Friday, September 21, 2018

MOTIVATING FACTORS

It has been stated that one of the greatest failures in supervision is attempting to use the same motivating factors for all employees. As an owner of a Carpet Cleaning business, we need to figure out what makes our employees tick. The simple fact is that all people do not want the same things. Therefore, they are not all moved by the same incentives and rewards.

If you hire someone who is single and ambitious, they may be more interested in status as opposed to money.

An employee with children has concerns for them and his or her family, so, therefore, money may be their motivating factor.

Others may be interested in promotion possibilities, while to others promotion may be the last thing on their mind.

The ultimate goal for any company is success and our employees play a large part in making that happen. Therefore, we should structure our motivation to individual needs whenever possible.

In this way, people will respond more readily, work harder and derive much more satisfaction from their jobs.

We believe that satisfying work is the ultimate motivating factor for an employee. Without that, they are more apt to be dissatisfied and you will suffer more personnel turnover.

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Friday, September 14, 2018

BE FRIENDLY

All things being equal, a friendly, likable boss is always more persuasive than one who isn’t.

Having a good natured approach to people and problems will make your job easier. However, so often we forget to use it.

Why?

One reason is that under the pressure of business, we sometimes think about our own feelings and problems and forget about others.

Another reason is that some of us feel we have to be gruff in order to appear firm and decisive, so that things get done. That isn’t so.

You can be just as firm and decisive by being friendly as you can by being unfriendly. Once people have learned that you mean what you say and that you follow through, then they will follow your directives.

Most successful owners (bosses) are approachable and easy to talk to and rarely become overexcited or fly off the handle. They also avoid letting a few problems poison their overall outlook. They always try to take a friendly, pleasant approach. Finally, they will show consideration for the feelings of the people who work for them.

When it comes to working with people, there are few things that can’t be accomplished with a pleasant and friendly approach.

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Friday, September 07, 2018

TROUBLEMAKERS

If there is one thing that hurts a Carpet Cleaning Company, it is a troublemaker. Some people are tough to satisfy. No matter how much you work with them, they are continually being stubborn and uncooperative. The ideal way to prevent a troublemaker is to avoid hiring them in the first place. However, in the job interview they come across as being well suited for the job. So you hire them.

Sometimes, people who are unhappy with their lot in life take out all their tensions and frustrations on the job. You must let them know that their attitude and or actions are not appreciated and will not be tolerated. If they continue to be more of a hindrance than a help, then it is time for them to be terminated.

But, before you do that, make sure you are not taking the easy way out. The reason they act the way they do could be dissatisfaction with the work, the pay, their fellow employees or their personal progress. If any of these are legitimate issues, then the employee should be encouraged to discuss them. This way you can try to resolve the situation.

Has this person been given adequate credit and personal recognition for the job they are doing? We all like to feel needed and important, some more than others.

It’s not always easy to recognize the reason they are like they are. However, as good owners, we must strive to salvage these people.We need to have a willingness to talk to them and listen, to observe what disturbs them and to read between the lines of what they say and do. That is the best way to decide whether you can help this person improve or whether it’s best to end their employment with your company.

When it is all said and done, if you invest the time, some of these people do eventually find themselves and prove to be model employees.

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Friday, August 31, 2018

Labor Day

Labor Day is September 4th. It is a federal holiday which honors the American worker, who has added to the prosperity and well being of our country. Certainly, we as Carpet Cleaners fit into this classification.

In 1887, Oregon became the first state to make Labor Day an official public holiday. By the time it became an official federal holiday in 1894, thirty states officially celebrated it.

Labor Day has been labeled the “unofficial end of summer” because it marks the end of the cultural summer season. It is traditional for parades and picnics to be held in communities all across the country. Many fall activities also begin at this time.

During the Labor Day weekend, the NCAA usually play their first football games. The NFL traditionally plays their kickoff game the Thursday after Labor Day. The Southern 500 NASCAR auto race is held at Darlington Raceway in Darlington, South Carolina. At Indianapolis Raceway Park, the NHRA hold their finals for the U.S. National Drag races. It is also the middle point between weeks one and two of the U.S. Open Tennis Championships held in Flushing Meadow, NY.

Once again there are a plethora of National, State and Local activities that take place Labor Day Weekend.

Wherever you are, whoever you are with, take time to acknowledge yourselves and the hard work you do and the fact that our small businesses are the backbone of our country.

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Friday, August 24, 2018

LACK OF ENTHUSIASM

There are times when our enthusiasm seems to wane and we are losing our drive and energy.

It can happen to the best of us and usually does at one time or another.

It is a potentially dangerous time and one that can happen before we know it. As owners of a successful Carpet Cleaning Company we need to work to prevent this from happening.

How do we do this, here are some ideas that will help:

  1. Be receptive of new ideas. Newness often means change which many of us at first resist. Do not resist change, embrace it.
  2. Keep on learning. Never stop keeping up with the growing body of knowledge about your field. One way to accomplish this is by attending the Bane-Clene® Institute. Even if you have been before it never hurts to attend a refresher course. Read, learn - keep up to date.
  3. Capture your insights. Too many of us have good ideas, then ignore or forget them. The essence of creative thinking is the flash of insight. Such insights are often priceless and open up entirely new opportunities.
  4. Think, question, be curious about problems. Every business has them don’t run away from them. Think them through to a logical conclusion.

