Thursday, October 27, 2005

Pizza Hut's Out Of Pizza

I stumbled across an article detailing a man's trip to his area Pizza Hut. Yes, you read the headline correctly. They were out of pizza. Apparently, they ran out of dough.

Talk about horrible customer service. It doesn't get much worse. What could have been done by management to correct the dough shortage?

- The easy answer is to stock enough dough so that you are NEVER out of dough.
- Did the manager ever consider calling other area Pizza Huts?
- Go buy the dough at a grocery store.
- Close the restaurant so that you don't look stupid.

None of these actions were done because Pizza Hut is too big. Big, large franchises make a manager think like this......The manager probably orders his dough based on last week's or last year's comparable sales so that costs can be controlled. The manager probably can't call other Pizza Huts because he's not motivated to think independently. The manager probably can't purchase from a grocery store because that's prohibited in his employee manual. And, the manager probably wanted his work hours so he kept the business open.

Two Maids & A Mop can't evolve into this kind of a business. We can't be the normal large company because we've got a reputation to uphold. We're the most customer friendly housecleaning company in the world.

Most of all, we can't because we don't want to let you down. We're growing because our customers love us. We owe it to you.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

The Problem With Everybody Else

A manufacturing job work environment is designed to have a hierarchy that detects and minimizes errors. This traditional work environment works for the most part because whatever is being manufactured gets reviewed before it leaves the plant. The problem with our country is that all workplaces use this structure for their business. That's the problem with everybody else.

Most businesses don't make widgets, so why do they all run their business that way? Because nobody told them any differently. Their parents worked this way, their business professors taught this way, and their competitors runs this way. Don't rock the boat.

The housecleaning industry is no different. 100% of our competitors run their business the same way. Either the employee is paid on commission or the employee is paid a set hourly rate. It doesn't work. I know it doesn't work because I used to do it. I've tried it and it stinks.

Housecleaning has a lot working against it. First, it's hard work. It's much easier sitting behind a desk or cash register. Second, it's not very glamorous. Most people don't respect the maid. Third, it's typically low-paying. Who wants to make $7 per hour when Burger King pays the same hourly rate? Finally, your customers are the first person to see your mistakes. There is no quality control department. It's a tough business to the say the least.

Enter TwoMaids and the revolutionary pay-for-performance compensation plan. It works because it defeats each of the four points. First, it makes the hard work more enjoyable. The job still requires you to sweat, but making someone happy now means more money for you. Second, it glamorizes the position because your hourly pay is probably higher than many of your friends. Third, it allows an employee to earn a good living, assuming he/she satisfies the customer. Finally, it also ensures that mistakes are minimal since the employee's compensation is entirely dependent on customer satisfaction.

Your not working in a manufacturing plant. Quit acting like it. Your employees want you to change and your customers want you to change. The only person that doesn't want you to change is your competitor. Quit acting like everybody else.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Passion

Meet Christopher Michael Langan. The smartest man in America with an IQ of 195. He's 45 years old and he's been employed as a construction worker, firefighter, and even a cowboy. He currently earns about $6,000 per year as a part-time bartender.

Meet George Bush, Jr. The President of The United States. He has an IQ of about 119. He's owned a large oil company, a major league baseball team, and governed the state of Texas. He currently makes a little over $400,000 per year.

Christopher is obviously smarter than Bush. He's proven that by taking a test. However, Bush is the leader of the world's most important nation. Christopher is smarter, but Bush has something that Christopher doesn't: passion.

Intelligence doesn't outweigh passion. Bush wanted to become our leader. He committed his life to the pursuit of this achievement. It wasn't easy, but it happened. It happened because he was passionate.

Education is important. That can't be denied. But, success results from the combination of hard work and passion. The smartest man in America doesn't have a passion, so he doesn't have success.

Sam Walton, Warren Buffett, Sandra Day O'Connor, Bill Gates, Ray Kroc, Howard Stern. These people are leaders. They fought for something that they wanted. They were passionate. They succeeded.

The root of any man's success is passion. If you don't have it, quit and start over. You're going sideways.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Under The Microscope

Sam Decker has written a review of the Two Maids & A Mop website. Take a peek at what others are saying about our little company.

http://decker.typepad.com/welcome/

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Life Before The Remote Control

It's like something from the Arabian Nights! From across the room - without ever leaving your easy chair - you can change television channels with a small control that fits into your hand. Just press lightly with your thumb. That's all there is to it.

