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 […]

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 […]

Tough Stuff: Planning for the Future of Your Business

We’ve talked about those first steps to getting off the truck, and we’ve talked about “Hell’s Valley” (that time when you have just a few employees). But what about when you’re past those points and actually have grown a large, successful business? What does the future hold? Have you thought about retirement? Do you have a plan for the future of your business?

We haven’t covered this much, mostly because many of you haven’t reached that one-to-two million dollar mark yet (keyword, YET!). That’s the size of business that we’re really talking about here, but this situation can apply to any size service business. With that in mind, have you looked at succession? Or selling? Or part-time retirement? Really what it comes down to is, have you focused on building a sustainable business that can ultimately function the same without you?

Charles Schwab and Steve Jobs are great examples of this. Here are two guys who built massive companies, but when they left things began to fall apart. They both had to come back to their businesses because they didn’t “install” within the company the core culture of their leadership. Yeah, they were great leaders (in their own ways), but they had to be physically there for things to stay on track. They didn’t realize that they had essentially failed to pass along their leadership skills and expectations to the people taking over.

For you, the service professional who has built a profitable business with 20 or so employees, you’re likely already in a managerial position or even onto the entrepreneurial visionary position. You’re no longer a technician (unless there’s a rare occasion where you want to be). At this point, you’re focused on figuring out the future of the business that you love. Hopefully, your employees are doing things the way you want them to be done, with only minor corrections here and there.

What so many business owners don’t realize at this point, is that their leadership is still just as important as ever, even if they aren’t directly managing all of the employees or even the day-to-day operations anymore. The business can’t function if it’s “headless”, so you must make sure that the business will not be headless when you leave.

You can leave and put someone else in charge of the operations, while you still collect dividends, or you can retire part-time and show up occasionally to help with the guidance of the business. For those less interested in staying involved in some way, you can set the business up to be sold. So, how do you approach these situations?

Read the books “Good to Great” and “Built to Last” by Jim Collins. These books will give you the proper mindset for the next steps. One of the key points that Collins brings up is the concept of “level 5 leadership”.

What does that mean? Well, Collins starts out with level one leadership, which is your typical example-based leadership style. This person does the same work as the people under them. It’s easy to get stuck at this level, and many business owners actually enjoy doing those basic tasks. You can’t grow a successful business at this level of leadership though. Do the CEO’s of Google and Microsoft go around doing rudimentary tasks? No, they don’t. The business as a whole relies on them to do things far beyond that.

We’ll skip ahead to level 5, but to learn more about levels 2, 3 and 4, either read the book or check out the video at the bottom of this post. A level 5 leader is someone who has an immeasurable amount of humility and steadfast resolve. They’re able to get stuff done not just because people love them or want to follow them, but because they don’t accept anything else. They make sure to hire the right people for the right jobs. Yeah, this is a lot harder than it sounds!

What all of this really comes down to is… it’s all about YOU, the business owner. Can you self-reflect? Can you take criticism? Can you look for mentors or coaches who will look you in the face and tell you the hard truth? Ultimately, can you set aside your ego? Maybe you aren’t the person who can single-handedly take your business to where you want to go.

So, who can you trust in your business without question? If the answer is nobody, then you need to start looking for people that you can put around yourself to help build you up. It’s not easy and it takes time, especially to build that trust, but it’s a journey that you have to get started on as soon as possible if you want to get where you’re going and you know that you can’t do it alone.

You have a few options with succession planning. You can keep on doing the business until you die, and then the business will just implode. Or, you can keep going until you retire and then let the business implode. However, neither of those are doing anybody any favors. Have you thought about finding someone to replace you? Someone who you not only trust but someone who is fully capable of running the business with you not there? Or, setting up your business so that you can sell it to an investor? Most people these days don’t want to buy a business and have to do all of the work still. They’re looking for an investment. They’re looking for a business that has been carefully structured in a way where people are in place to run it, and all that’s needed from the owner is occasional feedback or guidance.

Three things to wrap this up:

  1. Start planning early. Set goals, put things in place, and start really learning how to see those signs that aspects of your business are still too reliant on you individually.
  2. The biggest change you’re going to make during this process is you. Your mindset. Your ambition. Your perspective.
  3. Self-criticism. Are you able to look at yourself in the mirror and see the shortcomings that you have and work on them? Your personal shortcomings shouldn’t be the limiting factor when you’re headed towards your goals. Look for people to supplement your qualities.

For those interested in hearing more, check out this video below.

