Philosophical insight into taking advantage of the service industry

I’ve talked to you about philosophy, drones, and how to start businesses. That’s all fine and fair, but to me personally, the key to realizing success in any area revolves around understanding (at a high level) how the different pieces fit together.

So now I’m going to talk about the economy, small business owners, and the changing of the guard so to speak.

The best way for me to explain this is to tell you a story, so please follow along:

The year is 1980 (36 years ago). Fred at 30 years of age decides to open up a home cleaning service. He hires some workers, hands out some business cards, and via word of mouth, builds up a nice book of business that brings in some nice recurring monthly income. Oh, he also adds his business to the Yellow Pages.

Fast forward to 2016, Fred is still running his business the same ol’ fashioned way. In fact, he despises technology and the internet. He thinks it’s ruining everything (he may be partially correct there). Fred doesn’t believe in advertising and still relies only on word of mouth advertising. To put it simply, he operates his company the way he’s always done it. Expecting things to always be the same.

Here is how Fred operates – if and when someone wants to book their house to be cleaned, they call Fred and he gives them a”free quote or estimate”.Usually, Fred drives over to the persons house and looks at it (wasting time and money in the process). Time in having to drive to the home. Money in spending gas driving around. Fred’s website (looking like it was designed in the 90’s) shows up on page #2 of Google. It’s a simple page that has some ugly pictures on it with “CALL FOR FREE QUOTE OR ESTIMATE” written in a big purple font.

Then one day James decides to enter the home cleaning biz. He looks at the market as a whole and realizes there are tremendous, untouched opportunities not only in home cleaning but in the service industry as a whole. He arrives at his conclusions based on searching the web and seeing the aforementioned operating processes used by virtually all service business owners. James begins to develop deep insights into how he could take advantage of this little known philosophical knowledge.

James designs a website. And not just any website, but a website that serves as a multi-functional tool. It has a built in booking feature that allows people who enter the website to simply select a date and time for their home cleaning. On the backend James receives all of this customer info on his cell phone and gets notified every time a new customer books a cleaning or a current customer changes a cleaning. He operates his service company efficiently and effectively, quickly dominating the #1 spot on Google.

The website does not offer  “Free Quotes or Estimates”. That’s merely red tape and unnecessary wasting of time and money. Rather, James uses fixed pricing which enables him to operate his company at a very high speed. Thus, when someone comes to the website, they can book, schedule, and pay for their cleaning right then and there from their mobile device, computer, or tablet. Fred’s mind can’t even comprehend what is going on.

I forgot to mention that traditional service companies pay no mind to ranking on Google. So it is a very very quick and easy process to dominate for those who play this angle. And you know what everyone does when they need their home cleaned? Search for it on Google. So right off the bat, James is funneling all web traffic to his new service company. In no time at all James is running neck and neck with Fred, even overtaking him in number of customers and in money.

The moral of the story is this – this line of reasoning/logic applies to all service companies and it is an angle that currently few people are exploiting. Why not exploit it? There is big money in service companies and it is a simple thing to compete with the big guys very quickly if you can wrap your head around the reasoning laid out above. Think of it this way: this is just the beginning. Virtually all companies will be run like this in the future. Right now is the beginning. Nowhere have I ever read or seen anything about these thoughts I’m talking about here. I was on the front end of drone inspections and am also on the front end of changing the face of the service industry!

In other words, service industries are still today currently run like they were 50 years ago. Times have changed. A new service company can come into the market today and compete with an older, well established company in just a matter of months, not years.

Ask yourself some questions and ponder on what I’ve said here. I could expand on these ideas further, but I’ve laid the groundwork. As always, I leave further extrapolation to yourselves. Leave me a comment on this post if you’d like to discuss further!




14 thoughts on “Philosophical insight into taking advantage of the service industry

  1. Nice Article James. but you didn’t mentioned me how I helped. one question for you, can you write a post about what habits should be presence to be successful entrepreneur?

  2. When you say “fixed pricing”, do you mean a fixed hourly rate? How could someone offer fixed pricing in the service industry when requirements vary so greatly?

  3. Amazing insight! I particularly laughed hysterically the part where you mentioned “book, schedule and pay right then and their from their their mobile devices… Fred’s mind can’t even comprehend what’s going on.”

    Free quotes and estimates are totally the “tried and true” ways. People lose perspective on WHY they worked before. Before, you couldn’t LOOK PEOPLE UP to see if they were legit, you wanted to MEET them, so the free quote was a formality to build rapport and comfort. Nowadays, that’s rarher unnecessary like you said.

    What is your opinion on service-based apps for house cleanings?
    –where do you mitigate the liability of those cleaners not stealing people’s stuff?
    It might just be a matter of people slowly getting used to it like Uber (random people picking you up, might as well have random people clean your house). Yet it might be more personal to have your whole house vulnerable.

    1. Thanks Eric! You’re spot on in your thinking about free quotes and estimates.
      You mitigate by being bonded and insured. One thing is for certain, the writing is on the wall, and the “old” way of doing service business is going to be phased out. Now is the time to strike.

  4. I really enjoy your posts James.
    I’ve always said that there are a LOT of oppotunities to get rich if you are smart enough.

    Nowadays, time is more money than ever, so if you have services that are efficient, flexible and easy enough to get the costumer’s attention, this WILL get you ahead. After all, what is competition if you got a better deal to offer?

    Great insight, thanks and greetings from Brazil.

  5. Hey James, after having worked for a service based business that was being run very much the same way as your example I have come to a lot of the same conclusions. Do you think that this approach can be just as successful for business to business services?

  6. Hi James. Great post!

    I live in Zimbabwe, Africa. I want to have financial freedom and run my own gig. But if you know anything about Zimbabwe, you probably know why this can be a challenge. The economy is in a meltdown. Majority of the consumer market comprises civil servants and these guys haven’t been paid in months. The country is broke.

    Fortunately, I work for a private (and international) organisation. My goal is simple… Go global and make money online. All I need is $3500 per month to live great.

    E commerce is new to Zim. How can I generate $3.5k of coin per month online?

  7. Outstanding explanation of how just a few lead generation technologies can give an advantage to dominate small service industries.

    Plus, if James also adds some high tech tools to the cleaning service like robots, then old Fred will be out of business.

    Unless James decides to franchise his system and let Fred run one area.

    Thanks James for sharing your insights. Looking forward the next one.

  8. Hi James. I’m sure it’s intention that had me find your site. Just left as Executive Director to run an aerial imaging company. How would fixed pricing apply to drone services with so much variability in the service. Such as; Company A’s needs are different than company B’s, with need and product value potentially valued differently as well.

    1. My thought I using fixed pricing is like shooting yourself in the foot. Price according to what kind of work your doing, how much the company/industry can pay etc…My opinion is the industry is still new and thus there is still room to play around with pricing. Other option would be to structure your company so that you’re a middle man and connect drone pilots to companies. In my opinion this could be the most powerful model. Hope this helps!

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