Friday, February 29, 2008

Money Talks

It turns out that some elementary school students are motivated by the same thing that motivates a lot of adults: cash.

A pay for performance experiment that began in 2006 promised up to $100 each to third through sixth graders if they passed state standardized tests. The students significantly boosted their math scores and slightly improved in science and social studies.

Rewarding students gives them something to strive for, whether it be a skateboard, a video game or new sneakers, said Francie Berg, principal of two local elementary schools.

Pay for performance works. But it only works when the reward is worthy. And in this case, $100 is like a million dollars to a sixth grader. So they create goals. And they meet them because they care.

The TwoMaids Pay For Performance Plan works the same way. Your satisfaction level is our only measuring stick. Your opinion is the only factor used in determining our employees' paycheck. And when our employees meet your expectations, we make sure that their reward is worthy.

The fact is that we pay our employees more than any other cleaning service in our area. But the fact still remains that our employees must earn every single dollar. Because our employees know that their only job is to make you happy. And if they don't, their pay stinks. But if they do, their pay rocks!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Cash Only Please

If you have ever hired a service company, then you have probably heard these words - CASH ONLY PLEASE!

And if you've ever wondered why your service company requested only cash, here's why.......

1. A service company requests cash because your money makes the transaction final. Forget getting your money back if you are not satisfied. Because your cash has no paper trail.

2. A service company requests cash because they don't want to pay taxes. They don't want to pay income taxes. They don't want to pay payroll taxes. And they don't want to pay sales taxes. Your cash makes the transaction invisible. Because your cash has no paper trail.

3. A service company requests cash because they don't have a checking account. They don't want a checking account because checking accounts are monitored by the IRS. A personal check would interrupt the entire process. Because your cash has no paper trail.

Of course, accepting cash is no big deal. But requesting cash is a tell-tale sign of a maid service company gone bad. They can provide you with a number of valid reasons. But the truth lies within one of these three reasons.

Then again, you might not care. You might not care that your maid is stealing from our government. You might not care that your maid is making sure that she gets paid no matter what. And you might not care that your 17 year old daughter has a checking account, but your maid doesn't!

You might not care at all. Good.

Your maid doesn't care either. Because your cash has no paper trail.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

90 Days Per Pillow

Do you have allergies? Ever get hives or even food poisoning? Believe it or not-it could be coming from your pillow. Tiny organisms that look like something out of a science fiction movie could be shacking up in your home.

You will be tossing and turning after hearing what we found in a home, hotel and store bought pillow. It's an investigation that took four weeks, hundreds of dollars, and hundreds of miles across the state to a laboratory in Orlando. But the results and tips for your family were worth it.

According to the study findings, you should get rid of your pillows after 90 days.

Ninety days per pillow! It may seem costly or even a little overboard but just remember your bug-like bed mates that could be sharing that pillow the next time you lay down.

Click here for the full article.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Stealing From The Sheriff

A cleaning woman is in custody for stealing from a former sheriff following a sting operation by the local police.

Janet Sullivan, 57, was arrested Monday after police conducted an investigation based on a complaint from the former sheriff that the woman was stealing from him. According to documents, the former sheriff reported to police that his wife's wedding ring was missing.

When the former sheriff told police he recently hired Sullivan as his cleaning lady, they decided to do a "bait" operation. Police photocopied $500 worth of $20 bills and then placed the originals in the former sheriff's home prior to Sullivan's arrival to clean. When Sullivan left the house, police counted the cash and noticed $120 was missing.

Sullivan, who was being followed after leaving residence, was contacted by police in the Taco Bell with $20 bills matching the photocopies. A search of Sullivan's purse at the police station revealed a white powder substance, which field-tested positive for meth. The former sheriff also positively identified his wife's wedding ring from the contents of the purse.

Sullivan was arrested and has been charged with one felony count of receiving stolen property, one felony count of possession of a controlled substance and one misdemeanor count of receiving stolen property.

This cleaning lady was by herself. She wasn't employed by a cleaning company. She was a drug addict. And she was far from professional - her mug shot proves that much. But I'm sure that her rates were great!!

