Michael M.

Marketing Coordinator
Blog posts by me
Top 8 Podcasts for Cleaning Business Owners

As a business owner, it can be overwhelming trying to sift through the numerous podcasts directed towards you and your fellow entrepreneurs. There’s a ton of great content out there, but how do you quickly and easily find it? To help, we’ve compiled a list of the top 8 podcasts for cleaning businesses (in no particular order). Enjoy!

1. The Cleaning Podcast

The podcast dedicated to all things cleaning! Hosted by ServiceMonster CEO Joe Kowalski, The Cleaning Podcast features interviews and discussions with top names in the cleaning industry. From specific cleaning “how-to’s” to high-level business and leadership tips, any cleaning business owner will find a ton of value in each episode.

Listen here.

2. Blue Collar Nation Podcast

Join Eric and Larry from morningtechmeeting.com as they discuss all things related to running a blue collar service business more effectively! They know, all too well, that running a blue collar business is not for the faint of heart. For that reason, the Blue Collar Nation Podcast is dedicated to making the lives of blue collar service business owners better. Join them and their many guests for open and honest discussions that will make you a better owner!

Listen here.

3. BuiltBy Podcast

Brought to you by Hatch, the BuiltBy podcast focuses on the latest marketing and sales trends for home improvement companies. Gain confidence in your marketing ability through the insights offered by their various guests, ranging from fellow service business owners to other software solution providers.

Listen here.

4. The Growth Vault Podcast

Do you want to grow your cleaning business? If so, this is the podcast for you! Join service industry expert Josh Latimer in each episode to learn how to better utilizing marketing, admin, production and sales in the growth of your business. Josh is also frequently joined by other industry leaders for greater insight into the keys of business growth.

Listen here.

5. The NiceJob Podcast 

The NiceJob podcast helps small business owners handle everyday challenges through conversations with everyday experts. With their focus on producing easy to understand episodes with great actionable takeaways, this is a podcast that is perfect for any cleaning business owner who wants to run a better business.

Listen here.

6. Journey of a New Entrepreneur 

The JNE podcast takes a deeper look at the emotional side of chasing your dreams and goals. For a refreshing and honest take on the life of an entrepreneur, join Bobby Walker and his many guests as they share stories of success, failure, and life in general.

Listen here.

7. The ServiceMonster Podcast

The ServiceMonster Podcast is your resource for all things ServiceMonster! Each episode features a deep dive into a business or marketing strategy/principle that is valuable for any service business owner. Also discussed are posts from the ServiceMonster User Group, as well as any company and product updates. Even non-ServiceMonster users will find plenty of value in this podcast! Episodes are hosted by CEO Joe Kowalski, who is joined by employees Adam and Michael.

Listen here.

8. Blue Collar Nation Radio

Are you looking for even more relevant podcasts? Check out the brand-new Blue Collar Nation Radio for a syndicated station featuring several of the top podcasts for blue collar business owners! Curated by Larry and Eric from morningtechmeeting.com and hosts of the Blue Collar Nation Podcast.

Listen here.






Marketing
Category:
Cleaning Jobs Report: Have We Been Through the Worst?

Subscribe to the ServiceMonster newsletter to stay up-to-date with our monthly COVID-19 cleaning industry reports:

After a further downward trend in April, our data indicates that the cleaning industry is now showing signs of recovering. We saw a 22% decrease in total number of jobs nationwide in March (see that data here) and the trend continued with a 46% decrease in jobs for the month of April. However, in May, the decrease in jobs was only 31% compared to May of the previous year.

Our data also shows a 39% decrease in total revenue for April (compared to April of 2019) and only a 28% decrease in revenue for May (compared to May of 2019). All things considered, it's safe to say that the cleaning industry is improving once again!

The Breakdown: April


State-by-state breakdown of percentage change between number of jobs in April 2019 compared to April 2020.

After a rough month of March, April continued the downward trend with a further decrease in total number of jobs. Every state showed a decrease.

