Some things to consider if you’re just getting started or your already established…
Look Before You Leap:
Many small business owners reflect on their early years with some regret as they feel they didn’t research the business fully before starting. Talk to some small business owners before you start, (any business) and ask them of their early issues that they had to solve or overcome. Look into finding a business mentor who can help you build a comprehensive business plan or review your existing plan every quarter to see how your actions are aligning with your goals. Many small business owners start by going to www.score.org or a local Chamber of Commerce to seek information.
Research your geographic area so you have an understanding as to which service could be beneficial to your buyers and your Realtors. Don’t leave money on the table… Look at your market area and talk to a fair amount of Realtors, not just 2 or 3, to understand some of their needs. It’s also helpful to learn shortcomings of the existing home inspectors in the area. (i.e. soft skills such as “bedside manner”, technical skills, & technology)
Consider creating a “One Stop Shop” by offering ancillary inspection services such as;
- Radon Testing
- Mold testing
- Indoor air quality
- WDO / WDI (wood destroying organisms/insects)
- Pool & Spa inspections
- Well & Septic inspections (if allowed)
Invest In Yourself AND Your Business:
Consider taking revenue and re-investing it directly into marketing. You’ll typically spend more time & money in marketing for the first 18-24 months “establishing your brand” than you will for the balance of your career. When creating a budget for your business consider that you’ll need some time before creating a paycheck. Consider taking a minimal salary and take quarterly bonuses when cashflow permits. When creating a corporate veil research your options, with a qualified tax professional, to limit taxes and develop a way to re-pay yourself for your initial investment. Remember a good plan is good enough…don’t fall prey to “Paralysis by Analysis”. The support at AHIT is legendary…use it to your advantage!
Start Organized, Stay Organized:
Schedule processes on a calendar to insure you are “tending the garden” in a timely fashion (i.e. quarterly tax reports, paying bills, etc.). Consider learning some software skills to make some of the daily processes easier on yourself. Here’s some examples of online training for office-based software:
- Microsoft Office or equivalent (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.)
- QuickBooks or equivalent
PRO-Tip: Consider getting help from family or friends answering your business phones. With today’s technology and some training you can present yourself as a full-time professional and capture some missed opportunities.