I’m going nuts here. I started out in carpet cleaning (actually I sort of fell into it because my brother-in-law is a carpet cleaner) way back in 1986. I always made a good living, had fun with my customers and had time with my family. But I kept getting busier and busier so everyone convinced me to expand. You know the “rest of the story”, right? Now I have five employees, three trucks and life just isn’t fun anymore. Have you ever known anyone who just hung up on the big business deal and went back to being an owner-operator?
Burned Out in Denver
Dear Burned Out,
I feel your pain. Actually I know many people who have gone big and then downsized, including ME one time. I had gotten too big for my britches and expanded foolishly before I was emotionally and mentally ready so I fired every single employee, went back to working on the truck with a helper and spent the next year reading every single book on running a small service business I could find. (In fact, many of then are listed on Big Billy’s suggested reading lists!)
So sure, you CAN do it. But I also remind every SFS class to “not make business decisions emotionally”. You may just be tired right now. Certainly you have invested a great deal of time, effort and money over the years building this bigger business. So before you dump it all really analyze a) what you want out of life and b) can what you have built up to now be “fixed” to support your Life Vision?
It does all come back to you. I have noticed something interesting over the years. Many of the people who are now very happy and successful as an owner-operator operation tried the big route and then scaled back as a conscious decision. I wonder if they would be as contented today if they had never tried? Just a thought.
BUT I also wonder if they would have gone back to the one man show (with it’s undeniable disadvantages) if they had built their business with the Value Added concepts, systems and procedures that are available today with the SFS program? So before you just walk away why not invest five days in at least examining the business options in front of you- including the ready made Business Infrastructure of over 1,100 pages of systems and procedures that SFS provides.
On the other hand, if you want to step back for awhile as I did- great. One of the benefits of this industry is you can ramp up your business so inexpensively. It really doesn’t cost much to get a huge increase in revenue. For example, we are super excited about a new industry concept we call “Encap Routes”. These are regular commercial routes you build and then very well paid part-time employees run them with a Cimex out of their own car!
You get a tremendous cash flow you can count on and without having to increase your overhead or invest a huge amount in new equipment. (A Cimex Cyclone carried in an employee’s personal vehicle is about 10% of the cost of a new TM/van combo and yet has the same income potential!)
Let us know how you are doing,