So you're sitting there and thinking, "I would never hire someone that looks like that". But you say that because you already know what happened. Cheap rates work. They work everyday. Because you think that all you're hiring is a housecleaner.

Little do you know that hiring a housecleaner has very little to do with housecleaning.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Two Maids & A Mop On TV!!

News Channel 7 of Panama City recently conducted an interview with our company about Cleaning For A Reason.

Click here for the full story. After you read the story, click on the video icon near the top of the news article. The video will play on the right hand side of your screen.

P.S. If you are a cleaning service owner or manager, we invite you to join us in our efforts. It doesn't matter if you are in Florida. It doesn't even matter if you are our direct competition. There's room for all of us. Getting started with this organization is easy and simple. You have no excuse. Just imagine if only 10 cleaning services in our area joined Cleaning For A Reason! That would mean that at least 20 women with cancer would be receiving free housecleaning services this month. Join us - our services can make a tremendous difference in someone's life.

Click here to sign up.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Hiding From Uncle Sam

California, 1995--Governor Pete Wilson disclosed today that he had employed three part-time housecleaners whose Social Security taxes he failed to pay. He also said that he had made good on the missing Social Security payments by forwarding checks to the Social Security Administration, with back interest and assessed penalties.

"I have never intentionally failed to make necessary Social Security payments," the Governor declared. "But I take full responsibility for these oversights and have satisfied my obligations to Social Security."

The total in back payments was about $15,000!

The year was 1995. But the premise remains the same today. It is your responsibility to pay all federal payroll taxes if you employ an individual housecleaner.

Of course, professional cleaning companies take care of this chore for you. Or do they?

The cleaning industry is marred with unethical, unprofessional "cleaning companies". Just because your cleaning company has a business card doesn't mean that it's really a business. And just because they tell you that all payroll taxes are being paid doesn't mean that all payroll taxes are being paid. And just because you think that all payroll taxes are being paid doesn't mean that you're off the hook if they aren't being paid.

It's still your responsibility. But don't fret. There's one fool proof way to determine if your cleaning company is paying its fair share. Just ask one of their employees this simple question:

Does your employer deduct anything from your check?

No need to get technical. No need to even call the deductions payroll taxes. Because if the answer is no, then your cleaning company isn't paying any payroll taxes. And you owe the government some money.

Monday, February 18, 2008

The $100,000 Cheap Cleaning Company

A cleaning woman was arrested over the weekend after deputies say she was caught on tape stealing high-end equipment worth more than $100,000 from a Naples, Florida cell phone store. She was arrested Saturday after deputies pulled her over on a traffic stop for driving a red Toyota Celica with an expired tag. Deputies learned she does not have a valid driver’s license.

Deputies also learned that Kollar is in the United States on a Hungarian passport and should not be working while here. She was employed by Elite Cleaning Company.

You think that you've hired a professional cleaning company. And since you've hired a professional cleaning company, you think that its employees are all bonded and insured. And most importantly, you think that its employees are all legal. And crime free.

But you may not have hired a professional cleaning company. You may have just hired a person. And that person may have decided to give herself a professional sounding name.

That's how easy it is. You don't even need a business card. All you need is a name.

Please don't just hire the cheapest cleaning company. We know that cleaning is easy. We know that cleaning is mundane. But you're cheap cleaning company could cost you a lot more down the road. It's happened before - and it will happen again.

But it won't happen to you if you hire the right kind of cleaning company. And the first step in hiring the right kind of cleaning company is to follow these two laws:

1. Require that your cleaning company provide proof of insurance and bonding.

2. Require that your cleaning company prove to you that each of its employees are safe, secure and legal.

Friday, February 15, 2008

How Hiring The Wrong Maid Almost Cost A Customer $3,700

In Phoenix, a registered sex offender was arrested after a home was robbed during a house cleaning. According to the victim, the house cleaner was found using the internet bulletin board called craigslist.

The house cleaner was arrested after he was found to be in the possession of $3,700 worth of stolen goods from the home. He had been convicted numerous times, including kidnapping, rape and armed robbery. Of course, a simple background search would have prevented this crime.

The homeowners were alerted when the house cleaner requested that he be paid in cash - at a different location!

