potential for doing so. Asking yourself the following questions could help you determine if you’re ready to succeed.
- Do you have experience in the construction industry?
- Do you have the education needed?
- Do you have the personality – social skills?
- Do you have the ability to communicate well?
- Do you look like an inspector – acceptable appearance?
- Do you have the needed software, tools and equipment?
- Do you have the resources – codes, e-mail, Web site, etc?
- Are you computer literate?
- Are you licensed if required in your state?
- Are you keeping up with current changes in the industry?
- Do you know what sets you apart from your competition?
- Do you know what your competition is doing or providing?
Assuming that the answer to most of these questions is yes, you’re ready to use those assets to grow your business by adding clients.
I know of only three ways to add clients:
- Cold calling – if you are lucky, you will find a new client for one in every 100 cold calls you make.
- Advertising – usually very expensive, with a little more success than cold calling.
- Networking – This is the number one way to grow your business!
Some of the most successful ways to network are to join organizations where you will meet people who may use your service or refer you to someone needing your service. Some suggestions are local realty groups, the chamber of commerce and the big one—professional networking groups.
An example of a professional networking group is PowerCore, (www.powercore.net) in Atlanta, Georgia. The approximately 30 member teams meet once a week with the sole purpose of providing referrals to each other and opening doors to their contacts.
The cost is small compared to advertising (about $ 400 dollars a year) and it can pay back in huge dividends. There is one real estate agent, one home inspector, one building contractor, one business attorney, one Web designer, one banker, one HVAC contractor, etc. on each team and 20-30 teams around Atlanta.
Good luck networking your way into more clients and more dollars for your effort.<
Editor's Note: The ASHI Ethics Committee was recently asked for an interpretation of the ASHI Code of Ethics regarding “Tip Clubs.” It advised that in and of itself, belonging to a tip club is not a violation. However, if recommending or receiving referrals is dependent on reciprocal referrals, they may represent a form of payment or compensation. It is a violation of the Code to accept compensation for recommending contractors or services to our clients, or to pay compensation for receiving referrals from realty agents. Therefore, the inspector should be cautious about the potential for a conflict of interest to arise, and should ensure that the interest of the client is not compromised when making or receiving such referrals.