by Nick Gromicko, CMI®
Remember when you were back in grade school? You first learned how to add. Later, you learned how to multiply. The difference between a one-person home inspection company and a multi-inspection firm is simply the difference between addition and multiplication. A single home inspector earns income for the work he/she does with their own two hands. He or she performs an inspection and gets paid. Conversely, when you are a multi-inspector firm owner, you make money from every hand working in the company. The salary you pay your employees is a portion of the value they add to your company – the other portion goes to you, the owner. The more employees you have, the more money you make. Your profits can endlessly multiply.
Inspection company owners – and, for that matter, business owners in general – often believe they are being conservative by holding out for as long as possible before hiring additional help. In my opinion, the reverse is true. If you delay hiring until you desperately need help, you've waited too long. It takes extra time to incorporate and train a new employee, and time is the one thing most inspection company owners are short on when they've waited too long to expand.
Here are some signs that indicate that you may already be late in hiring additional help:
So, why do inspection company owners often wait until they are too busy to properly seek out, interview, hire, and train a new employee? Most of the time it is because of fear.
Do you have a fear of hiring? I once heard an InterNACHI® member say, "At this point, I feel that I really can't afford to hire help." If this is something you could imagine yourself saying, my response would be the following: Notice your use of the word "feel"? Your employees shouldn't cost you anything. I employ 110 people in a dozen different companies and non-profit organizations. None of them has a single employee that costs their operation a penny. Every one of my employees generates black ink.
So, maybe what you meant to say is, "I don't have the capital to cover their first few paychecks until they begin to bring in more money than they cost to employ." So, it's a lack of temporary cash flow... or is it?
Or, maybe what you really meant to say is, "I have the capital to cover their first few paychecks until they bring in more money than they cost to employ, but I won't hire them. I won't hire them because unless an employee can actually hand me a certain amount of cash at the end of the day that is greater than what I paid him/her that day, my brain won't let me attribute the additional profits indirectly generated by that employee's efforts to that particular employee, so I only focus on what I'm paying the employee, and not what the employee is paying me, indirectly, by making my company more profitable." So, it's a lack of basic business acumen then... or is it?
Or, maybe what you really, really meant to say is, "I have the capital to cover their first few paychecks until they bring in more money than they cost to employ. And I realize that, although an employee might not actually hand me a certain amount of cash at the end of the day that is greater than what I paid him/her that day, I do attribute the additional profits indirectly generated by that employee's efforts to that particular employee. So, I don't focus on what I'm paying the employee but, rather, on what the employee is paying me, indirectly, by making my company more profitable. However, I don't think I will be able to accurately quantify the profits generated indirectly by the employee, and that keeps me from hiring." So, it's a lack of financial analysis skills then... or is it?
Or, maybe what you really, really, really meant to say is, "I earn enough to pay my bills. My spouse has a steady job. Between the two of us, we live comfortably and can even afford a few luxuries. But I'm afraid. I'm afraid of being poor, so I work hard and take few risks. I'm afraid of being rich, so I don't hire because hiring is a risk. If I were going to hire someone, I would be afraid to hire someone much different than me, or someone much more confident than me, or someone much smarter than me." So, it's a problem dealing with your own fears then.
Look, everyone is afraid. It's a natural, useful human feeling. Bill Gates once explained that for years he was so afraid of being unable to make payroll at Microsoft that his main goal was to have enough cash on hand to cover six months of the company's payroll. But because Microsoft kept growing and kept hiring, it took him 20 years to achieve that goal and eliminate that one fear.
Unless you were born with some freak talent (such as being able to hit a baseball into the stands), it is very difficult to get rich without good help. Think of the richest men on earth: Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, Larry Ellison, Mark Zuckerberg... they all employ people. A lot of people.
And, most importantly, the biggest companies in the world use systems and policies to get the most out of their people. You should, as well. Whether it is building a house or building a multi-inspector firm, success depends on performing a lot of little steps.
Toward that end, I offer you 100+ steps to growing and systemizing a multi-inspector firm. Read them, implement them, scratch them off the list as you go.
Here they are:
What leaders in the home inspection industry are saying about "SCALE UP":
There is only ONE Nick Gromicko, and he continues to help home inspectors across the world be successful. I know – I have grown two home inspection companies that gross over a million dollars, and I have helped over 100 others build million-dollar companies. Nick and I have traveled and spoken together over and over and I am always amazed at how authentic and knowledgeable he is at helping people help themselves. Maybe you are finally ready to take your business to the next level. If so, then his book "SCALE UP: 100+ Steps to Growing and Systemizing Your Multi-Inspector Firm" is a must to work on getting it right. So many people try and don't understand why they fail; Nick helps explain that and more. One last secret: To be successful, be around those who are successful.
– Mike Crow, Founder of Mastermind Inspector Community and the Home Inspector Marketing Podcast
Nick Gromicko and InterNACHI have done it again. Systemizing is the cornerstone of growing your successful inspection business and ultimately your multi-inspector firm. With “Scale Up,” the complexity of all the to-do’s of inspection businesses are simplified in an easy-to-understand format to ensure that many of the critical gaps of business building are identified. “Scale Up” answers: “What do I do next?” "Scale Up" provides both solutions and, most importantly, the valuable resources that only InterNACHI can provide. As the owner of a multi-million-dollar inspection business and co-founder of the most successful coaching community for multi-inspector firms in the U.S. and Canada, I recommend “Scale Up.” This is a read that I have included in my personal resource library.
– Greg Bryan, Owner of Bryan & Bryan Inspections and
Co-Founder of Inspector Empire Builder
Well, Nick Gromicko hits another HOME RUN with this new book! As the owner of one of the largest privately owned multi-inspector firms in the nation, I 100% APPROVE THIS MESSAGE! From the mission statement, to a masterful marketing plan, to a robust operational strategy, to a comprehensive learning curve surrounding your state’s employment regulations, to building a vital business culture with an effective employee (home inspector) recruitment and education structure… one thing is sure in scaling up in this industry: DETAILS MATTER! No doubt we are all looking forward to scaling up our businesses in some way. While it was and still is quite the adventure for my company with over 75 full-time home inspectors, I really wish I had a guidebook like this one to help me along the way! Thank you, Nick, for all that you do for our industry, and for always being one to look out for the future of home inspectors and home inspection companies! In a new world of collaboration, employee empowerment, and an overwhelming opportunity for growth, this book, down to every detail, is an absolute masterpiece! Cheers to the next 10 years of growth and adventure!
– Chad Hett, Co-Owner
The Elite Group Property Inspection Professionals
Home to the biggest and best multi-inspector firms!