Going Out Of Business

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I want to share a story with you about a really good top notch cleaning company that asked me for help last week.

They said that they were struggling and had been for the past couple of years. Each month they watched as their revenue go lower and
lower and lower.

They were desperate.

At this point they have cut their overhead,layed off employees and even sold one of the vans they were using in their business.

They told me they have been doing everything they can to stay in business and keep their head above water. And yet their bank account just keeps getting lower and lower and their hours keep getting longer and longer.

“The economy is horrible and we are tired. Do you think if we took your class and added fire cleaning there is a need in our area?”

Ok I get asked this question all the time. And my answer is always the same.

Absolutely YES!

There is ALWAYS a huge need in the restoration industry for good, carring, highly skilled, organized, compassionate companies to handle and process Contents Cleaning jobs all over the world.

The problem with companies wanting to get into Contents Cleaning is they don’t realize what a gold mine of revenue they have at their disposal and if they aren’t properly trained and ready to handle the work they could ruin a golden opportunity before they even know what they have.

The cool part about cleaners getting into Contents Cleaning and Restoration is you already have a lot of the supplies and equipment
you need. So the startup cost can be quite minimal.

I did tell them that to me it didn’t sound like they were trying to save their business. It sounded like they were going out of business
the slow and painful way.

Don’t let this happen to you.

If you are struggling in your cleaning business or just tired of being the one behind the wand and in the truck 10 hours a day then you need to do something to change that.

The great part about Contents Cleaning is you can have others doing the work for you while you supervise and oversee things.
You don’t have to be the one behind the wand so to speak to be making money.

I hate to see a good cleaning business struggling when there is such a need for them in the industry.

And fires happend all the time they aren’t depedant on the economy.

If you would like to find out more about adding this very profitable and systemized division to your cleaning company checkout our upcoming class dates and let us show you the way to higher profits.



5 Books That Will Help You Run Your Business Better





One of the challenges in business is to be open minded about growing and adapting your thinking. A really good way to do this is to open your mind to new perspectives and new ways of thinking.

A mentor of mine taught me that success leaves a trail. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel you just need to walk down the path already forged by someone who has been there done that and successfully achieved what it is that you want to accomplish.

So the first thing you can do is find someone who has achieved what it is that you want and then study how they accomplished it. Who did they talk to, interview? Did they take a particular class or did they hire a coach? (This by the way is something that I would recommend that you do) And most importantly did they write a book?

I believe that words are incredibly powerful and that you can never read too many books.

I could literally live in a book store with a comfy couch and a latte…just sayin…:)

A person can give themselves a college education with a library card. Think of how powerful it is to be able to have a what to do manual right in front of you and even more importantly written by someone who has maybe been in your shoes and can relate to what you are going thru.

Being in business is tough and sometimes lonely if you feel stressed or just don’t have anyone to bounce ideas off of. In college classes they don’t really teach you outside of the fundamentals of a balance sheet and business plan. And there is so much more than that to know to survive and thrive in your business.

Most business owners open up their doors because they want freedom and have a dream. Not because they are great managers or marketers. Which are two very important elements to possess if you want to have success in your business. In fact a lot of business owners don’t understand the first thing about their financial books or how to track their profit centers.

The good news is that there are a lot of great marketers, financial advisors and managers that have written books for us to learn from. The more information you have the more informed decision you can make when planning your goals within your company as well. You may be a seasoned business owner or just a newbie doesn’t matter. We all have a learning curve as times are changing in how we do business.

Now there are many books that I could recommend for you to read but let’s start with just a few. If you don’t like to read then buy books on audio and listen to them while driving to the office or on the treadmill.

Here are 5 books that I feel are a must read for any business owner:

  1. Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t by Napoleon Hill
  2. Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life: How to Unlock Your Full Potential for Success and Achievementby Mark Victor Hansen
  3. The Success Principles(TM) – 10th Anniversary Edition: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be by Jack Canfield
  4. Triggers: 30 Sales Tools you can use to Control the Mind of your Prospect to Motivate, Influence and Persuade. by Joe Sugarman
  5. All Marketers Are Liars: The Underground Classic That Explains How Marketing Really Works–and Why Authen ticity Is the Best Marketing of All by Seth Godin

It is so important to learn to think outside the box especially when it comes to marketing your product or services. These books can help you develop your own way of doing things in your business that are in alignment with your goals both personally and professionally. If you aren’t sure how to set goals there is a great book written on goal setting by Jack Canfield. These books can also give you a solid foundation to build from. Because most of the time it’s whats between our ears that needs the most work.

