I was scared; I will be the first to admit it. If you’ve read a previous blog post you will note that I started my fledgling janitorial service by asking my chiropractor if I could clean his office. From there I went on to acquire a number of small offices, making several hundred dollars per month. In that previous post I didn’t discuss one simple fact: I hadn’t a clue about how to start a janitorial service! As a result every step I took was made in fear.
I got to relive some of those feelings in dealing with some of my recent book purchasers. Because our Internet sales page was not up running in 2012, last years book purchasers were local. My first online book purchaser of 2013 was a man who:
subscribed to my newsletter in December of 2012,
purchased the book January 3,
and was already setting up his business within three weeks!
In the last week I’ve had the pleasure of working with several of my buyers, either in person or by email, and have helped them take some of the information in my book and ‘tailor it’ to their needs.
Many of you may have read Chris Guillebeau’s book, The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future. One of Chris’s points is that you can make money with a ‘passion’ but you have to have an ‘audience for it.
I have a passion for the low-cost startup, easy to enter service businesses. I love what I do for a number of reasons:
It cost me next to nothing to get started,
I have a re-occurring income stream from a satisfied client base,
My business is recession proof. I may lose one of my janitorial accounts and can easily replace it with another. I will never lose all of my janitorial accounts at one time.
One of the keys to success is finding the ideal customer. For “K”, an ideal customer would fall into some of these categories:
A small office or office building, say 2500 to 5,000 sq. ft. in size, with between three and 10 employees.
This size building will require cleaning at least once or twice per week,, and is big enough that one of the employees would not want to take it on as a part time job after working a regular eight hour shift.
Most buildings of this type are primarily carpeted, with tile appearing only in break room or bathroom areas. No special equipment needs to be purchased, keeping start-up costs low.
Using resources from my book, “K” could now target businesses of that type in the geographic area in which she wanted to build her business.
My online ‘consult’ with “M” dealt with confidence: He’d subscribed to the newsletter, bought the book, actually began the business start-up; NOW he had to start getting clients, THAT was a little scary! I told “M” about my first year in business: that after I had my first client, gotten my 1st check, had a ‘reference’, that I realized I WAS IN BUSINESS!
A writer named Jeff Goins tells of thinking that someday he’d be a writer, even as he sporadically blogged and wrote. It was only when he said to himself, I AM a writer, that his career as a writer took off.
It’s true in business also: Don’t think that someday you’ll be in business; NO, You ARE in business, even if you don’t have your first client. And that, my friend, is how you succeed.