Maintenance technicians beware — job boards are about to get a lot more unforgiving.
Obtaining a high school diploma used to be just the first step in the career of so many United States citizens. But nowadays, it is becoming clear that trades are where the supply and demand exists. Recent studies show that only 64% of Generation Z graduates are looking to advance their education; the rest are opting for trade schools and internships during high school, which will get them the technical knowledge they need to land themselves a carpenter/handyman job faster once they enter the workforce.
For independent contractors, this means that an influx of younger workers are getting ready to take on handyman responsibilities as a vital part of their full-time career. One trend that ought to be of interest to the general handyman is that many of these high school graduates are traveling to nearby cities after graduation to join the workforce, even if it is only part-time. Cities like New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle, and Austin have become fiercely competitive, now that younger home repairs contractors are vying for jobs.
The Attractiveness of Job Posting Websites
There’s no denying that technology has made life easier for home improvement businesses. When one can receive job alerts without having to go on a search, not to mention that they can also auto-fill job descriptions, and tout your company for its strong general repair skills from a high-traffic source, it results in a lower expense of time and energy for qualified candidates in the handyman business. In the case of some senior handyman businesses, this has provided a reliable platform for their business to take off since they began to investigate these options in the early 2000s.
Because of their technical skill and their fierce independence, Gen Z handymen will flock to job posting sites like Angie’s List and Thumbtack for work. And how can you blame them? The simple, easy to use formats of these sites makes the process of replying to a handyman job description much less stressful than it used to be. But seeing as how the amount of people who have handyman services to offer are increasing on sites like these, it is safe to say that the handyman connection will have to go beyond contracting sites alone.
Here are some ways that home improvement and senior handyman companies can stay competitive as their industry continues to swell.
How to Stay Competitive in an Increasingly Cutthroat World
- Hire a diverse set of workers and turn your company’s brand into a jack of all trades. Customers are just like the rest of us. We are consistently looking for the easiest way to get things done. Depending on one company for many different things is something that most homeowners do, because it’s efficient to do so. Take advantage of that.
- Know the limits of your physical stamina and work with those limits. As many well-established deft hands reach the mid-point of their lives, it is vital for them to adapt to their physical limits, especially in they’re self-employed or in a small business. Whether that means hiring more hands or changing the types of services you offer, this ensures that you always do the best work you are capable of. Hiring new staff can also help your business improve, in addition to giving newcomers an opportunity to thrive.
- Make sure your hourly rate is comparable to your closest competition. Younger handyman contractors and businesses might offer lower prices, but there is no need to lose money by lowering your business standards and requested rates. Keep an eye on what your closest competition is doing and keep your rates within the same range as theirs.
- Handle work orders professionally and keep a keen eye open for potential issues before they arise. Everyone wants to know that their money and time is not being wasted. A reliable handyman of any generation ensures that their clients know exactly how their payments are being used and estimates all the expenses up front in order to avoid going over budget on a job. Keeping paperwork filed correctly, and working closely with your client before, during, and after a project, are both tried and true ways of remaining professional. Keep it up and expect to receive glowing recommendations in the future.
- Know how to repair equipment by yourself. This sounds like a small thing, but if you make it a point to be self-reliant when it comes to repair, your efforts directly reflect the notion of reliability that you attach to your brand – plus it doesn’t hurt to be able to save on costs. Clients will appreciate your expansive knowledge of your field, and your wallet will enjoy not having to lean on someone to fix your tools when they break.
- Have a knowledgeable, dependable insurance agency to keep you covered when things go wrong. One of the most important parts of a handyman business is preparing for accidents. Many single contractors opt out of liability insurance. If having this kind of insurance is something that sets you aside from your competition, your professionalism can only be strengthened in the eyes of your clients.
If you’re reading this and you’re currently scared about the future of your business, don’t be. Industries change significantly with each passing decade, which only means that companies and contractors must be willing to change as part of their ability to scale their services over time. Keep these things in the back of your mind, and chances are that your company will be around for many generations to come.