Franchise Spotlight: Handyman

There's a growing demand for handymen and franchisees are taking advantage!

Whether it’s repairing dripping taps, unblocking drains or mowing the lawn, handyman franchises do the jobs growing numbers of people lack the time, skills, physical health or even inclination to do themselves.

Sector overview

  • Typical services include drainage, plumbing, lawn care, property repair and care and chimney sweeping
  • Serve domestic or commercial markets – and often both
  • Growth propelled by time-poor, ageing population and DIY-averse millennials
  • Van-based , but as a franchisee, you typically recruit, manage and coordinate your fleet rather than going out on the road yourself
  • As service franchises they require no stock, lowering investment level and overheads and increasing margins

The multibillion-pound handyman sector is flourishing thanks to several trends.

First, there’s a generational decline in DIY skills. Second, an ageing population means growing numbers of people lack the strength and mobility to perform many home maintenance tasks themselves.

Third, long working hours and the growth in two-income families generates business from busy professionals and exhausted parents.

Then there are those who would simply rather pay someone to unblock their drains or mow their lawns to preserve their precious leisure time.

But it’s not just about saving customers from menial, physically-demanding tasks. Many jobs, like plumbing, often demand professional skills. And anyone can mow a lawn of course, but lawn care franchises also provide treatments like scarifying, aerating and weed and feeds.

Plumber

Is a handyman franchise for me?

You probably won’t be expected to be the handyman yourself. Most franchisors instead seek someone with business acumen.

Your role will therefore typically focus on things like marketing, recruitment and scheduling and managing bookings.

The structure of handyman franchises

You may or may not need your own premises, but you’ll almost certainly get a liveried van (van signage plays a big role in building brand recognition) with various tools and ladders.

Most franchises encourage you to grow your fleet of vans over time. The larger your fleet, the greater your profit margins as you coordinate operations with proven, centralised systems and processes.

Many franchises offer multiple services, insulating you from a downturn in one area and giving you the chance to up-sell and increase margins.

Handyman

Buy a resale – an existing business – and you’ll probably get multiple vans and substantial, established recurring revenues.

Your appraisal of a particular handyman franchise might examine:

  • Level of demand for its services, whether it’s growing and level of competition
  • Prominence on search engines, quality of automated scheduling platform and booking line service standards
  • Strength and reach of its marketing campaigns
  • Quality of training and support for you and your staff
  • Track record of existing franchisees

You’ll likely recognise the brand Dyno and its logo given the sheer ubiquity of its smartly liveried vans. As a franchisee, you’ll build a fleet of vans offering plumbing, drainage and heating services. Owned by British Gas, you’ll have the backing of the UK’s largest energy and home services company.

A lawncare franchise might appeal if you like working outdoors and Trugreen is an obvious pick if you value pedigree. Founded in 1973 it’s the world’s largest professional lawn care franchise and serves more than 3.4 million residential and commercial customers throughout the UK and US.

Tailored lawn care treatments include scarifying, aerating, weed and feed, moss/algae clearing from pathways, patios and driveways, plus general garden clearance. Your other tasks will include marketing, liaising with customers and recruiting and training staff.

Chimney sweep

Wilkins Chimney Sweep’s franchisees – whose former professions include surveying, the police

and senior management – enjoy year-round demand plus repeat business from letting agents and landlords.

Services delivered to both domestic and commercial markets include sweeping chimneys, fitting of cages, caps and cowls; pressure-washing paths, patios and driveways; CCTV inspections and surveys; and car park and walkway-surface cleaning.

West Cheshire franchisee John Baldacchino says franchisees are supported “through leveraging purchasing power” and “support services that would normally be financially restrictive for a small business.”

Established in 1983, Metro Rod offers a proven route into the multi-billion pound drainage services market with year-round demand from commercial and domestic markets. Franchisees are given ongoing support comes via a 24/7 call centre, key accounts team and a finance team that manages your debtors.

Tony Jeeves, part of the Brighton team, talks of “guaranteed work” and has ended up investing in a “larger business, with 14 engineers and related support staff.”

Local Assist is a property care and repair franchise catering to an increasingly time-poor population and markets like insurance and lettings.

Training in systems, business development, marketing and health and safety compliance is followed by ongoing support in pricing and quotations, the diary system and more. The franchisor takes care of insurance and health and safety compliance.

Other benefits include a health and safety dynamic risk assessment system, job management system, managed email accounts and tailored launch marketing campaign.



Joshua Antoniou

About the author

Joshua Antoniou is now Global Account Executive having started at Dynamis in the Customer Service department. He also writes for BusinessesForSale.com & FranchiseSale.com.