Under Promise–Over Deliver
In today’s episode of the Business Hammer Podcast, we have the pleasure of speaking to Brian Holland. He is currently living in Minnesota and started his handyman business at the beginning of the pandemic (May of 2019). In 2018, he got out of the Navy and started working 70-80 hours a week doing hard labor, which was beginning to take a toll on his physical health. He decided to prioritize his health and head back to school to get his electrical engineering degree while taking on an internship. When Covid began, everything shut down, and he found himself out of work. This prompted him to start doing miscellaneous handyman jobs, which eventually led to him starting his own business.
How Do You Get the Majority of Your Business?
Brian was originally getting the majority of his leads from an online app known as “Handy.” Still, as his business continues to grow, he finds himself getting quite a lot of business from the well-known social media platform “Facebook.” He also expresses that word of mouth is a great way to advertise. When you do good excellent work for people, they are more inclined to recommend you to others and, in turn, generate more business for your company.
What is Your Experience With Having Employees?
Brian expresses that he has found it challenging to find reliable employees. He stands by the statement that “no one will ever care as much about your business as you do,” which is why it can be challenging to find workers who will be loyal to your company.
How Much Do You Pay Your Employees?
Brian says that pay is entirely dependent upon experience. The more experience an employee has, the more money his work is worth. He tells the story of one of his prior employees, who was quite a bit older than he is. Brian expresses how much this man taught him about running a handyman business and that they are still great friends today. For this employee, in particular, Brian felt that paying him $35 per hour was fair, but for someone who is in high school and just starting, he would pay $18 per hour.
What Software Do You Use to Keep Track of Customers and Jobs?
Brian admits that this is one of the areas that he’s lacking while running his business. Currently, he uses “Excel Spreadsheets” to keep track of all of his jobs, income, estimates. However, he says that his wife is extremely helpful when it comes to keeping him organized on and top of business.
What Do You Charge on Average?
When he first began, he felt that he was shortchanging himself. He originally started out at $35 per hour, which is more than affordable for the area he is in. Now that he’s gained more experience and references, he charges up to $75 per hour for a minimum of two hours on average. He expresses that the amount he’s spent on gas and the miles he’s put on his new car has really pushed him to up his hourly prices to keep things balanced.
What’s Something You’ve Struggled With While Running Your Business?
Time management is one of Brian’s biggest struggles. He finds it difficult to estimate how much time a job will take. If something goes wrong and he ends up having to add an extra 8 hours to a job, it will take away time that he’s supposed to be spending on his next project and, therefore, causes him to lose money. To avoid these types of issues, he’s found that if he can’t estimate exactly how much time a job will take, he schedules it for at least two days to avoid having to reschedule any other projects.
What’s Your Best Advice For Someone Who’s Looking to Get into the Handyman Business?
Brian says his biggest piece of advice is to either “have a wife that’s really good with numbers, or hire yourself an accountant!” His second piece of advice is to ensure that you fully understand all of the laws within your state. This can save you from running into some serious trouble down the road. Lastly, he says to “under-promise and over-deliver.” Brian expresses that it’s essential to overestimate the amount of time it will take you to finish a project. This will keep you from having to reschedule other clients and losing anticipated revenue in the process.