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September 20, 2013:The Residential Cleaning Connection
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News, Netoworking & Events

The Residential Cleaning Connection

News, Networking & Events for the Cleaning Professional

September 20, 2013 - Vol 4, Issue 19

ARCSI Industry Partners Resources

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

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WCS-6-13 Workers Comp Insurance


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Clean Max Logo

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Cleaning for a reason

2013 Convention Sponsor

You Don't Know What You Don't Know
Owning a business is hard. Owning a piece of the service industry can be overwhelming - between scheduling and call-offs, client complaints and quality assurance - some days it is enough to make you want to (literally) throw in the towel.

Sometimes the hardest part of being a business owner is not knowing what you don't know. There are as many different ways to build a company culture, for instance, as their are companies. With everything else on your plate, there is no way one person can fathom all the possibilities.

It doesn't have to be as hard as it is today.

Hundreds of home cleaning owners come together every year to help one another solve the most difficult challenges. Instead of the three ideas you came up with to fix a problem, you can get 15 or 20 ideas form other owners, industry leaders and business consultants.

The Annual ARCSI Cleaning Convention is about making you a better, more efficient, more profitable cleaning business owner. Gathering thought leaders, consultants, and other experts in one place allows ARCSI to tackle some of the most common problems - like hiring winners instead of whiners - in the cleaning industry. We can also bring light to possible new areas of revenue for your company - like cleaning for hoarders.

You can find a full education and networking schedule for the Convention - featuring the topics I have highlighted and more - by clicking here.

ARCSI's annual gathering allows members to find answers to questions that plague them day after day, sometimes for years. We promise you will come home from the Convention excited to implement some new strategy or policy you learned from another ARCSI member.

Members know that they are not alone. From ongoing mentorship to just being able to pick up the phone and bounce an idea off another person who understands your reality, the connections you make through ARCSI will help you build a better business.

I look forward to seeing many of you in Las Vegas for the 2013 ARCSI Cleaning Convention where we will grow your business together. Until then, be curious. Never stop learning and never stop growing. Let ARCSI help.

I appreciate you giving me this space and time, while our Executive Director, Ernie Hartong, takes some much deserved time off to celebrate the marriage of his youngest daughter. Congratulations to the entire Hartong family!

Chris Zimmer
ARCSI Associate Executive Director

Upcoming Events
Sept. 24 Hot Topic: Facebook Marketing
Facebook Facebook: Everyone knows they should be using it to maximize their marketing, but how? What is the most efficient, effective way to get your brand out there via Facebook?

Facebook is about more than just wishing your second cousin a belated "happy birthday." The power of social media is real and can be harnessed to grow your business.

Join Matt Ricketts, President and Chief Experience Officer of Better Life Maids, as he walks you through the ins and outs of marketing via Facebook on this Hot Topic Tuesday webinar.

Hot Topic events are always free to ARCSI members. Nonmembers can register for just $5.

Click here to start the registration process today.

Convention Highlight: Stop Losing Clients
Plug Your Leaky Buckets

It is hard to grow if you are constantly losing clients, like water escaping out of a leaky bucket. You keep adding new clients, but that leaky bucket lets other clients leave your service, so that you have to replace more and more customers just to maintain your present size.

ARCSI Board member RJ Patel has put together an ARCSI All Star panel to discuss this phenomenon, and talk about strategies to stop it, so that you can achieve your growth goals.

All of the Plug Your Leaky Bucket session panelists run home cleaning companies doing at least $1 million in business, and they want to share their secrets to success with YOU.
Past ARCSI President Alonzo Adams is owner of Busy Bee Cleaning Company in West Chester, PA. Alonzo will talk about retaining customers throughout the years. The best way to grow is by keeping the customers you already have. Alonzo will share some of his secrets for keeping customers happy for years.

Kathy Gage, Marvelous MaidsRecovery of unhappy clients can be one of the toughest parts of plugging your leaky bucket. You have a dissatisfied customer who has a negative impression of your business at the moment. How do you recover and get this client back on board as a happy camper? Former ARCSI Board member and Treasurer Kathy Gage,owner of Marvelous Maids in O'Fallon, MO, will talk about successful recovery strategies and share her experience and insight on the topic.

Past ARCSI President David Kiser is owner of Champagne Services in Sterling VA. He will spend time talking about the fine art of releasing customers. Everyone hates losing clients, but sometimes letting a client go is vital to keeping your business moving forward. David will discuss how to know when you need to release a client and what to do after you've made that decision.

Tom Stewart Sometimes some of your best future clients are those who have been your clients in the past. How do you resurrect those accounts and get back into the good graces of someone who has left your service? Tom Stewart, also a Past ARCSI President, is owner of Castle Keepers of Charleston, publisher of Cleaning Business Today, and one of the founders of Cleaning Business Builders. Tom will talk about winning back former clients to keep your company growing.

Don't miss this all-star panel at the 2013 ARCSI Cleaning Convention. Learning from these high-earners is a masters' class in client retention and recovery. You can find a full schedule of Convention education and networking events here.

Industry and Business News
Calculate Your Costs Under the Affordable Care Act
null The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) has launched four new online calculators designed to help small-business owners estimate expected costs under the healthcare law. Many provisions of the healthcare law take effect October 1 and small-business owners need to prepare for new taxes and compliance costs.

NFIB's latest user-friendly tools will help small-business owners to plan ahead. The online calculators will help owner figure cost-sharing subsidies, employer mandates, individual mandates, and individual premium subsidies.

Links to all four calculators can be found by clicking here.

Four Hiring Mistakes You're Probably Making
tired maidA recent article at highlights the top four hiring mistakes many business owners are making. Do any of these sound familiar to you?