We’ve talked about those first steps to getting off the truck, and we’ve talked about “Hell’s Valley” (that time when you have just a few employees). But what about when you’re past those points and actually have grown a large, successful business? What does the future hold? Have you thought about retirement? Do you have […]

The Best Way to Get New Clients

The situation: You have some extra cash saved up to do some new marketing for your business. It’s not a lot, but you want to use it in the most effective way possible to get new clients.

The solution: Well, there’s not just one solution to this situation. There are several options to explore.

First of all, as a service business, you have to get the mindset right. Before you do anything else, make sure that your company mindset includes marketing as a primary function.  The work that you physically do in your business (i.e. carpet cleaning, pressure washing, etc.), must be tied to the mindset that you are also a brand-building company. Some say running marketing campaigns here and there will work just fine, but that is actually the least effective approach you can take. Consistency and dedication are key.

Something to remember: When you’re not servicing clients, you should be servicing your business. This means that any extra money and extra time you have should be poured back into marketing efforts to get new clients. 

Cost-effective methods for getting new clients:

  • Cold calling. This may not work well for getting commercial accounts, and for residential prospects, you have to be aware of that pesky “do not call” list. Still, this method is virtually free as long as you have the time.
  • Door-to-door. Knocking on people’s doors can work, but also may annoy some people. Alternatively, leaving flyers or hand-outs is a great way to unintrusively get people’s attention at their home. This method is also effective when you have recently done work in a neighborhood, and you want to use that as an opportunity to let your customers neighbors know who you are.
  • Does your truck/van have lettering on it? Go out for a drive. This is an easy way to increase your brand presence in your area. Something as simple as going to the store can expose your brand image and name to tens, if not hundreds, of potential new customers. The more they see you out and about, the more likely they are to remember you when they need your service. If you don’t have any lettering or logos on your van, then seriously consider getting that done!

Most effective (albeit, not the cheapest) methods:

Every door direct mail (EDDM): Be careful not to carpet bomb the largest client base that you can. You want to focus on smaller segments of your area, such as specific neighborhoods where you haven’t done much business in, or a more affluent area where you know you can upsell more effectively. The goal with EDDM is to send a mail advertisement of some sort to the people in your target market 3 to 4 times in a 3 month period. This can be supplemented by cold calling and emailing (if you’re able to get people’s phone numbers and email addresses in a legitimate way). The more ways you can get your company name in front of them, the more likely they are to call you when they need a service that you offer.

Five-arounds: This is a classic method and is quite simple and easy to do. Write down the addresses of the two houses next to the one you cleaned, and the three houses across the street. Then, you can market to these specific people with messaging talking about how you did work for their neighbor. This method allows you to build a solid prospect list, but does take more time and may not have the highest response rate (for ServiceMonster users, SendJim integration is a great way to quickly get this done).

The big suggestion: Facebook ads. Our strategy here is a 4-step plan that is simple to follow, and easy to learn.

  • Step 1: Take your email list of your current clients and upload those to the Facebook Ad Manager. From this, you can create an audience. You can now target those people with specific ad campaigns.
  • Step 2: Starting out, you want to get them to like your page and engage with your content on Facebook. They key here is to stay top-of-mind with your current customers, without annoying or overloading them with ads.
  • Step 3: Target that customer audience with ads encouraging referrals and reminding them of the services you offer. This is a good time to introduce a special offer for repeat customers.
  • Step 4: Build lookalike audiences. Basing new audiences off of your original customer list allows you to target similar people with ads for your business, increasing the number of people who know about your business and what you offer.

Facebook marketing takes time to get right but is an incredibly cost-effective method with potentially huge results. Interested in learning more about how to maximize your ROI through Facebook? Check out our free guide here!

Now, where to start? Taking control of your brand’s marketing is not always easy. It’s totally normal to feel slightly overwhelmed with all of the possibilities, so below we have listed the three main takeaways from this post. If you can focus on these three things, you’ll be just fine:

1 – Get your mindset right. You’re building a brand. You can’t just get some cash, throw it at some random marketing campaign, and grow a thriving business. Be intentional and be consistent with your marketing strategy. 

2 – Pay attention to the small ways you can turn your free time into leads. Don’t be lazy. You’re running a business.

3 – Facebook. This will give you the best ROI. Other options, such as EDDM, fliers, mailers, cold calls, and seasonal opportunities such as sponsoring a little league team, all serve as great supplementary methods to your Facebook advertising. 

Interested in learning more? Check out the video below!

