What does your business do?
I inspect homes for clients including from home buyers, home sellers, and real estate investors. I personally write all the narrative reports I provide these clients. I also conduct radon testing, mold testing, and energy assessments upon request. The homes I evaluate range widely in age, composition, and condition.
When and why did you start the biz?
I began this most recent entrepreneurial trip in April 2016 (this year) after 13 years operating a construction business. I decided to move my experience in construction services onto my resume, and to use my skill set in helping people evaluate the condition of the homes they either own or want to buy. Having already done this for multiple construction clients, I knew that I enjoyed the evaluation and planning part of construction more than implementing the build-out
How Many People are in your Company?
Where's your office?
Although my personal office is home-based, I have always considered it to be rather mobile. It began in my wife's office, but was quickly moved when my "clutter" disrupted her own work flow. It ranged through the kitchen and living room, and has now settled in our daughters' now-abandoned bedroom. This provides a great, 2nd story view of the street life and our front yard. I use a small desk and side table to keep my work center limited to an area within reach.
What's the toughest part of running your biz?
I was genuinely surprised at how sophisticated the home inspection industry has become. We offer a wide range of services, and seem to be expanding them yearly. My biggest challenge is how to change my business vocabulary to match that of a home inspector rather than that of a remodeler/builder.
We look at the same building components and use similar terminology, but our business focus is much different. Our manner of communication definitely reflects this fact.
What's the most fun part?
I have always liked the architecture and structure of homes. Home inspection allows me to see a great variety of styles, components, and sometimes unique approaches which make up a home's basic function - to provide shelter. It never gets boring.
Anything you would have done differently?
I had considered home inspection a number of years back, but had not pursued the idea. If I had a second chance, I would have added the service as a sideline to my construction business years ago. I probably would have completed the transition much sooner.
What's next on the horizon for your biz?
I have applied for approval as both a FHA compliance inspector and a HUD 203(k) loan consultant. These roles will supplement my home inspection business while allowing me to maintain some involvement in active construction projects. Once approved, I'll have another marketing audience to address.
What advice do you have for others?
Don't jump the gun on starting your endeavor. Write out your business plan, think it through thoroughly, and have a capable person critique it honestly.
If you have software or tools you'll need to use proficiently... practice, practice, practice... before you use them in an attempt to generate revenue.
How do you use Idea Cafe to help your biz?
I am always on the prowl for two things - marketing ideas I can effectively apply to my industry, and better ways to network with my competitors to improve our industry.
Idea Cafe will likely provide me plenty of ideas, but I'll be the one who will have to make them work for my own business. New ways to use established tactics will likely be the key to my future successes.
School (where, still in school, degree)?
B.A. in Human Resources Administration, Concordia University of Ann Arbor
Prior jobs or business?
13 years as owner of a residential and commercial remodeling company. 3 years as carpenter/crew leader in a commercial construction company. 7 years in human resources administration and services. 6 years in financial services.
What are your pets' names?
Buck, Doe 1, and Doe 2
Do any of these pets help with your biz?
Not at all. They mostly just stare at me, eat, and make little ones. However, they do a good job of keeping out of my way when its time for me to work.
Is there any one person or event in your life that led
you to go into business for yourself?
My father started his own business when I was just out of diapers. Without so much as a word, his efforts inspired me to find my own road to entrepreneurial success.
Anyone you publicly want to thank?
Actually, I do want to thank all the fine folks who create and support sites like this one which allow start-up businesses to engage each other and get the word out about their services and products.
248 N Main St NE
Rockford, MI 49341