Frequently Asked Questions

Is Home Journal Business a franchise ?

No.  Home Journal Business is simply a business startup kit which includes training materials, resources and professional business software which enables you to start your own independent business.  There are absolutely no ongoing fees and as an independent business owner you keep 100% of your profits.

How do I market my new business?

We suggest you start with traditional methods such as placement of small print ads in local newspapers.  We provide ads ready to use along with a professional press release you may use to announce your business to local newspapers, magazines and news media.   We also suggest you follow our guide which discusses how you can partner with local businesses to easily get new customers.

What is the best way to get customers ?

Working with other home related businesses such ad insurance agents, financial planners, accountants and attorneys has proven to be an excellent way to get new business.  If these professionals provide your brochure to their clients and suggest your services you can obtain a steady stream of clients.  These professionals understand the importance of asset documentation and how it can further protect their clients.  We include a letter you can send out these professionals along with your brochure to get help start new partnerships.  Some asset documentation business owners also provide a small referral fee to keep these partners motivated.  For example, if you offered indpendent insurance agents, financial planners and accountants $20 for each completed inventory job referred by them, you can motivate them to keep promoting your business.  This model is beneficial for all parties involved: 1. The client is protected by having their assets fully documented  2. Your partner is satisfied because they have recommended a valuable service to further protect their client & also get financially rewarded  3. You obtain a steady stream of business & profits 

How do I build trust so potential customers are comfortable with me entering their home ?

By partnering with other home related businesses as suggested in the previous answer, you can get by issues of trust because the client already has a relationship with their insurance agent, financial planner, accountant or attorney.  You can build trust in your community by joining local business groups such as a chamber of commerce along with the National Association of Home Inventory Professionals www.NAHIP.com.  We also suggest you share background information about yourself along with a photo on your website.  In addition, getting involved in local community events and donating your services to a non profit such as local church also provides great trust building exposure.

Is the business software easy to use ?

Yes, the software was designed with simplicy in mind so that it is intuitive to use and undertand.  It includes a clean and simple user interface that allows you to quickly and easily access the features you need.  Our lead software designer has over 25 years of experience and has designed software for numerous fortune 500 companies.  Our comprehensive help manual also provides step by step instructions to explain all the software features. 

How is your software secure and reliable ?

Our software provides a secure solution because the software is installed directly on your computer verses using a web based internet solution where there is risk of client's information being  compromised.  You can assure your clients that their information is safe and provide further security by password protecting your computer along with installation of a good virus protection package.  You will also appreciate the reliability of our system because we use an enterprise class Microsoft database format used by large companies.  In addition, our software includes an archive & restore feature so you have the option of archiving a client's data off of your computer (onto an external drive, CD/DVD or flash drive) after completing a job which you can easily restore at a later time.  If any client has concerns about the security of their data you can simply archive their data to a CD and either store it in a safe deposit box or give it to the client.  Contact us and we will be happy to answer any questions. 

Will the software run on a Mac ?

Yes asl long as you install Windows on your Mac.  Our product is designed for Windows and requires it for the software to run.  The good news is that Apple has built a feature into the Mac called Bootcamp which allows Mac users to install Windows then choose to start the Mac using Windows or the normal Mac operating system.  This great feature gives Mac users the best of both worlds by allowing one computer to run software designed for either Windows or Mac.  You just need to purchase a copy of Windows to install on your Mac, please see the link below for details directly from the Apple support website. Windows versions 7 or higher will allow our software to run perfectly.  Learn to Run Windows on a Mac

I'm confused about which startup package to purchase, can you clarify ?

Certainly, we offer a number of packages depending on the number of people you need to have the business software along with the level of support you feel is necessary.  All of the packages include the same materials as shown on the Complete Business Startup Kit page, the only difference is how many people can use the business software and how much support is included.  If you plan to have more than 1 person using the software then it is most cost effective to purchase a 2 to 5 user package.  If you plan to grow beyond 5 users then it is most cost effective to buy the Unlimited User License up front.  You'll save money buy purchasing the right size package up front versus buying an additional package at a later date.  Our most popluar package is the 2 to 5 User License with Unlimited Support which provides the flexibility to grow along with the security of having unlimited support.

What is the "Protection Plus" software (5 CDs) included in the startup kit ?

Protection Plus is a do-it-yourself home inventory software package you can resell to those who insist on doing an inventory on their own.  It allows you to make a quick profit since we offer it to you wholesale for $9.95 each.  You then have a great opportunity to follow-up and offer your services again in a few months.  You'll find that many people who purchase the software have good intentions but just don't make the time to get the job done.  The software has the same look and feel as the business software but does not include advanced features and reporting.  It also has limits on the number of home files whereas the Home Journal Business software has no limitations.  Offering the software to those who are not interested in your full services is a nice way to earn a quick profit.  We also provide full support for all of your Protection Plus customers.

Do I need business insurance ?

