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 […]

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 […]

Tips N Chat Throwback #15: What Are the Possibilities Today?

This week’s featured Tips N Chat Throwback post is from an Ed Sez article published in the August 1972 issue of Western Cleaner & Launderer. Remember to check back every Thursday for a new throwback post!

What Are the Possibilities Today In the On-Premises Rug Cleaning?

By Ed York – Steam Services

It is an impossible task in the short time allotted to go into any detail on how you can diversify into the carpet cleaning field or what would be required to obtain the best results for your own personal operation. Therefore, I will limit myself to some general comments for your consideration. I know of many of your members who have made a successful diversification into this field, and I would be happy to provide those of you considering the move, their names so you can contact them individually.

From all reports, the dry cleaning field is experiencing some troubled waters. One of my accounts in Louisiana, who has a long established dry cleaning business, told me the wash and wear shirts forced him into the carpet cleaning business, and that polyester forced him into Steam Cleaning! Let’s take a brief look into the carpet industry. In 1964 the mills produced some 80 million square yards of new carpets. This year they will hit around 640 million yards. In 8 years they have advanced their annual production 800 percent.

Recently an executive from Bigelow carpet mill told a convention of maintenance contractors that less than 10 percent of the carpet laid today has been cleaned.

Who is going to clean these carpets? Prior to coming here today, I checked with Dun and Bradstreet, who reported only 2,800 listed in the United States and about 10 percent or 280 from California. In February of this year, I attended the 1972 Convention for AIDS International, the new name for the National Institute of Rug Cleaning. Registration was about 300. Their total membership is around 600. Their magazine called “Voice” is the trade magazine for the carpet cleaners and has a worldwide subscription list of about 2,500. Who is going to clean these carpets? Do you realize if every carpet cleaner in the nation worked their equipment and crews around the clock, without stopping, they couldn’t handle the task.

The population explosion hit our country after world war two and we saw what happens when one isn’t prepared for it. The carpet cleaning explosion is knocking on our front door. Once again, I ask who is going to clean these carpets? Unfortunately, it is not the rug cleaner of yesterday. He is still sitting in his big plant with the big investment wondering what happened to the loose rug business. He, for some unknown reason, refused to change with the times. While he insists on a jet plane to travel in, he continues with a horse and buggy operation. Most of the small firms only know one thing — how to say they can do it cheaper. Today’s carpet owners are demanding professionals.

A few years ago it was rugs, now it is carpets, wall to wall. Yesterday’s rugs were predominately cotton and wool. Now they are made from new synthetic fibers that require new methods of cleaning. Yesterday’s carpet cleaning was mostly a physical process, but with today’s modern on-location equipment science plays a most important part. We now have chemicals that help do the job. This means we need qualified, trained operators with stain and spot removal know-how.

Two weeks ago I spoke on the value of clinics to a group of the leading maintenance contractors representing the biggest and best in the western states. I gave them a sample test, covering minor items. One of the questions was concerning the pH scale. The low and high reading plus what was neutral. Which side was acid and is most soil acid or alkaline. Only three of those attending knew that 7 was neutral. No one could answer 0 to 14, or that acid was on the low side, or that most soil is on the acid side.

Once again I ask who is going to clean these carpets? Frankly, I don’t know for sure at this time. I do know that those carpet cleaners that have taken the time to become truly professionals in the last couple of years are all enjoying great success. I earnestly believe tomorrow’s carpet cleaners will come from the dry cleaning field.

Why do I say this? It’s simple. You men have the know-how. You know spot and stain removal. You already have the base of operation needed for an on-location carpet cleaning operation. You have the phones. You have the bookkeeper, you have the office staff, and most important you have the management. Most of these carpets will be cleaned during the summer months. This is your slump season. As a licensed dry cleaner you can qualify for contract to hire and train new employees to handle your carpet cleaning, and the government will pay to do this.

