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November 4, 2011: The Residential Cleaning Connection
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 From the President... 


Wow, what a convention! It was a great time meeting many of you for the first time and catching up with old friends that we have made throughout this association over the years. The camaraderie, sharing of ideas, and the support shared between the members is second to none.

Our membership numbers are on a steady incline, the content being delivered at our events are off the charts and the talent that continues to emerge from within the association membership is astonishing. This is truly a great time to be part of ARCSI and it is an honor to be serving as President for 2012.

In the coming year, I want to encourage and challenge you to "plug in" to your association by participating in the ARCSI programs that will benefit and interest you. We are fortunate to have a great number of members who are always "plugged in" and I would wager that every one of them if asked would say doing so has rewarded them beyond their initial expectations.

No matter where we are in our individual businesses we all have something to offer, so if you have any ideas for the association or ideas of programs that you feel would be of great value to your fellow members please do not hesitate sharing them with me or any of the board members so that we can explore the possibility of bringing them to life within ARCSI.

ARCSI is powered by volunteers, with the exception of Ernie Hartong and Chris Zimmer, dedicated members volunteer their time to making the benefits we all value happen within the association. To the volunteers such as ARCSI officers, board members, ambassadors, and committee members, past and present, my hat is off to all of you for your support and dedication of giving to this association. Without you and others like you we could never be where we are today and where we will be tomorrow. Thank you for your service it is appreciated.


Daron Tandberg
ARCSI President


Five Tips for Building Your Email Marketing List

Building an email or direct mail marketing list is a persistent challenge for many business owners. In the first place it requires generating traffic to your website; it also requires a compelling hook, a good reason for someone to subscribe to your list. You also want to make it easy for people to subscribe to your list via your opt-in form. And last, but by no means least, you need to have a plan to convert your prospects into paying customers and generate repeat revenue from your list.

The SBA has developed a list of five things you can do now to hep grow your list. Click here to read the entire article.


Online Network Offers Free Resources for Entrepreneurs

The Startup America Partnership recently launched a new online network, where entrepreneurs can establish free membership profiles and unlock resources from over 25 companies. The total value of these resources is over $730 million and climbing, as more and more companies join the Partnership in a coordinated private-sector movement to fuel job creation.
The Partnership plans to serve as many as 100,000 entrepreneurs over the next three years, through its national network as well as new regional networks, like Startup Connecticut, Startup Massachusetts, Startup Illinois and Startup Tennessee, with more to come this year.
The site features resources for every stage of starting your business, from just having an idea, to the actual start-up to growth.


Congratulations to 2011 ARCSI Award Winners

On Thursday, October 20, ARCSI celebrated the achievements of our members at the 2011 President's Reception and Awards Ceremony held in as Vegas. Thank you to all of the members who submitted their employees, companies, and marketing for this year's awards. We congratulate the 2011 winners:

RamanBest New Cleaning Company of the Year
Sponsored by Mr. Clean Professional, Rags to Riches and ARCSI

Rayman Hamid, Owner
Manassas, VA


RuthPresident's Award
Sponsored by
Ruth Schwarberg
Scrubbles, Inc.
Jan Kane, Owner
Gig Harbor, WA

Amanda WalkerProfessional Cleaner of the Year
Sponsored by
Amanda Walker

My Maid Service
Derek Christian, Owner
Lebanon, OH

EricaBest Website
Crystal Clear Home
Erica Piorkowski, Owner
Sebastopol, CA

Mike GBest Logo
Ask Alice Home Cleaning & Services
Mike Grecky, Owner
Troy, MI

Matt RBest Vehicle Wrap
Better Life Maids
Matt Ricketts, Owner
St. Louis, MO

rainaBest Newsletter
Sponge & Sparkle, Inc.
Raina Raflo, Owner
Chamblee, GA

enidBest Marketing Materials
Enid's Cleaning Service
Enid Tate-Shephard, owner
Rochester, IN

Matt RBest Uniform
Better Life Maids
Matt Ricketts, Owner
St. Louis, MO



Tax Time: Act Now to Save Money

While you may be more focused on Turkey Time than Tax Time in November, gives you seven (7) reasons why you should act now to save yourself - and your business - money before December 31.

Number 1: Purchases of most capital equipment, including furniture, computers and most vehicles, may qualify for more generous expensing options than will probably be allowed in the future. For the 2011 tax year, tax code Section 179 allows a deduction of up to $500,000 for qualified purchases (either outright, financed or through a capital lease) of up to $2 million. That means many small and medium sized businesses that make purchases by year end might be able to deduct most, if not all, of their outlays for machinery and equipment. Without an extension by Congress, the $2 million limit drops to $560,000 next year, and the maximum deduction drops to $139,000.

To read six more reasons to plan your taxes now, click here.



