Creating wealth is your most important job.
Running a business is difficult; running a profitable business even more so. I know. I started my home cleaning business 35 years ago. There were lots of ups and downs in those early years, and no clear model to follow. Eventually, sales surpassed the $1 million mark and today my company is closing in on $2 million in revenue.
Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to meet many business owners, all trying to cope with their own set of challenges. In time, I began recognizing those who would succeed and those who –– even with huge talent, energy and effort –– were destined to fail.
A Successful Mindset
It wasn’t their ability to take on the challenges of cleaning processes, sales, scheduling or training that foretold their fate. Rather, a mindset. The owners who thought of themselves as business people first were the ones who set themselves up for success. These owners were business people running a cleaning company, rather than cleaners who happened to be running a business.
Let me explain. By definition, “The purpose of a business is to create wealth for the owner(s).” That statement makes some people uncomfortable. It sounds a bit selfish. When I started out, I was uneasy with this concept, too. My background was in teaching and sales, so I was at home in those roles. It wasn’t until I started thinking of myself as a businessperson that I began to have real success. And guess what? The people around me –– my clients, employees, suppliers––
all benefitted from my success as well. Creating wealth isn’t selfish at all; quite the opposite. If your company fails, everyone loses. When your company is profitable, everyone benefits.
Business Skills and Processes
When you change your perspective in this way, suddenly your business skills have a lot riding on them. You begin to assess how daily decisions impact the financial well-being of your enterprise.
- How much should I pay my cleaners? Should I pay them all the same?
- Should I charge my clients by the hour or quote a flat rate?
- Should I use a home office or rent commercial space for my operations?
- Where do I find new clients?
Each of these issues will demand more information so that you can do an analysis. This process will lead you to options. Each choice relates to other aspects of your business and will have an impact on your profits. Applying business skills and processes consistently to these questions will make the best choices obvious. That, in turn, will increase your profits.
It’s time to get comfortable with your role as a businessperson. It might feel strange at first, but eventually it will be second nature. You’ll be creating wealth for the benefit of yourself and others, and success will be yours.
Patrick Irwin is president of Windsor Home Cleaning, which he founded in 1978. Located in Ottawa, Ontario, this award-winning company now has forty cleaning technicians, plus a full-time operations and finance staff. For more information about Windsor Home Cleaning, click here.