David has a number of years under his belt advising companies and running his own, which, I may add, is very successful. Because of his background in consulting and present role as an owner, David enjoys both perspectives and can wield them both effectively.
I’m more than thrilled to bring him to you today.
David: How did you arrive on your current path?
David Cooperberg: “It’s smarter to be lucky than it’s lucky to be smart.” That’s a quote from the musical, Pippin. I started as a consultant to the then 82-year old woman who founded my company in 1949. She decided to sell the company…so she could concentrate on her other business! So I acquired it 10 years ago.
David: What does your typical day look like?
DC: I start every day by reviewing our bank situation – follow the money. The day can go anywhere from there: client/prospect visits, internal meetings, paperwork. When I can – hopefully, at least 3 days a week – I sneak out for about an hour in the morning to go to the gym.
David: What are the most common issues you notice that keep entrepreneurs and small businesspeople from reaching their full potential?
DC: Inability to see the forest from the trees. When I was a consultant, it usually was pretty easy to identify the problem(s). Most often, the client would agree; the frustration was getting them to make the necessary changes. As Bill Gates once said, “Microsoft isn’t me; it’s the top 20 people in the company.” You cannot grow and do everything yourself. Concentrate on what you do best and learn to delegate – meaningfully.
David: What are some of the biggest roadblocks you experience in delivering the best possible experience for your clients?
DC: The toughest part of my business is the people who do the actual work. We long have focused on the hiring procedure. More recently, we have begun to place equal emphasis on inspiring, incentivizing, and rewarding outstanding teamwork. This is more effective than individual recognition.
David: If you could advise business owners to take one action to reduce the stress brought on by their work, what would it be?
DC: As noted above, hire good people and delegate meaningfully. “Don’t bring me problems, bring me solutions.” They may not always be right, but this way, your managers learn. And there is no one among my management staff who has not convinced me, on at least one occasion, to do it her/his way instead of mine.
David Cooperberg is the CEO of the cleaning services company Imacuclean. You can reach him via email.