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Crossroads of Expansion

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Question: How can I expand my new business? Should I?

Steve’s solution: It all depends on what you want out of life! But there is one Business Model you MUST avoid!

Hey Steve,

I’ve only been in business for two years. Up till now I have been an owner-operator with occasional part time help. But now I’m looking at a possible expansion over the next year.

I’d like to hire a full time helper first and see where that goes. If it works out, I’ll train him to take the truck out as a technician and hire him another helper. Then I’ll buy an overflow truck and I can make up the difference on heavy days until I feel I have enough work to hire another team.

Now I have to focus on keeping up with the flow while not making too many mistakes or poor decisions along the way. Any advice would be appreciated!

Excited in Phoenix

Dear Excited,

I’m excited too! As you’re finding out, this can be a great industry, IF you do it right! So congratulations on trying to see the pot-holes in the road BEFORE you hit them! Your challenge? There are many “business roads” for you to choose in the cleaning and restoration industry. So “begin with the end in mind”!

Right now you are at a big “Y” in the road. Should you build a business based on employees … or stay small as an owner-operator? Yes or no? It all depends! Simply put, Excited, you can choose the “big company/lots of employees road” and make more money, enjoy more security and potentially build a great organization that will sell for big bucks to fund your retirement.

Interestingly, for me it wasn’t “all about the money”.  Instead, I discovered that building “something of value” can be extremely gratifying emotionally. It was a true joy for me to recruit and motivate a team of quality people that helped me find success as I also helped them achieve their dreams. This goal sounds like it might be your dream too, Excited! HOWEVER…

A “successful life” should be about more than just piling up tons of money.So you could also choose the small owner-operator “Lone Wolf road” and enjoy the freedom and lack of worries that not having employees gives you. Many carpet cleaners rank a worry free, low stress lifestyle far above achieving a huge net worth. And this “less is more” lifestyle approach can’t be faulted. But now for a HUGE warning, Excited…

All too often carpet cleaners wind up on the dangerous and frustrating “Road In-Between”. (RIB) The “RIB” is where you hire employees (with all the potential problems and dangers that they present) but continue to run your business in the carefree (some might say careless!) manner of an owner operator. This is a difficult and potentially financially devastating place to be. I call it being “too big but too small.”

NOTE: IF you want to grow into a Critical Mass Business and achieve Personal Freedom you must pass through a “growth phase” of being on the Road In-Between. But PLEASE don’t spend your life on the RIB! (Far too many cleaning and restoration contractors are stuck here!) Instead…

Analyze one simple question: “Where is the Sweet Spot in my life?” As in “What would be the ‘Perfect Day’ for me where I would just jump out of bed eager for the day to start?” (Of course, remember ever day can’t be on the golf course- your family still has to eat!) Then start working toward achieving your “Chosen Life-style”!

How to avoid the dangerous RIB Business model, Exciting? Download my free Special Report called “Avoiding the Road In-Between” hereNOTE: Notice how many times the words “Choose” and “choice” appear above, Excited? Your life really is a choice- so do so!

Steve

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