image of arrows pointing upGrowth and quality control can be a very delicate balance for a cleaning service owner. Of course, you want to grow, but as you grow you lose control over many aspects of the business.

I won’t tell you that it’s easy to find and keep good help. For most people, it’s a challenge but it can be done. Over the years I have talked with many cleaning business owners who tell me they cannot take any more clients.

First of all let me admit- I have been there, many times. I just don’t want any more clients to deal with because of the challenges that will come with it. You must remember this: any business that is not growing, is dying.

It’s a simple law of nature. So you always need to be growing, these contracts you may have are not forever. Ever have your contact person in a building you clean get replaced? All of the sudden your excellent 5-year relationship is gone and you’re starting over with someone new. Someone that needs to prove themselves. The first thing they often do is fire the cleaning service!

Businesses change hands, close or restructure and your contract that you think is secure can be gone in an instant. That’s why we always need to be prospecting and looking for more clients.

But back to the original problem- “we can’t handle it”. We know growth can be painful, it can be hard work. Starting new accounts is very challenging but it should be associated with earning more money, not pain.

Whether you think you can or cannot, either way, you are correct. We get what we expect. We won’t do something if we think we can’t. So if you’re telling yourself you cannot handle more work, your subconscious mind will see to it that you can’t.

I don’t want to get deep into the subject of mind dynamics and the power that our self-talk has, but it’s a good topic to research on your own. The bottom line is if you want to grow you must focus on growth and attracting the right people.

My favorite way to grow is by adding small to medium size buildings, then assigning them to our independent business owners. This is our business ownership program at it’s best.

We are mentoring a new business owner and they are providing excellent service in return. I’m not talking about miss-classified workers either. Our business owners must meet strict requirements outlined by the IRS.

Whatever your business model it needs to be easy to duplicate, like a cell that will multiply. Are you paying attention to each staff member, looking for ones with potential? Have you considered mentoring a new business owner and contracting them a few small accounts?

I would challenge you to rethink the “can’t handle more” thought process. If your infrastructure and cash flow are not stable then make that your first priority. What about your operating procedures?

Are they clearly outlined in writing so that new employees can learn quickly? Account start sheets and a master list of account details are a must. So is a backup plan, cross-training your employees to cover other areas or buildings is a smart way to be prepared when you’re down a person or have unexpected turnover.

Are you being a boss or a leader? Do people follow you because they have to or because they want to? Big difference. If you want to grow they key is to master your ability to influence people. A leader is at the front of the pack, pulling his weight with the rest.

A boss is at the back pushing people with authority. You will win more and get further as a leader, not a boss.

Bottom line: growth is essential to survive long term in any business.