Starting a home inventory business can be a fulfilling way to make some extra cash in a tough economy, and it provides a valuable service to your clients. While you may think all you need to start your home inventory business is a camera and some inventory sheets, there's a little more to it than that.
People use a home inventory service to record their belongings just in case they need to remember them somewhere down the line. Disasters like a home fire, a tornado, or an earthquake can happen at any time, and without documentation, families can't prove - or even remember - what was inside their home before the disaster. Home inventory businesses document the belongings in writing and on film, to show just what a home contains.
To be a home inventory specialist, you do need some training. You can find this training online, and many community colleges offer classes. You need to be trained in appraisal techniques, because part of your job in the home inventory business is to tell people what their artwork and antiques might be worth for insurance purposes. Many states require you to be licensed to conduct a home inventory, and even if your state does not require a license, it's best to get one, because most insurance companies won't accept your inventory's analysis if you're not licensed. Contact your state Insurance Commissioner for information on getting licensed in your state.
Once you're trained and licensed, you'll know how to conduct your business. All you need now is a formal inventory form to fill out as you log items in the house, and a camera or video camera to photograph the items. There is also software available through the National Association of Home Inventory Professionals that will guide you through the process of starting your own home inventory business and itemizing your inventory as you set up your business.
To market your business, start by word of mouth. Tell your friends what you're doing, and offer to inventory their homes for free. Once they see the benefits of your service, they'll tell their friends, and your business will grow. Contact local insurance agents, too. Often, their clients will request a home inventory service, and they can recommend you to their clients. It's a win-win for insurance agents. Your inventory will make their job much easier in the event of a disaster, and you'll gain new business contacts through their recommendations.
Start a home inventory business to help people document their belongings, while bringing in some extra cash when you can use it the most. It's also a great idea to enroll in business classes online to make sure you're staying competitive in this high-energy field.