A home watch business is a business that performs scheduled visits to clients’ vacant homes while they are away. Someone in the home watch services business typically watches a number of homes owned by people who are away for a long period of time.
A detailed home watch inspection report is completed during each inspection, displaying the condition of your property along with the date and time the inspection was completed. It is important to note that home watchers also perform normal preventative maintenance and inspection of the property on a regularly scheduled basis.
Steps on How to Start a Home Watch Business in Florida
Conduct Market Research
Conducting market research before starting any business is key to the success of the business. Market research provides critical information about your market and business landscape. It can tell you how your business is perceived by the customers and clients you want to reach. This helps you determine who and where your customers are, and which customers are most likely to do business with you.
a. Who is the Target Market for Home Watch Services Business in Florida?
- International investors who own properties in Florida
- Insurance companies
- Boarding house operators
- Real Estate Companies
b. Is Home Watch Services Business a Profitable Business in Florida?
Yes, the home watch services business is profitable in Florida. As a matter of fact, the need for Home Watch companies is increasing on a daily basis.
c. Are There Existing Niches in the Industry?
No, there are no existing niches when it comes to home watch services businesses.
d. Who are the Major Competitors in Florida?
- Home Watch Services Of Florida LLC
- Homewatch Services Etc Inc
- Home Watch Services Sarasota
- Bayside Home Watch Services, LLC
- Dependable Home Watch Services
- Wright Home Watch Services, LLC
- A1A Home Watch and Concierge Services
- Carefree Home Watch
- Cape Coral Home Watch
- Kaleta Homewatch Services, LLC
- Elite Home Watch of SWFL
- Custom Home and Marine Watch – Home Watch Service
- Executive Home Watch LLC
- Hawkeye Home Watch Services, LLC
- Eisenberger Home Watch
- Homelax – Home Watch Service
- Sarasota Home Watch Inc
- South Florida Home Watch LLC
- Safe Nest Home Watch and Concierge Services
- Beasafe Home Watch Services Inc.
e. Are There County or State Regulations or Zoning Laws for Home Watch Services Business in Florida?
No, there are no county or state regulations or zoning laws for home watch services businesses in Florida, but players in this industry are expected to work with existing regulations governing similar businesses in the county where their business is domiciled. This means that at any point in time, the county office can determine whether the home watch services business meets the zoning rules of the community.
f. Is There a Franchise for Home Watch Services Business?
No, there are no franchise opportunities for the home watch services business in Florida.
g. What Do You Need to Start a Home Watch Services Business in Florida?
- A feasibility report
- Business and marketing plans
- Business licenses and permits
- Office facilities
- EIN (Employer Identification Number)/Federal Tax ID Number
- A corporate bank account
- Competent employees
- Startup capital
Choose a Memorable Business Name
When looking to start a business, before you can begin to file the necessary documents with the constituted authorities or start your website, it is necessary that you come up with a name that you will be recognized with. It is essential that the name you come up with can easily be pronounced, is unique and easily memorable.
Some of the catchy business name ideas suitable for a home watch business are;
Creative Home Watch Business Name ideas
- Eagles Eyes© Home Watch Company, Inc.
- Your Buddy® Home Watch Company, LLC
- King of Woods© Home Watch Company, Inc.
- Watch Solutions® Home Watch Company, Inc.
- Perfect Eyes™ Home Watch Company, Inc.
- Frank Gibson™ Home Watch Company, LLC.
- Day Light© Home Watch Company, LLC
- Lincoln Allen® Home Watch Company, Inc.
- Long Look© Home Watch Company, Inc.
- Bernad© Home Watch Company, Inc.
- Sam Telex® Home Watch Company, LLC
- Borne Group® Home Watch Company, LLC
- West Ends™ Home Watch Company, LLC
- Henry Huston© Home Watch Company, Inc.
- Red Woods® Home Watch Company, Inc.
- Amber Eyes™ Home Watch Company, Inc.
- Wally Benton™ Home Watch Company, Inc.
- Reil Tims© Home Watch Company, Inc.
- David Jesse® Home Watch Company, LLC
- Miami Brothers™ Home Watch Company, Inc.
Register Your Business
a. What Type of Business Structure is Best for a Home Watch Services Business?
There are several options when it comes to the business structure of a home watch services business, but the one most players in this line of business consider is an LLC.
b. Steps to Form an LLC
- Choose a name for your LLC
- File articles of organization
- Choose a registered agent
- Decide on member vs. manager management
- Create an LLC operating agreement
- Comply with other tax and regulatory requirements
- File annual reports
c. What Type of License is Needed to Open a Home Watch Services Business in Florida?
- General Business License
- Health and Safety Permit
- Zonal Permits
- Signage Permit
- Operational State Facility Inspections
d. What Type of Certification is Needed to Start a Home Watch Services Business in Florida?
You don’t need any certifications to start a home watch services business in Florida, it is a business that is open to all and sundry.
e. What Documents are Needed to Open a Home Watch Services Business in Florida?