That's an early print advertisement for a Zenith remote control. Sounds kind of silly right now. But, it seemed revolutionary at the time. Competitive markets change everyday. Sometimes, industries get changed forever.

The invention of the remote control changed the television industry forever. Who wants to purchase a television set without a remote control? Zenith forced each of its competitors to change their business practices immediately. That's what we're doing.

The housecleaning industry has operated under the same compensation structure forever. We're changing that. Our customer's level of satisfaction dictates our employee's level of compensation. It's a new concept today, only because we're tiny. We're not going to be tiny for much longer. The big boys will stand up and notice that change is on the way.

We can take pride in the fact that we changed a industry. However, we can't go to sleep. When was the last time you purchased a Zenith television? They were the first to market the remote control, but they have been surpassed by loads of other competitors. A business has to continually adapt to change or it will fade away.

Don't believe me........(http://www.merl.com/projects/tv/)

Life changes quickly. It's your job to recognize how it needs to change.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Job Opening

We're expanding into the Panama City, Florida market and we need an operations manager. An operations manager is responsible for pretty much everything related to the success or failure of the business. An operations manager must be able to say the following things:

- I have been paid to clean a toilet
- I have hired a great employee
- I have resolved a difficult situation
- I have made someone smile today
- I live below my means
- I enjoy working alone

Needless to say, but we're only looking for individuals that are serious about customer service. The primary job responsibility will be to serve our customers and employees. You will be responsible for starting a business from the ground up. You will not have one customer or one employee on your first day. Your job is to find them. Your job is to keep them.

We like smiles. We like energy. We like passion. We like frugality. And we like confidence.

The position needs to be filled by December 1, 2005. The winning applicant will receive a decent salary, but the real compensation occurs when profits roll in. An operations manager receives 25% of the location's profits. First year profit sharing is a fixed number since start-up costs will outweigh revenues.

This is a way to own a business without actually owning a business. We want you to run this business as if you're the owner. Email me if you're interested.

two_maids@yahoo.com

Friday, October 14, 2005

Panama City, FL

That's going to be our third location. We've got about four months before our first day. A bunch of things have to happen in order for our scheduled opening to occur. We've got to find a suitable office location. We've got to hire and train a suitable Operations Manager. And, we've got to prepare our current locations for the expansion. It's a lot of work.

But, it's fun. It's fun knowing that good things are in front of you. Our future competitors don't know what's coming. Our future customers don't even know what's coming. They've all gotten used to the sad status of the housecleaning industry. Things will change in about 150 days.

The marketing begins now.

Get ready Panama City. Here we come.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Loving Your Customer

The magazine, Fast Company has ranked the nation's top fifteen most customer friendly businesses. The rankings were tabulated based on actual customer feedback. Check out the nation's most customer friendly companies.

Click here for the list...

These companies all share one common attribute: care. They care about making people happy. Yeah, they make mistakes and they don't make everybody happy. But, their customers sense the caring attitude because they hear it and see it everyday.

These companies don't have any real competition because no one else in their industry stresses customer service in the same manner. Providing excellent customer service can't be accomplished by setting policies or rules. Customer service only occurs when an employee feels like their work performance determines the future success of the company.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Today Is Monday

You're either depressed because it's Monday or you're excited. Most people are depressed. America hates Monday.

The reality is that Monday has nothing to do with it. The real reason that people hate Monday is because their bored. Boredom can occur in a job very quickly. The bored employee doesn't feel like anyone cares. His actions, his words, his work means nothing. Boredom can take place on the assembly line or atop the ivory tower. The bored employee hates Monday because he's got five boring days in front of him.

I know this because I was once bored. I hated Monday and I loved Friday. I worked only to receive a paycheck, nothing more. The sad fact was that my company wanted nothing more. They were happy with my results. I could have climbed the corporate ladder very easily. I was the least bored of the bunch.

It's easy to be excited now because I do what I love. I love the challenge of building a business. This is my dream.

My ultimate challenge is to make Monday exciting for my employees. Can cleaning a house be made exciting? On the surface, it sounds impossible. But, we're not just employing housecleaners. We're employing future training managers, office managers, division leaders, and sales representatives. Everyone in our organization knows our plan. Our plan is to dominate the housecleaning industry. That means many of our original team members have an opportunity to grow and flourish with the company. They're not stuck.

