The question: After many years (and problems) I’m ready to grow! Will you help me, Steve?
Steve’s answer: Absolutely. But first I want you to SLOW DOWN and avoid the “Ready/FIRE/ Aim” Syndrome!
I have been self employed for 18 1/2 years with many ups and downs. Mostly I have been alone doing my own marketing, taking phone calls and doing the jobs. I went through some employees that I ended up having to get rid of because they just didn’t do things my way with the same care I show.
Even worse, Steve, I also went through a divorce that hit me hard emotionally and financially. So for the last seven years I have kept going on in my business without making any real effort when it comes to marketing. (Or having any kind of business help.)
However, I ended up growing my reputation online almost by accident just by being reliable and “doing a good job”! (it is weird but people love me!) So now the calls are overwhelming! I did this all on my own without any help. (One part time helper that I pay cash to off the books does assist me.) I schedule, take calls, do estimates and actually perform most of the physical work. I’m TIRED!
But on the good side, Steve, I’m in the process of buying a new carpet cleaning van for the first time in my life AND paying in cash! (Because with the divorce my credit got a little beat up.) This is exciting since I’ve been running a rusting out piece of crap for the last ten years!
So Steve, I’m writing because I’m feeling a transition in my life practically from a higher power. But I know I need the right residential carpet cleaning growth guidance and since you are true living success story I’m asking you.
First of all I need “help to get the right help”. I need to find a good technician who has similar passion for the job and service like me! Also I need to move my business to a real office and develop a new marketing strategy. I would like to get office help because with only a little more help on phone calls or emails I feel like I can transition to two trucks.
Steve, right now my schedule is filled two weeks ahead with zero effort. (Just me and my cellphone!) I just don’t know where to begin. I feel if I capitalize on this well I can turn into a success finally!! So where do I begin? I’m asking you because I feel I’m a better carpet cleaner than a business person. Do I find a technician, find an office, find office help, online booking/scheduling or “all of the above”? 🙂 Thank you in advance for your help!!
Champing At the Bit in Champaign, IL
Good morning, Champing!
First of all, congratulations on “hanging in there”. Running your own business isn’t easy and especially with the personal issues you have faced and dealt with. So first of all give yourself a big pat on the back! (And maybe even a raise!)
And yes, I agree. You are sort of at a “Y in the road” in your business AND your life. This is of course a two-edged sword. But let’s be positive and appreciate that you have the chance to truly “take charge”!
So some thoughts:
1. SLOW DOWN and raise your prices NOW! Why? Because as we teach in our SFS courses “more money is always better than no money”! And if you are easily filling your schedule then most people will cheerfully pay you more IF you ask them to! HERE is how to raise your prices without losing existing customers.
2. SLOW DOWN and carefully focus on “Where is my sweet spot in life?” This industry lets you define and choose your Personal Success. So ask yourself the Tough Questions of “where do I want to go?” and “what do I want to be?” NOTE: These can only be answered by you, Champing. However, I want you to avoid the dreaded “Road In-Between” where you are “too big but too small”. (Heck, I even did a Special Report HERE on this excruciating Business Model.)
3. Strongly consider building an “encapsulation maintenance route”. Here’s the deal, Champing. I loved my home owner clients. But residential customers are the hardest money out there. Trying to make the leap to full time employees in residential can be brutal. But with regular contract commercial work you just add part time people (using their own vehicles) so you can grow easily and without making a big investment. Plus the regular cash flow can fund your growth plans such as…
4. Seriously consider achieving Personal Freedom. HERE are my Five Steps to a Critical Mass Business! (One that will run without you!)
NOTE: If you truly want to achieve Personal Freedom then please consider our five day seminar in SFS: Business Transformation. Sure, Champing, we give you lots of Business Infrastructure systems and procedures for free right HERE on this website. But with SFS: Business Transformation you get over 4,000 pages of digital business resources along with the support and training to implement them! Our five day SFS is EXACTLY what you need. Please attend soon! (Or if you can’t invest five days then come to one of our other SFS seminars!)
Champing, digest my suggestions and write me back with more questions and/or your progress. See you soon and best wishes!