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July 12, 2013:The Residential Cleaning Connection
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News, Netoworking & Events

The Residential Cleaning Connection

News, Networking & Events for the Cleaning Professional

July 12, 2013 - Vol 4, Issue 14

ARCSI Industry Partners Resources

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

2013 Convention Sponsor
Visit us in Booth 258

2013 Convention Sponsor

Visit us in Booth 2156


Click Here to Learn More...

2013 Convention Sponsor

WCS-6-13 Workers Comp Insurance


2013 Convention Sponsor

Clean Max Logo

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2013 Convention Sponsor
Visit us in Booth 3285

Cleaning for a reason

2013 Convention Sponsor

Ernie's EtchingFrom somewhere over Kansas....

Just spent two day in Las Vegas taking care of some preliminary details for our 2013 Convention and am using the airplane time on the way home for this column.

Things are coming together nicely. Our headquarters hotel, Bally's, looks great and is in the center of the Strip. All of our hotel meeting rooms are on the 26th

floor overlooking Las Vegas and the surrounding mountains. The elevators may be the fastest of any hotel I have ever stayed in, so there is no long wait. The menus for our evening events are final and based on the samples I had you're going to love the food. If you have not made your hotel reservation yet, you need to do so, the ARCSI room block is filling up fast. Probably because our early registration set a record.

When you take the FREE convention shuttle bus from Bally's to the Las Vegas Convention Center, or ride the convenient monorail, you are going to find our space in the north exhibit hall easy to access. All of our meeting rooms and expanded "Members Lounge" are just off the 700 vendor show floor. On the show floor the ARCSI booth is number 2693. Be sure to stop by or volunteer to take a turn as a booth host.

Our Convention schedule is jam-packed as usual. We kick off our education on Sunday afternoon at Bally's and will have our "Welcome Reception" on Sunday evening. On Monday we move things to the Convention Center for a full day of education. Back at Bally's on Monday night, get your dancing moves ready for "Dancing with the ARCSI Stars", we moved this fun evening up from 2011, so you can dance before your legs are worn out from walking the show floor.

More education on Tuesday morning, and the 2013 ISSA InterClean show floor opens its three day run. Trust me, it will take you all three days to cover the show floor and its 700+ vendors. Wednesday's activities are highlighted by ISSA Keynote speaker Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappo's kicking things off in the morning and ending with ARCSI's gala Presidents' Reception and Awards presentation Wednesday evening. (so why haven't you submitted an awards application yet?) Thursday morning on the show floor will be a fun time with magician David Blaine at an event jointly sponsored by ISSA, ARCSI, and BSCAI.

ISSA has madeattending their keyontesa little more convenient this year as all of their keynote folks will be presenting in a room adjacent to the show floor, so you don't have to make the long walk next door to the Hilton for these events.

So it looks like we only have a few minor tweeks and we will be ready to "Viva Your Business" Nov 17-21. Angela Wilson and her committee are still finalizing a few things, but they have done a great job putting this years convention together. The exciting news is that 29 new members and "first timers" have already registered. Look forward to seeing all of you in November.

Watch for the announcement of who won the suite upgrade in our next newsletter, we will be doing the drawing next week in Cincinnati at our regional meeting. 122 days and counting!

Ernie Sig

Upcoming Events
Advertising on the Cheap: July 16 HTT

How do you pay for marketing if you don't have enough clients and how do you get clients without marketing? It is a business-owner's age old chicken-and-egg dilemma. From flyers to social media to networking, there are lots of ways to get your name out there without spending thousands of dollars.

Join Diana Henley, owner of NaturalCare Cleaning, as she shares her years of experience and moderates this call.

Click here to register now for free!

sharontinberg largerSharon Tinberg, owner of Rags to Riches, is holding her Third Annual Regional Meeting in Virginia Beach on Saturday, July 20. Don't miss her day-long workshop on "Building a Self-Sustaining Company" at the Holiday Inn Virginia Beach-Norfolk.

Register by the end of the day today (May 31) and receive the early bird discount price of $74.90 for both the day and evening sessions (sessions also available to purchase separately). Breakfast, lunch and pizza, as well as handouts, are all included in the price. Click here to see the content of the presentations.

To register today, click here. For location and hotel information, click here.
Whether you are an established company or just starting out, the House Cleaning Technician Certification class can give you an edge.

