Starting a business is an endeavor that millions of people aspire to embark on, but very few ever undertake. Starting a home service business such as a small contracting company is very demanding on a personal level requiring a lot of time, energy and resources. Not to mention the fact that you need to be very talented at your trade. Instead of selling products you are essentially selling yourself as a service. There is no way to get paid while taking a day off.

What home service can you offer?

There are hundreds of contracting or home services an aspiring business person could start, but I will focus solely on a service that I believe is scarce. I will use framing as a service business as an example but many of the steps apply to any type of contracting or home service business. Working as a home framer can be lucrative and demanding. Eventually you may want to expand outside of framing and offer other services. This can include woodwork in kitchens, cabinet making, basement finishing, repairing of stringed instruments or even in the construction industry.

The steps listed below apply to building a service carpentry business but can be incorporated when building any type of service business. 

  • To build any home service business you need to have the requisite knowledge and skills. The more skilful you are the more likely you are to get customers and referrals from previous customers for new business. You may need to start with small remodeling projects before expanding to new home construction.
  • Purchasing or having the correct tools will increase the quality of work.  Therefore, a handsaw, tape measure, nail gun, claw hammer, hybrid saw like Laguna’s F1, utility knife or even a bandsaw to name but a few is crucial for efficiency and high levels of productivity. 
  • TStarting a carpentry business will require little capital but a lot of personal investment. Ideally one should create a company profile, logo and even a slogan to develop a brand. This would be a focal point in starting a successful service business as reputation and will help set you apart from the thousands of competitors. Next, you’ll want to buy a software like quickbooks and understand how basic business accounting works.
  • Having an online presence by making use of social media accounts will create awareness of the services and brand. This is especially powerful when you are able to share before and after photos and videos of jobs that you have completed. Social media also allows for some free advertising and marketing of your work by allowing posting of pictures and updates as often as you want. You don’t need to be a web designer, but understanding digital marketing basics like setting up a Google Maps listing will go a long way.
  • The golden rule for establishing a successful service business will undoubtedly be based upon the customer service you provide, therefore, excelling in this area should be one of the top priorities when establishing a service business.

Service businesses have a lower barrier to entry than businesses where you need a large facility and millions of dollars worth of equipment like a manufacturing business. However, because they have a lower barrier to entry, they are also typically more competitive.

Building a successful service business will not be an easy task nor should you expect to make a lot of money during the beginning phase of the business. Establishing brand recognition and customer loyalty should be the goal until you have developed a reputation and find you are getting a lot of referral work. If you have the skills and are prepared to put in the work, you will find that there is always business available.

Sam Allcock