A few reminders on ‘staying small’…

I’ve been there. I started my cleaning business from nothing– no funding, no technical training or experience, no business knowledge and NO ‘grand vision’! Honestly…

All Sioux and I wanted to do was work as little as possible while skiing full time! (This business model still sounds appealing!) And yet…

Against all odds my company grew and (I thought) prospered. But wait! This isn’t your typical rags-to-riches cleaning story! You see, my company grew way-too-quickly into much more than I could personally handle. Then without a clue I desperately added employees and… my life quickly became a living hell! Sound familiar?

Much chastened, I ‘retreated’ and while licking my wounds downsized to being a solo owner-operator (O/O) again! Sound familiar? This ‘start small/get big/get burned and get small again’ Business Model is very common in our industry. If you’re there now I want you to…

Carefully count the costs of ‘staying small’ long term.

True, you CAN be successful as a solo ‘Lone Wolf’ O/O. (Click HERE for my 8 step checklist for owner-operator success.) However, even the very best one-person cleaning or restoration business faces inevitable (and quite possibly disastrous) consequences. For example:

1. Limited earning potential. You personally can only do so much work per day! (Raising your prices will help dramatically!)

2. No ’emergency backup’. Yep, at the end of the day it is just… you! Illness and accidents can destroy a Lone Wolf operation! (Strategic Partnerships can help.)

3. Little or no ‘time off’. Yep- even on vacation that cell phone follows you! After all, cleaning (and even more so restoration) is an ’emotionally driven’, urgent event. If you’re not available your clients will go… elsewhere! So too often an O/O becomes a slave to their job… errr… I mean, ‘business’!

4. You’re deep down exhausted! This is a tough business physically!  Burning out as an O/O is a very real danger. (Lining up part-time, on-call help can be a life saver.)

5. You are lonely. Running a business all on your lonesome is emotionally exhausting! NOTE: The need for a ‘shoulder to cry on’ may lead you to consider a partnership. DON’T DO IT! (CLICK HERE to see why!)

6. Little or no ‘cashing out’ potential. Even a highly profitable cleaning or restoration one-person operation will have little or no potential in a business sale. (Consistently ‘sweeping’ a percentage of your income into a Personal Investment Plan will be a life-saver!)

Still nervous from your previous ‘getting big’ effort(s)? I don’t blame you! However, please remember…

You didn’t have the free resources founds on our SFS website. (Or my free weekly QuickTIP email.) And you didn’t enjoy the support of thousands of cleaning and restoration contractors in our Strategies for Success: Growing Your Business Facebook Group. (You don’t need to be a SFS grad to join us!)

Plus don’t forget the incredible advantage of the plug-and-play ‘Business Infrastructure’ our SFS Training Options give you in building your Critical Mass Business! Imagine achieving the Personal Freedom of a company that runs smoothly with you… OR without you! Let’s ‘git ‘er done’!

Steve

2 thoughts on “A few reminders on ‘staying small’…”

  1. Totally up to the individual! However, I see so many in the industry that wish they had started to build a Critical Mass Business much earlier in their career. Then when they wake up they are really ‘behind the 8 ball’! So I just am reminding folks to ‘count the cost’ of staying small and of course to always ‘find your sweet spot’ in life! 🙂

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