*North Dakota was not included since we did not have enough of a sample group to make a statistic

The states that showed the smallest DECREASE in number of jobs from April 2019 to April 2020:

  • Cleaning businesses in Minnesota had 9% fewer jobs in April 2020
  • Cleaning businesses in Utah had 14% fewer jobs in April 2020

The states that showed the largest DECREASE in number of jobs from April 2019 to April 2020:

  • Cleaning businesses in Maine had 74% fewer jobs in April 2020
  • Cleaning businesses in Massachusetts had 70% fewer jobs in April 2020
  • Cleaning businesses in Ohio had 70% fewer jobs in April 2020

Overall, the nationwide average shows a 46% decrease in the number of jobs, comparing April 2019 to April 2020. 

State-by-state breakdown of percentage change in total revenue between April 2019 and April 2020.


New for this report is data showing the total percent change in revenue by state. For the month of April, our data shows that all but two states saw a significant decrease.

*North Dakota was not included since we did not have enough of a sample group to make a statistic

The states that showed the largest INCREASE in total revenue between April 2019 and April 2020:

  • Cleaning businesses in Wyoming had 3% higher revenue in April 2020
  • Cleaning businesses in South Carolina had 1% higher revenue in April 2020

The states that showed the largest DECREASE in total revenue between April 2019 to April 2020:

  • Cleaning businesses in Louisiana had 96% lower revenue in April 2020
  • Cleaning businesses in Rhode Island had 84% lower revenue in April 2020
  • Cleaning businesses in Maine had 74% lower revenue in April 2020

Overall, the nationwide average shows a 39% decrease in total revenue, comparing April 2019 to April 2020. 


The Breakdown: May

State-by-state breakdown of percentage change between number of jobs in May 2019 compared to May 2020.

After further losses in April, May saw improvement with less states seeing such drastic decreases in total number of jobs. Still, every state showed a decrease, except for Minnesota which saw a large increase.

*North Dakota was not included since we did not have enough of a sample group to make a statistic

The only state that showed an INCREASE in number of jobs from May 2019 to May 2020:

  • Cleaning businesses in Minnesota had 27% more jobs in May 2020

The states that showed the largest DECREASE in number of jobs from May 2019 to May 2020:

  • Cleaning businesses in Maine had 61% fewer jobs in May 2020
  • Cleaning businesses in Vermont had 54% fewer jobs in May 2020
  • Cleaning businesses in New Hampshire had 52% fewer jobs in May 2020

Overall, the nationwide average shows a 31% decrease in the number of jobs, comparing May 2019 to May 2020. 

State-by-state breakdown of percentage change in total revenue between May 2019 and May 2020.


After a rough April, May showed improvement in revenue totals by state. Our data shows that three states saw increases, while the rest still showed decreases, albeit less significant decreases than April.

*North Dakota was not included since we did not have enough of a sample group to make a statistic

The states that showed the largest INCREASE in total revenue between May 2019 and May 2020:

  • Cleaning businesses in Louisiana had 58% higher revenue in May 2020
  • Cleaning businesses in North Carolina had 6% higher revenue in May 2020
  • Cleaning businesses in Minnesota had 1% higher revenue in May 2020

The states that showed the largest DECREASE in total revenue between May 2019 to May 2020:

  • Cleaning businesses in Maine had 73% lower revenue in May 2020
  • Cleaning businesses in Delaware had 69% lower revenue in May 2020
  • Cleaning businesses in South Dakota had 64% lower revenue in May 2020

Overall, the nationwide average shows a 28% decrease in total revenue, comparing May 2019 to May 2020. 

The Data

Clients who use ServiceMonster process over 1.25 million cleaning jobs a year. Our clients largely include carpet cleaners, pressure washers, window cleaners and maid service companies. We compared the total number of jobs and total revenue in April & May 2019 to April & May 2020 with a constant cohort for both data points.

