Starting your own Home Inspection Business

Picture of the word optimize

After years of working for other people, I decided that I wanted to work for myself and just be my own boss. However, I’d never run my own business and I knew there was a big difference. For one, I’d need capital to start the business, a business plan, a marketing plan, invest in my own equipment, more training and, especially, find a course on starting your own business, and lastly make sure I have all the right licensing and insurance to be a small business owner. I had, though, been paying close attention to how the company I worked for was running their business and I learned a lot by simply paying attention and asking questions. I thought I was now ready to forge ahead on my own!

INITIAL RESEARCH: I took an evening course on how to start a business at my local community college. There I learned how to write a good business plan (better than the one I’d started), types of insurance, opening up business bank accounts, and how to finance your new business idea. During this time I completely mapped out all the inspection areas I planned to cover. I also learned a lot of other vitally important things to small business owners – things I’d never thought about!

I also spent time looking through the U.S. Small Business Administration’s website where there is a lot of information on business startup, including how to finance your own business. That information proved invaluable.

I’d been saving money for years thinking I’d probably want to start my own company. So I did have some cash set aside for start-up costs, but as I began preparing my business plan, I realized I was probably short. The other conclusion I reached from my research and class was that I wanted to create my own business not purchase a franchise from a large corporation.

CAPITAL: The SBA’s site provides a good amount of information on financing your own business. I learned about state and local/regional economic development agencies willing to provide low-interest loans to small business owners. However, given my excellent credit and savings, I actually did not qualify for those. I ended up meeting with my bank where I’d long ago built a relationship. I was able to take out a very small loan at a extremely good interest fee to help with start-up costs such as purchasing my own tools. I had assets and very little debt along with a very good credit rating. As far as a bank was concerned, I was a safe bet. Now, I was ready to begin putting things together!

INSURANCE:

Every small business owner needs some form of insurance for any number of things. I researched various insurance types and costs and decided on one I knew would make me and my clients feel comfortable.

MEMBERSHIPS:

I joined the American Society of Home Inspectors where I was able to access a lot of importation information. Their website was useful with helping me select software for inspection reports.

I also joined the National Association of Home Inspectors where there also is valuable information and trainings for their members. When it comes to information, I believe you can never have too much information.

Both of these trade organizations provide a wealth of information regarding our industry. Moreover, as my own company of one, they helped keep me connected within the industry to others.

EDUCATION:

In addition to the community college class on starting a small business, I also took a few online, trade specific courses. One included a general real estate class on practices and trends in my area and another was on building codes and construction trends. The costs of initial courses upon start-up and ongoing should be part of your budget and business plan just as marketing costs should be considered and budgeted for each year.

NETWORK:

The death of any business, besides being a bad business, is not having any connections from which to build up. In other words, it was time to make sure I was tapped into a network. Through my many years of working for others, I’d made many connections. I now made sure they knew I was launching my own home inspection business, and that included any realtors I knew so they could consider me for their next sale! I had new business cards and brochures made out thanks to my local printer’s with design services and I made sure I handed them out any chance I got.

My small business loan proved extremely useful in helping to get things up and running, but my savings set aside for this purpose also helped get me going. Having the right capital to launch a company can be the first step of success. Without sufficient funding, you’ll start wanting to cut corners due to lack of funding and that would be mistake number one. Being my own boss and owning my own business is the best decision I have ever made.

Start Your Own Business

cat111Everyone would like to be financially independent, but this is not always easy to do. You can find a good job that pays well, but not everyone will also be satisfied with this option. The second thing you could do is to start you own business.

This doesn’t mean it will be easier, but it won’t be impossible either. It’s about working a lot more than you would work for a 9 to 5 job, and you will have to be really dedicated to it. If you start on this road, you can say that it’s not allowed to quit. The success is within your reach, but you’ll need more than money to invest in it.

Characters - Business meetingHere’s what you need to know about this whole process.

The Idea

Yes, you have to start from somewhere and you will need an idea for creating a business. If there is something that you are specialized in or if you know some handcraft, then you can start on it. Some people choose to make jewelry, other people want to start a coffee shop, while other people want to work with flowers. There are plenty of ideas that can work, but you need to fiind one that offers you pleasure.

That’s right – pleasure and passion – if you do something with passion, you won’t feel like it’s a job.

The Budget

Business-ideas-to-increase-your-revenuesYou will also need to have some money to start this business. There may be needed different materials, a location, and different licenses and so on. All these will cost you something and you will have to be prepared for them.

Make a list with everything you need for starting your business, and write the price next to each item. For example – the rent for the location, the price of the materials, the price for the first contracts with the vendors and so on. Make sure you will be able to sustain your business for a few months at least, before it starts to produce profit.

The Plan

Small-BusinessThat’s right, you will need a business plan. This is not just a sketch, but this is a paper that will prove to be extremely useful, especially if you want to get your business financed by investors or by a financial institution.

The business plan will have to contain everything, starting with your name, location, presumed number of employees, domain, license, prices of the materials needed, the price of the rent, how you plan to advertise for it – meaning marketing options and so on.

Make sure you’ll have this plan designed by a professional, and it’s better to talk to a business lawyer to have it done right.

The First Steps

growing-businessTaking the first steps in this area is not always easy, but with a good plan, a good budget and determination you can make it work. You will have to constantly learn new things and be professional in what you do. Running a business is not always easy, but if you do it with passion, it’s almost successful.

You’ll also need to have a good team to help you – even if some business ideas are made for one person – like creating handmade wedding invitations, other business ideas require you two or three employees – like starting a pub or a coffee shop.

Don’t hesitate to look for professional business advice whenever you need it – it’s not a shame and you will always learn new things from this. You can also read books and go to business workshops or take special classes. Whatever you do, remember that you are working for your own benefit and you don’t have to quit, even if this seems hard at first.