Friday, March 24, 2017

Asphalt Spot & Stain Removal

Asphalt coating may be walked onto the carpet (and even onto hard surface flooring) from driveways and parking lots and turn the surface “yellow”. Since this is being tracked in from the outside, it is most noticeable near the entry areas. This is most common after re-paving or sealing.

The problem is more prominent on blue or gray carpet.

If not removed when fresh, this staining is nearly impossible to completely remove. Methods to remove may include strong solvent spotters, which if over used may cause delamination of the carpeting. EXTREME care should be used. Also, possible delamination should be explained to the customer and noted in a signed waiver.

Please refer to the Bane-Clene® Professional Spotting guide at www.baneclene.com under the “For Professionals” tab for the procedures to tackle this and other stain and spot removal problems.

Related information on the Bane-Clene web site:

Thank you for reading Bane’s Blog®.

Please read the latest issue of the Clene-Times® at www.baneclene.com/clenetimes.html.

Please visit our new and improved web site at www.baneclene.com.

The Bane-Clene® Team.

Friday, March 17, 2017

The Bold Get Rewards

A man was feeding a flock of ducks on a creek bank. There were well over 100 of them waiting to be fed.

The man poured a couple of small piles of corn near the waters’ edge. He then poured a couple of larger piles further away from the waters’ edge. The ducks got excited and quacked and swam back and forth but did not come ashore. He stood there observing and the ducks continued to make noise. After a while, a few bold ducks came ashore and picked at the corn at the edge of the water.

After that was gone, those same ducks moved to the main piles of corn and ate most of it. Meanwhile, the majority of the ducks stayed in the water and continued to make a lot of noise. Eventually, they came ashore and picked at the what was left.

The moral is simple, those that are bold and move forward will get the majority of the rewards. Those that wait and just make noise until the coast is clear get what’s left, which won’t be much.

Related information on the Bane-Clene web site:

Thank you for reading Bane's Blog®.

Please read the latest issue of the Clene-Times® at www.baneclene.com/clenetimes.html.

Please visit our new and improved web site at www.baneclene.com.

The Bane-Clene® Team.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Furniture Cleaning Codes

There have been multiple articles written about Furniture Cleaning Codes. They are cussed and discussed at Bane-Clene Institute®. The bottom line, while they may seem helpful, they are only guidelines and should not be taken as fact.

The following are the most common codes and their implied meaning:

W: Generally means the fabric is able to be wet cleaned.

S: Generally means the fabric will require a solvent based cleaner.

W-S: Generally means the fabric may be cleaned with either water or solvent based processes.

X: Generally means the fabric should not be cleaned with either a wet or solvent based process.

D: Generally means Dry Clean only.

Notice each time a code was mentioned we used the term “generally”. Once again, these are guidelines and should not be taken literally. What we recommend is thoroughly pre-vacuuming the fabric, which will remove any dry particulate matter.

Then, based upon the code displayed on the fabric, we will test with the suggested cleaning method in an inconspicuous place. We also recommend quickly drying the area to view the after test cleaning results.

If the desired results are achieved then we still proceed with caution. If the fabric was able to be wet cleaned, then after cleaning we apply a diluted mixture of Brown Out® and water. Then no matter the cleaning process used, we towel off the cleaned fabric. We then apply Sta-Clene® as a fabric protector, followed by quick drying.

We cannot stress enough the importance of testing. Some fabrics will not respond properly to the code attached to them. Then you may choose to test with an alternative method.

Once again, these codes and more are reviewed and discussed at our classes at the Bane-Clene Institute®. Information and class schedules are available at www.baneclene.com.

Related furniture cleaning information on the Bane-Clene web site:

Thank you for reading Bane's Blog®.

Please read the latest issue of the Clene-Times® at www.baneclene.com/clenetimes.html.

Please visit our new and improved web site at www.baneclene.com.

The Bane-Clene® Team.

Friday, March 03, 2017

Marketing Deserves Your Respect And Attention

A previous survey of top executives of small companies ranked marketing as the most important of all business priorities. Strangely enough those same executives, in another portion of the survey, revealed that marketing was in fourth place when it came to the time they devote to each category of business.

Marketing in the service business is a precise art. Too often the marketing program of a carpet cleaning company is left to the devices of an advertising salesperson. While the input from that person should be considered, it should not be the only input you receive. High priority and attention must be paid to an advertising and marketing plan.

Marketing, Advertising and Selling, to some people, have essentially the same meaning. Not true!

Marketing is selecting the particular recipients of your promotional material and message.

Advertising is the act of delivering that material and message with an emphasis to call you.

Selling is what you do when a prospect calls you.

Related carpet cleaning business information on the Bane-Clene web site:

Thank you for reading Bane's Blog.

Please read the latest issue of The Clene-Times® at www.baneclene.com/publications/.

Please visit our recently updated web site at www.baneclene.com.

The Bane-Clene® Team.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Accounts Receivable Management and Collection Calls

Managing accounts receivable is an important aspect of operating your business. As reported in The Cleaning Digest®, the older the debts the harder they are to collect.

But don't be too hasty in turning slow paying accounts over for collection. You unfortunately are probably going to lose a customer, however if you wait too long you may never collect the debt.

If a customer does not pay within your normal terms then you should make collection calls. This is an unpleasant but necessary task. A tactful way to broach the subject is to say "I'm calling to inquire about the status of our invoice". Don't say any more until your customer has a chance to respond. If they say "the check is in the mail", then ask when the check was mailed and the check number. If they say "it will be sent soon", then inquire when it will be mailed. If they say they lost the invoice then offer to send another immediately.

Once again this is an unpleasant function of business. Many times when someone owes you money, they will try to put you on the defensive. Do not lose your cool and always remain professional. Even though you had to make a collection call, it does not necessarily mean you will lose a customer.

Related carpet cleaning business information on the Bane-Clene web site:

Thank you for reading Bane's Blog.

Please read the latest issue of The Clene-Times® at www.baneclene.com/publications/.

Please visit our recently updated web site at www.baneclene.com.

