Category Archives: Home Businesses

FranchiseRankings.com Names NPI/GPI a Top Home-based Franchise

Dual LogosNational Property Inspections, Inc., parent company of National Property Inspections in the United States and Global Property Inspections in Canada, is proud to announce that it has been named a top 10 Home Based Franchise by FranchiseRankings.com. National Property Inspections, Inc., was the only property inspection franchise included on the list, an honor that makes it stand out among its competitors.

“It is fantastic to be named on a top 10 list by a well-known organization,” said Roland Bates, president of National Property Inspections, Inc. “I think the fact that we were included on this list, and that we are No. 4 really says something great about our company. We have worked hard to bring on the best franchisees and to help them build successful businesses. We are always looking for ways to improve, and I think our drive to be the best is one of the things that makes us shine.”

The FranchiseRankings.com Top Home Based Franchises are chosen based on their performance in five key areas:

  1. Growth prospect
  2. Marketing support
  3. Training
  4. Ongoing support
  5. Value

“The recovery of the real estate market has created tremendous opportunity in the property inspection business,” said Bill Erickson, EVP of sales and marketing at National Property Inspections, Inc. “Last year, we saw our franchisees do more business than ever before, and this year is off to a great start. I think our focus on what we can do for our franchise owners and our belief that we should earn our royalties make us a company they want to work with.”

In addition to its ranking as a top franchise, National Property Inspections, Inc., is proud to be a top-ranked franchise based on franchisee satisfaction. In an independent franchisee satisfaction survey conducted by Franchise Business Review, NPI scored 4.1 out of 5.0 stars, demonstrating high franchisee satisfaction and outperforming others in its industry. To access the most recent NPI/GPI franchisee satisfaction report, go to http://report.franchisebusinessreview.com/?m=JITjWol.

To learn more about NPI/GPI franchise opportunities, visit www.npifranchise.com in the United States or www.gpifranchise.com in Canada. To access the FranchiseRankings.com Top Home Based Franchises list, visit http://www.franchiserankings.com/reviews-and-ratings-of-best-home-based-franchises.

Self-employment Tax Mistakes

RE0025Some business owners attempt to save money by preparing their own taxes. In the end, they actually may pay more in taxes than are necessary, or they may underpay, which could result in losing hundreds or thousands of dollars.

According to an article published by Tyler Martin, CPA, here’s a list of things business owners commonly forget on their taxes:

Deduct Advertising and Promotion Costs. This includes media, Internet and any other advertising that promotes your business. It would also include novelty items or promotional gifts, such as coffee cups, t-shirts and pens with your company name or logo on them.

Deduct Dues and Subscriptions. This includes magazines and periodicals that are necessary for your business, as well as membership fees paid to any business-related organization.

Deduct Licenses and Permits. If your city requires a business license, make sure to deduct the cost of it.

Deduct Business-related Internet Costs. If you use the Internet for your business or have a website, then there is a good chance some or all of your Internet bill is deductible.

Deduct Business-related Cellular and Telephone Expenses. Calls or lines for business purposes are all deductible.

Deduct Office Supplies. Office supplies used for your business are deductible.

Deduct Business-related Meals and Entertainment. Do you take clients out to lunch or dinner to discuss business? If so, 50 percent of these costs is deductible.

Deduct Business-related Travel. Whether it’s airfare and hotel costs to attend a trade show or the cost of gas to drive to training or an industry event, you can deduct these expenses.

Deduct Business-related Auto Expenses. There are couple of ways you can deduct auto expenses, such as tracking your mileage or deducting the cost of a vehicle dedicated solely to your business. It’s best to consult a tax expert to determine how much you should deduct.

Deduct Business-related Electronic Equipment. Computers, printers and smartphones used for business are partially or fully deductible.

Deduct Outside Services. Costs related to your business, such as tax and accounting help, are typically deductible.

Pay Self-employment Tax. If you are a newly self-employed person, you may not be aware that you will be responsible for a new tax: self-employment tax. It can add to your tax bill quickly, so make sure you understand how the tax is computed and plan your cash flow accordingly.