Lessons to be learned from this debacle
1. Conduct a background check. Or just hire a professional cleaning company and make sure that they supply you with proof that each employee has been checked.

2. Make sure that your house cleaner is bonded and insured. This doesn't prevent a crime, but it does protect you.

3. Never hire a house cleaner that requests cash. The main reason a house cleaner requests cash is because she wants to get rid of the paper trail. In some cases, that only means she's trying to avoid paying taxes. But it could also mean that your house cleaner is hiding something.

4. Never hire anyone just because she's cheap. And never hire anyone just because she's calls her business a "cleaning company". This business is easy to start. It doesn't take a lot of money. It doesn't take a lot of work. Heck, it doesn't even take a lot of guts. Anyone can start a cleaning company. And it's for that reason that so many quit. Because if it's easy to start, it's just as easy to quit.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Timeline Of A Cleaning Lady's Theft

Joann Douglas had cleaned at the DeChellis home every other Wednesday for about a year and cleaned at DeChellis’ Italian Cafe every Friday for a couple of months. Douglas had worked for a cleaning company when she first provided cleaning services for the DeChellises’ daughter. Later, Douglas began to work for their daughter independently of the cleaning company.

Warrants were recently issued for the arrest of Joanne Douglas for the burglary of the DeChellis' restaurant.

No, we're not beating a dead horse.

Here's the timeline of this cleaning lady's theft.....

1. The DeChellis family needed a housecleaner. So they hired a professional cleaning company.
2. Joanne Douglas worked for this professional cleaning company.
3. The company assigned Douglas to the DeChellis account.
4. The Dechellis family became comfortable with Douglas.
5. Douglas knew that they were becoming comfortable.
6. Douglas also knew what the DeChellis' were currently paying her employer.
7. So Douglas charged just a little less.
8. In the end, Douglas makes more money and the Dechellis family spends less money.
9. Everybody's happy. It's a perfect situation.

Of course, that was before Joanne Douglas was arrested for theft. It seemed improbable. But it happened.

Cheap, individual housecleaners steal (no, not all of them!). They steal because it's easy. And they keep stealing because people choose them for one reason. Because they're cheap.

And if you still don't believe me, click here.

Monday, February 11, 2008

She Was As Sweet As Pie

“She was as sweet as pie,” DeChellis said of her cleaning lady, adding that she never suspected her of doing anything improper — even after the restaurant she owns with her husband, Lou, was broken into sometime around New Year’s Eve.

And so another one bites the dust.

If you hire an individual housecleaner, you have to assume a large amount of risk. Sometimes that risk results in just poor work ethic. But sometimes that risk results in theft. And there's nothing you can do about it. Your money is gone. Lost. Unrecoverable.

Of course, this victim will need to hire someone to clean for her again in the future. She's learned her lesson. And she's learned it the hard way. You can bet that her next housecleaner will be bonded. She'll be insured. And she'll come with a criminal background check.

Most importantly, she'll come from a professional cleaning company. Because a professional cleaning company screens its employees. A professional cleaning company bonds its employees. And a professional cleaning company insures its customers.

Of course, none of that means that a professional cleaning won't steal from you. It's happened before. But what it does mean is that a professional cleaning company will protect you.

Your money is not gone. It is not lost. And it is able to be recovered.

Click here for the full story.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Meet Panama City's First Cleaning For A Reason Patient

The following letter was sent to the editor of the local newspaper in Panama City by our first Cleaning For A Reason patient.

Dear News Herald,

My family and I would like to thank you for running the article that informed your readers concerning the organization, “Cleaning for a Reason.” Our mother has been fighting cancer for over two years and has had a very hard time with the numerous treatments. I thought it would be a welcomed gesture to contact their organization and surprise my Mom with this pleasant idea.

Cleaning for a Reason spared no time in contacting a local company, Two Maids and a Mop. An appointment was made and their company did an outstanding job. Our Mom was thrilled that she could just take it easy and not have to worry about the small stuff.

We would like to thank, Two Maids and a Mop and the organization, Cleaning For A Reason for aiding our mother during this trying and difficult time.