The Bane-Clene® Team.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Hiring and Firing Carpet Cleaning Technicians

Hiring qualified technicians is a common complaint in the cleaning industry. It is said that "good help is hard to find". This is not a phenomenon unique to our industry, many others face the same problem.

Recruiting is a difficult part of hiring, which needs to be worked at. You cannot just hang a sign in the window or run an ad. While you will probably get applicants, are they the one you are looking for?

One of the "secrets" of hiring is to pay a decent wage. A great deal is expected form a carpet cleaning technician. Minimum wage or slightly higher is not nearly enough. Also, training is vitally important. You cannot entrust the care of expensive rugs, carpeting and upholstery to a novice. Keep new employees with a veteran cleaner.This is where the training plays a major part. Besides basic cleaning skills there are many other nuances to being a good technician which can be taught by a veteran cleaner.

Unfortunately, there is usually no way to tell in an interview if a prospect will ultimately be a good employee. While appearance and manners are easy to assess, work habits and attitude are not as evident. There should be a period of appraisal and training. If work habits are not up to your standards, firing should be sooner rather than later. Usually a 90 day evaluation period is sufficient.

Bane-Clene Institute® has classes which explore employee relations and will assist you in this difficult but highly important aspect of your business. Because without good technicians your business will only grow so much.

Related carpet cleaning business information on the Bane-Clene web site:

Thank you for reading Bane's Blog®.

The Bane-Clene® Team.

Please access our updated website at www.baneclene.com.

The latest issue of the Clene-Times® is at www.baneclene.com/clenetimes.html.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Starting a Carpet Cleaning Business

February 4th, 2017, marked our 55th anniversary. People regularly ask us if this is a good time to start a business? While there may never be a perfect time, there also may never be a bad time. However to avoid the bad time and strive for the perfect time, you must identify and reach the market that has the money and need to buy your service.

What is the best way to reach that market and who is your major demographic? Yellow pages, direct mail, radio, television, magazines, newspapers and of course the Internet are all possible ways to reach your market. As far as the residential market goes, the majority of our customers will be home owners with disposable income. Commercially there is a wide range of potential customers. Hotels, motels and restaurants usually are looking for the lowest price. Professional offices are willing to pay for a high quality service. Many industrial customers may be cleaned through a sub-contract agreement with a Building Service Contractor or direct contact with the In-House Manager.

To enhance our market potential Carpet and Fiber manufacturers are stressing the importance of carpet maintenance. In fact, most warranties are tied to regular professional cleaning. Interest in indoor air quality continues to promote the idea that professional cleaning is a necessity for an improved indoor environment.

Your business can be successful if you do your homework and prepare properly. We can help in that preparation. We have the literature, video presentations and of course our management school at Bane-Clene Institute all geared toward your success. All those tools can also be an advantage for those that already have started their business.

Thank you for reading Bane's Blog.

The Bane-Clene® Team

Please read the latest issue of The Clene-Times® at www.baneclene.com/publications/.

Please visit our recently updated web site at www.baneclene.com

Friday, February 03, 2017

Bane-Clene Corp.® will celebrate our 55th Anniversary - February 4th, 2017

We will presume you know the story of how a small start up Janitorial Service morphed into what we are today.

An International Manufacturer and Supplier of Cleaning Equipment, Chemicals and Accessories.

We don't have to tell you that being in business has its trials and tribulations.

However, more importantly, it has its many rewards for which we are thankful.

Here is just a partial list of what we are thankful for:

  1. An invaluable staff, without whom we did not and will not continue to grow.
  2. Customers that compliment us for doing a good job.
  3. Customers that point out mistakes. We correct those mistakes, which makes us better.
  4. Good Vendors that keep our supply lines full.
  5. Good Accounting, Advertising, Financial, Insurance, Legal and Technology Advisors.

Lastly, we are thankful that 55 years ago Wm. F. Bane had a vision and we at Bane-Clene strive everyday to promote and build on his vision.

Thank you for reading Bane's Blog.

The Bane-Clene® Team

Please read the latest issue of The Clene-Times® at www.baneclene.com/publications/.

Please visit our recently updated web site at www.baneclene.com

Friday, January 27, 2017

Contractor, Subcontractor, or Employee

This reoccurring dilemma continues to surface in the cleaning industry. The IRS takes a negative view of any Company trying to avoid payment of the Social Security Tax and states take a similar stance when a company tries to circumvent their unemployment fund.

For example, if you use a subcontractor to do some of your cleaning work, you can pay them without making a deduction or contributing your portion of the FICA tax and other payroll liabilities. However, you are required to issue a 1099 form to them and send a copy to the IRS with your tax return.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Do they provide their own truck, equipment, chemicals and supplies?
  2. Do they have their own insurance and provide you a Certificate of Insurance?
  3. Do they do cleaning for other companies or themselves?

If these questions have a yes response, then you should be within the basic guidelines set by the IRS. We always recommend checking with your CPA and Insurance Agent to be sure all is in order.

Related carpet cleaning business information on the Bane-Clene® web site:

Thank you for reading Bane's Blog.

The Bane-Clene® Team

Please read the latest issue of The Clene-Times® at www.baneclene.com/publications/.


Friday, January 20, 2017

Delegation

Growth of a company will not occur without a principal's ability to delegate work and decisions. In the beginning, an owner/operator has to delegate contact with customers to new technicians. Thus begins the process of growing and delegating. Principals must be specific in whom they delegate to and in turn does that person have the authority to re-delegate. That authority is usually given to managers. When you talk to your manager, be sure you are specific in the instructions you give. Especially, if only a certain person or persons should be given the task or job you are discussing.

Many people have trouble delegating. Make sure the manager you hire has that ability. While a manager may be given broad authority to delegate, we feel that certain duties should be handled only by owners and/or principals. These may include but are not limited to handling the company's finances, hiring or firing, policy making decisions and solving major problems. That doesn't mean that you should not seek their input, but once again, we feel only the owner, principal partner, an officer or top echelon employee should handle matters in these areas.

Related carpet cleaning business information on the Bane-Clene® web site:

Thank you for reading Bane's Blog.

