Monday, December 8, 2014


It is getting toward the end of the year and I thought I would share with you some of the reasons I have heard for BSC's not joining the association(s). 

1. I've been in the business for 35 years and am a seasoned pro in this business so why do I need to spend time and money? 

2. What can I really learn? This business is all about price anyway. All the customer wants is the lowest price?

3. My Dad started the business back in the 60's and he got along without it. We have grown to $500,000 a year in volume in only 50 years.

4. I'm not going to go and let other people learn my secrets. 

5. It costs to much. I have to pay dues and then I have the expense of going to meetings and attending the annual trade show and conventions. I can do well on my own. 

Well, there you have 5 reasons I have heard in the recent past. You will notice in the title of this blog, I didn't say GOOD reasons, I just said reasons. More like excuses if you ask me. Let's look at these reasons and see if they are something we can all agree on.

1. I had a question for the man who told me this one. I asked, "Do you really have 35 years of experience or do you have one year of experience 34 times over. He looked at me strangely and asked to explain which I did. If you don't involve yourself with the industry and attend trade shows and conventions, how do you know what has happened that can assist you in doing the job faster and more profitable. Each year NEW "stuff" comes to the show that helps increase productivity. 

2. So the business is all about price? Who makes it that way? We BSC's. Buyers are always telling me that they get calls from contractors saying whatever you are paying, I can do it cheaper. With friends like that in the industry we don't need any enemies. 
We need to understand we are in the business of providing PROPOSALS FOR FACILITY SERVICES, not bids for cleaning. It is up to us to prepare a complete proposal for the prospect on what we can provide and how we will manage the service. If all we want to do is give them a price we have put ourselves in selling of a commodity and then you just as well get a fancy napkin, a nice ink pen and print a price on the napkin and give it to the prospect. 

3. Your dad was a smart man for getting into the business because it takes a lot of intestinal fortitude to start a business and STAY in business. If you are happy with a half million dollar business after 50 years, go for it, but maybe, just maybe, the reason you haven't grown is because you are not associating with people that can help you build you business. I was in the business 50 years ago and it doesn't resemble what the business is today---thank goodness. 
Going to the annual trade show and the peer to peer learning sessions can and does provide you with a mountain of information to grow your business profitably. There are things now like software for pricing, paperless proposals etc., if you choose to provide the information to your prospect via internet. Inspection software is available from a myriad of companies.  NONE OF THIS WAS AVAILABLE 50 YEARS AGO, or 20 years ago for that matter.

4.  So you don't want anyone to learn your trade secrets? Here's a real shocker. If you haven't been involved in a trade association for years, you don't have any trade secrets. It might be a good idea to attend a convention and listen to the other people's "trade secrets". 

5. It costs to much, huh? I prefer to call it an investment in the future success of my business. I know this is an old statement but one idea from a fellow BSC can pay your dues over and over. For example, one year I listened to a successful BSC explain how to properly classify your employees for workers compensation premium basis and I realized I had been doing it wrong and costing myself thousands of dollars each year. After that year, the dues and registration fees no longer became an expense because my annual premium savings far exceeded the dollars I was spending for those items.

Well, there you have 5 reasons not to join your association(s). Not good reasons, but reasons. There you also have, in the limited space available in this blog, some rebuttals to the reasons given. 

So if you are a member and the dues statement comes in the mail, take a few moments to consider the people you have learned to know and the lessons you have learned that have helped your business. If you aren't a member, maybe you should consider the value that your company can derive. 

This blog is number 131 in our series that started in 2012. I hope you have found some or all of them helpful. This is our last one for 2014 but look for us to post again early in 2015. 

By the way, we have 2 sales workshops coming up in 2015 and also, we are available to do 1 and 2 day workshops in individual companies next year as well. A new training DVD will also debut in January so watch for that. All of the information can be found at

Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. 

Till next year.  

Wednesday, December 3, 2014


How about it, have you scheduled your training for 2015? I mean a REAL calendar which includes training for top management, administrative staff, sales staff, operations management as well as site supervisors and cleaning technicians. 

Let's start with the cleaning techs and site supervisors. What are you doing to be assured they are up to date with the latest information and products you are using? You have heard me talk many times about the need to have a refresher course for all people responsible for the actual cleaning of the customer facilities. Your site supervisors and cleaning techs are your representatives at night in the field. 

 We are all human and get into bad habits when performing a task that many times is the same task every day in the same environment. Most of us don't mean too, we just do. We need for everyone to have a refresher class on what our company cleaning procedures are. And no, just having someone go over it out in the field in a hurry doesn't suffice which brings me again to my opposition of training in the field with an experienced worker. 

How do we know the experienced worker hasn't got into bad habits as well? They too may not mean to, but just do. On the other hand, some of them may have tried to develop shortcuts in our service delivery and if it is a great idea that doesn't short change the customer, shouldn't we all be privy to the information? I rest my case for having a systematic, organized, printed initial training program with scheduled follow up. 

What about the administrative staff? Are they up to date on the latest in invoicing, financial statement preparation, and collection procedures. As I attend the annual industry trade show each year I see more and more outstanding administrative software packages. Are you exploring the opportunities available? This is the education side of keeping up in the industry. 

What about the sales staff? Are you giving them REAL sales training in our industry? Do you have a systematic sales program established for 2015 and beyond? There is no better time than right now to get organized if you haven't done so. (Commercial: check our web site for upcoming sales workshops in

Now, look at the 2015 calendar that BSCAI and ISSA have for training and education of mid level and upper level management. Both associations are working hard at providing information that can be used NOW. 

Many organizations, including ours, provide ongoing training in a variety of subjects. In fact, at Consultants In Cleaning, LLC, our 2015 calendar will also include day long training workshops for both Human Resource staff and Supervisors of a BSC company. 

Be sure to schedule your distributor and manufacturer for technical training sessions. Most do a tremendous job for that is what they are trained to do--teach the end user how to use their products. Many distributors are now providing a service where you can lease a tablet and download instant training subjects while in the field. This is a great step forward in getting useful information immediately to where it is needed most.

So, how about it? Do you have a full education and training calendar for next year. Your growth of new customers and RETENTION of existing customers just might depend on it.

Till next time.