Friday, August 18, 2017

Nice Way of Saying "Buyer Beware"

A Central Indiana BBB (Better Business Bureau) review of advertising stated that "the average person is exposed to between 3000 to 5000 advertising messages daily. Undoubtedly, a percentage of these messages will have some sort of spin or bias that is not entirely truthful. The BBB monitors local advertising but the ultimate responsibility rests with the consumer to verify that the claims made in an ad are factual. After verifying those claims, they can feel that they are making a prudent buying decision.

Our local newspaper, The Indianapolis Star, had a program they initiated called "The Deal Chicken". Apparently, all the good names must have been taken. Anyway, they ran an ad from a local Carpet Cleaner for 58%. The premise was that the consumer would "prepay" for these specials, and the specials were limited so they better hurry. By the way, the program is defunct and the Carpet Cleaner is out of business.

We wonder how many consumers took "advantage" of this and other specials from many types of services and retail outlets before this program went defunct? We would presume that many of the consumers were less than satisfied. The point being in all of this, is don't offer more of a discount or special that would prevent you from doing a good job. Not all consumers are looking for a "deal"; but, what they are looking for is a carpet cleaning company that provides a good service at a fair price.

At the Bane-Clene® Institute, we cover these and other important topics. We also have a wealth of information available on line in the "For Professionals" section at www.baneclene.com.

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 https://www.baneclene.com/publications/.

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

The Bane-Clene® Team.

Friday, August 11, 2017

The Cost of Doing Business

Every good business person strives to control their costs. But sometimes, we look in the wrong places to save money. One example of that is using ineffective chemicals because they cost less.

Buying an ineffective and inexpensive product has a direct and negative result. If you have to use more of it, is it really costing you less? At Bane-Clene®, we formulate our chemicals with a basic premise, lowest cost use solution. Which, simply put, means you can use less and get the job done and save money.

Another possible effect of using cheaper products is potential harm to the customers environment and the cleaners themselves and finally to your equipment. Gritty material or fillers added to powders will erode pumps, fittings, valves, etc. Potentially toxic additives to spotters and pre-sprays may cause eye, nose and throat irritation.

Also, the finished job will not look as good when cheap chemicals are used. After drying (which could take longer with these chemicals), the surface of the carpet may be hard or crusty and the appearance dull. This alone will result in losing customers. Often times, people do not complain, they just go somewhere else for service next time.

Owners of a Bane-Clene® System can clean everyday for less than $10.00. This figure is for basic cleaning chemicals, traffic lane spotters, etc. It, of course, does not include Plus Sales products such as Sta-Clene®, Bane-Guard ™ and deodorizing products. These are sold for an additional charge to the customer, while providing a benefit to them or solving a problem that exists.

At the Bane-Clene® Institute, we cover these and other important topics. We also have a wealth of information available on line in the "For Professionals" section at www.baneclene.com.

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 https://www.baneclene.com/publications/.

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

The Bane-Clene® Team.

Friday, August 04, 2017

Plus Sales

Many in our trade refer to these sales as "add-ons". Previously, a Bane's Blog® dealt with the subject of "What Makes Your Company Reputable?".

Plus Sales are an important source of additional revenue for a service company. However, many less than reputable companies rely on them because they "low-balled" the customer to gain a cleaning job. Without add-ons, a job is not profitable for them. So, they must incorporate "high pressure" tactics to make money on any job.

Reputable firms have a responsibility to supervise technicians and to make sure overly aggressive tactics are not used to gain extra sales. Most consumers look upon a well trained technician with the same respect they afford other professionals. Therefore, they look to them for advice and suggestions.

Once again, Plus Sales are an important aspect of profitability for a service company. Learning to sell to those that have a need and can afford the extras is as necessary as learning the fundamentals of good cleaning. The sophisticated service company judges its sales success on more than revenue produced by a crew. Customer satisfaction and loyalty are the most important.

