To all Handymen,
The UHA is an association that is supposed to be for its members. Built and ran by members. I’ve been mentioning a new member only Facebook group and I feel it’s important to let you know the reason the group is important for members to join. A member is a dues paying member.
This month is our 10-year anniversary and up until now it has been mostly all me. (Flash) I’m just like you. I am a handyman. Started my business at 16. Through trial and error, I learned along the way and developed a system for success. I started the association as a way to give back to an industry that I have benefitted from. Up to date I have built everything myself to keep costs down. I built the website, member program integration, advertising, you name it I have been busy. All while still running my handyman business. I committed to building the association as a volunteer and as of this date I have put 100% of the profits back into the association. Plus, my own money at times to pay for advertising campaigns, YouTube, background screenings, office staff, all of the regular business stuff and decisions all me.
Is the association a perfect science? No. Can I please everyone? No.
I’m reaching out because the idea of building a handyman association was never about me it was about you the members the handymen that have the same challenges and goals that we all go through together separately. Starting the member only group https://www.facebook.com/groups/106958282744598/?ref=share is a way for me to make it about the members as intended. An association member built and member run. If you want the most out of your association, get involved. Help with ideas and have input on direction. Help others with your experience. Share your challenges. Use the association as a way to build a better future for yourself, your peers and your industry.
I can’t do it alone. I hear appreciation, I hear dissatisfaction, I hear it’s great for my business, I hear I don’t see benefit. So, I’m saying get involved and take ownership and get out of the association what you put into it. Most join and do nothing to promote the association involvement for their business and expect it to magically help them. Associations and networking groups aren’t a magic pill you take and become successful. A trade association is only successful with numbers and strength. We can only make a difference together. Remember I tried myself with a group of attorneys to make changes in California. Quickly being shut down and shut out prompted the birth of the UHA.
So, you want to make a difference and build an association that represents your best interests then speak up get involved and help build, promote and be proud to be a handyman.
Pay your dues and join our member only group https://www.facebook.com/groups/106958282744598/?ref=share
UHA founder and handyman
According to the CSLB in the state of California an Unlicensed Contractor can perform as a Contractor on a job up to $500 without requiring a license. We are looking deeper into this because the law seems to be implied and there are many who can’t find the information, they need to properly understand their limitations. Handyman stings are popping up all over and skilled professionals trying to make an honest living are being prosecuted or forced to become a licensed contractor based on a regulation that seems to be so vague or non-existent. Maybe it exists but it is not easily found.
The facts are at the state level there is a law Code 7031a that states a license is required for any job requiring one. But it doesn’t mention the $500 limit anywhere. It does refer to the CSLB which says no particular job requires a license but implies and posts articles about a $500 rule. No actual laws or codes can be found with a mention of a $500 limit.
This being said, the fact is, there may be a law or code out there, but it is not readily available doing a simple search. Shouldn’t an individual have all the information easily found before being prosecuted for a crime that could have been prevented by simple knowledge? All it would take is placement of an actual law, regulation or code. If one doesn’t exist, then it should be written and placed.
If you are a handyman caught in a sting then you have plausible defense based on lack of education, you are not a Contractor, you did not enter into a contract. You have the right to work and use your skills to make a living. It is the CSLB’s obligation to educate you and make any regulation searchable by anyone regardless of education. Law must be official and not implied or just simply mentioned in an article or 3rd party post.
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10 Reasons why and what you should be taking advantage of as a UHA Member.
UHA membership dues includes
- A searchable webpage and enrolled in our handyman referral program. Linked to your website, email and phone #. Free with no referral fee ever.
- Eligible for our UHA insurance program.
- Access to business forms like sub-contractor agreements, w9, UHA created MyHome service forms.
- Access to Business Support.
- Eligible to become UHA verified.
- Registers you for the UHA Certification Program and $5k fraud protection.
- Discounts on other services like Business Coaching, Mediation, Collections, Web Hosting and more.
- You will be part of an Association that is continuing to support and fight for the rights of the handyman. An Association setting Industry the standard to raise the expectations and credibility of the handyman and his skill.
- All fees paid are tax deductible.
- Enrolled in the affiliate program where you will receive a 30% commission on any UHA referral, Product or service. Customers or handymen referrals included. Residual income paid annually.
Sign up to become a handyman member Sign Up Here
Please visit our links.
United Handyman Association
Handyman Answers with Flash
Handyman Answers by United Handyman Association – YouTube
Become a member of the UHA to qualify for the Discounted Handyman Insurance program with Next Insurance, Inc.
It amazes me how many people I talk to or sign up with the UHA that claim to have been in business for 10-15 years and have no actual business. No business license, no insurance, no business structure whatsoever. So, my question to you. Is this good for our trade? Do you think that it is ok for someone to do business without the responsibility of doing business? Most cities require a business license at the minimum to practice as a business. Although it is not mandatory for a handyman to carry insurance unless you have employees. It is good practice and expected for all businesses to carry insurance. It is assumed that you have insurance, and you are required to offer the information if you don’t. Most handymen act on an if they don’t ask don’t tell policy. You say you are running an ethical business, yet you let your customers believe that you actually have a business. When in fact not having a business gives them the same rights as when they are dealing with a little girls’ lemonade stand. So, what is the right thing to do? Should there be regulations for the handyman? Not just how much they can make or what they can do. For those of you that run a proper business without the state on you about it I applaud you and give you a big thumbs up. You are the ethical handyman business owner that I know will do what’s right since you know you can get away with something, but you have integrity. I’m happy to certify and stand behind you and appreciate you as a part of our trade. For those of you that just try to slip by undetected I hope it’s just negligence or you don’t know better and it’s not because you have something to hide that prevents you from getting a job anywhere that runs a background. I’d appreciate hearing your thoughts on this if you would like to vent also or just tell me anything you need to get off your chest.
