In October 1996, accountant Colin Bester (back row, third from right, next to wife, Heather) entered the handyman field by doing some $15,000 worth of gutter-cleaning jobs generated from a coupon mailing. Up on the roof, Bester noticed a lot of rotted fascia and rake boards. He also noted that many houses were in need of painting.

Last year, his company generated $1.25 million doing 402 jobs, for an average ticket of $3,109.45 per job.

“You have to be geared up to do what we do,” Bester says. “The small jobs.” Those jobs include everything from light plumbing and electrical to carpentry and full-service interior/ exterior painting, as well as roofing, siding, and window replacement. When clients propose he build an addition, Bester excuses himself and explains that’s not what his company does.

“This business is so good that if you do your marketing correctly and you know what you’re trying to do, you’re always working on jobs that are paying,” Bester says.