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Creating an Employee Manual

Posted By Erin L. Lasch CAE, Wednesday, March 23, 2016
Updated: Wednesday, March 23, 2016

By Kyra Deprez


Whether you are just starting out or have been in business for many years, you should have an employee manual.  Your employee manual clearly states your company's policies and procedures. Having your policies and procedures in a manual ensures that all of your employees are getting the same information.

Your manual should include information about workplace ethics, expected behavior in regards to attendance, dress code information, as well as information on benefits.  Your manual can be as simple or as complex as you so desire.

There are many benefits to having an employee manual.


Communicates Policies and Procedures Consistently

Having an manual for your employees makes sure that everyone has received the same information.  It can help demonstrate professionalism through consistent communications.  It provides a framework to follow when issues arise.


Communicates Applicable Federal, State and Local Laws

Depending on where you conduct business there many be more than a few labor laws that you must adhere too.  Outlining these in your employee manual, along with a signed acknowledgement form can be crucial should an Unemployment Claim or Lawsuit ever arise.


Communicates Employee Safety

Working in the field has more safety issues than an office job.  Outlining your employee safety practices, as well as what to do when an accident happens is especially important (especially when it come to insurance).


Communicates Your Disciple Policy

Once again I will point out that you must treat your employees fairly, and have a clear and consistent discipline policy that is followed for each and every employee.


Communicate Your Policy on Drugs, Alcohol, Smoking

This just might seem like common sense...but having policies in place, and in writing is more important than you might think.

The SBA has some really great resources for creating an Employee Manual

And if you want to get started with a template you can grab a: Free Employee Manual Template.




Kyra Deprez is the VP of Customer Success at Fieldd Service Software.  Fieldd is the sister company to The Boardwalk Cleaning Co. Kyra writes about success as well as failures and has a passion for creating an exceptional customer experience.

Tags:  employees  human resources  personnel issues  policies and procedures 

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FREE 3-Day Website Challenge Starts March 21

Posted By Katie Pearse, Monday, March 7, 2016

As customers, we worry our house cleaners will judge our fingerprinted glass, carelessly bang the vacuum into our baseboards, accidentally leave the door open (bye bye Mr. Whiskers!), snoop through our stuff and agree with each other than we are terrible housewives who lack even the most basic cleaning skills and should be completely ashamed of ourselves.

On top of that, we have to deal with the discomfort and stress of prepping and paying.


Wasn't this whole “house cleaner” thing supposed to EASE our anxieties…?

In order to take the leap and try out your cleaning service, she needs to feel instant trust and acceptance with you and your people.

Yet maid service website after website shows her nothing personal, let alone intimate. There's no photo of the owner, the site has no personality, no style, no manifesto, no story. Why would she trust a nameless, faceless website - is this just a scam? Her fears mount and she’s about to GIVE UP… *hits the back button and clicks on the next search result*

Then WOW! Who is THIS?

She’s landed on a website with friendly faces (real people not just stock photos). She clicks over to the “About” page and sees a smiling professional-looking person – the owner of this company. She or he looks like someone she could have a cappuccino with – or maybe even a glass of wine.

She skims a little more – they use eco-friendly cleaning products, send the same cleaners every time, let their clients pay by credit card AND she can book online?! Whoa… now THESE people are speaking her language.

So she clicks on the “book appointment” button and is taken to a simple booking form next to a photo of a happy family that reminds her of her and her family – little Yorkie, twin boys, super handsome husband…

Instantly it clicks in her heart.

“THIS COULD BE ME! THIS COULD BE US! I could be this peaceful, loving and happy. I can picture it now: freshly made beds, gleaming floors, the scent of fresh lemons… WHEN CAN YOU COME!?!?”

She rushes to her purse, gleefully grabs her credit card, and excitedly types in her info.

She books, she pays, she enthusiastically commands Siri to remind her she’s got a house cleaning appointment next Monday morning (as IF she’d forget!). She likes you on Facebook and is instantly immersed in your world, even if only for a few moments.

She leans back. She smiles. “I've got this. I’ve got our lives under control.” She breathes a sigh of relief. You are now her dream come true.

She texts her 10 closest female friends (complete with emoticons) and tell them how excited she is! “I’ll let you know how it goes!”

She thinks, “Everything’s about to be different! I can’t wait to come home on Monday to a sparkling house. I deserve this. I will pre-order dinner for that night from Whole Foods because I am NOT creating a mess in our kitchen that night. Better grab a complementary bottle of wine to accompany the meal. This is going to be SO FANTASTIC.”

Want to learn how to add personality to your website? Want all those visitors to actually BOOK an appointment? Join my FREE 5-day challenge. It starts March 21 and I'll show you exactly how to infuse your sparkling style into your website and social media. 

Because people who like you, know you, trust you, GET YOU? They turn into paying customers.

Join me! The party starts March 21.

Get on the Guest List at www.themaidmentor.com/get-on-the-guest-list

Tags:  branding your business  marketing  new website  web site 

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Cleaning with essential oils

Posted By Mountain Aire Cottage Care, Friday, March 4, 2016
I've just begun to research this idea of offering this to my customers.  I would be interested to hear if any of my fellow members are incorporating essential oils in their cleaning methods.  Which oils do you use and how?  

