Management

Is It Time To Quit?

November 11, 2011
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Is it? Having been in this industry for over twenty years and having coached business owners for the last five years, I would have to say there are situations in which taking down the sign and closing the doors is not a bad idea.

The reason you went into business is to achieve your life goals and if that is not happening, you may want to take a good look at what you are doing. So, let’s do just that: let’s examine your business, your life and lifestyle and have an honest assessment of just where you are. Who knows; maybe working a regular job at Home Depot isn’t all that bad, or maybe just you need to be inspired and remember why you got into this industry in the first place.

The carpet cleaning and restoration business has so many fantastic qualities but perhaps the day to day grind has blinded your eyes to all the benefits. Let’s take a look.

Burnout Doesn't Mean It's Time to Quit

We all get burned out at times. I can remember one time when I was ready to throw in the towel. I came home late from work and my wife was watching Donald Trump on “The Apprentice.” Just as I walked into the house, The Donald came on and said, “Losers are quitters.”

I knew that somehow that message was tailor made for me and I decided that I was going to change my attitude and start taking massive action. That was three years ago and since then my business has taken off and this year we are up thirty percent over last year.. I had no business thinking about quitting, I just needed a good kick in the rear to wake me up.

This is a Tremendous Industry

Every year on the first day of practice, Coach Vince Lombardi would tell his players, “Gentlemen, this is a football.” Obviously, those grown athletes knew it was a football, but he was reiterating the importance of the fundamentals.

Let me do the same here with you. The benefits of the carpet cleaning/restoration business are mind blowing. You can have a profit margin of 20% to 50%; that is incredible. Go talk to all those other business owners who have a profit margin of 4% to 5% and see if they would like to change industries. You can train a technician in 30 days or less, and then charge $100 to $200 per hour for his services. Plumbers, electricians, HVAC contractors and others have to train their people for years to charge the same amount.

We are not impacted very much by the recession, because while people may not buy new upholstery or carpet, they will clean it. Pipes burst whether the recession is on or not, and companies will always be needed to dry out structures. I could go on, but remember, you got into this industry because it had so many advantages. Don’t forget about them when things get a bit difficult.

Decide What You Want and Go After It

If you love cleaning carpets and don’t mind being a one-truck wonder, then enjoy that fact and live with it. If you want to have a turn-key business, then start laying out the groundwork for that scenario today. It doesn’t happen overnight, and it doesn’t happen without careful planning and making good decisions.

If Every Day is a Nightmare (or Close To It), Then...

Things have to change. This is no way to live, and you would be better off working a nine-to-five JOB (Just Over Broke). I have coached companies that have very little income and have had very little in sales for years, and in all honesty, the problem may be that you are just plain lazy and living in a dream world that tells you, “One day things are going to turn around.”

I have news for you: if you are just plain lazy, things are not going to turn around and do yourself and your family a favor and get a real job. Being the successful owner of your own company is the domain of hard-working people. Lazy cannot be helped, so get a job where someone tells you what to do, and perhaps you’ll get somewhere.

There could be other reasons besides laziness that you are living a nightmare, such as no time off, terrible employees, broken down equipment, fearing the days that payroll needs to be paid, plenty of jobs but they are all priced too low or simply not enough work, etc.

I have a solution for all of these situations:

Put Sound Business Principles in Place

Many a carpet cleaning/restoration business owner runs their business by the seat of their pants and doesn’t have a clue as to what a good business looks like. Get help, read books, go to seminars, but mainly…

Make a Decision, and Nobody - Including You - Is Going to Stop You

I truly believe that with the right attitude, all of your business problems can be overcome and that you can have the business of your dreams. I know that, in my case, when I am unhappy with my business, if I merely change my attitude and realize what a great business I have and what a great industry I am in, things take a turn for the better.

In short, if you feel like quitting, make sure that you are not just plain old lazy and if you aren’t, work on changing your attitude. Additionally, get some outside help to straighten out the ship and get things going so that you can achieve your life goals.

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