How do I keep money in my business and keep feeding the monster?
I have an office and wanted to become a professional cleaning company. I have 5 employees, not including myself. 3 of them are cleaning technicians, and 2 are full-time office staff. I over did the office staff because they do not bring money in and they are not doing anything yet. I know I have to lay them off, but it is my daughter and her boyfriend. I wanted them to come in the office, pick up the keys, and go to work. I also bought a training program for my cleaners and a safety training program. I told my office staff to set the training up on the schedule and pull the employees in one at a time for their safety training and all they say is okay, but it is not being implemented. I am ready to pull out. I am paying them and they don't want to do anything. I am not a good manager because they won't listen or they put the paperwork aside and don't do it. I am afraid to lay them off. It is very hard for me to do that, that is my personality.
I totally hear you. I made the same mistakes, and then I repeated them. It's OK - building a business is a process with many ups and downs.
In your case I think you are dealing with at least three BIG problems.
One being bloated payroll.
Second - unmotivated employees.
Third - not enough cash flow.
On paper the solution seems very simple - let go of your employees. Take the training, roll up your sleeves and get to work yourself. When you need help, find some subcontractors but try go on the site together with them. Subcontractors will be self motivated and they will not bloat your payroll when times are slow.
Focus on customer service and in the meantime start working on your marketing. Collect positive reviews along the way.
Once you'll build up your client base and you are busy 120% you can now look for one full-time hire. Outside of the family preferred.
In short - keep your business, but let the monster go. You can't save them, but you can save yourself. Once you are successful you'll find ways to help them, because that's who you are. If your business goes belly up now - then everybody losses.
YOU CAN DO IT. Anything worthwhile takes a lot of effort. But it's worth it. Go for it!
Hope this helps.
Best luck in 2018.
P.S. You can call me if you would like to talk.
I am the Community Manager for Business.com. I see this question come up all the time in the community. It is very challenging to separate professional from personal relationships when managing family or friends, that doesn't make you a bad manager. The Business.com team recently wrote this guide to help business owners prepare themselves to work with loved ones, Tips for Keeping the Peace When Working with Family.
Fortunately, it is never too late to set boundaries or sign an agreement on the responsibilities of each employee. Having the expectations written out will help you better delegate what needs to be done, and makes sure the employees understand what their role entails. If your employees fail to meet the expectations outlined in the signed agreement, you need put your foot down and let them go. Knowing you were as clear and specific as you could be, it will be easier to remain professional. For more tips, check out guide above.
Good luck and keep us updated on how your professional cleaning company is growing!