The situation: You have some extra cash saved up to do some new marketing for your business. It’s not a lot, but you want to use it in the most effective way possible to get new clients. The solution: Well, there’s not just one solution to this situation. There are several options to explore. First […]

Tips N Chat Throwback #10: Does It Pay to Advertise Your Business Image?

This week’s featured Tips N Chat Throwback post is an article written by Cathey Manning about the benefits of advertising your business image. It was featured in the January 1978 issue of Tips N Chat, the “magazine published for the benefit and enjoyment of on-location carpet cleaners”. Remember to check back every Thursday for a new throwback post!

Does It Pay to Advertise Your Business Image?

By Cathey Manning

What does it mean to advertise your business image? Product advertising has long been accepted as a major sales tool. Many studies have been conducted over the years by advertisers and their agencies to determine the effect of product advertising. Until recently, though, little research has been done in the area of corporate image advertising. Major oil companies, steel manufacturers, and life insurance companies are only a few of the types of corporations that have ventured forth in this area. 

A study was recently prepared by Yankelovich, Skelly and White, Inc., for Time magazine on the effectiveness of corporate advertising. The objective was to determine if the advertisements created a favorable attitude toward the corporation, its products, and stock value. Five companies who are currently doing corporate advertising were compared with five who are not. The group of people who were questioned consisted of upscale business executives in both large and small corporations with an annual income of $25,000 or more.

At the conclusion of almost 200 personal interviews the data suggested that of the companies that did advertise their business image, there was a greater recall of their ads and a higher familiarity with their logos. For these advertisers there was a 22% higher familiarity with the company and a 34% higher overall impression of the company. Several favorable attitudes found associated with the corporate advertisers were the quality of their products; the competence of their managements; and the soundness of their financial situation. 

What does this mean to you as an advertiser in the cleaning field? With competition at an all-time high it is important to clearly evaluate your advertising situation. A rock-bottom price can be a selling point, but if you have an established company with trained operators, trying to outbid the fly-by-night company across town can be frustrating. Better equipment is another selling point, but as more and more companies offer a variety of cleaning facilities, this can also be a minor point. Service is one area where you can be different if your company’s name is synonymous with quality work; competent personnel; and a business that stands behind its work.

The local carpet cleaner with one truck-mount and a few operators doesn’t have a lot in common with IBM except where advertising is concerned. The problem is to find the most effective way to reach the public with the company name. One way to consider, as shown productive by the above study, is to advertise the business image; to advertise the high standard of professionalism of the company. A concept that has proven effective for Texaco and U.S. Steel can also be a concept that works for you!

The original article is pictured below:

This week’s featured Tips N Chat Throwback post is an article written by Cathey Manning about the benefits of advertising your business image. It was featured in the January 1978 issue of Tips N Chat, the “magazine published for the benefit and enjoyment of on-location carpet cleaners”. Remember to check back every Thursday for a new […]

Using Instagram for Your Service Business

Instagram: Beautiful nature photos, your friend’s dog, and… oh wait, what’s that? A super clean before-and-after picture of a freshly cleaned carpet? Or how about that super satisfying pressure washing video showing a sidewalk being cleaned? Your service business, whether it fits into either of those two industries or not, is a potential goldmine of quick content. If you have a smartphone, in just a few seconds you can record a quick video of your work-in-progress job and post it directly to your Instagram Story (more on this later). What about when you finish a job? If you have a customer who is willing, record a quick testimonial with your phone and post it with a quote. The possibilities are wide open for a service business, but the key is to create content that is engaging.

First things first: Make sure your company’s Instagram page is a business page. Do this by going into your settings on the Instagram app, then selecting “Switch to Business Profile”. Boom! There you go. This will allow you to categorize your business, include your contact info and website, and run promotions.

Using Instagram’s “Story” Feature

Instagram Stories have become the go-to documentation method for its users. When this feature was first introduced, it seemed to be just a rip-off of SnapChat’s Story feature. However, very quickly users realized that now they were able to quickly communicate something to their followers on Instagram, essentially giving them dual functionality within the app. Now, Stories are a huge part of how businesses, celebrities, and the everyday person quickly connect with their followers.

For a service business, it’s a little more complicated since in most cases you probably don’t already have a large following (or any, if you’re new to Instagram). As was already mentioned, the key really is to create content that is engaging. This means that it’s either visually appealing, relevant to your followers, shares an experience, or any combination of these. With specific regard to Stories, try to create content that is immediately engaging to the viewer, and keep it short. For example, a quick photo or video explaining a promotion you’re running, or a one or two sentence customer testimonial, could work very well on your Story. Anything that’s “interesting” looking is worth posting. Anything that is funny or comedic in any way is worth posting. Regularly posting on your story and keeping your followers engaged is the first step, and with repetition comes better content.

