Handyman Business vs. General Contractor

In this video, I'm going to review the difference
between a handyman business versus a full general contractor Im Mike Claudio owner of
winrate consulting and host
of the big stud podcast. I repeat hosts of the big stud podcast. I talked to people all the time that
don't realize I actually have a podcast, big stud search on Spotify, Apple,
whatever, subscribe, listen. There's a hundred episodes at
this point. Go enjoy it. Love it. Appreciate you. Leave a
good review. Awesome. Uh, but today I'm gonna talk about the
difference in a handyman business versus a full general contractor. I think there's
some obvious things on the front, right? Handyman is typically,
you know, that DIY honeydew list, small short, quick projects, general contractors typically
viewed as somebody doing bigger, more comprehensive project style, um, projects for their clients.

But there's a few underlying things I
think is super important to point out. One is the customer perspective. When clients reach out to a handyman
versus a general contractor, the handyman is typically
viewed as a one call. Handyman is going to be a lower cost
option. So understand that going in, if you are a handyman or have
handyman in your business name, and you're trying to level
up your project size, it's going to be difficult
because of the client perspective. Not anything you've
done, not your skillset, not how good you are at communicating, but strictly the name is going to put a
perception into the client's eyes that says this person is going to
be less expensive, vice versa. Once you get to general contractor, expect that people are expecting
you to be more expensive.

So when you go into that
world, headed off right away, understand that there's things that go
into that and understand that that is the perception because you have done more and
you haven't had to accomplish more and it costs more to do and run a
general contracting business. One of the other key. Things I think is important is that
most handyman have to have personal skillsets with their hands. Um, because
it's typically a one man, two man show. You're not really running a team of
subs. On the general contractor side.

I know plenty of general contractors who
have never constructed a thing in their life on their own. They're just really good people managers
and business owners and leaders, and they basically got their
license and then just manage subs. They're just going about
having conversations,
bringing in the right people, bringing the right skill sets and all
that kind of stuff helps them bigger projects, more money, also bigger
risks, bigger mistakes, bigger issues, more costs, more overhead. This
person, not much overhead at handyman, not much overhead might have a
truck. Might have a couple of trucks, might have some tools, but completely
different costs of doing business.

There is a huge step in overhead
from handyman to general contractor, not just in the cost of doing
business like the overhead, but also the knowledge necessary to get
there. You have to be have licensing. You have to be able to pass tests. You have to have a certain income or
a bank account levels based it on the Carolinas. Um, every state's
different like Texas, no licensing. There is no such thing as a
general contractor's license. You just need a business license.
So a little bit different there. Um, but the handyman to GC, especially say in the Carolinas in
many of the other States that have full licenses for the general contractors, it allows you to do bigger
projects like legally, there are limits to how big of
a project a handyman can do, how big of a project and initial GC to
do and how big of a project and, uh, an unlimited general contractor can
do so understand that, you know, how were you playing that? And
if you cross over those lines, no one's going to come check in on

But if something goes wrong, you can get in pretty
big trouble for that. So make sure that you understand that
if you want to start leveling up and you've been to running a
good handyman business, you want to start doing a hundred
thousand dollars kitchen remodels. Well, you can't pull the permits and most
States that need it to be able to get the right inspections done. And also clients in that price point
are typically looking for someone who is fully licensed and insured. Uh,
so make sure that you have that, but the cost of doing all that, of getting
the licensing, keeping the licensing, getting all the insurance and ultimately
running a bigger business costs more money, which inherently does
make you more expensive.


But a lot of times you can actually make
a higher profit margin as a handyman because you're not charging
that much different, but your overhead is significantly lower. And kind of the last and ultimately
what I think is one of the biggest differentiation, a handyman and a general
contractor is most handymen I know don't want to work 60, 70 hours a week. Most of our contracts are no only
work 60, 70, 80 hours a week. One of the benefits of the
smaller projects is you
can get in Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, knock out four or five
projects, make your five grand, six grand, seven grand and take the
rest of the weekend off. And you could run every week
like this, a general contractor, because there's longer projects, more
involved, more people, more head count, more paperwork.

Um, you
don't have that luxury. You can't just work a couple of days a
week and then go hunting that weekend every week. Um, so you're, you're a little bit more tied to the
business here until you build a business and have employees that can run everything
and you you've earned the right to step away a handyman because the projects
are so much smaller. You can get two, three, four, five done in a day, but also
you have to go sell two, three, four, five more per day. We're a general contract model and be
able to sell two or three projects that will last them a month. A handyman needs to sell probably 30 to
40 projects a month to be able to keep a schedule busy. So those are two really
big things. The smaller projects, many of the bigger projects, the freedom of a handyman to just kind
of work when they want not work when he doesn't walk plan his schedule a bit
different because the client projects are shorter.

The general contract
doesn't have that much freedom. So understand which side
of that you want to be in. If you're a handyman right now saying,
should I become a general contractor, two questions? How much
freedom do I want to have? And how much more can I do working with
my hands? You're probably aging out. You're probably tired.

probably body's broken down. Becoming a general contractor, allows you
to manage other people to do the work, as opposed to you doing with your hands. Again comes with some
downside of less freedom. Um, but you're not working with your hands
anymore, which can be very beneficial. So those are a few things I
think are super important. Understand the different in a handyman
business versus a full general contractor business. Every state is going
to be a little different.

I don't know all the States nuances and
all the different things. So disclaimer, if you don't know the differences
in your state, call somebody, find somebody in your state, typically there's a licensing board or
somebody around You can ask a question of what's the biggest differences. Please
do that. I don't know all of it. I don't know every state
and their differences. Those are the typical standard
differentiating factors
between those two types of businesses. Again, I'm Mike
Claudio owner, Winrate consulting, host of the big stud podcast..

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