Article From Small Business Success: Read Entire Article Here
Jamie’s company, Dust and Mop House Cleaning, is celebrating its fifth anniversary this year. The majority of small businesses don’t make it to this milestone, a marker that many experts label as the point where you can consider a business a success. Hats off to Jamie and her employees! Here is her story.
Name: Jamie Rohrbauck
Company: Dust and Mop House Cleaning
Location: Offices in Apex and Raleigh, NC (Servicing Cary, Apex, Morrisville, Holly Springs and Raleigh)
Business description: Dust and Mop House Cleaning is an independently owned and operated professional house cleaning service serving the Raleigh, Cary, Apex, Holly Springs and Morrisville, NC area. Our services include our Top to Bottom Select (aka big Spring Cleaning), Weekly, Bi-Weekly and Monthly services. Our employees are required to speak, read and write English.
Why did you decide to start your own company? I always knew I would own a business, I just didn’t know I would be in the cleaning industry. Both of my parents were business owners, so I think it was just something that was ingrained at an early age. I was taught to be independent and to be willing to take risks. Sometimes, it is about timing. At the time I started Dust and Mop, I was working a full-time job in outside sales. The economy was not in good shape and my job was more and more stressful; more was expected of me and my pay was going down. I needed a change, so I worked both jobs for over a year.
What have been the keys to your business success? The biggest key to my success is being humble. What I mean by being humble is to be open to a new way of thinking, to first look at yourself when things go wrong in the business and being able to recognize how you can change to help your business be successful. I think too many entrepreneurs are not willing to look at themselves first when things go wrong in their business. I always say being a business owner is a very humbling experience!
Best business advice you’ve ever been given? The best business advice I ever received was that timing is everything; make decisions at the right time. I never really understood that until I owned my own business. Decision-making is a critical aspect of my job as the leader of Dust and Mop. As a leader, timing of decision-making can be as critical as the decision itself. It can be something as small as when to hire, when to praise your employees, when to discuss challenges in the business or even larger decisions like when to expand your service area or diversifying your services. These are all timing challenges of an entrepreneur.
Worst business advice you’ve ever been given? That I shouldn’t start a business which relies on disposable income during a recession.
What was the toughest thing you’ve ever had to do as a business owner? The most difficult thing I have had to do was to learn more about myself; how I think, how I react and how I affect my business. Review of success and failures and my part in those has been a learning experience. I am a very type A personality, so that was very hard for me.
Have you adopted any new technology recently that has been a big help to you and that you think might help other small business owners? We are always seeking new ways to be more efficient. We stay very up to date on cleaning supplies and products. Because we have a solo cleaning concept, we have employees who are in customers’ homes by themselves. We use a VOIP service that enables us to use a texting app that goes to the mini iPads used by our office. This allows us to ensure that our employees are on the job, helps us effectively communicate with employees and also to be sure that they have arrived and have left safely. We also use a very sophisticated CRM system to track all aspects of our business, from job timing to processing payments.
What advice would you give to someone just starting a business? You MUST read The E Myth. Don’t be afraid to take risks. I would recommend keeping your full-time job before leaving the comfort of that consistent paycheck. It will make things much less stressful. Tap into your local business community, talk to other successful entrepreneur and be sure to have a great support system. Most importantly, be positive. If you believe you will be successful, then you will be successful!!!!
Favorite all-time business book: The E Myth – A MUST. I purchased the audio book and listened to it while I was running. It is a book you need to listen to and understand. It will make you really think about why type of businessperson you are and if you are set up for success.
Favorite business book read in the past year: I read a lot online and read the news every day. The last book I read was Built to Sell: Creating a Business That Can Thrive Without You. I am a huge believer in thinking ahead. I am not planning to sell my business, but I want to educate myself and be prepared when the time comes, 20 years down the road. I want to ensure that I have a business to sell. Many entrepreneurs put years and years of hard work into their business only to find that they have no business to sell…because they are their business and without them, the business fails.
Favorite online source(s) for business information/advice: I use some industry specific websites and my favorite advice does not come from any online source but from fellow entrepreneurs and my group of residential house cleaning owners private Facebook page. I read American Express Open Forum every morning. It has many short articles specifically geared for business.