A basic business liability policy is suggested to provide both you and the customer with protection in case you accidentally break something while in their home.  You don't need a high end policy with large coverage amounts for this type of business.  The cost for such a policy is very affordable and often times you can bundle a home based business policy with your homeowners insurance for additinal savings.  An asset documentation business typically falls into the category of "Personal Services" or "Photography" for purposes of business insurance.

Do I need to be bonded ?

You may optionally purchase a Fidelity or Dishonesty bond for your business but it is NOT required.  A typical dishonesty bond protects businesses against intentionally wrongful acts (fraud, theft, forgery, etc.) committed by employees of that business.  If you plan to hire employees then you may consider adding this coverage for your business however often it is not necessary since if you are the only one in your company since it only applies to employees of the company.  Some businesses choose to purchase a policy regardless because they feel it helps with marketing their services and building trust.  Low cost basic policies are available from www.BondsExpress.com and cost approximately $125 per year for $10,0000 of coverage.  Additional levels of coverage are also available.  If you decide to purchase a policy you may then say that you are "Bonded & Insured" on all your marketing materials.  Contact us if you have further questions.

Do I need a special license ?

No.  Asset documentation services falls into the business category of "Personal Services"  which does not require a specific business license.

Do I need to be an appraiser ?

No.   You are not required to be an appraiser to operate an asset documentation business.  You are simply documenting the assets in the home or business and may optionally include appraisal information if provided by the customer.  The software and reports fully supports including appraisal information for expensive items if available.

Do you host my website ?

No, we do not offer website hosting services but are happy to suggest serveral options for your new business.  We do however provide the complete content for your website which Includes: Home Page, Inventory Benefits, FAQ, Insurance Information, Inventory Process, Pre-Inventory Tips, Prices, Partners, Contact Us & About Us pages.  The website content is provided on CD in the startup kit as a Microsoft Word document so you can easily cut & paste the text for each page into a website.  Many new business owners simply choose a do-it-yourself solution where you pick a template layout you like from a hosting company and just copy & paste our information into each page.  Most hosting companies also offer extra services where they will setup your website completely, you simply email them our content document and they set it up for a small additional fee.   Popluar choices include:  www.Wix.com (FREE),  www.Godaddy.com, www.1and1.com and www.Web.com

What are your support hours ?

We provide support via phone Monday through Friday, 9AM to 5PM (Eastern Standard Time)  Our number is: 860-228-4144   We also provide support both evenings and weekends via our support email and typically reply within 4 hours from receipt.

How profitable is this business ?

We get this question often and the best answer is that it depends on you.  Asset documentation is a great niche business opportunity but as with any business it requires you to promote and grow the business which will translate into profits.  We provide a you with all the materials necessary to begin a profitable business.  You can build a steady stream of customers by following our marketing guide and building relationships with other home related businesses such as insurance agents to obtain referrals.  Our startup kit and business materials has helped entrepreneurs internationally start profitable and successful businesses.

I've never owned a business, how difficult is it to setup ?

Don't be nervous, it is actually quite simple to setup a new business and is just a matter of basic papers to file.  Our business startup kit provides all the details which explains your options for setting up a new business along with resources for you to obtain the appropriate paperwork.   In the US you can get setup very quickly yourself as a "Sole Proprietor"  which is the most common and easiest to setup by submitting one form.  Details are provided in our startup kit.

How do you protect me from liability ?

We provide a professional service agreement in the business kit which you may utilize for your independent business.  You can easily protect yourself simply by having your customer sign the service agreement prior to performing your services.  The service agreement will release you the business owner from all liability because the customer agrees to review your final reporting package within a short period of time and notify you if any corrections are needed.  It serves to protect you by placing the burden of verifying the asset documentation reports on the customer.  The service agreement also assures your client that their informatin will be kept private and not shared with anyone.  You are also free to modify the agreement which is provided as a Microsoft Word document.

How long does it take to document a typical home ?

It typically takes approximately 3 to 4 hours depending on the contents. Once you gain experience you'll find that you can complete an inventory in less time.  The time saving features built into our business software will allow you to save a significant amount of time.  As a new business owner, we suggest that you only schedule 1 inventory job per day for the first 2 weeks so that you can get comfortable with the process.

What is the optional Territory Lock ?

New Home Journal Business owners have the option to purchase a Territory Lock for a one time fee which limits competition in a local area. The Territory Lock option will prevent the sale of any additional Home Journal Business startup kits and software to anyone within a 20 mile radius of the business owner’s zip/postal code and is available worldwide. By making an initial investment to secure a local territory, a new business owner can secure additional profits by removing the possibility of any new competitors using our unique Home Journal Business product. We encourage new business owners to take advantage of the Territory Lock option to help provide long term profits and business growth. You may purchase multiple territories to secure as large an area as needed.  You can still provide services in any location and the same is true for all our customers however the Territory Lock will ensure you do not have anyone close to you in your community which makes it much easier to market and grow a new business. CLICK for DETAILS


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