How to Show Your Employees Some Appreciation During the Holidays

Your employees work hard during the year, so why not show them some love during the holidays? This season can be a stressful, exciting, and busy time all at once, and as a business owner, it becomes your job to make sure to treat your employees well. Keeping the morale high is beneficial to every aspect of your business, from how your employees interact with customers to how well they perform their duties!

Telling your employees how much you appreciate them is a great first step, but how about SHOWING them that appreciation? Here are a few tips we’ve put together for business owners who want to show their employees some appreciation during the holidays!

  1. Time Off: Giving your employees some paid time off is always a great idea. Most of you, if not all, give your employees Christmas day off. This year Christmas Eve is on a Monday so giving them that day off too, or letting them off early to spend time with family, could be a welcome surprise.
  2. Cash Bonuses: We’ve heard from countless business owners that one of their favorite things to do for their employees during the holidays is to give them a bonus. It could be small, something in the $50-$200 range, or it could be up in the thousands. Obviously, the size of the bonus is very dependent on the size of your business, so we don’t recommend overdoing it! However much it is, remember that the holidays can be a very expensive time so any extra money will be much appreciated by your employees.
  3. Provide Dinner/Lunch: Many business owners will buy lunch or dinner for their employees, or even their employees AND their families, during the holidays. Again, this all depends on the size of your operation, but getting everyone together for a meal will help strengthen that family side to your business. Remember, you all work together towards one common goal: providing the best service possible to your customers!
  4. Gifts: Some employers give their employees a special gift during the holidays. Some examples we’ve seen are tickets to a sporting event, gift cards to favorite restaurants, or a personalized item of personal significance to each employee. The options are pretty much limitless here, but the key is to get to know your employees during the year. The gift could be smaller, such as a new hunting knife or fishing reel, or could be bigger like tickets to an NFL game or a paid trip somewhere for the weekend.
  5. An Employee Appreciation Day: This one can take some more intense planning and money. However, organizing a day for all of your employees to get together and do something fun can be a welcome break from the daily grind. Again, some employers include families in these types of events. Whatever you do, from taking your employees paintballing, to spending an evening out on the town, your employees will appreciate it. This is also a good option for 

These are just five ideas that we recommend, but there are countless more. Get creative. Ask other business owners what they do. Talk to your employees and get to know them better so you can find out what they like. We promise it’s worth it. Investing in your employee’s happiness and well-being during the holidays is another way of investing in the future of your business.

Your employees work hard during the year, so why not show them some love during the holidays? This season can be a stressful, exciting, and busy time all at once, and as a business owner, it becomes your job to make sure to treat your employees well. Keeping the morale high is beneficial to every aspect […]

Tips N Chat Throwback #20: “Three People Hurt, One Customer Dead”

This week’s featured Tips N Chat Throwback post is from an editorial response written by Ed York and published in the January-February 1981 issue of Tips N Chat. Remember to check back every Thursday for a new throwback post!

THREE PEOPLE HURT, ONE CUSTOMER DEAD

“Chemical blast likely cause of fatal blaze” was the headline that recently screamed across the page of a Denver, Colorado newspaper. A two-column picture showed a firefighter helping a lady tenant, of the Cherry Condominiums, to safety after a two-alarm fire gutted the third floor, and caused heavy smoke damage to the remaining eight-story structure. Denver newspapers, radio, and TV reported the fatal fire was contributed to a workman who was cleaning a chair in the customer’s living room with a flammable solvent.

The employee who was identified as Wayne Eddy, of Colt Cleaners, tried to rescue the victim. When the fire broke out, Eddy is said to have taken the lady by the hand and tried to lead her to safety. All the exits were blocked. Mr. Eddy reported he urged the customer, Mrs. Gladys Nelson, age 68 to follow him. The last thing he heard, as he jumped to safety, was Mrs. Nelson’s screams for help. She did not jump. She perished. A later story published in a Denver newspaper identified the chemical used as one formulated by Professional Chemicals of Tempe, Arizona.

EDITORIAL RESPONSE
BY ED YORK

As Editor of a major trade publication, I attempted to clarify some of the facts given to the Colorado consumers during various news releases. I found a blanket of secrecy around every aspect. I was hung up on, threatened with lawsuits, and cussed out. THIS STORY MUST BE REPORTED. THE FACTS MUST BE CLEARED.

