Longing for a good night’s sleep …


Dear Steve,

This graveyard shift commercial work is killing me. As soon as I can leave it I really hope to not be doing these night jobs.  But the decision may be made for me!

For example, my biggest account for night work is going broke. A restaurant on the outskirts of town. So they are not getting the carpets cleaned. I consider it a mixed blessing. I need the work and the carpet is easy enough to clean. I had it on a monthly cleaning schedule although it needed it more often than that. It isn’t looking good for me keeping this account.

But then I got other late night work at some other stores. These jobs are wearing me down as well. They don’t take long but leaving the house at 11:30 pm to clean carpet sucks!  If I can’t get out of this night work I am determined to start raising the prices on my future night job bids. All future jobs will have a big increase per sq ft. I’m just not interested anymore. After ten years it is getting to me…

Steve, am I doomed to this drudge work for the rest of my career?  How can I break this rut I feel that I am in?

Drained Out in Dover

Well Drained, I wish I had the magic answer for you. I never minded long days, even if they continued into the night. (Still don’t.) But like you I really, really, really, REALLY HATED coming home, cleaning up, eating, starting the long slide toward bed time and THEN HAVING TO GO BACK OUT AND CLEAN MORE CARPETS!!! (It wasn’t so much the work. It was just knowing I had it hanging over me all evening.)

It’s the “good news/bad news” of commercial work. Consistent and very profitable. But also morale destroying and energy sapping if you do it yourself.

Of course, there is a segment of the population that thrives on this night schedule. Have you considered looking at expanding your workforce to include a Technician that could do this portion of the work while you work days? (This Special Report addresses some of the challenges bringing on employees can include.) My guess your “highest and best use” is not pushing a scrub wand in some greasy spoon at 3 AM!)

Your challenge is to get enough work to build a commercial route. Getting from here to there … that’s the fun part. Been there- done that, Drained. Not easy.  Look in our Special Reports Directory and click on the link “How to Sell Commercial Work”.  Then get out there and do it!  As Peter Finch screamed out the window all those many years ago, “I’m mad as heck and I’m not going to take it anymore?”  Well, Drained, I know you are “desperate”.  But are you MAD?  Then just DO something!  As Chuck Violand always says, “Luck favors a body in motion!”  (This stuff isn’t rocket science!)


P.S. In our early days we did try to put all our commercial work on one or two nights per week. It meant a long day, at times up to 16 or 18 hours. But then I “rewarded” myself with the next day off. If you schedule the work for Sunday night and take off Monday you almost got yourself a three day weekend! Beats rolling out every night for one crummy job. Have I mentioned I really hated leaving the house after having come home and relaxed?

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