One fun thing to mess around with is the camera settings on your phone. You can do slow-mo, time lapse, panorama, and on some phones even take professional-looking portraits with a depth effect. USE THESE. A before-and-after photo of a job on your Instagram Story is fine, but what about a time-lapse showing (for example) the carpet in one room being cleaned from start to finish? That kind of content is more visually appealing and makes great content for your Story. Set your phone on a shelf or a chair, press record on the time lapse, and once you’re done with the job you have a cool video that can even be used for a lot more than just an Instagram Story.

One last thing about Stories to keep in mind: They only last for 24 hours, unless you add them to a highlight folder. Stories are perfect for time-sensitive announcements and things that aren’t really important in the long run, but for more serious posts that you want to be seen by more people, consider using a regular post.

Regular Posting on Instagram

Now for your regular page posts, this is where the content needs to be more thought out. You can use the same type of content as on your story, but the format is different and these posts tend to be seen and interacted with way more. Also, the video length can be up to 60 seconds for a regular post, which allows you to post longer clips. For starting out, we recommend a few different types of posts: Before and after photos and videos, “meet the team” style posts featuring your employees (and yourself, of course!), and testimonial photos or videos. Depending on the type of service business you have, local-oriented posts can also be utilized to show your connection to the community. This would include, for example, any youth sports teams you sponsor, volunteer work that you or your crew does, and participation in any sort of local charitable events.

The overall goal with your Instagram posts is to document what your business does and who you are as a company. If someone scrolls through your posts and just sees photo after photo of cleaned carpets, they won’t be engaged and won’t care as much. But if they see those cleaned carpets, along with short introduction posts about each of your technicians, photos of your crew participating in a local event together, and occasional testimonials from others in your community, suddenly they’ll be a lot more engaged and be able to make a fair judgment about who you are as a business. This will increase the likelihood that they will want you to do a job for them, and gives you the ability to stay connected with past customers! One way to think of Instagram is as a sales tool that combines new leads and repeat customers. You’re going to be reaching both types of people, so make sure your content actually appeals to both!

Advertising on Instagram

Instagram advertising is generally done through Facebook, which is by far the best approach. Linking your Facebook and Instagram accounts allows you to run ads on both platforms very easily, or choose different versions of ads for each platform. However, if you want to run ads just through Instagram, that can also be done through the app itself. When you select any of your posts, beneath the picture or video you will see a bar that says “View Insights” on the left, and then a button that says “Promote” on the right. Clicking that “Promote” button will start the process of boosting your post.

First, you want to select where to send people. Generally, this would be your website or a page where they can learn more about your services and easily contact you. Next, you select your target audience, which can be either an automatically-generated list from Instagram, or you can select specific people and locations to target. This is very useful if you want to run a certain promotion in a specific area or want to gather leads by targeting new individuals. The last step is to set your budget and duration of the campaign. Our suggestion is to start small (around $5 per day) and see what kind of results you get. That’s it! Instagram makes it very quick and easy to advertise on their platform, so don’t hesitate to use it to grow your business.

That’s it for today! We hope this overview of how to use Instagram for your service business has been helpful and informative. If you have any specific questions about how to use Instagram, or needs tips/advice, feel free to email marketing@servicemonster.net and we will get back to you. Like always, we’re more than happy to help with whatever you need!

Until next time!

(follow us on Instagram here!)

 

Instagram: Beautiful nature photos, your friend’s dog, and… oh wait, what’s that? A super clean before-and-after picture of a freshly cleaned carpet? Or how about that super satisfying pressure washing video showing a sidewalk being cleaned? Your service business, whether it fits into either of those two industries or not, is a potential goldmine of […]

Recap: ServiceMonster Business Symposium 2018

Our first business symposium was a massive success! Bringing together like-minded entrepreneurs and business owners from various service industries, the symposium provided an open and honest platform for sharing issues and helping each other grow. Relationships were formed, much was learned, and we all had fun!

We know that many of our customers were unable to make it this year, so we wanted to give a quick overview of what we did at the symposium. Stay tuned for more videos from the symposium, but in the meantime check out our recap flyby video: 

 

To see more of what we did at the symposium, see the recap below. Enjoy!