The entire cleaning industry is being held neglectful, to the point of causing the death of a customer. Pro Chem is left accused without any type of clarification. Actually, this company is standing behind a security shield. In all probability, they have nothing to hide. I, personally, have researched their dry solvents, and have found them safe when used as directed.

The news articles fail to tell if dry cleaning equipment was being used. If so, was the room ventilated, and exhaust hose utilized? Why was the customer in the condominium during the cleaning process? And the most important question I would like answered is regarding the chemical formula being used. While I find most of today’s chemicals are perfectly safe, they can be turned into a “tragedy waiting to happen”, when mixed by some of our “barnyard” chemists.

It is mandatory that every cleaner give immediate thought to the procedures and formulas they are now using. For example, a solvent with an extraordinary high flash point can be reduced to UNSAFE when mixed with a second. A solvent vapor aerated and spread over a large surface is certainly different than a volume of the same substance in a cup.

While it is past press time, and this issue is off to the printer, Tips N Chat will devote much of their next issue to SOLVENTS and FORMULAS now in use. We have discovered an early SCT bulletin referring to a questionable formula that has to be withdrawn from use. We are not assuming that anyone connected with the Cherry Condominium tragedy was doing anything wrong.

We do say that we must have some answers. So we can address ourselves to the areas that need concern. This could be equipment failure, but it could just as easily be operator training.

In the meantime let us make sure they are using their products as directed by the manufacturer. Don’t rely on the same “barnyard” formula, that someone says does a super job. Don’t take chances with the untested and unknown. A few degrees cleaner sofa will never take away the sound of your customer screaming for help as you jump for safety.

This week’s featured Tips N Chat Throwback post is from an editorial response written by Ed York and published in the January-February 1981 issue of Tips N Chat. Remember to check back every Thursday for a new throwback post! THREE PEOPLE HURT, ONE CUSTOMER DEAD “Chemical blast likely cause of fatal blaze” was the headline […]

Feature Focus: “Refer a Friend” Button

We love referrals, so we made it way easier for you to refer us to a friend! Introducing the “Refer a Friend” button in ServiceMonster 6! Just released in update 6.3.1, this feature allows for a quick and easy referral process. Oh yeah, and there’s an incentive for you to use it!

It’s simple. You’ll now see a green button that says “Refer a Friend” in the upper right hand corner of ServiceMonster 6. Here’s what it looks like:

When you click the button, it will take you to a contact information pop up, pictured below:

All that you have to do now is fill out the form with your friend’s information and click “OK”. Now, the fun part. If your friend signs up for ServiceMonster and becomes a subscribed, paying customer, after 45 days we will reward you with one month free of your ServiceMonster subscription! 

We love rewarding our customers, and we love referrals, so make sure to use this new feature as much as you can!

We love referrals, so we made it way easier for you to refer us to a friend! Introducing the “Refer a Friend” button in ServiceMonster 6! Just released in update 6.3.1, this feature allows for a quick and easy referral process. Oh yeah, and there’s an incentive for you to use it! It’s simple. You’ll […]

Tips N Chat Throwback #19: Are You Too Busy Earning a Living to Make Money?

This week’s featured Tips N Chat Throwback post is from a Pied Piper column written by Ed York and published in the First Quarter 1976 issue of Tips N Chat. Remember to check back every Thursday for a new throwback post!

When I’m not traveling around this nation of ours talking or preaching carpet cleaning to whoever will listen, I’m conducting a class or on the phone. If I have a “gift” it must be that people do talk honestly and freely with me. Many’s the time that a simple question has turned into a deep and soul-searching verbal encounter into why a person is not succeeding. Each month SCT forwards a Pro-Pak with bulletins on new ideas and programs, as well as Technical Information. The same packet goes to all members. Within a few short weeks I receive a call or letter from someone exclaiming how terrific the idea is and how it is working. There doesn’t seem to be a pattern as to who obtains benefit and profit from these tips and who receives little, if anything, from them. I have turned and tossed many a night worrying about a friend who can’t seem to get ahead and is stagnant. He can’t afford to attend meetings, register for conventions, or even take a vacation.

