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Trey Miller

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Building Success in Twenty Minutes a Day.

Posted by Trey Miller on Wed, Jan 02, 2013 @ 12:02 PM

Now twenty minutes a day does not sound like much and I am sure you hear advertising claims every day asking you to spend just 20 minutes a day to achieve some goal like; weight loss, firmer abs, more money, etc. Well in a way I too will be promising you more money, because it has been proven that if a small business spends over 15 minutes each day on marketing they will increase their revenue significantly, more than if they even focused this same amount of time in one lump, such as 90 minutes a week. The key is consistency and receptiveness.

First by spending time each day you will create a habit to take this small amount of time out of your day. Second if you are marketing more frequently the chances will increase dramatical that a likely consumer will try your business due to this fact.

Now if you think you can't very well do much in just 20 minutes, here are some ideas of what you can accomplish in this short amount of time.

Order new or additional business cards. Business cards are one of the least expensive, with the largest chance of ROI, of almost ANY marketing item. For the new year think about making a slight change to a card to help track the effectiveness of your card campaigns. For instance, have a card with a slightly different order of information, orientation, size or color imprint of your phone or web site address just for cards you give to current customers for referrals. Make a card with a different tag line you only give to Building Management or Realtors or plan to hand out at a show or event. Cards can be ordered very cheaply from places like so that you could have 4-5 different ones available to hand out at any time. Just be sure to keep the feel of the cards and your logo the same so that no customer is ever confused as to who you are and whom they are contacting.

Open a separate Facebook page for your business, away from your personal one. It takes very little time and is a newer option that will make you look more professional and make it easier to gain, interact and relate to your customers.

Even if you do not text, like I don't, open a Twitter account for your business. It takes just a few minutes to link it to your Facebook business account so that when you post on one it also appears on the other. You can also link posts to LinkedIn.

Have a LinkedIn account if you do a lot of B2B business. Since this is more of a business vs. only a personal social media, you will gain better business contacts and SEO with it with these types of customers.

Post often to your Facebook business page or Twitter. With help from programs like TweetDeck, you can spend the 20 minutes scheduling a week or more of posts at just one sitting and then do other things for your 20 minutes on the other days.

Make a blog post some where at least once a week. If you do not have a blog area on your own web site you should really think about making one, but if not you can still blog. Use the blog feature found at many of the industry on line forums, on LinkedIn and other web sites. As long as you are consistent with your tags and links back to your own site or Facebook business page this type of organic SEO will help and build over time.

Become a member, look for and answer consumer questions at web sites like Yahoo answers at or You can look in the categories you want to be associated with to find questions you want to answer. Once you start answering and get likes to your answers you will build an on site reputation and can even have questions e-mailed to you to be answered. Being helpful with out looking for gain can bring you customers from your area.

Search for and buy a new or reliable give-a-way marketing item. There are some great sites out there that you can subscribe to for sales, product alerts and ideas for items. We use a lot.

Send out a newsletter. It doesn't have to be long. Just make sure you are giving your customers some free tips, home help or advise, no sales pitch needs to be included. Mention up coming events you will be attending, like a home show, link to interesting sites your customers may enjoy, mention a certification class you took or industry event you attended. Once your open rates are up then the occasial sales offer will more likely be opened and acted on.

Send out a targeted e-mail for a specific reason or campaign. With a well segmented customer e-mail list, sending short targeted e-mails with messages or offers will take little time but can generate huge benefits. Once a month send all your customer's birthday message, customer anniversaries, off season offers etc.

If you do not already have a well segmented list, spend your 20 minutes at least once a week making some using the resources you have available, Quickbooks, Salesforce or other CMR software.

I hope you start spending your 20 minutes a day working on marketing for a profitable New Year.

Tags: Newsletter, e-mail, Business, marketing, business cards, business plan, referral, advertise

Happy Holidays from Soap Warehouse

Posted by Trey Miller on Mon, Dec 17, 2012 @ 02:07 PM

Happy Holidays to you all. Hope you all had a profitable year and we look forward to working with you in the New Year. 

Now for many this is the start of your slow time or winter break and you may think you have nothing much to do but sit around and wait for the temps to get warm again next Spring. Well you are sorely mistaken if you want to improve and even build your business through out the Winter months. Here are some steps to make sure your New Year is a good year.

