Print Page   |   Contact Us   |   Your Cart   |   Sign In   |   Register
Community Search
ARCSI Member To Member
Blog Home All Blogs

7 Simple Ways to Tame Morning Chaos

Posted By Erin L. Lasch CAE, Thursday, February 23, 2017

Kyra Deprez, Fieldd Service Software


There is nothing worse than a rushed and chaotic morning to set the mood for the day.  So many variables can disrupt the flow in your morning schedule -- especially when you have a handful of field employees that you *have* to get out the door and onto their jobs first thing in the morning.


So I am here to share with you some tips and tricks that will help to calm the morning, and start your day on the right foot.


  1. Get to the office at least 30 minutes before anyone else.
    When your morning consists of a gazillion questions coming from a gazillion different employees, you need to be ready to handle them all.  Getting to the office before everyone else will give you a moment to check all voicemail/emails and to make any adjustments to the schedule before your earliest people arrive.
  2. Stock vehicles with supplies the day before.
    Stocking your vehicles in the afternoon or evening when the office is quiet is a no-brainer.  It will also give you time to take a quick inventory and make a stock run just in case there is something that was overlooked.
  3. Use a whiteboard to keep your team informed.
    It can be really easy to forget the simplest of things.  Prominently displaying notes on "topics of the week" can keep those reminders in the forefront of everyones' minds.  This is a great place to put notifications of team meetings, praises for your team(s), and any upcoming training sessions that you are holding.
  4. Keep all keys in an organized lock box.
    Whether you have supply room keys, vehicle keys, or keys for clients' homes, they *all* need to be organized and in a central location.  Securing them in a key lock box adds additional security.  Prepare the keys needed for each team the evening before...."On average, we spend 6 minutes looking for our keys in the morning. -- IKEA"
  5. Ready to go paperless?
    Check out Fieldd: field service management software which would enable you to eliminate the paper trail and put an end to lost work orders  Have your field employees receiving real-time updates as soon as office staff have made them.
  6. Stagger in start times.
    Trying to talk to 30 people at once is fine if you are in a meeting with an agenda, but trying to answer 30 people with questions, requests and ideas in the morning (when all you want to do is get them out the door and to the first job) can become a hot mess.  Stagger in times by 10-15 minutes so that your crew doesn’t walk through the door all at once.
  7. Smile  :)
    A smile on your face reflects the attitude of not only you, but your company as well.  Putting on a smile while greeting your employees, or co-workers *does* make a huge impact and they'll radiate a little piece of that happiness back on to their customers.


Courtesy of the Field Service Software blog.

This post has not been tagged.

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)

Best scheduling software for larger cleaning teams

Posted By Maid Teams, Inc., Wednesday, February 15, 2017
I have investigated many of the scheduling software options available and feel like most are geared towards 1 or 2 person teams that are paid hourly.  We typically work in 4 person teams and pay commission.  Looking for some ideas on scheduling software that accommodates this business model.  We use Quickbooks and prefer to keep using this, we also use Google Calendar to create our daily schedule.  While this way works, we are looking to streamline and have the ability to do email/text confirmations through this software as well.  

Tags:  scheduling software 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)

Embracing the Unknown

Posted By Erin L. Lasch CAE, Tuesday, February 7, 2017

by RJ Patel, Chair, ISSA Residential Cleaning Council


Last year I received a phone call from Ernie Hartong and he told me that ARCSI had a new opportunity. He explained the details of a possible merger of ARCSI with ISSA.


My first thought was anxiety because of the unknown. What would this mean for ARCSI? What would happen to the family we had built at the association over the last decade? I knew if I had these concerns, so would the rest of the Board and the members.


We had several conference calls with the team, then we established a task force to delve into this opportunity. As the incoming chair of the Residential Council, I was on the task force and went with to Chicago with the team to meet with ISSA. We met John Barrett, the CEO of ISSA, who is the mastermind behind ISSA. I wasn't sure what to expect but the meeting was nothing like what I had expected. The meeting was anything but stiff and corporate. They were casual and friendly. One thing John told us has stuck with me since that meeting. He said ARCSI will still be ARCSI – just on steroids. Going from a staff of 3 to 50 is ARCSI on steroids and represents the opportunities that we have in front of us.


