ICS Magazine

Making 2011 the Best Year Ever

February 1, 2011

“If you are going to think, think big,” said Donald Trump. Why wouldn’t this year be your very best? We are very fortunate to be in an industry that has not been affected as much by the economy as others have been.



“If you are going to think, think big,” said Donald Trump. Why wouldn’t this year be your very best? We are very fortunate to be in an industry that has not been affected as much by the economy as others have been.

Have you talked to any architects, builders, painters, realtors, carpet retailers or a host of other professionals lately? They have been devastated – through no fault of their own – but our carpet cleaning/ restoration industry continues on because people still need things cleaned and pipes still burst. Be grateful and thankful and don’t let the opportunities in our profession pass you by.

1. Make sure you follow every job with a courtesy follow-up call.

This one simple, yet profound activity will position your business as one of the top in your area. Most cleaners don’t do follow up calls because of the fear that they will have more redo’s. As Zig Ziglar said, “That is stinkin’ thinkin.’”

When a client is upset, they probably won’t call you but they will tell on average, twenty of their friends. When they are pleased, they will tell, on average, ten of their friends. That is a swing of thirty people and over time those numbers add up dramatically. Do the right thing and turn disappointed clients into your best cheerleaders.

2. Set goals, strategize, plan, implement and analyze.

Until you start working on your business, instead of always in your business, your company won’t grow. The steps I’ve laid out here constitute an article in itself, but for now, make sure that you take time to set goals, strategize, plan, implement and analyze. All these steps must be written down and carefully thought out.

For instance, my Sales Manager took the whole first week of January to plan out her year. Yes, she did not see a single client that entire week but she has a clear vision and strategy to accomplish her goals for the year. Every single month and week is now planned and I know the results will be amazing. Please take the time to figure out how you are going to increase your business this year. It probably won’t happen if you don’t aggressively plan it.

3. Add some services.

You may want to consider adding some services to your repertoire. How about water damage restoration, a very lucrative field? Maybe in-home drapery cleaning or air duct cleaning or clothes dryer vent cleaning? Natural stone restoration is becoming a bigger and bigger part of our industry as homeowners put more hard-floor surfaces into their homes. Oriental rug cleaning is a great market to be in and an IICRC course will give you the confidence and know-how to enter this very profitable market.

We are very fortunate to be in an industry in which we can add services fairly easily, so why not add some to your business this year and see your sales increase.

4. Commercial services

This market can be quite profitable if you do it the right way. I am not one for adding commercial accounts that are marketed by most other cleaners. By that I mean the commercial accounts that most cleaners try to acquire. Restaurants, inexpensive hotels, stores in the mall, apartment complexes etc. generally will not be clients that are willing to pay top dollar.

Many carpet cleaning companies struggle financially because the bulk of their clients are commercial accounts like the ones I just mentioned and these businesses don’t want to spend much money. You clean them at a very low profit margin and then they take forever to pay you.

Does this sound familiar? Why not go after the commercial accounts that are more concerned with quality, reputation and good service. I am referring to large office buildings and large commercial accounts such as hospitals, universities, 5 star hotels, power companies, government office buildings, law firms, large accountant firms, etc.

There are plenty of these businesses out there and the amazing thing is that they are not marketed to by carpet cleaning companies. Most cleaners are either intimidated by the thought of such large accounts or just don’t consider them. Don’t overlook this fantastic market and develop a strategy to land these high profit businesses.

5. Determine that you will have a positive attitude.

I just finished writing my fourth book, titled, “Forty Words (to Awaken the Entrepreneur Within)” and in it, I ask 75 very successful people what it takes to be a success. I received forty different words which I then talk about and their significance to entrepreneurs. My word, though, is attitude, and I am convinced that the people that have a positive attitude are the ones that are the most successful. If you are excited, encouraged and determined to make this year a great one and willing to plan and do the work, you will almost certainly have a successful year. When failures occur, will you get back on your feet and vow to yourself to move on and learn from the experience?

My hope is that the type of thinking I just mentioned will describe you this year and 2011 will be the best year you and your company ever had. Go get ‘em.