published Friday, February 8th, 2013

Small Biz: Home inventory company offers record of possessions

Former firefighter and police officer Lynn Smith runs his recently started business to inventory homes for insurance purposes out of his own home office.
Former firefighter and police officer Lynn Smith runs his recently started business to inventory homes for insurance purposes out of his own home office.
Photo by Jay Bailey.

Name: Tennessee Valley Home Inventory

Owner: Lynn Smith

Location: 7746 Basswood Drive

Opened: January 1

Service: Creating comprehensive inventories of homes, giving homeowners a written, visual and digital record of their possessions

How it got started: After working as a volunteer firefighter and police officer for 20 years, Smith realized that many people don't keep inventories of their homes. Insurance companies usually require homeowners to provide an inventory when making a claim, and a complete inventory helps homeowners receive a fair settlement. Inventories are also used in probate and divorce court and for prenuptial agreements.

Prices: From $99 for video-only to $350 for a comprehensive package, depending on the home's size.

Initial investment: $3,000

Sales goal: At least 2-3 home inventories a month

Staff: 1

Five-year goal: "I would like to have a thriving business that's able to help people," Bell said. "I'm doing it, of course, to earn money, but one thing I believe in is helping people. And people need to understand the need for inventories. It's like insurance. You hope you never have to have it, but if you do have it, it can pay off big time."

Part-time gig: Smith works full-time at Volkswagen as a team leader in quality, and hopes to grow the business on the side while he continues his position at Volkswagen. He first had the idea to open an inventory company about a year ago, but started working on it seriously in the last six months.

Website: www.tnvalleyhomeinventory.com

Phone number: 423-987-8219

about Shelly Bradbury...

Shelly Bradbury covers police and crime in Chattanooga and Hamilton County for the Times Free Press. She's been with the paper since 2012, working first as an intern and then as a business reporter. She is from Houghton, New York, and graduated from Huntington University in Huntington, Indiana, with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and minor in management. Before moving to Tennessee, Shelly previously interned with The Goshen News, The Sandusky Register and The Mint ...

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