Not everyone is a natural entrepreneur, and that’s okay. Unfortunately, too many new home inspectors give up altogether before their business is a year old because it isn’t sustainable as-is. Maybe what they need isn’t another new career, but a different approach to being a certified home inspector.
Your business might benefit from some professional advice, or maybe you’d feel more comfortable working for an established company. If you’re worried about what might happen after you finish home inspection training or you’re already struggling at work, here are a few ideas to help get you over the hump for a lasting career.
Talk With a Tax Accountant
Taxes can make or break a new business, so a tax accountant is a great place to look for help. If you get your taxes wrong, one year’s worth of incorrect filings could create a serious problem that takes several years to sort out.
Sole proprietors are taxed at a very high rate, but it tends to even out when compared to the fees related to an LLC or another type of business organization. A tax accountant can help you understand your tax burden and the best way to manage it.
You might only need one appointment to get on the right track. Your accountant may set up your books so that you can maintain them going forward. Or you might consider hiring an accountant each quarter to help with quarterly tax filings.
Make an Appointment With the Small Business Administration
The Small Business Administration was created for people like you. Sole proprietors and other small business owners need guidance, and that’s where they excel. There’s an office in nearly every major city, so there’s probably one near you.
The SBA can help you sort through issues such as how to set up your business, understanding licenses and other requirements, and they can also help you connect with funding sources such as small business loans and grants to grow your business.
If it’s related to a small business, the SBA knows the answer or they can direct you to someone who does. Best of all, most SBA services are free. All it costs is your time.
Connect With Home Inspectors Around the Country
Are you a member of any home inspector association? If not, why not? In exchange for your membership dues, you get a lot of perks:
- A code of ethics
- Standards of practice
- The latest industry news
- Regular meetings
- Continuing education opportunities
- Networking opportunities
An association membership keeps you headed in the right direction with your career. It also helps you meet other home inspectors, who could become great professional peers. One downside to associations is the local competition factor.
Networking with inspectors close to home might be challenging because you compete for the same customers. Networking with inspectors in other states could be much more helpful.
Consider Your Business Marketing Approach
If your marketing consists of handing out business cards and taking candy to real estate agents, it’s time to join the 21st century. The best marketing that’s both affordable and effective is content marketing.
Content marketing brings more business leads to you instead of you spending untold hours and dollars finding them. Here’s just a peek at how content marketing works.
- Build a simple, streamlined website
- Start a blog and write regular posts
- Use a call to action or CTA on everything that you do
- Create strong landing pages that help your customers make a decision
- Make videos, write eBooks, and write articles on LinkedIn
- Stick with it
Everything that you create is content. Content is made to be shared. Its job is to drive people to your landing page where the only smart decision is to hire you. Kissmetrics breaks it down into more digestible chunks.
Think About Working for an Established Company
There’s nothing wrong with closing up your own shop and working for someone else. In fact, you could consider it paid training.
Here are just a few of the many benefits:
- A steady stream of work
- The support of a larger company behind you
- No marketing responsibilities
- No self-employment tax
- No business-related paperwork
When you work for an established home inspection company, you have none of the responsibilities that accompany running a business. You’ll also learn while you work. Over time, you’ll gain a better understanding of how a successful home inspection company operates, which you can one day take to your own business.
You’ve got many different avenues for finding help to stay in the game as a certified home inspector. The only thing you shouldn’t do is give up before you’ve given it a fair shot.
Every entrepreneur has a period of learning and adjustment. It’s not the struggle that defines you; it’s how you handle it. There are successful home inspectors in every state. You might as well be the next one. ICA School can help.
Enroll now in our home inspector training program and study at your own pace. Once you’re certified, you’ll have a wealth of helpful resources at your fingertips.