Thursday, August 04, 2005

The Evolution of a Cleaning Business-Part One

I was a young whippersnapper ready to rule the world. I knew it all, especially anything related to business. I had already managed people. I already knew how to make a sale. And I had already made a lot of money running a business for someone else. No one could be better than me!

That is, until I actually owned a business. I thought that you hired someone, you trained someone, and they worked for you forever. I thought that if you said the right things and did the right things, then everything would work out. I was wrong, dead wrong.

Two Maids & A Mop started ominously on April Fools' Day. I had reviewed the business' income statement and I was ready to get rich. The problem is that we only had five employees and just over twenty clients. The phone lay silent day after day, and the losses came piling in. What had I done? Did I really pay money for this "business"?

The turning point came one lonely night when I least expected it. I had worked a long day, with it ending at about 10 PM. I sat on my back porch wondering what my next move was going to be. Do I quit, or do I buck up and fix the problems? I'm not sure what happened, but I decided today was the last day of my depression. Problems were about to be fixed and goals were about to be set.

My first order of business was to fix the immediate problems. I had a terrible compensation system. I ran a disorganized, hectic office. And, I priced the services as if we were in a bargain bin. The next 30 days were not fun. Employees cried because their free ride was over. Customers cried because their free ride was over. And, I cried because profitability was finally in sight.

The easy part was over. Now, my attention needed to be focused on growing our customer base to more than just twenty clients. Part Two will explain....stay tuned.

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