Consumers appreciate hearing about additional services and products that are available to them. They do not appreciate being subjected to high pressure tactics. Approach your customers professionally and ethically about Plus Sales and selling them will be easy.

At the Bane-Clene® Institute, we cover these and other important topics. We also have a wealth of information available on line in the "For Professionals" section at www.baneclene.com.

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 https://www.baneclene.com/publications/.

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

The Bane-Clene® Team.

Friday, July 28, 2017

What Makes Your Company Reputable?

How many businesses would you considerable reputable today? Perhaps not many. Even the giants of industry can fall flat on their faces from time to time. When an article is published about a Company's failure in an area, their reputation immediately takes a hit. Even if at a later date the article is retracted or changed to show that in the end the Company was not at fault, it is too late. With the negative press they have received, their credibility has dropped, their reputation has become tarnished and in some cases the consumer has stopped buying their products or services.

Could this happen to the Carpet Cleaning Industry? Unfortunately, yes and we may be at fault, if we do not prepare for this. As an industry, we have the ammunition to combat the bait and switch artists, the low ball prices and others that use non-professional tactics trying to make a quick buck. That ammunition is education.

If you are educated on types of carpeting, types of cleaning processes and what different chemicals will do, you will have a leg up on your competition. This basic but yet highly important knowledge will assist in communicating with your customers and assure them they are dealing with a reputable company.

At the Bane-Clene® Institute, we cover these and other important topics. Also we have a wealth of information available on line in the "For Professionals" section at www.baneclene.com.

Most of the customers we service would never think of being a DIY; however, it is possible. Therefore, it must be considered as a potential hazard.

Related information on the Bane-Clene web site:

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The Bane-Clene® Team.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Technician Alert Warning!

Carpet cleaning technicians must be constantly on the alert for potential liability situations.

Commercials on television for rental equipment show a cleaning head working around the legs or bases of furniture. The consumer who sees this and uses this equipment may do the same thing. You have no way of knowing if a DIY (do-it-yourself) operator has preceded you and left permanent stains beneath a piece of furniture.

In the event you move a piece of furniture and see furniture stains, do not proceed to clean the area until you have informed the owner, customer or manager of the property about the stain. In addition to the verbal and visual notification, write the information on your invoice and ask your customer to sign the notification.

If they refuse to sign the notification, then it is best to not proceed with the job. They may or may not have known the stain was there; but if they are unwilling to sign, then you may be setting yourself up for a costly situation.

Most of the customers we service would never think of being a DIY, however, it is possible. Therefore, it must be considered as a potential hazard.

Related information on the Bane-Clene web site;

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The Bane-Clene® Team.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Weeding Out Spots

Most of us have spent time pulling weeds in our gardens or flower beds. We obviously all know to be successful the weed must be pulled root and all. We all also know what happens if we don't, the weed grows back in a short period of time.

Spots are like weeds, if not treated properly they come back. Spots are not always "spilled" onto carpets. Substances such as grease, oil and other foreign "gunk" are often tracked onto carpets without immediate detection. These foreign matters then attract dirt from additional foot traffic or airborne particles and form a spot on the carpet. During normal extractions and possible pre-spray, this spot is removed from the surface. But, unless the "root" or origin of the spot is treated with proper techniques and or spotters, the spot will "grow" back again.

Be prepared to inquire with your customer what may have caused the spots and if known, treat accordingly. If the origin is unknown, then give the spot extra treatment anyway. Products such as Citrus APS™, Saf-T-Solv™, Red Relief® and Stain Magicare just a few of the products available to keep that spot from "growing" back. The extra effort spent now may prevent a call back and an unhappy customer.

We offer a variety of Videos on spotting that are available for you to view on our web-site. The link is listed below.

Spotting video link is at https://www.baneclene.com/ProSpotGuide/Content.aspx?xps=NTEx

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The Bane-Clene® Team.

Friday, July 07, 2017

Do It Right The First Time

Most problems arise in the cleaning business from lack of adequate communication between yourself and your customer, rather than an inadequate cleaning job.

