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June 15, 2012: The Residential Cleaning Connection
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News, Netoworking & Events

The Residential Cleaning Connection

News, Networking & Events for the Cleaning Professional

June 15, 2012 - Vol 3, Issue 12

ARCSI Industry Partners Resources

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Looking to GROW Your Business? Click HERE

Join us in Virginia Beach July 14.

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From the President

Ernie's Etching


If you missed this week's webinar with David Deutsch, Chief Strategist for Synergi Social, you missed the best explanation of how to best utilize social media that I have have heard in sometime. Thanks to Shirley Perlinsky of S&G Cleaning for finding David for us. His explanations, useful tips, and dos and don'ts regarding social media were on the money. He made sense out of what I like to call the wild, wild west of social media.

One particular portion was of get interest, especially for the social media skeptics (like me). ROI vs ROR, Return on Investment vs Return on Relationships. Social media is all about relationships. It is not about what someone can do for you, but rather what you can do for them.My favorite coach Woody Hayes, called it "Pay Forward." Not a new concept, but one I think tends to get lost in the fast paced shuffle of email replies, face book postings, and linked indiscussions.

David's point was that is you try to justify and compute the ROI of your social media efforts, it will probably not work out too well for you.The more your posts and comments are designed to provide information for and to help others, the more successful it will be. It's all about the value of the relationships you create.


Don't forget today is the the last day to register for the convention to be eligible for our drawing for an upgrade to a Tower Suite at the Hard Rock Hotel. You can't win if your not entered.

Don't be Sleepless in Seattle, join us for our regional luncheon, next Thursday, June 21st. Don't delay, we need to provide our caterer with a head count on Monday. Join host Stacie McMillan, ARCSI President Daron Tandberg, ARCSI Secretary Liz Trotter, for a special program and networking. Register here.

Watch you email, information will be coming soon regarding our Image Awards and the Mr. Clean Professional Cleaner of the Year.

See you in Chicago!

Ernie Sig

President Alonzo Adams and Stacie McMillian of Clean & SimpleDaron PresLiz Trotter, American MaidIn conjunction with the ISE House Cleaning Technician Certification Program in Seattle June 22 - 23, 2012, ARCSI is holding a Regional Meeting, complete with lunch and learning. The event will take place at the ISE headquarters hotel, Staybridge Inn - Mukilteo at 9600 Harbour Pl. in Mukilteo,Washington.

Join us for our ARCSI Regional Networking Luncheon on Thursday, June 21 at noon PST for an ARCSI Regional meeting hosted by ARCSI member Stacie McMillan of Clean & Simple Cleaning. ARCSI Board President Daron Tandberg and Board Secretary Liz Trotter will also be in attendance!

The event begins at noon with check-in and networking.Lunch, which is included in your registration, will be served at 12:30 pm. At 1:15, we welcome Tracey Warren, Manager and Trainer at Ready, Set, Grow Marketing to discuss "Social Media Strategies That Work!" After Ms. Warren's presentation, the ever-popular roundtables will begin for more discussion and networking. The event wraps up at 3:30 pm.

Registration is $35 per person and includes lunch, education program and roundtables. Click here to register now.

Show Me the Money: Start Turning a Profit
Do you know the numbers you need to track in order to make your residential cleaning business profitable? What percentage of your budget should be spent on salaries? Marketing?

John Schwery, Owner of MaidEasy Software, will give you a crash course on the information you MUST know in order to run a profitable business and walk you through the sometimes intimidating world of residential cleaning financials.

If you are struggling to turn a profit, you can't afford to miss this session.

Register now for the 2012 ARCSI Cleaning Convention.

washington membersDo you have pictures from past ARCSI events you'd be willing to share? How about an inspiring or amusing story? How has ARCSI helped your business and why did you get involved?

Staff is seeking photos and stories from past regional meetings, Executive Leadership Conferences and Annual Cleaning Conventions. We hope you'll share!

Send all info to Chris Zimmer at

Convention Payment Plan Option Expires Soon
payment planARCSI Cleaning Convention monthly payment plan option will end on June 30, 2012.