You have a ready-made customer list. You see these customers all year long. You already have the reputation for spot and stain removal. Many costs such as liability insurance, business licenses, and display signs are already provided. Who is going to clean these carpets? The professional. The firm that features quality and carpet know-how. The firm that looks and conducts his operation as a professional. Of all the service trades known today, there is no one more prepared and more able to enter this market, that is ready to bust at the seams, than those of you here today — The Professional Dry Cleaner.

~ Ed York (1972)

Below is the original article.

This week’s featured Tips N Chat Throwback post is from an Ed Sez article published in the August 1972 issue of Western Cleaner & Launderer. Remember to check back every Thursday for a new throwback post! What Are the Possibilities Today In the On-Premises Rug Cleaning? By Ed York – Steam Services It is an […]

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 #12: “Recession Blues”

This week’s featured Tips N Chat Throwback post is a guest editorial written by Michael Thompson regarding economic issues and how carpet cleaners are affected. It was featured in the January/February 1983 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!

 A recent article by Michael Thompson, Marketing Director for Hydra-Master, in his company’s newsletter was so profound. I felt it deserved repeating. It is published as a Guest Editorial, with thanks to Mike. 

RECESSION BLUES 

The economic downturn we are experiencing is having a devastating effect on many professional carpet cleaners throughout the country. Reports are constantly coming in of areas in which carpet cleaners are suffering decreases in business of 50% and more. Regional trade show attendance reflects these losses in sharply curtailed turnouts–cleaners simply do not have the money to spend on travel and lodging this year. Direct mail campaigns to carpet cleaners by suppliers are experiencing record returns of mail out pieces marked “correspondent unknown-undeliverable”– a further indication of the decline in carpet cleaners. A telephone solicitation of carpet cleaners listed in the yellow pages – many with 1/2 page ads – produces a response from operators that the number called is “disconnected” or “out of service”. Trade publications also reflect the malaise or demise syndrome affecting carpet cleaners– classified ads in these trade journals point out the surrender of many of the industry’s “finest.” What the hell has happened to our industry?

I believe that many cleaners have forgotten their “roots.” When they first began in carpet cleaning, they didn’t run a half-page yellow page ad and wait for the phone to ring – they couldn’t afford it. In most cases, they began their cleaning career as many a life insurance salesman began his sales career — first, they sold their family and friends. From there, they contacted acquaintances and neighbors and before long, they had a steady stream of jobs because THEY ASKED FOR THE JOB! Later, as business grew, there came a day when they had a full schedule booked a week or so ahead and had to turn business away. From that point, our carpet cleaner had generally all the business he could handle. He began to be able to advertise in the Yellow pages and gradually increased his ad to a half page at great monthly expense. That done, he became complacent and turned his attention to the myriad duties of managing a growing and increasingly complicated service business.

Then the recession hit and suddenly the telephone stopped it’s incessant ringing. Instead of having three trucks head out in the morning with full schedules, it dropped to two and then one. Perplexed, our hero sat in his office and grumbled about how bad business was. Meanwhile, across town, FBN (fly by night) Carpet and Upholstery cleaning were steaming ahead at full tilt doing business as usual (“your entire home carpeting cleaned for only $14.95 — steam method”). Aware of this, our hero grumbles about the competition being “rip off artists” and “bait and switchers”, all of which may or may not be true. The important question is: Are they getting the business because of their low price? Our hero says “yes” and that he can’t compete because of his overhead costs – incurred while trying to run a “quality” cleaning business. I say “no”, the price is not the reason.

The reason is plainly and simply that FBN Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning gets the business because they ASK FOR THE JOB! Day in and day out they run ads in the PENNYSAVER, the TV booklet in Sunday’s paper, and in the local papers. They also, in most cases, run a “boiler room” telephone solicitation campaign calling homes all over their city ASKING FOR THE JOB! “Disgraceful” our hero grumbles, “unethical,” his colleagues say–“high-pressure tactics” they chorus. In many areas, they exclude each “schlock operators” from their cleaning associations — depriving themselves of the opportunity to learn from these successful people. In the mean-time, the public sees only one side of the carpet cleaning business — the low price, cut-rate, discount-oriented, cut and run carpet cleaners. Is it any wonder carpet cleaning is unfavorably compared with scam businesses?