The customer should be alerted to the expected time of arrival and any changes to the schedule should be communicated immediately. Once on the job, proper time should be taken to evaluate the areas or materials to be cleaned. Any apparent problems, such as severe stains, tears, open seams, frayed material, etc. should be noted on the invoice and discussed with the customer. It is also a good idea to have the customer acknowledge any issues with their signature on the invoice before beginning. If not properly communicated at the time of the job, these can result in a call back or worse yet a cost to repair or replace the cleaned item or area. Likewise the cost to perform your service should be communicated and acknowledged.

Price your work to be profitable, not just busy. While volume is wonderful, it sometimes produces little or no profit. Your time, knowledge and training are the main commodities of your service business. If your price is to low you may be forced to cheapen your commodity or skimp on time. You do not want your service to be predicated by "the time on the job" rather than the "quality of your work".

Our companies will not have more time tomorrow to "do it again" than we have today to
"do it right the first time".

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The Bane-Clene® Team.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Managing your Bank Balance

There may be times when you have made deposits and you are counting on a certain sum of money being available for bills, payrolls, etc. This is especially prevalent when a company is just starting out.

Even with today's quicker processing of checks, your bank may consider some of the checks you have deposited as "uncollected" funds. This may be because of the size of the check or where it is drawn.

It is a prudent practice to know your bank's policy on uncollected funds. This can prevent a problem of one your checks not being honored because not all the checks you deposited have cleared the other person's or company's account.

Some basic guidelines to practice are:

  1. Call your bank or access your on line account to verify your available balance.
  2. Make your deposits daily.
  3. Pay bills one day a week and be consistent with that practice.
  4. Pay by credit card if offered by your vendor, utility, phone company, etc.

One method to speed up your cash flow and avoid possible uncollected funds issues is to offer the availability of payment by credit card to your customers. While there is a fee involved, in the long run it will pay for itself. The fee is negotiable and usually if your credit card business is with your bank the fee will be less than with another financial institution. Your accounting professional can also assist you with this.

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The Bane-Clene® Team.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Solving Problems

A simple plan for tackling problems is first off to learn all you can about the particular problem. Look at each part of the problem and see if individual segments can be dealt with one at a time instead of all at once.

Next, figure out how you are going to deal with the matter. You then need to plan a strategy and look down the road to picture the ramifications of the solution you choose. Be sure to explore all possible alternatives before putting your plan into motion.

Most importantly, after you have picked a path to follow, do it. You also want to get started as soon as possible. Procrastination will usually only make problems worse and the solution harder.

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The Bane-Clene® Team.

Friday, June 16, 2017

To Make Money

Why are you in business? This question has been posed to owners, Presidents and CEO's of all types and sizes of businesses. Many answered "To Make Money".

To many people, that may seem to be the proper response. However, without exception, the most successful companies were the ones in which the response was "to be the best in our industry". To make money means to base all decisions on accumulating cash. This is very shortsighted and usually dooms a company to failure.

To be the best means believing in yourself and in your employees to provide the energy and ideas to be Number One. You strive constantly to make sure everyone and everything about your company is First Class. You make a plan and everyone works hard and takes pride in what they do. They do this in order to make that plan come to fruition.

To be the best means that you do the things necessary to put yourself on top because those are the right things to do. You are confident that they will work because you want them to and you work with purpose.

When you are the best, you will make much more money and enjoy it much more and over a longer period of time. Much more than those who are in business simply "to make money".

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The Bane-Clene® Team.

Friday, June 09, 2017

Cash Flow

There are warning signs of inadequate cash flow. Here are a few.

  • Your debt service is uncomfortable (higher than what allows easy payment of your bills).
  • When you pay your bills you are unable to take advantage of early payment discounts or in the case of credit cards, entire balances are not paid in full.
  • Your average collection of your receivables are slower than anticipated, causing a problem.
  • You have too little in cash reserves and you need to borrow to keep your bills current.