I have spent most of this week in a conference with the Residential Cleaning Council, the Emeritus Council and several key members of the ISSA staff team. In the words of Tom Stewart, I think we “laid the foundation for how the world sees housecleaning.” We talked in depth on how consumers generally view the residential cleaning profession and in many cases, don't even see us as professionals. We are in the service industry and are no different than building contractors, electricians, etc. We are going to continue our efforts that began with the 2nd Decade Campaign in creating an awareness among the public of the need to hire a professional to clean your home.


The Council also spent significant time and energy on discussing how we can grow the membership. As a young association, ARCSI struggled to create awareness among residential cleaning companies of our existence and the benefits to your company. With the support of ISSA, those struggles have been minimized. We have the very real opportunity to pull more companies into our ranks and make our vision for ARCSI a reality.


Near the conclusion, I asked the Council to put into words how they felt about the future of ARCSI. Here is how they responded:





After leaving the retreat, I am filled with even more optimism than I was during our initial task force meetings. I think this was a beautiful marriage between ISSA and ARCSI and I am looking forward to our future.

I encourage you to take advantage of all that ISSA and ARCSI have to offer. Also be on the watch for more to come on what your membership can mean to you! If you have any concerns or questions, please don't hesitate to contact Ernie Hartong or me.


RJ Patel

This post has not been tagged.

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)

Same Hours But More Pay For Cleaners

Posted By Erin L. Lasch CAE, Wednesday, February 1, 2017
Updated: Wednesday, February 1, 2017

by Sharon Tinberg, Rags to Riches


With the passing of the hectic holidays I am back on the road again. This month I spent a week in an office in Virginia and am now in an office in Houston dropping seeds of hope amid the cleaners and owners.


The seeds of hope I dropped in these two offices – not unlike the offices I visited in 2016 – were more pay for the same hours for the cleaners and dependability on the part of the cleaners for the owners. In this article, I will cover how we are able to give more hours to cleaners without lengthening their day. In the next article, I will cover dependability for the owner.


I believe it goes without saying that all workers and owners would like to bring home more money without extending their already long days. In this industry, our margins are tight. Paying more money per hour or a higher percentage per home is simply not in the margins.


Then how can your cleaners make more money without dedicating more time to their jobs? Think quality of time and not quantity of time. Are your cleaners maximizing their revenue generating hours from the time they leave their homes in the morning until they return to their homes in the evening or are they spending a couple hours a day in non-revenue generating activities? When cleaners look at their paychecks they are not thinking about the actual paid hours, especially if they are paid on percentage, they are thinking about how long their days are for the money they are receiving.


There is a way that you can increase that money for your cleaners by $20-30 per day without lengthening the time in their day. The answer is really quite simple, especially in today’s world of GPS tracking and Internet work orders. Do not bring your cleaners into the office every day. Only bring them in once – or max twice – a week for their supplies and one-on-ones. Send them directly from their homes to their first job and send them directly home after their last job. This allows the average team to clean one more home per day increasing their paychecks and your revenue.


Cleaners were filled with hope and smiles when we rolled this program out in the two offices I visited this month, as they did in 2016. What is even more remarkable is that this system is equally advantageous to the owner, if not more advantageous, than the cleaner in terms of time and money.

  • Your payroll will be greatly reduced. If you pay hourly this can save you as much as two hours of payroll per day per cleaner. Just like any other job the clock starts when they get to work and they get to work when they get to their first job, not when they get to the office and then drive to the first home. If your cleaners are percentage you still need to give them something for their time in the office and going directly to the first home eradicates that need.
  • If you use company vehicles, allowing your team supervisor to take the vehicle home will turn that vehicle into a walking billboard. Having your company vehicles sitting in your parking lot during rush hour traffic does not generate any sales for your company. (In my last article I discussed the benefits of company vehicles in terms of marketing for cleaners. This addition enhances those benefits ten times.)

