We have all heard the phrase “a comfortable routine”. And yes, there is no question that we are “creatures of habit”. This routine can be great since we all function better following a predictable path through life.
BUT this comfortable and yes, even boring routine can easily be converted into a deadly abyss if you get complacent in your business. Sure, hopefully you and your company will never suffer the agony and human tragedy that happened exactly one year ago- the Costa Concordia ship wreck on January 13, 2012!
But trust me- while it may not be as dramatic as gashing a 100 yard hole in a 450 million dollar ocean liner complacency can slowly doom your business. So a few thoughts on avoiding the “slow sinking” of your cleaning or restoration business …
- Know where you are at all times. When the captain of a ship is disoriented disaster looms. In business you may be blithely sailing to bankruptcy just because you don’t know what the early warning signals are. So I urge you to download our free Weekly Flash Report and fill it out every single week. (In my company I wanted the previous week’s Flash Report on my desk by Tuesday morning- NO EXCUSES!)
- Anticipate the route ahead. Sure, it is tough to see out even one month- much less a year or more. But making small “course corrections” now can save you big money and problems later. For example, are you focusing NOW on your spring marketing campaign? And if your long range goal is to increase your commercial contracts are you planting the seeds NOW?
- Build a good team at the helm- Even if you are an owner-operator you need capable people helping you steer your ship. (Maybe even more so!) So enlist the services of accountants, marketing experts and yes- even a much scorned attorney! (Remember that many of these people are delighted to trade their services for your services.)
- Don’t build a bigger ship than you are capable of captaining- The bigger the business the more challenging it is keeping it from shipwreck. Especially when you add employees working outside of your immediate control the stakes go up dramatically. So constantly be asking yourself if you are comfortable and in control of your business ship. If not (no sin in this) then you have the advantage of being able to “dial the size down”. Can’t do that with an ocean liner!
- “Only the paranoid survive”– Andrew Grove of Intel fame famously uttered these words many years ago. So got a few years under your belt? Then it is easy to lose that fine-tuned alertness you had when your business was young and you were “running scared”. Time to rustle up that fire in the belly again and dump complacency! Hopefully BEFORE your business slides into a “slow motion ship wreck!”
By the way, my thanks to Chuck Violand for borrowing one of his favorite analogies. (Chuck writes and teaches eloquently using this same “captaining your entrepreneurial ship” analogy.) Check out Chuck’s masterful prose by searching for “Chuck Violand boat” in the search box above.
NOTE: A modified form of this post originally appeared in the April, 2012 issue of ICS Cleaning Specialist magazine.
PS So did my Costa Concordia reflections cause any disquieting thoughts about your business? I sure hope so! And yes, the all-new SFS will be your very best way to “get all hands on deck!” Plus if you sign up and pay 30 days or more before your SFS seminar you’ll save 400.00!