The Complete State-By-State Data:

April Jobs

State % Change in Jobs
AK -45%
AL -43%
AR -34%
AZ -39%
CA -41%
CO -46%
CT -48%
DE -21%
FL -49%
GA -49%
HI -45%
IA -42%
ID -34%
IL -56%
IN -54%
KS -56%
KY -36%
LA -49%
MA -70%
MD -44%
ME -74%
MI -57%
MN -9%
MO -35%
MS -60%
MT -26%
NC -49%
NE -40%
NH -57%
NJ -65%
NM -43%
ND
NV -30%
NY -47%
OH -70%
OK -39%
OR -35%
PA -63%
RI -61%
SC -43%
SD -29%
TN -37%
TX -38%
UT -14%
VA -54%
VT -67%
WA -58%
WI -49%
WV -56%
WY -26%
AVG -46%


April Revenue

State % Change in Revenue
AK -55%
AL -40%
AR -18%
AZ -38%
CA -34%
CO -44%
CT -26%
DE -70%
FL -22%
GA -27%
HI -29%
IA -17%
ID -23%
IL -44%
IN -58%
KS -48%
KY -10%
LA -96%
MA -56%
MD -27%
ME -74%
MI -31%
MN -18%
MO -40%
MS -70%
MT -29%
NC -44%
NE -47%
NH -32%
NJ -55%
NM -25%
ND
NV -26%
NY -27%
OH -34%
OK -19%
OR -42%
PA -55%
RI -84%
SC 1%
SD -44%
TN -37%
TX -25%
UT -36%
VA -47%
VT -59%
WA -49%
WI -31%
WV -41%
WY 3%
AVG -39%

May Jobs

State % Change in Jobs
AK -20%
AL -26%
AR -34%
AZ -25%
CA -30%
CO -27%
CT -26%
DE -26%
FL -29%
GA -25%
HI -39%
IA -34%
ID -14%
IL -39%
IN -50%
KS -48%
KY -23%
LA -42%
MA -46%
MD -29%
ME -61%
MI -29%
MN 27%
MO -20%
MS -32%
MT -27%
NC -28%
NE -36%
NH -52%
NJ -50%
NM -32%
ND
NV -16%
NY -37%
OH -47%
OK -11%
OR -30%
PA -36%
RI -22%
SC -24%
SD -30%
TN -24%
TX -25%
UT -14%
VA -45%
VT -54%
WA -29%
WI -36%
WV -40%
WY -11%
AVG -31%

May Revenue

State % Change in Revenue
AK -16%
AL -30%
AR -2%
AZ -36%
CA -23%
CO -22%
CT -10%
DE -69%
FL -38%
GA -24%
HI -26%
IA -27%
ID -16%
IL -28%
IN -54%
KS -36%
KY -5%
LA 58%
MA -35%
MD -26%
ME -73%
MI -8%
MN 1%
MO -32%
MS -50%
MT -25%
NC 6%
NE -35%
NH -54%
NJ -49%
NM -4%
ND
NV -34%
NY -37%
OH -16%
OK -41%
OR -40%
PA -27%
RI -43%
SC -21%
SD -64%
TN -27%
TX -21%
UT -22%
VA -37%
VT -43%
WA -31%
WI -20%
WV -15%
WY -23%
AVG -28%
Industry News
Category:
LOST JOBS: Cleaning Industry Sees Sharp Decline

Subscribe to the ServiceMonster newsletter to stay up-to-date with our monthly COVID-19 cleaning industry reports:

The numbers are in: Cleaning industry jobs were down 22% nationwide during the month of March.

Our data shows that the percent change for each state ranged between a 7% increase in total number of jobs and a 49% decrease. However, all but two states saw a sharp decline in number of jobs compared to March of 2019.

State-by-state breakdown of percentage change between number of jobs in March 2019 compared to March 2020

The Breakdown

Only 2 states showed an INCREASE in number of jobs from March 2019 to March 2020:

  • Cleaning businesses in Idaho had 7% more jobs in March 2020
  • Cleaning businesses in Nevada had 3% more jobs in March 2020

The states that showed the largest DECREASE in number of jobs from March 2019 to March 2020:

  • Cleaning businesses in North Dakota had 49% fewer jobs in March 2020
  • Cleaning businesses in Washington had 43% fewer jobs in March 2020
  • Cleaning businesses in Virginia had 41% fewer jobs in March 2020

Overall, the nationwide average shows a 22% decrease in the number of jobs, comparing March 2019 to March 2020. 

