This one mistake has probably costed me hundreds of thousands in missed business and lost profits. Don’t let it happen to you. You deserve it!
Guys, I’m about to tell you about one of the biggest mistakes that I have made since I started Junk Doctors. Since I got in business, got in the junk removal business. Guys, you got to get tough and you got to get ruthless. You got to be tough and ruthless. I would say it’s probably my biggest mistake. I’m trying to think, and I believe this is my biggest mistake ever since I got in business and it’s really just recently been fixed probably six months. I’ve gotten a little better over time in the last six months. I’ve kicked it into high gear. A tough and ruthless does not mean unfair. It does not mean really unfair. I was about to say, it doesn’t mean selfish, but you need to get a little selfish guy.
You also need to get a little selfish. So, it does partially mean selfish but it’s fair. Getting ruthless and tough is fair to you. Why do I say that? When you go out and create a business, you go in business for yourself. You have quit a job that you had a reliable salary probably. You’ve taken a loan out on your business and you personally signed for it. So, if something goes wrong in your business, they go after your personal stuff too. They go after your houses. Your personal finances and everything is hinged on the success of your business. You’re pouring in your blood, sweat and tears. You’re pouring in hours of thought. You’re going through some relationships. Some stress on your relationship with your wife, with your husband. You are a hundred percent invested in your business. Everything you do when you first start a business especially it revolves around that business. If it doesn’t, you’re not going to be successful. So, you are pushing and shoving. You’re stressed. You’re worried. You’re celebrating the successes. When it looks you aren’t going to be able to make payroll, who’s not getting paid? Yours truly aren’t getting paid. Everything that happens with your business, it’s ultimately up to you. Just when things are good, you got to be saving for rainy day. When things are good, you can’t necessarily be giving all of your team members bonuses. You’ve got to be ready for a rainy day. You’ve got to be ready for business to slow down. You’ve got to be ready for the IRS coming in and saying “You didn’t file something right.” The State Department of Revenue coming in and saying “You didn’t file something right.” or Worker’s compensation saying “You didn’t file something right.”
You didn’t pay enough. You owe us $25,000, $50,000, or $100,000 and you’re like “Damn, I sure wish I had that money I gave back and bonuses.” Everything, you have tremendous amounts of stress in your life and everything that occurs with your business you’re worried about. Your team members, there are a few that are going to be very motivated to make sure they get out there and they treat the company like it’s theirs. They treat your company like they’re partner in it, which they are. Those people that treat the company like they’re a partner in it, need to be rewarded the best you possibly can. If you have to save for rainy day and hold up the bonus, explain that to them. Say, “Listen, I’m worried about this happening. I’m not getting a bonus, and that’s the reason that I want to hold back a bonus on you.”
We’ve got to get to this point where I feel safe. At that point hopefully, all will get bonuses if things keep going well. The people that are good, reward them. The people that are exceptional, reward them. Most of your team members, the good ones which you shouldn’t have battles for very long. Your good ones, you need to be fair with them, but don’t feel like you owe them a tremendous amount. Don’t loan them money. Loaning money is something that we no longer did at one time. We got burned, we did a couple times. We got burned some, we no longer loan money. I’m sorry, you just kind of let him know you’re not a bank, you’re an employer. They can work for their money, but you’re not in the lending business.
So, with your team members, you need to get ruthless. You need to have a performance standard. It starts with being old time. We don’t tolerate people being late. You get three tardies per quarter with us. Fourth one, you have a sit-down meeting. Fifth one, you generally are let go. That’s something we’re pretty firm about. The other thing is attitude. Everybody in your organization has to have a great attitude. Everybody has to have a “Can do attitude.” They have to be willing to work hard at 6:00 in the morning. They have to be willing to work hard until 8:00 or 9:00, depending on how it is. They have to be consistently able to bring the heat to work for your organization. They’ve got to be positive.
