Friday, December 14, 2018

NEW IDEAS

New IdeasWho knows for sure if new ideas will work until you’ve tried them?

As owners, we have developed methods and procedures that have worked for us. Naturally, when we hire a new employee for our Carpet Cleaning Company we work to instill these methods and procedures in them. Obviously, they have worked well for us and hopefully helped us to achieve goals of success and profitability.

But sometimes we put “blinders” on when trying to achieve our goals. These “blinders” may prevent us from being open to new ideas. You can teach people the best way you know how; but keep an open mind if they occasionally offer a new idea for doing something. It’s possibly a way to improve your services and certainly a way of keeping imaginative and capable people happy working with you.

Sometimes it costs too much, the risk is too great and the possible gain is too small to do something differently. That’s when you have to use your judgment and rely on your experience. However, be careful not to use your judgment of something as an excuse to be negative. The more new ideas you evaluate the more good ones you will discover and you will receive. Many of the procedures we practice today are from input from our employees.

An open-minded owner stimulates people; a close minded person does just the opposite. Sometimes it pays to try people’s ideas just for the sake of encouraging them to think.

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Friday, December 07, 2018

Remember Pearl Harbor

That was the battle cry of WW II. President Roosevelt (FDR) said, “Sunday, December 7, 1941, a day that will live in infamy”. Not many are alive who remember that fateful morning when the attack took place on our Pacific Fleet as it lay at anchor. Those who were there will never forget and others will never forget it or where they were when they heard the news.

As we commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack, a thought comes to mind. Will “Remember Pearl Harbor”, “Remember the Maine” and “Remember the Alamo” become forgotten or irrelevant? Not because those that were there or were aware of it are gone. But because they have been relegated to the back pages of History books that are routinely ignored by many schools? Will 9/11 and other recent terrorists events someday join them?

Unfortunately, there has been a tremendous cost in the loss of lives in these tragic events. Thank God for our brave troops and first responders who have been involved in them. In this land of plenty and freedoms, with all our problems, people still yearn to come to live here. But remember “Freedom is not free”.

 

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Friday, November 30, 2018

CHARACTER-INTELLIGENCE-EXPERIENCE

How important are these factors in hiring good employees for our Carpet Cleaning Company? We listed them in what we feel is the order of importance.

Let’s look at them in reverse order.

Many employers look for experience. In the past we have found that experience is the least important. Our Company prides itself on the methods we promote in our service business. If a potential employee has worked for another Carpet Cleaner, then they may possess habits and techniques that run opposite of what we promote.

Intelligence is sometimes over emphasized. We do not need a rocket scientist to clean carpet. What we do need is someone with the ability to learn and comprehend and follow instructions. A bright person will quickly gain experience.

Last but not least is character. We find that this is the most important element of all. There are several reasons. But the main one is that this person is going to be at your customers’ premises. Many times there will be no one there other than them. Everyone we hire is bonded; this in itself is a background check. Also, since we carry full insurance coverage, our insurance carrier will run an employee’s drivers license through the Bureau of Motor Vehicles.

The people we need most are those with the character to promote and practice “The Bane-Clene® Way”, the intelligence to learn and therefore gain experience.

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Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Thanksgiving Day

ThanksgivingThanksgiving is truly a special day. It was first celebrated in 1621 when the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag Native Americans shared a fall harvest. In 1863, President Lincoln proclaimed a national day of thanksgiving to be celebrated each year on the fourth Thursday of November.

Thanksgiving Day is more than memories, food, football and parades. It is a day of thanks. On this day, we are reminded of the bounty of treasures that are a part of our everyday lives.

We spend a few, often too brief, moments in prayer or meditation before dinner to say thanks for our family, friends and the wonderfulness of our lives. The true meaning of Thanksgiving should not end there. Ponder the two words that are involved: thanks and giving. We should therefore be reminded to give thanks and to share. Take the time to share our economic benefits, material wealth and talents with those who can use our help.

Once again as you sit down to dinner, ponder the true meaning of Thanksgiving.

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Friday, November 16, 2018

FAULTS

We all like to think of ourselves as fair, compassionate and understanding people. But the fact is that we all have faults; no one is perfect. What is important is that we recognize our faults and work to correct them. A corrected fault can be used to your advantage.

For example, your employees may be reluctant to question you for fear that you will hold a grudge. Holding a grudge is negative and will have adverse effects on your Company. If a smart owner has to criticize someone for an error the employee made, they make a point to then assuage the situation as quickly as possible. This shows that the owner is firm but reasonable. This also reassures the employee that their talents are appreciated and that they are still a valuable member of the team.