Not bringing your cleaners into your office every morning and every night will return to you two hours of time per day that you can spend selling, organizing, visiting teams, etc. If I had brought my 52 cleaners into the office every day I would not have had 754 repeat clients because we would not have had the time to sell and service that many clients. We literally got very little done on the Tuesdays and Thursdays that I brought all of the cleaners into the office. If I had it to do all over again I would only bring them in once a week.


It will take some co-ordination for each team and you will need to call clients to let them know you will be there at 8 am and not 9 am but it will be well worth your effort. You will be amazed at how many clients will be thrilled to have you arrive earlier.


If you would like to speak to the two owners that are in the process of transitioning to this system feel free to call or email:


Suzanne Hayzlett, Set Cleaning in Powhatan, Virginia
804-598-7882 |


Julie Parish, The Home Keepers, Houston, Texas
713-459-1122 |



Sharon Tinberg is a national residential cleaning service coach who has worked with cleaning companies across North America. 

This post has not been tagged.

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)

Be Prepared in the Event of a Disaster

Posted By Erin L. Lasch CAE, Thursday, January 19, 2017

If you have ever stared down a natural disaster and its aftermath, you know how quickly they come upon you and the devastation they can leave. As a small business owner, there are many steps you can take to mitigate the risks of a disaster and enable your business to survive.


In a new article on SmartBrief, a senior meteorologist shared three tips to take when catastrophe calls:

  1. Solidify your contingency plan. Nobody can completely prepare for what's unknown, but you can create a business continuity plan to help you stay one step ahead. What's most important is having systems in place to get your organization back to normal operations as soon after a disaster as possible.
  2. Show employees your playbook. Executives should always help employees understand the risks that could affect the business and how to keep things going when the unexpected occurs. Furthermore, include provisions for secondary and tertiary disaster into your preparations.
  3. Don't be afraid of experts. Base any information on solid reports provided by experts. Having a seasoned mind around will also help answer questions, explain processes and identity unknown variables.

What comes up repeatedly in this article and in these steps is to “prepare.” In fact, it’s better to even overprepare. When I was journalism school, we memorized the mantra of the 5 Ps: Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance.  In June 2015, ARCSI held a special Hot Topic Tuesday with two members that had faced a natural disaster and its aftermath -- Shirley Perlinsky on Manville, NJ & Enid Tate-Shephard of Rochester, IN. Visit the ARCSI store to download this Hot Topic and hear what lessons they learned that can help you prepare in advance for a disaster.


This post has not been tagged.

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)

DiJulius Group Shares What Your 2017 Focus Should Be

Posted By Erin L. Lasch CAE, Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Do you have a solid Customer Experience strategy for 2017? The experts of The DiJulius Group share some of their insights for what they believe will be key for this coming year.

In this piece from Dave Murray, Senior Customer Experience Consultant for The DiJulius Group who spoke at the 2016 Cleaning Convention, shared more customer service expertise.


What Are Your Service Standards?

The first few weeks of the year are a time to focus on what is important. Prioritize and create goals for the coming year. Is the experience you are delivering part of those goals? If your answer was no, here are some things you can easily do with your team to re-focus on your experience and improve it at the same time.

First, what are your current service standards? How quickly do you ask your team to respond to voicemail and e-mail messages? Is this fast enough? You may have to look outside of your industry for the answer. Companies using social media and other tools are having real-time conversations with their customers. How does that stack up with your current standard? Remember, a consumer compares experience-to-experience, and not just within that industry. Being the best in your industry with today's tech savvy consumer may not get you very far.

Watch Dave Murray's presentation at the Secret Service Summit.



This post has not been tagged.

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)

Welcome to ISSA!

Posted By Erin L. Lasch CAE, Tuesday, January 3, 2017

On behalf of the leadership and staff teams we want to officially welcome our new ISSA Residential Members. This membership will continue to provide all the benefits you received as a member of ARCSI along with a wealth of new benefits and services from ISSA, including expanded education opportunities, online training, and access to more industry partnerships.