The Data

Clients who use ServiceMonster process over 1.25 million cleaning jobs a year. Our clients largely include carpet cleaners, pressure washers, window cleaners and maid service companies. We compared the total number of jobs in March 2019 to March 2020 with a constant cohort for both data points.

The Complete State-By-State Data:

State % Change
AK -22%
AL -16%
AR -5%
AZ -25%
CA -30%
CO -24%
CT -17%
DE -9%
FL -18%
GA -6%
HI -39%
IA -23%
ID 7%
IL -37%
IN -27%
KS -30%
KY -27%
LA -36%
MA -40%
MD -9%
ME -13%
MI -25%
MN -29%
MO -28%
MS -30%
MT -1%
NC -29%
NE -15%
NH -29%
NJ -27%
NM -34%
ND -49%
NV 3%
NY -18%
OH -2%
OK -16%
OR -16%
PA -32%
RI -30%
SC -28%
SD -27%
TN -17%
TX -19%
UT -11%
VA -41%
VT -26%
WA -43%
WI -21%
WV -19%
WY -3%


Industry News
Category:
Crisis Communication: Practical Tips to Pivot Your Messaging

It’s crazy out there right now. There's no doubt about it. Our world, both as professionals in our respective fields and as individuals in our communities, is rapidly changing and will likely never be the same. The distinction between an essential vs non-essential business (read more about that from our friends at NiceJob here) has plagued many cleaning business owners with confusion and uncertainty. Some businesses are doing well and some are barely hanging on. 

Wherever you're at, marketing is still important. It's still necessary to connect and engage with current and future customers. In fact, in some ways it’s more important than ever! There’s one major aspect to your marketing that must be changed though: Your message

In the marketing world, we call this “pivoting" your message. All it means is that you must reevaluate and restructure your messaging to be appropriate for the crisis that we’re in. While it’s not always easy to do this, we’re going to walk through some examples and go over some practical tips to help you pivot your messaging.

Pivoting your message

There are a lot of variables to consider and every business is different. Whether jobs have slowed down a lot, or you're busier than ever, you want to make sure your past customers know you're still there. So, regardless of your business situation, the easiest way to break this down is into 3 parts: Acknowledge, empathize, and offer value

Acknowledge what’s going on in your marketing messaging. Whether it’s Instagram posts or a monthly email newsletter, make sure that you are being mindful of the fact that life is different. Regardless of your opinions or your views on the situation, don’t just carry on like business is the same and people’s lives are the same. It's both necessary and appropriate to address the crisis directly. Don't hide from it or be scared to talk about it. People will appreciate your honesty and mindfulness of what's going on in the world around them.

Empathize with those who have been affected by the crisis. This is where you have an even greater opportunity to humanize your business. Show your customers WHO you are and show them that you genuinely do care about them and their safety. Highlighting the measures you have taken to keep your customers and their families safe is a big part of this. Also, this is a great time to really personalize your communication. Make it from YOU, the owner. Not just the general company.

Offer value to your community instead of pushing ads. While some level of advertising may still be effective and/or necessary for you, try to provide as much value content as possible. This can take a multitude of forms for a cleaning business, but a great approach is educating your community. Write blog posts about the latest home cleaning methods that customers can do themselves. Post Instagram stories showing how you sanitize a building, with explanations of each component of the process. Send out an email or a text to past customers when a major change is made to local laws regarding the crisis. Any of these things, and so much more, are simple and effective ways to offer value to your community.