It’s an owner’s priority to get things out in the open, talk them over, then help people forget them. Once again, it benefits no one to hold grudges. They are petty and can affect work relationships. They are bad for the employee, the owner and ultimately the Company.

It is a fault easily corrected.

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Friday, November 09, 2018

ENVY

Don't be green with envyAre you envious of someone or something? Do you know people who are envious? Many people may envy you as the owner of a Carpet Cleaning Company. It possibly might be your employees, your vendors or even your customers.

The envy of course stems from the perceived rewards; however, they may not understand the problems or responsibilities that also go along with this position of ownership.

An owner’s success, and therefore the Company’s ultimate success, depends on how well an owner handles these problems. The person who concentrates on the easy part of the job and avoids the tougher part is not doing their job.

Not only must an owner deal with potential problems, some of which will be unpleasant, they must keep an even keel in the process. Otherwise, they will become unpleasant to work with; perhaps, they will even drive employees, vendors or customers away.

So what do you do? Do what you can; that’s all anyone can do. Try not to constantly stew or worry. People can compound their problems and increase tension by worrying about multiple problems at one time. What you want to do is pick your most critical problem. Then give it all your attention and do something about it. You may not solve the problem completely but at least you have done all you can and come to some type of resolution. Then you can pick another problem and go to work on it.

Once again, the best way is to take up each problem one at a time. Then just do the best you can, move on and don’t worry. You don’t want to be the one with envy.

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Friday, November 02, 2018

TELL THEM WHY

When you ask your employees to do something, be sure to tell them why. It is well worth the time and effort and it also gives your request more importance.

It’s very easy to fall into the habit of simply telling people to perform tasks without explanation. While it seems like the quickest and easiest way, it is rarely the best way. When you ask an employee to do something, take the time to tell them why you want it done and the purpose of the task.

Explaining why you want something done automatically removes the curse of “bossiness”.

“Requests” come across as being much more logical and reasonable, if put as such as opposed to an “order”.

When you tell them why, you also lessen the chance of error. Employees who understand why they are doing something are less apt to make a mistake. Also, if the situation changes, they are more apt to ask questions or seek direction because they understand what was originally to be accomplished.

When you tell them why, you in effect are complimenting them by showing them the task is important enough that they fully understand the situation. This shows you respect them and appreciate their ability to fully carry out your request.

Granted, there are times when the request is so obvious that it probably does not need further explanation. Or it is a task that your employee has carried out before and done well. Finally, there are also times of emergency when people have to be told what to do quickly.

But the general rule still stands. When you ask something to be done, tell them why.

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Friday, October 26, 2018

How To Motivate People

How to motivate employeesHow do you motivate people to produce and to do a better job? The answer is to fulfill these five basic needs.

“Economic Security”. Employees should feel their time and effort will be fairly rewarded.

“Emotional Security”. As an owner or manager of a Carpet Cleaning Company you must create a climate in which your employees trust you. They must feel that their jobs contribute to the goal of having a successful and ultimately profitable company.

“Recognition”. Your employees need to feel that if they work hard and are good at their jobs, they will be appreciated and praised.

“Self Expression”. Your employees should be encouraged to communicate their ideas, make suggestions, mention concerns and in general express their opinions. They should be able to do this without fear of retribution by you or their fellow employees.

“Self Respect”. All of your employees are part of the aforementioned goal of making the Company successful and profitable. Even though those parts make a whole, each one should be treated as an individual and be respected.

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Friday, October 19, 2018

LATENESS AND ABSENTEEISM

These are two things that plague any industry. However, in a small business like a Carpet Cleaning Company, they can be catastrophic. If anybody ever comes up with a solution for these, they would make a fortune.

With the right dispatching skills, it’s fairly easy to schedule work efficiently when everyone shows up. But, when people are unexpectedly late or absent, adjustments have to be made at the last minute. These last minute changes may be inefficient and therefore costly.

There is of course no permanent solution. Lateness and absenteeism will unfortunately always be with us. Nevertheless, there are steps an owner or manager can take to minimize the problem.

It is important that all your employees understand the problems that lateness and absenteeism create. This may seem as an obvious statement, but many people believe that it is nobody’s business but their own. They must be made to see that their actions affect the entire company, that they are part of the Team. When they are late or absent they are letting a Team down.

It’s important whether it is the owner or a manager scheduling the crews that they themselves be on time. If those in charge of the crews keep regular and prompt hours, then this instills in your employees that same sense of dedication to the Team. You can not preach one thing and then practice another.

