It is important for any business to know who their customer is. It can be difficult to avoid or handle unforeseen problems if a firm decides to go outside of its core competencies. This takes vision and mission to stay the course ensure continued growth. I’m not saying innovation is bad, but you have to mitigate risk and make sure whatever it is you’re thinking about doing is worth it or not. For example, I received a request to do some residential cleaning in Monterey, CA. Janitorial firms are commercial cleaners and so when this gentleman contacted me, I was willing to explore the opportunity since I have janitors with significant amounts of residential cleaning experience. This particular customer in Monterey turned out to be a customer from hell. Every business has their customer from hell even though work was completed as specified. There is a distinct difference between a janitorial and a maid service. Cleaning is still cleaning at the end of the day but the environment and context in which it takes place – residential or commercial – implies that you two different kinds of customers. Although Pure Janitorial has entertained the notion of providing residential service, it turns out it was not for us.
In another example that took place in Monterey, Pure Janitorial was asked if we could provide facility services. Facility services entail handyman type work and are obviously very different than strictly janitorial. Monterey is nice place that is full of nice people. The person was a real nice guy and his thought processes were clear and crisp. However, after considering what facility services really meant to us, we decided that it posed too great of a risk with really no upside.
The money a business earns has to be worth the stress it produces. Innovative firms can surely tolerate higher levels of stress than most but the decision to commit must be an informed one. Whether it be in Monterey, Pacific Grove, Seaside or Carmel, know who your customer is and be the best at what you do. If you can’t be the best, then why settle for less?