Pay Payroll Taxes: If you operate your business solo as owner and operator, then you may have yet to face the complications of payroll taxes. As your business grows and prospers, you may need to hire employees. Payroll taxes can be complicated due to compliance policies and deadlines. Inaccurately paid payroll taxes can, in fact, cause businesses to go “belly up,” according to Jessie Seaman, a licensed tax professional and senior staff associate at Tax Defense Network.

Some of the stress and pressures of calculating or miscalculating taxes that are due can be relieved by outsourcing to a tax professional. The fees incurred to hire a licensed tax professional are relatively cheap in comparison to the potential expenses paid by the business for improperly prepared tax returns.

In addition to considering hiring a professional, it is crucial to keep good records throughout the year, and you can pay taxes quarterly to stay on task. If you are not keeping up with expenses and receipts and/or avoiding deadlines, it will be very difficult to try to accurately run down all documentation and figures that are required in order to file your taxes.

NPI/GPI Launches Automated Marketing Solution for Franchise Owners

Hub LogoNational Property Inspections, Inc., parent company of National Property Inspections in the United States and Global Property Inspections in Canada, is pleased to announce the launch of an integrated, automated suite of marketing tools that will help franchise owners market their businesses more efficiently and effectively. Branded as NPI Hub and GPI Hub, the platform is offered to all franchisees at no cost.

To develop the Hub solution, National Property Inspections, Inc., partnered with RenMind, a marketing software and service company based in Omaha, Nebraska. The NPI/GPI Hub is based on the RenMind Wire solution, which is a digital marketing platform. As RenMind builds out the features of RenMind Wire, it will build new features into the Hub solutions for NPI and GPI franchisees.

“RenMind designed Wire to specifically fit the needs of franchises like NPI,” said Luke Armstrong, founder and strategic director of RenMind. “Our growing suite of Web-based marketing tools is designed to be simple to use but powerful enough to replace the need for more complex marketing automation services.”

The first phase of the Hub solution launched on Jan. 16 and provides an email system that allows users to manage contacts, schedule and send emails to their entire contact list, email branded newsletters and fliers, and more. Other phases of RenMind Wire and NPI/GPI Hub will include new ways to promote and publish content, get customer feedback, streamline the sales process, and collect payments.

“Many of our franchise owners have come to a point where they are ready for more sophisticated marketing tools,” said Roland Bates, president of National Property Inspections, Inc. “We approached RenMind to help us design an automated solution that we could build out, and they started working on the NPI/GPI Hub. The Hub will allow franchise owners to use an integrated solution for multiple areas of their marketing. We have heavily invested in the development of the Hub, and we are excited to offer it to all franchisees at no cost. We are the only franchisor in our class that is doing something like this for our franchisees, and we really think it’s something special for them.”

Throughout 2016, RenMind will develop the next phases of the NPI Hub and GPI Hub. A new app for payment collection with contract management is slated to launch second quarter, and an integrated website management tool is projected to be ready in late 2016.

If you’re ready to make your dream of owning a home and commercial property inspection business come true, National Property Inspections in the United States and Global Property Inspections in Canada have franchise opportunities available in your area. Contact Julie Erickson at 1.800.333.9807, Ext. 24, for information about our franchise opportunities.

Strong Real Estate Market Means Increased Business for Property Inspectors

Home for Sale SignAs you may have guessed, the real estate market affects the home inspection industry, and it’s been good news for both fields as recent economic information shows an uptick in the housing market. July had the highest rates for new-home construction in the past eight years. Furthermore, interest rates remain low, and the job market continues to improve, according to the Cape Cod Times. In addition,

  • Home builders are feeling more confident, as new-single family homes rose to the highest levels since November 2005.
  • Single-family gains have pushed housing starts to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 782,000 units. The new-home market appears to be inching forward at a slow but steady rate so far this year, and the outlook remains positive through 2017.
  • Existing home sales are also on an upward trend and are higher than they have been since February 2007. Sales rose in June at a seasonally adjusted rate to 5.59 million.
  • Commercial real estate showed a 30 percent increase in the second quarter this year.

