Wow. What a couple years was 2020-2021. Looking back at the 24 months, I am in awe of what Blue Jay did as a company. I also realize there were lessons we learned that sharpened us. The sharpening process was PAINFUL but necessary is setting us up for the next chapter of growth.
It is now July 2022. We have had some room to breathe from the turn of the new year and a healthy perspective of Blue Jay Cleaning Lessons we learned in 2020-2021.
Below are 6 lessons that Blue Jay will carry forward as we grow.
1. Pivot or die
The first Blue Jay Cleaning Lesson learned is we had to change. If we kept doing things the old way, we wouldn’t survive. It was scary some days–especially in 2020. BUT, Covid was the catalyst for the biggest move we have ever made as a company: opening Blue Jay Destin!
The reasoning behind expansion was necessity. The company HAD to grow when unfortunate circumstances fell in our (Matt and Britt Greenwood) laps. Matt’s management position with a large Fortune 500 was dissolved and no one was hiring–most companies were downsizing or pausing all hiring due to Covid.
While we were vacationing in Destin, FL 3 years prior, we discussed how amazing it would be to have a cleaning location on the Emerald Coast. When faced with the challenges of the spring of 2020, we knew what our big move would be.
2. One day at a time
If we would have foreseen everything we had to endure as a family and company, we may have sold every possession and bought a sailboat to sail away in–not even kidding. Thankfully, we were only given one moment at a time. There were days when the excitement pushed us through and others where the overwhelm sent us to dark places. Some days we were cleaning for 12 hours strait because no staff could work. Twice in 2021, we worked 2 months strait without a day off. Other days it seems like our crazy plan was just going to work.
A new day is a gift for a cleaning company. It gives a restart and a chance to reflect on the lessons learned the day before. We had tough lessons to process from our Tulsa Cleaning team, our OKC Cleaning team and our new Destin Cleaning team.
3. Growth is good for everyone
Growing any business is a feat. Growth is necessary for so many things. Naysayers would state companies are filled with greed and the owners only want money. How far that is from the truth for our company! We are not doing multi-million-dollar deals or have a national brand, but for some reason we get categorized harshly by the court of public opinion
Growth is a GOOD, good thing.
- Growth creates stability for staff and clients
- Growth creates opportunities for employees to move up in the company
- Growth creates a chance for better training & knowledge
- Growth creates the possibility for more benefits for staff
- Growth allows the company to give back to the community
- Growth can afford better marketing
- Growth (healthy growth) mean longevity
- Growth yields better systems and process
- Growth allows better service to clients
4. Trust our instinct
There were moments over the course of 2020-2021 where we were the only ones who could come up with solutions for Blue Jay. There wasn’t a business coach on the planet who would have seen the strategic moves we made and cheered us on. What we were doing didn’t make financial business sense on paper. It was the biggest risk we had ever taken as a family and a company. But we KNEW it was the right move. It was faith. It was our gut.
We have had several instances in some of our other instinctive decisions as well. When we interviewed for a cleaning position for Oklahoma early 2021, I told Matt we couldn’t hire this person as a cleaner. She NEEDED to be a manager. We didn’t have the money to afford her, but we believed by bringing Sarah Prudhomme onboard, we would more than make up for the cost of hiring our first Oklahoma Area Manager. We are so grateful for Sarah. She is serving Blue Jay well and leading an amazing Tulsa cleaning team and OKC cleaning team.
5. Stop comparing
In the cleaning industry, there are a lot of cleaning coaches and cleaning programs you can pay thousands of dollars to be a part of. I am not bashing these avenues of paid mentorship, but they were not for us. We knew Blue Jay had a unique business model that didn’t fit the mold.
I used to spend hours seeing what my competitors were doing, charging, etc. What I realized is their methods are great for them. As long as Blue Jay is hitting our target margins, we have happy staff and satisfied clients, we can do things our own way. Staying our own course has been the best course.
6. Blue Jay is its own entity separate from the owners
I am not Blue Jay Cleaning Services. Matt is not Blue Jay Cleaning Services. There are decisions we have to make on behalf of Blue Jay as its own entity.
It’s actually been a strange transition for me. Blue Jay was my baby. My blood (not too much), my sweat (a lot) and my tears (many) laid the foundation for the company. As my baby business grew my relationship with the company began to change.
The transition is much like my baby boys grew to adolescents and now are into the teen years. Soon, they will be their own entity as well with a foundation laid out by Matt and me allowing us to influence from afar.
The same is happening in Blue Jay. We now let Blue Jay management make decisions we used to, and they are doing a great job. We are still leading and setting the course for the company, but the execution is now in the hands of other highly qualified staff.
Sometimes, we have to make really hard choices as company too. We have to think about all of our staff and clients. THIS has been the hardest part of the transition. No matter what, all decisions come down to HAVING INTEGRITY, WORKING HARD AND LOVING OTHERS.