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This Week's Featured Biz Question

Thinking of finally trying to do what I want to for a living. Have always been handy with home improvements. Thinking of taking this knowledge and using it to repair,remodel,etc. homes as a handyman. Spoke with a guy already doing this as his new career and has been very successful. Should I try to get on with him to learn business for say one year before stepping out on my own? Has anyone done what I am thinking about? Was it successful? Is there enough business to support myself. Where should I start? I appreciate any help you may have. Thanks.


Each week we pluck reader questions from CyberSchmooz and ask our savvy biz experts to give you their ideas -- compliments of the house! Got biz questions of your own brewing? Go post 'em in Idea Cafe's CyberSchmooz. You'll get peer-to-peer help from fellow entrepreneurs. And bookmark this page so you can check back here soon -- maybe our experts will single out YOUR question next!

Have a biz question of your own? Go post it in Idea Cafe's CyberSchmooz

Answer from our Guest Expert Mark Bower of Aberdeen Mobile Home Repair

Steve, you've posted an interesting question here. Four years ago, I did exactly the same thing that you're now pondering. I dove into the handyman business with only a few basic tools. Since then, everything's been building upward and onward! Let me give you a quick background on myself. (For more, you can read my bio.)

I've been into several businesses, and this is the only business where I didn't have to "mortgage the farm" to get started. In fact, I invested no money. I had the basic tools to start (hammer, saw, pry bar etc.). I bought tools as I needed them, often times, adding their cost right into the job estimate. I've always been naturally "handy," but I still had lots to learn. I learned by reading, watching videos and doing. When I first started, I'd sometimes lose sleep over some new job I'd never done before. Four years later, it's rare I lose sleep over anything. When I first started out, I did little things like adjust doors and paint trim. Now I build garages and additions, and soon, new houses.

I'm usually backed-up one to three months with work. The only advertising I do is the newspaper and a real small yellow page listing. Plus, I take great pride in my referral network, which I've built and babied. Probably 70% of my jobs come from this referral network. My network includes hardware and home improvement stores, mobile home dealers and other contractors in various fields. Sometimes I drop in with donuts to say "hi!"-- Wow! Am I remembered then!

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About the Expert

Mark Bower Mark Bower
Owner of Aberdeen Home Repair
Mark is also a lecturer and consultant. He spends hours a week reading and learning about his industry and about running a business. He strives to be the best, to always be on top of his game. more

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