While lower interest rates have many home owners refinancing through different types of programs, the inspection field has blossomed. The aspiring real estate market statistics represent a time of enormous growth potential and prosperity for home inspectors.

Now is the time to prepare for upward trends in home construction and sales. Home inspectors should stay motivated and continue to work diligently as the market continues to rebound. Obtaining specialty certifications for mold inspections and testing, wood-destroying organism (WDO) testing, thermal imaging, and four-point inspections are among several add-on services that can lead to increased revenue for home inspectors.

This is also a great time to market your property inspection business and take advantage of any networking opportunities that may arise. Connect with Realtors and bank and mortgage companies that may use your services. Deliver yourself in a professional manner and keep in touch with them — you want them to remember you by name. Make a positive and lasting impression so that when they need to refer a property inspector to their clients, they know you are the inspector for the job.  After that, deliver service to your clients, and your will continue to receive referrals.

Are you interested in starting your own home and commercial property inspection business? National Property Inspections in the United States and Global Property Inspections in Canada have franchise opportunities in your area. For more information, visit our website and complete the Next Step form.

Now Is the Time to Start Your Home Inspection Business

Inspector + Realtor or client38When you think of starting your own business, your first thought may be that the economy isn’t right. Or, you may question why you would leave your current job to go off and start your own business. There are several reasons why now is the right time for starting your own business. In fact, a recent article in Entrepreneur Magazine addressed 3 reasons why now is the time to start your own business:

  1. Improved technology. Less expensive, better technology has enabled the rise of small-business owners by dropping barriers to entry, speeding distribution channels and reducing overhead.
  2. Better access to credit and loans. Small-business lending is still down 20 percent compared to levels before the recession, but lending is improving due to factors like crowdfunding, alternative lenders and expanded access to U.S.-backed loan guarantees.
  3. The economy is rebounding. Unemployment rates are decreasing, interest rates are low and stocks have hit higher records.

Other reasons to think about starting your own business include personal convenience and your own well-being. Corporate America involves car pools, traffic jams, traffic violations, parking struggles and time clocks — not to mention that corporations are demanding more work from fewer people these days. Workers can feel overwhelmed at times. Simply lives robotically, with daily redundancy every week day and possibly some weekends, can become exhausting. Family functions and important events with the kids may be impossible to attend. Sometimes, when you are lucky, you get to show up late for these irreplaceable moments in life.

If you operate your own business, you can arrange to work from home at least part of the time, and you’ll set your own schedule. You can attend family events and functions and keep both your family and yourself happy. Why not work to make yourself prosper and watch your family grow while remaining an active part of their lives?

If you eliminate the hectic daily life of Corporate America, and spend more time with your family building your own destiny, you could become a happier person. Happier people can live longer lives. Stress itself can be detrimental to your health and in turn cause a shorter life span. At the very least, stress can cause aches and pains that lead to discomfort or the need for medications.

Health, happiness, finances and convenience all are reasons you should consider starting your own business. If you are looking for a challenging, exciting business opportunity in a field that is rewarding and recession-resistant, we invite you to explore opportunities in the home and commercial building inspection industry with National Property Inspections in the United States and Global Property Inspections in Canada.

What’s the Market for a Home Inspection Business?

Inspector + Cabinet2If you’re interested in starting a property inspection business, you’re undoubtedly curious about the market for home and commercial building inspections. The past year’s recovery of the housing market and its current stability are positive signs for the inspection business. But, according to an article posted by the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), the market for home inspections speaks for itself:

  • The majority of home buyers (77 percent) order a home inspection prior to purchasing a home. Among these:
    • 81 percent had a contingency for the inspection in the contract.
    • 79 percent attended and participated in the home inspection.
    • 97 percent believe the home inspection was a good value for the price they paid.