The Bane-Clene® Team

Please read the latest issue of The Clene-Times® at www.baneclene.com/publications/.

Please visit our recently updated web site at www.baneclene.com

Friday, January 13, 2017

A Capital Idea

Conventional wisdom says that lack of capital is a big cause of business failure. However, lack of capital may be the MAIN REASON why small businesses SUCCEED. Sounds like a paradox.

Businesses flush with capital through a loan or grant or similar circumstance often spend on unneeded items or overspend on the basics. Owners take excessive vacations, leave early or live the high life without actually having achieved anything as of yet.

In the beginning, small business entrepreneurs work long hours, often 6 or 7 days a week, and watch their spending. Therefore, they develop an appreciation for earned capital. This translates into prudent and wise expansion and growth.

Instead of waiting for loans, backing or other initial capital infusions, a budding entrepreneur takes what they have to start with, and roll up their sleeves and they get going.

Small business and entrepreneurs are the backbone of the American economy having in many cases started with little or nothing and have built a thriving and successful company.

Related carpet cleaning business information on the Bane-Clene® web site:

  1. Before You Finance
  2. Building Your Own Carpet Cleaning Business
  3. Cash Flow in the Carpet Cleaning Business
  4. Four Characteristics of a Successful Person
  5. The 15 Factors of Success
  6. Twenty Steps to Success
  7. What makes a company successful

Thank you for reading Bane's Blog.

The Bane-Clene® Team

Please read the latest issue of The Clene-Times® at www.baneclene.com/clenetimes.html.

Friday, January 06, 2017

Feathering Their Nest

Many articles written today talk about products for the home, food delivery services and other topics relating to the fact that consumers are spending more time at home. This trend will not only continue but will grow among more of us.

Translating that information to the carpet, upholstery and drapery cleaning industry doesn't take physic powers. If people are spending more time at home, they will soil their environment to a greater extent. They will then want that environment to be cleaner and healthier. This should lead to greater sales for our industry.

That said, they will then seek out professional services. Evaluate your advertising to take advantage of this. Make sure your technicians are up to date on cleaning techniques, chemical usages and all aspects of customer relations. Trucks and equipment should be in top operating and appearance condition.

Help your customers "Feather Their Nest" by providing what they need.

Related carpet cleaning business information on the Bane-Clene® web site:

  1. Advertising. . . the Essential Element in the Carpet Cleaning Business
  2. Advertising the Bane-Clene® Way
  3. Bane-Clene® Carpet Cleaning Truck-Mounted Equipment
  4. Bane-Clene® Marketing & Advertising for the Carpet Cleaning Industry
  5. Carpet Cleaning Industry Potential
  6. Sell The Sizzle
  7. The ABC's of Advertising
  8. The Bane-Clene Way® Advertising Program
  9. Why Bane-Clene® Over All Other "Truck-mounted" Carpet Cleaning Equipment?
  10. Why Doesn't My Advertising Work?

Thank you for reading Bane's Blog.

The Bane-Clene® Team

Please read the latest issue of The Clene-Times® at www.baneclene.com/clenetimes.html.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Happy New Year

January 1st obviously ushers in a New Year. It's a time that many reflect upon
their previous accomplishments and failures. Then we look forward vowing to
correct or not to repeat our failures. We also plot and plan for the time to
come. Each of us has goals and aspirations. We should always strive to achieve
them. If you are not moving forward, then it is inevitable that you will become
stagnate or worse yet begin to move backwards.

So, after all that reflection, we usually come up with New Year Resolutions. They come in a variety of purposes, personal, family, business and community among them.

  1. Improve physical well being.
  2. Improve mental health.
  3. Improve finances.
  4. Improve career.
  5. Improve knowledge.
  6. Volunteer.
  7. Spend quality time with family and friends.
  8. Be more spiritual.

The following passage was written by Bishop John H. Vincent in 1909. It is appropriate not only on New Years Day but every day of our lives:

"I will this day try to live a simple, sincere and serene life. I will repel promptly every thought of discontent, anxiety, discouragement, impurity and self-seeking. I will cultivate cheerfulness, magnanimity, charity and the habit of silence. I will exercise economy in expenditure, carefulness in conversation, diligence in appointed service, fidelity to every trust and a child-like trust in God."

Thank you for reading Bane's Blog.

The Bane-Clene® Team

Please read the latest issue of The Clene-Times® at www.baneclene.com/clenetimes.html.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Happy Holidays

The holidays have been in full swing since early December. Many dates are celebrated or commemorated during this month. Naming a few but certainly not all:

  • Kwanzaa A celebration of Family, Community and Culture
  • HanukkahThe celebration of the Jewish Festival of Lights
  • Milad Un Nabi The Muslim culture commemorates the birth of the Prophet Muhammad
  • Christmas Day The Christian culture commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ

However even if you don't practice or believe, they all have many points in
common. The one we will focus on is that they all promote "Peace on Earth
and Goodwill to all". Once again, no matter what you practice or don't,
if you have not already done so, take a few moments to reflect on that common
factor.

Thank you for reading Bane's Blog.

The Bane-Clene® Team

Please read the latest issue of The Clene-Times® at www.baneclene.com/clenetimes.html.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Justifying Your Price

Being in the service business for more than 5 decades has given us some insight into pricing methods. This topic is discussed in our 3 Day Management School. Inevitably, someone in class says that the section of the country in which they live cannot support a higher-end pricing method. Certainly, you cannot charge the same in a large market as you can in a small market. Your price can be relevant with the cost of living and other factors built into your market.

You must be able to justify your price to your customer. In order to do this, you must first be able to justify your price to yourself. Do you consider yourself a full time professional or do you do this as a part time job?

If you were to walk out to your truck right now, would you be proud of it? Has the truck been washed lately? Are there remnants of last week's lunch or enough trash to warrant a trip to a dumpster? How about your equipment? Think of the professionals that have to clean and maintain their equipment everyday or it won't work the next. Fortunately, our equipment is not that demanding, a weekly routine maintenance will keep it running at top efficiency.