Ask your CPA to help you balance your cash flow to be compatible with your amount of business.

A regular part of your financial statement from your CPA should track your cash flow and give you monthly or quarterly reports of its positive or negative aspect.

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The Bane-Clene® Team.

Friday, June 02, 2017

ALLERGIES

We occasionally receive calls from Bane-Clene® Systems service customers and also from the owners of Bane-Clene® Equipment. These calls relate to the use of Bane-Clene® chemicals and their possible effects on allergy sufferers. We always will ask the basic chemicals and or compounds they have questions about. In all but a few instances none of our products might cause a problem. One allergist comments that "many people are allergic to something but luckily never come in contact with it". He adds that his patients "are better off with a clean carpet that has all the dust and pollen removed".

However, certain precautions should be followed. Here are some Do's and Do Not's when cleaning in a home where a person with allergies resides:

Do Not: use perfumes, solvents, deodorizers, proteolytic enzymes or residual protectors.

Do Not: spray or mist anything into the air with a sprayer or atomizer.

Do: follow cleaning with a clear water rinse. Advise the customer that the allergic person should avoid contact with the cleaned fibers until thoroughly dry. Increase the ventilation to speed the drying process.

Cleaning with Bane-Clene products removes the sources of allergy problems (which include dust mites, dirt, pollen, pollutants, dander, etc.) for most people who suffer from allergies. Other processes may actually exacerbate the allergy conditions because of the chemical residues and soil they leave behind.

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The Bane-Clene® Team.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Customers Need To Know

A service is the most difficult commodity to sell and offers many challenges. Since a service is not produced until the sale, there is nothing tangible to show your prospect.

Establishing a platform of trust is the most important factor in making the sale. Be sure to guarantee there will be no charge unless the customer is completely satisfied. Also, that you will follow up if there are any questions or concerns.

Having background material such as brochures, testimonials and a resume of your experience builds credibility. Be yourself and sell with sincerity, honesty and integrity.

If a potential customer questions your price, be prepared to defend it. Explain that there are certain costs that need to be factored into establishing your charges. State that when you quote a price, it is complete. There are no hidden charges, exclusions or qualifying conditions that many "bait and switch" cleaners employ after a job has been quoted. This will help combat what they may have seen in the Yellow Pages, a mailer or newspaper or Internet ad.

Even though you present a thoughtful, sincere and professional presentation, some consumers will ultimately shop around for the cheapest price. A competitor that embellishes or distorts the truth may gain a customer one time. But the Company which "tells the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth" will ultimately win in the long haul. Sincerity above "salesmanship" and false promises will build your service Company and your reputation. This leads to repeat and referred customers.

Do not promise more than you can deliver.

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The Bane-Clene® Team.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Show Respect

Whether taking an order for service or answering a complaint, show respect to the caller. Be polite with your responses using "Please" and "Thank You" and other appropriate words and phrases.

In fact, if handled properly, you may be able to turn a complaint into a positive event. Quoting company rules doesn't go over very well with a customer. Everyone knows there are rules. However you want to relay them, if necessary in a calm and polite voice.

Also, using technical jargon when talking to a customer may not be wise. If appropriate or needed, certainly do so. However, most consumers do not wish to become an expert in the cleaning field. Conversely, do not presume the customer is naive about the business. If the customer has had cleaning by another firm, they may ask relevant questions when comparing your firm to others. Be prepared to provide as much detail as warranted.

They may be Hot Water Extraction (HWE) method to others, or your method to a completely different type of cleaning. They may inquire about Carpet Protectors, Deodorizing or Pet Stain Removal. Whatever the question, always be prepared to give professional, practical and if needed technical answers.

