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August 10, 2012: The Residential Cleaning Connection
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News, Netoworking & Events

The Residential Cleaning Connection

News, Networking & Events for the Cleaning Professional

August 10, 2012 - Vol 3, Issue 16

ARCSI Industry Partners Resources

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Looking to GROW Your Business? Click HERE

Sharon Tinberg will be the featured speaker forthe ARCSI Aug 22 Webinar

ARCSI Industry Partner-Moody's Insurance Visit us in Vegas!

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From the Executive Director

Ernie's Etching
Time Marches On

Well I usually don't make this column about personal things, because some event in Ernie's life will not necessarily help your business. However, two things happened this week that I would like to share with you, because one of them all of you will deal with sooner or later and the other you might want to think about.

The first is that earlier this week I attended a meeting on the ins and outs and how to apply for Medicare. I won't bore you with the details of Part A, Part B, Part D etc. Needless to say, I am glad I attended the meeting, because like anything run by the government, it is complicated, but since I have been paying for it through payroll deductions all of these years, I intend to take advantage of it starting in February, (provided the government does not run out of money by then.) The two folks who conducted the meeting were very thorough and were very good at putting things in plain English for those attending to understand. Others at the meeting asked pertinent questions that I had not thought about.(Sidebar: Think about how you might learn something at a Convention session on a topic you thought you already knew all there was to know?)I came away having a better understanding of the program and what I needed to do. Did it make me feel old? Honestly, no, 65 is the new 40.

The second event was that I showed up bright and early this morning at the Chalmers P Wylie VA Center in Columbus to pick up my new hearing aids. I finally got tired of saying What? when my wife would say something to me, or not being able to hear someone's presentation from the back of the room at the convention, or talking too loud into the microphone at various ARCSI functions (Convention attendees will be happy I got the hearing aids.) After having them for half a day, I can already tell the difference. I am hearing things I have not heard in a while. Even the keyboard and mouse on my computer make a different sound. I had put off getting the hearing aids for several years. I always had an excuse, no time, no money, I hear most things so I don't really need them, and I could always turn up the volume (which is not pleasant for those around you.) The point here is if you are finding yourself having to ask your employees, or customers or spouse to repeat things and if the volume on your various electronic devices keeps going up the scale, get a hearing test. If the tests show you need a hearing aid, don't delay or procrastinate. It's not about vanity or excuses. It will help you in your daily life and business.

So enough about me, our Convention is going to be exciting. Watch your email for some exciting news about our Roundtables and Ask the Experts on Thursday night. Lisa Kirkpatick and Greg Maachia are putting together an exciting evening. As an email earlier this week reminded you, hotel rooms in our block at the Hard Rock Hotel are going fast, and because it is a busy week in Chicago, it is doubtful we will be able to get additional rooms at our great rate (Best in the ISSA Hotel block). Go to www.cleaningconvention.orgto learn more and see the full convention schedule. See You in Chicago.. 68 days and counting! Time Marches On.


Do 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?

In preparation for our 10th Anniversary, 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

Hard Rock Rooms Almost Gone
Reservations at the ARCSI Headquarters Hotel - The Hard Rock - will soon be sold out. If you have a room and would be willing to split the cost with a roommate, or if you do not have a room and are looking for a roommate, Complete the form by clicking here.

The Hard Rock Hotel is the ARCSI Headquarters Hotel for the 2012 Cleaning Convention. Located on Michigan Avenue just 20 minutes from McCormick Place, all of the evening networking and Friday afternoon and Saturday education events will happen here.
The Hard Rock Hotel features free coffee in the lobby from 5 am - 8 am. With your registration as an ARCSI member, you also receive free bussing from The Hard Rock to McCormick Place and free Wi-Fi in your room.

Join host Dianelle Rivers-Mitchell and ARCSI Board members Diana Henley and Nancy Holekamp at the August 11 Dallas Regional Meeting at Springhill Suites, Grapevine.

During this education and networking event, attendees will hear from Bryan Flanagan, founder of Flanagan Training Group and a Zig Ziglar Keynote Speaker. Flanagan will discuss "What Drives a Successful Business." Learn from Flanagan and other attendees what successful businesses do in order to keep growing.

A panel of successful ARCSI members will then present "How I Grew My Business." You'll hear strategies for marketing, employee issues, customer relations and operations that can help you get to the next level.

After lunch (included), Flanagan takes the stage again to discuss "Selling versus Value" and, a topic on everyone's mind: "Hiring and Creating Loyal Employees."

The cost for a full day of education, networking and lunch is just $29. Can you afford to miss the ARCSI Dallas Regional Meeting?

