Profits in Trauma?


Hi Mr. Toburen,

How is everything? I hope well. I just have a quick question for you. I’ve been talking to my boss, Charlie, about the possibility of growing into trauma cleanup. I read a few articles on it, and it has caught my attention. I persuaded him to at least consider sending me to be trained in this area. I was wondering if you did trauma clean up when you were in business? Do you think it could be profitable? If you could help me try to understand the pros and cons of this specialized area, I would be very grateful!

Thank you so much for your help. It’s always a pleasure to hear your input!

Still Learning in Atlanta

PS. We are still implementing many ideas from SFS and are seeing great results!

Hey Learning,

You are correct to not take trauma clean up casually. It is a very different business and obviously not for the faint-hearted. We did some of it in a half-hearted sort of way when I was in business. However, times have changed. So some questions for you and Charlie to ponder:

  1. Is your local market area heavily populated enough to justify the expenditure and distraction of diversifying into this new business? Remember that even if you totally dominate the market there will only be a certain number of trauma cleanups required per 100,000 population. Gruesome but true!
  2. What is the level of competition in this field? I assume someone is currently servicing this market. What will you bring to the table that will differentiate your company and don’t tell me being cheaper than the other guy!
  3. How well will this area of work lend itself to employees? Evidently you personally are interested in trauma cleanup but as you grow I assume you personally will not be on each job. So while you may have a “strong stomach” what about your new hires?
  4. There are obviously a huge new level of laws and regulations required with bio-hazard work and a new degree of government scrutiny involved. Are you sure you want to go there?
  5. By going in to trauma cleanup will you suffer from “management dilution” that will distract you from developing your core business sectors? Too often I see carpet cleaners veering off into new diversifications that just suck them dry financially and time wise when their efforts would be much better invested in their main business.
  6. Maybe most importantly, Learning, WHY are you doing it? Too many times the REAL REASON we want to offer something new in our business is because we are just BORED with what we are currently doing! So analyze why you want to do this and if it makes sense economically and strategically with the long range goals you have.

Let me know what you decide. If you go into trauma cleanup I’d love to hear the pros and cons and how you did it. Remember that SFS is all about sharing and my thanks in advance for your help.

Give my regards to Charlie and tell him I said he has a treasure in such an employee that will take a personal interest in his business!


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