Listening is the key to success in customer relations. But, let's say all the potential customer is asking is "how much you charge" and "when can you do it". You may be dealing with a "price shopper". While you want to answer those questions, it is possible to ask some questions of your own that allows you a chance to sell your Company. For example, you certainly want to inquire if you have cleaned for them before. Or do they require a certain day of the week or time of day? This gives you an opportunity to establish a dialogue. If you have been able to establish that dialogue, then you should mention your years in business, trade associations or business groups with which you may maintain memberships. Schools, seminars or other industry education opportunities. All of the aforementioned separate you from your competitors. With that done, you have a chance to turn that "price shopper" into a customer.

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The Bane-Clene® Team.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Quality Defined

There is only one opinion that is important when it comes to defining the quality of your service. That opinion belongs to your customer. In the event the customer believes your quality level to be poor, they simply do not call you again.

Merely calling something "high quality" does not make it so. Monitor all of your work, which can be done in several ways:

  1. You can leave behind a Thank You/Reply Card, #40274. It invites comments. Positive replies can be used as sales tools. If a negative response is received, it should be dealt with immediately.
  2. You can have replies directed to either your Web Site or a Social Media page by leaving behind an invitation sheet for your customer.
  3. You can follow up by a phone call to your customer within 24 hours of service.

Once again you want your customer to "Define Your Quality" so give them the outlet to do just that. Remember quality is like oats. In the case of a horse, they have different levels before and after they are ingested. Make sure your quality is before ingestion.

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The Bane-Clene® Team.

Friday, May 05, 2017

Carpet Protectors

We always approach every customer about having carpet protector applied after cleaning. Many times, someone who we have not cleaned their carpet before, has a negative response. They reply, “The last time I had it done, it did not work,” or “I could not tell that it did any good”, or “It made my carpets sticky”. Our response is that we stand behind our work and our products are all time tested and effective.

A happy customer will call us again. Carpet protector allows them to enjoy a cleaner carpet for a longer period of time. An added benefit to us is that the carpet protector makes it easier to clean their carpets when we return.

We offer different carpet protectors depending on the situation. Bane-Guard™ and Sta-Clene®
are our two most popular brands. We also offer Teflon®. When you sell a carpet protector that requires mixing with water, be sure to mix it properly. Always apply any carpet protector according to all the directions.

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The Bane-Clene® Team.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Warning Sign in the Cleaning Business

Marketing a service is unlike marketing a hard goods commodity. It is intangible until it is produced. A customer or prospect cannot among other things, test drive it, admire the color, or feel the texture of a service. In advertising, a service could be distorted or misrepresented before it is actually performed.

Unfortunately, our industry has "bait and switch" operators. They make it tough on the rest of us, as an unhappy customer may feel all carpet cleaners are the same. Be on the alert for such cleaners and be prepared to adjust your advertising to combat them.

Other warning signs may point to your current advertising strategy. Some questions to ask yourself.

  1. Do sales gimmicks and promotions no longer bring in calls? They may be stale or or out of date.
  2. Price becomes the driving force in booking jobs. Do not "sell" your company short.
  3. Customers tell you they did not know you offered a certain service. Re-evaluate your marketing.
  4. Referrals and repeat customers drop in proportion to total sales. Is your service still as good as it once was?

Continued monitoring of these and other aspects of our business, is something that we do at Bane-Clene® on a consistent basis.

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The Bane-Clene® Team.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Cleaning Demo Proves Safety of System

We often are asked, “is the Bane-Clene® System safe and effective on all carpets?” If we are not able to show them in person, then we share this information with them.

Our service division has often rented booth space and displayed our System at Flower & Patio Shows, Home Shows and similar shows. The obvious purpose was to be able to demonstrate our service to a live audience.

At one such show, we exhibited a truck-mounted unit and performed a marathon type of demonstration. We poured different types of stain-causing foods, liquids and particulate matter on to a piece of carpeting.

When we turned on the equipment (inside the exhibit hall), a crowd would immediately gather. We would make a few passes over the soiled carpet to remove the mess. We would then answer any questions and pass out literature.

