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Too Many vs. Too Little

I’d lean towards too many – you might want to too!

What in the world am I talking about?

Ok, let me explain.

Some strategies we suggest for running a successful cleaning business are easy to understand, that’s right, crystal clear – unfortunately, this one’s not!

Today’s tip is a little clumsy to explain -hard to ‘nail down’.

But, if you read carefully, and then consider it even more carefully, I think you’ll find it is, in fact, a very powerful idea you can use in very specific ways - nearly every day in your janitorial company or maid service!

Ok, let’s look at two examples,

# 1 If you’re actively marketing and bidding accounts commercial or residential cleaning jobs, it can be easy to talk yourself into taking a break and stopping the marketing completely.

That’s right – you might really feel compelled to ‘turn off the marketing and advertising completely, when you sense you’re going to get swamped with a rush of new business – based on all the bids you’ve got out there – ‘percolating’.

# 2 When you’re hiring and training new employees to help clean your accounts, it can be easy to talk yourself in to not bringing on any extra employees, because, you think, IF the ones you’ve got hired STICK – you should be OK – yep, able to get caught up and cover everything.

Interesting. It could happen that way.

You could land so much business from the bids you’ve got out there, you’ll be plenty busy. hmmm…?

You could get all caught up in covering your accounts, if all the folks you hire and train stay on. hmmmm..?

It could happen, I suppose – in a perfect world.

Well, here’s today’s tip:

Think about going with too many rather than too few.

That’s right – a strategy that worked in our janitorial business was to keep marketing and to bring on a few extra accounts, even though it may feel like too many jobs, and a few extra cleaning associates, even though it may feel like too many employees.

Why would I say that?

Well, we simply seemed to do better when we leaned toward pushing ourselves when it came to ‘taking on new work’.

And we simply seem to do better…when we leaned toward bringing on a couple extra people when it comes to staffing up to cover accounts.

I suppose you could simply ‘chalk it up’ to experience in running our commercial cleaning company over the years.

And experience told us we shouldn’t shut off the marketing – ever, because it’s too easy to count your chickens (sales) before they’re hatched. And, when we kept marketing – it kept all of us on our toes and hitting the ground running each day to be productive.

Now, I’m not suggesting you get reckless; that you never pull back on the marketing until you’re ‘buried’ in work and can’t take care of your customers.

And I’m not saying to hire recklessly, way beyond the number of people you need to handle your cleaning business.

You know, there’s no substitute for common sense, but what I do mean is to consider this general strategy:

We did find, however, that when we took on a few more sales than we may have, at first, been comfortable with, we generally survived, in fact, seemed to do better.

And, we didn’t get caught as often – shutting down the marketing, only to find things slowed down, and we didn’t get half of the accounts we thought were ‘in the bag’.

And we found when we hired a few more folks than we may at first been comfortable hiring – we generally survived, in fact, seemed to do better.

We don’t get caught ‘short’ of help as often – because more people left than we thought we’re going to.

I told you today’s strategy was going to be a little
clumsy, and it is, because, there’s no hard and fast rule that I can give you – other than the general way described here.

At the very least, think about the principle, the idea – the next time you’re getting close to ‘shutting down’ the marketing or ‘putting the brakes’ on hiring.

It might just help you grow, while making sure you have enough people to handle the growth.

Please leave your comments below. Thanks, Dan

One Response to “Too Many vs. Too Little”

  1. jennifer wingfield says:

    Thanks for talking about the wanting to stop marketing. I do this off and on because i get so stressed out with my independent contractors leaving at a minutes notice that i stop the marketing until i get new people. Please give me some help with this I can’t seem to keep any people working for me for any length of time. Some of them have there own accounts and say they will work on such and such a day and then usually don’t show up. I don’t think i can hire my own employees because the workmans comp is so much. Any suggestions. I have had this business for about 15 years an i have managed to keep it going but it gets more difficult with my help. Jennifer

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