Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in home care but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Dustin Johnson, Owner of Safehome Home Inspections LLC., located in Tulsa, OK, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Home Inspections. Generally, my customers are home buyers; however, I also have customers who are landlords and use me to do inspections of their rental property before it is leased to a new tenant.

Tell us about yourself

What first got me started in the business was owning rental properties. I've actually been involved in real estate in some form, starting at about the age of 22 (I'm 37). Originally I took home inspection courses just so I could understand more about how a house is built, as I was regularly buying rental properties. Several years later, I realized it would be valuable to other people to be a home inspector. My motivation stems from the desire to provide a living for my family. I realize that is cliche, but that's the main motivation. I also am motivated to help my customers know more about the property they are about to purchase so they can purchase their home with confidence.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

That's an interesting question. I would say the biggest accomplishment is landing a large customer who manages millions of properties across the country, and I provide rental inspections for them locally.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

For me, the hardest thing has been balancing marketing and doing the inspections. It used to be report writing because writing a home inspection report is actually pretty difficult, but I've mostly solved any issues with that. SafeHome Home Inspections is an actual small business meaning it is my wife and me, so we do all of the work ourselves. The IRS defines a small business as anybody with less than 1500 employees. I define an actual small business as anybody with less than 20 employees. I have to compete with some very large and wealthy local companies, so I'm always on my toes about marketing and spreading the word about SafeHome.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Do your research. Know who your main competitors are, and know what their weaknesses are. Know who your customers are - for me, the general population isn't good to market to because most people aren't in the process of buying a house. Instead, it is better for me to market to Realtors.
  2. Network with other people, but don't forget it isn't just about what they can do for you. I see that all the time, especially with Realtors. If there is one major mistake I see, it's that many people don't realize that they are doing networking all about themselves. Maybe it's because they are so excited or hungry, but I see it all the time. Be intentional; don't just shoot the crap with the people you're networking with.
  3. Become debt free, then Just do it. In the end, you've got to do it. The truth is, in most areas of the country, wages are pretty low, so if you can get 1 or 2 clients a week, you can usually make as much or more than what the market will pay as an employee. If you're debt-free, you can usually afford your bills.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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