At the same time, there is many a night I go to sleep practically smothered from the many praises received during the day. The question as to why some people find it so easy to adopt new ideas and programs that are proven winners, while others simply can’t grasp the simplest one, has plagued me. Last week in Salt Lake City, while waiting for a meeting to begin with the area’s Vapor-Vac dealers, I read the Holiday Inn magazine. It carried a copy of an advertisement that I have noticed many times. It was the one where the man offers a booklet on how to be lazy and get rich. Even has his CPA testify that his statements on how he became rich in a short time are true. One phrase that had been there before, leaped out at me…

MOST PEOPLE ARE TOO BUSY EARNING A LIVING TO MAKE ANY MONEY.

The problem for me was solved. It was not that the ideas and assistance we mailed out each month were wrong. It was not that they wouldn’t work. It was simply that “Most people were too busy making a living to make any money”. If you are not MAKING IT, take a look at yourself. Are you doing the LABOR while your business runs itself? Are you SAVING money by cutting out a $3.00 per hour employee and helping pull the tool during the daytime, and being too tired to SELL your services? Are you too busy earning a living to make any money?

Money is like an arm or leg – use it or lose it.

-Henry Ford

 ~ Ed York (1976)

 

This week’s featured Tips N Chat Throwback post is from a Pied Piper column written by Ed York and published in the First Quarter 1976 issue of Tips N Chat. Remember to check back every Thursday for a new throwback post! When I’m not traveling around this nation of ours talking or preaching carpet cleaning […]

ServiceMonster 6.3.1 Release Notes

Read on to learn more about new features, enhancements, and changes included in the latest ServiceMonster release.

Date of release: November 12, 2018

For information on previous releases, please visit the release notes archive.

New to ServiceMonster? Try it now!

Features

  • (4131) Manage Credit Card. You can now manage the credit card we have on file in SM6.
  • (4132) Importing Products and Services. You can now import lists of products and services via a CSV file, in the same way as importing accounts.
  • (4168) Data Tags. [SITE_CONTACT] and [SITE_PHONE] now available to use as data tags.
  • (2335) Refer-A-Friend. Added a “refer-a-friend” program to SM6.

Bug Fixes

  • (2374) Fixed an issue where SMS pre-notifications for job reminders are no longer busted with zero hours.
  • (2427) Marketing dashboard YTD results are no longer omitting the highest result.
  • (3216)  Fixed an issue where the “suggested times” field for routes with longer names would look messy.
  • (4167)  You can now click on the FMS cards sent/FMS jobs tiles in the FMS section and view the grid list without error.
  • (4217)  Fixed an issue with the account lookup search display while making new payments, so you are able to filter columns.
  • (4218) On the FMS Approval Wizard, marking “remove” on a customer no longer marks that customer as ‘Do Not Contact’.
  • (4219) Fixed a visual bug on the FMS homepage where phantom stars were showing.
  • (4229) Fixed an issue where a “default address” label is no longer displayed when pulling up an existing order that is using a secondary address.
  • (4252) Fixed an issue where users who were logging in multiple times in a row were experiencing errors.
  • (4259) Fixed an issue in the recent activity drop-down so buttons are no longer on the wrong side of the drop-down and fit inside the drop-down.
  • (4267)  Phone 3 column has been added to Export Campaigns.

Read on to learn more about new features, enhancements, and changes included in the latest ServiceMonster release. Date of release: November 12, 2018 For information on previous releases, please visit the release notes archive. New to ServiceMonster? Try it now! Features (4131) Manage Credit Card. You can now manage the credit card we have on file in SM6. (4132) Importing Products […]

It’s Time to Order Your Holiday Cards!

New FillMySchedule Holiday Cards Are Here!

It’s time to start thinking about your holiday marketing. Luckily, if you’re a ServiceMonster customer, we don’t make you think too hard! Order online now.

Our FillMySchedule program is fully automated, allowing you to complete direct mail marketing campaigns with a push of a button. All you need to do is approve the customer lists that ServiceMonster generates for your company. As soon as that’s been done, we will produce, print, stuff, stamp, seal, and mail your 4″ x 6” tent-fold cards for you. We make it easy for you to keep your company name in front of your customers!

