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UAMCC event Atlanta March 19th 2015

Posted by Linda Chambers on Mon, Mar 23, 2015 @ 11:38 AM

The weather may have been dreary outside but those that came to the UAMCC Atlanta event didn't mind.

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Soap Warehouse and Iron Man Pressure Washers hosted this event on Thursday March 19th at the Fairfield Inn & Suites at Gwinnett Place. Most came from the local metro area, but there were also contractors that came from out of town, from Augusta, GA, Palmetto, GA, Greenville, SC and as far as Fort Pierce, FL.

Lindapresenting031915

It was a fast past packed full day of sessions mainly focusing on marketing and OSHA compliance. With sessions shortened to only 30 minutes each, a lot more focused material was covered, which kept the day moving and so no one could be uninterested for long. Sessions covered: Linda Chambers from Soap Warehouse gave talks on Inbound Marketing, Why you should use Videos, and Referral Programs.

Soap Warehouse gave away a 60 second professional video as a door prize after the Why use Video session and Todd Reese of Georgia Power Washing won.

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Three speakers came in to cover Outbound Marketing with Online Yellow Pages and Adwords. Then Arrie Parker from Iron Man had a session on Occupational Health followed by a healthy lunch of Subway sandwiches, fruit, chips and drinks.

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Things went so fast a few extra sessions were squeezed in. After lunch Nichole from UAMCC discussed the new revisions of their certification program and other benefits of membership. Arrie gave again a session on Cold Calling he gave at this event last year, which was followed up by Linda giving how to set up OSHA training, after which Soap Warehouse gave a way a $50 product gift card and Ryan Fox of Outback GutterVac won that door prize. Ryan is on the right.

BretMattisonRyanFoxBretMattisonRyanFox

Next was Spill kits why you should have one and how to make one, ending with the hands on OSHA Spill kit training at the end of the day on how to put together your own DIY spill kit and actual spill kit practice inside in the hotels pool area simulating a small spill of a potassium hydroxide concrete cleaner.

MakingaspillkitSpillTraining

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The event finish just before 4:00 allowing everyone to get on the road to try and be ahead of some of Atlanta's well known traffic. 

Tags: UAMCC, Soap Warehouse, event, OSHA, marketing, training, spill kit

We are hosting a local UAMCC event here in town.

Posted by Linda Chambers on Mon, Aug 18, 2014 @ 04:06 PM

This Saturday, August 23, 2014, Soap Warehouse, along with the North American Pressure Wash Outlet of Gainesville, GA, will be hosting a free UAMCC event.describe the image

It will be held in the meeting room of the Olde Town Tavern in Lawrenceville, GA at 835 Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road. This event will have classes running from 10:30 until 5:00 and will include lunch. 

To start the day attendees can go up the street to Panara Bread to grab breakfast and do some Networking and just before the venue opens we will be having an outside wash demo done on the Olde Town Tavern building starting at 9:15.

The venue opens at 10:00 am to check in, get badges and get up to the meeting area. Welcome will start at 10:15 with the first speaker scheduled to start at 10:30. Most talks will run from 30-40 minutes and will cover a wide range of topics: incorporation and taxes, customer retention, cold calling, chemical safety, how to set up OSHA training, pumps and more. 

During lunch the tables will be set up with talking topics to coincide with the speakers to enhance and expand on the information being presented.

At the end of the day there will be a drawing for some items donated by the sponsors as a thank you to the attendees for coming.

If you have not registered yet there is still time, spaces are limited but some are still available, so act fast.

I hope to see many of you there and am looking forward to this intimate learning experience that the UAMCC is bringing to our area. You must have a ticket number to register but the tickets are free, you can contact me 1-800-762-7911 to get yours.