If we are uncertain about things, we may have problems. However, people with an open mind and enthusiasm, will continue to search for solutions to those problems.

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Friday, August 17, 2018

TEST OF A GOOD OWNER

A true test of your Carpet Cleaning Company is how jobs will be done when you are not on the truck. In order to grow the company, every owner must eventually get off the truck. Hiring, advertising and calling on potential clients requires time off the truck.

In order to accomplish this, you have to hire high quality technicians. The way people work when the owner is not on the job reflects the difference between average and superior management and the results that are produced.

Successful owners strive to build a company that is superior. Your goal is to hire a technician with a willingness to be more than a carpet cleaner. Training should include courteous driving habits, good communication skills and the ability to “Plus Sell” without being pushy.

This is when the skill of the owner comes into play. You train your people to do a better job but you don’t do it for them. You are training them how to think and react on the job. You want them to be able to handle problems or other situations. You want them to have confidence so that when you are not on the job, they will know what to do.

While it may seem flattering if your people think you’re indispensable; ultimately, it is counterproductive to the growth of your company. If you train them properly and allow them to expand their responsibilities; then, your business will be on the path to success.

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Friday, August 10, 2018

PROMISES

Promises are easy to make; however, sometimes they are harder to keep. Unfortunately, it’s easy to make quick promises because it is so easy to do. We may use a promise of a raise to motivate a Carpet Cleaning Technician. You may tell a Carpet Cleaning customer that you can do their cleaning on a particular day and time. That is the easy part. Eventually, the time will come when it is time to deliver. That is when the difficulties may arise.

Actually, there is nothing wrong with making promises; providing you follow a few simple precautions:

  1. How sure are you that you can fulfill what you promised?
  2. Do you honestly intend to keep your promise?
  3. Are you careful not to mislead your employees or customers?
  4. Do you make a practice of making good on your promises?
  5. ALWAYS under-promise and over-deliver!

Bottom line is, if you make promises, keep them. If there is even the slightest possibility you cannot follow through; then, do not promise. Being reliable and trustworthy is important to the customers you work for and your employees and will allow them to respect you.

Owners who win respect are the ones who deliver more than they promise, not the ones who promise more than they can deliver.

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Friday, August 03, 2018

PERSUASION

Persuading others is a good part of the owner’s or manager’s responsibilities in a Carpet Cleaning Company. The key in this is the art of persuasion; not fostering an argument.

The job will be made easier and more effective if you practice these basic principals:

  1. Personalize your presentation. Adapt your presentation to the personalities of the people with whom you are talking. Make sure they will relate to your words. Keep it simple and direct.
  2. Make it clear. We know what we are thinking and presume that others know what we are talking about. If you are talking to a Carpet Cleaning Technician about increasing “Plus Sales”, be sure they know which products fall under that category. As an example, “Carpet Protectors” as opposed to inclusive products like “Traffic Lane Spotters”.
  3. Reinforce your points. Back up what you are saying with facts and figures. Present an example to your Technician that for every $100.00 in “Plus Sales” they sell, they will make “X” number of dollars for themselves.
  4. Anticipate objections. They may say “I try but the customers don’t want to spend more money”. Try to imagine this and other objections before you talk to them and prepare answers for these objections.

Depending
on your ability to persuade, you may or may not be successful in your first
endeavor. However just as you want to persuade your employees, you may need
to persuade yourself to try again. A successful business owner knows this.

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Friday, July 27, 2018

TEAMWORK

Owners of a Carpet Cleaning business should put an emphasis on teamwork.

We do well to remember that success comes from listening to all viewpoints and establishing a spirit of cooperation. Here are some ideas:

Stress team goals: Make sure everyone knows what the Company is trying to accomplish and exactly how each employee can work to achieve that goal.

Tie individual success to the Company goals: Emphasize each person’s contribution to the success of the Company. If they understand that if they succeed, the company succeeds and the reverse is then true.

Emphasize cooperation: Point out specifically how your employees can help one another. Let them know that how well they cooperate is an important measure of their job.

Give credit for the Company’s success: Let everyone know how much you appreciate their efforts.

Most employees want to belong and to be part of the action. Treating them as an important part of your Company will only encourage them to work harder.

Company meetings provide an opportunity to improve teamwork and you should encourage your employees to speak freely. Doing so will help clear up any misunderstandings and therefore help prevent problems.

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Friday, July 20, 2018

LEADERS

We must accept the fact that much of the work in the Carpet Cleaning business is routine and repetitive. Therefore, as owners (leaders) and or managers, we must challenge our people with assignments that utilize their talents and abilities. This is the way we keep them interested and motivated.

When we first hire Carpet Cleaning Technicians, they usually start out as “helpers” moving furniture and tabbing it, keeping the hoses properly placed and “grooming” the carpet after cleaning and Carpet Protector has been applied. Then, as they become more proficient in those tasks, the goal is to expand their capabilities. Cleaning carpet is the next step, followed by furniture cleaning. If you offer other services like Wood floor care and Stone and Grout cleaning, training for those may come before fabric care.

