“Do what you do so well that they will want to see it again and bring their friends.” — Walt Disney
One of the biggest keys to growing your business is reputation, and you will get one whether or not you try. Every day that you’re in business, you are earning it. So it’s up to you to craft the reputation that you want. That’s how to grow your business.
Of course there’s a lot more to it. Your reputation is based on how customers perceive you and the services that you provide. It’s more than just whether an inspection was done properly; it’s the whole package.
Whether you’re just starting out or if you’ve been an inspector for years, you can always take steps to make your business grow.
Stay in Touch with Customers and Clients
If you perform a home inspection for a client and never contact her again, you’ll one day be that guy who did the inspection. Did he have brown hair and drive a white truck? Who knows. If you follow up, clients are more likely to know you by name, and also more likely to recommend you to a friend or colleague.
This is especially important when working with real estate agents. That’s where a lot of your repeat business can come from. Always follow up after the inspection is finished. Pick up the phone, and also send a professional letter with a business card for their file. Sometimes what seems like a small, unimportant thing to you can turn into more business.
Don’t Undervalue Your Services
Pricing your services is challenging. It’s the same for nearly every person in business for him or herself. There should be a market average for your area, and you don’t want to stray too far from that. But also be cautious of lowballing.
Customers perceive value where the service is assigned value. A lowball cost can make customers wary about whether or not you’ll do a good job. Don’t be afraid to price your services competitively, and you’ll gain more trust.
Keep up With Continuing Education
Continuing education is one of the most important things you can do for yourself, your business, and your customers. What you know to be true today will almost invariably change in 5 or 10 years. If you stay on top of new developments, you won’t be caught off guard.
An inspector who is out of the loop can’t perform as good an inspection as one with his ear to the ground. Learn from colleagues, at conferences, and through courses. Everything new that you learn translates to more value to your customers.
Diversify the Services That You Offer
You can certainly perform quality inspections without ever deviating from the basics. But if you branch out, you’ll offer that much more to customers, and your value as an inspector will grow accordingly.
The more you can do for customers, the more likely they’ll be to hire you. Perform mold or radon testing, specialize in termite inspections, or as much else as you feel like taking on. ACI School offers additional study materials that can help. If you branch out, you’ll be the inspector that a customer can call for most if not all of her needs instead of hiring out different jobs to different inspectors.
Growing your business takes effort. It’s more than being on time and filing out a report accurately. It’s in how much customers believe your services are worth, and how motivated they are to hire you again and recommend you to friends.
Everything you do to help create a positive reputation for yourself helps. There are certainly cantankerous inspectors who have great businesses, but that’s likely the exception instead of the rule. Provide the best that you can for your customers, and your reputation and business will thrive.
If you’re just getting started, there’s no better place than with ICA School. We offer one of the best home inspector training courses available, and you can start immediately. Enroll now, and you’ll be on your way to a great new business in as little as a few weeks.