Back in October, I had the great pleasure of hearing the former mayor of New York City, Rudy Giuliani, discuss his “six principles of leadership.” Principle No. 2 struck home: Be an optimist. According to Giuliani, focusing on improving your business, rather than dwelling on problems (no matter how bad they may be), will help lead you to success.

Looking over the results of a recent Contracting Profits survey, I’d say that many building service contractors share his philosophy. We asked BSCs for their 2007 business outlook. Despite reporting numerous challenges, including retaining quality employees, competing with illegal subcontractors and managing increases in minimum wage and health insurance costs, more than 85 percent of respondents still anticipate an increase in revenue in ‘07. In addition, nearly 90 percent of BSCs plan on adding more customers, and the majority of respondents also plan on expanding their staffs.

2007 optimism isn’t unique in that it comes on the heels of a generally prosperous 2006 for many of those surveyed. More than 75 percent of respondents reported an increase in revenue in 2006, with an average increase of 25 percent. The cleaning industry typically reports 10 percent growth each year.

I’d be interested in learning if Giuliani’s other principles strike a chord with contractors.