 

Tags: Soap Warehouse, event, UMACC

5 reasons to exhibit at a Home Show

Posted by Linda Chambers on Tue, Apr 22, 2014 @ 10:00 AM

Spring is the time for Home Shows, now and in the Fall. Participation in a Home Show is an investment; exhibits take a lot of time and require a lot of resources. Plus, they can be expensive, but the benefits can make the cost well worth it. Here are the top five reasons to participate in a home show: 
  • Reason #1: People go to home shows to buy. While it is true that many attend just to pass the time but most have a purchasing reason to be there. They’re there because they have a need—perhaps one that your company’s product or service can fill. In a nutshell, home shows might be just the place to generate hot leads that are ready to schedule or buy (from you), that very day.
  • Reason #2: People still conduct business offline and in person. They may price shop on line but those that, need to see to be convinced, may be just the type that needs to meet you in person, see your booth, your before and after posters and get to know you. And those that come to home shows are more than 96% from that local area. This puts your services in front of a heavily local audience. Where else can you get in front of hundreds of prospective buyers all in one day?
  • Reason #3: People attend home shows to see new products. In fact, this has been the number one reason to attend a show for over twenty-five years. Has your company recently introduced a new product or service you’d like to feature. Or, perhaps you have just added new equipment or machinery that prospective customers need to know you have, shows you are Waste Water compliant, etc. Trade shows can be just the place to show off your latest improvement.
  • Reason #4: Home shows yield a positive return on investment (ROI). The average ROI for every dollar spent on a trade show is $4.99. And that’s just the average. Imagine the possibilities if you went above and beyond this return. Do a little research, find out what the competition is doing and if they will even be there. Do you have a prospective customer list? A target zip code you would like to sell too? Reach out to them ahead of time. Send them an e-mail or letter asking them to stop by and see you, include a special offer. Invite them to pick up a limited gift in person on exhibit day. Or send an email or letter that attendees can show for an extra chance to win in a prize drawing, entered only at the show.
  • Reason #5: This show may be the only one a prospect attends this year. Close to half of all attendees only attend one home show a year. That gives you the potential to reach someone you may not reach even if you exhibit at another show. Once they’re there, make them glad they came. Provide value by having knowledgeable and helpful staff available to answer questions, have before and after photos, a demo video and show customer testimonials. And send these special visitors away with a little something to remember you by. A premade care package, complete with branded hand wipes, pain reliever, bandages and LifeSavers® that can come in handy in their car. Visitors can find out what they need to know about your company while getting items they will use and think of you well into the future. Regular attendees can be given other single give-a-way items like branded magnets, pens, jar openers, note pads, anything that has staying power to be in their home.

I hope that you picked up a reason or two to justify exhibiting at a Home Show this Spring or next Fall. Home shows can provide such a great way to reach people ready, willing and able to buy your product or service.

Tags: Soap Warehouse, Trade Show, Home Show

Winter Work other than pressure washing.

Posted by Linda Chambers on Fri, Feb 07, 2014 @ 10:00 AM

I know many of you already have thought about or may be doing other jobs during the cold weather months, but I thought I would make a list of job ideas just incase some guys are just sitting around wishing they could get out and wash a house or roof in this below average cold most of us are having this Winter.

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The first type of work is to just shift from outside to inside. For example Hood Cleaning, other commercial kitchen cleaning while skiping the hoods themselves, inside warehouse cleaning of floors and walls, even commercial painting to keep busy. Here is one example of a company that seems to do it all to keep working all year round, Americlean.

The next type does take you outside but to work fighting what the weather is bringing, such as ice dam removal, snow plowing private or commercail parking lots (the cities do not take care of them). Here is company Roof to Deck that has added it to their work line up. And here is a company that went so far as to add separate company names and complete web sites for each part of their business. They are The LandscapesGuys for Landscape and Pressure Washing for most of the year and then the IceDamGuys during the winter months.

Those of you that already have cherry pickers or sissor lifts you can use them to replace light bulbs inside commmercial buildings, in signs and for parkling lot fixtures. Here is a very large company that is doing it Extra Clean Inc.

