Don’t Rush The Process

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by Tom Watson on December 19, 2010

Being a business owner for over ten years puts me in some unique situations.

This is because I’m always approached by others who are just starting a business. I guess they see a chance to pick my brain a little bit.

They also tend to share both their successes and failures with me. I enjoy this, as I get to make some friends along the way.

In a way I feel like the proverbial bartender, always listening to the patrons life story. Many times this leads me to hear about people feeling despondent over a lack of success in their new business.

To a certain degree I understand, as many people are under the mistaken belief that success “comes right away”. While success can come quickly, it usually comes slowly and deliberately.

There are many reasons for this of course. Some may include the time it takes to build some momentum and make relationships. Then lets not forget improving your customer service skills and making your operation efficient. 

So naturally you need some patience during this part of the process. This leads some to make a critical mistake, one that they soon regret.

They try to push the fast forward button.

They do this by throwing tons of money blindly into advertising, which of course doesn’t work. You simply can’t force things to go faster when first starting out, but that doesn’t stop many new business owners (me included) from doing it anyway.

In my case, being impatient cost me a pretty penny. This is because when I was new to the game, I just didn’t know the best way to do things. Plus I had no idea what worked and what was a waste of time (and money).

So I went out and tried to advertise all over the place. I was attempting to be “everywhere at once”. I thought if I did that, the phone would just ring endlessly and I would become the richest man to ever own a cleaning business.

I had newspapers ads, phone book ads, church bulletin ads, menu place mat ads, Valpak placements and many other ads running all over my area. Needless to say I lost more money than I earned.

Now this is not to say that these methods don’t work (they do when executed properly), it’s just when you are new, you tend to rely on the ad executives to completely handle not only designing your ads, but the text they contain.

Which is a big mistake.

This is because the ad executives know less about a cleaning business than you know about rocket propulsion, yet when you are new to the cleaning business you think they know it all. So you hand them your money thinking you are doing the right thing. Unfortunately the ad generates next to nothing, and you are left holding the bag.

Incidentally, the only thing ad executives are trained extensively on is getting you to part with your cash. When this occurs, it just adds to your frustration level and contributes to that sense of feeling despondent I spoke of earlier.

Around this time many folks let the idea of quitting seep into their brain. Now while I’m much to stubborn to call it quits, I do understand the frustration that many people feel.

This is why I preach patience and discipline. You need to take the long view when getting started in this business. When you combine patience and discipline with some low cost methods of obtaining clients, you have a recipe for lasting success.

When you acquire your first few customers with some low cost methods (networking especially), you can keep the money it costs to start the cleaning business to an absolute minimum. Very few people follow this strategy, yet it increases your chances to succeed tremendously.

You can then turbocharge this technique by simply using the proceeds from the first few clients to experiment on advertising and promotion. This way you get to spend the money your earning in the cleaning business to finance your first few ads.

Just take baby steps at first until you know how the process works, then you can start to open the throttle so to speak and start advertising with gusto.

Using this approach makes starting a cleaning business an extremely low cost opportunity with virtually no risk. The main investment in the beginning is only your time.

When done improperly (rushing the process) you run the risk of going broke, getting frustrated and perhaps even deciding to quit your business before you have achieved the success your capable of.

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