The ARCSI monthly payment plan allows registrants of the 2012 ARCSI Cleaning Convention pay for their registration in five monthly installments, June through October. Financing an investment in your residential cleaning business has never been easier.

As of July 1, the full convention registration fee will be sue upon registration.

Take advantage of the monthly payment plan option.Click here to register now!

Bonus: Those registered by the end of the day on Friday, June 15 will be entered into a drawing for a hotel upgrade to a Tower Suite at the Hard Rock!

Alert: Beware of Misinformation!
by Bruce Vance, Town & Country Homes

As professionals we all want to use the best information to give our clients the safest and most thorough clean with as little labor as possible. Where do we look for this information? Likely we use Linked In ™, Facebook™, newspapers, magazines, company web sites, classes, etc. We all know that we have to be careful about where we get our advice because the "social media" postings reflect different degrees of knowledge and experience, but publications and supplier sites and literature should be more reliable. Unfortunately, I have recently seen several incidents where the information was not only wrong but dangerous.

Let me cite a few examples: a major newspaper in our own state of North Carolina ran an article that suggested making a cleaning solution of 1 part chlorine bleach and 5 parts water. In another case a reply to a question on a supplier's 'Q & A' page stated that their detergent killed mold and its spores. By the way, I have found that newspaper and television 'helpful hints' articles are often notably bad sources of information.

Those of you who have taken the HCT course are already recognizing red flags from these examples, but for those who have not yet taken it, here is a quick analysis:

Any product that is a disinfectant or fungicide is strictly regulated by the EPA under the Federal Insecticide Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). To make any '-cide' claims the product must undergo extensive testing and review by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Every word on the label must be approved. If you are dealing with a '-cide' the label will always include this language: "It is a violation of Federal law to use this product in any way inconsistent with its labeling." Among the labeling information are dilution ratios which are carefully determined for effectiveness and safety. The Federal and the state officials both take this labeling very seriously. In our state a cleaner was recently fined $80,000 because he did not have a record of or was unable to state the dilution ratio he had used.

Now let's go back to the bleach issue. There are two problems; one-bleach is not a cleaner and two-according the label, the strongest permitted ratio is 1 to 10. So here we are dealing with a "cleaning" solution which is NOT a cleaner, a 'recommended' ratio which is illegal, and as it is quite corrosive it may damage a number of surfaces or even someone's lungs. This is a scenario guaranteed to make a cleaner look 'not good'!

In the other example we have a claim of a 'sporicide' which has neither been tested nor granted EPA approval. For a supplier to make such a claim is highly illegal and likely false. Any disinfectant, fungicide, sporicide, etc. will have on the label "it is a violation of Federal law...." It will have clear directions for use and specific listing of what it is effective against (i.e. one or more specific bacteria, virus, etc.).

Be careful and aware. The large companies (for example, Proctor & Gamble, Betco, Spartan) are under such intense scrutiny that you can be quite confident that their labels and literature are very carefully worded. With smaller companies (and there are many good, small suppliers) you need to be more careful with your own due diligence.

Next time, we'll examine why you need to carefully read the MSDS when selecting any cleaning solutions, as well other tips on vetting information sources.

Remember, when you put yourself forward as a professional, you are declaring, among other things, your ability to make wise and prudent choices in the selection of your cleaning solutions. Be informed: for the sake of your employees, your clients and their property, and your company's fiscal health and security.

iseHow do you set your residential cleaning company apart in a highly competitive market? What differentiates your company from others in your area? What is your unique selling proposition?

The Institute for Service Excellence (ISE) is committed to helping you elevate your brand through House Cleaning Technician (HCT) Certification. In this two-day certification class cleaning technicians are taught the value and criteria for developing a proper cleaning methodology, including the microbiology and chemistry behind soil, as well as how to identify and care for many of thematerials and surfaces commonly found in homes.

The HCT Certification gives you a competitve edge over all other cleaning services in Washington DC. You can find out more and register for the class, being held July 20-21, by clicking here.
Employee Questions: What Do You Want to Know?
In preparation for the June ARCSI teleconference "Creating Mini-Me's: How to Recruit, Select, and Retain Hourly Employees", guest speaker Mel Kleiman wants to know: What are your pressing questions in employee recruitment, selection and retention? Get your questions answered on June 20 during the monthly ARCSI Teleconference.

