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April 20, 2012: The Residential Cleaning Connection
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News, Netoworking & Events

The Residential Cleaning Connection

News, Networking & Events for the Cleaning Professional

April 20, 2012 - Vol 3, Issue 8

From the Executive Director

Comments That Make My Day

What a great ELC! Kudos to Alison Palmer, Diana Henley, and Dee Strickland for putting together an outstanding program that gave out members plenty of useful takeaways. Two things happened I want to share with you.

At the first break on the first day, one of our larger, successful and established members came up to me and said, "This guy gets it! That one tip he provided was more than worth the price of admission, and is going to make my company a lot of money going forward." (Page down in this newsletter to see the tip).

At the end of the day on Saturday as one of our newer, smaller company owners was heading out, he stopped me to say "Thank you, I have learned more in the last two days about running my business than I learned in the last year."

Comments like those make my day. Both our ELC and Convention committees work very, very hard to put together educational programming that will be useful to the broad ARCSI membership. No easy task when our membership ranges from $2 million, long established, 40+ employee companies to new start ups with one or two employees and are just trying to make ends meet.

We survey members for their input on topics and speakers. We survey them again, and again. Staff and committee members actually view websites or give us reports on speakers they have heard or seen at other functions. We don't just randomly select our presenters.

Despite the diligence, best efforts, and hard work by our committees, at the end of the day it comes down to you and your expectation. There are always some very good "nuggets" from all of our presenters. It comes down to how well you listen.

I am sure that our older member did not come to the ELC expecting to find the magic bullet that would solve all of the problems in his business. For the most part he's "been there done that." He did, however, expect to get something that would help his business improve, and he found it. Maybe that kind of attitude throughout the years is why his business has grown steadily and is successful.

The new member, like most in his position, was like a sponge, soaking up everything. His challenge will be sorting out what will work in his business from all of the options presented to help him continue to grow and be successful.

Finally, the other aspect of both our ELC and Convention that is tough to quantify, but perhaps the most important part of the whole event, is the connections you make. Not just business connections, but life-long friendships. The conversations that take place are unbelievable. The greatest tribute to ARCSI members is their willingness to share information and experiences, not for personal gain, but to simply help fellow members.

To paraphrase the popular commercial....

ELC Registration: $300.

Air fare to Orlando: $329.

Hotel room: $222.

Connecting with ARCSI Members: PRICELESS!

See You in Chicago! Watch your email for program and registration information.

Ernie Sig

Hot Topic Tuesday: April 24
Green Cleaning with Diana Henley

green cleaning suppliesHappy Earth Week! Natural cleaning has caught on with more and more consumers. What is the best way to get a natural clean? What products and equipment get the job done and can be trusted?

Join ARCSI Board member Diana Henley of NatualCare Cleaning Company as she shares her experience with green cleaning and moderates this call.

Hot Topic Tuesday calls are sponsored by the ARCSI Membership Committee. Come join us today!

Click here to register now.

ARCSI New Member Webinar:
April 26 @ 10:30 am EDT

ARCSI Member logo

Have your joined ARCSI in the last 30 days? Are you getting the MOST out of your membership? What can ARCSI provide to help your improve and grow your residential cleaning business? Maybe you are not yet a member, but are considering joining.

Join ARCSI Board member Dee Strickland, owner of A Zing Zap Cleaning Service, as she and ARCSI member Enid Tate-Shephard host the ARCSI New Member Webinar on April 26 at 10:30 am EDT. They will explain how to make the most of your new ARCSI membership! To register for this free Webinar, click here.

Don't miss this opportunity to ask questions and understandhow you can get the most from your ARCSI membership.

ARCSI member Better Life natural cleaning products was featured in the May issue of Real Simple, a national magazine. The line's "Simply Floored" product was named the magazine's "Best All-Surface Cleaner."

To check out the product or for more information, go to the Better Life website.

Hear It from Your Colleagues: HCT Certification is Essential
By CeCe Mikell, ISE Marketing Director and Certified HCT

Last week, business leaders gathered in Orlando, FL, for the 2012 ARCSI Executive Leadership Conference, but many came a few days early to join the new elite professionals earning their House Cleaning Technician certification. With four classes in four months, ISE started asking participants: what will you tell others about the HCT certification? Here's what they've said.

DeeDee Strickland, 5-year veteran of the residential cleaning industry and past ARCSI Convention Chair, had so much incredible new information swimming in her head, she had trouble picking just one of the valuable lessons learned about cleaning wood flooring. But beyond that, Dee has found the critical missing element in her employee training that can enable her cleaning technicians to make informed choices while on the job. But perhaps the most telling illustration of the class's value is that the first thing Dee did on the Sunday following the ELC. She printed out all of the MSDS sheets and begin "working through the use of our cleaning agents and safety use by our employees." Here's what she has to say in her own words.