ARCSI will sponsor another House Cleaning Technician (HCT) certification class on Monday and Tuesday, July 22 - 23, 2013 in Cincinnati with IICRC certified instructor Bruce Vance of the Institute for Service Excellent. Over 150 people have completed the HCT lass in its first year. This is your chance to differentiate yourself from your competition.

Can't make the class, but want to network with other local cleaning companies? Come to the free ARCSI BBQ on July 22
5:30 - 8:30at the My Maid Service offices. RSVP to to let us know you'll be there!

For details and to register for the class, click HERE.

Industry and Business News
How Recent Supreme Court Rulings Affect You
Last month, the US Supreme Court decided three cases that could have significant impact on employers. Human Resources Executive Online notes that, "if taken separately, none of these cases are earth-shattering. Together, however, the High Court's decisions will likely alter the employment-law landscape and spur HR executives to re-evaluate their policies and practices."

"The Vance and Nassar decisions give employers and HR professionals more clarity to ensure their workforce is properly educated and trained on anti-discrimination policies, and added guidance on how employers can defend themselves against Title VII retaliation allegations," says Cara Woodson Welch, vice president of public policy, news and publications at WorldatWork, a global human resource association in Washington.

"Both Vance and Nassar represent clear wins for employers and should set the stage for summary judgments to be entered more frequently in favor of employers," adds Nancy Conrad, a partner with White and Williams, a Philadelphia law firm. Summary judgments entered by acourt for one party against another party are done without a fulltrial.

To read the entire Human Resource Executive Online article by Tom Starner, click here.

Creating Your Personal Brand's Geoffrey James offers eight steps to creating your personal brand. Some steps are easy, while others are more of a challenge. Two of particular interest to residential cleaning company owners might be steps #6: "Share useful content on a regular basis" and #7: "Get feedback from people you trust."

Content marketing is the hot marketing trend right now. Through offering useful content to your customers and online followers, you can gain better presence in search results, social media engagement and more hot leads. So make sure you are not just selling on your social media sites and website, but offering meaningful content to those who see you as an authority.

Getting "feedback from people you trust" can be a challenge. Whether it is your family, friends or clients, honest feedback from those in the know is a commodity. ARCSI offers a community of home cleaning business owners with wide ranges of experience. Take advantage of this great network by reaching out to other members, coming to Convention to make connections and then broadening those connections into a trusted group of allies.

To read James' article in its entirety, click here.
Finding a Great Employee Starts with a Great Job Description
Everyone is looking for that perfect employee. The one who does not only what is expected, but goes above and beyond, never complains and is a model for other employees. Finding this employee is the proverbial needle in a haystack, but you can make the process easier by starting with the specifics of who you are looking for. Tougher job descriptions narrow the field and weed out candidates who can't - or won't - perform the regular job duties without issue.

In addition to key responsibilities, a job summary and overview and an overview of your company, you should get specific about your expectations. Use direct language so there can be no mistaking what is expected. At the same time, try to embody the culture of your company in the job description, letting the personality of your company come through.

For more tips on writing a great job description, check out Erica Swallow's article on Mashable here or try to Small Business Administration's guide here.
Changes to I-9 Form: What You Need to Know
The I-9 Form, the one everyone completes on their first day of work, has undergone a facelift. While you do not need to get new I-9 forms for current employees, moving forward (as of May 7, 2013), you will need to use the new I-9 form to stay in compliance.

Changes to the form include:
  1. Longer form (9 pages from 5 pages)
  2. Expanded instructions (more helpful)
  3. Two-page Form I-9 (Section 1 on page 1, Sections 2 & 3 on page 2)
  4. Renamed and mandatory fields (maiden name now Other Names Used, must enter N/A if none)
  5. Optional employee fields for e-mail address and telephone number
  6. Expanded information for an alien employee
  7. Space for a 3-D barcode
  8. Updates to employee document fields
It's important for employers to understand these changes, since errors - even when unintentional - can result in costly fines as agencies continue to increase audits and scrutiny.

To read the entire article on HR Bartender, click here.

Thursday, August 1 is the deadline to submit your award entries for ARCSI's Image Awards, President's Award, Professional Cleaner of the Year and New Cleaning Company of the Year. This is your chance to be recognized by your peers, or to take the time to recognize one of your outstanding staffers.