These are some of the basic legal documents that are required if you want to legally run a home watch services business in Florida;
- Business and liability insurance
- Federal Tax Payer’s ID
- State Permit and Building Approval
- Certificate of Incorporation
- Business License
- Business Plan
- Employment Agreement (offer letters)
- Operating Agreement for LLCs
- Insurance Policy
- Contract Document
- Company Bylaws
- Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
f. Do You Need a Trademark, Copyright, or Patent?
If you are considering starting a home watch services business in Florida, there may not be a need to file for intellectual property protection or trademark. This is because the nature of the business makes it possible for you to successfully run it without having any cause to challenge anybody in court for illegally making use of your company’s intellectual properties.
Cost Analysis and Budgeting
a. How Much Does It Cost to Start a Home Watch Services Business in Florida?
Starting a home watch services business in Florida will cost anywhere from $5,000 to $100,000 and above depending on how much equipment the business owner decides to purchase, and the number of employees.
b. What are the Costs Involved in Starting a Home Watch Services Business in Florida?
- The total fee for registering a business in the United States of America – $750.
- Legal expenses for obtaining licenses and permits as well as the accounting services total – $8,200.
- Marketing promotion expenses – $3,800
- The cost for hiring a business consultant (writing of business plans inclusive) – $2,500.
- Insurance (general liability, workers’ compensation, and property casualty) coverage at a total premium – $2,400.
- The cost of accounting software, CRM software, and Payroll Software – $1,500
- The cost for payment of rent for 12 months at $1.76 per square foot in the total amount of – $35,600.
- Other start-up expenses including stationery – $500
- Phone and utility deposits will cost – ($2,500)
- Operational cost for the first 3 months (salaries of employees, payments of bills et al) – $30,000
- The cost of launching an official website – $600
c. What Factors Determine the Cost of Opening a Home Watch Services Business in Florida?
- The size of the home watch services business
- The choice of location
- The required licenses and permits
- The type of equipment and toolbox needed
- The cost for branding, promotion, and marketing of the home watch services business
- The cost of furnishing and equipping the facility
- The cost of the insurance policy covers
- The cost of registering the business
- Source of your supplies and ongoing expenses
- The cost of recruiting and training your staff
- The cost for the purchase and customizing of uniforms
d. Do You Need to Build a Facility? If YES, How Much Will It Cost?
No, it is not compulsory to build a new facility for your home watch services business, but if you have the required finance, you can build your own facility. The truth is that building or reconstructing a facility will help you come up with a facility that will perfectly fit into your overall business goals and vision.
e. What are the Ongoing Expenses of a Home Watch Services Business?
- Supplies (inventory expenses)
- Utility bills (fuel, internet subscriptions, phone bills, signage and software renewal fees et al)
- Employees salaries
f. What is the Average Salary of your Staff?
- Chief Executives Office (Owner) – $45,000 Per Year
- Manager (Admin Officer) – $35,000 Per Year
- Accountant (Cashier) -$30,000 Per Year
- Home Watchers – $29,630,000 Per Year
- Driver – $26,100 Per Year
g. How Do You Get Funding to Start a Home Watch Services Business?
- Raising money from personal savings
- Raising money from investors and business partners
- Sell shares to interested investors
- Apply for a loan from your bank
- Pitch your business idea, apply for business grants and seed funding from the government, donor organizations, and angel investors
- Source for soft loans from your family members and friends.
Write a Business Plan
a. Executive Summary
Eagles Eyes® Home Watch Company, Inc. is a U.S.-based and licensed home watch services company. Our head office will be located in a standard and centrally located office facility in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Although our Head Office will be located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, we will open our branch offices in major cities in Florida.
Within the first five years of operation, we would have set up our offices in the following locations; Miami, Tampa, Orlando, St. Petersburg, Hialeah, Port St. Lucie, Tallahassee, Cape Coral, Jacksonville, and Clearwater.
At Eagles Eyes® Home Watch Company, Inc., our client’s best interest would always come first, and everything we will be guided by our values and professional ethics. We will ensure that we hire professionals who are well-experienced in a wide variety of background check services.
b. Products and Service
- Verify that all doors and windows are properly secure to minimize the chance of break-ins.
- Check for evidence of water leaks or damage and also visual signs of mold and mildew.
- Visual inspection for signs of insects and or rodents.
- Check that A/C is cooling and reset the thermostat and humidistat settings if needed.
- Run faucets, sink disposals, and flush toilets.
- Check that the main water valve is turned off after each inspection (unless otherwise requested by the client).
- Check the electric panel for tripped breakers and make sure the electric water heater breaker is turned off.
- Visual inspection throughout the property including lanai and garage.
- Walk the exterior perimeter of single-family homes to check pool condition, screening, signs of vandalism, etc.
c. Mission Statement
Our mission is to handle home watch visits to clients’ homes or condos and stand as key holders in their absence. As your key holder, we can meet and let a person in for maintenance or unplanned visits, take deliveries for you, or let family members that don’t have keys in.
