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July 26, 2013:The Residential Cleaning Connection
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The Residential Cleaning Connection

News, Networking & Events for the Cleaning Professional

July 26, 2013 - Vol 4, Issue 15

ARCSI Industry Partners Resources

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

2013 Convention Sponsor
Visit us in Booth 2587

2013 Convention Sponsor

Visit us in Booth 2156


Click Here to Learn More...

2013 Convention Sponsor

WCS-6-13 Workers Comp Insurance

The Clean Team Catalog

2013 Convention Sponsor

Clean Max Logo

Buy 3 Get 1 Free!

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2013 Convention Sponsor
Visit us in Booth 3285

Cleaning for a reason

2013 Convention Sponsor

The BXYZ Dilemmia

Ernie's Etching I I attended my convention this week, The Ohio Society of Associations Executives Annual Conference. It might surprise you that even though I have been attending these and similar events since 1975, that I came away with some ideas and procedures that are going to help the ARCSI staff do a better job for our members. Yes, you can teach a very old dog new tricks. Was every session helpful? Probably not, but what I a got out of two of them was more than worth the price of admission and the expense of attending.

A particularly interesting session was about working withmembersacross multi-generational lines. You know - the whole Boomers, folks like me, vs Gen X vs Gen Y thing. The speaker was Sarah Sladek, CEO of the XYZ University.

Now over the past six or seven years, I have listened to five or six presentations on this topic. Sarah was by far the best and brought everything into focus. While the presentation was geared to association managers, like Chris Zimmer and I, and the programs and services they provide to their members, the content can certainly be applied to the businesses run by ARCSI members when it comes to dealing with their employees.

I enjoyed Sarah's presentation, not just because it will cause us to re-examine the programs and services we offer to our members, and how we deliver them, but because there were some startling factoids I want to share with you.

1. By 2015 Gen Y (those born between 1982 and 95) will be the majority of the workforce.(39%) That's less than 2 years from today, so you better figure out what their values are and what is important to them.

2. 75% of employed Americans are currently looking for a job. What are you doing to make them want to stop looking and do a better job for you?

3. The average time a person under age 35 stays with the same company is 20 months! What percentage of your staff is meets this criteria? What willitcost you to replace them every 20 months?

(There's a whole list of "scary stats" on Sarah's web site. Just click here.)

Our members frequently tellus staffing is their biggest challenge. They can't find and keep quality employees. If you have not been educating yourself to understand the whole XYZ issue, that may be part of the reason.

The session inspired me to do an analysis of the ARCSI membership, since we are trying to make more "data driven" decisions in this office. These numbers are only for our cleaning company members and do not include our Industry Partners. Here are the results:

Cleaning Company Owners by Generation (born between)

Boomers (1946-64) 36.5%, Gen X (1965-81) 55.6%, Gen Y (1982-95) 7.9%.

I am quite sure they all manage their businesses quite differently based on the values of their generation, whether they are successful or not so much.

The point of this column? Whether you are a Boomer, a Gen X, or a Gen Y, have been in the business 30 years or 30 days, there will be something for you to learn at the ARCSI Convention. All you have to do is be there, pay attention, and have an open mind. See You in Vegas!

Ernie Sig

Upcoming Events
How Do You Stay Motivated? July 30 Hot Topic

tired maid

Hot Topic Tuesday has talked about how to motivate your employees, but we've never talked about how to stay motivated as a business owner. Until now! How do you keep your energy, enthusiasm and passion for your business up while dealing with employee issues, equipment failure and scheduling problems?

Join Liz Trotter, owner of American Maid in Olympia, WA as she shares her experience and moderated this call.

Click here to register now. Hot Topic Tuesdays are always free for ARCSI members!

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.

Many categories currently have no submissions, so you chances are excellent! 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 can submit via email to or by fax at 614-505-7136.

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.
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.
ARCSI and Biz Library Offer Free Webinars in August
ARCSI partner The Biz Library is offering free webinars during August to help you with your employee issues. Each webinar will be held at 2 pm Eastern/11 am Pacific.