You might even find that one of these type of work jobs is what you might really like to focus on moving forward just like this company here in Atlanta, Atlanta Warehouse Cleaning, who years ago started just as a commercial pressure washing company that turned into a work specific company that now only does warehouse cleaning that was most recently purchased by a carpet cleaning company.

So think outside that box, think what skills and equipment you already have that can be used in another way for different jobs and good luck.

Tags: Soap Warehouse, Winter work

Is brown derby cleaner epa approved for run off?

Posted by Linda Chambers on Fri, Feb 07, 2014 @ 09:21 AM

This was a long tail phrase someone put to the Bing search engine on 2/6/14 at 12:46 p.m. that was directed to our site.

And it was a very good question, and one we get a lot, so I thought I would do a blog post to answer it.

The answer unfortunately is not just a Yes or No one. The fact is NO soap is approved for storm water run off including Brown Derby. That said there are many was to make cleaning with Brown Derby or almost any cleaner EPA approved for sewer drain discharge to be handled by a waste water facility.

First it does not matter how "Green" or completely safe a cleaner is, once it has been used to wash a surface, all the dirt, debris, oils and contaminants that are released from that surface are now in the waste water and must be addressed to meet EPA standards or the standards of that particular municipality which can be stricter than the EPA's.

I can say that Brown Derby, as well as almost all of our cleaners, is phosphate free, is classified under the US CLEAN WATER ACT as a non toxic pollutant, is a non hazardous substance (section 302) once diluted and used as directed, is also not classified under the CLEAR AIR ACT as a hazardous air pollutant, and is biodegradable.

That said, this does not mean you can just wash with it and flush the waste water into the sewer. You need to know what your local regulations are. You may be fine to wash straight on to the ground, if on grass or gravel and if the run off can not immediately be washed into a watershed or waterway. But you might be required reclaim all the waste water, to filter your water through an oil filter, through a sediment filter to meet a micron per gallon limit, or to meet a certain pH range, these are just some of the many other requirements that may need to meet, for federal, state and local regulations prior to discharge.

I hope the person that did this search and any others that come here later following the lead of this long tail will contact us 1-800-762-7911, so that we can evaluate the needs of each contractor and customer situation to find them the best cleaning solution to their particular job.

 

Tags: Soap Warehouse, Brown Derby, EPA approved

What really is a Business Plan and Why should I make one?

Posted by Linda Chambers on Mon, Dec 02, 2013 @ 10:45 AM

Many small business owners just decide one day, for what ever reason, that they want or need to work for themselves and up and start a self business. But sooner or later there will come a time when this single person business will be asked for or need a business plan. Maybe it is the bank for a loan or to open an account or a CPA that files your taxes, but no matter the reason why, every business owner should make a plan to help them manage their business during its life.

If you do not have one already the governments Small Business Administration is a good place to start to get a template of what should be included in a plan. http://www.sba.gov/category/navigation-structure/starting-managing-business/starting-business/writing-business-plan. And if you are really new to business and just jumped right into it you might even want to back track and take a look at the steps of starting a business they offer as well, http://www.sba.gov/thinking-about-starting. You may find you have missed a few things you should still think about doing.

A business plan is just a road map of where you are to where you want to end up. It will include things like your mission statement, the who, what, where and how of your business. What type of work you will perform, in what locations, who is your prospective customer, what prices are you expecting to charge or how you will calculate your pricing, what equipment you will buy, at what cost, will you spread this cost over a set number of years, will you do all the work yourself or hire employees, how will you deal with these employees, and what your expected profit will be in a set period of time from the start of your business.