As good leaders, we want people to think about how to do things better. If there is a job related problem, a good leader will ask their employees for their opinion and then listen when they express them. A good leader will share responsibilities also, to the point that their employees show they can handle them. This way, they help their employees grow and expand their abilities.

This is the way as an owner (leader) we will keep our employees happy and challenged. Unchallenged people are bored and therefore they will not be as productive.

If you are after good results, a good leader cannot ignore these facts.

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Friday, July 13, 2018

FRIDAY THE 13th

Today is Friday the 13th, which is considered an unlucky day in Western superstition. The fear of the number 13 has been given a scientific name: triskaidekaphobia; and the fear of the specific fear of Friday the 13th is called paraskevidekatriaphobia. Obviously, both of those words are a mouth full and would be worth a ton of points in Scrabble®.

The superstition has many possible origins; one such is from early Christianity. However, there are no specific references of Friday the 13th until the Middle Ages. This superstition impacts our society in many ways.

Socially: It is estimated that over 20 million people in the United States are affected by a fear of this day. Many of these people will then avoid their daily routines, which may include doing business, social events, traveling or possibly not even getting out of bed.

Business: This is an “unlucky” day for business; 100’s of millions of dollars are lost worldwide because people fear doing their normal or any business.

So, what is the point of all this? We feel that you cannot fear or feel unlucky about operating your Carpet Cleaning business. Sure you don’t want to take unnecessary or foolish risks, but you cannot be afraid to go about your business. Your Carpet Cleaning customers depend on you, your cleaning technicians as do all our employees depend on you and you should depend on yourself.

So, instead of hiding in your office or worse yet under the covers. Cold call on a new Cleaning prospect or contact an existing customer who has not had your services for sometime. Discuss with them the advantages of your Truck Mounted Equipment and the applications you have for Carpet Protectors, Deodorizers, Spot and Stain removal, etc.

Heck, you could even offer a 13% discount.

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Friday, July 06, 2018

PROFITS

There are those that say the purpose of a business is to produce goods or services and provide jobs. Certainly so. But the reason any business is started in the first place is to make a profit. Thus, if it does not make a profit, it will ultimately go out of business.

One of the important keys to good ownership is to keep everyone connected with your organization focused on this fact. Profits go to the profit-minded.

Some people have trouble seeing how their jobs are related to profits. They may feel their job is not all that important, so it does not really matter. That is further from the truth.

The fact is that everyone who works for a Company affect profits, through good work or bad, being careful or wasteful with time and material, being present or absent, late or early, thinking of better ways to do their work or just coasting. Everyone’s performance is the sum total of their actions and ultimately contributes to a business’ potential profit or possible loss.

How do you convey to your employees that their overall performance is essential to the success of your business and its profits?

First, by being constantly profit-minded yourself.

Second, by constantly explaining the relationship of everything you or they do to profits.

Third, by recognizing and praising their cooperation in this endeavor.

The message is clear and can be conveyed. When it is, the results will be obvious. It will improve the operation and therefore the profits of a company.

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Friday, June 29, 2018

MORE EFFICIENT

The unfortunate fact is that most business operations could be handled better and more efficiently than they are. Your company may be one of them.

Why do we feel this way? Because we don’t know of any business including our own that operates at maximum efficiency day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year. Realistically, it is not possible. People relax, get complacent, even lackadaisical. As long as a company is making money and things are going well we tend not to worry. We may stop looking for better and more efficient ways to do things. If little inefficiencies start working their way in and they are not major, no one may notice or become worried.

If these inefficiencies do become major, then the Company stops making as much money. In the interim, people may lose their job, the Company may lose a large contract or worse yet, if these inefficiencies go completely unchecked, then the Company may fail. Companies need to wake up and reorganize and prioritize their efforts before this happens.

A successful owner soon learns that they can not sit back and take it easy no matter how well things seem to be going. If you don’t think of better ways of doing things, your competition will. You have to constantly keep selling yourself and your people on the concept of being more efficient.

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Friday, June 22, 2018

THOUGHTS

It is said that thousands of thoughts pass through our minds every day. Most unfortunately are soon forgotten. A few of those we wish we could retain. When those too slip away, we berate ourselves for not being able to remember.

Improving one’s memory is not all that difficult. Most of us simply don’t take the time or effort required. Try these simple self help exercises:

  1. Remember to Remember. Tell yourself that you want to remember this or that fact and concentrating on it will improve your memory immediately. We remember what we want to remember.
  2. Sharpen Your Observation. Pay close attention to what you see and hear. Use images. Listen closely. Shut your eyes and try to see it. Pay attention to details; really look and observe. Few people do.
  3. Practice Recall. Unfortunately, forgetting is most rapid after learning. It helps to make a deliberate effort to repeat and review immediately. Repetition will help fix the fact or image in our minds.
  4. Concentrate. Eliminate distractions and focus. The mind is at its best when it is centered on one thing at a time. Avoid such things as fatigue, noise and other visual images during the time you are trying to learn.

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