By Bill Erickson Let’s say you just heard about a great stock you want to invest in. It’s such a great buy, in fact, that you’re planning on putting every last cent you have into it. You go to talk with your financial advisor, and what do you think he says? He tells you that if you do that, there’s a pretty good chance you’ll lose your whole retirement fund. He recommends diversifying your portfolio to minimize the amount of risk you’re taking on. That’s smart investment advice. Just like in the world of investment, business owners need to diversify their services to be successful. We’ll explain what’s so important about diversification and how National Property Inspections, Inc. prepares franchisees for long-term stability and growth in the property inspection industry. What is diversification? Diversification is a business strategy that helps you minimize the risk of capital loss inherent in any industry. If you’ve heard the old saying “don’t put all your eggs in one basket,” you already have a grasp of the concept. To go a little further, though, diversification in business aims to boost your returns by investing resources in related-but-separate areas that would respond differently given a certain event in the market. That way, your business is covered in any contingency. How does this work in our industry? Demand for property inspections is tied to the real estate market, and as we all know, the real estate market is definitely prone to fluctuations just like any other. If your property inspection business is built only on performing home inspections and the residential real estate market drops unexpectedly, you could be in for some lean times. If you diversify your business, though, you’ll continue to have a steady stream of income from other valuable services you provide. How do I diversify my business? At NPI, we pride ourselves on our recession-proof business model, and we prepare our franchisees for success by providing the most comprehensive training in more than just home inspection. As one of the first names in property inspection franchising, we’ve been through a lot, and we’ve learned to look ahead and take into account the possible ups and downs in our industry. To begin diversifying your business, it’s good to start with a few simple steps: Establish your core competencies as a business. This will help you identify your essential offerings, as well as areas for growth. Evaluate your competition. If you’re not sure how to diversify your offerings, it’s often helpful to take a look at your competitors. Besides their specialties, what other related-but-separate services do they provide that are essential to consumers in your area? How much are they charging for these services? How can you take these services and make them better? Determine how to allocate your resources. Once you know how you want to diversify, you need to make a game plan and set some goals. If you’re adding services, do they require special training, certification or new equipment? How much will you need to market a new service to be sure people know about it? You’ll need to factor these expenses into your plans so you can gauge how long they’ll take to pay for themselves. If you’re a current NPI franchisee ready to take the next step in diversifying your business, we’re here to help you through the process! Get in touch with us at email@example.com to get started. Looking to start a National Property Inspections franchise? Request your free, no-obligation info packet at npifranchise.com/learn-more . About the Author Bill Erickson, Executive Vice President With more than 30 years of experience in marketing and sales management, Bill has created many of the NPI diversified marketing programs. On a daily basis, Bill handles customer relations and provides marketing training and support to franchisees. Outside of NPI, Bill and his wife, Julie, enjoy entertaining friends and family at their 1890’s Victorian Queen Anne home where there always seems to be another renovation project underway.