More than 50% of people will not even try to make small repairs to their home. This means that if you start your own handyman business, you will have a ready demand for your services.

If you have the skills – or you’re willing to train to get them in order to start or change careers – becoming a handyman will let you have an immensely varied workday. At the same time as enjoying all of the other advantages of being your own boss.

Still at the planning phase, working out how to start a handyman business in the UK? You’ll find everything you need to know right here.

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Table of Contents:

How much can a handyman earn in the UK?

For a relatively unskilled handyman, average hourly rates in the UK are £10 per hour. But if you have the skills, you can reach up to £50 to £65 per hour.

Depending on where you fall on this spectrum, you can decide on how many hours you will need to work per day to make a wage you are happy with – being sure to account for costs such as fuel, equipment and materials when you price your services.

How much does it cost to start a handyman business?

You probably won’t need much initial capital to start offering your own handyman service. You will need to buy some tools. But if you’re a handy type already, you may already own some of them.

As regards a vehicle, you might need a van. But a car or even a motorbike or scooter might be sufficient to begin with, depending on how many tools you need to transport and the area you cover.

You will also need enough money to cover insurance protection and any training you might decide to get.

What equipment do you need to start a handyman business?

The equipment you need to start your own handyman business will vary depending on the exact sort of services you’re planning to offer. The basics will likely include:

  • A toolbox
  • A good toolset
  • Cordless drill and drill bits
  • Set of ladders
  • A hard-wearing uniform of some kind
  • A torch
  • Extension cables
  • Possibly some wood sanders and planers
  • Possibly some electric or manual saws
  • Possibly some painting supplies and equipment.
  • Ways to store all of the above

What does a handyman do in the UK?

A phrase you will commonly hear associated with what a handyman does in the UK is “no job is too big or too small”. This means you could end up covering a huge variety of little tasks as part of your working day. It also means you should be very wary indeed of refusing jobs based on their size.

Most handymen find themselves delivering fix-it and make-good work in painting and decorating, plumbing, woodwork and other trades up to a certain level of expertise. Then they find they either need to get additional training or call in a specialist. They can then offer things like high-level electrical work or full bathroom installation.

You need to decide where your abilities lie in every area so that you can be clear with your customers about what you can do for them.

Can a handyman do electrical work in the UK?

The short answer to this question is “yes, some”. The more technical answer is that doing some minor electrical work like replacing a light fitting is almost certainly fine from a legal standpoint. As long as you know what you’re doing.

But anything which changes the electrical wiring, fuse box or electrical circuits of a building falls under what is known as Part P of the UK’s building regulations.

Part P work is termed “notifiable” – as in, someone needs to be notified that it’s been done by a registered electrician. Notifiable work in England includes things like:

  • Fuse box installation
  • New circuit installation
  • Circuit alterations or additions in a bathroom
  • Full and partial rewiring
  • Full new electrical installation.

In Wales, there is an even more extensive list of notifiable work under Part P regulations. Scotland has its own building standards system, while Northern Ireland doesn’t have any at all.

Useful handyman qualifications for the UK

You don’t have to have any qualifications to be a handyman in the UK. Sadly, this means there are a number of “cowboy” handymen out there. These people offer low rates but also a low quality of results.

To set yourself apart from operators like this, you might want to consider getting some kind of formal qualifications – training is also very useful if you don’t have a great deal of experience in a relevant industry. Several industry bodies offer useful qualifications and training:

  1. City & Guilds offers a very good general handyman course
  2. BTEC qualifications
  3. NVQ qualifications
  4. NICEIC www.niceic.com
  5. Gas Safe Register www.gassaferegister.co.uk
  6. Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) www.hmrc.gov.uk/cis/

As a handyman, your experience is probably going to be your most valuable weapon. But formal training can be required to tackle certain jobs. For instance, you need to be Gas Safe Registered or a registered electrician to handle most domestic gas engineering or electrical work. You may also need specific skills or experience if you work in industrial properties.

How do I find clients for my handyman business?

Once you’re set up, finding clients is the next thing to concentrate on. You should consider:

  • Creating a website – not only does this add to your credibility with potential customers, it means they can find you online.
  • Advertising locally – flyer drops through doors are a great way to generate business for relatively little outlay. You might even consider cold calling, knocking on doors in your local area.
  • Getting on Facebook – as well as any other social media platforms which you think might offer opportunities to reach new clients.
  • Putting your brand on your vehicle – if you have a clean, well-presented vehicle with your branding on it can go a long way to promoting your services in the local area.
  • Finding local opportunities – reaching out to local business owners, property managers, Airbnb hosts and other companies or organisations who need semi-regular handyman services is a good place to start.

The benefits of buying a handyman franchise in the UK

One of the major decisions that anyone starting their own handyman business needs to make these days is whether to go into business solo or become part of a franchise.

Being a franchise handyman gives you all kinds of advantages over trying to survive in what is a very competitive industry on your own. Perhaps chief among these advantages is your potential to grow your business.

Rates of customer retention in the handyman industry are high already. Because once someone finds a handyman they know is reliable, they tend to keep using them. Plus, there is a very reasonable expectation that the industry itself is going to grow in the near future.

Being part of a franchise, positions you perfectly to grow along with it. You have the support you need every step of the way. Whether that’s in terms of business management and operations training or the kind of support a handyman franchise like Fantastic Services provides in terms of handling the customer service and bookings side of the job on your behalf.

You also have the advantage of being under a big, well-known brand name that any handyman franchise in the UK will give you. That puts you a step ahead of the competition who have nothing to set them apart from each other.

Getting a fast return on your investment in a franchise

Even if you haven’t looked into too many handyman franchise opportunities yet, you will probably be aware that one of the potential downsides of a franchise is that you need to pay an initial franchise fee.

For most new franchisees, the price is completely worth it. They get initial training that tops up their experience in the industry – and teaches them everything they need to know about running their own business. On top of that, they get access to the industry-leading processes that have let their franchisor reach the heights of success they have.

But the franchise fee is still an investment that you need to be sure that you are going to make back in a reasonable amount of time. In Fantastic Services’ case, part of your franchise agreement is that we find new clients for you. You can simply access our online XRM system and mobile app and see your appointments for the day. You also have a set investment plan so you know exactly where you stand. There are no per-lead fees.

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How to start a handyman service business – your options

All of this goes to show that figuring out how to start your own handyman service business can be hard work. But there is a way to make it simpler:

Fantastic Services offers incredible franchise opportunities to dedicated tradespeople up and down the UK.

We help you set up your business so it’s ready to grow and expand. Plus, we find you a steady parade of clients. Find out more about becoming a Fantastic franchise today.

  • Last update: June 11, 2021

Posted in Advice Hub