Tags:  chemical-free cleaning 

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Top 10 Tools That Will Save Your Business

Posted By Katie Pearse, Tuesday, March 1, 2016

The first 3 years of running my cleaning business were a headachey, jaw-clenching struggle. I was working day and night, 7 days a week. Staff quit without notice (the ones who texted at 7 AM letting me know they weren't coming into work were the GOOD employees!) The expenses never seemed to end: taxes, employment insurance, pension contributions, WCB, insurance, refunds, discounts, products, more Dysons...

Because we were so busy with appointments and a seemingly revolving door of employees, the operations of my company had to be efficient and flawless. I've never found the PROCESS to be a challenge. But the PEOPLE certainly are.

People are emotional, irrational and illogical. The people in your cleaning business are the tricky part. We will begin to tackle that trifecta (customers, cleaners & competitors) later.

Processes can be efficient and professional (phew!), thanks to the incredible tools others have created that you can implement today in your business.

Here are the top 10 tools that saved my business as a very busy entrepreneur:

  1. Scheduling software: Jobber (#1 choice), Fullslate

  2. Websites: Squarespace (#1 choice), WordpressWeebly

  3. Graphic design: CanvaPicMonkey, WordSwag iPhone app (for social media)

  4. Photo editing: Aviary (iPhone app), PicMonkey

  5. Books: The Slight Edge, The Gifts of Imperfection, Conscious Business, Mindful Leadership, How to Never Look Fat Again (kidding but still a good read), Why She Buys (my #1 fave), Customer Service Training 101, The 4-Hour Workweek, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us (my #2 fave), Predictably Irrational (my #2 fave), The Platinum Rule

  6. Email Marketing: MailChimp

  7. Accounting: Freshbooks

  8. Customer data: Wufoo

  9. Lead generation (contests, popups): Wishpond

  10. Keywords/SEO/copywriting: Google Keyword Tool, Melissa Cassera

Remember to join my private Facebook club. I’m excited to get to know you & your business a bit better.
I’ll see you inside!

Tags:  blog  marketing  marketing ideas  new website  website 

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Pulse of the Planet: Quats - Effects on Humans

Posted By Cary Birdwell, Tuesday, March 1, 2016
Updated: Tuesday, March 1, 2016

I just wanted to share this brief show on Quats from Pulse of the Planet. You can read the transcript below or click here to listen to the podcast.



Quats Harmful to Humans?

A widely used category of chemical substances is coming under scrutiny for possibly having harmful side-effects. I'm Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.

Hrubec: Over 800,000 tons of these compounds are produced each year in the US. 

Terry Hrubec is a research assistant professor in the College of Veterinary medicine at Virginia Tech. She and her colleagues have been studying QAC's or Quats since 2006.

Hrubec: We might encounter them on a daily basis in a wide variety of circumstances. Probably the most likely are from our laundry products, also in restaurant and food production settings, where they wipe the tables down with these compounds and also in restrooms where they're commonly used as cleaners.

Hrubec: A lot of hand sanitizer's contain these Quatanary Ammonia Compounds. This is particularly troubling as often they're used to clean hands before eating. And so then you have a Quat contamination on your hands as you're handling your food, and you're going ingest some of that chemical.

Hrubec's laboratory experiments have shown that Quats adversely affect the reproductive systems of mice.

Hrubec: We can show that they're harmful to mice, but that doesn't necessarily mean that they pose a problem for humans. It's unethical to test chemicals on humans the same way we test them in mice. We can't expose people and look for adverse effects. But there's also published evidence to show that workers who use these disinfectants in their job - these are janitorial staff, nursing staff and other healthcare professionals - they have higher rates of asthma, allergies and skin irritation from exposure to these compounds. And that's been well documented.

We'll hear more on Quats in future programs. I'm Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet. 

Tags:  cleaning chemicals  disinfectants  quats 

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Chemical-Free Cleaning from the School of Cleaning

Posted By Cary Birdwell, Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Has anyone taken the Chemical-Free Cleaning course from the School of Cleaning, and can you provide any feedback about it's value? Thank you.

Tags:  chemical-free cleaning 

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Tapping Into Real Estate Cleaning

Posted By Erin L. Lasch CAE, Tuesday, February 23, 2016

By Kyra Deprez

PreviewWorking with Realtors can be a great way to add seasonal as well as additional occasional income.  The best Realtor to develope a relationship from my experience is property managers.  The reason for this is that they will have a flow of properties for you to clean on regular intervals throughout the year, and if they are really good at what they do, they will grow their clientele, in turn giving you more business.

Our average property manager generates more than $15k in revenues per year.  Which is, on average, more revenue than a weekly basic client.

So how do you go about getting these folks as your clients?  There are several tactics which you can employee.  The first one is to simply get out there and start to meet Realtors, you can do this by joining your local Realtor Board and sponsoring various classes. Look for a class that seasoned realtors will be attending, if you don’t know what to look for then call the board and ask, they generally have an education department that is very friendly.