ARCSI Image Awards are presented in each of the following categories:
  • Best Uniform
  • Best Logo
  • Best Website
  • Best Vehicle
  • Best Marketing Tool
  • Best Marketing Campaign
  • Best Print Newsletter
  • Best Electronic Newsletter

Submitting your business for an Image Award is simple. Just download the Image Award application by clicking here and submit it to the ARCSI office by August 1. You cna submit via email to or by fax at 614-505-7136.

Both the President's Award, sponsored by Moody Insurance Worldwide, and the Professional Cleaner of the Year are individual awards, recognizing one top office person and one top cleaning technician each year. Winners of both awards are invited to the ARCSI Convention (free of charge), with airfare and two (2) nights at Bally's Las Vegas paid for by ARCSI. Winners also receive a $500 stipend.

ARCSI Industry Partner-Moody's Insurance The President's Award, sponsored by Moody Insurance Worldwide, is a chance to honor your top non-cleaning staff person. Whether it is your office manager, financial guru or customer service superstar, take a moment to recognize that person that you can't live without. To nominate your top office staff person today, click here to download the application and return the form and essay to the ARCSI office by August 1.

The Professional Cleaner of the Year is your cleaning whiz. Not only are they proficient in their duties, but regularly go above and beyond for their customers and have a winning attitude. This is the cleaner you wish you could clone and the one who makes your company great. To nominate your Professional Cleaner of the Year, click here to download the application form and return the form and essay to ARCSI by August 1.

The New Cleaning Company of the Year Award, sponsored by Rags to Riches, is an opportunity for cleaning companies in business for less than five years to show off their success. Seven key business areas are reviewed by a committee to determine the winner of this prestigious award that comes with

  • Complimentary registration for the 2013 ARCSI Convention & Education Conference
  • One Year "Business in a Box" materials and consulting from Rags to Riches
  • Three (3) night stay at the Bally's Hotel and Casino from Rags to Riches
  • Round trip coach airfare for 2 people to the event from Rags to Riches
  • One Year ARCSI Silver Membership
Rags to Riches and the committee are kind enough to provide feedback on every application received, so the process provides value beyond measure. To apply for the New Cleaning Company of the Year Award, click here to download the form and return the application to ARCSI by August 1.

Well I am "back on the road" again connecting with ARCSI members. As you know, ARCSI and Pride Klean have put together the Petra Huppert HEART Scholarship to honor Petra's memory and Benja Lane's story about how Petra had helped her at the Orlando ELC was the inspiration. I wanted to learn more about how Petra had helped Benja, so I headed to the sunshine to meet her for dinner.


First, I stop off in Vero Beach to catch up with Sharon Cowan of the Cleaning Business Consulting Group. I had consulted with Sharon about a little over a year ago when looking to expand the commercial end of my business. Sharon was full of information and to be honest I was unsure at first. But, I did what she advised me to do and I can tell you a year later our commercial business has grown by several new accounts and is STILL growth. So if you are looking to grow your commercial end Sharon is the person to talk to with information you can take to the bank!

(End Sidebar)

Benja and I shared a relaxed dinner on the deck with an ocean view and she recounted her experience in Orlando and meeting Petra. Wrapping up her first year in business, Benja stumbled across the HCT course offered at the ELC in Orlando. Living just 50 miles east of Orlando she decided to check it out. She had reached a breaking point in her business and was unsure if she wanted to continue. She was attending the course as a last ditch effort. She admits she was not sure what to expect but had visions of arriving to find a room full of janitors wearing Dickies and shirts with their nametags sewn on. She told herself if she couldn't find anything in the course to help her hold onto the idea of building her business she would throw in the towel and return to hell, aka the corporate world.

Even though the course and ELC were practically in her back yard finding the resources to attend was not easy. She laughed when she told me she couldn't register until after midnight on the day of the course, when her last deposit would be credited to her bank account. Before she could leave for the 8:00 am class she had to finish up a move-out cleaning that morning. She describes arriving in Orlando exhausted and a little disheveled. However, she quickly felt at ease when during the first class break she made a new friend, Petra Huppert.

