Why is it that some companies are having record sales and profits while others are struggling? Why does one person in a community thrive, while the next in the same community barely survive? Why does this happen when they both have access to the same resources and opportunities?
Right now across the world, some cleaners are having record sales and profits (yes, even in “this” economy). By the time some of you read this article, it’s likely that the November election will have passed, thereby influencing your outlook on the economy - but it shouldn’t.
Although the general economy can impact your business in many ways over time, we give it more credit (or blame) than it deserves. I started my cleaning business in one of the worst economies in the Houston area. (In 1984, much of Texas relied on oil and there was an oil bust at the time.)
When one of my partners joined me in 1997, I was charging twice as much as him working in the same neighborhoods, sometimes next door! Why is that?
When the recent recession hit, our business was affected only slightly and we were able to turn a slight downturn into record sales very quickly. Our goal is to have record sales and profits every year. Because we had done the right things over time, we weren’t impacted as much as those who had been coasting on the wave. They were living in the bubble so to speak. But we aren’t the only ones having record sales and profits. Many of our members are having record sales and profits to this day.
Obviously it would take more than a series of articles to help you learn, much less implement the changes you may need to create record profits, but my experience working with some of the top business trainers in the world and coaching thousands of business owners around the world tells me that the following steps are vital to having record sales and profits:
1. Your mindset - how you think about money, success and the possibilities
2. Your skill - what you know and understand about business skills
3. Your habits - what you actually do with those skills
Let’s deal with your mindset first. World-famous American legend Zig Ziglar says that your business success doesn’t depend on what happens “out there” (the economy, etc.) but what happens “in here” (referring to the space between your ears).
First, everyone has a money mindset. Internally, every human being has a value system as it relates to money and how it is acquired. If you think that everyone who has money is evil, that somehow they are successful by doing something wrong, you will never be truly successful.
Some have the fear of failure. We don’t take action in this area because we might become worse off for trying. Failure is required for success and financial failures are temporary and can be fixed. Some have the fear of success - what will people expect of me if I am financially successful? My view is that money doesn’t make the man, it reveals the man. Your values (good or bad) are simply magnified by success.
Some of us don’t believe we deserve to be financially successful. Many values have made their way into our subconscious mind through our upbringing, traumatic events and from perhaps being unaware of our internal values relating to money. These internal fears and values may actually be sabotaging your success without you even knowing it. I know this is a little deep and actually a little scary, but we must become self aware of what our actual thoughts are producing.
So, how we think about money has a big impact on our success - especially in the area of sales and profits in our businesses. So, how should we think about money?
Zig Ziglar says “money isn’t the most important thing in life, but it is reasonably close to oxygen!” He goes on to say that you can have problems without money and you can have problems with money, and it is much better to have money when you have a problem!
You may have heard “the love of money is the root of all evil.” The key word is the “love” of money - putting money before relationships. But let me ask you a question: How “spiritual” is it to be in debt, paying ridiculous credit card rates? How awesome is it when you are able to truly help others financially because you have repaired this area of your life?
I’m not asking you to seek to be rich, but to understand that money is a tool just like a carpet cleaning wand. It’s the tool you need to understand how to use to feed your family - it’s the tool you can use to help others. Probably one of the biggest tragedies of an unprofitable small business owner is that you can’t help others in their legitimate financial woes.
Your small business can be a phenomenal vehicle to generate profits for many great causes. But you must have a specific goal in mind and the burning desire - the inspiration to generate that specific amount of income. If you aren’t inspired and motivated to reach that goal, you won’t hit it unless it’s by accident. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to succeed by accident. Yes, I need the Grace of God in my life to be successful, but I’m not going to wait for a president, an economy or anything else to create my success for me. I must take action.
If you aren’t passionate enough about making the amount of money you need for your family and for your dreams, it doesn’t matter what else I say to you. You can go ahead and put this article down and just continue along the path you are on now. Continue to struggle. Continue to complain. Continue to blame your lack of financial success on a political party, the economy or price-shopper customers. That’s up to you.
But if you have a dream and you really want to have record sales and profits, you can, but you must do the work.
So, let’s start with how much money you need. The first step is to figure out how much profit you need in your business. This is the amount of money you need personally for your family, to pay your bills - to get current on your taxes - to fund your future dream. What is that amount for the year? You must have that number.
Once you figure out how much money you need each year and each month, put together a 12-month cash flow budget. This is easy to do in QuickBooks and you simply figure out your monthly overhead (expenses that are there whether you do one dollar or a million). This is called your “fixed expense.”
Next, figure out what your cost of doing business is (i.e. your labor, materials and anything that changes with your sales numbers). You are looking for an average percentage. This is called your “cost of sale.” Let’s say it’s 15%. You know that for every dollar you do in sales, you have 85 cents that goes toward your overhead and profit.
Finally, make sure you invest at least 10% in marketing to grow your business. This is a big mistake cleaners are making. We’ll cover the actual marketing skill and systems later, but your money mindset must allow you to understand that you have to invest time and money into marketing.
Once you figure everything out, you’re left with a very important number - your sales goal.
Identify your sales goal (the number that is going to produce the amount of profit to help you achieve your life goals) for the year, then break it down by the month, week and day. Focus on this daily number and track it every day!
Now, why are you going to do all of this boring work? Because you can’t hit a target you can’t see! And you have a big dream, right?
Next month, I’ll bring you Part 2. Until then...
Dedicated to helping you build a phenomenal business, so you can have a phenomenal L.I.F.E. (living in freedom everyday).