When you’re just starting out as a newly certified home inspector, managing the business side of things isn’t terribly complicated. As your business grows, organization becomes increasingly more important.
The clock is ticking toward the end of 2017 and the New Year will be here before you know it. Get your business in order now and you can sail into 2018 with less stress and better processes.
Talk With a Tax Accountant
Taxes can become the bane of your existence if you don’t have a plan. It’s so much simpler when an employer withholds tax contributions for you. All that you have to do is file a return. As your business grows, tax complexity grows and you might one day find yourself on the receiving end of a surprising debt to Uncle Sam.
Do yourself a favor and meet with a tax professional sooner instead of later. An accountant can help you design a plan that’s easy to maintain on your own going forward. They might also recommend small business accounting software that helps.
Think About Physical Storage
The world might be moving toward digital documents, but we’re not there yet. Physical storage is still a necessity. How you handle it can play a role in how well your business grows.
If papers are in disarray, they’re easy to lose. Lost receipts may equal tax deductions that you can’t take. Lost business cards translate to lost contacts. Your home office storage doesn’t have to be fancy. It just needs to work. Check out Shelterness for efficient, clever home office ideas.
Invest in New Technology if You Need It
How old is your computer? What about your mobile device? If you’re not sure, chances are it’s time to think about upgrading. Business.com says outdated technology can hurt your business.
New technology isn’t just for looks or bragging rights. It’s a tool as much as a flashlight, level or anything else in your work vehicle. When technology is outdated, it doesn’t perform as well. Web pages won’t load as quickly, uploads and downloads take too much time and you won’t have access to as much as you would with something new.
Reinvest in Your Web Presence
Some newly certified home inspectors hit social media and build a web presence right away. Some put a website and social media on pause. Still others start off with good intentions but lack the time or direction to keep it moving. If your web presence is thin, now is the time to beef it up.
Proactive marketing today requires a strong web presence. You can still drive in new customers and referrals by meeting with agents. If you also have a website, blog and social media, you’ll drive in more.
Get a Business Email Account
In the earliest days of your new business, it might have been easy to manage customer emails through your personal account. The more your business grows, the more complicated it will become. Not only that, YOLA says a professional email address helps instill customer confidence.
Another issue with free, personal accounts is the lack of tech support. If you use free Gmail and lose your password, there is no tech support to help you recover it. A professional email account is worth it.
Plan a Marketing Calendar
You know how frustrating it is to get a great idea the day after the window of opportunity has passed? A working calendar can help you avoid that. In writing, it’s usually called an editorial calendar. It lets you plan out well in advance the topics you’d like to cover in a year. For your business, you might use a marketing calendar.
Here are a few ideas to get started:
- Which holidays fall throughout the year? What marketing campaigns can you develop around them?
- Which months are best for certain home maintenance and improvement projects?
- When does business tend to slow down? Can you plan a promotion to increase sales through a lull?
- Do you blog? You should, as blogging is an integral part of inbound marketing. What topics might you cover in the coming year?
A calendar can give you reminders or you can use it to plan out detailed campaigns. The important thing is to use it. Next year, that great idea for a blog post on haunted houses won’t pop up while everyone else is planning Thanksgiving.
Home inspections tend to slow down after the summer rush. So now is the time to refocus on your business. If there’s anything you’ve avoided, get it in order. If there’s something you’ve wanted to try, do it while there’s more time to experiment. The more you do now the better your business will be in 2018.
If you’re still just thinking about becoming a certified home inspector, you’re in the right place. ICA School has an educational program that prepares you for inspecting houses as well as building a strong business. Get a demo today and see what makes our program so different from the competition.