Now many business owners think that they only need to make a business plan once, when they are first starting out or to fulfill a loan requirement for a banker, but a good business owner will review and adjust their business plan as the years go by as their business grows and evolves. For instance when just starting out you may have worked alone and mainly did house washing, but over time you added employees, these grew into multiple crews and you found you enjoyed cleaning and staining decks, while doing house washing, more than washing homes and your business shifted to mainly deck work. With this change your business plan should also be changed and rewritten. In fact many business plans are made to cover a finite amount of time after which a new plan is expected to be made to cover a next set amount of time. There are other places and groups available to help you with this, like SCORE http://www.score.org/resources/business-plans-financial-statements-template-gallery, Bplans.com or even Microsoft Office. Even here in your own industry there are groups that have done the work for you or will help you, such as http://www.powerwash.com/articles/pressure-washing-business-plan-power-wash-contractor.html. Also free examples to watch and learn from on youtube.com, just search "how to write a business plan".

So during this month of December, being National Business Plan month, I encourage you to make or revisit your business plan.

Tags: Soap Warehouse, Business, business plan

How to increase the life span, while lowering the cost of a wood deck.

Posted by Linda Chambers on Fri, Nov 08, 2013 @ 02:14 PM

When you are thinking about adding or replacing a wood deck to your home you need to do the math.

First is the actual cost of the materials. Pressure treated lumber is the most affordable decking material running at about $15 per square foot installed as a national average. A little bit more if you want additional decorative features. Cedar can run twice as much at around $30 per square foot but should last longer with proper maintenance, with Teak wood setting you back the most between $40-60 per square foot, but it can stand the most weathering with the least amount of maintenance. You can also consider composite decking which will not require repeated staining or sealing but that will run between $25 to $50 per square foot installed, almost as much as Teak, for your initial investment.

Once you have decided on the size of your deck and the material you can not forget the maintenance costs. This is the major contributing factor of how long your deck will last. Most decks will cost over their life time any where from $300 - $1,200 dollars a year to maintain. This will vary not only because of the size and material of your deck but with the amount of cleaning, type of staining and sealing that is required and if you do the work yourself or hire it out to a professional. Even with a professional the costs will vary due to the quality of the contractor and the materials they are using. It will not pay in the long run to hire some one cheap that uses inferior products that will cause you to rehire some one the very next year vs. a competent contractor using superior products that will last 3-5 years before the work needs to be repeated.

The way to tell if your deck needs treatment is to throw a bucket of water at it or look at it right after a hard rain. If the water beads up, then your sealant is working. If the water is absorbed by the decking, then it's time to reseal. A deck that isn't sealed properly is vulnerable to the elements and could experience rotting, warping and splitting. Routine maintenance is far cheaper than replacing the deck so make sure you keep your decking in tip-top shape. Stain is not weather proofing, only a color enhancer, you need a sealer for that.

Even woods that do not requiring routine staining and sealing to be cleaned and cleaned correctly so not to destroy the wood and its own natural properties. Be sure the contractor you hire is experienced with your type of decking. Even composites need cleaning, especially for mold and mildew and can be damaged if cleaned with improper chemicals.

Knowing the costs beforehand can help you make the right decisions when it comes to choosing materials and who to hire to do the job. Keeping your deck in top shape will increase its life and there by reducing the yearly cost by spreading them over a longer period of time.

To find a professional contractor to clean or stain and seal your deck check out one of these links:

http://pressurewashing.net/
www.uamcc.org/
www.pressurenet.net/
www.bbb.org/search
under “deck cleaning and waterproofing” or “pressure washing” in your area

You can also get products to use for your self at www.shopsoapwarehouse.com.

Tags: Soap Warehouse, deck care

New size and lower price for Bio Barrier

Posted by Linda Chambers on Fri, Sep 27, 2013 @ 10:05 AM

A great product just got better. Bio Barrier will now be available in 55 gallon drum kits and at a lower price. So not only will you save on the cost of keeping mold, mildew and algae at bay you can save on shipping cost too.

Previously a full drum of Bio Barrier weighed 520 lbs and cost $650.00. But now with a kit you will get a 6 gallon pail of supper concentrate you will add to your own 55 gallon drum, add water to make that 55 gallons of RTU for $550.00, a hundred dollar savings. Plus this kit weighs less than 60lbs. This will drasticly reduce the shipping cost as well. You could easily be saving over $200 for just one kit. 

