I thought it was time to update you on my continual learning journey from launching Happy Home Living and stepping out in to the unknown world of having your own business. Many of my new learnings do involve vacuum cleaners!
After a lot of thought and consideration it was decided not to jump off into the deep end but to put a toe in and combine the new business with a part time job in a shop – just to cover the necessary bills and keep the house.
After all that sensible thought and consideration, it was quickly decided that after two weeks of working in the shop it was best to get out quick for the sake of my sanity and also to keep the shop in business. I thought working in a shop would be easy – I would smile a lot, lots of chat with customers, scan things and put things in bags – job done! Not to be as the lovely shop I was working in needed me to have intensive knowledge of the products and the ability to retain these facts. I seemed unable to do either of these things and when it got to the point of seeing a potential customer looking in the window and me saying to myself ‘don’t come in, don’t come in as if you ask me a question I can’t answer it and if you want to buy something I don’t know how to use the till!’ So as you can see Retail really was not my cup of tea.
Actually, being useless as a Shop Manager was just a small part of why I left. The main reason was I was steadily building up a client base and balancing the two jobs was becoming impossible so I have now duly leapt into the deep end with the support of partner Chau and flying solo.
Now I have made my decision to fully focus on my business it is a little scary but also empowering and it’s up to me now. I can’t escalate an issue or a complaint to my manager and wash my hands of the issue, I have to deal with it (not that I get complaints of course!!)
My services are quite diverse from gardening, cleaning, decorating and also quite physical so I can end the day pretty knackered but feel like I have done a good day’s work and also made a difference to people’s lives in a small way. I love the thought of my clients walking back into their house after work and seeing it spick and span, their overgrown garden looking tame or a chaotic room decluttered and ready to be used as a room again (goodness I sound like Mary Poppins!) It does give me satisfaction although it also gives me dirty nails an aching back and very little desire to clean my own house!
50% of my week involves cleaning houses. Hopefully by next year I will have the experience and reputation to start to employee a team to clean but it’s important to do the groundwork first so I know what it’s like to properly clean (not just whisk around with a cloth and have a cup of tea)
What I have learnt about cleaning
I am a people person, if you haven’t already guessed from my previous blogs and my favourite part of my job is meeting new people. It’s still is a total surprise to me to have calls from people who are responding to my advert or enquire through my website (thanks Chau for a fab website!) They are wanting a service I offer rather than a service or product of the company I work for. Arranging to meet them and going to their house to discuss their requirements is not only necessary for me to earn money but a highlight for me to meet a new person and already I have found door opening from the contact they know which is a double bonus.
I have learnt not to say yes to every job and have quickly found out I have limitations and know what I am good at and what needs to be passed on.
One of my clients who I recently decorated his kitchen asked me what I was like with heights and did I want another job? ‘OK, yes’ I responded which was a total lie as I am petrified of heights but did not want to jeopardise a new job. So we went to look at the job he wanted me to do. It was a two storey tower perched on the river bank of the Thames – It would involve scaffolding and ropes or Spiderman to do that job!
I pride myself on communication skills and managed to politely back out of that one and in the future make sure I fully understand the job requirements and heights before I even open my mouth with an enthusiastic yes!
As I said, lots to learn but loving it at the same time!