Ok I am no professional writer or novelist, but I thought I’ve been on such a journey lately why not share it? Most of the ideas we have, or should I say I have, come in the early hours of the morning believe it or not!
So, having grown our family business over the last 18 years we decided at the start of the year it would be a good idea to sell this and move on. After a lot of failed employees and disappointments over previous years we felt compelled to work only with others that are supervised directly by us.
We had planned earlier this year to sell the business but unfortunately things didn’t work out the way we wanted so we thought “okay let’s grow our business a little more”. So now months later we have employed extra staff, carried out training and now providing our staff courses and materials to gain knowledge and perform the job just as good as we can. With knowledge comes the experience. This doesn’t happen overnight as you can appreciate, but with a lot of positivity, management and delegation staff feel motivated and empowered and most of all appreciated.
As part of our expansion plans, we have incorporated a marketing plan to see us right up until January 2019. We have revamped our website with the inclusion of a “pay online” facility where customers can make a payment from the comfort of their own home at a time convenient to them with absolutely no charges and get an instant receipt, just as you would as if you were buying any other product off the internet. We believe this is the way forward and with Stripe technology we can do this. In addition, we have incorporated additional phone lines covering a broad spectrum of areas in Kent that we cover. Many of our customers are still not aware that we cover parts of Surrey, Sussex, South East London and have been known to cross over to the Essex border! We have revamped our van and stationery and have become members of Trustatrader. We are even introducing a VOIP telephone system! This will enable us to take internet-based calls and have extra calls answered at the same time! Gary is still scratching his head.
MOVING HOME AND SETTING UP OFFICE
To say this has been an experience is an understatement! I think it would be fair to say that moving home is one of the most stressful things in life you can experience besides a divorce and bereavement. I would describe my experience like a tornado spinning you around and then throwing you out when it finished the impact.
We were very prepared and fairly organized and even did our own cleaning (as you would expect!). The removal was carried out in two stages over two days and we had help in packing! Having to put our belongings into storage a little worrying too. Then comes the animals. They can’t quite work out what has gone on and the cat has managed to escape twice! Having set up a temporary office amid moving home too was a little daunting let me tell you. If you see Gary shortly and his hair has receded more, you will know why!
Charity Donations & Community
We would like to work more with charity organisations. We already do collections and donations for Demelza House Hospice for Children and have raised money for Alzheimer’s Society and the British Heart Foundation. We would like to extend on this and our next collection for our charity will be for Demelza House Christmas Collection. We collect unused and unwanted toys and selection boxes and wrap these and deliver them to the hospice with coded paper for girls and boys. If you have any items around the home, you would be happy to donate let us know and we can arrange to collect these from you!
We plan to expand on this further in 2019 and are looking for enthusiastic and self-motivated individuals who can join our family team. We don’t want our staff to be just a number we want them to feel valued and know that they have room to grow and not going to feel that they are just stuck in a rut. Part of this process will also involve us in giving apprenticeship opportunities to the right candidates. We are really looking forward to interviewing and expanding our team. We do not believe in using agency staff, each candidate is interviewed by us and employed by us. Our motto is work hard play hard.
Social Media & Mobile Apps
We now have an Instagram page and regularly post updates social and work related. In addition to which we have now have over 1,400 followers on Facebook, profile page on Linked In business and Google Business Page for regular updates, offers and work experience. WhatsApp is also an effective tool which we are happy to share with our clients if they wanted to contact us personally for some help and advice. Whether we like it or not social media is now part of our daily lives and if used correctly, it is an effective method of communication in this modern society where we all seem to be so busy we don’t seem to find time to have an actual conversation on the telephone!
We plan to open another business later in 2019 but not UK based! Check our website and Facebook pages for further updates on this.
As an Advanced Member of the National Carpet Cleaning Association, Gary, in his senior years lol, would like to move towards business mentoring and training. He would like to share his experience and knowledge and help those just starting out or that need some technical help and business advice. We appreciate that everyone has to start somewhere and this is a good way of actively helping our fellow members set up and grow their company. Who knows? He may even start taking training courses!