Cost of doing business

This topic might go dangerously close to asking too personal of questions, but I am just getting into this inspection thing and I am trying to plan/budget with my wife what it might cost.
I have read about having savings set aside and such, but what I am wondering is if anyone is willing to share a breakdown of what their costs are of running their inspection business?

Who is the breadwinner? do you have bills? Are you planning to do it full time or part time? nobody on here but you can answer this. You need 2-3 years of savings to live of if everything goes according to plan. From there, inspection wise, you need tools, clothing, vehicle, gas, insurance for vehicle+business, marketing, licensing fees (depending on state), professional services (accounting, attorney, etc…) Everyone does it differently. If you cannot figure out about how much it will cost you to operate, there is a problem already. Make a list of the things you will need and get prices for them. Add them up.


Ditto what Simon said. This has been discussed a number of times. Any time you begin a new business you need to have 2 years of Income in the bank. It’s easier to start a new business when your monthly liabilities are reduced.

Well I think I can figure out how much it will cost me to operate, but that’s the phase that I am in right now…the research phase.
I can certainly try to think up a list of things that I will need, but I was hoping someone would be willing the share their list of fixed costs. For instance, when it comes time for my kids to move out of the house, I will be able to quickly share with them a list of fixed costs that they will have as a person living out on their own. They can probably make a list for themselves, but the smartest thing for them to do, would be to seek advice from someone already living on their own and doing exactly what they are hoping to do. For example they might make a list but forget annual car registration costs, etc.
To answer your question, I am the breadwinner, but with a great plenty of time off with my regular job, I will not be leaving my job, and instead doing this in addition. However, I am curious about the costs that are fixed…the costs that don’t change regardless of whether you inspect full or part time.
The list I have currently is:
E&O insurance
Vehicle related costs
Licensing fees
Association fees
Website/maintenance fees
Accounting fees

I already have the necessary tools to get started, of course with possible additions as I grow the business. You added another to my list…attorney fees. That is something that I have so far not had to deal with. Do you pay something for attorney fees as issues arise?


Software fees too. Range from free to Spectora.

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The biggest fee most new inspectors mismanage is

Marketing Costs.

Because it’s much more difficult to get a business going than most people think.
Pretty much what ever you budget for marketing, multiple by 4.

Not just the obvious website, business cards, brochures, etc
But your time and cost of driving to offices an/or events to get your cards in front of agents.
Once you meet a few agents, time and cost to take them out to coffee or whatever.
Maybe you’ll get suckered into, I mean, asked to sponsor a breakfast or lunch.
Social media is free, but it will cost you time to set it up and maintain it.

Then you’ll starting thinking maybe you should invest in some pens or hats or something trinket with your logo on it. More$. Then you have to get said materials ito realtor hands again. More gas money.

Then, when it doesn’t move the needle immediately, you’ll start to wonder if maybe you should try google ads or something. There goes more $.

Chances are you’re going to end up doing 101 different marketing things, with little to ROI on any one thing,

But if you keep at it, it can eventually snowball into something.


Tim, send me an email if you want to talk off line, I can tell you my experiences and costs.
george @