Question: How can I get off the truck and stay off?
Steve’s answer: It isn’t easy! But here are some resources to help you…
I have been (painfully) trying to get off the truck for several years now since I’m getting ‘older’! 🙁 I hire employees who literally are begging for a job, spend several months training them and then BANG! they either do something so incredibly stupid I am forced to fire them or they quit/ move away/ go into competition against me! I just get so mad. Should I just go back to being a solo owner-operator?
Semi-deranged in Houston
Whoa there, Semi!
Who said it was easy for me? Heck, I freely admit the number one reason many years ago I woke up and said, “I’m outta here” was my employees. And I had 15 pretty good employees! (OK, and a couple of marginal ones too!) Nothing can bring more joy than working toward a common goal with quality people … or more grief.
However, Semi, at the end of the day the ‘get big versus stay small question’ can only be answered by YOU after a lot of soul-searching.(Which is I guess what you are doing!) So here are a few ‘employee thoughts’ relating to should you go back to being a solo O/O …
How does “A Tale of Two Cities” open, Semi? “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times” or something like that? Just recognize that employees will ALWAYS be your biggest challenge. Sorry but that is just the way it is!
On the other hand, recognize that in this industry without employees chances are all you will ever own is a “job”. It’s just tough to build a ‘real business’ without adding employees. As an extremely talented owner of a janitorial service with over 500 employees once told me, “Steve, all I sell is people.”
I think what I disliked the most about the ’employee challenge’, Semi, was always waiting for ‘the other shoe to drop’. Just when I finally got everything running smoothly … BOOM! I got sandbagged with another totally unforeseen employee problem. That’s tough for a OCD ‘control freak’ like me!
Now there is no doubt that a person can be a “success” without suffering through the agonies of employees. BUT for your business to have value as a retirement nest egg very likely you must increase both its volume and profits to the point where you will be forced to hire employees.
NOTE #1: Please do not fall into the trap of what I call in SFS ‘The Road In-Between’ Business Model! This is a terrible way to spend your life and yet is where most carpet cleaners eventually end up!
If an individual rejects this approach (which is certainly their right) then they must provide for their retirement financing in another way. Regular investing plans, buying rental properties, developing a post-retirement hobby that can bring in funds too … the choice is up to you. (The one thing you DON’T want to do is depend on Social Security to “take care of you”!)
The sad thing is I see so many carpet cleaners ‘growing old on the wand’ without making provisions financially to retire. As I always say in my SFS Training, “One day, you will leave your business … your only choice is how and when.” But isn’t it great that you get to choose your future?
NOTE #2: No matter which growth path you choose our SFS Training Options will be a HUGE resource for you. Why? Because we’ll cut many years off your learning curve. And as you mentioned, Semi, you’re not getting any younger!
And BTW, Semi, everyone in our Strategies for Success: Growing Your Business Facebook Group is delighted to help you in these decisions. (You don’t have to be a SFS graduate to join thousands of other cleaning and restoration contractors… all focused on helping you in ‘Growing Your Business’!) Mull over what we’ve talked about above and get back to me …