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So should you “downsize”?

grow-your-business-or-notDid a burning desire to clean your neighbors carpets motivate you to open your business? OR could it be you are just a clean freak that absolutely loves pushing a mop? OR is your life dedicated to the “charitable endeavor” of helping insureds recover from their loss? OR like me…

Did you first get into the cleaning and restoration industry to make the most amount of profit in the least amount of time with the lowest investment possible? (Sounds great!) IF so, your NET profit (and achieving the “elusive sweet spot” in your life!) should be MUCH more important than your gross business income!

NOTE: For many cleaning and restoration contractors growing their company into a large, multi-truck business brings them satisfaction, joy and financial wealth! Good for them- IF they “do it right”! Just remember, the financial stakes (and your stress levels) go up dramatically as you grow!

However, many “burned-by-employees” cleaners and restorers reject the “getting big” dream and decide to “stay small” as a “Lone Wolf” owner-operator. (Trust me- I’ve been there- felt that way too!) But before you impulsively reject growing your company…

Count the cost of “staying small” as a solo owner-operator.

NOTE: I absolutely understand why a cleaner or restorer can be tempted by the apparently carefree life of going it alone. Childish, lazy, unpredictable and yes, lying and dishonest employees can exact a terrible emotional cost on a business owner. (Don’t ask me how I learned this!) But the dangers of “flying solo” are many…

  1. Your “accident exposure” goes up dramatically- Trust me, “Bad things can happen to good carpet cleaners”! Anything from a wrecking your van (What would happen to your family with you in traction for three months?) to slipping and falling down a flight of stairs! (Tough to push/trigger a wand with one arm in a cast!) Plus…
  2. Your body is only going one way- Yes, we’re all trying to postpone our “inevitable decline”. (Sioux and I walk 4-6 miles a day!) But I’ll guess your wand doesn’t look as good as it did 20 years ago! And even if you can keep up the pace dare I say…
  3. Cleaning can be kind of “boring”- Wouldn’t it be great to not be “chained to the wand” and have the Personal Freedom to take time off while your cash keeps flowing in? And speaking of cash…
  4. More profit is always better! (No matter how much a Lone Wolf charges their income potential is limited.) And finally…
  5. An owner-operated business will have limited appeal to a buyer- Meanwhile, a growing business can become an “appreciating asset”!

And yet… employees drive you crazy and SUCK THE VERY JOY OUT OF YOUR LIFE! So could there be some sort of “in-between” sweet spot? Maybe we should talk about that real soon!

Steve

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