To submit your questions, click here.

Why is it so difficult to find and hire people who think like owners? The kind of employees who take responsibility and then take action, who don't wait for a problem before they look for a solution. The wish that employees would act more like owners is so commonplace it is viewed as one of those "just the way it is," human nature problems. This can and will change when owners and managers first change their own thinking and expectations.

Join Mel Kleiman as he explains how changing your expectations can revolutionize your business and revitalize your employees.

To register for the June 20 ARCSI Teleconference at 7:30 Eastern/4:30 Pacific, click here.

ARCSI Teleconference are always free for Gold members. Silver members can register for $5 and Bronze members for $10. Nonmembers are welcome to register for a fee of $15.

committee meetingHelp shape the future of your association! The 2012 ARCSI Nominating Committee has opened the application process for members interested in serving on the Board of Directors.

The ARCSI Board defines the vision and mission of the organization and play key roles in executing these strategies to help grow ARCSI and provide value to our members.

Board terms are three (3) years in length, and applications must be submitted in writing and mailed to the ARCSI Office by July 1, 2012. The 2012 Nominating Committee will review all applications, and submit a slate of candidates to the membership.

Basic Qualifications to be Eligible to be a Candidate for the ARCSI Board of Directors:

  • You must be an ARCSI professional member (Gold, Silver or Bronze)in good standing, including all dues and fees current.
  • You must have been an ARCSI member for at least two (2)years.
  • You must have attended at least one (1)national convention and one (1) Executive Leadership Conference in the past two years.
  • You must have served on at least one (1) ARCSI Committee or Task Force in the past two years.

The committee strongly urges any interested candidates to please read the Board of Directors Position Descriptionbefore submitting your application.This document will explain your obligations and commitment if you are elected to the Board. To learn more about the requirements to serve on the Board and to download application click here. It's YOUR association, get involved!

Both of these documents are also available in the ARCSI Member Resource Center on our website. You will need to be logged in to access them.

Once you've hired a hard-working, efficient, courteous and prompt staff, you want to keep them happy so they stay with you. We've known for years that companies with happy, engaged workers tend to produce more, while companies with unmotivated workforces bleed profits. So what keeps employees happy and engaged? Industry Week Magazine recently gave five key tips:

  1. Walk around! Though an old practice that dates back decades, the idea of managing by walking around has several timeless benefits. You'll know more about your operations. You'll see first hand what's working and what isn't. And you'll very quickly find the engaged leaders Clark refers to in his book.
  2. Eat with the staff. Getting to know operations is one thing; getting to know your employees is another. When it comes to increasing engagement, both matter. Eat lunch with your staff from time to time. Host a Friday afternoon gathering with snacks and beverages. Use these sorts of unguarded opportunities to find out what's really working and what isn't.
  3. Organize off-work activities. Breaking bread together can go a long way. Mixing in the occasional opportunity for families and their employees to gather and enjoy a company-sponsored event can add a deeper touch in that the expense -- even if it's just a half-day at the local bowling alley -- demonstrates appreciation.
  4. Embrace regular experimentation. Soft benefits such as company-sponsored boondoggles can only do so much. As the Harvard study proves, workers also need to benefit from actions that remove obstacles to getting great work done. There's no greater motivator for the employee that hungers for genuine engagement.
  5. Reward the behavior you want. Finally, embrace modeling. Show employees what you need by publicly rewarding those who exhibit the behaviours that lead to higher engagement and performance.

To read the entire article by John Mills, click here.

cheap marketingMarketing can suck up a huge portion if your budget if you're not careful. How do you know what you're doing is effective and which campaigns and efforts you should repeat and which ideas are less effective? How can you begin to track your marketing efforts, letting you know which campaigns are bringing you the most new business?

Join ARCSI Board member Lanette Richmond, owner of Life Maid Easy in Phoenix, AZ, as she shares her experience and moderates this call.

Click here to register now for free.

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