Situational Awareness can save you in life-threatening circumstances. It can also not only save your cleaning and restoration company from disaster but also drive it on to thriving business success. But first let me introduce you to what Situational Awareness is and why I mention it …
Thanks to the miracles of the Internet I’m able to enjoy my favorite public radio stations from where I live in the Dominican Republic. Since we’re an hour ahead of Eastern Time during half of the year, I get to listen to what many of you would call “early morning shows”. Recently a “survival expert” was interviewed on how to survive increasingly common disasters- everything from earthquakes or forest fires to “Human Disasters” such as a pistol toting crazy loose in a shopping mall.
One phrase stuck with me on the topic of surviving danger- “situational awareness”. (S/A) In other words, by using S/A you are always aware of what is going on around you, how it might affect you AND how to take steps immediately to avoid/escape the problem. So then of course I started musing on how “business S/A” could apply to a carpet cleaning, restoration or Jan-San entrepreneur …
People needlessly die every day in disasters simply because they are in a “comfortable routine” and don’t wake up soon enough to take evasive action. No one would argue that the current business climate is a not a “disaster”! So are you awake, alert and using your “business situational awareness”? Or are you (and your cleaning business) just complacently stumbling along?
Maybe most importantly, SA keeps you focused on what is “coming at you”. I had an office manager once (very nice and sweet lady who we will call Marge) who never quite mastered the “forward thinking” aspect of S/A. For example, Marge would call me all excited, “Steve, I just deposited the Gunderson insurance loss check. Do you realize we have over $80,000.00 in the company checking account?”
My reply never varied, “That is wonderful, Marge! Now, can you tell me how much we have ‘in the pipeline’?” You see, that 80K (while very nice!) was already “spent” even though we might still have had physical possession of it. So with my S/A I was always looking forward trying to anticipate what cleaning jobs were going to pay my next month’s payroll, mortgage payment and of course, my Jon-Don bill! Of course, Business S/A is not only forward looking …
At the same time, S/A means you are anticipating what is going to sneak up behind you and bite you in the butt. Adjuster/policy holder issues, customer complaints, worker’s comp claims, disgruntled employees, expensive equipment repairs all can take a huge toll on your cleaning company- IF you are not prepared for them.
I always told my staff there was nothing we could not deal with- IF we knew about it. (I didn’t know about the term Situational Awareness in those days!) But what got me hat-stomping mad was when we got “sand-bagged” due to complacency, arrogance or more likely poor communication within our restoration/cleaning company.
Finally, I had it with “ugly surprises” and actually did something about this frustrating problem. I developed a one-page Weekly Flash Report that gave me our current situation, our future anticipated expenses/income, current restoration and cleaning work-in-progress and any “issues” that were pending along with a slew of other data. The Flash Report functioned as my weekly “State of the Union” address for my company.
I wanted the Flash Report to be on my desk by 8 AM every Tuesday with everything that had happened in my company for the previous week plus everything that was LIKELY to happen in the weeks/months ahead. It was invaluable for me and you can download it for free right now courtesy of Jon-Don and Strategies for Success.
Let me know what you think, suggestions/changes that you like and maybe most importantly, we love to hear Success Stories of how our SFS team has changed your business and/or life for the better!
PS. Don’t wait until you are in a business disaster to start looking for help with your cleaning business. Start educating yourself today on this website and in our SFS facebook group. Jon-Don also offers a wide variety of technical and business seminars that can keep your awareness on edge.