ICS Magazine

Building the Road Map for Your Business

August 16, 2011
One of my coaching clients, Lisa Giesler, is an organizing consultant. She has a book called “My Life is a Mess.” Owning your own business can be overwhelming because of the number of “hats” you have to wear.

Someone not only has to clean the carpet, but someone has to market, someone has to go on sales calls, someone has to do the bookkeeping, someone has to order supplies, someone has to fix the truck, someone has to clean the truck, and so on.

If you are a larger company and you have people actually doing some of these things, you are most likely overwhelmed as you try to manage them, and end up involved in many things that you don’t want to be involved in and probably shouldn’t be.

You are involved in too many areas because you haven’t learned the skill of leadership and systems.

How do you ever get over this?

You need a vision, a road map – a big, clear picture of the business. A great tool for developing this is an Organizational Chart. This is component two of five in building systems into your business.

Most cleaning businesses, regardless of the size look like this (Chart I). No wonder you are overwhelmed! You’re in every box!

So how do you get organized? You begin by understanding the 12 functions of the business. Every one of these functions is vital to be phenomenally successful in your business. And if you want a turn-key business, all of them are absolutely crucial.

Does someone have to plan the business to be more successful? You bet. That’s the role of what I call the “Director.” Does someone have to manage the business? Absolutely. Someone must make sure that all of the things that are supposed to happen actually get implemented. I call that the “Manager.”

And of course someone has to actually do the work. The work of cleaning. The work of marketing. The work of accounting.

The good news is that it doesn’t always have to be you. And folks, your spouse is not the only one that can answer the phone and do the books. He/she needs a life too.

So, understanding the three levels (Director, Manager and Technician) gives you a picture of how to separate and organized the major functions. And “Technician” is not just cleaning carpet. This is doing the work of the business. Any of the work “in” the business – like labeling mailers to go out, or making a sales call, or doing data entry – is a technician function.

Then there are what I call the 4 Pillars of a Phenomenally Successful Business. I went through them in great detail in a previous ICS article, but here’s a brief description of each:

Pillar No. 1: Marketing

Marketing is everything you do to attract prospects to your business. This includes advertising, referral programs, client mailers, internet marketing, networking, direct selling, and any other things you might do to attract prospects to your business.

Pillar No. 2: Sales

Sales is everything you do to turn a prospect into a paying customer. This includes answering the phone, your phone scripts, presentations and so on. Once they are on the schedule, they are a customer.

Pillar No. 3: Operations

Once the customer is scheduled, you now must provide them with an outstanding service experience so that they will return again and again and so that they will refer you as well. So operations is everything you do to serve the client. This includes getting the equipment ready, driving to the jobsite, your cleaning procedures and everything you actually do to serve the client.

Pillar No. 4: Administration

The final pillar is the tracking piece. This included your sales reports, income statement, your job average, production rates, closing rates and everything else that needs to be tracked to confirm that you are profitable and efficient.

How to Use the Organizational Chart

Begin to replace yourself in the bottom boxes. Start with the things that aren’t getting done and the things you despise doing (I know there are some of those!). Start with the things you aren’t good at.

I started my company out of the trunk of my car. My name was in every box. Of course, at that time, I didn’t even know there were boxes! Eventually I hired a helper. Then I hired a couple of technicians. Then I hired people to answer the phone. Then I merged with a couple of other cleaners and put one in charge of operations and the other in charge of administration.

We then hired people to do inside sales and on-location sales. Eventually, I got someone doing marketing with me and then for me. Eventually, I was only in two boxes: “Marketing Director” and “Sales Director.”

Today my business is turn-key. Although I meet with my staff once a week and we work on projects, I don’t really have a “job” in the business other than the responsibility of owning it.

Systematizing your business can be done. A turn-key business is possible. But you must have a compelling vision to drive you. Without it, you will never do the hard work (yes, it is hard work) of building systems in your business.

I knew I wanted to do what I am doing now. My vision to do that drove me to build a turn-key business. You can do it to. Next month, we will talk about how to get others to take some of the boxes for you.

Remember, you were created to be phenomenal, to do phenomenal things and to have a phenomenal life!