Wednesday August 7: "Sink or Swim" Supporting the Transition to New Manager"

Wednesday, August 22: "Improving the Employee Review Process

Wednesday, August 28: "Continuous Learning and the Succession Planning Process"

To register for any of these free webinars, please click here.

Industry and Business News
"Ban the Box" Law Prohibits Asking About Criminal Past
This week, Rhode Island became the eighth state in the country to pass a statewide Ban the Box law; a campaign to make employers remove questions about criminal history from job applications, postponing such queries until a later stage of the hiring process.

Rhode Island's Ban the Box law is one of the most expansive versions out there: The state will require all private and public employers to delay questions about criminal history, following Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Hawaii. Four other states and 51 municipalities have already passed similar measures for hiring public employees, according to the National Employment Law Project. Ban the Box bills are now being considered in New Jersey and California, which passed an executive measure covering public employees in 2010. To read the entire article on, click here.

This has huge impact on how you you can review job applicants and the efficiency of your hiring process. The possibility of bringing in what appears to be a great candidate only to find out during the interview that they have a criminal record threatens to derail the efficient process of elimination that many cleaning companies have in place.

To read more on the Ban the Box Law and possible effects, click here.
What Makes a Truly Loyal Employee?

Dharmesh Shah, Founder of HubSpot, recently offered these insights into employee loyalty on his LinkedIn blog. How many of these attributes do your best employees have. And if they are not your best employees, how loyal do you want them to be?

1. They display loyalty through integrity.

An employee who consistently seeks to do the right thing is not just following a personal credo - she's also looking out for your long-term interests. You may see her as disloyal today... but in time you'll realize that she displayed the highest form of loyalty by helping you avoid missing the "do the right thing" forest for the "do it right now" trees.

2. They generate discussions others will not.

Many employees hesitate to voice their opinions or feelings in a group setting. Some even hesitate to voice their opinions in private. Loyal employees have a great feel for the issues and concerns of the people around them, and they ask the questions or raise the important issues when others won't.

3. They praise their peers.

Truly loyal employees care: About the company, about its customers, about its mission. They feel they're working for something greater than just themselves. So they appreciate when another employee does something great because that means the company is fulfilling its mission.

Employees that praise and recognize others, especially when it's not their job to do so, don't just display great interpersonal skills.

4. They dissent and disagree

Every great company fosters debate and disagreement. Every great leader wants employees to question, to deliberate, and to push back. Weighing the positives and negatives of a decision, sharing conflicting opinions, playing devil's advocate... disagreement is healthy. It's stimulating. It leads to better decisions. Loyal employees share their opinions, even when they know you may not initially appreciate those opinions, because they want the company to be better tomorrow than it is today.


5. They support in public.

After a decision is made, loyal employees get behind that decision even if they privately disagree. And they don't just pay the decision lip service; they support the decision as if it were their own - because when you're loyal, every decision is, ultimately, your own. When they disagree, some employees (the not so loyal ones), whether passively or actively, try to show that a decision they disagreed with was in fact wrong. A truly loyal employee puts aside his feelings and actively tries to make every decision the right decision.

6. They tell you what you least want to hear.

Truly loyal employees know that what you least want to hear may be what you - and by extension your company - most need to hear: That an initiative won't work, that a decision-making process is flawed, that a mistake has been made. Thesel employees realize that while you may not like what you hear, ultimately you want to hear it because what matters most is doing what is best for your employees, your customers, and your company.

7. They leave when they need to leave.

If you can't tell by now, a truly loyal employee is almost always a sensational employee. Often, they're your best employees - so the last thing you want is for them to leave.

Yet sometimes they do. When it's time, they tell you it's time to leave - and they help you prepare to fill the hole they create.Of course, you can always make your most convincing arguments to encourage them to stay (hey, you're loyal too!) - but if it doesn't work out, the right thing to do is to return their loyalty, wish them well and help them continue to stay awesome.

Preparing Your Business for the Next Generation
Many ARCSI members view their business as a family affair, with their kids working right alongside mom and dad to make the company run. Karen Klein, at, recently gave a few bits of advice on how to prepare your family business for the next generation. Here are a few examples. You can read Klein's entire article by clicking here.