I think not – but what can be done? The answer should be as clear as the nose on your face: START ASKING FOR THE JOB! You need not set up an expensive “boiler room” operation in order to begin telephone soliciting. If your wife works with you in your business and has a good “phone voice”, she can begin your program by contacting customers you have done work for in the past. Once they have all been contacted, obtain a “criss-cross” directory, (listings by street rather than name) and begin calling homes near your existing customers; when you contact these people, you can mention that one of their neighbors is a satisfied customer of yours. When this source of leads is exhausted, I suggest you begin calling people listed in the “criss-cross” directory as living in upper-income areas. The reason for this is that they are more able to afford (and need) your services. From there, you can move to middle-income groups, etc. I strongly suggest you follow up your calls with a direct mail postcard to the person contacted confirming your conversation and thanking them for their time in talking to you. THIS SHOULD BE DONE WHETHER OR NOT YOU GET AN ORDER.

In addition to phone solicitation, there are several things you can do to stir up business. ADVERTISE — run as large a space ad as you can afford in your local paper. Accentuate quality work, length of time in business in the area, any specialty service you offer, a small free gift with every estimate or whatever else you feel will attract a response. Stay away from price — you’ll lose every time in a price war with the $19.95’ers. PROMOTE — contact women’s clubs, senior citizens clubs (offer them a senior citizen discount), garden clubs, etc., and offer to speak to them about carpet and upholstery cleaning. Explain why they need your service, your methods, etc. This is an excellent source of new business. COLD CALL SALES — call on commercial accounts — find out what their cleaning problems are and then figure out how to solve them — you’ll get the job.

The foregoing suggestions are only a few of the things you can do to get your business going again—you can come up with many more if you’ll reflect on your past successes for a moment or two. The main thing is to get going NOW, not tomorrow or next week. The sooner you do, the sooner the “recession” will be over for you.

The original article is pictured below:

This week’s featured Tips N Chat Throwback post is a guest editorial written by Michael Thompson regarding economic issues and how carpet cleaners are affected. It was featured in the January/February 1983 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 […]

Tips N Chat Throwback #9: “KASH”

This week’s featured Tips N Chat Throwback post comes from a column called “The Pied Piper”, written by Ed York about the importance of hard work, and an interesting acronym called “KASH”. It was featured in the Second Quarter 1976 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!

To the best of my knowledge there are only three ways to obtain money, and that is: inherit it, steal it, and work for it. Most of us will never have a chance to inherit it, and if we could steal it, we wouldn’t, so that leaves only one option — WORK for it.

Unfortunately, for the carpet cleaning industry, most of the participants entered the field under a misimpression. They were told they could make a lot of money without working as hard as when they were just employees. Guess that makes us carpet cleaners just about the most gullible bunch of yokels in the country, cause we sure fell for it.

In the past we were able to get away with sliding by. No one really expected a carpet cleaner to make much money or be able to join the country club anyway. Now along come some real energetic souls who are not hamstrung by tradition, and they are re-writing the business. They are making PROFIT while racking up solid customers. They plan on a real future. No, it’s not easy. They are WORKING.

Most carpet cleaning firm owners have the mistaken idea that they must sweat to work. Pathetically, many firms are held back because the owner, in trying to be a good guy and do what’s right with his business and family, works the jobs. They are trying to save the price of labor. For the most part, however, the reason why the majority of owners who work their own jobs do it, is that they are not willing to extend the effort needed to assure success. It’s easier to pull the tool and wait for the phone to ring.

Managing an on-location carpet cleaning firm requires a lot more work than pulling a tool or man-handling a scrubber. Every unit should have at least SEVEN employees to insure its potential. Ask any owner who doesn’t have this many “why?”, and he will admit it takes too much energy to keep 7 people busy. It’s EASIER to let the prospect call and cop out for a cheaper price over the phone, and then go out and do the job for wages.

