growth

Local handyman industry set to grow to close to $1 billion in five years

Eloise Keating /

It seems Australians place a lot of value on the humble handyman, with the market for small home repairs and maintenance set to grow to $881.9 million in 2018-19.

And it’s the franchise companies operating in the sector that are reaping the benefits.

According to a report published by IBISWorld this month, the local tradesman and handyman franchise industry currently generates revenues of $881.9 million, with profits totalling $418.9 million.

The industry has been growing at a rate of 3.2% since 2009, with annual growth set to chug along at a rate of 2.2% per year.

The sector employs close to 8000 Australians, with well-known brands such as Jim’s Group, VIP Home Services and Hire a Hubby the leaders when it comes to market share.

According to IBISWorld, the sector has blossomed due to the increasing number of Australians who lack the time and expertise to perform tasks around the home.

The sector has also benefitted from the steady rise in the number of households across Australia during the past five years and growth in capital expenditure on private properties.

Grey Army, a handyman business that predominately employs people over the age of 40, is one company to have benefited from the recent growth in the sector.

General manager Greg Miles told SmartCompany the business started 21 years ago, using sub-contractors to deliver “trustworthy and reliable” home maintenance to older Australians who are looking for old-fashioned service.

The business began franchising around 10 years ago and now has 75 individual franchises operating across Melbourne, with other master franchise agreements in place in the other states.

And while the business has “ebbed and flowed” over its lifetime, Miles says the company has experienced consistent growth over recent years.

Miles says many of the people who approach Grey Army to open a franchise are from all walks of life, and don’t necessarily come from a trade background, with the economic downturn of a few years ago influencing many older workers who had lost their jobs to look to operating a handyman franchise as a way of securing their future.

Miles says the market handyman franchise market is getting more competitive, although there are many “fringe dwellers” on the edges of the industry who are trying to operate their own business.

For the Grey Army, Australia’s ageing population is a major influence, with the company’s franchisees and its clients generally falling into the Baby Boomer generation.

“But it’s the same with any industry that is growing, there will always be more people looking to enter the industry,” says Miles.

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Eloise Keating

Eloise Keating is the editor of SmartCompany. Previously, Eloise was news editor at Books+Publishing, the trade press for the Australian book industry.

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