DO let members of the younger generation working in your business fail, at least occasionally. It's better that the mistake is made while you are there to coach them through the fix rather than after you retire.

DON'T hand over the reigns to your your social media effort without mastering it yourself. You need to understand how to check-in on the world of social media to ensure that your business and your brand are being maintained and promoted properly.

To read Klein's entire article at, click here.
The Right Way to Praise Employees
It has often been said that good leaders correct in private and praise in public. According to a recent study by the London Business School, the kind of praise you give matters as well.

Over the course of three experiments, researchers found that study participants who were affirmed in some core trait--including creativity, leadership, or honesty--were more likely to make confident, smart decisions than those who received no praise.

In another experiment, the researchers praised a pool of professionals for their decision-making skills. Then the professionals were asked whether they would continue to invest in an underperforming employee they had hired, or nix the bad hire and find a replacement. Participants whose self-esteem was tied to their decision-making prowess were 40 percent more likely to stick by the lackluster employee than participants who had received no praise.

By comparison, participants who were praised for a skill set not directly related to the hiring--like their creativity--were 40 percent less likely to stand by the employee who was obviously a bad hire.

The reason: Being praised for their creativity meant that they could admit to faulty decision-making on the hire, and look at the problem from a more objective position.

For the entire article by Francesca Frenzi, click here.

With the 2013 ARCSI Cleaning Convention just 115 days away, ARCSI recently held a drawing for a luxurious $850/night suite upgrade for the first 100 convention registrants. Kayla Storlid of Kayla's Custom Cleaning in Madison, WI, had the honor of drawing the winning name at the Cincinnati Regional Meet Up earlier this week.

We are happy to announce that Kristin Bergfeld, owner of Bergfeld's Estate Clearance Service in New York, NY was the winner of the upgrade. In addition to being a long-time ARCSI member, Kristin is also a speaker at this year's convention. She will be presenting a class on how to incorporate cleaning for hoarders into your business.

Chase Mobile Checkout allows you to accept credit and signature debit card payments on the go. All you need is a smartphone, an account with Chase Paymentech, our card reader and the free Chase Mobile Checkout app. Now, you're ready to grow your business.

Free card reader. Free app. No set-up fee.1

Going mobile is easier than ever. Receive a free card reader for your smartphone and we will even waive the $100 set-up fee, when you sign up with Chase Paymentech before July 31, 2013.


  • Accept payments on the go
  • Mobile access to your online reporting account
  • Hassle-free setup
  • No bulky hardware - just your smartphone and our card reader
  • Simple, secure payment acceptance
  • Accept all major credit cards
  • Process voids and refunds as needed
  • Send digital receipts to your customers

Jennifer Moss


1Offer valid for new customers only. Chase Mobile Checkout is available to U.S. Merchants accepting transactions within the U.S. only. Use of Chase Mobile Checkout requires a merchant account with Chase Paymentech. New customers must apply with Chase Paymentech and are subject to credit approval. Chase Mobile Checkout and the card reader operate exclusively with Chase Paymentech's processing services. Early termination of the Merchant Agreement may require the repayment of all or a prorated portion of the card reader and waived set-up fee.

This week, a group of Midwest cleaning service owners dodged raindrops to join Derek Christian at his My Maid Service office in Lebanon, OH and swap stories.

The owners discussed everything from employee theft to getting out of the field and shared their ideas over burgers and brats. "Anytime ARCSI members get together, ideas flow and great things happen," said ARCSI Executive Director Ernie Hartong.

Many attendees were in town for the ARCSI House Cleaning Technician Certification course held in Cincinnati, but more than one came just to visit. Wells Ye, in town from Chicago, and Sarah Hodge, who made the trip from Louisville, can be seen in the picture above with Derek Christian, Kandy Sartori and Trina McCarthy, discussing My Maid Service operations.
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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Hot Topic Tuesday: Enjoy Labor Day!

Hot Topic Tuesday: CONVENTION WEEK!


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