Click here to register now.

Get your important information from trusted sources. The Building Services and Contractors Association International (BSCAI) is hosting two webinars on Healthcare Reform, open to ARCSI members.

On July 26 at 2pm ET, tackle the impact of the Supreme Court's ruling on your benefits plans and help identify your options.

On September 13 at 2 pm ET, learn about the decisions you need to be thinking about for the January 1, 2014 implementation date and learn how to prepare for the new insurance exchanges.

BSCAI is offering each webinar to ARCSI members at their member rate of $75/webinar when you use the promo code ARCSI at the time of registration. To download the registration form, click here.
Sharon Tanberg Are you managing your team or leading them? Is there a difference?

Sharon Tinberg, of Rags to Riches Success Maid Easy, will explain the very importance differences between leading your staff and moving forward in your business and simply managing your staff. Save the date, Wednesday, August 22 at 7:30 Eastern/4:30 Pacific for this fantastic webinar and watch your email for registration details!
ARCSI Logo Are you an ARCSI member but aren't sure how to get the most from your membership? Are you considering joining, but are unsure if ARCSI is for you? Join us on Thursday, August 16 at 3 pm Eastern for the free ARCSI New Member Webinar, the place to get all the ARCSI info you need!

Hosted by Board member Dee Strickland, with special guests Alonzo Adams and Lanette Richmond, the free New Member Webinar takes you through all of the ARCSI benefits, answers your questions and helps you navigate both the ARCSI website and your membership.

Register here for free.

Those who have met Teresa Ward, owner of Teresa's Family Cleaning in Long Island, they know she is a woman of action. Already heavily involved in her Long Island community of Rocky Point, NY, Ward saw a need to help neighbors who are no longer able to clean for themselves, and to make it easy for cleaning companies to participate.

Holding fundraisers at events like the June 17 New York Mets game has helped Ward raise money to get her charity, Cleaning Angels USA, up and running. Real momentum began to build when Ward started getting other local businesses involved.

Working her community connections, Ward asked other Long Island businesses sponsor Teresa Ward (New Pic) cleanings so that homes get cleaned and cleaning companies get paid for doing the cleaning. "There's no monthly fee for cleaning companies," said Ward, "And for those companies you agree to help, they get paid for their services through our partnerships with other local businesses."

So far, 10 companies have committed to being involved with Cleaning Angels USA and contribute on a regular basis. Ward has other contacts in the community that contribute occasionally, and knows the list will grow.

"It's important to me to get these people who need help off of the waiting list and to get their homes clean," said Ward, "That's really the goal here. Get people the help they need."

For more information on Cleaning Angels USA, visit

cheap marketing ARCSI members have spent a lot of time this year discussing marketing plans (and sales plans). So how do you go about setting a budget for your marketing that will maximize your return on investment?

Many businesses allocate a percentage of actual or projected gross revenues - usually between 2-3 percent for run-rate marketing and up to 3-5 percent for start-up marketing. But the allocation actually depends on several factors

  • the industry you're in
  • the size of your business, and
  • its growth stage.

For example, during the early brand building years retail businesses spend much more than other businesses on marketing - up to 20 percent of sales.

As a general rule, small businesses with revenues less than $5 million should allocate 7-8 percent of their revenues to marketing. This budget should be split between 1) brand development costs (which includes all the channels you use to promote your brand such as your website, blogs, sales collateral, etc.), and 2) the costs of promoting your business (campaigns, advertising, events, etc.).

This percentage also assumes you have margins in the range of 10-12 percent (after you've covered your other expenses, including marketing).

If your margins are lower than this, then you might consider eating more of the costs of doing business by lowering your overall margins and allocating additional spending to marketing. It's a tough call, but your marketing budget should never be based on just what's left over once all your other business expenses are covered.

Knowing how much you have to spend on marketing is critical; even more critical is how you spend it. This means having a plan. Your small business marketing budget should be a component of your marketing plan, outlining the costs of how you are going to achieve your marketing goals within a certain timeframe. Derek Christian did a fantastic webinar on this topic for ARCSI members in May. You can find it here.

Once you have developed your marketing plan and budget, remember that it needn't be fixed and inflexible. There may be times when you need to throw in another unplanned campaign or event. At the end of the day, knowing whether it your spending is actually helping you achieve your marketing goals is more important than sticking to your budget.

Have a plan in place for measuring your spending and the impact that activities have on your bottom line. Compare tactics, analyze seasonal effects - was one quarter more profitable than another? Why? Above all, have patience and follow through on all your marketing efforts across the organization - it takes a village to build and grow a brand.