I'm not stupid. I know that one of our employees hates today. She's counting the days until Friday. It's my job to excite her. Make her feel like she's important. Make her feel like she's got a future.

Stop hating Monday and you'll feel the change immediately. You've got to have purpose in order to be happy.

Friday, October 07, 2005

The Three Phases of Housecleaning

Phase One.

This is the learning phase. This is where we do our homework. Preparation for a housecleaning is essential if you plan on meeting a customer's needs. Bring the correct supplies/equipment, understand the customer's priorities, and make sure that previous mistakes are not repeated. You can't make someone happy if you don't know what makes them happy.

Phase Two.

This is the cleaning phase. This is the phase that most of our competitors work in. They concentrate on the details of cleaning. They only know mops and buckets.

Phase Three.

This is the service phase. This is where we earn our money. This is where we receive our customer feedback. This is where the customer really understands why we're better. A two minute phone call. A short letter. A quick email. That's all it takes to prove our commitment to customer satisfaction.

Cleaning a house is just that for the rest of the housecleaning industry. There are no phases. There are no customer experiences. It's all nuts and bolts. Here's a mop, go clean.

People pay higher rates for our services. They pay higher rates because our experience is different. Yeah, we clean. But, we do more than just clean. We serve the customer.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

The Mission Statement

Most companies today require employees to memorize their mission statements. The original intent of a mission statement was to clearly explain the reason that a particular business was born. It has evolved into a boring marketing ploy and a ridiculous form of waste.

Take a look at this company's mission statement.

"Our mission is to provide a family of hospitality and services that achieves excellence and enhances lifestyles of all who come in contact with our brand ."

The company is Hooter's. What's the first thing that you think of when you think of Hooter's? Is it hospitality or lifestyle enhancements? Or, is it....well, you know? How does this mission statement help attract a customer or motivate an employee? Why even waste the time and energy to create this mission statement?

I bet some high level executive within Hooter's demands that his underlings know this statement word for word. His boss made him do it, and now it's somebody else's turn. A mission statement is created because that's what a business is supposed to do. That's the way it's always been done.

There are some creative mission statements out there, but you can't make me believe that a mission statement means anything to the fork-lift driver or data entry clerk. What makes them tick? What makes them want to help the company succeed?

A company's culture or mission can't be defined in words. It's defined in action. A good leader performs everyday tasks that make his employees stand up and recognize that the future is bright.

Our mission is to clean a bunch of houses and make every customer happy. I don't need to make an employee memorize that. They know it because their paycheck is dependent on customer satisfaction. They know it because they're trained from day one on how to perform excellent customer service. They know it because we preach it everyday.

For the record, I hate mission statements.

Monday, October 03, 2005

What's Your favorite....

restaurant? It's probably not a chain. It's probably a local, family owned restaurant that has served your area for some time. It has a great reputation for awesome service and excellent food. You refer it to as many friends as possible.

hair salon? It's probably not a chain. It's probably a local place that has been referred to you by a friend. It has a great reputation for staffing the best hair designers. Plus, all the cool people go there.

landscaping company? It's probably not a chain. It's probably Bobby, who works in your neighbor's yard. He's friendly, punctual, and he does a great job.

consumer electronics store? It's probably Best Buy. You buy from them because they stock everything you'll ever need.

computer? It's probably Dell. You trust them because everyone you know has one.

auto manufacturer? It's probably one of the big ones. You trust them because you see there cars on the road everyday.

Notice a trend. People purchase products from big, established companies and they purchase services from small, local businesses. The difference is service. People expect better service from a smaller business. A product has limited amounts of support, while a domestic service depends heavily on service for its success.

We have an uphill battle against society if we plan on growing past our current count of two locations. People will begin to lose trust if we lose our focus on customer service. Each customer of a service related business wants to feel important. They want personalized service that only a small business can provide. That's our goal. Get big, but act small.

There are role models to follow. Starbucks is the nation's most popular coffee house. A person would rather go to Starbucks than go to a local coffee house. Starbucks acts small, but they're very big. Chick-fil-A is the most popular chicken restaurant in the southeastern U.S. Nobody competes against them because they can't compete with their food quality or customer service. Chick-fil-A is very big , but they act very small.

Getting big is one of our goals. Staying small is another.