Deciding to start a business can be one of the most exciting and empowering steps someone can take. Being your own boss, charting your own course, taking control of your life in a way that only an entrepreneur can.
When my co-founder and I started our first company together (Swept) we selected the Janitorial Industry for two reasons. We both had a passion for customer service and we both wanted to work with people.
In the last 20 years of being a small business owner, there are countless things that I have done right, but there are more things that I’ve done wrong. It’s part of the process. Failing is simply another way that you’ve discovered something doesn’t work :)
In these same 20 years, there have been a number of books that I’ve found have helped me discover some of the right steps. In this post, I’m going to share three books that I think EVERY person running or thinking about starting a Janitorial Business should read. My hope is that you will get as much out of these books as I have. I recommend reading them in the following order to get the most out of them.
Author Michael Gerber outlines an incredibly simple framework for not only avoiding pitfalls so many new entrepreneurs fall into but also explains a step by step process of how to create a business that has a drastically improved chance of beating the odds.
The book’s key concept is based around the idea of 3 key mindsets every small business owner can identify with. The Entrepreneur, the Manager, and the Technician. This book will help you understand how much of each mindset you have, what that means, and what you need to do to avoid being one of the 90% of small businesses that fail within the first 5 years.
In this book, author Marcus Buckingham outlines the findings of a massive Gallup Study of over 2 Million people in the United States. At this book’s core, Buckingham’s research challenges the common assumption that people should work on their weaknesses. The research identifies 33 of psychological profiles that are found across a wide range of people. Each offers a valuable window into how each of us thinks and view the world.
It will help you understand what personalities you work well with, which ones to avoid, and which ones you will need to fill in your weaknesses.
Use this book to help you better understand yourself, and in doing so, leverage the strengths you have to design a better business for you and the team you build.
In this book Matthew Kelly crafts a fictional story around the incredibly simple but extremely powerful idea of how to engage your employees and address the vicious cycle of turnover.
The best part of this book is that the fictional story he writes to illustrate the approach his consulting company has developed is based on a Janitorial company named Admiral Janitorial.
This book’s foundation concept is in line with the approach that my co-founder Michael Brown (CEO) and I started with. Focus on your cleaners and they will focus on your customers. Whether you're thinking of starting a Janitorial business or have been running one for years and need a WHY to guide your day to day actions, this book outlines a great approach I would encourage all Janitorial Businesses to follow.
What about you? What are your favorite books that have helped you and your business grow? Share your ideas in the comments below.