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
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
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
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.