As 2016 rolls around a lot of companies are reflecting on their wins and losses of the past year and looking towards what they can do this year to improve their businesses. There is a lot for a small business to consider when looking at how to plan for the future, many changes are expected to happen in 2016, new president, changes to the Affordable Care Act, new technological releases such as the Oculus Rift, and a leap day on February 29th. Recently I sat down with Pro Power Clean’s President, Linda Allsbury and asked her a couple of questions concerning what’s coming in the new year.
Q. What are your New Year's resolutions for Pro Power Clean?
Linda: I'm really excited for 2016. This year we will be focusing on bettering our already stellar reputation in the valley and refining our use of equipment and technology to be even more efficient.
Q. Are there any new pieces of equipment or technology that you are excited about using in 2016?
Linda: We are always looking for better technology: better vacuum cleaners, better burnishers, better scrubbers, better zambonis, and we are always looking for better greener products. I haven't been alerted to anything yet by our staff or by our wholesalers, but when I do hear about them we will most definitely be using them. The other thing I think we need to focus on is productivity because productivity is such a huge part of what we do. We have to do the best job in the shortest amount of time. We need to always keep on track with what is new, but also what is most cost effective. So there is a bit of balancing of staying current, yet being cost efficient, all while paying our staff a good living wage.
Q. With the future there is always a bit of hesitation or fear because of the unknown. Is there anything that worries you about the future?
Linda: I have found that worrying is counterproductive. Everyday there are challenges, and good things come from challenges. We don't want to get stagnant, we don't want to relax and be going with the flow. We want to be on the cutting edge, on the front lines of our industry. With that said we have to take everything into consideration. This is a political year, this is an election year, things can change. Small business is always on the front line of politics and we need to keep in touch with that. It's not a worry, we just need to be informed regarding our community and beyond. We have to stay positive, keep sharing and talking to people and be involved. I think that will get us further than being concerned.
When we look at our industry as a whole, there is a higher average turnover than in other industries. This last year was a challenge because we needed more high quality people who wanted to be here and wanted to do the job well. We want staff who will come in and make a life of this. We know that we are only as strong as the weakest member, so we have to bring everybody up to make a great team. Then we put our best face forward and people remember it. I hear it all the time out there, "Pro Power Clean does great work." and it’s hard to find that in janitorial.
Q: What excites you about this job? Is it working with employees? Is it finding new employees? What is the thing that keeps you coming back day to day and doing this job?
Linda: The employees are my passion. I see this being a training ground for life. We sometimes get people who are struggling or have never had a job before, and we can train them to have great skill, self-respect, and excitement about completing a job well done. They also have the opportunity here to move up through the company, and if they do love it, they can become leads, enter supervisory positions or go on to management eventually. We want it to be their company. Everyone who works here is all together in this. That's why I come into work every day.
I feel like god has blessed this business, we went from ten employees to seventy five. He brings us each person, and that's where we make the difference. We also make a difference in client’s lives, and that's what it’s all about here. Relationships are the most important thing in this life. We have lots of relationships with people, with staff members, with clients, with vendors. We all look to be the best people we can be out there in the community and within our company. People know our reputation, they know that we stand behind what we say. That is the biggest deal to me. When we say we are going to do something we follow through. Not to say that we don't make mistakes, but we will always rise to the challenge, make it better, and learn from our mistakes.
Q: Is there anything else that you would like to add?
Linda: Another thing that we are looking at growing is our communication. As I mentioned earlier we want productivity, and we get that by using the technology that we have, and figuring out better ways to use that technology. We all use android tablets and phones, we are using those more and more because communication and tracking within the company is paramount. This year we are really working on communication from the trainee all the way up to management. We want everyone to feel that their input is heard. That we are following up and that we are getting better. So to wrap it all up we are working on communication, technology and new products. It's a new year and we are really excited to work on all of that and better the company.
With so much uncertainty in the world, it’s absolutely necessary to be positive and adaptive with the tides. It’s truly nice to work with a company that isn't afraid of change, and who is willing to experiment with new technology, especially in the janitorial industry. Whatever happens in 2016 you can bet that Pro Power Clean will be ready for it.