How about the most important element of the business, the technician. Is their uniform neat and clean? If you don't wear uniforms, do you at least dress in appropriate attire? When you look at yourself or your technician, would you let that person into your home or office?

You and your technicians should be knowledgeable and up to date on cleaning and spotting techniques. You should have a general knowledge of the different types of fibers and their particular aspects. Do you have professional looking literature and a business card?

If you can meet all of these criteria and more, you can easily justify your price. Many people choose a cleaning firm on the basis of what it offers, not on what it charges. This desirable market is available to any company that can demonstrate professionalism.

Related carpet cleaning business information on the Bane-Clene® web site:

  1. Advertising. . . the Essential Element in the Carpet Cleaning Business
  2. Advertising the Bane-Clene Way
  3. Bane-Clene Course to Success Certification Class
  4. Bane-Clene Carpet Cleaning Professional Business Card
  5. Bane-Clene Carpet Cleaning System Maintenance DVD
  6. Bane-Clene Marketing & Advertising for the Carpet Cleaning Industry
  7. Bane-Clene Carpet Cleaning Truck-Mounted Equipment
  8. Carpet and Rug Fiber Chemistry
  9. Carpet Fiber Identification
  10. Carpet Fibers - An Overview
  11. Carpet Spot and Stain Removal Guidelines.
  12. Changing Oil, Greasing Blower, Back Flushing Bane-Clene Truckmounted Carpet Cleaning Equipment - YouTube Video
  13. Polo Shirt Uniform
  14. Residential Carpet Care Brochure
  15. To Price or Not to Price

Thank you for reading Bane's Blog.

The Bane-Clene® Team

Please read the latest issue of The Clene-Times® at www.baneclene.com/clenetimes.html.

Friday, December 09, 2016

Cut Your Price?

There is one thing that all businesses that fail have in common. Their last official act before they close is to cut their prices and have a big sale

When you consider cutting your price for any reason, consider some of the consequences. Cutting your prices mean you have to generate more sales in order to maintain your gross profit margin.

Another drawback is that people who expect high quality services, do not usually look at a low price as a major consideration in the buying decision. In fact, a lower price may deter a person who is seeking high quality service. The adage "you get what you pay for" comes into play here.

A service cannot be built in advance, stored in a warehouse, mass produced or purchased in quantity and then offered for sale. Services must be constructed one at a time after an order is taken.

Cutting price opens the door to a reputation as a price merchant. In the service industry, there is a market for price merchants. However, when a company publishes extremely low prices, then their quality is usually low quality. The other side of that coin is you have a company that offers high quality at a fair price.

Consider this, a company cannot compete in both the low-price and high-quality markets. It must be one or the other.

Related carpet cleaning business information on the Bane-Clene® web site:

  1. Advertising. . . the Essential Element in the Carpet Cleaning Business
  2. Advertising the Bane-Clene® Way
  3. Bait and Switch in the Carpet Cleaning Business
  4. Bane-Clene® Marketing & Advertising for the Carpet Cleaning Industry
  5. To Price or Not to Price

Thank you for reading Bane's Blog.

The Bane-Clene® Team

Please read the latest issue of The Clene-Times® at www.baneclene.com/clenetimes.html.

Friday, December 02, 2016

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".


Thank you for reading Bane's Blog.

The Bane-Clene® Team

Please read the latest issue of The Clene-Times® at www.baneclene.com/clenetimes.html.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Thanksgiving Day

Thanksgiving 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.

Thank you for reading Bane's Blog.

The Bane-Clene® Team

Please read the latest issue of The Clene-Times® at www.baneclene.com/clenetimes.html.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Watch What And How You Say It!

Customers are concerned about the process and the chemicals that are used in their home or office. We must presume that people may not know how they work and what they are formulated to do.

Therefore, if carpets need pre-treating for let's say gum or tar you talk about Saf-T-Solv™, not solvent. The connotation of a solvent might make them think their carpet will dissolve. How about the need for Brown-Out® - in that case you don't say acid. Brown Out is a mild, complex neutralizer. But to most consumers, acid might mean fumes and burns.

Many carpet cleaners talk to their customers about providing a "quality" service. But....what kind of quality? Quality is a noun and needs an adjective to fully describe it. Are we talking high quality, low quality or perhaps no quality?

If you have been hired by a carpet mill, retailer or a company that provides warranties, be extremely cautious in what you say. If their customer has made up their mind that they want the carpet or furniture replaced; then the wrong words from you may embolden their position. They may rephrase the same basic question to you until they get the answer they seek. Or, they may take what you say out of context. You must be polite, but once again be careful what you say.

A basic rule to remember is simply the least said at a customer's premises, the better.

Related carpet cleaning information on the web site:

  1. Bane-Clene Carpet Cleaning Chemicals
  2. Bane-Clene Supplies & Cleaners
  3. Brown-Out
  4. Carpet Retailers Are Cleaning Up
  5. Carpet Retailers in the Carpet Cleaning Business?
  6. Causes of Carpet, Rug and Upholstery Browning
  7. Gum Spot & Stain Removal from Carpets and Rugs
  8. Saf-T-Solv
  9. Tar Spot & Stain Removal
  10. Wicking after Cleaning Carpet

Thank you for reading Bane's Blog.

The Bane-Clene® Team

Please read the latest issue of The Clene-Times® at www.baneclene.com/clenetimes.html.

Friday, November 11, 2016

VETERANS DAY

In America, we enjoy many of our freedoms because of the dedication and courage of all our Veterans.

Veterans Day always falls on November 11th. It is this day that we honor those Veterans.

Veterans Day originated as Armistice Day and marked the end of hostilities of World War I that occurred at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918. The first Armistice Day was commemorated in 1919.

The day was originally set aside to honor the Veterans of World War I. After World War II and the Korean War, Congress recognized a need to expand the meaning of the day and recognize ALL veterans.

So, in 1954, the word "Armistice" was replaced with "Veterans" as a way to include all Veterans of all American wars.

Veterans Day is a federal holiday which many cities celebrate with parades and ceremonies.

In Washington, D.C., the celebration include a wreath laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery.