Happy Home Repairs
While running our businesses we come across many decisions that could make or break our business. One of those decisions we have to make is do we hire help or do we stay a one-man operation. Then if we decide to expand and hire help the biggest decision can be they an employee or an independent contractor. You have to make that decision for yourself based on your needs and how you want to use them. My opinion as a Handyman is to keep it simple. The IRS dictates what the difference is so as long as you are working within the guidelines then you are safe to have an independent contractor working for you without the responsibilities of an employee. First thing and the biggest thing you avoid are the payroll taxes that can be smothering. Since they aren’t typically going to be working in your office but out in the field for your customers it will be very easy to let them decide when, where and how they work which are some of the classification requirements. So, for example, I have a scheduling system set up that each guy controls his schedule and customers can log online and request and schedule who they want. They decide how much or how little they work. How do you get paid? The customer pays you and you pay them. So, if you are charging $60 per hour and paying your independent contractors $30 per hour then there is your profit. You can require them to carry their own insurance and maybe pay them an incentive so that you don’t have to insure them. Remember to have them list you as additionally insured though. Why don’t they just go out on their own? Some people just don’t have what it takes or the desire to deal with the customers and the business side of it. Some will try though. If you are advertising and giving them work most guys will be happy just working. On the other hand, you may decide to bring in full-fledged employees or stay solo. Look at your options and make an educated decision either way, Solo is obviously the easy way to go but you will make less money for sure and without help you won’t be building a business that can work without you. You will work longer and when you are forced to retire, I hope you had invested into that time for yourself. I started my business at 16 yrs. old and from day one I said I was building my future, a business that will pay me later and the only way that happens is if the business doesn’t rely on me to survive. Make sure you have Insurance and listen to your customers. They will know who you should keep before you do. Always background screen them either as part of your UHA certification or on your own.
As always, I wish you luck and happy home repairs
Flash Shelton H.D.
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“The Dailey Drive with Flash “Handyman”
The greatest job for a skilled craftsman is a handyman. Enough variety that it’s never a boring job. Enough reward that you go to work every day enjoying your job. The difference between hiring a contractor and a handyman sometimes is skill. The handyman in most cases is more skilled than the contractor because he is doing the work himself quite often. More involved even if he has help. The Contractor may have experience in the beginning, but the nature of the business takes him away from the day-to-day labor. If you want to deal with the guy who is doing your work, then hire the handyman. If you want to know you and your home is protected, then make sure they have a proper business license and insurance and do a background screening. You can do all that yourself or you can hire a UHA certified handyman. Everyone has their own goals and ambitions, you might be happy as a small job to job just make it handyman but if you want more for yourself and your business, respect and quality pay for quality work then get certified by the UHA and show that you have worked hard for what you have and you are worthy of being treated like the professional you are.
In the office the work attire may be a shirt and tie and maybe a jacket. Casual Friday might be a privilege. If someone isn’t following the rules or even worse, they smell of something unbearable to others there is a department to handle it called HR human resources. What about for the handyman? Even though the handyman won’t get caught in a suit they still need to be clean and not smell. How do you handle it? They are representing you and your business. Your customers might be complaining if they know you well enough or worse, they stop hiring you for their work because they feel uncomfortable having that conversation. Maybe it’s a cigarette smell like my experience, maybe it’s just plain body odor. In any case how do you handle it. I asked my smoking employee to change clothes prior to going into the customer’s house. There is a local plumber in my area that exploits the smell good aspect. Is it ok to ask your handyman to smell better? I know it should be expected but people sometimes can’t smell themselves. They are representing you so do you provide them with work clothes to insure they are clean. Maybe a bottle of cologne? It might be funny but losing a customer because you or your worker smells isn’t funny at all. The Handyman performs a lot of different types of jobs so not like a painter that one would expect to have paint on them. The handyman shouldn’t bring evidence of their prior job to the next one. It’s very important to keep up a professional clean look when in the presence of your customer. Oh, and smelling good is always a plus. This is a conversation that you can have with your workers as they represent you. Having that conversation during the hiring process is best and overlooked most of the time. Remember they can be the best and have the greatest personality but if they smell bad, they won’t have the chance for anyone to give them the chance to know it.
Happy Home Repairs
When a homeowner is considering a new project or hiring a new handyman, they typically interview at least 3 different people/businesses. Your goal is to be the last one left. 3-2= you.
What makes you, their choice? What do you have that sets your above your completion?
The customer has their own expectations of what they are looking for. Who represents themselves best, who is qualified for the job? Maybe asking for references tells you that they want assurance of your quality and honesty. Sometimes it comes down to who is the cheapest or the rule of thumb being the middle quote.
Imagine this: Put yourself in their position and you are interviewing handymen. A professional that you know is not regulated and all you have is your gut. A feeling of who is going to not rip me off or even worse be a threat to me or my family. Do you need to lock your valuables up and never leave them alone? These are the things that people think about. If you’ve ever hired someone to work for you then you know what this business brings to the table and the risk factor. Now back to you interviewing 3 handymen. They are all nice, they all say I have insurance and references. But one of them says I’m certified by the UHA and have passed a background. I am certified and backed by a $5,000 guarantee that if you pay me money, I will perform the job that we agree on or the UHA will pay you back for your loss. Now you have an independent association standing behind one handyman that will also handle any future possible dispute between you and the UHA certified handyman at no cost to you the customer. All things being equal, who do you hire? No cost or additional fees to your new customer. All they get is a guarantee and peace of mind that you are the one for the job. 3-2= YOU.
How many customers can you afford to lose? Better yet, how many can you afford to gain?
Become a certified Handyman today and start utilizing the tools available to you now as a quality handyman.
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