Starting An Oklahoma Home Inspection Company From The Ground Up
If you already have your Oklahoma home inspection license from the State, and you feel you are ready to strike out on your own, then you have probably already mulled over the following questions, and have found the answers. If not then you will need to consider the following before you start contacting potential clients that can benefit from your professional expertise. Preface the following with the notion that except for being born, or to die are about the only things you cannot practice, everything else needs the rinse, and repeat method to become a part of our second nature.
Business License And Liability Insurance
Check with your City, County, and State agencies regarding a business license. Also, check with a local professional CPA about forming an LLC for tax and liability purposes. If a potential client performs any type of due diligence before hiring you or your company they will want to see that you are in good standing, and have the necessary business liability insurance to protect themselves from any unforeseen happenstance while you are executing your services on their property. For added protection, you might want to consider purchasing a performance bond as well, to further theirs and your protection concerning damages to yourself while on their property, or if you accidentally damage any of their personal or commercial assets while working with your client.
Increased Auto Liability Insurance
You may think that you have the right coverage for your vehicle for daily use, but in the course of doing business with your vehicle it is held to a higher standard, and you will need higher liability insurance in case of an accident occurring on your client’s property, or if you are involved in a fender bender in route, or leaving their premises. When insurance companies and personal injury attorneys become involved, the added protection could prevent you from having to shell out large fees for damages that the average small business can ill afford on any day.
Home Inspection Business Plan
Yes everyone needs a business plan, and many forego this step, because they think small, and grow small because of the lack of action concerning this subject matter. Even if it is a simple outline you keep on a MS Excel spreadsheet, or even on a legal pad, you need to know where you are starting, and where you need to go, to stay the course and grow your business in accordance with your personal plans for financial stability and growth. Think of it as plotting a course on a map (Pre-GPS Days) when going on a vacation with your family. You need always to know which routes are best to take, and research any alternate roads, highways, or Interstates that may have to be taken in case of emergencies to arrive successfully at your destination.
Also, always keep a condensed and updated version of your home inspection business plan in your pocket, on your tablet computer, or even your smart cell phone. A few times a day, go over the plan while taking a break or eating lunch, you never know when inspiration will hit and your plan will need adjusting to make for a more successful business journey.
Custom Home Inspector’s Marketing Plan
If you are planning on staying in business long, you will need the life blood of your new home inspection service to flowing with clients, and happy clients to boot. A home service such as this endeavor is really a no brainer, and the following types of business will support your services quite nicely. When you are in between service calls focus on other businesses, and networking with them to help yours and their client base grow.
Real Estate agents, brokers, property management, and investment companies should be your primary focus, as they will always need the services of a home inspection service company. Of course they have plenty of your competitors to choose from, so creating, and solidifying these new relationships will key in keep your phone ringing, and the checks rolling into your bank account. Your repository of leads for these individuals will be right in front of you daily, and frequently. Just stop at each home, or commercial building that is for sale or lease, and copy down the agent or broker’s information. Give them a call, and tell them who you are and what you do, then the person you will stop by their office and drop off a business card, and or some brochures, and if they would leave same for you to pick up.
Keep a stable of real estate professional in your phone’s contact application will keep you rolling, as long as you return the favor in kind and hand out their business cards to potential clients as well. Your business offers a wide swath of services for potential clients, and even a house flipper in your area can be a great resource for business, and leads in the future.
Other businesses to create bonds with will be in home services such as: carpet cleaners, landscaping services, roofing contractors, plumbers, electricians, and the list goes on and on. Even professional home staging contractors and consultants are a great group of people that can refer you to their real estate contacts, and other companies that use your services.
Online Marketing Will Keep You Alive And Well
Many individuals will forego the process of setting themselves up online in the beginning, and this is the kiss of death for most would be entrepreneurs. Hiring a professional online marketing company to assist in keep your visibility high in front of potential clients is key to your success in the future. Printed media such as yellow pages, newspaper, and magazine advertisements have gone the way of the dinosaur, and if you engage in such advertising, you are merely riding a dead-horse at this point.
You should have already created a reasonable budget for your monthly marketing expenses, and if you have not then stop, and go back over your entire plan, and make sure you have the financial resources to constantly be ranking for local and organic keywords on the major search engines (Google, Bing, and Yahoo). There are so many platforms in which to promote your business online, you will need a guide, and service provider that knows which ones will be the most effective in getting a good return on investment with your marketing funds. Remember, that when the yellow pages were the number one method of advertising, that very small businesses that even had a prayer in getting sales calls from those directories spent at least one thousand to fifteen-hundred per month for their display ads. Those same funds and similar amounts should be going into your online presence for the same reason today.
Social and Sales Abilities Should Always Be Improved Upon
Believe it or not, being personally and commercially sociable is almost a dead art today, as the online world has created walls between individuals so they do not have to deal with one another in a one-on-one in person situation. By cultivating this characteristic and being comfortable in your own skin while meeting individuals in person will put you above the fold compared to most of your competitors. Emails, and websites maybe bring in leads, but our ability to communicate, empathize, and close a sale will be done in person or at the very least over the phone.
If you are shy, and have problems striking up conversations, or even communicating with individuals on a personal, and or business level, then consider joining local organizations that will facilitate engaging other business owners, and consumers during social gathers that are scheduled. Some will be the chamber of commerce, Toast Masters International, and other privately created networking groups. Working on improving your social skills may be one of toughest goals you will have besides increasing sales, but every minute you have down time should be focused on honing this skill for your betterment.
Home inspection companies in Oklahoma City, and the State for that fact are plentiful, and it is to your advantage to get your message out to more clients, more often, and louder than the others vying for the same money that clients need to spend hiring inspectors for their real estate needs in the future. So remember, Louder, More Often, and then repeat your message as often as possible. This will take you further down the path of owning and operating a successful home inspection service than you will ever know.