Veterans Day is a day not only to honor those that made the ultimate sacrifice for our country, but also to recognize those who continue to serve today.

Take this time to thank a Veteran who fulfills this patriotic duty to maintain the freedoms of our country.

You can show the respect you have for them by properly honoring and displaying the American Flag.

One way that is accomplished is by always standing and placing your hand over your heart during the playing of the National Anthem.


Thank you for reading Bane's Blog.

The Bane-Clene® Team

Please read the latest issue of The Clene-Times® at www.baneclene.com/clenetimes.html.

Friday, November 04, 2016

Friday, October 28, 2016

Making Something Happen

Today's Blog is being published on the birthday of Elizabeth A. Bane, co-founder of Bane-Clene Corp in 1962.

That makes today's topic even more poignant. Since on February 4th, 1962, she and William F. Bane made something happen.

It has been said, "Nothing will ever be attempted if all possible objections must be overcome first." This simple but meaningful quotation, if it is fully understood, expresses the difference between success and failure. Also, the difference between large or small in business and achieving much or accomplishing little or nothing.

It has also been said "if you wait until all the traffic lights are green before you start a trip, you will never get started. Instead, you begin the trip and as you progress the lights change from red to green."

We need to chart a course, look for obvious obstacles and then progress. Of all the things we worry about, 95 percent never happen. If we spend this worrying time constructively, then there's no telling what we can accomplish.

Just as William and Elizabeth did in 1962.

Related carpet cleaning information on the Bane-Clene® web site:

  1. A History of Cleaning Carpet
  2. Building Your Own Carpet Cleaning Business
  3. How It All Began
  4. The 15 Factors of Success
  5. Twenty Steps to Success
  6. What makes a company successful

Thank you for reading Bane's Blog.

The Bane-Clene® Team

Please read the latest issue of The Clene-Times® at www.baneclene.com/clenetimes.html.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Building Loyalty

Over the years, America has lost many manufacturing jobs. There have been various reasons among those cheaper labor in another country, plants closing due to labor problems or a product becoming obsolete due to improved technology. Whatever the reason, there has been a lack of loyalty.

Loyalty is a two way street. Many companies treat employees like inventory rather than an asset. Employers and supervisors need to show understanding and compassion for their employees. Some examples are asking about family, complimenting for work well done or if profits allow paying bonuses.

Back to that two way street. Many employees are not working to their full potential. Therefore, they are robbing companies of profits and growth.

Building loyalty between management and staff will bring success to a company. Therefore, aiding growth and profitability.

Related carpet cleaning information on the Bane-Clene® web site:

  1. Attitude
  2. Happy Employees
  3. It's all in our attitude

Thank you for reading Bane's Blog.

The Bane-Clene® Team

Please read the latest issue of The Clene-Times® at www.baneclene.com/clenetimes.html.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Company Culture

Large corporations develop a trait known as the "culture of the company". It is a sociological style incorporated into their day-to-day business activities.

Just as in society, a company's internal attitudes reflect the culture of the organization. Are those polite or crude, pleasant or rude, caring or cutthroat. Ultimately, these attitudes will then manifest themselves outside the office and will permeate the customer's environment.

It is therefore important that the smallest of companies begin to develop a culture on which the business will grow, as well as one that encourages that growth. The attitudes of the founding principals will be instilled in their employees.

Presuming these attitudes are positive, then the company has a formula for success and ultimately growth.

Related carpet cleaning information on the Bane-Clene® web site:

  1. Attitude
  2. Building Your Own Carpet Cleaning Business
  3. Happy Employees
  4. It's all in our attitude
  5. The 15 Factors of Success
  6. Twenty Steps to Success
  7. What makes a company successful

Thank you for reading Bane's Blog.

The Bane-Clene® Team

Please read the latest issue of The Clene-Times® at www.baneclene.com/clenetimes.html.

Friday, October 07, 2016

Polls, Surveys and Other Intrusions

Maybe it's the elections and all the polls that have accompanied this political season. Or maybe it's that people might be feeling "used". Or perhaps they are growing weary of surveys.

Sometimes consumers do not like to be asked too many questions.

Therefore, great care must be exercised in talking to your customer whether on the phone or in person. You need to gather facts pertinent to their needs. However, you do not want to come across as pushy and or otherwise aggressive.

Most customers, when comfortable, will gladly and openly provide information. Allow them the opportunity to achieve that level of comfort. When they do, they will be more approachable for plus sales and other services you provide.

Remember we are in a customer's space.....always respect that space.

Related carpet cleaning information on the Bane-Clene® web site:

  1. Phone Courtesy
  2. Plus sales
  3. Plus Sales - The Key to Success!
  4. Telephone Etiquette
  5. The 15 Factors of Success

Thank you for reading Bane's Blog®.

The Bane-Clene® Team

Please read the latest issue of The Clene-Times® at www.baneclene.com/clenetimes.html.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Uncovered Containers

Why do we note on product containers that they should be closed when not in use? Many products, such as deodorizers, contain solvents and stabilizers that will evaporate from a container that is left open continuously. When that happens, the product loses its effectiveness.

The Bane-Clene® powdered products PCA™ Formula 4 and PCA™ Formula 5, if left uncovered, will draw moisture, cake up and become difficult to dissolve.

Solvent-based products such as Sta-Clene® Formula 940, Saf-T-Solv™, Solv-A-Clene™ and Citrus APS™ will evaporate away if left uncovered continuously. What a tremendous waste of product and your money.

The deodorizers Phase I™, Phase II™ and Phase V™ contain solvents to make them stable. Leaving their containers open will make them less effective.

The Bane-Clene® presprays such as Olefin Pre-Conditioner, Preface® and TLS® 2000 contain solvents (but not Butyl Cellosolve) to aid in removing greasy soils. Leaving the caps off their containers will make them much less effective.

Even most water-based spotters such as APS™ All Purpose Spotter contain volatile solvents to aid in removing spots and stains.

Of course, all containers should be kept closed and away from any children for safety's sake. Our labels are normally labeled "FOR PROFESSIONAL USE ONLY" and "KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN".

