Starting and running a business is always a big task, and it takes a lot of work. But there’s no rule that it also has to be expensive. Use easy, affordable tools that are already available to market your skills, connect with customers and create relationships that will help you find success as a handyman.
The pandemic gave everyone a reason to take a crash course in using the internet to connect to the world virtually. More people than ever are going online to find each other, and that's great news for small businesses and independent contractors. Use it to spread the word about your skills.
Find online groups that keep neighborhoods, cities, and counties connected. Many, many different websites make it easy to connect with others in your local area. This is a great way to look for new clients, as people may use the groups to find information about getting various services completed around their homes and properties. Some social media sites offer regional groups as well. Join all of these that you can find and use them.
All the big businesses are on social media these days, so it's a good idea for small businesses to use these websites. Create social media accounts under your business name and use these accounts to promote services. Follow local groups, politicians, businesses, and people you know in your local area. This may encourage them to follow you back. As more people follow you and your social media presence grows, more people will become aware of your business.
Promoting yourself through social media can be slow, but it can be well worth the effort. After all, a vast majority of people look at social media far more often than they look at the news. If you want to promote yourself, you've got to do it in the places where people are. Right now, people are on social media sites.
Many websites provide information about various services available to people in their own local area. Get listed on as many of these directory websites as you can. Sites like TaskRabbit and Thumbtack, for example, specialize in connecting professionals with customers. Take the time to create a great-looking listing on websites like these to make yourself more visible to customers in your local area.
You can also get reviews on websites like this, which will help to increase your customer base. When you have performed a job well and know the customer is satisfied, encourage them to leave you a review online.
Get Involved with the Community
Find ways to connect with other small business owners in your community, particularly those who offer services that complement yours. You may have many skills in some areas but lack some knowledge in others. Look for a local electrician or plumber, for example. When you encounter a large job requiring skills that you don't have, use your business connections to recommend these professionals to the customer. In turn, these pros will recommend your services when they encounter parts of a job they can't cover. Reciprocal agreements like this can be absolutely invaluable.
Get involved with local business owner groups and other business groups in your area to help you connect with more customers. You will find many opportunities for cross-promotion through groups like this. You can often find other business owners at local home fairs and other such events. Get out and get involved in the community, and you will start to find all sorts of opportunities to further your own business.
Often, the most difficult part of owning a small business is launching that business in the first place. It can be hard to get started because customers don't know you exist, and you don’t have a catalog of work to show customers. So start small and start building up your reputation and your portfolio of completed jobs.
Offer to complete projects for your friends, co-workers, and other associates at highly reduced rates. If possible, charge them for the materials required only. Ask them if you can take before and after photos. Use these to start building up an online portfolio and add these images to your promotional materials. You can show these off on social media and post these online to show people what you can do.
After the work is complete and your associates are satisfied, ask them to write a testimonial for your website or give you a review online, etc. Since you completed the job for them so affordably, there's a great chance that they will be happy to do some advertising for you. This can really give your business the jump start it needs and help you build an online presence to attract more customers.
Create a Website
Even if you have many social media accounts, you want to create a centralized website for your business. The website should provide all your contact information, links to social media, testimonials from customers, and information about the various services you can provide. Give customers a centralized online location like there where you can be found easily, and make you provide an online contact form so they can communicate with you and directly.
Print Business Cards
The world may be online these days, but business cards are still a good idea for any small business owner. Many people still hang onto business cards, which may sit in a box or hang on a fridge for years before it's used. However, you never know when someone will see that old card and call you about that project they've been putting off. Business cards are very easy and affordable to have printed, as many online companies specialize in this very thing. You can even design good-looking business cards online using these sites, so the process is pretty painless.
Don't forget to include your website on your business card, along with your contact information and any other info you want to provide, such as a business slogan or logo.
Put Something on Your Vehicle
Get something to put on your vehicle, even if it's just a simple custom-made bumper sticker you order online. Your vehicle could be seen by dozens, possibly hundreds, of people every day. That's just great advertising. Put your business name, phone number, and website somewhere that's visible on your vehicle. There's no telling who might see it and give you a call as a result, and it costs you next to nothing to advertise for your business every single time you drive.