Over the 10 day run of the show, these were the statistics:

  • 12 demos per hour
  • 108 demos per day
  • 1080 demos during the show
  • Over 4000 passes (wet and dry) over the carpet

While using the same piece of carpeting, we were able to show that there was no wear or delamination of the carpet. Besides showing the effectiveness of the Bane-Clene® System, we were also able to demonstrate how safe and gentle it is on fibers.

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The Bane-Clene® Team.

Friday, April 14, 2017

About Product Safety

Periodically, there will be an article in the news about damage caused by a Carpet Cleaner. Whether it be an accident, equipment malfunction or "ruined" carpeting, it can cause the public to be concerned about our industry.

The overwhelming majority of the work accomplished by our industry is done safely and without incident. Most of the accidents that occurred have been a result of carelessness or not following instructions. However, when you compare the handful of unfortunate accidents or problems to the economics of the industry, it is quite apparent that these incidents are proportionately small.

Billions of dollars circulate each year due to cleaning and related products and functions. Millions of gallons and pounds of cleaning chemicals are used without incident by thousands of cleaners. The results are cleaner carpets and a healthier environment for all of us.

A true professional always follows all the instructions on product labels. They maintain their equipment so that it is operating at top efficiency. They pride themselves on their techniques and customer relations. To that end, it is important to purchase your products and equipment from a Company that adheres to the same principals as you do.

At Bane-Clene®, we continue to work hard to earn your trust, today, tomorrow and as we have for the over 55 years.

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The Bane-Clene® Team.

Friday, April 07, 2017

Grit is Hard on Floors and Carpeting

Hard surface floors become dingy and dull from the scratches inflicted by shoes and grit. These floors need to be cleaned often to protect them from damage and to keep them looking good. The cost of maintaining them is usually higher than carpeting and potentially labor intensive.

Since dirt and grit can hide in a carpet, some people like to state that cleaning is not required like a hardwood floor. While true carpets should still be professionally cleaned at least once a year and vacuumed frequently. If traffic patterns require it, then daily vacuuming and more frequent cleaning is better for the life of the carpet. When grit and sand "scratch" carpet fibers, that causes the light to refract differently. The result is a "dull" appearance.

When that occurs, consumers go back to the retailers and complain. They claim the carpet is hardly used, has been down several years and looks terrible. If properly questioned, they will probably admit to infrequent vacuuming and the fact that it has never been professionally cleaned.

Both the carpet industry and we the carpet cleaners must continue to educate the public that grit does harm carpets. Regular vacuuming and proper professional cleaning cycles will help the consumer maintain the beauty of their carpets. This will give them a longer life and improve the public's opinion of carpeting and lessen complaints and claims against Mills and Retailers.

The other upside of this is more work for our industry.

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The Bane-Clene® Team.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Clean Carpet Dries Faster

Early on in the days of promoting HWE or “steam” cleaning as it was known then, we published an article entitled “Cleaning Carpet Is Like Washing Your Hair”.

We were drawing the correlation between “shampooing” your hair and not rinsing it thoroughly and cleaning carpeting or rugs with methods that left a large amount of residue behind. Simply put, if you do not rinse the majority of the reside from carpeting, it will re-soil more rapidly.

Bane-Clene® has done extensive research and development in reducing the amount of residue left in a carpet after cleaning. Our chemical line is specially formulated and manufactured with that premise in mind. The mechanical function of The Bane-Clene® Systems are designed to use as little as water as necessary. Total chemical content of each gallon of water used is less that one-half ounce. The overall result is less residual matter and a carpet or rug that will stay clean longer and perform better in the areas of resiliency and aesthetic appearance when proper guidelines are followed.

Just as clean and thoroughly rinsed hair dries faster and stays cleaner longer. Then the less detergent used in the carpet cleaning process and the more completely the water is removed, the better the job will be. Clean carpet will dry faster, look better, last longer and will bounce back when compressed.

Bane-Clene® has the system to accomplish all of this!

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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 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.