Bottom line, if you want the most effective products and value for your money, please close those containers when not in use.

Related carpet cleaning information on the Bane-Clene® web site:

  1. APS™ All Purpose Spotter
  2. Citrus APS
  3. Deodorizers
  4. Labels for Sprayers and Spray Bottles
  5. Odor and Pest Control
  6. Olefin Pre-Conditioner
  7. PCA Formula 4
  8. PCA Formula 5
  9. Phase I
  10. Phase II
  11. Phase V
  12. Preface®
  13. Saf-T-Solv
  14. Solv-A-Clene
  15. Sta-Clene® Formula 940
  16. TLS® 2000

Thank you for reading Bane's Blog®.

The Bane-Clene® Team

Please read the latest issue of The Clene-Times® at www.baneclene.com/clenetimes.html.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Grow Your Business With Social Media

With over one billion active members on Facebook alone, it's clear that social network is not going anywhere soon.

Like any media with a massive reach, your customers are going to expect you to be there.

Marketing your services on social media gives you an opportunity that your business has never had before. You are able to connect with potential customers 24/7 on a personal level.

Instead of simply pushing out marketing messages in general, social media is about connections and conversations. You receive from social media what you give. It's wise to post pertinent facts about your business, credentials you or your company has and pictures and testimonials.

Invite your customers to sign up for newsletters, coupons, spotting tips and other household related posts. The greater your number of followers, the better your business will be broadcast to the social media.

Growing your social media efforts is a great way to get the word out about your company at a relatively low cost. Be prepared for when you start generating calls that you are able to handle the influx. The last thing you want to do is generate calls and or leads and not be able to service them. If they are contacting you, they are ready to do business.

Related carpet cleaning business information on the Bane-Clene® web site:

  1. Advertising. . . the Essential Element in the Carpet Cleaning Business
  2. Advertising the Bane-Clene® Way
  3. Bane-Clene® Marketing & Advertising for the Carpet Cleaning Industry
  4. Consumer Information For Removing Spots and Stains on Rugs and Carpets
  5. Facebook
  6. Phone Courtesy

Thank you for reading Bane's Blog®.

The Bane-Clene® Team

Please read the latest issue of The Clene-Times® at www.baneclene.com/clenetimes.html.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Ask For Complaints!

Too many people believe in the adage that no news is good news. But, quite all and some only if something is seriously wrong.

In today's world of social media, following up with customers to make sure they are pleased is important. There are several ways to do it. Direct mail, leave behind report card, follow-up phone call or e-mail are valid ways to accomplish this. All customers appreciate follow-up. Two objectives are accomplished: One, they know that their business is appreciated and two, if there is a complaint, they know you want to know.

If there is a complaint, follow-up immediately. Don't compound a complaint by not responding to it.

Related carpet cleaning business information on the Bane-Clene® web site:

  1. About Complaints!
  2. Combination Thank You / Reply Card
  3. "Jimmie" Residential Carpet Care Brochure Self-mailer

Thank you for reading Bane's Blog®.

The Bane-Clene® Team

Please read the latest issue of The Clene-Times®
at www.baneclene.com/clenetimes.html.

Friday, September 09, 2016

Whew! I'm Covered Up!

That may be a true statement. But never tell your customers how busy you are! They may think that you will be too tired or that you do not have the time to do a good job for them. While you want your customers to know that you have other jobs, there is a fine line there.

Also, talking about how busy you are ranks up there with politics, religion and other potentially controversial topics. You are employed to work, not to complain and moan. Besides, your customers don't care how busy you are or are not. The bottom line is they just want their job done right.

Related carpet cleaning business information on the Bane-Clene® web site:

  1. Customer Relations

Thank you for reading Bane's Blog®.

The Bane-Clene® Team

Please read the latest issue of The Clene-Times® at www.baneclene.com/clenetimes.html.

Friday, September 02, 2016

Good News......Bad News

First, the bad news is that many businesses are cutting back on services. This may include office cleaning, lawn maintenance and other general services. They may feel that their own employees may be able to accomplish these tasks. Possible reasons may be economic, employee familiarity with the premises and scheduling issues to name a few.

Now the good news. These employees will be ill prepared to keep up with the carpeting and upholstery cleaning. We all know that our services require not only certain technical skills to avoid damaging the aforementioned items but a large investment in equipment, etc. Now is a good time to do more mailings or schedule visits with commercial and industrial buildings in your area. These facilities can be set up on maintenance schedules. These schedules and other topics related to commercial cleaning are covered at Bane-Clene Institute. Call 1-800-428-9512 or visit our web site www.banclene.com for more information.

Related carpet cleaning business information on the Bane-Clene® web site:

  1. Bane-Clene® Course to Success
  2. Carpet Cleaning Industry Potential
  3. Comparison of Carpet Cleaning Methods
  4. "Jimmie" Residential Carpet Care Brochure Self-mailer
  5. Sell Maintenance Programs
  6. Upholstery Cleaning, Care and Protection

Thank you for reading Bane's Blog®.

The Bane-Clene® Team

Please read the latest issue of The Clene-Times®
at www.baneclene.com/clenetimes.html.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Mission Statements

There is an inordinate amount of money spent on the development of so called "mission statements".

Many consultants are soliciting businesses about helping them prepare a mission statement.

Some not-for-profit organizations spend tens of thousands of dollars for consultants to do this for them.

We have stated before that the "customer is always right" is a simple but effective mission statement.

In business, if you don't know why you are there and what you are doing, then you won't have to worry about a mission statement for long. Think about it.


Related carpet cleaning business information on the Bane-Clene® web site:

  1. The Customer Is (Still) Always Right
  2. Twenty Steps to Success in the Carpet Cleaning Business

Please read the latest issue of The Clene-Times® at www.baneclene.com/clenetimes.html.

Thank you for reading Bane's Blog®.

The Bane-Clene® Team

Friday, August 19, 2016

Too Many Shoe Stores

A recent shopping trip through a typical shopping center revealed numerous shoe stores plus shoe departments in all of the "anchor" stores. Then there are the countless on line sellers.

