1 – Market Downturn
As the saying goes, what goes up, must come down. I am no expert by any means, but do you have a plan in the back of your head for WHEN this happens?
As we say with cast iron drain lines, it is not a matter of if they go bad, but when they go bad. That being said, you should consider a business nest egg, a course of action when the market slows, and… your downsizing options.
Think about a plan to get more market share during tough times. You may be able to avoid downsizing if you have a strong outline in place to receive more market share.
It’s unfortunate that not everyone can survive in this industry with a market downturn, but you can do your best to save your business through rough times.
2 – No Business Plan
You may be a home inspector, but you are also a business owner. With that, comes responsibilities outside the scope of your visual non-intrusive examination of each home you inspect.
Have you created a business plan for 2020 with clear SMART goals? (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time bound)
Here is a great article to get started on your business plan: Entrepreneur
Important items that should be in your business plan
- Marketing Strategy – How will you get more inspections.
- Financial Projections – How many more inspections do you want to do.
- Market Analysis – Where are you currently inspecting and where do you want to grow to.
- Why are you doing this?
- Business goals breakdown
Need help with a marketing plan? Here’s a step-by-step marketing outline:
- Who is your target market?
- What is your message to the target market?
- Which mediums will I use to reach my target market?
- How will I nurture potential leads? (online and with realtors)
- How will I deliver a world class experience?
- How will I increase my lifetime value with all past clients and realtors?
- How will this stimulate further referrals? (will I have a referral program?)
If you need more help with marketing, read this book!
3 – Don’t Know Your Numbers
One of the biggest mistakes in our industry is not outlining your numbers. In order to truly understand your business, you should know exactly the cost of a single home inspection and what is left over as profit.
Go as far as saying X amount goes into your marketing budget so you truly understand how quickly your expenses add up, where you can cut costs, and overall, how to be more cost efficient.
From a quick poll, about 67% of inspectors do not know their cost of each inspection.
4 – Rise of Multi-Inspectors
Large inspector firms are sweeping the state with their fancy budgets, marketing strategies, and their perfected business structures.
If you are a single inspector firm, you may have been disrupted by larger inspector firms taking control in your area. You may not want to fight back, or you are happy where you are. However, what is in store for you in 2020? Are you looking to retire or grow your business even more?
It may be wise to consider your options. You could sell off to a larger inspector firm for a fraction of what you want for your business, OR you may have to hit the ground running with marketing your business in order to retain the consumer base you currently have.
You can look into becoming affiliates to realtor organizations, expanding your presence online, or look into ancillary services like WDO inspections, radon testing, or mold testing to increase your bottom line.
Ultimately, multi-inspectors firms keep growing year over year. If you are a smaller firm, you should consider your long term strategy in the ever-changing home inspection market.
6 – Lack of Innovation
Big surprise! Millennials are buying homes and they are changing the way the real estate transaction functions.
Using realtor.com, zillow.com, more technology, more personalized services, new home buyers will change the way you will approach your inspection processes!
An article on Forbes, says exactly this. If you aren’t prepared for it, you definitely should be in 2020. Article on how millennials are revolutionizing the home buying process.
Here are some ways you can prepare:
The younger generations want instant gratification. Let’s give it to them.
- Allow users to text your office
- Use texting reminders
- Have online scheduling
- Email reminders
- Digital reporting
- Fast report turnaround time
- Answer your phone when it rings
- Be a problem solver, if your client has an insurance problem, help them.
- Show up online
- Support them after the inspection with easy chatting about their report
There are probably many ways you can modify your business to become more efficient!
Bonus: You just suck!
Plain and simple, your inspections suck. You are getting complained on, your reports scare realtors every time they see it, and ultimately your Yelp or Google reviews show just how bad your business truly is.
Perhaps you are known as the “deal-killer” in your area or the inspector that makes every situation seem worse than it really is.
If this is you, you need to re-evaluate what you are doing. Seek out a mentor in order to survive in the industry.
The Good News
The entire post does not have to be negative. The good news is you are actively reading an article to better your business in 2020. That’s a sign you are already preparing!
Do more for yourself! Set a business plan, create a marketing plan, and ask realtors, clients, and peers for feedback on how you can be better!
I’d love to hear your feedback on this article. Comment below to be heard!
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