“Always have more than one way out before you start anything.”
I was at a small bar just outside of the Navy Base where the Navy SEAL Teams train with a friend of mine Rob O’Neil, who also just happens to be the Navy SEAL who killed Bin Laden. It’s smaller than just a small bar. The few times we were in there when they had a “band”, it was like packing sardines in a can. We were sitting down at a table off the side of the bar, probably drinking vodka with another drink that doesn’t endorse Rob so I’ll not say it 🙂 and I honestly don’t remember how the conversation got there but it did.
It’s one of the few conversations I can still remember in detail. Now, a small disclaimer, this was when we were younger so we went to the bar a lot so there are nights that weren’t clear the next day, please don’t hold that against me.
Now, to the conversation, I had just lit a cigar and Rob leaned forward jolting me a bit and with a stern and semi-loud presence to ask “WHAT ARE YOUR TWO EXITS? DON’T THINK! WE HAVE TO GET OUT IN 10 SECONDS AND THE FRONT DOOR IS A NO-GO.”
(OK It may have been worded differently with some added words but you get the idea.)
He then proceeded to hound me for the next 15-20 minutes about the importance of always knowing at least two different exits before you enter a situation.
I kind of shrugged it off like “Yeah, that makes sense” but then he just kept going, and honestly I always took it as the “military mind” and being on the offensive but it is, in my opinion, another “golden rule” we should all follow and do so in LIFE.
But for now, we’re going to cover the different “EXITS” for home inspectors. The reason why we’re going to do this first, before we even come up with a name, is because if your plan is to sell the business when you retire, they may not want to keep your last name associated with the business making the brand less valuable to the buyer.
Before we get into the details, let’s look at the different options.
Long Term Goals For Home Inspectors (Options For The EXIT)
1. Never Quit & Inspect For LIFE
2. Build Into A Multi-Inspector Firm
3. Selling The Business
4. Just CLOSE THE DOORS
Let’s go back and start to dig into the different exits.
Never Quit & Inspect For Life
As much as you may love inspecting, unfortunately, it’s not something you can truly do FOREVER. So just “riding it until the wheels fall off” isn’t the best option. Not for you, or your family.
Build Into A Multi-Inspector Firm
This option allows you to transition out of the business and hopefully allows you to exit with a residual income. Of course, it is a lot of work and will not be easy. The exit can only happen after you’ve built a brand that other inspectors want to work for & you hire a brand-driven “manager” to replace you.
The good news about going this route is you can grow into this type of brand over time. It doesn’t have to happen overnight and with a good long-term strategy, it is very doable.
Selling The Business
Ultimately, this would be the dream exit for a lot of you. Get another quality home inspector to buy the business & brand from you outright. The good part about this is you don’t have to build out a multi-inspector firm. You just have to build a quality brand and client database. But when you do, don’t forget to put a value on not just the tools and gear that they’re buying, but also your client database, website, marketing materials, processes and anything else that makes your brand what it is.
If you do plan on selling your business you want to make sure everything is transferrable. This will include your email, phone number, and everything else you have for your business.
Side Note: This is going to be easy to do with most things but it is best to have a phone number that can be transferred without number portability and having to get the phone companies involved. The best way you can do this is by using a platform like Google Voice for your business phone number. Don’t worry we’ll cover this in later training.
Closing The Doors
Let’s be honest, this is another option that is only here because technically it is an option. But we all know this isn’t something you’d ever focus on doing.
So as you can see, there are different ways you are getting out when you want to retire.
Aside from closing the doors, or just inspecting for the rest of your life, as you remove yourself from the equation, the brand needs to be able to stand on its own.
Meaning, if I had “Hallock’s Home Inspection” it’s not really “Hallock’s” if I’m not with the business.
Not to mention, another negative side of having your actual name attached to your business name is when you can’t control it. You put your name, blood, sweat, and tears into building your brand and your business only to have the new owners ruin YOUR NAME in the industry.
I’m not saying that it will happen. It’s likely that it won’t. But, should it happen, it’s better to have a buffer on your actual name.
What’s Your Exit?
Now that we’ve covered that side of things, I also want to touch a bit on your “Brand Identity” for a second.
While you can be the “Face” of your business, you should also focus on keeping the logo of your business just as present. This will make it easier to slowly transition to just the logo as the “Face” of the brand.
We will be covering more on this later so don’t worry about it too much now, but I just wanted to make you aware of the visuals as well as the name and other things when you think about your exits.
I hope this has been helpful, if you have any questions you can always contact me via Instagram DM @inspectorbranding
The next part of The Home Inspector Marketing Challenge is Understanding What A Brand Is | Home Inspector Branding Guide
Be Great & Stay Boosted! I’ll see you at the top!