You will be receiving a packet in the mail that details the benefits, resources, and services available to you. We are excited that all the work we did in 2016 is so quickly coming to fruition. As it reads in our vision statement, “ISSA will be the leading resource for information, education, networking, and commercial opportunities as well as the leading voice in government and the community for firms within the cleaning industry worldwide.” Bringing the residential cleaning community into the fold helps us take that vision further.


You will continue to receive the high quality and excellent service you have come to know and expect from ARCSI. Our team has been working feverishly to make this merger run as smoothly as possible, providing you with access to your new benefits as soon as we can.


Welcome again to ISSA and we look forward to the many opportunities this merger presents.








John Barrett                                                    Ernie Hartong
ISSA Executive Director                                  ARCSI Executive Director



PS: If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your ISSA Residential Member team of Ernie Hartong, Jeff Fisher or Erin Lasch at 614-547-0887.

Tags:  ISSA  membership 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)

The Central Theme Is Hope

Posted By Erin L. Lasch CAE, Friday, December 30, 2016

By Sharon Tinberg, Rags to Riches


I am a residential cleaning service coach and have spent the past year and a half traveling across North America working with owners, managers, cleaners and home owners.  During my travels the one consistent universal theme I have found everywhere is hope.  Everyone is either driven by hope or looking for someone or something to put their hope in.   At the end of the day everyone is hoping for the same thing in any work environment.  A job they love to go to each day with clients who respect them.  Leaders of companies who offer that hope will turn employees into followers and stop their turnover.


Ironically, my job as a coach is the same as yours as an owner.  It is to put hope where, often times, others think there is none.  Gratefully, hope is not that hard to plant because, again, everyone is motivated by the same outcome.  A job they love to go to each day with clients who respect them. 


From an owner’s perspective, you have two sets of clients:

  • Internal clients
  • External clients

Internal clients are your cleaning staff and external clients are the people who pay your bills (you included).  You need to implant hope in both of these clients if you are going to turn both of them into followers. 


First, however, you need people you can turn into followers.  That is the number one challenge for all cleaning services in the United States and Canada today.  The bigger challenge is the internal client.  It can be difficult to find people who want to be cleaners, especially in this tight employee market.  If the number of prospects in your market is shrinking I would recommend thinking of ways to expand your market.  Without cleaners you cannot possibly grow so you need to put your money and time into that arena first. 


If you do not have company cars I would recommend trying one or two.  I have a client who said they could not afford it.  When they added up all of the expenses they were paying their employees for driving their own vehicles it came to more than two new cars plus the insurance and gas for those cars.  The free advertising and added equity to your bottom line are really free.  How many more people would you be able to put into your ‘eligible for hire’ pile if you did not need to ask “Do you have a car?”  I believe that this one simple change is one of the key factors why most of my clients realize such rapid significant growth from 110-410% in 18 months or less.  There really are people who love cleaning houses for a living.  They feel proud of the end results and feel it is something they can do well and want to do for the remainder of their working lives.  Many of these people do not have transportation so they do not qualify for a cleaning position with many house cleaning companies.  You can give them the hope that they can do the job they really want to do by providing them with transportation.  The majority of companies that generate $1M+ per year in gross revenue do offer company vehicles.  Most of the major franchises utilize company vehicles.  I believe they are a necessary component in the ability to grow a company that does more than $600K per year in gross revenue.  There are, of course, exceptions to that statement but I would say it would not vary more than 15-20%.


The other structure that experienced cleaners are seeking is a guaranteed hourly rate that is paid from the start of the day until the close of the day with a guaranteed number of hours per week, hopefully 40+.  In the majority of companies in which I have worked we have actually shrunk the number of cleaners yet increased the number of openings available for cleanings.  If cleaners clean perfect, why not allow them to earn more money by cleaning more houses?  My philosophy is that it takes a lot of integrity to follow a process and do a perfect job every time a home is cleaned.  Again, there are exceptions to this statement, but most employees who hold that kind of integrity also want to earn enough money to pay their share of the bills. They also want to know they will receive that money every week, not just some weeks.  They are people of integrity so they understand the value of hard work and are willing and ready to work 40+ hours per week to reduce the stress in their lives in many other areas, the majority of which are financial.   As long as you continue to fulfill their hope and continue to know what their hope is you will have a follower forever.