Obviously, competition makes business.

Even with all of this fierce competition in the shoe industry, their marketing people realize that they shouldn't snipe at one another where the consumer can read or see it.

When is the last time you saw a shoe company advertise that a competitive Brand X made feet hurt? Or that Brand Y shoes cause feet to perspire and have an odor? Or how about that Brand Z can cause corns or other foot problems?

The carpet cleaning industry does not follow this thinking about their competition. Ads are often negative which confuses the consumer. If they see or hear consistently conflicting ads about what is good or bad for them; does this make them think twice about even having their carpets or upholstery cleaned?

Technical jargon and/or exaggerated claims of results further confuse and complicate their thinking.

Keep your advertising positive. Stress what your Company can do for the consumer. Talk about years in business, training and other positive aspects.

An anonymous quote warns, "There is less to fear from outside competition than from inside inefficiency, discourtesy and bad service".

Related carpet cleaning business information on the Bane-Clene® web site:

  1. The ABC's of Advertising
  2. Advertising. . . the Essential Element in the Carpet Cleaning Business
  3. Bane-Clene® Course to Success Certification Class
  4. Carpet Cleaning the Bane-Clene® Way®
  5. My Competitors
  6. Twenty Steps to Success in the Carpet Cleaning Business
  7. Upholstery Cleaning, Care and Protection

Please read the latest issue of The Clene-Times® at www.baneclene.com/clenetimes.html.

Thank you for reading Bane's Blog®.

The Bane-Clene® Team

Friday, August 12, 2016

How Busy Are You!

When you spend the first fifteen minutes of a service call telling your customer how busy you are and why you are late, they will begin to doubt your abilities especially in time management.

Many customers who are of the gentle persuasion and who are guided by extremely good manners will tolerate these long winded explanations. They may even listen to the blow-by-blow account of your personal or family problems. You express views and opinions on politics, world events or religion as they are helplessly trapped. People who work in the service industry often find themselves with a captive audience. You are a "guest" - do not talk too much or you may not ever be a guest again.

Successful people don't have time to talk about how busy they are and never have to explain why they are late because they are not late in the first place.

If your company is not getting a reasonable amount of repeat and referral business, it may because you or your technicians talk too much and discuss non appropriate topics. If customers don't like what was said or discussed, they will go elsewhere.

The best policy at your customers premises is talk centered on what you will do and the other services that you offer.

Related carpet cleaning business information on the Bane-Clene® web site:

  1. Bane-Clene® Course to Success Certification Class
  2. Carpet Cleaning the Bane-Clene® Way®
  3. Four Characteristics of a Successful Person
  4. Operator Certification Program for Professional Carpet Cleaning Technicians
  5. Twenty Steps to Success in the Carpet Cleaning Business

Please read the latest issue of The Clene-Times® at www.baneclene.com/clenetimes.html.

Thank you for reading Bane's Blog®.

The Bane-Clene® Team

Friday, August 05, 2016

No Excuses!

Perhaps you have said this while trying to "dodge a bullet". "The truck broke down", is an often used excuse in the service industry. Or how does this one sound, "He was new on the job and didn't know about that". While the second one may seem like it worked, deep down nobody wants to feel like they are being serviced by new or inexperienced technicians.

Customers do not want to hear excuses. They want to hear what you intend to do about their problem. You need to say something positive and affirmative or you may never get another opportunity to work for that customer again.

An apology is always in order, whether the problem was yours or was one by a member of your staff. Even if you feel as though it was not your Company's fault. The person answering your incoming calls should be adept at handling problems. Since they are the person initially involved. If it is something beyond their scope, then have them take a message and say the Owner or My Manager will call you back.

Related carpet cleaning business information on the Bane-Clene® web site:

  1. About Complaints!
  2. Bane-Clene® Course to Success Certification Class
  3. Operator Certification Program for Professional Carpet Cleaning Technicians
  4. Phone Courtesy
  5. Telephone Etiquette in the Carpet Cleaning Business

Please read the latest issue of The Clene-Times® at www.baneclene.com/clenetimes.html.

Thank you for reading Bane's Blog®.

The Bane-Clene® Team

Friday, July 29, 2016

PLUS SALES

Introducing a customer to other services and products that you offer is not the same as pressure selling. In fact, it is a service to busy people who may not have had the time to investigate or inquire about all the facets of your business.

Customers may not know that Sta-Clene®, Bane-Guard™ or Teflon® carpet protectors can be applied to their carpeting. Or, that you can clean furniture or area rugs during the same service trip. Sometimes, offering deodorizer can be tricky, they may have become immune to the odor. Having Advertising Material that explains this and additional applications makes it easier to approach them.

Never be pushy! Practice the art of bringing a conversation around to discussing these and other "plus sales" items. But, introduce the customer only to those services that they truly need. Don't try to "sell the store" simply because your customer is receptive. After you leave, they may feel they were oversold and this could affect future jobs.

Related carpet cleaning business information on the Bane-Clene® web site:

  1. Advertising ... the Essential Element in the Carpet Cleaning Business
  2. Advertising the Bane-Clene® Way
  3. Area Rug Care and Cleaning
  4. Carpet and Rug Protectors
  5. Plus Sales - How to make more money in carpet cleaning?
  6. Plus Sales - The Key to Success!
  7. Removing Pet Urine Odor
  8. Selecting the Correct Odor Control Product
  9. Selling Aftermarket Carpet Protectors
  10. The 15 Factors of Success
  11. The ABC's of Advertising
  12. Upholstery Cleaning, Care and Protection
  13. Bane-Guard
  14. Sta-Clene
  15. Teflon

Please read the latest issue of The Clene-Times® at www.baneclene.com/clenetimes.html.

Thank you for reading Bane's Blog®.

The Bane-Clene® Team

Friday, July 22, 2016

SMOOTHING RUFFLED FEATHERS

Everyone will encounter an unhappy customer; how you handle them is extremely important to the success of your company. Here are some points to remember.

