Tag Archives: Entrepreneur

Why Every Business Owner Needs a Mentor

By Roland Bates, President, NPI/GPI

Mentoring_shutterstock_189356114Several years ago, I read a white paper that said that about 70 percent of the decisions a business owner makes ultimately prove to be wrong. (That 70 percent is the number in the report; that is not a typo.) That’s a lot of zigzagging to get from Point A to Point B.

Imagine how much more successful business owners could be and how much faster they could grow their businesses if they reduced their errors to just 35 percent. Suffice it to say, reducing mistakes or eliminating some of the trial and error can make a huge difference.

For this reason, all new business owners should seek out at least one mentor. A mentor does not have the emotional attachment to the business that a new business owner likely has; thus, he or she can look at your business objectively. A mentor also has experience and can advise you away from making certain mistakes. A mentor who is truly interested in helping you will go out of their way to do so. Sometimes the introductions a mentor can make for you so you can expand your network are more than enough reason to seek them out.

Our role at National Property Inspections, Inc., is that of a mentor to our franchise owners, although we also encourage our franchisees to seek out one or more mentors where they live. As a franchisor, we have a proven business model, and we can help advise franchise owners on what works and what doesn’t so they can avoid so much trial and error as they start their businesses.

With that said, and as an aside, wouldn’t it be great if teenagers would listen to Mom and Dad’s advice and mentoring? Oh, well, we can dream, can’t we?

Roland PhotoRoland Bates’ high energy, willingness to work hard and optimistic outlook are the cornerstones of success for NPI and GPI. His easy manner and family attitude inspire a friendly and close atmosphere at the company. Before he founded NPI/GPI in 1987, Roland owned a general contracting company, where he worked for eight years as a general contractor. Prior to that, he spent five years as a property claims supervisor and regional claims manager.

To learn more about an NPI or GPI franchise opportunity in your area, click one of the links below:

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.

Practical Business Tips for Entrepreneurs

RE0025It’s not easy starting and operating your own business. You have the big things to plan for and worry about — business and marketing plans, legal services, accounting and more — but you can’t let the small stuff escape under the radar, either. Here, we offer some easy tips for entrepreneurs.

Operate your business with honesty, integrity and professionalism. There’s a reason that NPI/GPI uses these three words as our motto, and it’s that they are critical in doing good business and making a good name for yourself. Treat everyone — your customers, your vendors, your employees — fairly and honestly.

Develop an elevator pitch. This is a brief “in-a-nutshell” description of your business and services or products. Basically, it’s what you’d say if someone in elevator asked you what your business is and they were getting off the elevator in a couple of floors.

Diversify. If you get 50 percent or more of your business from a single source or channel, then start seeking out more sources and channels in order to grow your business. Don’t become dependent on only one or two resources.

Seek out repeat customers. It’s easier and more cost-effective to win repeat business from your customers or contacts than to continually be trying to make relationships with new customers. Treat your clients well so they’ll continue to do business with you and become loyal, long-term customers.

Make it easy for customers to pay you. These days, payments are all about debit and credit cards, so make sure you accept plastic. If you’re on the go with your business, you can get a mobile card reader from a company like Square or PayPal.

Build a database of your clients. Use this to periodically reach out to them via mail or email with special offers, reminders or newsletters. Contact your best customers and referral sources every couple of months.

If you work from a home office, set office hours. You can’t work 24×7, so be sure to make time for family, friends and yourself.

7 Essential Traits of a Successful Entrepreneur

RE0027You’re interested in starting your own business, but you’re wondering if you have what it takes. You may be inspired by a creative genius like Steve Jobs or a tough-as-nails businessman like Bill Gates, but it’s not necessary to be either to become a great entrepreneur. In fact, it might surprise you to know that it’s generally not the workaholics or straight-A students who make the best entrepreneurs, and you don’t necessarily have to be an extrovert. The best entrepreneurs do, however, share some basic characteristics.

Entrepreneur Magazine’s article “The 7 Traits of Successful Entrepreneurs” details these traits and why they’re important. Click here to read the full article. For now, here’s the list:

  1. Tenacity
  2. Passion
  3. Tolerance of ambiguity
  4. Vision
  5. Self-belief
  6. Flexibility
  7. Rule-breaking

NPI/GPI Recognized as a Top Franchisor

National Property Inspections, Inc., is the parent company of National Property Inspections in the United States and Global Property Inspections in Canada, and we’re an outstanding franchisor.  But don’t just listen to us tell you how great NPI and GPI are. Listen to the industry:

Franchise Business Review Four-star Franchisor: In early 2014, National Property Inspections, Inc., issued Franchise Business Review’s franchisee satisfaction survey to all NPI/GPI business owners. We had tremendous response, and our overall score was 4.1 stars — an outstanding achievement. We scored particularly high (4.7) on the Core Values section, which reflects our philosophy of honesty, integrity and professionalism. Click here to read the complete survey summary.

Entrepreneur Magazine’s Franchise 500: National Property Inspections consistently makes Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500® list, an annual list of the top 500 franchises in the United States.

Entrepreneur Magazine’s Low-cost Franchises: Along with the Franchise 500®, National Property Inspections repeatedly has been included on Entrepreneur’s Low-cost Franchises list.

Franchise Business Review Top Low-cost Franchises: In 2014, National Property Inspections, Inc., was included on Franchise Business Review’s Top Low-cost Franchises list, which includes the best franchises that cost less than $100,000.

Military Times 38 Best for Vets: Franchises: In 2014, National Property Inspections made the Military Times 38 Best for Vets: Franchises list for its efforts in providing veterans an environment for success.