Putting in the work

Now, let’s get a bit more practical. Hopefully you already have automated emails or texts going out to your past customers. During a crisis, it will be necessary to change what you say in those. One of our customers shared with us a great example of how to pivot email messaging during the current COVID-19 pandemic:

Dear [FIRST_NAME],
At this difficult time, we at [COMPANY_NAME] want to help the people and businesses in our community fight the COVID-19 epidemic in any way we can.
Using products approved by the EPA to eliminate SARS-COV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, [COMPANY_NAME]'s professional, deep cleaning services and products can help ensure a safer environment for your family, employees and customers. However, at no additional cost:
  • We will add sanitizer when cleaning your carpets, floors and counter tops, and upholstery.
  • If desired, we will apply our hospital grade sanitizer to all common touchpoints in your home or office, such as, doorknobs, stair rails, light switches, appliance handles and other places that hands frequently touch.
  • To protect our customers and our employees we are wearing gloves, and sanitizing all equipment between jobs and at the end of each business day. And, if requested, our technicians will wear face masks and booties.
Because we provide professional cleaning and sanitizing, we meet the criteria to be an “essential business” established by [COMPANY_STATE] and the federal government. Therefore, we can help you keep you home and workplace safe right now!
During this unprecedented crisis, we take the responsibility of promoting peoples’ safety and health very seriously. We are continuously monitoring the evolving epidemic response so that we make decisions that will maintain the health and safety of both our team members and you, our customers.
Thank you and stay safe,
[COMPANY_NAME]
[COMPANY_EMAIL]
[COMPANY_PHONE]

An email like this hits all three of the main points in multiple areas. For example, the very first sentence acknowledges the situation. Then, the last paragraph very clearly empathizes with customers by stating how much of a priority it is for your business to keep them safe. And the middle of the email is all value! This example has a very specific offer of going the extra mile to provide additional sanitation while on the job, at no extra cost. This sort of pivot in your messaging is sure to keep customers more comfortable with your services and at the very least, will let them know that you care!

Along with your automated campaigns, this same style of messaging should be applied to any and all direct customer contact. Say you’re using a platform like Hatch to engage with some new leads through texting. Making sure that lead knows what steps you will take to keep them safe is huge (and could help you get the job even)! No matter what type of contact you’re having with a customer, this messaging change goes beyond just direct marketing materials. It should be in every form of internal and external communication that you have.

There’s one more side to pivoting your messaging that is crucial to look at: your employees. As the owner, you may not be the one in contact with customers on a day-to-day basis. As such, it’s extremely important to train your employees on how to align their actions and words with the pivoted messaging you’re putting out. Make sure that each person under you knows the additional services you’re offering, or what steps you as a company are taking to keep both yourselves and your customers safe.

The result

When you pivot your messaging, you’re setting yourself up for future success. Once a crisis is over and the economy starts to recover, there will be a resurgence of jobs that need to be done. So when you use this opportunity to serve your community and your customers by being a voice of reason and stability among the chaos, you’re establishing yourself in their minds as the best option to go to. And remember, when it comes to your crisis messaging, acknowledge what’s going on, empathize with others, and offer value.


Marketing
Category:
How to Strengthen Your Business Amidst a Crisis

Right now, more than ever, is the time to strengthen your business. A crisis of any sort is tough on everyone, but that doesn’t mean it's time to just accept defeat and give up. Take this opportunity to work ON your business, rather than working IN your business. Step back and ask yourself, “Where can I improve?” and “What can I do to effectively grow?”.

Put ego aside, put preconceived notions about your own success aside, and get back to work.

In our current crisis, some businesses, especially in the cleaning sector, are not considered “essential”. However, many others are. So to really effect lasting change on your business, first analyze where you’re at. Some business owners are working harder than ever doing everything they possibly can to serve their communities and their existing customers, while diversifying their service offerings.

On the other end of the spectrum, there’s the business owners who are pulling back and just hoping that their business can survive. This may be a personal choice, or they may have been forced to shut down temporarily. Regardless of the reason behind it, that situation can be a scary one.

So, which side are you on? Where is your business at? Maybe you’re in the middle somewhere, but it’s likely that you are more on one side than the other. Times of crisis tend to push people to extremes, and business owners are no exception. Fortunately, no matter where you’re at, you CAN use a time of crisis to strengthen, to grow, and to catapult your business forward. 

It’s time to take a step back and look at your business from a different perspective. Just to clarify, we’ll never tell you how to run your individual business, since every situation is different. We don’t put food on your table. You do. But what we can offer is eight principles that you can follow to strengthen your business during a time of crisis.