An old time Insurance Agent told me back in the post “big war” days, that every person was working for an item called KASH. Was a wise old man, even if he couldn’t spell. Anyway, he said to have lots of KASH, it required 4 ingredients in the proper proportions. Said it was all in the word KASH… K equaled 5% KNOWLEDGE, A was for 5% ABILITY, S included 5% SALESMANSHIP, and the balance or 85% stood for HARD WORK.

The important point is, make sure the work you’re doing is necessary work… necessary work to insure a profit. The owner’s job is not doing the job, but coordinating the skills of the employees to keep the firms equipment WORKING. Any time your carpet cleaning unit is off-duty more than it is employed, it means the BOSS isn’t working. How about you, Mr. Employer, did you really work last week?

~ Ed York (1976)

The original article is pictured below:

This week’s featured Tips N Chat Throwback post comes from a column called “The Pied Piper”, written by Ed York about the importance of hard work, and an interesting acronym called “KASH”. It was featured in the Second Quarter 1976 issue of Tips N Chat, the “magazine published for the benefit and enjoyment of on-location carpet […]

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 #6: “Unusual Advertising His Specialty”

This week’s featured Tips N Chat Throwback post highlights a carpet cleaner named Dave Nofs and his unusual methods of advertising his business. This article was written by Megan H. Wagner in the March/April 1979 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!

“Dave Nofs: Unusual Advertising His Specialty”

by Megan H. Wagner

“Getting your name in front of the people is the name of the game,” says Dave Nofs of Nofs Carpet Care in St. Petersburg, FL. Nofs has been experimenting with various methods of getting, and keeping, his name in front of consumers.

“Promotional items and ‘giveaways’ are amazing things to get into,” Nofs believes, and he has reason to think so. “I got to talking with a friend in specialty advertising, and started picking through his catalogs, picking out different things and attention getters.” Nofs found many, many unique items sure to attract attention through their novelty. 

But Nofs realized the importance of keeping track of the effectiveness of the promotional items he experiments with. He keeps records of the cost, distribution, and return on all novelties he uses for advertising purposes.

“Many of these items are very reasonable,” he says, “costing around ten to thirteen cents a piece. They go all the way up to five to eight dollars each, too. There’s a wide variety and I’ve found it’s helpful to discuss what might be beneficial for your area, your business, and your objectives,” he relates.

The most effective items Nofs has used are, he informs us, small magnets designed to be placed on refrigerators and cabinets in the home. Printed with his name and phone number, these magnets are, he explains, “always there in front of the customer.” The magnets have proven to be extremely popular, and Nofs reports seeing them all over town. 

“The magnets really have helped my business tremendously,” Nofs emphasizes. “Also, small wallet-sized calendars have been effective.” Nofs distributes these calendars to customers and to realtors in the area, who provide a good source of referrals. “My wife is in real estate,” he notes, “and that helps give me an ‘in’ with her company and others.”

Most important, the magnets and calendars are used by customers and are kept handy. This means that Nofs’ name is always at hand. “We do a lot of work in condominiums here in Florida, and often a neighbor will visit a friend and say, ‘Your carpets look so terrific, where did you get them cleaned?’ and our customer doesn’t have to search for our name. It’s right there on her refrigerator door.” Also, in the condominiums, Nofs has found that his giveaways, particularly the magnets, “mushroomed.” He finds them in places he has never distributed them, and in the condominiums, “our business just spreads,” he says.

Coupon keepers, checkbook-size holders that fold over with two pockets and designed to keep coupons handy, were not popular says Nofs, and he had only minimal success with them in his area. Phone directories have had a mixed response, on the other hand.

“In one condominium that I distributed phone directories, I haven’t received one call. In another, where the directories have been out since last September, I’ve received three calls in the past week, and closed all the jobs,” Nofs relates. “Those three jobs paid for the cost of using that form of advertising.”