Tech Corner: Cleaning Bamboo Flooring - A Surprise for Cleaners
by Bruce Vance
Cleaning Bamboo Flooring - Sustainable but....

We house cleaners are seeing new materials constantly -- Bamboo flooring is a recent favorite. First, a little background. Bamboo is a grass that grows quickly and can be harvested every four to six years, making it the perfect sustainable flooring material. Claims were made that it was harder than red oak and relatively water-resistant. But experience is showing that the reality is different. More on that below.

Yikes - A Flooring Expert in my House Cleaning Technician Class!?

I recently did an HCT class in Seattle, Washington. Attending the class was one of the top hard floor inspectors in the country. "Inspector" is a top-level IICRC (Institute for Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification) aka The CleanTrust. These inspectors are the guys who go around the country and the world to figure out what went wrong with a floor. Talk about intimidating--this is the guy who taught me the IICRC course on stone floors. Anyway, Bill Griffon caught me up on what they were finding out in the field. What was of particular importance was how bamboo floors are holding up in use.

Bamboo turns out to be less hard and more water-sensitive than everyone thought.

It turns out that bamboo flooring can be very moisture sensitive. Bamboo is a dried grass. It easily absorbs moisture and then swells, causing splitting and warping. In addition, it seems clear that the claims of bamboo hardness had been overstated because of inappropriate testing procedures. In real life, it seems bamboo flooring can be dented by dog nails and such.

So, what's the take-away from all this?

If you are cleaning bamboo floors use as little moisture as possible. Admittedly, this may make it hard to get dirty floors truly clean, as it takes a given amount of water to move a given amount of dirt but it will help preserve the floor. We have the very same issue with laminate flooring.

Following the logic of that similarity, we need to guard against using steam cleaners for this flooring too, especially steam mops which generate high water vapor. Obviously, it is imperative to wipe up spills quickly and not put items or fixtures that might leak, like plants, on or over these floors. There also are reports of problems when bamboo floors are installed over concrete slabs. Imagine the future problems as their plastic finishes wear and degrade over time and traffic.

Stay Up-to-Date and Tuned-In

As we say in our HCT class, professionals must stay informed in their fields-- including diligent searching for and reading about new developments in materials, fixtures and finishes. All this shows us the importance of staying abreast of not only what is happening in the cleaning industry but in related industries as well.

ARCSI 2012 Cleaning Convention: What's In It For Me?
What if you weren't the only one tasked with finding all the answers to the issues that arise in your business? What if those who have gone before could tell you the easiest or most effective way to deal with a problem? What if you didn't feel so alone as a residential cleaning service owner?

Attending an ARCSI event is like opening the door to find hundreds of friends, advisers and mentors just waiting to help you. There is no reason you should struggle, solving problems someone else has already solved.

All of this comes together at the annual ARCSI Cleaning Convention. Attendance is an investment in your cleaning company that will pay dividends year after year as you continue to learn from the best and brightest in the field, other successful entrepreneurs and nationally-recognized speakers.

Why go it alone? Come join us at the ARCSI 2012 Cleaning Convention, October 16 - 21 in Chicago.

Click here for more information.

T he Small Business Administration's Caron Beesley recently offered these topic for helping small businesses make the most of Facebook and adding potential clients to your marketing email lists.

1)Find a Home for Your E-Newsletter Content

Before you do anything to your page, make sure you have a home for your e-newsletter archives and a clear sign-up page (both hosted on your website). This gives you both the opportunity to extend the life of your content, and a URL you can share via social media, and clearly shows fans what they can expect if they sign up.

2)Consult Your Email Marketing Tool/Software

Chances are that you are sending your e-newsletters out with the help of an industry email marketing tool or software. Many include apps you can customize and add to your Facebook page to help you drive email sign-ups. Many email marketing providers also let you build custom email sign-up forms or pages within Facebook.

3)Add a Sign-Up App

Before you embark on any DIY app building, consult the tools you may already have in your armory. If you don't have access to custom apps or you just want to build your own, the good news is that the Facebook Timeline offers many more options for building apps than the old format did. The options for incorporating your brand look and feel are also limitless.

4)Optimize Your "About" Description

You probably noticed that the new Timeline page lets you add a 150-character description of your business underneath your profile picture. Use this real estate to add a link to an email sign-up page, or if you have a sign-up box or app, post a link to it here.

5)Highlight or Pin Updates About your E-Newsletter

It's always been a good strategy to remind your Facebook fans about your e-newsletter and encourage sign-ups using regular page updates. But now you can get more exposure for these posts by pinning them to the top of your update feed for seven days.


