No one has answered because no one other than you has the answer to those questions.
I’ve always been one to jump straight in and learn how to swim. Sometimes I start sinking and get a mouth full of water, but then self-preservation takes over and I do, indeed, learn how to swim.
Can you find a larger company that will take you on part-time and train you to be the competition? With some deception on your part, you might. Certainly if someone came to me (and they do at least once a quarter) and start by stating, “I want to get into home inspections. Can I work for you for a few months while I learn the ropes?”, well, the polite answer is “I’ve already hired everyone for this season.” My impolite answer is, “You’ve got to be kidding.” Sure, they’ve been honest, and I appreciate that, but I still have to look out for my interests first and foremost. And if they had lied about their interests, and I found out—for example, they might have told another emploee, “I’m only working here for a couple of months until I learn how to do home inspections”—then I have two problems on my hand: an employee who lied to me, and possible other employees upset that I would “train” someone to go out and possibly take business away from us, meaning taking business away from my employees, meaning taking salary, bonuses, and perks away from my employees. And with the liability in this industry, do I have confidence in a part-time employee doing what is necessary to limit the liability of my company?
So I can’t answer your questions, either, but perhaps I’ve provided a little help. And my recommendation would be to jump in with everything you’ve got. Well, not everything. Make sure you have a savings account with enough money in it to pay at least six months worth of your monthly bills.