Aside from the promotional items that Nofs uses to advertise his business, he also distributes flyers around town, making a mailing list from the engagement and wedding announcements in the Sunday section of the local newspaper. “The announcements give you names and addresses of potential new customers who will be establishing homes,” says Nofs. 

For the professional cleaner who wants to develop unique methods of advertising, Nofs suggests consulting with specialty advertising companies. A look through the catalogs will introduce you to many novel items, and a discussion with the specialty advertiser should help to formulate ideas of which items might be effective for your needs and customers.

 

The original article is pictured below:

This week’s featured Tips N Chat Throwback post highlights a carpet cleaner named Dave Nofs and his unusual methods of advertising his business. This article was written by Megan H. Wagner in the March/April 1979 issue of Tips N Chat, the “magazine published for the benefit and enjoyment of on-location carpet cleaners”. Remember to check back every […]

Two Easy Ways to Build a Great Website

Chances are, you’ve heard or seen us talking about how important a professional website is to your service business. Again, we can’t stress that enough. A quality website serves as an online brochure for your business, allowing prospective customers to find you and learn about your service without even having to contact you. Fortunately, building a great website is easier than ever and is increasingly more affordable. Even if you already have a website, it may be time for an update. Let’s go through a few different website builder options, so you can see what’s out there and decide which is best for you.

First, you’ll need to pick the hosting platform. WordPress, Wix, Squarespace, and Weebly are all great options, but each has its own limitations. In an effort to keep things simple, we’ll focus on WordPress and Wix, since these two can handle anything you will need for your service business (and they don’t require any coding experience!).

Wix

Wix is fantastic. It has never been easier to create a stunning, highly-functional website than it is with Wix. With their drag-and-drop page builder, great preset themes, and in-depth customization options, you really can’t go wrong with Wix. If you don’t have the time or the patience to craft your own website, their themes are a great way to go too. With a theme, you can just plug in your information and photos and have a quality website in no time. If you want to change a few things on a theme, that’s easy too. And, if you want to start from scratch, go right ahead. Wix has you covered.

WordPress

WordPress is a totally different beast. They do not have the great drag-and-drop page builder that Wix has. However, with WordPress, your customization is nearly limitless, with the ability to install third-party plugins for your website creation. These plugins are essentially just little mini tools that can function to help you build certain parts of your site, provide security functionality, and do tons of other complicated things that most of us don’t even need to worry about. WordPress also has many popular page builder plugins that function similarly to Wix’s built-in tools, which is why WordPress is able to compete with Wix.

The best of these page builder tools for WordPress is called Elementor. With the free version, you can create and customize any webpage that you would need, in an easy to learn and reliable format. The Pro version offers a ton more functionality and gives you the ability to create every aspect of your website from scratch, not just individual pages. Elementor truly is a great product, and partnered with the near-limitless possibilities of WordPress, is a worthy competitor to Wix.

The Conclusion

Essentially, WordPress and Wix do the same thing and one isn’t necessarily better than the other. However, in the context of a service professional needing a good reliable website, the simplest option may be the best. Wix is definitely the simplest option and will give you everything that you need for your business. If you want to get really deep into your website design though, WordPress is worth looking into, especially if you plan on using your website for more than just a simple brochure highlighting your services, reviews, prices, and contact info. If you do want to keep it that simple though, give Wix a try. Each platform is affordable for hosting your own site, and each one is very reputable, so you won’t have to worry about security and stability.

We could keep going, since there are so many other options out there, and so much more to explain about WordPress and Wix. For the time being, we’ll stop here and give you a chance to explore these two great options on your own. If you want to learn about other services, check out this article from PC Mag.

Until next time!

Chances are, you’ve heard or seen us talking about how important a professional website is to your service business. Again, we can’t stress that enough. A quality website serves as an online brochure for your business, allowing prospective customers to find you and learn about your service without even having to contact you. Fortunately, building […]