I hope you found this information useful, or at least it gave you a new perspective and reason for hope.  Starting, growing and even maintaining a residential cleaning service is not an easy task.  The rewards, however, are endless.



Sharon Tinberg is a national residential cleaning service coach who has worked with cleaning companies across North America.  

Tags:  growing business 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)

Godspeed John Glenn

Posted By Erin L. Lasch CAE, Tuesday, December 13, 2016

By Ernie Hartong, ARCSI Executive Director


America lost a true patriot this week. John Glenn, icon, soldier, astronaut, senator and statesman passed away at 95. Some of us are old enough to remember being glued to our black and white television sets in 1962 when he made three orbits around the earth stuffed in a little capsule called Friendship 7. In those days space launches and flights were a really, really big deal.


Early in my career, when Glenn ran for the U.S. Senate in 1974, after being defeated in 1970, I was at his campaign headquarters with the mayor of Marietta and joined in the celebration. While John Glenn and I were on opposite sides of the political aisle, I always found him to be reasonable, open minded and a true gentleman. A quality that has been lacking in Washington, D.C. for many years. From time to time in the 1970's and 80's I would have periodic meetings with Senator Glenn and his staff on a variety of legislative issues, most effecting small business. We had our disagreements on policy as you might imagine, but he was always accessible and willing to listen. Those discussions were never personal and they never effected things going forward. The word “civility” comes to mind. We could use some folks like John Glenn today, not just in Washington, but across the country. I think I always had a little advantage over some of my colleagues who may have been lobbying the Senator, because we were both small town guys from Ohio. Senator Glenn attended Muskingum College, and I attended Marietta, both small liberal arts schools in the same athletic conference that were fierce rivals in sports, which always made for some lively exchanges when we would meet.


While all of us know Glenn as the astronaut, the oldest person to go into space when he was aboard the shuttle in 1998, and the four term U.S. Senator. What most of us don’t know is John Glenn the patriot. He was a man who cared deeply about his country. He volunteered for the Marines, shortly after Pearl Harbor. He became a decorated Marine combat pilot in both WWII and Korea. He was truly an American story, including marrying his high school sweetheart, Annie. They were married over 73 years. I was struck by a quote from John Glenn that while I may not have known him well, I knew him well enough to believe it reflects the way he lived…


“If there is one thing I’ve learned in my many years on this planet, it’s that the happiest and most fulfilled people I’ve known are those who devoted themselves to something bigger and more profound than merely their own self interest.”


Godspeed John Glenn, our country will miss a true hero.

This post has not been tagged.

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)

The 10 Commandments of Hiring & EMPLOYEE RETENTION

Posted By Erin L. Lasch CAE, Wednesday, November 16, 2016

by Mel Kleiman

Today more than ever the pool of job applicants is filled with bodies yearning for employment. They are the skilled and the unskilled. They are the talented and the less fortunate. They are the willing, able, and desperate. They are male and female; young, old, and middle aged, and of every color under the sun. They are honest, yet reserved. They are sometimes deceitful, yet loyal. They want work now, and they look unto you for their future lies in your hands.

I can lead you to these candidates, but you, the employer, must make the hiring decision. And decide wisely you must, for the wrong choice will condemn you to unnecessary struggles, burdens, misery, problems, and lawsuits. In other words, every bad hire will cost you a lot of money.

And so, I offer to you these 10 Commandments to guide you through the employment process. Heed these words carefully and hiring success you shall enjoy – now and forever more.