It is a great sensation when the public is informed about organizations that are available for individuals going through cancer or other hardships.

Again, thank you for letting us know about this wonderful resource.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Don't Feel Guilty

It all started so innocently. All I needed was a little tidying up. With my schedule, I just didn't have the time to clean my house. So I hired a maid. And boy have things spiraled out of control since that fateful first housecleaning.

My name is Ron, and I am a maidaholic.

Of course, this is fiction. But the reality is that many people find themselves feeling guilty after hiring a maid service. Take at look at some of these comments found on the web....

Guilty Pleasure #1

Guilty Pleasure #2

One of the best quotes from these stories is this quote....

"What a waste of money!" My mother-in-law had just discovered my guilty pleasure. "Can't you figure out how to clean your house on your own? Are you that lazy?"

And that's it in a nutshell. You don't want people to think that you're lazy. What you really want is for people to think that you scrubbed your own toilets. And you want them to walk out of your home impressed. Impressed that your floor is clean. Impressed that your kitchen is spotless. And most importantly, impressed that you live so clean!

Your grandmother never hired a maid to clean her house. And your mother-in-law might call you lazy if she finds out you've hired a maid. But it all boils down to one question. And your answer to this question should determine if you're ready to hire a maid. The question.....

Which of these two things is most important?

1. Your personal time and freedom
2. Your neighbor's approval

And if you picked number two, you might want to take a peek inside your neighbor's window. Because a 1999 study from Medimark Research estimates that 27% of all households have hired a professional to clean their home. So if you live near four homes, chances are that at least one of those homes was cleaned by someone that doesn't live there.

Don't feel guilty. We're all doing it!

Monday, February 04, 2008

The Three Levels Of Customer Service

Glenn Ross recently published an article that described the three levels of customer service.

Three Levels Of Customer Service
Failure to Meet The Customer’s Needs—This usually results in loss of the customer and the revenue he or she generates for you. It frequently leads to negative word-of-mouth advertising.

Meet The Customer’s Needs—The customer has a need and you meet it. The customer is satisfied and may return to you time and time again. However, a competitor can steal the customer away from you.

Exceeds The Customer’s Needs—This is when the customer goes “Wow!” This not only increases the customer’s loyalty to you, it usually generates positive word-of-mouth advertising and turns the customer into an evangelist for you.

So how do we exceed your expectations?

We exceed your expectations by doing right what everyone else in our industry does wrong. We show up on time - every time. We'll never just quit and leave you stranded. And most importantly, we listen to you - and we prove it by letting your feedback determine our employees' paycheck. Basically, we're the opposite of almost everyone else you have ever hired before.

We're the anti-cleaning company. Not because we are against cleaning. But because we are against the cleaning industry.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Valentine's Day Pamper Packages

The "Just Started Dating" Pamper Package...........$95
You'll receive a gift certificate valued at $125. This package provides you with a two hour general house cleaning.

The "Long Term Relationship" Pamper Package.....$260
You'll receive a gift basket valued at more than $325. The basket contains the following items:

1. One $15 gift certificate to Starbucks

2. One Starbucks Coffee Mug (retails at $25)

3. One gift certificate for a full house "deep cleaning".

And of course, this package will be presented in a beautiful gift basket. We want to make sure that she knows how much time and money you spent on her gift!!!

The "Head Over Heels In Love" Pamper Package...........................$275
You'll receive a gift basket valued at more than $425. The basket contains the following items:

1. A beautiful Godiva chocolate gift basket which features a 15 piece milk chocolate gift box, 8 piece truffle gift box, and a 4 piece gold ballotin gift box.

2. A Godiva Signature Biscuit Sampler containing a dark chocolate bar with raspberry, milk chocolate bar with almonds, and milk chocolate strawberries.

3. One gift certificate valued at $25 to your favorite local florist.

4. One $15 gift certificate to Starbucks.

5. A gift certificate for a full house "deep cleaning" which means that your entire home will be spotless after we're finished.

And don't forget that this package will also be presented in a beautiful Valentine's Day gift basket.

Now these packages do take some time to put together. So we're only offering these packages until next Friday (February 8, 2008)!!! So hurry and call. You've only got one week left.