We don’t allow any negativity. We got rid of our last negative guy about two months ago. We can’t handle it. He’s been with us for a couple of years. He was almost very close to if not our most experienced team member at the time. He had to go. He had some good attributes, but he had to go is negative. So, negativity drags an organization down. If you start allowing person get late before you know it, everybody is going to start getting late. If you allow one guy to slack off after 3:00 o’clock, everybody is going to start slacking off after 3:00 o’clock or a lot of people are. It spreads as soon as it happens, you need to address it. If they can’t, correct it immediately then they need to move on. It’s better to just discover that you need to be really strict when somebody first starts, because you’re less emotionally connected to them. They’re less emotionally connected to you. You can end the relationship on decent terms. You both just go the other way because it doesn’t work out. Once somebody has been with you for several months, that laying them off gets to be a lot harder. Sometimes you still got to do it. Try and identify stuff, you can generally identify most of your problem people within the first couple of weeks operation.
One of the things you need to be looking for, lifting ability. If somebody didn’t have the strength, they’re going to wind up damaging property. They’re going to wind up hurt somebody. If the team member on the other end cannot trust that person to lift the item, he’s going to be at much bigger chance of himself getting injured or bump into a wall. You got to have complete confidence in the person you’re working with to do this a type of job. I’m not saying go out there and fire after the first mistake. You don’t do that. You give people a couple of chances depending on what it is. If it’s something that’s a little more difficult and give him a couple of shots. If you got somebody that’s banging walls up repeatedly despite being trained. They made it messed up once. and you retrained them and they’re still doing it. Then they lack of paying attention and lack of strength or something. They probably got to go. You can’t be damaging customer’s property. If you got one guy that’s beating your trucks up every time they turn around backing up stuff in the landfill. Hitting mailboxes, getting in car wrecks. He needs to at least lose his driving privileges. Probably, he needs to go, but if he’s a really good team member other than driving, maybe you should probably not be trying to hold onto him. Just be like “Man, you can’t drive.” You can’t drive one of our vehicles because you can’t drive. I got somebody right beside me right now just hugging the line. Another person that can’t drive.
You got to get ruthless on that stuff. You have to have a level of expectation. A high level of expectation for your business and for the level of customer service for your customers to receive. If you’ve got guys that are not bringing that level. Bringing that commitment, attitude, strength, and work ethic. They got a role. You got to get them all out of there. It’s unfair to them and it’s really unfair to. You got to get ruthless. You’ve got to get a bit selfish. You’re not going to make it long in business or you definitely not going to be as successful as you should be.
You’re taking the risk, you deserve the reward. One of the hardest things for people is to realize that you got team members working for you. Make it a lot less money from you sometimes, sometimes not. Sometimes team members make more than you are, but that’s another part. My point is you could be putting in a lot more effort and be making less money than these guys. Yet, so many people even when that’s the case. They’re making the same amount or less than their team members working for them and they’re given bonuses. They’re earning money. They’re cutting breaks. You got to get selfish and you deserve it. Your wife deserves it. Your kids deserve it. Your future grandkids deserve it. Everybody in your family deserves for you to get a bit ruthless, to get a bit selfish and take care of your family.
Take care of your team members too when you start doing really well. If they’re putting through exceptional effort, reward them with bonuses. Don’t give everybody the same bonus though. You need to reward those that work the hardest with the best bonus. If you got somebody that didn’t working that hard, probably you need to let them go. You certainly don’t need to be giving them a bonus, given that the good people the same bonus as the exceptional people. Exceptional people need to be significantly more on rewards, bonuses and all that kind of stuff.
You got to be ruthless on your pricing with your customers. You show up, you got to price. You give them the price up front. It doesn’t matter if it’s cardboard boxes, whatever. If you charge by volume, you charge by volume, you walk up there. You walk up there, if they want to negotiate. Well, at that point you determine if you can negotiate, but guys get ruthless on your pricing It’s there and published. You’re not tricking anybody. That’s what you have to charge to make yourself a good living. To take care of your family, wife and reduce some stress on YouTube. You got enough stress as it is. You don’t need a whole bunch of financial stress. If you can help it more so than is what you’re going to have anyway by being in business for yourself. If you got somebody answering the phones, you got to get involved. Guys, you got to know how to answer the phones every other week. I’m listening to our phones. I’m listening to our call center.
