Starting a company, any company, at a young age gives you a number of benefits and advantages over people who wait until later in life to attempt it. The most obvious reason is that it gives you more time to learn from, and recover from, your mistakes.
Everyone makes mistakes. It’s part of being human. Mistakes don’t have to be career or company ending, but if you wait until you’re older to start out you may not have enough time left “on the clock” to fix the problems and recover so you can build a successful business.
The leadership skills you need to run a successful business can be learned.
Very few companies can prosper as a one-man show if you want them to grow. Your employees are valuable assets and you need to treat them as such. If you extend them the dignity of some respect and personal courtesy, they’ll respond in kind and be more productive to boot.
Great leaders never stop learning and neither should you if leading a great company is your goal. Communication is one skill, in particular, you can never learn enough about. Communication is a key ingredient to getting your managers, supervisors, and other employees to understand their job duties, goals, and expectations. Effective communications with your customers and vendors will keep your company moving efficiently on both ends of the chain.
Always go out of your way to recognize potential in your employees and to reward those who go above and beyond the call of duty. Rewards can be bonuses, raises, extra time off, increased authority, and promotions. Be sure to recognize and reward them in front of their fellow employees in addition to doing it privately. Public recognition is a powerful motivator. When employees see you rewarding someone else, it will motivate them to try harder so it will be them up there.
Internalize the old John Wayne ethic of, “A man’s word is his bond.” This works for women too, “A woman’s word is her bond.” Nothing is more inspirational to employees than a leader who says what they mean and means what they say. Once your employees know you’ll keep your word no matter what, they’ll move heaven and earth to make you happy.
Customers will be impressed too. How often have you been infuriated by a company that didn’t honor their warranty or tried to weasel out of a promise they’d made? Do the exact opposite by being a person of your word regardless of the cost and you’ll have more business than you know what to do with.
Most janitorial companies need several supervisors or managers to oversee the various teams who are cleaning offices or homes for people or their companies. Going into homes and offices, usually after hours, requires a measure of trust from all concerned. Demonstrate to your supervisors and managers that you trust them, and they’ll become more trustworthy with every passing day as they strive to live up to your faith in them.
The younger you are the more energy you have. It is just a simple fact of human biology. You can work long hours day after day and still be ready to rip and run after only a few hours sleep. The time when a company is first starting and trying to expand is when you’ll need that kind of energy the most.
For example; you’ll be hiring and (sadly) firing employees, cold-calling potential customers, handling all the bookkeeping and payroll functions, maintaining equipment, and doing a lot of fieldwork yourself. It’s been said that at any small business, especially in its early days, the owner is the cook, cleaner, and chief bottle washer.
At small pest control companies, for instance, it is not at all unusual to see the owner doing the same grubby work as his or her employees, crawling under houses to kill termites or flipping over bed bug infested mattresses. Then they go back to the office and stay there until dark doing paperwork while their employees are at home watching TV.
Success isn’t complicated, it just takes a lifetime of dedication. Early mornings and late nights require a nearly endless supply of energy and enthusiasm. If you’re young, you’ve got those in abundance. Use them while you’ve got them.
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