Furthermore, the 2014 year-end sales results provided by National Association of REALTORS®  revealed that 4,940,000 existing homes were sold, and according to the U.S. Census Bureau, 437,000 newly constructed homes were sold. At an average cost of $300 per home inspection, there’s plenty of money to be earned in the business.

In addition to inspections, home inspectors often obtain certification to provide specialty services outside basic home inspections: Mold inspection and testing, thermal imaging, radon testing, and wood-destroying organism inspections are among the most common additional services that inspectors offer. By providing these and other specialty services, home inspectors increase their earning potential and their sales.

Now is a great time to start a home inspection business. You’ll be your own boss, set your own schedule, and enjoy a challenging and rewarding career. And, when you become a franchise owner with National Property Inspections or Global Property Inspections, you’ll receive additional training so you can further diversify your business by offering commercial building inspections.

Learn more about franchise opportunities with NPI and GPI by contacting Julie Erickson at julie.erickson@npiweb.com or 800.333.9807, Ext. 24.

Learn How to Start Your Own Home Inspection Business

Inspector + ACIf you’re frustrated with the corporate grind, tired of working for someone else or ready to put your entrepreneurial spirit to work, then you may be thinking of starting your own business. If you already know what business you want to go into, then you’re lucky. For many others who are searching for business ideas or for a second career, home and commercial property inspection offers a challenging, exciting and lucrative opportunity.

Property inspection is a career field with a bright future. Eight out of 10 home buyers order a home inspection. Also consider the following outlook for the housing and commercial property industries:

  • The real estate industry is expected to remain on a sustainable course of solid growth for 2015 through 2017. (Urban Land Institute, April 2015)
  • According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), home builders’ confidence in the housing market jumped five points in June 2015, as their sales outlook improved to its highest level since 2005.
  • In the largest 100 housing markets in the United States, it’s still cheaper to own than rent, by 38% nationally. (Trulia, June 2015)
  • “The pending home sales report added to robust building permits, housing starts, new-home sales and home resales data in painting a bullish picture of the housing market.” (The New York Times, June 2015)
  • Existing home sales increased 5.1 percent in June 2015 to an annual rate of 5.35 million units — the highest level since November 2009. This year’s home sales are on track for the strongest gain since 2007. (National Association of Realtors)
  • The commercial real estate market should continue its upswing. Vacancy rates for offices, industrial markets and retail markets are all expected to decline. (National Association of Realtors, June 2015)
  • An influx in new apartment construction is forecast to cause an uptick in the multifamily vacancy rate. (National Association of Realtors, June 2015.

On Wednesday, Aug. 12, National Property Inspections, Inc., will hold its first-ever webinar for entrepreneurs interested in starting a property inspection business. Click here for more information and to register for the webinar.

Presented by Roland Bates, president of National Property Inspections, Inc., and Julie Erickson, director of franchise sales for NPI/GPI, the webinar will cover topics including services performed by property inspectors; skills, background and training for property inspectors; starting an inspection business; and more.

How to Get Trained as a Home Inspector

Inspector Team + ACTo become a home inspector, you’ll need training, and you may need to become licensed, registered or certified in your state. An online search will turn up many home inspector correspondence and self-study courses that you can purchase. Online training is also available, and fees vary. Many home inspection trade groups also offer training for a fee and a commitment to join their group.

You’ll also find independent home inspector schools, usually offering a two- to three-week classroom program at the school’s facility. Sometimes the itinerary is one night a week for several months, or weekends for a shorter period. Trade groups or independent schools also may help set up any ride-along or field training you will need.

When evaluating your options for home inspector training, consider this: Tens of thousands of people have been trained as home inspectors via correspondence courses, online training and independent home inspector schools. Most, however, never started a home inspection business, or they were unsuccessful in owning their businesses. One way to greatly increase your chances of success is to choose a home inspection franchise.