1. Do your budget for the New Year. See what you spent this past year. What was more than you expected? Less? Can you make changes next year that will gain you ROI? Stop doing things that are losing you money. If you can't stop them totally, then change them so they won't be the money pit to your budget they are now. As I mentioned in a previous post, now is the time to shop around for phone service, insurance, equipment for next year. Be sure to include a 5% increase from what you spent this year on every line item in your budget. This way even if the cost of a few things don't go up during the course of the year the ones that do can have funds moved from others without undo stress of looking for that money. It may not be perfect but it will help. 

2. Work on your collateral marketing materials, purchase new clients give-a-way items, update, improve or start a customer referral program. Did the items you handed out last year get you new customers? What worked and what didn't? Don't beat a dead horse and by another 1000 imprinted rulers if you did not earn back their cost. Try something new instead. Got an item like your business card magnets that got to a 600% return on their cost? Double your order for this year and hand out even more!! Good tried and true items for this are: Business card magnets, Note pads, Pens, Clips magnetic or other wise for papers or bags, calendars, and other useful household items like rubber disk lid openers.

 3. Up date your web site. Up load newer B&A photos from this years jobs you haven't had the time to get done. Potential customers may visit your site 3-5 times before deciding to call or fill out your on line form for an estimate. Seeing that you are working, adding new photos and gaining more testimonials may sway that person to go ahead and try you instead of someone else. Adding a blog and keeping content current gets you better SEO. If you do not have a testimonial page or area on your site yet, ADD ONE. nothing convinces a potential customer more than reading statements from satisfied customers. Add video to your site. Action segments do not have to be long and having a professionally produced video will look even better. We use a company called You can either buy single videos one at a time or like us join their video membership club and have a new video produced each month.

4. Update your customer contact list, e-mails and phone numbers. Check to see if any past customers did not use you this year and try to contact them to find out why. You can send out an email survey to all those contacts to see if they moved, didn't think they needed service this year, went with someone else do to price. Send out a Holiday Greetings E-mail message saying you missed them this year and hope they are doing well. Be sure to send all new customers a Thank you holiday message or New Years savings offer to try and pre book as much work as possible now for Spring. Remember give added value offers not percentage off offers for best results. For example: Book your Spring house cleaning before Feb 1, 2013 and get a free gutter cleaning, or window washing or mail box cleaning. What ever you think is incentive enough for your customers to schedule now instead of waiting until Spring. Make sure you evaluate what worked or did not work last year and possibly increase your enticement. Update or improve on your customer referral package. Send out cards or e-mails offering free services, gift cards, etc for new contact information of friends and family. When these new contacts buy be sure to full fill your referral promises quickly to promote additional referrals coming in.

5. Plan now to network by attending local and National industry events in the coming year. If you go ahead and schedule them into your yearly calendar you can know how much business you will need to book before and after them to still make your monthly budget numbers. Also explore improving or expanding your business with new offerings by learning or becoming certified with new skills. Check out the industry organization web sites, forums, and on line industry magazines to find these opportunities. Many are available during these slower Winter months. If you stop learning you stop growing as a person and a business.

I hope all of you get some much needed family time off this Winter season but also be sure to follow these suggestions and you will have plenty of business to keep you busy all next year.

Tags: analysis, referral program, budget planning, testimonials, calendar, web site, Business, marketing, network, business plan

All in one or two pass cleaning for house washing?

Posted by Trey Miller on Thu, Aug 30, 2012 @ 09:30 AM

This is the second part of the discussion I started last week.

Historically house washes where single step chemical washes made just to try and clean the surface with no other properties being asked for. But now more and more of the industry and customers are wanting more from a house wash. Yes they want clean, but they want mold killing, UV protection, and a shinny appearance of their vinyl siding homes.

As I have stated before most cleaners are alkaline since we live in an acid world but it goes even further than that. Now for a little more of a chemistry lesson here.  High Pressure soap formulations are primarily an anionic (negative) soap. Most of the soils on houses are also anionic in nature so the soap can clean off the dirt (Chemistry 101 says “like dissolves like”).  Un-likes, such as oil and water that repel or can never mix. Once rinsed, the cleaned surface of the exterior will remain slightly anionic.  High Pressure wax formulations are mostly cationic (positive) formulations that are attracted to the anionic cleaned surface of a cleaned house. Just like soil and dirt that are cationic and are also attracted to the just cleaned surface. So should your soap also contain waxes to help prevent this attraction?

