Although I typically refer to myself as a consultant, when working one-on-one with cleaning contractors, in many ways, I am a business coach.
Contractors hire me when they are doing well and want to do even better. I use my expertise in the cleaning industry to help them grow further.
However, more often I’m engaged to help contractors and their businesses travel through a challenging time. In these cases, I help them make the right decisions and take the proper steps to get back on their feet.
Although a great deal of my work is focused on how the contractor’s business is operating and where improvements can be made, my initial steps with a new client are often on a more personal level.
Here are some of the more common personal issues I encounter and help my clients to correct:
Egos. We see this most often with family-owned contracting companies. Father (or Mother) has always done things one way, but the offspring, now taking over the business, says another approach should be considered. What I often see happening in these situations is that the parent’s ego is blocking change.
This reminds me of a quote from author Louise Penny, who said, “Life is change. If you aren’t growing and evolving, you’re standing still, and the rest of the world is surging ahead.” Each case is different, but if I see ego blocking the way of change, this must be dealt with, such as gently pointing mom and pop into new business realities.
Burnout. Again, this most often happens with family-owned businesses. The founders are still in charge, but they are burned out, and because of this, the business gets stuck. Their love and passion for their company has diminished, yet they realize they have a very successful business, one they may want to pass on to their children, and it needs them to perform well.
The first step I take with these clients is to listen to them. That takes a lot of weight off their shoulders. Then I look for ways some of the less critical work can be handed over to others. To get their passion back, the paperwork must be lifted, allowing the founders to once again have a vision for the company and decide where they want it to be in the coming years.
Accountability. If a contractor’s employee doesn’t show up for work, that employee will likely get fired. But what if that employee is the head of the company? Accountability requires strict discipline, persistence, and time management.
It’s very easy for the head of a company to lose sight of the things we have discussed – their visions and goals for their company – and move forward. My job in such cases is to hold them accountable. Stick to the plan.
Blocked. Very often, contractors are operating their businesses properly, but they are still not growing as much as they want or reaching their goals. Sure, they can tinker with some of their business strategies and see if that fixes things.
More often, however, what is needed is for an outsider to take a look at the big picture and try to determine what is blocking this company from growing and moving forward. It’s very easy for business owners and presidents to get immersed in the day-to-day operations. Having someone new looking at business operations can help contractors see their companies in an entirely different light.
Whether we call it coaching or consulting, the reality is that the professional cleaning industry is changing very fast today. For all too many cleaning contractors, it has become tough to keep up.
View hiring a business coach as an investment in yourself and your business. Our clients often tell us one of the best business investments they ever made was giving us a call.
Ron Segura helps cleaning contractors grow. He has over 45 years of experience in all segments of the professional cleaning industry including ten years as Manager of Janitorial Operations for Walt Disney Pictures and Television. To contact him, call 650-315-8933.