Becoming a handyman can be an appealing and lucrative small business opportunity for those who enjoy doing repairs and improvements around the home. Handymen provide a wide range of maintenance and construction services for residential and sometimes commercial clients. With the right training, tools, and business setup, you can successfully launch and grow a handyman services operation in Canada. 

Below is a detailed guide on the steps to take to start working as a professional, licensed handyman services in Canada.

Get Proper Training and Skills 

While no specialized schooling is required, taking handyman services training courses can be extremely beneficial. Look for programs at local colleges, technical schools, and continuing education centers that provide instruction in areas like:

– Basic carpentry and woodworking

– Drywall installation and plastering  

– Electrical system repairs and installation 

– Plumbing maintenance and repair

– Tiling, flooring, and masonry

– HVAC and appliance repairs

– Basic contracting and construction skills

Hands-on apprenticeships under an experienced handyman professional can also provide training directly on client jobsites. Consider volunteering with Habitat for Humanity or a community makerspace to gain experience using tools and building things. Developing competency in a wide range of basic trades and construction methods is key to succeeding as a handyman.

Get Licensed and Accredited as a Handyman

While Canada does not have a national handyman services certification program, many provinces and municipalities require handymen to hold trade licenses and permits to operate, especially when doing paid work for clients. Requirements vary by region but often include:

– Passing exams on building codes and trade skills

– Carrying liability insurance and bonding

– Paying licensing and permitting fees

– Taking continuing education courses  

Voluntary accreditation through an organization like the Canadian National Association of Certified Home Inspectors also helps demonstrate your professionalism and abilities.

Invest in Essential Handyman Tools and Equipment

A quality collection of tools and equipment is a must-have when starting a handyman services business. Begin with essentials like:

– Cordless power drill and drill bits

– Ladder and scaffolding

– Nail guns

– Sanders 

– Saws (circular, jigsaw, miter)

– Hammers, wrenches, and screwdrivers 

– Measuring tapes and levels

– Utility knife and chisels

– Basic plumbing snakes and tools

Expand your toolkit with more specialized tools as you take on different types of handyman services jobs. For transporting tools and materials, having a van, trailer, or adequately sized truck is recommended. Proper safety gear like glasses, gloves, ear protection, boots, and dust masks should also be used.

Create a Handyman Business Plan 

Developing a formal business plan is highly advised when starting a handyman services operation. The plan should cover details like:

– Description of your handyman services and target clients 

– Competitor analysis  

– Operations plan

– Marketing strategy 

– Projected revenues, expenses, profit 

– Licensing and insurance needs

– Equipment requirements

Having a well-researched business plan helps ensure your business has a clear roadmap when launched. It also shows lenders and investors you have thought through how to operate a profitable handyman services company.

Line Up Business Insurance and Bonding

Liability insurance and bonding are essential to protect your business from risk. General liability coverage guards against property damage, injuries, and client claims. Commercial auto covers vehicle-related incidents. Consider professional liability insurance as added protection. Workman’s comp is mandatory for any employees. Consult insurers familiar with the handyman trade to get adequately covered. 

Register Your Handyman Business

Take steps to make your business legal by:

– Registering your business name 

– Obtaining a tax ID number

– Applying for required municipal and provincial handyman licenses 

– Filing taxes appropriately as a self-employed individual or business

Keeping up with licensing requirements and taxes legitimizes your handyman operation.

Market Your Handyman Services

Use diverse tactics to get the word out about your handyman business such as:

– Creating a website and search engine optimized online profiles  

– Running local print, radio, or digital ads 

– Distributing flyers and business cards

– Offering promotions and discounts for new clients

– Partnering with hardware stores and home contractors 

– Networking with neighbors and community groups

– Asking satisfied customers to provide referrals and reviews

Build up your client base by providing excellent service that keeps customers coming back and referring others. 

Becoming a professional handyman takes some upfront investment and effort. But for those with a passion for doing household repairs and improvements, it can be a fulfilling and financially-rewarding small business opportunity. Use this guide to get your handyman operation started on the path to success in Canada!

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