You should also read as many books about your particular business as you can. It will make you a better business owner the more you understand your particular market sector.

Look we can’t know everything about everything and we don’t need to if we know where to find it. School is never out for the Entrepreneur and you shouldn’t want it to be. Business would be boring if we stopped growing and learning. Innovation would come to a halt and new ideas would cease to exist.

We don’t always have the answers when we hit a road block so seeking the help of an expert is key.

So go online or to the book store and start expanding your mind just a bit.

Enjoy…:)

Ps. If any of you have already read any of these books I would love to hear what you thought of them??


The One Thing You Absolutely Can’t Live Without

Let’s talk about the human body for a minute. There are a lot of complex systems, organs and parts that make our bodies function and function well.

There’s the liver, nervous system, circulatory system, heart, lungs, kidneys and brain just to name a few. All of these organs and systems are very important and totally necessary for the body to survive.

But is there one that is more important over the other?

Can some of them be replaced by a machine or a transplant?

The answer is yes to both.

You can have a liver, lung or heart transplant. You can even live without a kidney and hook up to a machine. But the two things you cannot live without is a brain, nervous system and circulatory system.

So education and systems are to your business what your brain and nervous/circulatory systems are to your body.

Two things you or your company will die without.






Now this is definitely a subject I can sink my teeth into.

I get so passionate and excited when you start talking about educating yourself and implementing systems!

I know to some of you that makes me a little on the weird side.

Ok…a lot on the weird side. 🙂

But by the time you are done reading this I hope to have you quite excited about my fav topic as well.

You can have a huge warehouse and tens of thousands of dollars worth of the latest and greatest equipment on the planet but if you have no clue how to use them or set your crews into motion processing jobs using them would be like owning a car without a steering wheel and a gear shift.

You can sit in it and look pretty but you aren’t gonna go anywhere.

You can rent, lease or even JV (joint venture) with someone to get the equipment you need. But the right education and systems in place in your operation are what puts you on the road to success.

The other reason that I am so passionate about education is this is an asset that you will own forever.

It doesn’t depreciate.

It can’t be repossessed.

You pay for it as you go so there is no debt to ensure.

And it builds the best kind of capital there is.

Mental Capital!

AND THIS IS THE ONE THING THAT WILL QUICKLY SET YOU APART FROM YOUR COMPETITORS!!

Education and systems has consistently put me ahead of the pack in my business year after year. And it will do the same for you.

When you walk into a prospective client’s home and they are devastated by a disaster that involves everything that they own they want to know that they are in good, knowledgeable and confident hands.

Think about it. If you are taking your Porsche into the shop for a major repair would you want to hear that your mechanic has the newest latest greatest equipment?? Sure. But more importantly wouldn’t you want to hear that they have the best trained and most knowledgeable technicians to use that equipment. Of course you would.

Your potential new client would to.

So what kind of class do you need to take?

One that teaches you how to do the job not how to take a test. One that gives you hands on training with complete reference manuals to take back with you for future use.

You want an instructor that is in the trenches with you and is willing to work with you and support you after your class is completed and you are back in your business implementing all that you have learned. Someone who is willing to guide you thru that initial learning phase and getting your feet wet so to speak.

You want an instructor who can give you all the tools and turnkey systems you need to be successful once you are back in the field.

Your classroom should be full of doing the work not just watching a power point.

DON’T SETTLE FOR ANYTHING LESS IN YOUR EDUCATION!

Cause if you do you and your client both suffer.
And that’s not cool.

Too many classes today teach you just enough to be dangerous and not enough to be successful.

Well I hope you are a bit more excited about my fav topic. 🙂

Are you???