Bio Barrier of course is designed to remove odors that come from mold, mildew and algae and retard thier regrowth after a cleaning. Roofs, siding, even side walks and decks can see months of care free use with out the return of ugly stains.

After cleaning & treatment

Call 1-800-762-7911 to order.  mold regrow resized 600 Before cleaning. 

Tags: Soap Warehouse, Bio Barrier, New Pricing

How to use long tail key phrases.

Posted by Linda Chambers on Mon, Aug 05, 2013 @ 10:30 AM

When I say "long tail" I am talking about the key word phrases that you place in your web site pages body copy, photo meta tags and in your blog posts that allows search engines to chose to show your web site page over another.

You first need to weekly or at least monthly research with your available anylitics to find out what current visitors have used for their search words to find you.

Gone are the days of just a few key words working. You need to create complex long tail phrases to help pin point customers directly to you instead of the competition.

And don't be suprised by the phrases you find. Some may be very difficult to figure out how to incorperate into your page copy.

I will go through some of ours to show you what I mean. I knew right away that Soap Warehouse was going to have a hard time with certain key words, especially with product  names. One - because most of the names where too common ie: "Hood Cleaner" for our hood cleaning product or because the name was senominous with something else ie: "Brown Derby" like the restaurant of old in LA or currently at Disney World. Or "Top Gun" our aircraft cleaner with the same name as the movie.

Because of this right away we had to use multi key word phrases "Top Gun aircraft cleaner" "Brown Derby truck wash" "Hood Cleaner kitchen exhaust cleaner". But these will not help if people are not actually using them to search with. More often we would see that our top search results where things like: "brown soap", "truck soap", "aircraft soap", "sodium hydroxide cleaner" but even these would bring in very low numbers because too many sites had simular key word phrases.

So we constantly are adding long tails we knew people had used to find us like: "acid cleaners for aluminum", "best degreaser for chinese kitchen grease", "algea cleaner for gloeocapsa magma". You have to take these phrases and go into your page content and match the phrase word for word to gain the maxium effect.

For instance the part of the discription we had for "Hood Cleaner" read "This product has a good performance history in Chinese restaurants." That phrase now reads "This is our best degreaser for chinese kitchen grease." See how we incorporated the long tail search phrase into the body copy. Now the next time someone searches that same phrase we have a much better chance of being the first page to show up for that.

For the phrase "algea cleaner for gloeocapsa magma" we wrote a blog post on the topic and included that phrase in the text.

Even using long tail phrases in free on line directory sites can bring you targeted searches especially for your local area. This is not something we do since we do not try to get just local business but for contrators limited to a specific geographic location it can be key to new business. For example if you would like to have more clients in an affluent area, like Brookhaven here in Atlanta, you might list or showcase some before and after photos with the photo named and meta tagged as "Spectacular house wash in Brookhaven". Then when someone in Brookhaven searches for "house washing Brookhaven" you will be at or near the top of the list.

Tags: Soap Warehouse, key words, long tail, analytics, advertising, business directory, SEO

Current Soap Warehouse Catalog

Posted by Linda Chambers on Fri, Jul 05, 2013 @ 11:20 AM

Our newest catalog is out and you can see it here:

docs/2013 PRODUCT BROCHURE.doc

It also encludes a current price list at the end. We have new products and some that we have had but have not been listed before in our print catalog.

To learn how to place and order on line please view the short 1 minute video here:

How to use the Soap Warehouse web site.

Or just feel free to call us at 1-800-762-7911. You can leave us your order as a message after hours, or call during business hours, 8:30 -5:00 M-F EST, to speak directly with us to place your order. If you leave a message we will be sure to call you back with a complete total including what the least expensive shipping cost will be for your order.

 

Tags: Soap Warehouse, pricing, new product, catalog

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