Dirty Little Secrets

All in One formulations must contain both soaps and modified waxes to clean and protect the exterior of houses at the same time.  The difficulty comes in two areas:  first, the combination of both anionic and cationic ingredients in an All in one solution tend to bind with each other, reducing both effectiveness of the soap and the wax.  Second, the wax needs to be attracted by the clean surface and is hampered by the soap which is in higher concentrations (typically) than the wax.  An all in one formulation is a compromise usually shifted to cleaning, not protecting.  Some products enhance the wax and reduce the soap ingredients in an attempt to add better protection.  This all adds up to a compromise of properties in All in One formulations.

Example: Wax in Car Washes

You drive through the Car Wash Tunnel and have paid for the Three color wash and wax.  At the end of the tunnel, three streams of different colored foamy substance are squirted on your car just prior to the last rinse.  Magically the last rinse runs off the car and quickly!  You have experienced the Automatic Car Wash “cheater wax” which is not a wax at all.  Worse, weather you pay for the wax or not you will receive a stream of “cheater wax” (most likely in the final rinse) because, as you have seen, it makes the final rinse water run off the car surface quickly, enabling the blowers to more effectively dry the car.  You may get more of this product (or not) when you pay for it.  This product is an emulsion of a solvent and a quaternary ammonium compound (a cousin of your hair cream rinse active ingredient).  It’s attracted to the painted surface of your cleaned car (anionic) and puts a small amount of modified fat on the surface.  Don’t worry, it will not harm your paint job, and lasts at least until the next time the car gets wet.

Two Steps: Use Soap to clean, Wax to protect

Sometimes the compromise between soap and wax can be managed to yield an acceptable result, cleaning the exterior and delivering protection to the surface.  Generally, the results are better with TWO separate steps, using different formulations requiring two passes around the exterior of the house being cleaned. The Wash has no competition in the formulation, and has more than enough soap to clean. The Wax Spray will be attracted to the exterior surface that was just cleaned and will cover more completely. Properly formulated water based Waxes provide better protection of the exteriors and can even repel anionic dust and grime over time, plus be easier to clean the next time.

So shouldn't you also try and get the better results and do each step one at a time? That is for you, your businesses profitability and your customers to decide.

Tags: house washing, Spray Wax

Why do Alkaline Cleaners work so well?

Posted by Trey Miller on Wed, Aug 22, 2012 @ 09:30 AM

Well the first reason is simple. We live in an acid world!

Most things in and around us every day are acidic. Even we are acidic. Most people’s skin sits at about 5.3 on the pH scale (acidic). The air we breathe out, CO2 is acidic. The most pH balanced thing we deal with every day is water, that sits at about the pH neutral of 7.

Dirt and most pollutants are acidic and therefore since opposites attract, the best cleaners for most applications fall on the alkaline side of the pH scale. This is also the reason two step washing is so popular and works so well, such as in fleet washing. You first apply an acid, followed right behind with an alkaline and 'Voila' the dirt falls off, or is repelled from the surface.

So should we take this approach further into other cleaning applications such as house washing? Maybe yes and maybe no.

Most contractors would prefer to wash anything in as few steps as possible and house washing in no different. Many have even gone so far as to try and make or use single wash products; to clean, kill mold, leave a protector (mold repeller) and or surface enhancer (such as a wax) on the house, like a "Pert Plus" shampoo and conditioner for hair. The problem with this model is that you get less effectiveness and use more of each part when they are put together rather than used separately.

The best method, that would use the least amount of chemical resources, would be to first knock off as much dirt and debris as possible with a stiff stream of hot water, followed with an alkaline soap applied as hot as possible, rinsed, then a bleach mold killer added and rinsed, with a mold protector or surface enhancer like a wax then added at the end.

Now some parts of this cleaning can be put together without effecting results such as adding bleach (12 % Sodium Hypochlorite) to a stable soap to clean and remove mold, algae and mildew. Or adding a wet wax product to rinse water so that a house can effectively washed and protected (waxed) in two separate passes. Now depending on the soil type, soap and water temperature, extra time maybe needed for scrubbing or agitation of the chemicals on the surfaces to get them totally clean before they are rinsed free.

I will go more into the all in one idea for house washing products in my next segment. But for now understand that there is a dance you must do to see if using less of each product, but more in time and labor effort, is worth the cost difference. Rather than combining products that will use more in chemical costs, but less in time and labor, balanced out by the results that can be achieved with each.

Tags: house washing, alkaline cleaners

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