Sending holiday cards accomplishes three key things:

(1) It shows your customers that you’re there when they need you (in case they want a clean house for their guests – or a clean house after their guests leave!).

(2) It helps you prepare for the slow season by getting jobs on your schedule.

(3) The fact that you went to the effort of sending them a greeting card will leave a lasting impression.

Our holiday greeting cards come in six different card designs, with fully customizable inside content.

Ready to place your order? Great! Let’s get started:

  1. Pick your preferred card front.
  2. Draft up what you’d like the inside of the card to say, or choose one of our pre-written greetings (to see the greetings, click through to the online order page).
  3. Decide what type(s) of customers you’d like us to mail to. Residential customers? Customers you’ve serviced in the last 24 months? Everyone?

We’ll customize the envelopes with the customers’ names and include your message, along with your business name, logo, and contact information. All you need to do now is relax and enjoy the holiday season!

Do your part to keep your clients yours. Send them a thoughtful greeting card! Remember: good customer retention means more stability and profitability for your business throughout the year.

Here are the designs you can choose from:

We strongly encourage early orders due to limited selection and mailing delays.

You don’t see the majority of your customers on a consistent basis. Holiday cards are a great way to reach out and remind them that you’re available to clean up their home or business!

Place your FillMySchedule holiday card order before November 24th, and your cards are guaranteed to ship before December 8th AND you pay a discounted rate of $.81 + postage per card.

(For orders placed after November 24th, we cannot guarantee a ship date AND the price increases to $.91 + postage per card)

Order online, by email (support@servicemonster.net), or give us a call at 888-901-3300.

New FillMySchedule Holiday Cards Are Here! It’s time to start thinking about your holiday marketing. Luckily, if you’re a ServiceMonster customer, we don’t make you think too hard! Order online now. Our FillMySchedule program is fully automated, allowing you to complete direct mail marketing campaigns with a push of a button. All you need to do is approve […]

Tips N Chat Throwback #18: It Can Be a Van or a Coffin

This week’s featured Tips N Chat Throwback post is from an Ed Sez column written by Ed York and published in the July-August 1981 issue of Tips N Chat. Remember to check back every Thursday for a new throwback post!

For some unexplained reason, owners of cleaning firms are reluctant to report or talk about accidents that happen to them. It may be the fear of liability, but I suspect it is the fear of being talked about by their peers. This is most unfortunate as nothing should stand in the way of cleaning up any problems that lead to unsafe conditions.

I can never forget the story told by a Colorado SCT member about how he entered the business. He inherited it from his father, who in trying to clean a customer’s oily rug, used a flammable solvent in his shampooer. Standing in the middle, he turned on his wet-dry to finish it off. Our member’s mother tells about hearing a loud noise and then seeing her husband running off the burning carpet – a human torch. How horrible.

But is it any worse than a few years ago when I sold 24 “sniffers” to carpet cleaners who used propane? When installed, it would set off a buzzer if the propane developed a leak in the lines or was left open. The problem was that “carbon monoxide” also set it off. SEVENTEEN of the buyers demanded their money back because their’s didn’t work properly. It kept buzzing after every job for at least 30 minutes, even if they didn’t use the propane. There was no way they would accept the fact that it was dangerous for their employees to ride in the van with this amount of “carbon monoxide”. Recently during the Cal/OSHA test, we could only find one van that didn’t have a lethal amount of carbon monoxide present after the unit had run five minutes. This cleaner placed a blower behind the driver which cleared the collected bad air.

This occurred several months ago and I have yet to hear of one person adding this safety feature to their van. It does not require an expensive blower. Pep Boys has a caged fan with brackets for sale at $18.75, that could be hung from the roof of the van, and blow the fumes out the open door while the equipment is working. It is hard to believe a firm will pay from $15,000 to $20,000 for carbon monoxide-producing equipment, and not an additional $18.75 to protect their operators, or themselves. Forgetting the physical liability and only considering the possible financial liability is enough to scare me into action. 