Here is Benja's story -

I had arrived at the HCT course with very little sleep and just a few dollars in my pocket. I had finished a move-out cleaning in the wee hours of the morning before making the trek to Orlando for the class. I was a disheveled mess and in need of a place to freshen up. I was not in the financial position to rent a room at the convention hotel and had planned to return home for the night. Petra insisted I use her room to freshen up and even offered me a place to lay my head and rest. She went above and beyond to make me feel comfortable.

We spent time that evening after dinner reviewing the class material. I bombarded her with a wide range of questions regarding her own business and she very willingly and openly answered them. She encouraged me to find a way to at minimum stay for the welcome reception of the ARCSI Leadership conference and impressed upon me the importance of an ARCSI membership and the value of attending the events. I was encouraged by that fact that Petra was able to attend these events coming all the way from Alaska.

We exchanged contact information before the end of the class and she extended an offer to help me in any way she could. I was shocked to actually receive an email from her a week later. Her email reiterated her desire to help me and asked me specifically what I was working on. She attached links to several web-sites she frequently referenced. She asked if I had joined ARCSI and I was happy to tell her yes!

Petra went a step further and sent me a package in the mail which included samples of her marketing material, client correspondence, bid-worksheets, and client welcome packets. The package also included two microfiber clothes, a book on Speed Cleaning, and a handwritten note urging me to work on my website, apply for the ARCSI seal of excellence as soon as I had been in business for 2 years, and to find a way to attend the next ARCSI convention.

We spent more than one evening in the coming months on the phone - Petra on the phone in Alaska and me in Florida sorting out how to deal with issues with clients and employees. Petra was quick to share her experience but would often say, "No two businesses are alike so what works for me might not work for you."

I could relate to her because like myself she started out when she left her career with and pursed a desire to work for herself. I am grateful to Petra for openly sharing with me the knowledge she had gained while building and growing her own business. Petra believed in the mission statement of ARCSI and exemplified the spirit of its purpose.

I could only say, "Wow, she reached out to you and never once indicated that in the midst of this she was battling for her life." But knowing Petra like I did she would not have wanted anyone to feel sorry for her or make a big deal over her.

So this is the story on how the HEART scholarship came to be. Over the years Petra has made many contributions ARCSI and despite the highs and lows of business she made it a priority to attend every event. She had a special way and I know she touched many of our lives. Petra may be gone but she will not be forgotten. With lots of love you are missed, Petra.

Petra Huppert, owner of The Home Cleaning Pro in Anchorage, Alaska, was a charter member of ARCSI, having joined in 2004. Despite the distance, she was a fixture at ARCSI Conventions and Leadership Conferences.Not only was she a strong supporter of ARCSI and committed to attending ARCSI events, but she was also committed to learning and to improving her business.

Petra lost her courageous battle with cancer earlier this year.The last ARCSI event she attended was our 2012 Leadership Conference.At that event, Petra reached out to a new member who was attending her first ARCSI event.This new member lived over an hour from Orlando and had planned to drive back and forth each day.Petra not only offered to share her hotel room, but helped the new member get the most from the conference. After the event, Petra continued to follow up, sent the new member materials to help her business, and helped her over the rough spots that everyone faces in their first few years of business.

To honor Petra's memory, her commitment to learning and her commitment to her professional trade association, ARCSI -along with members Peter Chakonas of Pride Klean and Bonnie Stuart of Details Professional Cleaning - has created the "Huppert Education and building Relationships (HEART) Convention Scholarship". The HEART Scholarship aims to give a small company the opportunity to learn from their peers and get the full Cleaning Convention experience.

The scholarship will include complimentary Cleaning Convention registration, four nights hotel room at the ARCSI headquarters hotel, and a $200 stipend to cover miscellaneous expenses. It also includes a full year of mentoring from Peter CHakonas and Bonnie Stuart. The scholarship recipient will be required to provide their own transportation to the convention as part of their commitment.


· A sincere commitment to grow your business

· Business will have no more than 5 employees (including the owner)

· Have been in business at least two years

· Company is an ARCSI member

· Must be able to attend the ARCSI Convention November 17- 21, 2013

· Applicant must be the owner of the company

How to Apply:

Submit the application (click here to download) and a 300 word essay describing how you believe attending the ARCSI Convention can help you improve and grow your business. The application must be submitted to the ARCSI office no later than August 15, 2013.

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