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Thread: Business Help

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Austin, TX
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    60

    Default Business Help

    Since I started doing Home Inspections about 10 yrs ago I have been strictly a one man show. My wife has recently "retired" and has been asking me how she can help me in my business. I'd love the help but I just can't seem to figure out what she can do. Other than answering my phone and trying to book my inspections for me. But, most of the time I have to do that myself as a good portion of calls have to deal with "inspection detailed" info which she cannot answer.

    Anyone else out there have their wife or kids helping with the business? How can I get her significantly involved in the home business? I'm at a loss here, or maybe I'm just too much of a control freak? I'd really like to free up some of my time by having an "assistant", I just don't know how, or what, to delegate to a non-licensed person.

    Any husband - wife teams out there that can provide some insight would be greatly appreciated. Anyone have an "assistant"? What do you delegate?

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    Last edited by Ken Larson; 05-06-2009 at 09:01 PM. Reason: spelling
    Inspection Referral SOC
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Plano, Texas
    Posts
    4,170

    Default Re: Business Help

    Unless you have more business than you can handle, have her be in charge of marketing. If I had someone to do marketing and book keeping, I would be a happy camper since I suck at both those tasks.
    If my wife was free for that task, she would be a great fit, never met a stranger, outgoing, extrovert; the exact opposite of my personality. I am exhausted at the thought of attending social functions while she is energized by the whole concept.
    Look at her strengths and capitalize on them.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Rockwall Texas
    Posts
    4,519

    Default Re: Business Help

    My wife occasionally will ride with me on a Saturday job. She usually jots down all my notes as I go through the home. Saves me a ton of time.

    Sometimes she'll yak with the buyer or seller and keep them off my heels. Again saves me a ton of time.

    Now if I could only teach her how to translate those notes onto the HI report, I would hire her full time.

    Years ago when I first started my Pest / Termite business, she used to take my calls and book the appointments for me. That only lasted for about a week. She would have me scattered all over the Dallas metroplex and not think about the drive time involved between the jobs.

    I've always heard, the best way to ruin a good marriage is to work with one another.

    Rick


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Richmond, VA
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    32

    Default Re: Business Help

    My daughter worked with me one summer between semesters. We both wore wireless headsets. She would set up the computer in the kitchen and I would be outside, in the crawlspace, up on the roof, etc. I create a narrative style report with maybe 30 pictures, so I would dictate my comments to her along with the picture numbers.

    By the time I finished my inspection, she had everything typed in the report in the correct location. While I went over the findings with my clients, she inserted the pictures in the report.

    I still did not give the report on site, as I wanted to review everything. But back in the office that night, I only needed 10 minutes or so to complete the report and do a summary before posting it to my website.

    I LOVED the system. My clients also loved the system. It made life really easy for me and I could fully concentrate on doing the inspection. I never had to stop to record any information or findings, so the time on site was also reduced.

    If your wife can type, I highly recommend this way of having her participate. My daughter and I had a blast together and we still joke about some of the inspections and the way I word my reports.


  5. #5
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
    A.D. Miller Guest

    Default Re: Business Help

    If my wife was free for that task, she would be a great fit, never met a stranger, outgoing, extrovert; the exact opposite of my personality. I am exhausted at the thought of attending social functions while she is energized by the whole concept.
    JL: Amen.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    2,365

    Default Re: Business Help

    The mail is my biggest challenge. Back when this was actually a functioning industry we had an office and a person answering the phone and doing all the paperwork.

    Since she's gone I don't really mind doing the phone. I actually kind of like being able to answer all the questions and schedule the jobs. I really struggle with all the paperwork. Just having someone physically go pick up the mail and deal with it would be great. Fill out the license renewal forms, the insurance audit forms, pull out the bills and write the checks and just stuff like that. I sometimes bring home a stack of mail and let it sit for several days because I just hate dealing with it. Of course, then it all has to be filed.

    Also, marketing would be great to have some help with, too. Stuffing envelopes gets old after awhile.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Plano, Texas
    Posts
    4,170

    Default Re: Business Help

    For those of us needing help that don't have a bunch of time or money to hire support staff, consider using a Virtual Assistant. They can do the mundane things like mailings, etc.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  8. #8
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Business Help

    I had a woman help me for a few months off and on a few years ago. Kinda like the father daughter thing noted above. I tried to make it work but she just could never catch on. She would be at the computer and trying to put things where they belonged but again she just could not grasp it.

    Hm, she sure was good looking though. Sometimes a bit of a distraction I sure tried hard to make it work


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    2,445

    Default Re: Business Help

    My wife has been involved in our business for the last 15 or so years. She manages the office, answers the phones, does marketing, radon, and schedules the work. One of the biggest benefits is I don't have to carry a cell phone and answer business calls during inspections.

    She has been to probably more ASHI conventions than a lot of home inspectors, AND sat in the continuing education sessions. While she may not be able to answer some very specific questions, i'm sure she knows more than some new guys in business. After all, she has had to listen to me, and look at the photos from thousands of inspections over the years.

    Reading Matt's post about the mail has me wondering just how much mail you are getting. I just don't get that much.

    It works for us.


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    2,365

    Default Re: Business Help

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Feldmann View Post

    Reading Matt's post about the mail has me wondering just how much mail you are getting. I just don't get that much.

    I'm thinking I must just be lazy

    Not sure if you're a one man company or multi-inspector. We're an S-Corp and have employees and such. That adds a HUGE amount of 'stuff'. Payroll, workers comp, more tax forms, more invoices and payments coming and going, folders from employees coming in, etc, etc, etc.

    And, there is some truth to my initial 'lazy' statement. Sometimes I'd like to just be an employee - go to a house, inspect it, come home write a report and be done.


  11. #11
    Ron Bibler's Avatar
    Ron Bibler Guest

    Default Re: Business Help

    I try to get my wife to do all the sub-area inspections for me.

    Best

    Ron


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