Our vision is to become the leading brand in the home watch industry in Florida.
d. Goals and Objectives
The goals and objectives of a home watch services business involve providing clients with peace of mind that the vacation home or seasonal residence is secured and cared for even in their absence.
e. Organizational Structure
- Chief Executives Office (Owner)
- Manager (Admin Officer)
- Accountant (Cashier)
- Home Watchers
a. SWOT Analysis
- Effective structure in place
- Highly experienced and qualified employees and management
- Reliable software app
- Support from relevant organizations
- Water-tight strategies on how to expand beyond the major markets
- Financial constraints
- A new business that will be competing with well-established home watch services business
- Inability to retain our highly experienced and qualified employees longer than we want
- Partnerships and mergers between established companies
- Good support structure for home watch services businesses in Florida
- The arrival of a new home watch services business within our market space
- Unfavorable government policy and regulations
- Differences in management and culture are the biggest barriers to integrating home watch services business startups into traditional companies
- Liability problems
- Continuously changing consumer demands especially as it relates to how they expect home watch services businesses to serve them.
b. How Do Home Watch Services Businesses Make Money?
Home watch services businesses make money by charging clients for watching their homes when they are away.
c. Payment Options
- Payment via bank transfer
- Payment with cash
- Payment via credit cards/Point of Sale Machines (POS)
- Payment via online bank transfer
- Payment via check
- Payment via mobile money transfer
d. Sales & Advertising Strategies
- Introduce your business by sending introductory letters alongside your brochure to households, foreign property investors, and the real estate industry amongst others with your location of operations
- Open your home watch company with a party so as to capture the attention of residents
- Advertise your services in community-based newspapers, local TV and radio stations
- List your business and products on yellow pages ads (local directories)
- Leverage the internet to promote your home watch company
- Engage in direct marketing and sales
- Encourage the use of word-of-mouth marketing (referrals)
- Leverage the internet to promote your business
a. How Much Should You Charge for your Product/Service?
There is no fixed price when it comes to the amount you charge because there are unique factors that will determine it. Generally, home watch companies will charge from $40 – $60 per visit and between $120 and $250 per month.
b. How Much Profit Do Home Watch Services Business Owners Make a Year in Florida?
It depends, but the available report shows that home watch services business owners make over $55,000 in profit annually.
c. What Factors Determine the Amount of Profit to Be Made?
- The capacity of the home watch services business
- The location the home watch services business is covering
- The management style of the home watch services business
- The business approach of the home watch services business
- The advertising and marketing strategies adopted by the home watch services business
- The number of years the home watch services business has being existence
d. What is the Profit Margin of a Home Watch Services Business in Florida?
The profit margin of a home watch services business is not fixed. Generally, it ranges from 45 percent to 60 percent depending on the services and number of visits.
e. What is the Sales Forecast?
Below is the sales forecast of a home watch services business. It is based on the location of the business and other factors as it relates to such startups in Florida;
- First Fiscal Year: $220,000
- Second Fiscal Year: $350,000
- Third Fiscal Year: $400,000
Set Up your Shop/Office
a. How Do You Choose a Perfect Location for Home Watch Services Business in Florida?
- The demography of the location especially as it relates to activities in the real estate market
- The demand for home watch services in the location
- The purchasing power of businesses and the residents of the location
- Accessibility of the location
- The number of home watch services businesses in the location
- The local laws and regulations in the community/state
- Traffic, parking and security et al
b. What City is Best to Open a Home Watch Services Business in Florida?
- Pompano Beach, Florida
- Tallahassee, Florida
- Pensacola, Florida
- Bradenton, Florida
- Jacksonville, Florida
- Hialeah, Florida
- Riverview, Florida
- Fort Lauderdale, Florida
- Miami, Florida
- Saint Cloud, Florida
c. What Equipment is Needed to Operate a Home Watch Services Business?
You will need software applications, computers/laptops, internet facilities, telephone, fax machines, and office furniture. All of these can be gotten fairly used.
When hiring employees for a standard home watch services business, hire a competent chief executive officer (you can occupy this position), manager (admin officer), home watchers, and drivers.
Launch the Business Proper
In recent times, no home watch services business opens its door for business without first organizing an opening party to officially launch the business. You can choose to do a soft opening party if you are operating on a low budget or you can go for a grand opening party. The bottom line is, with a proper launching of your business, you will officially inform people in your city that your home watch services business is open.
a. What Makes a Home Watch Services Business Successful?
- Choose a good location to launch the business
- Make sure all your projects are thorough and top-notch
- Encourage the use of word of mouth to promote your home watch services business
- Leverage all available online and offline platforms to promote your home watch services business
b. What Happens During a Typical Day at a Home Watch Services Business?
- The office is open for the day’s work
- The jobs to be done for the day are reviewed and all the needed materials are put together
- Manpower, materials, and tools are transported to the facility to be inspected
- Staff return back to the office and reports for the day is written and submitted
- The business is closed for the day
c. What Skills and Experience Do You Need to Build a Home Watch Services Business?
- Attention details
- Excellent tools handling skills
- Excellent project managing skills
- Customer services skills
- Interpersonal skill
- Accounting and bookkeeping skills
- Business management skills
- Bargaining skill
- Work experience in a home watch company
- Experience in managing people
- Experience in business administration
- Experience in handling projects