Starting a business is a big achievement for many entrepreneurs, but maintaining one is the larger challenge. There are many standard challenges that face every business whether they are large or small. It is not easy running a company, especially in a fast-paced, ever-changing business world. Technology advances, new hiring strategies, and now, political changes coming with the new administration, all add to the existing business challenges that entrepreneurs, business owners, and executives have to deal with.
Maximizing profits, minimizing expenses and finding talented staff to keep things moving seem to be top challenges for both SMBs and large corporations. We have been interviewing companies from around the world to discover what challenges they are facing in their businesses. We also asked each company to share business advice they would give to a younger version of themselves.
Below is our interview with Jonathan Barnett, President and CEO at Oxi Fresh Carpet Cleaning:
What does your company do?
Oxi Fresh Carpet Cleaning provides customers with a fast drying, green carpet cleaning service that leaves floors looking and feeling years younger.
I'm proud to say that over the last eleven years, we've helped bring about a big change in carpet cleaning, doing away with old-fashioned, wasteful cleaning techniques that rely on harsh chemicals and dozens upon dozens of gallons of water. Oxi Fresh needs 95% less water to get world-class results, helping us save the planet over 35,000,000 gallons of water. Oxi Fresh is also proud to help support Water.org.
For our franchisees, we've also changed how a carpet cleaning business is handled. We've created a streamlined, modern business platform that helps them run their businesses more efficiently and effectively. With Oxi Fresh's software, support, and business tools, franchisees can focus on growing their business instead of getting stuck in it.
What is your role? What do you enjoy most about your role?
As the President and CEO of Oxi Fresh, my job is to always push the company forward. We're not interested in staying where we are, we're not content with just continuing on the same path year after year. I work to find new solutions, implement new programs, find superior vendors - to do everything I can to give our business and our franchisees a competitive edge.
I enjoy that challenge - stressful as it can be at times - because I know I'm making Oxi Fresh stronger and, by extension, all of our franchisees' businesses stronger. It's a good feeling when I know I can introduce a program or project that will help everyone grow.
What are the biggest challenges in your business right now?
We're always on the lookout for low-cost growth opportunities for our franchisees. Whether that's teaching them how to better pursue commercial work or finding different means of advertising, Oxi Fresh wants to give our franchisees a wide-selection of inexpensive yet effective marketing tools. Of course, finding these tools and programs takes time and experimentation, which is a challenge. The additional challenge on top of that, though, is that we then have to find the best ways to introduce these programs to our many franchisees, train them, and then encourage them to really make the most of these new tools.
If you could go back in time, what business advice would you give to a younger version of yourself?
I would give myself three pieces of advice. First, "You've got the green light until you get the red light." A lot of people waste their time waiting for things to be perfect before they take action - like they're waiting for a traffic light to change. No - you've got to assume the lights are green and only stop when you have to.
Second, "Speed through systems." This idea is foundational to us - we believe that we can help enable our brand's success by implementing systems. These programs and tools eliminate busywork and tasks so we can focus on growth and development.
Third, "Let go to grow." You've got to trust your team to handle things if you want to grow. If you try to do everything yourself, you'll drive yourself crazy and you'll fail to achieve your goals.