In life, we often accumulate things that we need, want or like. Over time, these items are no longer necessary for us, yet we still keep them and allow them to occupy space and collect dust. Jacob Spencer’s business, Mobile Skips, comes in handy for those who do some spring cleaning, DIY jobs or moving residences or offices to take out the non-essentials and keep spaces neat and orderly.
Mobile Skips is a business that Jacob acquired from the original owners two years ago. Although he spent most of his career in the food and hospitality industry, he found that the rubbish business is simple to understand and manage. He still has his fingers dipped in the food space because of his involvement in the non-profit social enterprise, called Streat. However, he is more focused now on Mobile Skips, bringing to the venture all his learnings from his previous experiences.
His business is helpful in discarding garbage, which is a growing concern for many areas around the world. Even in various aspects of our lives, we need to sift our thoughts and emotions to rid ourselves of excess baggage. In the business journey, decluttering the turmoils and focusing on substantial things are helpful in running an enterprise. Here are some actions you can take to get you to do some entrepreneurial clean-up so that you can fix your eyes on the essentials of business.
1.) Decide to give it a go
The primary impediment to doing some spring cleaning is the failure to make a decision. It is often stalled and pushed at the back of our mind until more items arrive that make the task seem unattainable. In the entrepreneurial journey, decision-making and risk-taking happen almost at every turn.
“You’ve got to have a go. Fail small and fail lots of times small, and try things new the first time because you will learn by doing that. You’ve got to fail at even the tiniest thing and keep going until you get success. When you succeed at that one new thing, it’ll build some confidence and some belief. An old mentor of mine said to me once, ‘You’ll never regret doing something. You’ll regret not doing something.’ So, even if you do it and it doesn’t work, you’ll learn something from it,” Jacob imparted.
2.) Put a system in place
So as not to be overwhelmed by all the chaos and topsy-turvy things, put a system on how to organise your things, where you separate those you need to retain from those that you have to throw away. The same way when you manage a business, having a structure and systems keep things manageable.
“We’ve built a brand new booking and operating IT system, which means that we can run everything remotely. We’ve embraced technology to allow us to automate a lot of the processes in our business, which has been great and has helped us enormously,” he said. That includes making the process easier for their customers. Jacob cited the need to understand the needs of their customers and walk in their shoes for them to build a good product or service and provide solutions to their problems. They have also enforced a system for their franchisees to connect and communicate better through a network.
3.) Discipline yourself
The key to overcoming the tedious task of spring cleaning is having the discipline to tidy up things regularly. For Jacob, “One of the biggest learnings has been the discipline to do a little bit every day on improvements. Sometimes, the big goals seem insurmountable.”
Challenges like cash flow and time management can be a burden. But Jacob found that having restraint and control in managing cash and time can help ease the load. “What you need to do is to put in discipline practices that allow you to solve problems, move forward, and get stuff done in the shortest time possible to the best quality, so then you can go and enjoy the rest of the day or the week with your family or your friends and have some balance,” he quipped.
4.) Learn and enjoy
Make decluttering a fun and learning experience. With all the challenges and hard work in running a business, the entrepreneurial role can be a lonely place that can give you sleepless nights. “It takes up most of my thinking. As a business owner, you never stop thinking about your business. You never stop dreaming about it, waking up in the middle of the night. It’s important to me that it’s enjoyable and doesn’t take up all my time,” he said.
Jacob needed people who could understand his circumstances and give objective insights. He found a remarkable group through EO Melbourne, where he gets to meet other entrepreneurs. “It’s great to see that there are so many other business owners that have similar challenges but also have been so successful. When I started to scratch underneath the surface of EO, it looked like it’s a place that could solve that problem for me.”
5.) Eliminate the rubbish
The hardest part of cleaning up is letting go of things. We hold on to items we no longer use or want because we have a sense of ownership over them. Similarly, in business, there are things we need to let go to keep things simple and lean.
“Things we want to throw out are unnecessary egotistical costs. You grow and add more things, having bigger offices and more meeting rooms. We don’t need them. We’re challenging ourselves to throw that stuff out and reduce where we don’t need,” he remarked.
Now, it’s time for you to take a look at your enterprise and see where you need to simplify things to keep your business neat and orderly at all times.