Studies regularly show that freelance tradespeople are among the happiest workers in the country. And why wouldn’t they be? You’ll take on work at your own pace, and you often get to work in the outdoor sun. Going freelance in this business is also a lucrative career shift. People are always looking to employ reliable, friendly, and trustworthy grafters to tend to their homes.
If you’ve built up years of experience in the trade, it could be time to go it alone. Perhaps you’re bored of working the same jobs, or maybe you’re stuck in a dead-end business. Either way, there are many benefits to taking the solo route. It’s a great time to become a freelancer, that’s for sure. If it goes well, you could even add more people to the team and grow a full-scale company. Here’s how you get started.
Choose a specialty – You may be looking to make the career shift to find more variety. Unfortunately, that’s not always a good idea in this business. When homeowners have a problem, they aren’t looking for a jack-of-all-trades. They’re looking for a specialist! Choose the area you love most and a speciality where have strong skills. Is it plumbing, bricklaying, roofing? Find yours and stick to it.
Startup equipment – Before you take on any job, you’ll need the tools of the trade. If they were all previously provided by your employer, you’ll have to source your own. You’ll need to consider everything from your simple tools to scaffold towers. Getting your hands on the necessary equipment will be the most expensive aspect of getting started. Once you’ve got your toolkit, you’re all set to go.
First few clients – The hardest part of any startup job is securing those first few clients. You need to see the initial cash flow and get some positive reviews under your belt. Not everyone will trust a brand new tradesman, so reach out to your existing contacts. Use your network of friends and colleagues to let them know you’re available. It should help you land your first few projects. From there, you can build on the momentum and harness the power of word-of-mouth.
Online presence and reviews. – As a tradesperson, you might not be particularly well-versed in the online marketing world! Unfortunately, you’ll need to learn the basics and build a presence online. Nowadays, everyone turns to Google to seek out a local plumber or handyman. They need to find you and your website. Google place a strong weight on positive reviews through Yelp and other customer rating sites. With that in mind, encourage your clients to leave you a review online.
Local marketing – As well as the online world, take active steps to get your name out in the local community. Simple flyers, business cards and leaflets work wonders here. Homeowners prefer to trust a local handyman, and they’ll often reach for the local directory. Make sure you’re listed in the phone books and take out adverts in the local newspaper.
With a little time and effort, you’ll be living – and loving – the freelance life. Good luck!