~Annissa



So Cut To The Chase…Am I Gonna Need A Second Mortgage?

No! Absolutely NOT!

And if someone tells you otherwise I’ll bet it’s because they stand to make some commission when you spend all that money.

I’ve heard horror stories of people who are getting into this business being sold tens of thousands of dollars or more of equipment and they don’t even have a building yet nor have they even taken a class!

Now don’t get me wrong you can spend as much money as you want to start up any kind of business and some people do and are very successful. But some people do and within a year they are broke and closing the door and selling off all of the assets that they spent tons of money on that wasn’t necessary to buy in the beginning phase of their business in the first place.

I know first hand of countless cleaning and restoration companies that started out on a shoe string budget sometimes not even owning a single piece of equipment before they opened their doors. And they have been wildly successful.

Sometimes I wonder if this makes us stronger as business owners knowing that it’s up to us to have the skills and ability to sell the job and deliver the value not the fancy equipment in our arsenal.

Now before anybody gets ticked at me (like any equipment manufactuers reading this :)) I want to make it very clear that I am not saying that equipment is not necessary or important in this industry. We all know that the better the tools are that you have the easier, faster and sometimes better the job.

But if all you are worrying about is having all the big bad expensive equipment at your disposal and don’t focus on the other part that you can’t rent or lease then you probably aren’t going to have much success in your business.

The big thing that I want to stress here is not to worry about how to buy the equipment so much. There are several ways to “get” the equipment that you need. You can buy, rent, lease and sometimes trade for it.

I’m not going to go into the equipment and supplies list this post (as I am going to cover that in great detail in a future post) but I am going to dig into the things that you must have and how you can get them.

Then you are going to need to purchase some smaller cleaning tools and supplies. For instance mops, buckets, brooms, specialty scrub brushes and industry specific specialty cleaning and deodorizing agents. But again remember you don’t need a warehouse full you just need enough to do one job to begin with. As you get bigger you can buy in bigger quantities and save some money as well.

A big thing you need to budget in is Education and systems. This is the single most important aspect in my opinion. Cause without it nothing else matters.

Now you can get educated in a variety of ways. You can take a class, buy an online course, read a book and even Google yourself to death. This can all range in cost from several thousand dollars to free.

But I would ask you what is the value if the price is free?

Without education and systems in place you can have all the shiny new state of the art equipment that money can buy and you will have shiny new state of the art equipment that you have no idea how to use to make money with.

You need to be willing to invest in your knowledge base so you can build a good foundation for your business.

You can expect to spend several thousand dollars on your education and systems right away. It’s your best investment period!

So I guess to answer the question “How much do I need to invest to startup a new cleaning reastoration company”?

I would give you an estimate of minimum supplies and equipment that need to be purchased outright and tell you that you can get into this business for under $1000.

I’m just trying to drive my point home that this is really a question that needs to be answered by the individual circumstances of the individual and what they are willing and wanting to do.

Next we are going to talk about Education and Systems.

So what do you think?

I would love to hear your feedback…

~Annissa

The Secret Piece Of Cleaning And Restoration That Has More Profit Than Any Other Piece Hands Down!

It continues to astound me that so many Cleaning and Restoration companies walk away from tons of profit on almost every single job. With just a little bit more effort you could be smiling just like her all the way to the bank.

And why would you ignore a 65 to 75% profit margin that is yours for the taking??

Why would you not want to do something that can gross you up to $25000 or more in as little as 7 days?

Would I have your attention if I told you that you can get paid on your invoice almost immediately upon completion?

How about if you could add this profit center to your business for less than it would cost you to buy two air movers?

Other aspects of the Cleaning and Restoration industry can cost tens of thousands of dollars to get into. This piece can cost as little as a few hundred dollars to start up.

And the funny thing is most of you are already doing it for your clients but you’re not doing all of it and leaving a lot of money on the table in the process.

The part that is so frustrating for me is the reason companies don’t want to deal with this piece of the job is that they assume that it’s gonna be difficult and just donâ’t want to be hassled with it. They just want to get on with the dry out or the remediation because they think that’s where all the money is at.

Well if that is what you think let me tell you you’re dead wrong!