6)Offer Incentives

Ideally, your newsletter content should be compelling enough to sell itself, but why not run an occasional contest to encourage sign-ups via Facebook?

7)Be Proactive About New Sign-Ups and Make Your Content the Best it Can Be

Now that you've got the attention of your Facebook fans, make them feel welcome and keep them interested with great content. Set up automatic welcome emails to new subscribers with a link to your latest newsletter, your blog, and so on. Add social sharing features to your newsletter so your content is constantly being spread virally.

Our Industry Partner list continues to grow. Please welcome the following newIndustry Partners,learn more about them on our "Partners" page at, and visit their company websites to learn about their products and services.

Footbridge MediaRyan Stempniewicz, Footbridge Media, Pensacola, FL
888 818-7215

Footbridge is a marketing and media company offering website design and management, plus electronic and print marketing planning programs.

New Contact information for an Industry Partner

www.naturallyitsclean.comMike Wallrich, President, ChemFree Solutions, Westmont, IL

800 375-5059

Full line of enzyme based cleaning products

Cleaning For Heroes is thrilled to introduce Samson Hampton, the new Head of Services.

Samson is now primarily responsible for outreach to house cleaning companies and other home providers to serve their local veterans with donated services, as well as working with VA offices nationwide to network veterans in need with their local businesses.

Samson grew up in a military family, and is continuing his education studying Social Work and Human Services. He brings to Cleaning For Heroes an extensive background in the non-profit sector, including Ocean State MPowerment Group, Youth Pride lAC,True Colors Inc, and a long history of volunteering with the Working Families Party, assisting adults with disabilities,
serving at local food banks, and as an educator for local youth leadership programs.

Cleaning for Heroes was able to bring Samson on board with in June by the generosity and financial assistance offered by Sharon Tinberg of Rags to Riches and Rich Reese of Top Job Cleaning. It is due to their aid that Cleaning for Heroes made the decision to finally make this exciting step forward for the organization. Cleaning for Heroes is inspired by their interest and passion for helping others, and are truly humbled and grateful for their support.

Samson is excited about meeting and exceeding the goals for Cleaning For Heroes, and has already begun implementing new ideas and creative approaches for the organization.
While the ARCSI Facebook page is accessible and the LinkedIn Group is active, many members have a desire to connect and share information only with other ARCSI members. We are please to once again offer that option in the form of ARCSI Groups!

Joining a Group is free and easy!
  1. Go to hrrp://
  2. Click on the "Member Resources" drop down menu.
  3. Click "Groups"
  4. Choose the Group or Groups you'd like to join!

In addition to local area networks, set up so those in the same geographic region can chat, there are also many topic-related Groups:

  • "Your Business" deals with operational issues like employees, marketing, quality control and technical cleaning information.
  • "Stages of Growth" allows you to share information with other ARCSI members that are at the same revenue level as your business.
  • "Special Interest Groups" include green cleaning, family business and legislative affairs, though other topics can be added if the desire is there.
  • "Volunteers and Committees" offers a place for our many devoted, active members to share committee information and keep informed.
  • "Membership Levels" is where Bronze members can connect with other Bronze members, Silver with Silver and Gold with Gold.

We hope to take advantage of the ARCSI Groups. Click here to go to the Groups page. You must sign in as an ARCSI member to have access to this valuable members-only section of the website.

Featured Industry Partners
Industry Partner Logo
ARCSI Industry Partners are non-cleaning companies that support our organization through their memberships and sponsorships of our various events and programs. They offer everything from chemicals and equipment, to background checks, to industry specific consulting, software, insurance, answering services, web site development and more..... We encourage our members to utilize our partners if you have a product of service you need. As a new feature of the Residential Cleaning Connection, we will feature several of our Industry Partners each week. For the complete list of partners, go to our web site and click the "Partners" tab.

This week we are featuring our "Day Sponsors" at our 2012 Convention, plan to visit them in our "Members Lounge" Room 503A at McCormick Place.

Tuesday Oct 16/Wednesday, Oct 17

Advanced Vapor Technologies

Randy Zielsdorf
Everett, WA 425 775-9000
Thursday, Oct 18
The Clean Team Catalog
Steve and Debbie Sardone,
Lewisville, TX 1-800-717-2532 (Toll Free)

Friday, Oct 19
Moody 2012
Moody Insurance Worldwide
Laura Bianchini
Germantown, MD 1-800-966-0001 (Toll Free)

more Calendar

Hot Topic Tuesday: Enjoy Labor Day!

Hot Topic Tuesday: CONVENTION WEEK!


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