Marketing Tip of the Month: Build Your Brand by Building a Scarecrow 

For the 3rd year in a row, the Harmony team has stuffed a pair of jeans and one of our company logo T-shirts with hay. After adding a sweet face, we prop a couple of upside-down feather dusters behind her head for a fluffy shock of hair and top it with a Harmony Clean baseball cap.

She gets a logo shopping bag slung over her shoulder, the ones we use for packing our cleaning cloths, and a spray bottle tucked into her waist. A fun neck scarf is made from a microfiber cloth along with one hanging from her pocket. She screams: CLEANING PERSON. And not just any cleaning person. She is covered with the Harmony Clean logo and sits prominently on a busy street in one of the towns we service.

Just the other day a client of 8 years called excitedly from her cell to remark that she saw 'Harmony.' So we know that if that client saw her, many others saw her, too.

How many 'sightings' of your company name and logo does it take for a prospective client to pick up the phone and call you? How many fun and creative ways can you get your brand out there in their faces? This is a free way we gain exposure to our brand while building community relationships at the same time.

Clients and prospects like to see that we participate in community activities. As owners, we love our community and are glad to get involved whenever possible. Our staff enjoys seeing the Scarecrow and keeps tabs on her in case mischievous kids decide to get creative with her (as they sometimes do.)

Even if your town or neighboring towns don't sponsor a Scarecrow decorating event, why not take it upon yourself to put one out by your sign anyway just for fun? Does your town have a pumpkin sculpting contest or host seasonal apple festivals or art fairs? There's surely at least one or two opportunities a year where you can showcase your brand in an unique and unexpected way. And, of course, you can bet we posted her on our facebook page - another free feature of the scarecrow campaign.


Employment Myths Busted

In case you haven’t noticed, a lot of what we used to know even two years ago isn’t necessarily true in today’s changed business climate. How many outdated ideas do you have about the employment world? Read each question in bold to decide if you think it’s true or false before reading the answer below.

1. Employees always leave managers, not jobs. Wrong. Employees leave jobs even when they like and respect their manager because the fit between their talents, interests and skills isn’t good enough to give them quality of life on the job. In fact, struggling in a job where you spend Sunday night dreading going to work on Monday morning is a dead giveaway of a poor job fit. All jobs have a unique profile of distinct skills, attitudes and behaviors that are required for best performance, just as people have their own unique profile, too. When a person is matched to a job that requires the combination of behaviors, skills and attitudes that come naturally to them, achieving superior performance isn’t a struggle, it’s a challenge they can win.

2. Our superior performing employees may secretly be waiting for the economy to open up more jobs, so they can find another job with more money and opportunity than we can offer them right now. In the present economy with budgets so tight that raises and incentives have been cut almost across the board, employee surveys show that this is absolutely true. But it doesn’t mean you can’t deepen your superior performers’ bond to your company. Savvy employers are investing in professional development that helps them develop talent from within. By doing this, they help current employees improve their performance now, while preparing them for upcoming leadership roles. People understand that budgets are tight right now, but when they see their company’s willingness to develop their skills, they recognize it as a vote of confidence in their potential and their value to the organization. Nothing says "We’ll give you a raise when we can” like investing in an employee’s career development now.

3. If my company asks me to take an assessment, it must mean they think I’m not good enough to do my job and they want an excuse to fire me. If you said that nothing could be further from the truth, you’re right. Just as employees are slow to leave a good job right now, employers are realizing that it’s much more cost effective to mine the talent they already have rather than to start from scratch with someone new. Using assessment reports is a strategy that smart companies are using to build bench strength so they are ready when business picks up. If your employer has asked you to take an assessment, congratulations! You’ve been identified as an employee with high potential to become a superior performer or next-generation manager.

4. Behavioral and values assessments are NOT like personality tests. If you agree with this statement, you’re right. Behavior and values assessments are statistically validated ways to see what a person’s natural style is for communicating on the job, how they like to manage their workflow, how they respond to a changing work environment, and what aspects of the job can make it deeply satisfying beyond the paycheck. Using assessment reports to identify a person’s strengths is a great way to make sure the company is deploying an employee in the right job to play to their strengths and develop more.

5. Managing other people to achieve peak performance is only possible if you’re a really accomplished, experienced manager with a long track record of success, or a manager with too much time on your hands. If you recognized this thought as so outdated that it’s last millennium, you’re right. In the age of research validated job benchmarks and assessments, it’s possible to pinpoint exactly what a person’s workplace strengths and weaknesses are. Smart companies are using the latest technology, available online, to not only generate an assessment they can review with the employee, but to ‘prescribe’ professional development modules that the employee can use anywhere they have access to the internet. Managers can review performance goals and contribute suggestions online, too, without having to micromanage either performance or professional development.

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