Owning and operating a chimney sweep or hearth company carries a lot of responsibility including the potential for liability, exposure, and financial issues to name a few. It is not an easy thing to create or to balance. Being a chimney sweep is also a physically demanding job. For all of the stress of ownership and physical work we might as well brand the trucks Hard working, educated, honest, master of the trade on the cheap. We dont get paid what we are worth.
When itcomes to hiring there are some principles to consder. Are you going to hirea person that has the characteristics or traits of someone that would start their own business? If so, shame on you. There are countless personality tests and interview questions one could ask to ascertain whether any given person has the desire to go into business for themselves. Were you unrealistic about the job description in the interview? Did you land the perfect guy by painting a picture that did not resemble the real job?
The interview process of the best hires I have ever had were people that convinced me they were right for the job, not the other way around. Start out the interview with: This job is physically and mentally demanding. This job is dirty and dangerous. You will need to work six days a week in the fall and a majority of that time climbing through snow banks with a ladder on your shoulder. Do not waste your time talking to people that are not cut out for this very unique job. Let the right person convince you otherwise. Howard Shultz, CEO of Starbucks was once asked, How do you get all your people to smile? His response was, Hire people that smile. Sometimes its that simple.
Providing them the right job Any job that is as demanding as mentioned above should not only have great pay and a great benefits, but it better be a fun and rewarding place to work. If you want them to be with you long term, you better have a retirement plan for them. The fall may always be demanding, but the off season should offer plenty of paid time off. One way to make certain nobody leaves for the grass on the other side is to focus primarily on making sure the grass on your side is the greenest around. If you cant afford to do all these things then you need to CHARGE MORE. I capitalize these letters because I have heard countless success stories of companies raising their prices with great success and next to none on the contrary. Unfortunately most companies wait till it is their last option before going out of business, to do so.