Plenty of new home inspectors open a new business every year, but not all of them succeed. According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), the earliest years are the most precarious. But that doesn’t have to spell doom for your home inspection business.
What separates those who thrive from those who hang on for dear life? A little business savvy, courage and a positive outlook can’t hurt. If you’re on the path to a new home inspection business in the near future, here are a few ways to encourage it to become a model of success instead of a cautionary tale.
Treat Your Business Like a Business
Home inspecting is a field job. You might not have an office outside the home. Many inspectors don’t. That doesn’t matter. Business skills can make or break your home inspection career.
A thorough home inspection training program includes business basics. To thrive, you’ll need to learn how to set up a business, what equipment to buy, how to create invoices and other forms, and where to find the best prices on business cards.
Home inspecting might be a casual business, but it takes serious business chops to grow and profit.
Take Marketing Seriously
Marketing can intimidate the bravest of folks, but it doesn’t have to. Marketing is any way that you can conceive to get the word out. The better your marketing skills, the bigger your marketing impact. It’s time to hone them.
Don’t worry about hiring a marketing guru. You have plenty of tools at your fingertips and many of them are free or nearly so. For example, you can build a website at WordPress for free using a template and no more web design talent than it takes to click a button and type in your company details.
Marketing includes the conversations you have, the flyers you hand out and the social media presence that you build and grow. Anyone can learn marketing basics, including you. That’s why ICA School includes marketing basics in our training program.
Never Underestimate a Positive Attitude
Do you smile when your feet hit the floor in the morning? Maybe not, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a positive attitude. The power of positive thinking is more than just a book. Mark Feldman at Business.com says it’s one of the keys to success.
A positive attitude helps you. It lets you approach problems in a different way. Feldman says it might even lead to more energy, resilient and decision making.
Positivity also helps your customers. Home buyers are nervous enough as it is. One interaction with a sour, grumpy or downtrodden home inspector is one more thing to worry about. Do yourself and your customers a favor and work on developing a sunny outlook.
Cover Your Assets With Insurance
Without insurance, a perfectly good home inspection business can go under with one bad turn of events. You need two types of business insurance. The first is liability coverage. If you break or damage something on-site, the homeowner might sue you. Ouch. An LLC doesn’t automatically protect your assets, either. According to NOLO.com, in every state, the owner of a business can be sued if their actions caused damage.
The second type of insurance has the potential for even greater protection, and that’s Errors and Omissions, more commonly known as E&O. With E&O insurance, you’re protected against loss that stems from errors with your work.
Imagine that you’ve just inspected a home. The weather turned foul on site, so you didn’t inspect the roof as closely as you otherwise would. Three weeks after the customer moved into the house, the defect turned into a full-on leak that flooded their antique grand piano and soaked a 100-year-old Persian rug. Now they also need a new roof. E&O insurance pays the customer if your errors and omissions cause them damage.
Not everyone is a business guru, but that doesn’t mean your home inspection business is doomed. Help is available for nearly everything that you do. Don’t be shy; ask for it. Taxes might be complicated. Maybe you don’t want to learn about marketing. Web design might be better left for someone else to handle. Professionals are available to help, so take advantage of them.
The more you cover your bases now, the more likely you’ll be one of the home inspection businesses that grows month after month and year after year.
It all begins with a solid education, and that’s where ICA School comes in. We’re more than just a home inspection training program. We help prepare you for work in the field and many of the aspects of running a business. Ready to become a success story? Enroll now and start learning today.