Do you have what it takes for customers to sing your praises?
Every entrepreneur hopes to build a million dollar-plus business. Most are determined, resourceful and energetic. They’ve read extensively about what it takes to succeed in business and their specific industry. Some have even learned how to put together a formal business plan and get funded. They’re willing to work hard to grow their business to the point where they can hire others to oversee day-to-day operations. They look forward to leading strategically while enjoying the flex hours and perks of ownership. To turn aspirations into reality, though, entrepreneurs must not forget about the much less glamorous task of establishing the good business habits that will be foundational to their success. As someone who helps entrepreneurs in the cleaning industry build profitable, ultimately marketable businesses, I’ve observed a few “unsung” traits that point to entrepreneurial success:
1 Keen Eyes
It’s a talent to keep one eye on the ceiling and one eye on the floor. In the early days, a company’s staff is usually lean, so entrepreneurs run their organizations from the floor. They must make decisions on the fly, often in rapid succession, day in and day out. It’s an important skill. Unwittingly, though, some entrepreneurs set processes in motion that are actually contrary to their business’s long-term health. They forget to stop and ask, “Does this decision work toward our strategic plan?” An entrepreneur looking down from the ceiling, for example, would resist using bleach on shower mildew at a customer’s request. The potential damage claims, health hazards or environmental risks might ultimately conflict with favorable insurance rates, employee safety programs or green positioning.
2 Willing Hands
Conversely, as a young cleaning company grows, and an entrepreneur moves away from daily duties, they must remain keenly interested and personally proficient in the hands-on production aspects of their business. Continuous professional development and ongoing R&D must be a priority. This is necessary for the benefit of the entire community of clients and employees. These duties can’t be delegated, as this leadership and modeling must come from the top. Ultimately, it’s an entrepreneur’s willing hands — his or her openness to go back out into the field to learn and demonstrate best practices and innovations—that can make or break a young company.
3 Great Heart
Finally, never underestimate the importance of the human element as an entrepreneur, especially in our industry. When consumers give a young company access to their home or business, that’s a big leap of faith. Establishing connectedness with both customers and employees will help an entrepreneur develop the trust and loyalty necessary for long-term growth. However, don’t confuse connectedness with networking. It’s much more than that. It’s the underlying compassion, thoughtfulness, sincerity and optimism that ultimately convert an entrepreneur’s networking, interpersonal communications and loyalty-building initiatives into powerful agents of growth.
Cloud Q. Conrad is Vice President of Brand Strategies at Maid Brigade, a franchise leader in residential cleaning with licensed service areas available in the U.S. and Canada. For more information about Maid Brigade, click here.