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The modern-day handyman: how to package your business5 minutes read

Artisans have been trivialised to the point where it is rare for a plumber or mechanic to operate in a formal and extremely professional setting.

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packaging & branding ideas for Artisans and Handymen
Packaging & branding ideas for Artisans and Handymen. Photo credit: Shutterstock.

What do you think of when you hear the term handyman? If you are thinking of carpenters, plumbers and mechanics, you are definitely right. Here in Nigeria, handymen tend to do a good job on their brand identity and so despite the fact that their services are used often, they are paid next to nothing for their work. Many consider the jobs of handymen and artisans to be informal. Artisans have been trivialised to the point where it is rare for a plumber or mechanic to operate in a formal and extremely professional setting. 

But it is not impossible. As a matter of fact, rebranding your handyman business is the perfect way to boost and create a more exciting appearance to customers, attract new clients and increase profits. So how do you repackage a handyman business? Here are five steps to consider:

Get a logo and a brand identity 

Let’s simplify this process. Start by picking out a colour you like, something vibrant and attractive. Then go-ahead to create a logo and a business card. Nothing too fancy or over the top, just enough to give your business an image that clients will never forget. Thanks to Canva, the whole process of making a logo and a business card can be done in all of twenty minutes. You just have to print out your cards and that’s it. 

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If it’s a little too difficult to piece out the logo and brand identity elements yourself, then reach out to an affordable design agency. The agency you select must demonstrate how they will create attractive brand identity elements and must show you a portfolio to confirm their track record. Replace your old work clothes with a customized overall that represents your brand. Your clients will love it and the best of all, they won’t forget it.

Build a cool Website

I know. You aren’t exactly a tech guru and that’s the reason you’re a handyman, not a software developer. I get it, but all businesses are online these days. It doesn’t matter what you are doing, it goes a long way if clients can find you on the Internet. It creates a whole new level of trust in the relationship.

Get a cool Handyman website
Get a cool Handyman website

Besides, it’s not that hard to build a Website. You can use DIY software like Wix, Disha.ng or WordPress.org. All you need to put on your Website is a list of your services, at least one compelling reason why potential customers should choose or hire you (i.e. list your training, credentials, skills, professionalism, etc.), your contact information and professional pictures detailing your past work.

Register for a digital business account

For this step, Prospa is the answer. Prospa is a business tool designed to make managing your finances, customers and employees much easier. You can create a business account in less than five minutes. With Prospa, you can easily manage your money, send out invoices to customers and auto-split your funds into sub-accounts for marketing, taxes and more. Isn’t that great? A business account is like icing on a cake, it makes ads more sauce to your packaging.

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Hire an apprentice

Engage an Apprentice to help and shadow you
Engage an Apprentice to help and shadow you

Are you getting a lot of calls from clients? You might want to consider hiring an apprentice to shadow you while you get work done. As time goes by, you could outsource some work to your qualified apprentice so you don’t have to do it all by yourself. You can start by taking a student under your wing and teaching them all about the business. Don’t forget to communicate the importance of maintaining the brand’s identity to them.

Charge appropriately

The last thing you want is getting underpaid for all your hard work or overcharging a client because that would speak to your credibility. So how do you charge your customers fairly without tearing a hole in your own pocket? 

Consider the following factors: Time – how long is the job going to take, are you going to have to travel a long distance, think about that. Skill and preparation – does this job require a high level of skill, how about how long it would take for you to prepare to get the job done? Expenses – calculate how much you would be spending in order to do a perfect job. With all these, you can determine how much you want to charge clients. You could charge them based on the time you’d spend on the job or a flat rate depending on the type of service but be sure to do the math so you are not getting underpaid.

To conclude, ensure to keep it professional. Send invoices to your clients by mail, maintain a neat and tidy appearance, try as much as possible to widen your skillset. It doesn’t hurt to learn new things, this can open you up to more client’s. Always do a good job, this way clients could spread the good word about your business. And finally, don’t fail to do a little promotion for your business, let people know you exist.

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Absa Kenya signs almost 5 million customers on virtual platform

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Kenya’s Absa Bank , a part of South Africa’s Absa Group, has signed almost 5 million customers on its virtual banking platform, which it sees as a major driver for future growth, chief executive, Jeremy Awori announced yesterday.

When the bank first launched its virtual savings and loan app known as “Timiza” — Kiswahili for “Achieve” — in March 2018, it attracted 300,000 customers. By the end of the year it had 3 million users, with lending standing at 10 billion Kenyan shillings ($98.91 million).

The bank, formerly known as Barclays Kenya, also has a separate mobile-based banking service to process normal customer transactions such as deposits and withdrawals.

Absa Kenya, posted a pretax profit of 8.18 billion shillings in the first nine months of 2019, compared with 7.72 billion shillings in year-earlier period.

Kenyan lenders have in recent years , turned to technology as they try to counter competition from mobile phone-based financial services such as from telecoms operator Safaricom’s M-Pesa platform, which had 23.6 million users as of last September.

Absa’s virtual banking app’s competitors include those run by KCB Group’s, NCBA Group and Equity Group.

Pressure to use mobile banking services increased further when the government imposed a cap on commercial lending rates in 2016 that ate into bank profit margins forcing banks to search for new ways to grow their businesses. The cap was scrapped at the end of last year.

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Angola’s Former Leader Ordered $500 million Funds transfer

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In a statement that may help the defense of one of his sons who is standing trial for money laundering, Angolan President, Jose Eduardo dos Santos has disclosed that he ordered a $500-million transfer from the central bank to an overseas account before stepping down.

The former president’s two most high-profile children are under increased scrutiny from prosecutors probing how they amassed their wealth during their father’s 38-year rule.

While the 77-year-old former leader is immune from prosecution until 2022, his daughter, Isabel was named last month as a suspect in an investigation over alleged mismanagement at state oil company, Sonangol.

In 2018, his son Jose Filomeno, alongside former central bank Governor, Filipe da Silva and two others, were accused of crimes including participation in unlawful business, money laundering, embezzlement and fraud for the money transfer to a U.K. account in 2017. Their trial began in December last year.

According to Jose Eduardo dos Santos, the transfer was needed to set up a strategic investment fund and finance Angola’s ailing economy.

Former head of Angola’s $5 billion sovereign wealth fund, Jose Filomeno says the trial is politically motivated while the country’s former central bank governor, Filipe da Silva has denied any wrongdoing, saying he was just following presidential orders.

It was meant to be the first of three transfers totaling $1.5 billion.

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Air Zimbabwe fails to raise investment

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Zimbabwe’s troubled national airline has failed to secure outside investment, thereby dealing a blow to government plans to sell state-owned assets and secure much-needed revenue.

The airline, which in October 2018 was placed under administration, received expressions of interest from 10 international investors and had short-listed three bidders.

According to the airline’s administrator, Reggie Saruchera, a process to solicit for a strategic partner or investor was undertaken, but none of the parties that expressed interest and submitted bids were successful.

The airline also has an outstanding debt of about $370 million and Saruchera recommends that it be settled before seeking fresh investment. 

The national carrier also says it will lease out two Boeing 777 jetliners it bought from Malaysia Airlines in 2018 and has received nine bids for them.

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