Now I hear by the grapevine of another truck explosion. I have to consider it as non-confirmed because the principal won’t answer my calls, and others say they would rather not be quoted. According to hear-say, this cleaner had a propane powered truck mount unit in the back of a fiberglass body that replaced the pickup bed. Rather than have the propane tank on the outside, it was attached to the inside wall. Evidently, the bottle came loose and fell over. This ruptured the copper line, which allowed the fumes to reach the water heater’s pilot light. One source says that flames went 80 feet into the air. Evidently, the cab of the pickup saved the operator from being a fatality, but what if it had been in a van? Not only are there lots of carpet cleaners driving around with a liquid petroleum tank inside their van, but many of them leave the manufacturer or installer’s place of business with this temporary connection that becomes permanent.

Let me ask you carpet cleaners this question. “Why do you think safety is for the other guy? Wives, please tell me why your husbands insist upon taking chances? Children, why does your daddy tell you it’s not safe to play with matches or loaded guns? I don’t care what state you live in, there are ample places where you can have your van checked FREE of charge without worrying about getting a fine. If you know it’s safe, then why be scared to have it checked?

If you own the company, then it’s up to you. It’s your choice whether you want to work in a van or a coffin.

~ Ed York (1981)

Below is the original article. 

This week’s featured Tips N Chat Throwback post is from an Ed Sez column written by Ed York and published in the July-August 1981 issue of Tips N Chat. Remember to check back every Thursday for a new throwback post! For some unexplained reason, owners of cleaning firms are reluctant to report or talk about […]

Tips N Chat Throwback # 17: Your Service Is Worth the Price

This week’s featured Tips N Chat Throwback post is from one of Ed York’s Pied Piper columns published in the Third Quarter 1977 issue of Tips N Chat. Remember to check back every Thursday for a new throwback post!

June was a month of mixed emotions… A mailing to the south to 5,000 firms listed in last year’s yellow pages brought back over 1,200 marked “Moved, Address Unknown”. It is indeed a sad time when you think of so many dreams that probably became nightmares. These, for the most part, were good people; they did something wrong.

The SCT convention was exceptional and everyone attending had an excellent time, and reportedly gained much in knowledge and a better understanding of the business. This naturally was a good feeling. But, unfortunately, my mind was on good friends who couldn’t make the trip because they couldn’t get away from their business that long.

Some days were exceptional when we visited with those whose business was climbing every day. One bright experience was talking to a former furniture store owner, who several years ago, attended my 4/M class and was hot on price merchandising. Following the class and a year of SCT membership, he changed his operation to one of PRESTIGE. His shop was a testimonial to a good book operation. His office walls were decorated proudly with association material. He says he has doubled his prices and then some. He also says he is now booked a week ahead and has gained a reputation that unless you have a recommendation, his firm won’t even accept you for a client. His wife told Wanda that they had made more PROFIT the last year than the previous three put together. All they did was to seek direction and follow the advice of winners. Formerly he said, “maybe in your area it will work, but not in MINE”. Something caused him to change and say, “I’m just as good as the next man, and if he can do it, so can I”. He tried it. Not just once, but again and again, until it was his way. Carpet Cleaners have a hard time seeing it in their own profession, so let me tell you a story that happened here in Fresno to folks that I know.

Our former answering service had become lax. They used to give service, but they changed this to excuses. Our people investigated the others. One was high on three different reports. An interview with the owners was most pleasant. They were excited and determined to give the best service. I agreed to switch to their firm. I had expected to pay $35 to $45 per month. I was surprised to find that they only charged $22 per month. I figured it was a mistake, but the six months that followed proved the figure was correct. Our calls were never handled any better. They cared, they gave service, they were the best. Last month our phones were silent after-hours. The phone company had shut off our answering service’s equipment for lack of payment. The young couple had gone BROKE. I was stunned and called some of the other subscribers. They all agreed this firm was the best and also stated they would have been tickled to pay 50% more each month, rather than 50% less because of the great service they received. Pathetically, they were never given the opportunity. They naturally only paid what was asked.

~ Ed York (1977)

Below is the original article. 

