Delegate a specific project or area of your business that needs to see forward movement.
- Define: Business Handyman
- Frequently asked questions about business handymen
- Let’s talk money
- If you're interest is piqued, let's take a next step together
Define: Business Handyman
Word Type: Countable Noun Pronunciation: hæn.di.mæn Synonym: Fractional Business Manager
A business handyman is a skilled person proficient in a variety of business development and management activities. They are typically hired by medium-sized organizations that are stuck on a project or have more to do than they have the resources for.
Business handymen are versatile and can handle tasks such as digital marketing, HR, launching a wholesale department, project management, financial stewardship, and other similar jobs. They are often called upon to fix or improve various aspects of the business.
Consultants normally look at your problem and write a PDF report, still leaving you with the problem, but at least you have a plan which you're probably not going to implement.
Business handymen look at your problem, figure out what to do, implement the changes, and do the work, leaving you with an implemented solution, not a PDF plan.
Topic experts know everything about a very narrow topic. They're phenomenal for niche projects but often lack the understanding of how the entire business structure works.
Business handymen know a pretty good amount about most topics. They're certainly not lawyers or CPAs, but they know enough to get the majority of the jobs done, and most importantly, they know when to ask for help.
Firms have large overhead costs and specialize in a particular topic. They have deep, topical expertise and can get the problem solved for you, but it's going to cost a lot of money and it's only in a narrow area of business.
Business handymen have a lower overhead cost and are generalists. They have a reasonably deep understanding but less combined knowledge than a firm, covering many topics, and will get the problem solved for you.
Frequently asked questions about business handymen
What is Fractional Work?
In the professional services white-collar world, we charge a lot of money, so we want to be a little bit snobbish and not call ourselves part-time employees. It's just not bougie enough...
But functionally speaking, a fractional staff member works for you and for three or four other people doing the same kind of work.
Historical Context - The world's pretty messed up in the way that it works on so many levels. It also creates lots of false dichotomies around the way that we work with each other. Historically, these have been your options:
Level 1 - You: When you're really a small business, you manage all of the money yourself and use a computer tool to file your taxes.
Level 2 - A Team You Manage: When the business grows a little bit, you then have a bookkeeper to manage all of your accounting for you and a CPA to file your taxes. You might even have a financial advisor to help you with personal retirement planning.
Level 3 - Historically Unavailable:
Level 4 - In-House Team: In the old system, your only other option was to hire a full-time in-house salaried chief financial officer for $120,000 a year.
That just doesn't make sense. That's way too big of a jump! There should be another option in here.
Level 3 - Fractional Employee: With the advent of digitization and remote work, a Fractional Employee is suddenly an option.
Analogy - Business is like renovating a building. Sometimes you really do need the $250/hour structural engineer to solve the problem acutely. But most of the time, you need a handyman and a plan to figure it out and solve it without imploding the budget. And even when you do need the $250/hour topic expert, you can often reduce the cost by doing some of your own prep or finishing work. Not to mention, if the handyman had done the preventative maintenance, you might not be in this predicament in the first place.
Personal Story - Years ago, Rehabilitation Physicians contracted with my company to run some of their digital marketing. RP is a pain management medical clinic with multiple locations, which is owned by several doctors who hired John Yeatman as their business manager.
Now, the doctors are phenomenal at pain management, and they're also pretty savvy business people. But the thing that they did best, their top priority, their secret sauce, was working one on one with patients to help them manage their pain and then to train other doctors to work with patients.
This does not mean that the owners are disengaged from the business or that they've given total control over to John the business manager. Much to the contrary, the best businessman-manager relationships I've been a part of are when the owners and CEO are highly involved in the business and review what's going on.
I'm your John Yeatman. You focus on what you do best - your top priority, the magic that only you can work - and I'll manage part of the business with you.
What Can You Actually Do?
I've worked with 2100+ businesses over the last 15 years in more than 300 different industries, solving problems in all 7 functional areas of business. I'm an avid learner, and I teach myself new things every day.
I also know when I'm in over my head and I'm not going to be able to figure it out. I don't have any egotistical hang-ups about admitting my limitations and then finding a third-party topic expert to solve the problem or at least get us to the next step.
However, like most handymen, there are areas that I'm particularly strong in, areas where I am average, and areas where I'm below average compared to another business handyman.Thankfully, I know and communicate my limits, and I also know whom to recommend for help.
