Visitors to this site frequently ask me for recommendations on different resources, products, and services available to small business owners in the construction and home services industry. Listed below are resources that I’ve either used myself or which have come highly recommended by other contractors I know and trust.
HOW TO MAKE MORE MONEY:
The $100K Handyman: I’m starting with this recommendation because it is so crucial to any contractor’s success. If you don’t know how to price your work then you are setting yourself up for failure, period! This is probably the most common mistake I see guys make who are new to the home improvement industry: they don’t charge enough money because they don’t understand their costs or buyer psychology. The beauty of this product is that it will show you EXACTLY how to charge your customers, and is applicable to any home service provider, not just handymen. Follow along as Dan Perry shows you how he went from making $25 an hour to over $90. Also included is a pricing calculator that is an absolute must-have in your arsenal of business tools. If you follow only one piece of advice from me, you owe it to yourself and your company to buy this product and read it today! I promise it will blow your mind.
BLUEHOST: You guys know that I’m a HUGE proponent of creating a blog to help market your company on the internet, but to have a blog you need to find a host. In my experience, nobody comes close to Bluehost when it comes to easy-to-use, quality hosting at reasonable prices. The customer service is excellent, as well. Click here to get going with Bluehost. They’ll even give you a free domain name when you sign up. To learn more, check out my comprehensive series on how to start a successful business blog. You’ll be up and running in no time, even if you have zero web skills.
The Logo-Mat. Matt’s designs are very good and come at a price far below what you will find in other places. He created the logo for this site and I found him to be very quick and responsive to my needs. It was a pleasure from start to finish. Highly recommend.
Quickbooks Premier Contractor. This software is a must-have in your arsenal of business tools. Once you get the hang of it, it will save you ridiculous amounts of time and resources. Use it to make and record deposits, create invoices, make payments, business insight reporting, and bill tracking. Additionally, you can create ‘Job Costs by Vendor’ reports, run ‘Cost to Complete Job’ reports, and analyze job profitability. This product isn’t cheap, but will pay for itself in no time, and by clicking the image above you can get 20% off.
Fast Easy Accounting. If you’d rather have more hand-holding in the accounting department or simply don’t have the time or desire to learn the software on your own, I recommend you contact Randal at Fast Easy Accounting. By clicking the link you’ll be taken to a page on his site where you can request a free one-hour phone consultation about anything Quickbooks or accounting-related. He’s actually a former contractor and provides his services exclusively to people in the construction industry. You’ll find that he’s able to provide invaluable advice in almost every aspect of your business. Just an all-around good guy with a wickedly smart sense of humor.
INCORPORATION / LEGAL SERVICES:
LegalZoom.com – Jumping through all the legal and red-tape hoops when starting a new business can be time-consuming and sometimes confusing, but you can make the process a lot easier with this service. They’ll confirm that your desired business name is available, prepare and file state registration documents, and provide you with the finalized corporate documentation. Ideal for those who want to start an LLC, S-Corp, or C-Corp. This service is also a great resource for just about any other legal matter or document you could possibly imagine as a professional contractor.
SIGNS / PROMOTIONAL PRODUCTS:
Using yard signs, truck magnets, and other kinds of “real world” promotional products is pretty much a no-brainer when you’re in the home improvement business. The ROI is super high, and it just makes you look so much more professional. Super Cheap Signs is my sign-maker of choice. And guess what…I was able to work out a Super Cheap Signs promo code just for my readers:
PaintingBusinessPro.com – Those of you interested in starting or growing a painting business would be wise check out this site by Eric Barstow. He owns a painting business in Colorado and teaches others how to start and operate their own painting enterprise. The articles section is a good place to start for tons of useful information.
HandymanStartup.com – If your focus is on starting or growing a handyman service then you’ll love the advice served up by Dan Perry at his blog, though his posts are packed with helpful tips and tricks for aspiring service providers of all stripes. He also has an outstanding podcast if you prefer that format. Dan is an actual handyman, and his reflections come from one who has been there and done that. His pricing guide for The $100K Handyman is an absolute must-read if you take your business seriously. His Handyman Web Academy is also worth checking out, especially if you like the idea of creating your own leads online instead of paying others for them.
*****Some of the companies whose products and services you see listed on this page give me a small commission for referring customers to them (at no additional cost to you). Some of them do not. This has no affect on what or who I recommend, but it’s worth stating in the interest of full disclosure. The bottom line is that they don’t make the list unless they are truly helpful, competent, and trustworthy services.*****