How many home inspections should you perform to stay competitive and earn a good income? Rare is the person who begins a career without thinking about its income potential. So that’s probably among the first questions you’ll ponder before or during your training. Like so many other questions, the answer is, “It depends.”
You’ll Need a Business Plan First
While you could finish training and set out to find your first client right away, a better approach is to get a business plan in order. That’s just good business all around, and it also helps you set goals.
A typical business plan, according to Forbes contributing writer on entrepreneurial topics, Dave Lavinsky, includes:
- Mission statement
- Strengths and weaknesses list
- Business goals
- Performance indicators
- Target customers
- Industry and competitor data
- Marketing plan
- Business operations plan
- Financial goals and projections
Your plan doesn’t need each of these points, at least not at first. You can develop an more in-depth version later. But incorporating some of them will help you find direction. The business goals and financial goals and projections portions will help you sort though what you need to earn in order to be profitable.
Home in on Monetary Goals
Do your financial goals determine the number of clients that you’ll need, or should you just get as many clients as you can and decide that’s all you can do? If it’s the latter, you’ll probably be disappointed with the results. Your goals should determine how many clients you need.
Having goals is part of growing your business. So if you need $XX.XX to stay afloat, then it’s up to you to decide what your fees should be and how many clients, based on those fees, you’ll need to achieve that. Your industry investigation will tell you more about what inspectors in your area charge, which is the starting point for setting fees of your own.
So your income goal is the biggest factor in the number of inspections you should be performing. Maybe you have another job and don’t need as many inspections in the first year or so as another inspector. Or maybe you have lofty financial goals and need more.
How to Reach Those Goals
How can you reach a goal if you’re only able to find a certain number of clients? It’s simpler than you might think, and it goes back to the business plan. Who are your target customers and how are you finding them?
If you rely on handing out business cards when you can and maybe tacking a notice on the bulletin board at a hardware store, you probably miss a lot of potential clients. Branching out broadens your audience. You can do that through meetings with real estate agents, using social media, running paid ads, and of course asking for referrals. But there’s still more.
Clients aren’t just people who hire you for a pre-sale home inspection. There are lots of ways to grow your business and different fees that you could charge for each of them. Maybe you’ll want to put yourself in the market for disaster inspections when they come available, and maybe you’ll want to expand your business into hazard inspections, such as mold and radon. All of this weaves through your business plan. As you find a new avenue for clients, your business plan grows and goals become easier to meet.
It’s difficult not to compare yourself with other inspectors, especially when you attend an association meeting and start networking. Everyone has war stories, and everyone has an opinion about what’s possible as an inspector and what’s not. The trick is using that information as a guide, not a template.
How many inspections should you perform? It depends. It depends on what your earnings goals are, where you live, and how determined you are to expanding your horizons.
There’s only one starting point for reaching goals, and that’s learning the business and getting certified. Enroll now with ICA School if you haven’t yet, and you’ll be working on your own business plan and taking on inspections in no time.