Many of you no doubt know that Bolton Cleaning Contractors Ltd is a family run business, benefitting from the wealth of experience Patrick McConnell has in the industry. In fact, he started cleaning windows way back in the 1970’s, and from an early age, Kevin was out and about helping (sometimes more so than others) him, and learning the ropes.
Since then, a lot of things have changed, and we thought now would be a good time to share some of the things we’ve learnt along the way. It may be useful to anyone, no matter what business they’re in.
#1 – You’re not just building a business …
In those early days of starting a business, or whenever you’re really focussed on growing it, it can feel like it consumes everything you have. All your time, energy and usually finances (not to mention sanity) get thrown in, and there’s very little of you left at the end.
The key here is to remember that whilst you’re building a business, you mustn’t forget to build a life. You need a reason to have that business, whether it’s enjoyment, financial security, the option to spend more time at home, go on more holidays; it doesn’t matter. But you have to go do and do these things. No point in having the business, if you never take time away from it!
#2 – Create a network
If you run your own business, it will only be a matter of time before someone invites you to a breakfast networking meeting. Now, we have absolutely nothing against them, but the simple truth is, they’re not for everyone.
Networking in and of itself is hugely valuable, and can be a cost effective way to build your business (and hopefully have a bit of fun along the way). The key though, is to make sure that you have got the right group of people to network with, for your personality and your business. Don’t feel you have to do something just because someone else suggested you do it. Give it a try, but walk away and try something else if you feel you need to.
#3 – Accept you can’t do it all
It’s all very well saying you can do anything, but you can’t do everything. So often we hear people saying that being a business owner means having to be the head of marketing, technology, HR, business development, customer services, research and development, finances … well, no. They’re all vitally important, but no one person can do all those things, as well as delivering the product/service and staying sane.
Accept as early as possible that whilst you might want a hand in all these pies, you can’t do them all well on your own. That’s where outsourcing comes in. Stick to what you’re good at and passionate about, and outsource everything else.
Such as cleaning, just as an example.
#4 – Keep learning
No matter how long you’ve been in your industry, or how much experience you have, never be so complacent as to think you know it all. You don’t.
We are always looking at new equipment, or new ways of working and delivering our impeccable service. We might find better options for the environment, or water conservation, and be able to share this information with others. There might be safer ways of working (things have certainly changed over the last 40 years)!
How we connect with people is always changing, the way people want to secure your services, or pay you will keep changing and it’s our job as business owners to move with those changes. Or, at the very least, be aware of what they are!