Who’s doing the work?
The primary difference between myself and a business consultant is that I do the work, and a business consultant just tells you what to do.
Me: Much of the work I do myself. I'm a productivity nutcase and know how to move a metric ton of work over the finish line.
Your Staff: Daily, I'm meeting with my clients’ staff in a project management role to help them implement the changes that need to happen.
Contractors: Occasionally, I find third-party contractors, who either have a reduced cost or an increased skill set to solve the problem on our behalf. It's my job to find, vet, and manage them.
My Team: I've got an entire Rolodex of people I know do good work and I trust to get the problem solved. None of them are my staff. Some of them are subcontractors, and some of them are just outside vendors. That means we have a trusted and reliable team that can grow and shrink with the demands of the project.
Who do you work for?
I do deep implementation work, not quick consulting and PDF writing, so I limit the number of projects I'm working on.
There is not an industry or demographic that I exclusively work with. If you name the industry, I've probably done some work in it. I've worked for companies that made $50 a year, and I've worked for companies that made more than $50 million a year.
Most of my clients I choose based on psychographics, not demographics. Psychographics include soft skills like values, mindset, and communication style.
Where do you work?
I'm based in Detroit, Michigan, and work with my team and my clients mostly remotely. I've been known to travel for intensive multi-day working sessions with clients after a few weeks.
Do I need to hire a consultant, topic expert, or a business handyman?
If you want an audit, after which you will implement the changes yourself, hire a consultant.
If your problem is extremely niche (like exporting biohazard waste from Turkmenistan), hire a topic expert.
You might start by asking the handyman if they have the skills to solve your problem, and then vet their experience in that area. You also need to trust your handyman to admit when they don't know something and recommend third-party experts. I recommend outside experts on a daily basis when I don't know the answer to something. Or I call a colleague who happens to be an expert in the topic at hand and ask them a quick question.
Hire both - Alternatively, you might hire both a business handyman and a topic expert to solve a problem for you. The subject expert is paid for a few hours to explain what needs to be done, and then you pay the business handyman to implement what the subject expert said.
Let’s talk money
Scope of work, timeline, and budget are my kind of conversations! Many of my clients have custom packages, and some of them hire me on an hourly basis instead. I recommend that we have a conversation before you decide what's best for you.
👨🏻✈️ Fractional Business Manager:
Delegate the businesses stuff and focus on what you do best.
$3500 / Month
👂🏼 Communication Ongoing
🧑🏼💻 Deep Work Time: 25 hours / month
📆 Shallow Work: 8 hour / month
🎚️ Prioritization: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
🖥️ Tech Stack: Your Platform
🕰️ Additional Hourly Work: $75 / hour
✓ Agile Project Management using SCRUM
✓ Shared fully customized dashboard
✓ Full engagement with third parties
✓ Strategic business planning
📊 Project Owner:
Make significant progress towards a meaningful goal.
$1500 / Month
👂🏼 Communication: 3x / day
🧑🏼💻 Deep Work Time: 13 hours / month
📆 Shallow Work: 8 hour / month
🖥️ Tech Stack: Notion.io + SMS + Your Platform
🎚️ Prioritization: ⭐️⭐️⭐️
🕰️ Additional Hourly Work: $90 / hour
✓ Agile Project Management
✓ Shared dashboard to track the critical business numbers, our notes, the project management, and your focus list built in Notion.io.
✓ Open engagement with third parties.
✓ Figure This
Shit Out Coaching
A small ongoing side project.
$500 / Month
👂🏼 Communication: Daily
🧑🏼💻 Deep Work: 4 hours / month
📆 Shallow Work: 4 hour / month
🖥️ Tech Stack: Notion.io + SMS
🎚️ Prioritization: ⭐️⭐️
🕰️ Additional Hourly Work: $100 / hour
✓ Waterfall Project Management
✓ Shared task management dashboard in Notion.io.
✗ Limited engagement with third parties.
✗ Figure This
Shit Out Coaching
🧑🏼💻 Deep Work: A state of focused, undistracted concentration on a cognitively demanding task, enabling high-quality and efficient work. Notifications off, headphones on, focus for an hour or more.
📆 Shallow Work: Tasks that are often characterized by frequent interruptions, low cognitive demands, and limited meaningful output. Responding to emails, meetings, administrative updates.
If you're interest is piqued, let's take a next step together
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