I still remember my first employee, Vaughn. He was hardworking, clean-cut, cheerful and reliable. Even better, Vaughn related well to my customers and actually enjoyed cleaning carpets! And yet, somehow I was always vaguely dissatisfied with his performance. You see, Vaughn just didn’t seem to care about my business as much as I did.
Nobody ever said being in business on your own would be easy. Nobody was right. During my 20 years down in the trenches I veered from agonizing fear to fretting worry to wild exhilaration, sometimes all during the course of one sleepless night.
I always loved cleaning carpets. After all, what’s not to like? I made more money than I ever dreamed of, had complete freedom and loved “putting on a show” with the carpets magically turning from filthy to clean!
Nothing carries more emotional baggage than the concept of “home.” Warmth, peace, family, security, love…they are all wrapped up in an individual’s home. So to be successful working in the residential environment you must build your business around the “Emotional Dynamics of the Home Front.”
Carpet cleaners who face sleet, ice, snow, mud and the generally yucky conditions of winter have every right to be depressed right about now. Inevitably, your residential cleaning will fall off dramatically in wintertime.
Don't get me wrong. I like snow as much as the next guy. In fact, over 30 years ago Sioux and I moved to a small Colorado mountain town based on two burning desires: to ski full time and work as little as possible in the process!
It has never been easy out there as a small-business owner. And my students tell me it is getting tougher every year. But I'm guessing your biggest challenge has, is and always will be...people. That's right: attracting, hiring, training, managing and just plain dealing with employees will always be your biggest headache.