#1: Coach

Take the time to coach your people. As the owner, come up with systems and procedures that benefit the business and then pass that knowledge on to your employees. All it requires is some time. Often, business owners say they don’t have time to coach their employees. But right now, you probably DO have time! 

A great example of this is the implementation of any sort of business software, such as a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software. When you find a CRM that works well for you (like ServiceMonster), it becomes your job as the owner to coach your people on how to use it. When business is slower, it's the perfect opportunity to further coach your team on how to use essential business tools properly. Make sure everyone knows how to schedule a job from their phone, or take payment in the field, or close out an invoice in the office. As you coach your team and their skills increase, your business will become more efficient and more effective at serving your customer’s needs.

#2: Learn

As an entrepreneur, you must always be learning. Gaining more knowledge allows you to stay relevant to the people you serve and the people who you WILL serve in the future. After a crisis, there are thousands upon thousands of people who may need your services. Cleaning businesses especially have a great advantage when it comes to sanitation. If you need to learn how to provide sanitation services, now is the perfect time to gain that knowledge and set yourself up for success in the future.

#3: Organize

This one is simple. Take the time to organize your business. This can mean anything from organizing your books so tax season isn’t such a mess, to organizing your shop so that it’s easier and faster to find what you need before a job. Whatever you need to organize, do it! Anything that streamlines your business for the future will benefit you and help you survive a crisis situation.

#4: Inspire

This is a big one. As a leader, you need to inspire your people. This works on multiple fronts, but first and foremost, you need to inspire your employees so that they understand the true value of the service that they offer. Give them hope and confidence in the work that they’re doing.

Now, being an inspiring leader is a lot easier said than done. We get that. Some people are born as natural leaders, and others have to learn. There are tons of resources available to help you learn how to be a better leader, including books, apps, online courses, and even personalized coaching (check out Bruce DeLoatch). 

But at the very base level, being a good leader necessitates the ability to create a vision for the future of your business. Not just any vision, either. An INSPIRING vision of what is possible and what your team can achieve together! Once you have that vision, the next step is to impart it to your employees. Bring them into the process and make sure they know that they are a crucial piece to the success of this vision. 

Another thought on the principle of inspiration: As the owner and leader, everything is your fault. Yep. Employees being late, being lazy, being rude to a customer, that’s all YOUR fault. And that may sound accusatory and negative, but in fact, it’s a positive thing! When you own the problems and take responsibility for the actions of your employees, that means you have the power to change it. When you play the victim and blame an employee for all of their problems, you lose the ability to actually change anything. So, own the problems. Your employees will see the humility in taking that course of action, as opposed to playing the blame game with them. This sets you up for a perfect opportunity to inspire your employees with the exciting vision of your business (which, of course, includes them)!

#5: Serve

Another massive one here. If you’re a business owner and you think your job is to sit back and be served by your people, then you’re dead wrong. Your job, as the owner and leader, is to provide for your people everything that they need to rise to the greatness within them. Each of your employees has untapped potential, and you’d be crazy as their boss to not want to use that potential for your business!

The culture of your company should look something like this: The boss (you) serves the managers, the managers serve the frontline employees, and the frontline employees serve the customers. As long as your business is flowing in that direction, the money will flow in the opposite direction!

Another way of approaching this is thinking of your company as a tree. At the very bottom, providing for the health of the tree, are the roots. That’s you. Your job is to support the people who actually do the work, the figurative branches and leaves. One of the best ways to support your employees is to leverage their passions. This does require some effort on your part, but it will pay off for your business in the long run.

#6: Train

As a business owner, you always need to be training, learning, and growing as a leader. We’ve established that already. But what about actually getting your employees some training? This goes beyond you coaching them, as we discussed previously. When was the last time you paid for your employees to take an official training course on the latest methods of cleaning in your specific industry? Or what about sending your managers to a leadership seminar? 

Now is the time to get your employees trained up. As your employees have more skills to offer, your business will benefit greatly. Whether it’s IICRC training, leadership coaching, or something entirely different, it’s worth it to invest in your people. And if you’re worried about “wasting” money on them because they might leave at some point, then you really aren’t valuing your employees. Invest in your business by investing in your employees. If they leave, then that’s just a cost of doing business. 