Head directly to offices and introduce yourself.  Do you have a college or university near by?  Google lease opportunities near the campus, and you will soon find that there are often just a few agencies that handle the bulk of these rentals.

Looking to get in with a few real estate offices?  Call and offer to be a sponsor, most offices have weekly meetings where agents gather to talk about new listings, updates, sales of the week and so on.  Bring some muffins, juice or coffee, introduce yourself and offer a free cleaning.  Offering a free cleaning builds trust.  I mean why would they refer you to their clients if they are not confident in the work that you can do?

So here are a few examples of how I like to present myself to Realtors...either in person, by phone, or e-mail.

Just think about it…

     Clients Have No Time...

You would think that when selling a house that common sense would set in and they would keep the house in tip top shape, but the truth is only 10% of people out there keep a home as immaculate as it needs to be when showing it to potential buyers. Honestly, with all that is going on in life and getting ready for a move, who has time to keep the house perfect.

     But My House is Clean…

Ya not so much, there are different definitions of clean and like I said only about 10% of household out there are really, really clean.  I mean sparkling clean.

     You Know the Photographer Ain’t Gonna Do It…

You have all seen those real estate photos with heaps of junk and unmade beds...those homes are just aching for a low ball offer.  But, even the little details can make a difference.  You know that a photographer is not going to take the time to load the dishwasher with the morning dishes, or put the hang the towels off the bathroom floor.

     The Gift of Clean...

So you could certainly get your clients a nice bottle of bubbly...just like everyone else or you could give them the Gift of a Clean house.  Cleaning gift cards can be used when they move out or at their new home.  It is a gift that is sure to be remembered...and there is no hangover included!

So go out there and get yourself some new business by tapping into the real estate community.



Kyra Deprez is the VP of Customer Success at Fieldd Service Software.  Fieldd is the sister company to The Boardwalk Cleaning Co. Kyra writes about success as well as failures and has a passion for creating an exceptional customer experience.

Tags:  real estate 

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Posted By Katie Pearse, Tuesday, February 16, 2016
Updated: Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Wouldn't it be great if EVERYONE hired a cleaning company? Imagine how much easier your life would be! There are three types of people out there looking for cleaning services, and your marketing has to appeal to all three types if you want to get EVERY customer who comes across your website or social media.


"OMG please help me my house is a mess the cat fur is everywhere there is dried stuck-on food all over my floor I don't have time to shower let alone play with my kids AND keep my house in showhome condition and I am going to LOSE MY MIND if I can't hire someone RIGHT NOW to clean this freakin' disaster."


"I deserve a cleaning service because I am very very very busy and realize that outsourcing jobs like cleaning is an extremely effective use of my money. I can afford it, I know it makes perfect sense, and now I am going to explore the many options available to me before I take the plunge."


"I want a cleaning service SO BADLY but I have a million worries about it. Can anyone really clean as well as I can? Don't I have to clean my house BEFORE the maids show up? Can I trust them around my jewelry/dog/baby? Will it be a waste of money? I have heard horror stories from friends, my mom, in the news... I'm so stressed out just thinking about it that I'd rather just do it myself or stay frustrated and unhappy."

Several years ago, I wrote a really popular blog post to help out all the people who fall into category #3. It was called "Nervous?" and I addressed every objection I could think of as to why someone wouldn't hire a cleaning service, even though they wanted to!

Read the original blog post from my website:

Tags:  advertising  customer relations  customer service  marketing  marketing ideas 

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2016 Retreat Roundup

Posted By Erin L. Lasch CAE, Friday, February 5, 2016

Last week was the ARCSI Annual Board Retreat. This is a three-day event where the ARCSI Executive Committee and Board of Directors gather to go beyond the business of conducting business, but to review, evaluate and strategize for the coming year for this growing association.

“Our Annual Board Retreat is a great opportunity for us,” 2016 ARCSI President Jeff Lange said. “We are even more fortunate that our Emeritus Council was able to join us this year. We were able to spend an extensive amount of time considering what services, activities and programs we should be providing for our membership.


“Membership has grown steadily over the past several years. We want to build on that success and strengthen the foundation of our association to accommodate its expanding membership,” Lange continued.


A few of the items that received significant focus are:

  • How to Grow the Membership
  • Future of Regional Meetings and Executive Leadership Conference
  • Recognizing Members for Community Involvement
  • Expanding ARCSI Volunteer Opportunities
Stay tuned to ARCSI as we begin working on these objectives and more.

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Plastic Mop Frames

Posted By Diana L. Pelley (Hunter), Thursday, January 28, 2016

I'm looking for plastic mop frames in 16" width.  The newer aluminum frames are not suitable to our cold Manitoba winters.  The aluminum frames have a plastic guard on the ends which cracks and breaks off when bumped if it becomes frozen.  Just taking them in and out of a vehicle can do this.  Resulting in sharp metal edges being exposed that scrape or puncture baseboards and walls.  While the suppliers view these frames as an upgrade, in a northern climate they are seriously mistaken.

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