 Great companies are great employers who, in turn, hire great employees. If you are going to succeed, you cannot settle for run of the mill employees. Mediocre employees breed mediocrity, so make sure you recruit and select ONLY the best employees. If it means not hiring anyone, you are still better off than if you settle for a new employee who does not measure up to your highest standards.


 Applicants are generally better prepared for the hiring process than most employers. They receive coaching, practice and pat answers to standard interview questions. They know how to dress to impress and will mightily try to do just that. As an employer, you must find ways to get to truly know these applicants. There are only two sources of information about every job applicant – the applicant and the people who know the applicant. Skill, aptitude and attitude testing are good measures of an individual’s strengths and weaknesses. Also effective are the candidate’s references. Talk to these people to find out as much as you can about the prospect.


A detailed job description is essential to the hiring process. You need to know exactly what it is you expect of a candidate. This includes the responsibilities of the position and the skills, aptitudes, and, most importantly, the attitudes needed to be successful. Use the job description as only one measuring stick for evaluating talent. Do not hire anyone who does not live up to at least your minimum expectations.


Recruiting is an on-going process. You should recruit new employees in the same way you recruit new customers – consistently and proactively. Be conscious of the message delivered by everything an applicant sees, including ads, application forms, and facilities. Be mindful of the tools you are using to attract new employees and seek out creative alternatives to the “Help Wanted” sign or classified ads. (“Help Wanted” is not a good reason for anyone of any caliber to want to work for you.)


First and foremost, you want to recruit the best and then retain them. Your current employees and quality former employees are the best sources of great, new team members.. Fighting turnover is a sore spot for many owners and managers. When you identify a great employee, make sure you do everything possible to retain them. Remember, it is easier to keep an employee than to replace them. If you do lose a great employee, keep in contact with them for future rehire or referral of other candidates.


The job market is changing and you must change your perceptions and attitudes along with it. Don’t look only for the young or people who have always been in your business. The graying of the baby boomer population has resulted in more seniors staying in the job pool while rising unemployment and more trying economic times have created more highly skilled professionals seeking employment. These professionals understand the value of a job and will be more loyal, committed, focused and successful. In most cases, it pays far greater dividends to hire for who they are and not for what they know.


Do not limit your recruiting activities to only when there is a need. You should constantly be on the lookout for your next great team member. If someone gives you good customer service, is attentive, prompt and knowledgeable, ask them if they are interested in working for you. When you stop at the bank, go to the grocery store, or pay the kid down the street to mow your lawn – ask yourself, “Could this person succeed in my company?” You’ve already witnessed their work ethic; you owe it to yourself to at least ask.


First impressions are lasting. The extra care and time you spend making the new hire welcome and comfortable will be richly rewarded by the hiring gods. When your new hire returns home at the end of the first workday, a friend or family member will most certainly ask: “How’s the job?” The answer needs to be, “Fantastic. What a great company. I can’t wait to go back tomorrow.”


You shall be clear from the get go about values, mission, duties, and responsibilities. Your employees will know and understand why their jobs are important and exactly what’s expected of them so they can meet your standards and be stunningly successful.


Though it sounds simple, too often employers forget that employees represent more than a “one-time sale.” These “chosen ones” also represent the inner sphere of influence. They can raise the perceived value of your company or they can speak negatively and undermine your reputation. They are the reason customers come back as well as why new customers come to you. They can refer future team member candidates or they can scare prospects away. Do not burn any bridges.

If you follow these rules and remain focused, dedicated and committed to hiring the best, you will soon see that your organization become just that – THE BEST.


Certified Speaking Professional Mel Kleiman is an internationally recognized speaker, consultant and author on strategies for hiring and retaining the best hourly employees and their managers. He is the president of Humetrics, a leading developer of systems, training processes, and tools for recruiting, selecting, and retaining an hourly workforce. For more information, call (713) 771-4401, email or visit and

Tags:  etention  hiring 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
Page 4 of 7
1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6  |  7
more Calendar

Hot Topic Tuesday: Enjoy Labor Day!

Hot Topic Tuesday: CONVENTION WEEK!


Association Management Software Powered by YourMembership  ::  Legal