Also, take more time to show appreciation for the work your employees do. Show them how much the Team counts on them. People who feel needed and wanted and know that their presence on the job is important are less apt to be late or absent.

If excessive lateness and absenteeism continue, then you have to ask yourself some questions. Have you made the job too boring? Has the job lost its challenge? If you feel these may the reasons, then you must find a way to remedy the situation. However, sometimes the problem is not with the job but with the employee. At that point, you must decide if you can salvage the employee or is it best to let them go? Unfortunately, if the employee is not able to be salvaged, they will affect the rest of your Team while you decide what you will do. As harsh as it seems, do not wait too long because the longer a “bad apple” is working for you the greater chance of them spoiling your entire Team.

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Friday, October 12, 2018

ANGRY CUSTOMERS


The first thing you or your employees should remember in dealing with an angry customer, is don’t take it personally. If the complaint is taken personally, it may tend to make the matter worse. Therefore, you should just listen and keep your personal feelings out of it.

The second thing is to not argue or contradict, regardless if you are right or wrong. Just be a concerned, interested and sympathetic listener. Angry people are difficult to reason with until they have gotten everything out of their system. So let them! Once they are done venting, they will feel better. Then, you can start to talk things over rationally.

If you and your company are wrong, then admit it promptly and set out to make amends and fix the situation. If you feel the customer is wrong, be careful! Don’t take it upon yourself to tell them so. People don’t like to be wrong especially after they have been on a rant.

Just discuss the matter calmly until your customer hopefully begins to see that you were not entirely at fault. At that point, step in and do not let them take all the blame even if they deserve it. This is good for future relations and if they really end up feeling bad about the situation, they may not do business with you again because they are too embarrassed. Try to think of something you can do that will show how understanding you are, something that will restore feelings of goodwill toward you and your company.

What's the point in winning arguments and losing customers?

It’s always a temptation, of course, to tell angry customers to take their business elsewhere.

But it’s much more satisfying and profitable to get your customer over to your side.

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Friday, October 05, 2018

INTEREST AND ATTENTION

Interest and attention are just as important to people as grease and oil are to a machine. Without it, they don’t run smoothly, never perform efficiently and are prone to break downs.

Your employees are people with certain specific functions to perform. They are hired to do a job. But unlike machines, they are people and have feelings and emotions. As owners of a Carpet Cleaning Company, we need to recognize this and show that in our attitudes and actions. Doing this will help you receive a higher performance and better job from your people.

We as an owner don’t wish to seen just as a jobholder whose sole existence is to perform certain tasks. Then the same can be said about your employees. If you want to receive wholehearted and eager cooperation form those who work for you, then it is wise to recognize this important fact. People like to know you have interest in them and that you will pay attention to them.

Under the pressures and the problems of every day business we tend to ignore people, because we are too busy. The better way is to concentrate on your people and keep them in the mood to accomplish things.

It doesn’t pay to be so busy that you lose touch with your people. Good owners (managers) always find time to engage their people and show interest in them. If they have problems, listen to them, keep an open mind to any ideas they may present. It isn’t just a good thing to do, it is vital for the success of your company.

You want a relationship with your people that lets them know they can talk to you and get problems off their mind. Whether it's personal or a business related matter, it’s important that they can talk to you. Either type of issue can impair their attitude and their ability to do their job. They’ll feel better and work better, once they talk about it.

Make yourself available, be interested in them and pay attention.

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Friday, September 28, 2018

A SENSE OF URGENCY

A common response to the question of “what it takes to succeed” is the same as “what it takes to get started”.

It is “a sense of urgency about getting things done”.

People who make things move share this sense of urgency. If you don’t have it now, you need to start developing it. No matter how intelligent or competent you are, if you are complacent, then you will not get things accomplished. If you continually put things off, you will soon be left behind. In other words, another cleaner will get that big commercial account that you kept putting off to call back.

As an owner of a successful Carpet Cleaning Company, you need to possess the ability to communicate this “sense of urgency” to your employees without haranguing them or being unpleasant about it. The preferred method is by checking on your employees progress and being quick to help in any way you can.

Some people, even though they are extremely able, are slow movers. You may have to help them get started; by doing so, you are creating the “sense of urgency” for them. Be sure to compliment them when they take that start and finish the designated task in a timely and efficient manner.

Some employees react quickly, enjoy getting things done promptly and like to beat the “clock”. When you have people like that, be sure you aren’t the bottleneck. Respond to them quickly, don’t let them get frustrated by waiting for your decisions, slow-moving procedures or unnecessary red tape. Make it your job to clear any roadblocks out of their way.

Be interested and stay interested from start to finish. Always have “a sense of urgency”.

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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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