise that provides a system. This kind of software could allow the new business owner to follow up with clients and offer discounts on their next service, for example.
These are all challenges that people in the handyman industry or those thinking of starting a venture should prepare for this year. It should be a great year for handymen, but it is very important to be well prepared.