New cleaning business owner and ARCSI member Benja Lane of Extreme Gleam breathed a sigh of relief, full of new hope for her business now that she has the basic science foundation of cleaning to complement her business savvy. Here's what Benja has to say.

Thirty-year industry leader David Kiser, who co-authored The Professional House Cleaning Technician's Manual, continues to learn and to generate new employee training ideas and programming just by attending the class and becoming officially certified himself. David, who attended the Executive Leadership Conference, had this to say about his experience in the House Cleaning Tech Certification class in Orlando.

Hulda Brown-Jones, estimator, inspector, and technician for Castle Keepers of Charleston, has changed the way she looks at a prospective client’s home: "I pay closer attention to different hardwood flooring and stone finishings than I have before to identify the best and most effective way to care for them. And I actually have the knowledge to make an educated decision on what is most effective, which makes our clients feel that they can trust us with their home’s care.”

After learning of the significant health dangers of using bleach, especially to cleaners who may be in regular contact with chemicals 40+ hours each week, ARCSI Seal of Excellence holder Nancy Holekamp of Maid in Texas "remov[ed] all bleach (only had one product with bleach anyway) from our caddies.”

IICRC Exams Chair Janet Dobbins illustrated the bottom line value of being HCT certified: "I would strongly encourage companies to become certified. The last company I personally used ruined 550 sq. ft. of beveled hardwood in my home by mopping it with Murphy’s oil soap and water. I had to spend over $1600 to have it sanded and refinished.”

But perhaps Dee’s final encouragement echoes best the desire of the professional cleaning industry to be acknowledged as the true professional and technical discipline that it is: "If you don’t invest in educating yourself about materials, surfaces, and how to care for your client’s home contents, how can any company sell its services without this knowledge? There’s so much more to cleaning a home than buying a bucket and a mop. I feel much more empowered now that I have a 160+ page manual to refer to and share all of this cleaning knowledge with my employees. Smarter workers means happier clients!”

As an IICRC-approved school for the House Cleaning Technician certification class, the Institute for Service Excellence has four more opportunities for you, your company leadership, and especially your cleaning technicians to become HCT certified in 2012. In addition, ISE offers a program for arranging to have your entire company certified in one class. To see ISE’s full schedule of HCT classes, visit; ARCSI members can register for an ARCSI-sponsored class at a discounted price!

SBASmall businesses around the country can take advantage of free computer security workshops to help strengthen their information security, determine their readiness against security breaches and safeguard their business information from computer attacks.
The U.S. Small Business Administration, Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology and the Federal Bureau of Investigation's InfraGard will conduct a series of workshops on information security threats and solutions designed for small businesses.
This joint federal partnership promotes information security training and computer protection for the nation's small business community and will help to identify information security vulnerabilities that can put small businesses at risk and the protective tools and techniques used to assess, maintain and guard their information and systems.
The protection of sensitive data such as business invoices, payroll records, client and employee data and other proprietary information is essential to a company's success. A computer failure or other system breach could undermine a company's reputation, expose it to costly recovery expenses, and disrupt the business' overall operation.
Small business owners will learn how to protect themselves from intentional attacks or unintentional damage, guard themselves from decreased productivity caused by security breaches and evaluate the needed security tools and techniques. Participants will also learn useful and practical steps to take to protect their business' operations.
In addition, business owners often cannot afford extensive programs or a full-time expert in information security. The computer security workshops will help educate business owners on potential weaknesses and the corrective actions to take.
For additional information on the computer security workshops, including local area registration information, click here.
The 2012 Executive Leadership Conference is in the books and attendees had a lot to say about the event!

One new member, who attended after hearing about the event on a new member webinar said "It is the best money I have ever spent.

New members learned right alongside more established, long-time members to learn about growing their residential cleaning business through sales, effective sales techniques and how to develop a sales plan for their businesses.

On Saturday, members couldn't get enough of employment law attorney Greg Hare, of Ogletree Deakins. Hare answered question after question, helping member solve employee issues like unemployment claims and workman's compensation issues. Many attendees specifically asked that Hare be brought back for the 2012 Cleaning Convention!

Saturday afternoon brought important and interesting topics. Amber Guy delivered information on preparing your residential cleaning business in case of a natural disaster. Member Shirley Perlinsky spoke about her recent experience of dealing with a hurricane and flooding in New Jersey.

Sharon Cowan closed out the conference by breaking attendees into groups to work on reading and correcting Profit and Loss Statements, and helped members zero in on numbers they need to be regularly monitoring. "THIS is the kind of information we need!" said one session evaluation.

more Calendar

Hot Topic Tuesday: Enjoy Labor Day!

Hot Topic Tuesday: CONVENTION WEEK!


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