How to achieve success as an owner-operator!

Life is full of choices. Your challenge? Recognizing that apparently small decisions you make now may profoundly affect your future.

For example, as a cleaning and restoration contractor you face an ongoing HUGE choice. (Whether you recognize it or not!)

Yep, your eternal choice is between two ‘Business Model’ choices:

A) “Should I ‘stay small’ as a solo owner-operator?” OR…

B) “Do I want to ‘get big’ by building a Critical Mass Business that will run without me?” NOTE: Puhleeease avoid what I call ‘The Road In-Between’!

Let’s say (at least for now) you decide to enjoy the (supposedly) simple life of a Lone Wolf owner-operator? If so, then…

You must develop an ‘Initial Action Plan’ to be SUCCESSFUL as a solo owner-operator!

Above all else as an owner-operator you must…

1.Dramatically raise your prices! Customers WILL pay more for for the privilege of having a fussy, OCD owner being on every job… IF you charge for it! You can not (and should not) compete with the Big Boys on price!

NOTE: CLICK HERE for my 5-step system to raise your prices without losing previous clients!

2. Learn to say “I’m sorry but I’m all booked up”! Carve out time for what I call in SFS the ‘Four F’s’: Family, Friends, Faith and Fun! Then stick to your work schedule. Customers WILL wait… if you firmly say “SORRY but I can’t fit you in till…”!

3. Invest in reliable and efficient equipment. Time is your most precious resource as an owner-operator. Electric hose reels, an inline sprayer, a CRB machine and even a backpack to carry everything in one trip from the van will increase your efficiency.

4. Take care of yourself! When ‘you are the company’ its important to be extra careful! Pace yourself, drive cautiously, don’t ‘eat crap’ and work out. Even so, as a Lone Wolf you must also…

5. Develop a personal ‘Disaster Plan’. Bad things can happen to good people. So have your Strategic Partnerships already lined up. (And keep at least six months living expenses in liquid investments!)

6. Line up ‘on-call’, part time workers. The beauty of ‘on-call’ helpers? A) You only use them when you’re on big jobs so you can pay them very well. B) Your on-call workers have a regular job so you’re not under pressure to feed their family! Even with this extra help I want you to…

7. Look down the road. As a solo Lone Wolf time is NOT on your side. (Our bodies are only going one way!) So regularly fund your Personal Investment Plan. Carefully analyze how you’ll fund your Golden Years. Your very best ‘retirement vehicle’? Please…

8. Seriously consider building a Critical Mass Business(CMB)! Yep, a CMB will give you a worry free retirement while spinning off cash to let you jet around the world! Fair warning: Creating a Critical Mass Business isn’t easy. That’s why you need a CMB ‘Initial Action Plan’ so let’s focus on your CMB ‘Initial Action Plan’ soon!

Steve 

 

3 thoughts on “How to achieve success as an owner-operator!”

  1. Really good stuff Steve. I have thought of all of these from time to time over the years but implementing them, well, 🙁

    I am facing surgery next week that will put me out of the game for 10 days. I simply can’t book anything during that time. 🙁

    Tony

  2. I’m pretty much a lone wolf but I have one employee.
    I a client with three buildings to clean. Each building takes about two to three hours to clean. Hard to find workers to fill these positions with such short hours plus you need transportation to make it to work. Everyone wants to be paid CASH.
    How should I handle this? This situation is leaving me stagnate.

  3. Good to hear from you, Milton! Finding quality people is always a tough one. Some thoughts:

    #1) Do you just need to get the word out? If you are paying a premium wage (see #3 below) then many people are looking for part time work to supplement their regular job. Have you posted on Facebook, spread the word out to your friends, customers and congregation members.

    #2) Milton, are these janitorial accounts a sideline for you? If so, ask yourself if the profit margin is there to justify them. Especially when you consider my point #3 below…

    #3) Everything in capitalism is based on ‘supply and demand’. If nothing else try paying your part time employees more. Janitorial is tough work with bad hours. So people do want to be rewarded and who can blame them. Let us know how things are going!

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