-by Ryan Owen, Regional Director of Lafayette/Lake Charles-
What the world has presented all of us in the past 18 months has made people more dependent on our services more than ever. We have had to quickly learn and adapt our practices to fit the needs of our customers in these critical times of panic. It is always important to be the expert when dealing with any situation in our line of work. To achieve this distinction, it is important that we are continuously learning new methods of trade, whether it be chemicals, equipment, practices, etc. Never stop learning, because when you do your business will stop thriving.
To an outsider, the cleaning industry may seem simple, however, we all know that it takes more than a mop and broom to run a successful cleaning business. We must contend with constantly changing laws and regulations, frequent innovations in technology, and a regular onslaught of new products in the market.
In an industry that is always evolving, keeping current is crucial for franchisees that want to stay relevant and competitive. Continuing education is particularly important for our franchisees that are in an active state of growth.
Spending time on industry sites as well as reading trade magazines is a good start. If you want to take it a step further, consider these additional professional development tools:
SOCIAL MEDIA –
You may ask yourself: How could social media help my development? Instead of wasting your time scrolling through news feeds you must intentionally follow the resources that will help you continue your quest for knowledge. Following trade associations, industry leaders, and peers on various social media platforms is a great way to stay current on the latest trends affecting our industry in general. Industry-specific groups can be beneficial.
NETWORKING EVENTS –
While the internet makes it easy to stay connected and learn from others in our industry, it lacks the personal touch. In addition to learning opportunities, these groups can offer other benefits such as finding new vendors or identifying new business partnerships. Some areas may not have industry-specific options, but there are still avenues for growing as a businessperson. The local Chamber of Commerce or Rotary Club, for example, may host educational events on general leadership topics. Franchise Days and conventions are great networking events that can help you connect with other franchisees.
TRADE SHOWS AND CONFERENCES –
Jani- King Gulf Coast puts on a trade show at our yearly convention. This is a great time for you to get your hands on the newest gadgets and to get an education from some of the industry’s top minds. It also gives you the chance to meet with peers with whom you can discuss business strategies. Going to national trade shows can represent a sizable investment for your business. Ask your local supply vendor; they also put on events throughout the year, which can be of great value for your business.
CLEANING INDUSTRY CERTIFICATIONS –
Certification courses offer very specific knowledge in an organized manner, plus you earn official designations that tell the world you know your stuff. These certifications let customers know you’re committed to best practices, which helps build trust. There are dozens of third-party associations that offer cleaning certifications. Whatever you are hoping to learn, there’s likely an option to suit your needs. Most organizations now offer online training.
Finally, we have assessments. A professional assessment can be a useful tool for helping determine gaps in your leadership or knowledge base. Search industry associations or chemical vendors for tests related to knowledge of cleaning best practices and various regulations. These tests can help you identify your strengths and weaknesses; you can use the insights to help you perform better as a manager and entrepreneur. There are also helpful tools in the hiring process to make sure you select the right personalities for your team.
Continuing education brings an influx of new ideas. It expands your understanding of our industry. It helps you look at old problems in new ways, and it can expand your network to reach more people.
Ultimately, a broader knowledge base and greater visibility will help keep the competition at bay and make it easier to grow your business.