  1. Thank the customer for telling you their problem. Most people will just call another carpet cleaner if you are not receptive to their complaint.
  2. Remain Calm! This is so important but sometimes not easy to do. If you have a customer that won't calm down, you must know that losing your temper will not resolve anything.
  3. Listen intently to what they say. Try to see the situation from their point of view. Don't interrupt. Treat your customer with respect, no matter how insignificant their problem may seem to you.
  4. When the customer is done, confirm that you understand. Ask what you can do to keep their business. Give assurances that you will make amends. Offer a refund immediately if that will satisfy them.
  5. Treat your customers with respect and dignity in the face of a complaint. Even if you can't resolve the situation, you will have the knowledge that you did all you could to resolve the situation.

Related carpet cleaning business information on the Bane-Clene® web site:

  1. About Complaints!
  2. The 15 Factors of Success

Please read the latest issue of The Clene-Times® at www.baneclene.com/clenetimes.html.

Thank you for reading Bane's Blog®.

The Bane-Clene® Team

Friday, July 15, 2016

It's Easy To Lose Customers

A previously published survey displayed these statistics on why a business
looses customers.

  • 1% Die
  • 3% Move
  • 5% Find other business relationships
  • 9% Competitive (price)
    reason
  • 14% Dissatisfied
  • 68% Leave because of an employee's or owner's indifferent
    attitude

Customer retention is the primary goal of a service company. Repeat or established
customers are more profitable because advertising costs
are not incurred. Familiar and steady customers spend more because they trust
the firm. They are usually easier to please and always eager to tell others
of their experiences.

As expected, it is easier to lose customers. Inaccurate information by your
phone representative, your technician or worse yet yourself will drive customers
away.

But, the surest way to lose that customer is to ignore a complaint or
to give a little lip service and hope it goes away.

To assure customer satisfaction, it is necessary find out why they are dissatisfied
and rectify the situation.

A previously published survey displayed these statistics on why a business loses customers.

  • 1% Die
  • 3% Move
  • 5% Find other business relationships
  • 9% Competitive (price) reason
  • 14% Dissatisfied
  • 68% Leave because of an employee's or owner's indifferent attitude

Customer retention is the primary goal of a service company. Repeat or established customers are more profitable because advertising costs are not incurred. Familiar and steady customers spend more because they trust the firm. They are usually easier to please and always eager to tell others of their experiences.

As expected, it is easier to lose customers. Inaccurate information by your phone representative, your technician or worse yet yourself will drive customers away.

But, the surest way to lose that customer is to ignore a complaint or to give a little lip service and hope it goes away.

To assure customer satisfaction, it is necessary find out why they are dissatisfied and rectify the situation.

Sometimes customers do not call with their concerns or complaints. Develop a system to follow up either by mail, phone or e-mail with customers soliciting their opinions of your work.

Remember, over 90% of customers do not complain if they are unhappy and also they will take the time to tell others. Finally, if all avenues have been explored to rectify a complaint, the best approach is to offer a customer their money back. A 100% Money Back Guarantee is the best way to show potential customers that you stand behind your work.

Related carpet cleaning business information on the Bane-Clene® web site:

  1. About Complaints!
  2. Advertising ... the Essential Element in the Carpet Cleaning Business
  3. Advertising the Bane-Clene® Way
  4. The 15 Factors of Success
  5. The ABC's of Advertising
  6. To Price or Not to Price

See the latest issue of The Clene-Times®.

Thank you for reading Bane's Blog®.

The Bane-Clene® Team

Friday, July 08, 2016

Phone Courtesy

Growth and success come to Companies that have trained and knowledgeable Customer Service Representatives answering their phones.

Some Tips:

  1. Identify your company by name and thank your customer for calling you.
  2. Adding your personal name when you answer the phone is an added gesture.
  3. The phone must take precedence over all else. Stop what you are doing and give the caller your undivided attention.
  4. Don't rush callers. Their questions are important to them.
  5. Don't be too busy to be friendly.
  6. Don't leave callers "hanging on hold" for extended periods of time.
  7. Utilize common courtesies such as, "May I please schedule an appointment for you?" or "Thank you for choosing to call us."

Related Carpet Cleaning Company Phone Information on the Bane-Clene web site:

  1. Phone Courtesy
  2. Telephone Etiquette in the Carpet Cleaning Business
  3. The 15 Factors of Success

See the latest issue of The Clene-Times®.

Thank you for reading Bane's Blog®.

The Bane-Clene® Team

Friday, July 01, 2016

Writing Proposals

Keep a proposal for service as simple as possible. State exactly what you will do, when it will be done and how much it will cost. List any terms and conditions that apply.

The most important aspect of the proposal is the form in which it is delivered. Use a neat folder or binder with information about your company. Copies of letters of recommendation, testimonials and informative brochures about your service should be included.

Using unprofessional, handwritten or poorly worded proposals will cause a prospect to doubt the capabilities of your Company. A first-class professional presentation instills confidence in a prospect. Using the old adage that a picture is worth a 1000 words. Then if available and if time is allowed, provide a short video presentation and/or before and after pictures of cleaning jobs. They will be invaluable for graphically demonstrating your services and your Company.

Above all...don't forget to do everything you promise!

Thank you for reading Bane's Blog®.

The Bane-Clene® Team

Friday, June 24, 2016

May I Serve You

People hire us to use our skills to give them what they want and expect for a price. It's common to refer to carpet cleaning as a "service business". Mainly, because we don't sell a product. Are we really, however, simply selling performance? We must provide the best total performance time and again to succeed. But it's the personal service that allows us to grow and be respected. What are your reps telling customers? Make sure they are not playing policeman with too many rules that have been installed.

Business must start solving customers' wants and problems. Keep in mind three simple rules:

Rule 1: We want to do business (clean their carpet).

Rule 2: We solve people's needs by using our minds and by utilizing our products and skills.

Rule 3: We like our customers and want to go beyond the norm for them.

Are you in the Carpet Cleaning business? No, you are not. You are in the People business and that means creative and helpful solutions in exchange for their business.

Thank you for reading Bane's Blog®.

The Bane-Clene® Team