1. Rushing the hiring process just to fill the position.
How many times have you heard this from ARCSI members: "Hire slowly and fire quickly." But if your business is growing or if you've had a key team member leave you unexpectedly, it is hard not to panic and just want someone - anyone - to fill the position. Resist that urge, says Ross Kimbarovsky, author of the article.

Hire only when the candidate is the right fit for your company. This is someone with whom you feel comfortable and who shares your company's values as well as having the skills needed to fill to position. Rushing to put just anyone in the job will land you in more trouble down the road than just being patient and leaving the job open until you find the right candidate. Which leads us to the next mistake.

2. Hiring the best candidate.
It's become a cliché to say you should hire people smarter than you. Most successful business owners strive to do so. But the smartest, most skillful people are not always the right people for the job.

You can teach skills, but you cannot teach passion, a good work ethic and respect for the collaborative process. When you add a lone ranger to an efficient and collaborative group, you can undermine the entire team and the evolution of your company. Here again, the author stresses hiring the best cultural fit for your company, not necessarily those with the exact skills you are looking for (you can teach those).

3. Committing to and employee without trying them out.
Many cleaning company owners have a trial or probation period. This is for your benefit as well as for your employee's benefit. It gives you time to figure out of you want this person on your team permanently and if they have the right stuff to be a long-term, productive team member.

By not having a probation or trial period, you are not giving yourself the opportunity to quickly fix any hiring mistakes, which takes us to point number four.

4. Fix your mistakes quickly.
This brings us full circle back to "Hire slowly, fire quickly." You may think that the worst thing for your company is to be short a cleaner or a key office person. In reality, your biggest mistake is leaving someone in those position that should never have been there in the first place. They can reek havoc on employee morale, cost your customers and make you crazy.

To read the fill article at, click here.
Oct. 1 Deadline Looms Large: SBA and Healthcare
nullIf your company is covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act, you must provide a written notice to your employees about the Health Insurance Marketplace by October 1, 2013.

The Small Business Administration (SBA) continues it's series on the Affordable Care Act, and offers these answers to a few frequently asked questions.

Which Employers Must Provide This Notification?

Under the Affordable Care Act, all employers covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act (generally, those firms that have at least one employee and at least $500,000 in annual dollar volume of business), must notify their employees about the new Health Insurance Marketplace, whether or not the employer currently provides health coverage to its employees.

The Marketplace opens for enrollment in all states on October 1, 2013 and offers individuals and small business owners an online portal to find and compare private health insurance options.

What Information Do I Need to Include in the Notice to My Employees?

The notice should inform employees:

  • About what the new Health Insurance Marketplace is and that open enrollment begins on October 1, 2013;
  • That, depending on their income and what coverage may be offered by the employer, employees may be able to purchase lower cost private insurance in the individual Marketplace; and
  • If employees buy insurance through the individual Marketplace, they may lose the employer contribution (if any) to their health benefits.
Employers are required to provide this notice to all current employees by October 1, 2013, and to each new employee at the time of hire beginning on that same date. This requirement applies regardless of an employee's plan enrollment status (if applicable) or their part-time or full-time status.The Department of Labor (DOL) will consider a notice to be provided at the time of hiring if the notice is provided within 14 days of an employee's start date.

The SBA is hosting a webinar on the Affordable Care Act for small businesses on Thursday, September 26 at 2 pm Eastern/11 am Pacific. You can get more information and register by clicking here.

For more information and for more answers to frequently asked questions on the Affordable Care Act, go to

Three Ways to Get Customers Talking

nullTo generate authentic word of mouth, you first need customers to feel comfortable endorsing you.This requires taking a customer-centric approach towards giving them a voice. Here's what to do.

Ask customers about being customers

The most authentic word of mouth doesn't focus on the product; it focuses on what people do with it. How does it make customers' lives better? How does your service help them pursue their passions? How does it make them feel?

Devote time and resources to find out. These are the stories you need to share and the conversations you need to start. Once you tap into peoples' passions, getting them to talk is easy!

Create shared experiences

When people experience something as part of a group, that experience takes on a life of its own. Each person adds their own point of view until the story becomes something bigger than the individuals themselves. Creating these kinds of shared experiences is ideal for fostering word of mouth.

Create brand ambassador programs, special events and online group experiences that encourage customers to come together and talk about their passions and your business's role in them.

Be customer-centric with content

People share information about brands that relate to or reflect on them personally. This is especially true on social media, where people often share only a "highlights reel" of their lives.

To get your business into these conversations, share content people will feel comfortable sharing with their social circles. To find the right content types and themes, engage with your customers regularly to see what they talk about and share. Meanwhile, pay attention to your social media analytics to see what resonates.

Being customer-centric is the crucial first step in word of mouth marketing campaigns, whether online or offline. When you learn to think like your customers, you'll understand how to encourage them to speak out on your behalf.

Are You Achieving All Your Rewards?
Not long ago, the ARCSI announced our partnership with AchieveLinks®, the unique rewards program created exclusively for associations.

If you've already activated your account, you already know how fast your Links® Reward Points can add up. Just by making the same purchases you already make for your business and personal life from merchants like Grainger, Microsoft Store, Home Depot, and, you've been earning valuable Links toward must-have merchandise, valuable gift cards, and once in a lifetime experiences.

If you haven't activated yet, don't wait another minute! There is no cost, no risk, and no obligation. You've already earned all the benefits and privileges of your AchieveLinks account, just by being a member of ARCSI. Plus, you get 500 Bonus Links just for signing up and 500 additional Links with your first purchase! You can also use Links to pay for ARCSI dues or conference fees.

Your friends and colleagues are already reaping the rewards of AchieveLinks. Join them now by visiting and activate your account today!

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Hot Topic Tuesday: Enjoy Labor Day!

Hot Topic Tuesday: CONVENTION WEEK!


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