How are they answering the pricing question? Do they sound cheerful when they answer? How are they booking the job? Are they following up at the end correctly? Are they following up after the job correctly? How my team members when they placed that courtesy call? Are they making that courtesy call, right? I’ll spend about 45 minutes or an hour listening back to a recorded phone conversation. We meet about that after every time I listen. I’m meeting with them and I’m saying “This is what you did good. This is what to improve.” You push them guys. Push hard so you can get results. If somebody’s not holding up their end of the deal, they’re not bringing you good results. They need to get retrained first and if training doesn’t work, they need a role.
You need to bring somebody else in. Always be hiring guys. Always be hiring. People will say, “I want hours.” That’s great. You try and get them those hours. The thing is you could give somebody tons of hours and then all of a sudden, they quit because they got burned out despite the fact they’ve been asking for hours. So, you got that people in place, like I talked about earlier today. You don’t want to be short staffed. So, keep hiring and treat like a sports team. This is something we just recently started doing. The people that perform get the PT. They get the playing time> The people that don’t perform, ride the bench. What you’ll find is when you’re ruthless in your fare, your exceptional people are going to be driven to work even harder. They’re going to be happy about their job. They see they’re getting rewarded. Your Business is going to be making more money, it’s going to be more profitable. There’s a good chance you can pay people a bit more. Like I told about early in the video, always plan for things going south. Worst case scenario, what’s the worst-case scenario before you give that long? If you determine you can survive the worst case or worst comes to worst then you might be able to bump the pay up a little bit. We have more people. It’s going to be easier for them to get time off. So, that’s what you have to do in your business.
One of the things also that will come up is carelessness from team members. Like putting gasoline in a diesel truck. That right there, it happened a few times. It happened twice for one person and we created a policy. Listen guys, these are diesel vehicles. This is a stupid mistake. It is a diesel vehicle. If you’re a driver of this vehicle, you put gasoline in it. It is $500 taken out over a certain number of paychecks because that’s between time down and what it costs us to get our mechanic in. Dump out the fuel that paid for. Change out the fuel filters on the truck and all the time involved. It’s about $500 in expense. There will be a tow bill back to the shop, it is $500 or more in expense. We charge $500 if you put diesel in it. Don’t charge your team members for every single mistake, that isn’t fair. Mistakes are part of being in business, but a careless error like that or if it’s repeated a error. They need to pay for it. If they keep repeating it even after they’re paying for it. They got to roll. You can’t put up with just stupid careless mistakes.
I’m telling you guys, you deserve to make more money than you’ve been making. You deserve to be making enough money where you can hire somebody to answer your phones. You could pay JRA for call center. Junk Removal Authority for call center. You could have a little bit more time with your family, because you got somebody answering the phones. You’re able to afford a manager to run everything, all the day to day stuff.
You deserve that. The quicker you realize that, the better you’ll be. We hit $2,000,000 a year at the end of year five and I learned this lesson. I had a note right from the start. I learned it in a year or two. We would probably have been at three and a half, closer to three anyway and we would have been even more profitable than we were. You got to get ruthless. You got to get selfish. You deserve it.
You got a heart. Everybody got a heart. I got a heart too, I got a big heart. At the same time, I’ve been taking advantage of its crude way too many times and I’ve got a tremendous amount more stress. We as business owners, the junk removal business owners have a lot more stress for the most part than our team members.
It’s very easy for to look at them as we we’re the parents. We need to take care of them, give them stuff and all like that. That’s just not the case. You’re not being fair to yourself. You’re being unfair to yourself and you take that. So, I hope everybody found this useful. We got a Junk Removal Made Simple episode coming up, download tomorrow. It’s going to be comparing business opportunities and franchises or the junk removal business package. Different types of franchises going to the restaurant business or different service type industries. It’s going to be comparing what’s your best bet to go into business on your own. So, this is going to be geared towards the people that are researching junk removal trying to see if it’s for them. We’re going to compare some different options you have and show you why junk removal is the best option for you and why working with Junk Removal Authority beats a chain in yourself and handcuffing yourself to a franchise. Talk to everybody real soon. Thanks guys!