A home inspection franchise has many benefits over starting your business independently. Consider that most franchise businesses succeed, whereas most independent businesses do not. With a franchise, you’ll receive the equipment, training, and proven business and marketing plans you need for success. You’ll also have ongoing technical and marketing support, as well as a national company on your side.

If you’re interested in pursuing a career in home inspection, then consider a National Property Inspections or Global Property Inspections franchise. NPI/GPI will teach you the business of property inspection — from the technical aspects of inspecting a property and writing the report to the sales and marketing skills that will help your business succeed and rise among the competitors. For more information, visit www.npifranchise.com in the United States or www.gpifranchise.com in Canada.

What’s It Like to Be a Home Inspector?

Inspector + water heater5So, you’re interested in becoming a home inspector and wondering what the job is like? When you become a home inspector, you’ll spend your days on a variety activities, such as performing home inspections, writing inspection reports, interacting with real estate agents and clients, and marketing your business. You’ll also probably go to real estate expos and host a booth or table, hold agent continuing education classes, and join a business networking group or other local organization.

Your home inspection business will be a home-based and mobile venture. You’ll need a home office where you can write reports and take care of business tasks, but you’ll be on the road most days, driving to and from inspections.

Home inspection is a physical job. You’ll climb into attics, crawl into crawl spaces and climb on a ladder to perform roof inspections. You’ll also be on your feet during inspections, which will take up most of your day.

Does home inspection sound like a challenging, exciting opportunity for your next career? National Property Inspections and Global Property Inspections have been helping their home inspector franchise owners start and operate successful inspection businesses for nearly 30 years. Let us put you on the right track to becoming a successful home and commercial property inspector. Visit www.npifranchise.com in the United States and www.gpifranchise.com in Canada.

Your Guide to Owning a Low-cost Home-based or Mobile Business

Family + House_shutterstock_59577916If you have an entrepreneurial spirit and a little cash in the bank, then starting your own business may be an excellent opportunity. Going into business for yourself means that you’ll have a flexible schedule, become your own boss and be able to include family members in your business. Making a profit is important, of course, but so is lifestyle and freedom. Owning your own business can give you the best of both worlds.

You’ll find plenty of opportunities to start a low-cost business for $50,000 or less — you just have to find your niche. When you’re considering low-cost businesses, also consider starting a home-based or mobile business, which eliminates the need for costly overhead, such as a store, office or warehouse.

Low-cost Business Opportunities
If you have a degree or skill in a field that you enjoy, then you probably already have an idea for starting your own low-cost business. For example, if you’re a certified public accountant (CPA), you can start your own accounting or bookkeeping business. In fact, there are plenty of possibilities for building a business based on your current job or skills:

  • Consulting
  • Jewelry design
  • Freelancing
  • Hobby business
  • Direct sales
  • Pet care/sitting
  • Child or elder care
  • Remodeling contractor
  • House and commercial building cleaning
  • Photography

The opportunities are endless, and you already have the skills necessary. All you need is the capital to get your business started.

Maybe you’re unhappy in your current career or field, and you’re looking to try something completely new. In that case, a low-cost franchise opportunity might be ideal for you.

With a franchise, the franchisor will provide the necessary training, as well as tested and proven business, sales and marketing models. They’ve done hard work for you, and you can count on the success of their business models — you just have to follow the plan.

If you want to enter an industry that requires certification or licensing, then your franchisor’s training program is most likely approved. This can help you change careers faster, and your franchisor can help you with certification. Furthermore, your training will be included in the initial franchise fee.

Stay at Home or Take Your Business on the Road
When you start a small business of your own, you can choose to either work from home, have a mobile business, or be a blend of both. For example, if you’re a photographer, you’ll probably need a studio in your home, but you’ll also go on photo shoots around your city. Eliminating the cost of a brick-and-mortar store or office will save a lot of money on business overhead.

Interested in a great franchise opportunity? National Property Inspections and Global Property Inspections train franchise owners in the business of home and commercial property inspections. Click here for more information about franchising with NPI in the United States, or click here for information about franchising with GPI in Canada.