Updated June 6, 2017
A lot of people have been asking me lately about whether or not home renovation is right for them and if they’re ready to start a business at all. Everyone is different, and we all start our businesses in different places and at different times, so my answers to these questions usually come with a lot more questions for them. That’s why I thought I’d put together a list of a few questions that I think everyone should ask themselves before starting a renovation business.
1. Do You Love Working With Your Hands?
First of all, are you excited about the idea of owning a business that’s really physical? Andy and I love this business because it lets us work together and get our hands dirty on a regular basis, and it lets us teach our kids the value of hard work. If that sounds like your dream job, then the home renovation business might just be perfect for you.
Even if you don’t love getting your hands dirty, though, you may still be in the right field. A lot of home renovation business owners don’t do the work on their renovations themselves. They hire expert contractors and restoration specialists to help them create beautiful results. If that sounds more your speed, then you’re probably in the right business, too.
2. Are You Passionate About Historic Homes?
As you know, Andy and I do a lot of historic renovations, and our mutual love of beautiful old homes brought us together as business partners and partners in life, too. If you talk to any entrepreneurial expert in the world, they’ll tell you that you have to find something that you’re passionate about if you want to avoid burning out.
For me and Andy, that passion was in historic homes, and that’s why we chose home renovation as the basis for our business. If you don’t have a passion for restoring and renovating old homes, you might want to look into another part of the real estate market. If you do, though, you’ll find a lot of fulfillment and joy in the work you do renovating old and historic homes.
3. Are You a Creative Problem Solver?
This is another one that’s true for any business owner or entrepreneur. If you’re building a business in real estate, you need to understand that you’re going to come across some really unique problems and challenges along the way. If you’re the kind of person who sees these issues as opportunities to find new and more efficient ways to do things, then you’re on the right track. If not, you might want to do some soul searching before you quit your day job. Because problem solving is a big part of home renovation, the more creative you are, the better your solutions will be.
4. What Are Your Goals for Your Business?
When I got started in the home renovation business, my goal wasn’t really to make money. That might sound crazy, but at that point my goal was to save a beautiful home from demolition. Once I figured out that I was pretty good at this and that I loved doing it, I knew where my career goals lay. That’s when I started planning my goals for my business and what I wanted to make of it.
5. Are You Ready to Work Hard?
The success of your business isn’t going to be determined by how much you know about home renovations, but by how motivated you are to work hard. Owning a house renovation business is no walk in the park. You need to make sure you are going to be 100% dedicated to your business, before you decide to jump-in head first. If you don’t enjoy it or aren’t willing to put in the work, your business will suffer.
You don’t have to have a full set of incredibly specific goals, but you should know if you want to grow the business and partner with other renovators and investors or if you want to keep it a small labor of love. The more clear you are on all of these questions, the better you’ll know the next steps in starting your home renovation business.