Day One

Day one started off with a light breakfast at Hotel Bellwether, the beautiful waterfront hotel where we hosted the symposium. Unfortunately, heavy smoke from wildfires obscured the usually stunning view out of our conference room of the San Juan Islands.

As guests arrived, conversations sprang up all around the room.

Joe opened up the symposium with an overview of what to expect over the course of the next two days. He also introduced the first guest speaker, J Young, of Northwest Professional Services.

J gave an inspiring presentation about his own story and how ServiceMonster has helped him grow his business. Going beyond that, he also focused on other tools that have helped streamline his business processes, including Slack, which you can see on the screen behind him. If you want to know more about J, check out this testimonial video we did with him a while back!

A big chunk of the first day was split up between two activities. The first, tours of the ServiceMonster headquarters led by Joe. The second, a series of deep dives into different aspects of the ServiceMonster software itself. During this time, Joe also spent time with each group discussing the ins and outs of their businesses and offering his own advice, while encouraging fellow guests to relate their own experiences. This proved to be a very impactful time for the guests, with some hard truths being realized. 

After arriving at our office, guests were shown around our FillMySchedule mail room, our developer area, and the main office where SuperAgents, support, and sales are all located.

Joe showing the tour group where we film The ServiceMonster Show and #AskServiceMonster, while discussing our own marketing and content strategies. 

As the tour group continued through our offices, Amy and Dawn (our support and SuperAgents managers) took time to chat with some of the guests.

Javi and Annette show users the depth of the leads and sales tools built into ServiceMonster 6 during one of the deep dive sessions.

Joe and Keith Kalfas taking a selfie before leaving the office.

Day Two

Keith Kalfas was our second guest speaker, and his Marketing ROI talk left many of the other guests inspired and encouraged to start making videos and creating content of their own.

Following Keith’s talk, our videographer, Justin, led a workshop on video creation, editing, and best practices. 

Guests look on as we film a live episode of #AskServiceMonster. That video can be seen here!

Our final deep dive discussion gave the whole group a chance to discuss any remaining questions or business issues. 

After a SuperAgents presentation and the Senior Staff Panel Q&A, Joe closed out the symposium with his last speech focused on the future of ServiceMonster, and how we’re continually sharpening our focus on helping small business owners grow their service business. 

He concluded with a very fitting quote by Martin Luther King, Jr:

“Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable… Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.”

That’s it for this year’s ServiceMonster Business Symposium! Be on the lookout for several videos that we will be releasing featuring content from the symposium. Included in those videos will be testimonials from guests who attended this year. We hope this was a good quick overview of what the symposium was like, and we’re already looking forward to meeting more of you next year!

Our first business symposium was a massive success! Bringing together like-minded entrepreneurs and business owners from various service industries, the symposium provided an open and honest platform for sharing issues and helping each other grow. Relationships were formed, much was learned, and we all had fun! We know that many of our customers were unable […]

Tips N Chat Throwback #8: Advertising… Keep It Clean

This week’s featured Tips N Chat Throwback post is an open letter to all carpet cleaners regarding advertising practices. This ran in the First Quarter 1977 issue of Tips N Chat, the “magazine published for the benefit and enjoyment of on-location carpet cleaners”. Remember to check back every Thursday for a new throwback post!

OPEN LETTER TO ALL CARPET CLEANERS:

Advertising… Keep It Clean

 The accompanying article about a carpet and upholstery cleaning business accused of false advertising and unfair business competition brought to our attention the need for the professional carpet cleaner to build a good name and standing for his profession.

Professional carpet cleaners need to beware of following “bait and switch” advertising factions who toss around fraudulent statements just to catch the eye of the consumers. If a carpet cleaner advertises to clean a carpet for $8.00, then he should charge only $8.00. If he really wants $20.00 for the job, then he should advertise the fee as $20.00.

The type of false advertising referred to in the news article has been discussed and discouraged by the Carpet Cleaning Trade Association Council. Similarly, representatives of various major trade associations are encouraging their members to advertise legitimate prices for legitimate jobs.

Unfortunately, the people who fail to practice good advertising tactics are, for the most part, business people who aren’t members of professional groups. Evidently, they don’t realize the trouble they cause for others.

Ed York, Executive Director of SCT, in a special message to SCT members encourages them to take a copy of this article “Carpet Cleaning Firm Accused of False Advertising” to their local newspapers and business associations to make it clear that their own advertising will not follow the accused carpet cleaner’s example, but will be completely honest and above-board. As mentioned before, the professional carpet cleaner must do everything he can to promote a good name and honest relationship with the consumers.