Yep you guessed it. I’m talking about contents.:)

Look you can say you don’t do contents but you are only fooling yourself. And you would be wrong. Because if you are in this business dealing with cleaning carpets, rugs or mitigation work then you are dealing with contents whether you like it or not. And most often I find that businesses don’t like it at all so they just look the other way and stack all those personal items in the center of the room and pretend that they don’t exist.

In essence what they do when doing this is literally ignore money. Just doesn’t make any sense does it?

Contents remediation and processing is not only one of the highest profit margins in Cleaning and Restoration but it really is not difficult to deal with. I promise.:)

You of course need the proper education and systems in place to handle the job. I mean you wouldn’t dream of buying a van and a truck mount and just start sucking water out of someone’s house without having the proper paperwork in place, certifications and getting educated about the process right??

To ignore them will not only hurt your bottom line but will tell your homeowner that you don’t care about them. Cause that’s the message that they will get loud and clear.

A key component to handling contents successfully and making lots of high profit is to ask your homeowner what their concerns are right up front. And if their concern is the grand piano then handle it right away. If the biggest concern is her wedding dress then handle it right away.

Where the problem arises is when we don’t address these things right away in the beginning of the job. And that is where the fear of contents comes from when these horror stories start circulating about cleaners having to buy $7000 pool tables and $10000 diamond rings gone missing. If you look a little closer you almost always find a cleaner or contractor who ignored the pool table and the ring to begin with thus creating their own nightmare.

If they had just given the pool table a little bit of their attention they could have been paid a lot of money to clean it instead. I have billed as high as $1500 to handle a pool table and it only took me 2 hours to do it.

Not a bad ROI!:)

So the moral to this rant is…

Don’t turn your back on money that is laying around for you on almost every job you are already handling. Putting it in your bank account makes a whole lot more sense to me.

I’m just sayin:)

The Psychology Of A Fire

This is probably the most important topic that I am going to talk about on this blog. It’s the one thing that you can’t be ok at or even pretty good at.

You need to be the best at it.

The range of emotions that someone goes thru when they find themselves going thru a fire in their home is pretty intense. The will feel scared, angry, violated, vulnerable, depressed and confussed.

They might even feel all of these at once:(

This can pose a very intimidating sitiation for any Contents Restoration company to handle. That’s why it’s so important to have the right tools and capabilities in your tool box.

You and your team need to be willing and able to help your client not only thru understanding what to do next but how to do it. This takes compassion, understanding, patience and the ability to connect in a huge way with your client in just a few hours. Most of our fire jobs only last about 7 days. That doesn’t leave me or my team alot of time to build a close relationship with the homeowner. Yet that is exactly what we need to do so they feel comfortable taking our advise and allowing us the kind of freedom we need to get the job done.

The last thing you want is to find yourself in a situation with a homeowner that is suspicous of you and doesn’t trust you. If this is where the relationship is at from the get go, you might as well walk away from the job. It will save you and the client a lot of heartache later on.

Helping them handle the letting go process takes them trusting you and is just as much your job as helping them understand how to talk with their adjuster about the payment process of their claim.

I had the privilege of having Dr, Ned Hallowell, an expert psychologist on ADHD and ADD, tour our Mobile Clean Unit and talk with him about how we walk our clients thru the emotional side of a loss.

His feedback was really awesome!

Some Of The Items We Saved

This is why we do what we do. To be able to give back even just a little bit of what they had before the fire.

With the technology and specialty processes that we have in this industry we can save more and more items from being on the logged destroyed list.

Sometimes it even astounds us at how much you can do with the right knowledge and equipment.

Hazmat Situation

Another family needs our help.

This time the call came from Lewiston Idaho when a daybed caught fire and put a family in the Hospital. They are all ok after just one night but their ordeal is far from over.

I want to give you an inside tour of what it’s like to be on the scene in a hazmat severe fire damage situation. This is Day One.

We are in full PPE gear to protect ourselves. For the video we did not have our full respirators on but did put them on afterwards as we realized that the soot and debris was still heavy in the air.

Now it’s time to start the clean up and restoration process so this family can start healing.