#7: Educate

Now this may sound similar to some of what we’ve already talked about. But what we mean by "educate" here is to educate your community, clients, and prospects. During a crisis, a lot of people get tired of seeing the same news about the current crisis. Here’s your opportunity to educate them on things they can practically do once things start to improve. This could look like educating them on how to keep their homes cleaner, or educating them on the benefits of a certain method of cleaning over another. You don’t have to create this information necessarily, all you need to do is effectively relay it to your customers and potential customers.

Let’s make a key distinction here: Training is internal (within your company) and education is external (what the company is projecting). When you educate your clients, you become an authority figure. And what better way to get your name out there than be known in your community as someone with helpful and reliable information?

This all goes back to the basic function and need of all businesses: making money. Do you want to make more money? Sure. It’s safe to say that most, if not all, business owners would say yes to that. But you can’t make any more money. And it’s not about your ability, or the industry that you’re in. If you want to make more money, then you need to go learn something new and apply it in a manner that is valuable enough to people that they are willing to pay you for it. Educating them on what you know, why it benefits them, and why it’s worth them paying you for it, is how you make more money. You’re making as much money as you can with what you know right now. To make more money, you have to know more. 

So, start with educating yourself. Then educate your customers. When you become an expert in their eyes, you’re not only greatly benefiting yourself but also your community. 

#8: Repeat

“Oh yeah, I sent out a postcard but it didn’t work. I tried a newsletter once too, but no one seemed to care.” We hear this ALL. THE. TIME. You can’t just try something once, and give up when it doesn’t work as you expect it to the first time. You have to keep it up; You have to REPEAT. Don’t look at results right away because in many cases (especially in marketing), results are not instantaneous. You have to consistently keep at it with the goal of staying top of mind with your customers.

The basic premise of repetition comes from how our brains are hardwired. We are pattern-recognition machines! We don’t see reality objectively; each of us sees reality through the lens of our own experiences and opinions. Fortunately, by repeatedly educating your customers with thoughtful and helpful content, you become the expert in their minds. Then the next time they have a problem related to the service you offer, boom! They call you. It becomes a natural reaction.

--

So, after all of that, let’s briefly cover some actionable steps you can take to keep your business healthy during a time of crisis:

  • Focus on your people. You aren’t building a company, you’re building people. Your people build the company. Rather than being afraid of investing in your employees, try to keep them on and pay them to learn. Even if the normal work they do has dried up, pay them to help you organize and systematize your business.
  • If you need assistance to keep paying your employees, the government has many loan options available right now to small business owners. Taking advantage of this kind of financial help during a crisis will allow you to focus on educating your employees, rather than laying them off. Of course, every business and individual is different, so taking any loan or government assistance should be something that is carefully and thoughtfully considered.
  • Identify your employees' passions. Then, incorporate those into your business. This requires you as the owner to sit down and talk with each of your employees. Get to know them a little better. Find out what motivates them! If you’re lucky, maybe some of their passions can be applied to their job in your business. If you can create an environment where more of your employees are doing what they love, then that will directly influence the success of your company as a whole. 
  • Finally, let go of your ego. We all have it. During a crisis, take a step back and evaluate yourself. Identify where you need to grow and what you need to learn, both as a leader and a business owner. The BEST use of your intellect is to compare what you think you know with what you don't know. Be willing to admit that what you don't know is infinitely greater than what you do know. And accept the fact that half of what you think you know is probably flawed! 

This approach opens up a lot of doors for continuing to improve as a leader, especially when times are tough during a crisis. You may have to adapt and improvise in ways that you never thought you would have to. Your business may suffer and you may have to reinvent how you function on a day-to-day basis. But through it all, remember these principles. And most importantly... get back to work!

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Recently, ServiceMonster CEO Joe Kowalski was joined by Bruce DeLoatch (IICRC Instructor and President of The Cleaner's Coach) on an episode of The Cleaning Podcast. This content has been adapted from their discussion, which can be listened to here.

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