Transcribed below is the aforementioned newspaper article:

Carpet Cleaning Firm Accused of False Advertising

Santa Ana – The District Attorney’s Office Thursday filed a consumer fraud lawsuit against a Santa Ana carpet and upholstery cleaning business, alleging false advertising and unfair business competition.

Named as defendant in the civil action filed in Superior Court was Ben Timmons, doing business as Carpet Masters.

According to the complaint, Carpet Masters falsely advertised that the firm would clean a carpet for $8 when the minimum charge actually was $20, and that the firm would clean the carpeting in a house for $29.95, when actually this price applied only to a one-bedroom residence.

The lawsuit seeks $2,500 in civil penalties for each violation of state laws and an injunction prohibiting future violations or any price advertising not accompanied by clear descriptions of any conditions or limitations. 

~ Ed York (1977)

The original article is pictured below:

This week’s featured Tips N Chat Throwback post is an open letter to all carpet cleaners regarding advertising practices. This ran in the First Quarter 1977 issue of Tips N Chat, the “magazine published for the benefit and enjoyment of on-location carpet cleaners”. Remember to check back every Thursday for a new throwback post! OPEN LETTER […]

The ServiceMonster Show (August 17, 2018): Google 1, Target Audiences, and SM Updates!

THIS WEEK IN SOCIAL MEDIA

THIS WEEK IN SERVICEMONSTER

  • The ServiceMonster Symposium was a success!
  • Super Agents are full! Again!

SERVICEMONSTER PRODUCT UPDATES

  • Technician 1.1.1
  • 6.2.9 is coming soon

THIS WEEK IN SOCIAL MEDIA Google Introduces ‘Google 1’: https://techcrunch.com/2018/08/15/goo… Having trouble connecting with your target audience? https://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2018… And new tools for Instagram: https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news… THIS WEEK IN SERVICEMONSTER The ServiceMonster Symposium was a success! Super Agents are full! Again! SERVICEMONSTER PRODUCT UPDATES Technician 1.1.1 6.2.9 is coming soon

Tips N Chat Throwback #7: “People Pleasers”

This week’s featured Tips N Chat Throwback post is a short article written by Ed York in his column titled ‘The Pied Piper’. This ran in the Fourth Quarter 1975 issue of Tips N Chat, the “magazine published for the benefit and enjoyment of on-location carpet cleaners”. Remember to check back every Thursday for a new throwback post!

During the past seven years my main function has been to teach those interested to be better carpet cleaners. I have traveled by boat, car, horseback, and airplane to deliver improved carpet cleaning techniques to anyone who would listen. Whether you call it preaching, teaching, or plain old shouting, the message has always been clear; we must become better “Carpet Cleaners”. While I knew I was right, I also felt something was wrong. Some of my best students (or copiers) were having a hard time trying to earn a good living. Some of those who listened enjoyed a nice growth in volume and profit, but others remained where they were. I was convinced it wasn’t the area. All territories have more dirty carpets than the total carpet cleaning profession could possibly clean. 

Recently, while chatting with an Illinois Dry Cleaner who was diversifying into Carpet Cleaning, my “student” made a comment that unlocked the doors for me. He answered the question of what was wrong with our industry. He revealed to me the reason 86% of all homes in the U.S. have dirty carpets. The answer is simple. My friend said, “I’m not trying to teach my workers to be carpet cleaners, but PEOPLE PLEASERS.”

What does it matter, business-wise, if you do the best carpet cleaning job ever done on Mrs. X’s carpets, if she isn’t really PLEASED. It would be better for her and the carpet cleaner, if she had received a slightly less-than-perfect carpet cleaning job and had been REALLY pleased. While PRIDE may arouse some quarrel with this observation, I will assure the doubters that a PLEASED customer will have her carpets re-cleaned much sooner than the one who only has clean carpets. She will also tell others about this fantastic PEOPLE PLEASING firm.

Guess I’m too old to change my ego, pride, or devotion to the carpet cleaning industry and stop trying to share whatever knowledge I obtain with others on how to do a better job, but from now on my message is going to be slanted. We not only need better “carpet cleaners”, we also need better PEOPLE PLEASERS.

~ Ed York (1975)

The original article is pictured below:

This week’s featured Tips N Chat Throwback post is a short article written by Ed York in his column titled ‘The Pied Piper’. This ran in the Fourth Quarter 1975 issue of Tips N Chat, the “magazine published for the benefit and enjoyment of on-location carpet cleaners”. Remember to check back every Thursday for a new […]