This week’s featured Tips N Chat Throwback post is from one of Ed York’s Pied Piper columns published in the Third Quarter 1977 issue of Tips N Chat. Remember to check back every Thursday for a new throwback post! June was a month of mixed emotions… A mailing to the south to 5,000 firms listed in […]

The ServiceMonster Show (October 20th, 2018): New Video Editing Tools, UAMCC Convention, and Goodbye to Nina and Stephanie

THIS WEEK IN SOCIAL MEDIA

THIS WEEK IN SERVICEMONSTER

  • Come see us at the UAMCC event in Houston!
  • Saying goodbye to two of our favorite employees and costars.

SERVICEMONSTER PRODUCT UPDATES

  • 6.3.0.23 release notes!

THIS WEEK IN SOCIAL MEDIA A new simplified version of Adobe Premiere: https://www.theverge.com/2018/10/15/1… Amazon and Snapchat team up? https://www.falcon.io/insights-hub/in… THIS WEEK IN SERVICEMONSTER Come see us at the UAMCC event in Houston! Saying goodbye to two of our favorite employees and costars. SERVICEMONSTER PRODUCT UPDATES 6.3.0.23 release notes!

The Top 5 Scary Reasons You’re Not Using ServiceMonster

Having served the industry for over 15 years now, we’ve talked with a lot of carpet cleaners, window cleaners, pressure/power washers, and many other business owners along the way. Many decide to use ServiceMonster, but some do not. We have found that the vast majority of people who decide not to use ServiceMonster give us one of five common answers. Don’t get spooked by one of those answers!

We think that none of these reasons are actually obstacles, as we have designed ServiceMonster to help service businesses grow and become more efficient, no matter what “stage” they are in. Here are the top 5 answers we hear from the “No’s” and the “Not-Right-Now’s,” along with our response to each. 

1) “It’s too expensive.”

Is growing your business worth less than $80 per month? How about all of the time you’ll save by integrating your scheduling, billing, invoicing, and marketing? Even if $80 a month would put a strain on your budget, you can get ServiceMonster for FREE simply by referring one friend each month (credit will be given after friend has been with us for 45 days).

2) “We’re a small company and we don’t need help keeping organized.”

One question: how much of your time and attention does your current system require? With ServiceMonster, you can save a ton of time by automating all of your processes that would normally require paperwork. This makes tax season less stressful and frees up your after-hours life so you can focus on family, friends, and much-needed R&R. We also have a ton of owner/operator clients who swear by our FillMySchedule direct mail marketing service that sends out thank you and reminder cards to keep your clients coming back.

3) “I already use free programs (Google Calendar, etc.) that basically do the same thing.”

Does Google Calendar tell you what type of jobs earn you the most money, or what day of the week you are most likely to sell protectant? Does it give you the power to send out thank you cards at the click of a button? Yes, there are free programs that can help you handle the basics of running a business. The difference is that ServiceMonster empowers you to grow your business.

4) “Why pay a subscription for a software program? Shouldn’t I just have to pay for it once?”

Because our software is cloud-hosted with a secure server that automatically protects and backs up your data, we need to charge our subscribers monthly. We are also constantly working to improve our platform to help our clients grow. When we develop an upgrade to our system, it goes out to all of our subscribers at no additional cost. Plus, you get unlimited training and support from our dedicated staff who know the software and are always here to help! Also, we do not lock our clients into any kind of contract, so if you are ever unsatisfied or need to cut costs, you can turn your subscription off without any complications.

5) “We’ve heard great things about ServiceMonster. We’re just too busy right now to worry about learning a new program.”

We built ServiceMonster so it could be learned quickly by people who are not computer experts. The vast majority of our clients are comfortable using our platform after only two one-hour training sessions. For people who require a little more assistance when it comes to new software, our support staff is more than happy to help. Don’t let a busy schedule prevent you from making the decisions that will help you grow your business!

So, let’s recap:

Unlimited free support. Unlimited free training. Free lifetime upgrades. No annual contracts. Powerful tools to help you grow your business. Nothing scary!

What are you waiting for? Give us a call today at 888-901-3300 or click here to request a free demo!

Having served the industry for over 15 years now, we’ve talked with a lot of carpet cleaners, window cleaners, pressure/power washers, and many other business owners along the way. Many decide to use ServiceMonster, but some do not. We have found that the vast majority of people who decide not to use ServiceMonster give us […]