Let's continue the Control Series! My first episode was "You Must Let Go of Your Control", where I shared a few major breakthroughs in my recent ability to let go and trust others. It was an important therapy session. I continued this recently with another breakthrough about your business is not you and viewing trust and control like a rope. Check out part 2 of the series called "The Trust Rope". This is the 3rd part that goes the complete opposite direction! Are you ready?
I shared a Facebook post in early January that got a lot of comments and it wasn't because I did a good job. It was because I did a bad job and owned it. One of our largest customers dropped us. They accounted for 10% of our monthly revenue. It was painful. Their reason for dropping us was quality. Apparently, one of their bathrooms developed an orange film on the sink and our company left it there for weeks. There are so many angles I could take this. I could tell you about the onion principle, but I'll save that for another time. Instead, I want to take their reason at face value. They cancelled service because we didn't meet the quality specifications they required.
In the first 2 episodes of this series, I honed in on breaking the control and perfectionism I had over me for years. It didn't bother me when I was a solo cleaner, but it reared its ugly head when we tried to grow a team. I had to change and I did! I gave some rope and then some more and then some more. I was checking the quality of each of our locations each month to maintain quality and keep our customers happy. But something happened that is scary. I got careless and allowed some buildings to go unchecked for more than a month because I had other things I had to do. Somehow, I pulled a total one-eighty going from an obsessive need to check every building every time to not checking at all. This wasn't true for all of our buildings, but it was for this one. After getting fired, I realized that it had been 3 months since I inspected the quality. 3 months! I could have seen the orange film if I simply would have done 1 measly inspection. 45 minutes of my time could have prevented the loss of 10% of our income. This was a tough pill to swallow. I gave away all of the rope and it cost me.
Let's talk about two words. Quality and control. Quality is simply the level of performance or service that meets spec. It's not perfect, but it does meet expectations. That's quality. Control is the process or system of maintaining something. Put these two words together and you get a vital component of running a successful cleaning company. Quality control is the active feedback loop that maintains the expectations of the customer and keeps them happy. I used to be obsessive on QC, ensuring 100% compliance to every detail, every time. This was unscalable. In late 2022, I went to the other side where I nearly stopped all forms of QC, which is a slow death to any company. Here's the simple lesson. Don't operate on the extremes. Define quality in your organization. Train it. Inspect it. Maintain and work to exceed it. This will give you the balance to keep your rope light, burden-free, so your cleaning business can grow.
I offer free coaching calls to listeners of this podcast. Do you struggle with quality control or perfectionism? Book a free coaching call on the Smart Cleaning School website at www.smartcleaningschool.com to talk about it! You can also check out the many free & paid resources available on the website as well. I look forward to helping you!
"Helping cleaning professionals make the impact they were meant to make."