I think one of the coolest things I get to do in this industry is meeting other amazing window cleaners. Whether communicating with them directly or following them on social media, I learn so much by observing what they do best. Often, after meeting a new person I ask myself, “OK, what is their superpower?” We all have at least one. Most have several. No, you likely don’t think of yours as superpowers. They are just things you do. You have probably taken them for granted your whole life and assume everyone else has the same exact abilities that you do. On the other hand, just as we all excel in some areas, there are many that we do not. We usually put off doing those things for as long as we possibly can. Or we do it, but we gripe about it the whole time. Sometimes just the thought having to do those things can ruin your entire day.
The important thing for you to do as an owner, is to identify what you do well and what you do not do well. In other words, what is your superpower and what is your Kryptonite? Once you identify what those things are, how can you use this information to make your business more efficient and profitable?
Here are some ways:
1) Identify what you love about your job because that is most likely your superpower
For as much as you might know the ins and outs of your company, business owners rarely take time to reflect about what they actually love about the work. Is it the relationships with your customers? Is it the actual skill of cleaning windows? Are you just a really good salesman? Take some time to analyze what you love, because if you can maneuver your business to utilize your superpowers even 80% of the time, not only will you be more profitable, you will be way more happier doing it.
2) Figure out which of your employees can handle the Kryptonite
Are you using your current employees properly? For example, my Kryptonite is window track cleaning. Yes, I can do them. Yes, they aren’t the worst thing in the world. But I hate them with a passion. Yet, every time we arrived on a site, I would get the guys ready to start cleaning the exterior and I would head inside with my 2-gallon vacuum and brushes and get to work. Looking back, it seems my reasoning was, “If I hate these things, everyone must hate them, too. So, I need to do them because I know I can be faster than any of these guys here.” Then one day, I had to do some ladder work, so I assigned my slowest Tech to handle the tracks. I figured he would do a few and by the time I was done with my windows, I would take over and finish the job. I bet you’ve guessed what happened. Not only had he already finished the tracks, they were way better than what I would have done! The meaning of this discovery did not pass me by: a) I didn’t have to do the dreaded tracks anymore and b) my crew just got more profitable because the slow guy had become an asset. Now that I knew his superpower, I could focus on my superpower: cleaning windows fast and good.
3) If you don’t have an employee who can handle your Kryptonite, consider hiring one
To some owners, the thought of hiring someone to do anything that doesn’t directly result in income is a terrible idea. However, that isn’t always the case. For instance, what if your Kryptonite is not getting back to potential customers in a timely manner? Have you considered hiring someone just to answer and calls for you? “My customers like my company because they can reach me personally when they call.” Great. I bet they would like your company better if you got out of their house fast rather than stopping every 10 minutes to look at your phone or step out to take a call. If you are only looking at the extra payroll a new hire will cost you, you’re missing the point. Efficiency = Profit. Your Kryptonite might be causing you to lose way more money than what a new hire would cost. You don’t even have to hire someone full-time, just during your busy hours. Sit down and look at some hard data with an open mind to figure out how you would benefit from an extra hand.
No, there are no “one size fits all” solutions here. When you first start out, you will sometimes have to suck it up and wear a huge Kryptonite necklace into the pool. (Original Superman, anyone?) Don’t be discouraged, though. Your business will grow and when you do, promise me you won’t settle for Clark Kent when there is a phone booth nearby.
Owner and President
Gabe’s Spotless Cleaning Services, Inc.
Gabe’s Spotless Window Cleaning