10 Ways You’re Making Your Life Harder Than It Has To Be

I think this is spot on for a lot of people!!

Thought Catalog

Alex DramAlex Dram

1. You ascribe intent.

Another driver cut you off. Your friend never texted you back. Your co-worker went to lunch without you. Everyone can find a reason to be offended on a steady basis. So what caused you to be offended? You assigned bad intent to these otherwise innocuous actions. You took it as a personal affront, a slap in the face.

Happy people do not do this. They don’t take things personally. They don’t ascribe intent to the unintentional actions of others.

2. You’re the star of your own movie.

It is little wonder that you believe the world revolves around you. After all, you have been at the very center of every experience you have ever had.

You are the star of your own movie. You wrote the script. You know how you want it to unfold. You even know how you want it to end.

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Top Spring Cleaning Tips for the Office

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Ah spring! We finally meet. Old man winter has finally gotten his stuff together and headed out. Just in time. I don’t know about anyone else, but I was just about tired of that cold rain, ice, and snow that seemed to blanket most of the US this year. With that being said, we all know spring cleaning comes hand-in-hand with the season. And, it’s a cold hard fact that people are going to judge your cleanliness. In the work place, there is even more scrutiny on how you keep your work space. And, someone is less likely to do work with you if you not a cleanly person. So here are some times to keep your work place neat and organized.

 

First, divide your work space into zones.  You need to figure out what exactly you need from your work space and what do you need it to accomplish. You may want to have a space for your computer, a research area, a printing area. Don’t just push everything up there and expect it to work fluidly.

Next, keep everything that you need, right at an arm’s length.  You should really only be keeping the stuff that is immediately in the need on your desk. So your computer, a writing tablet, and really just depending on your job would alter this criteria. However, those stacks of papers, the boxes of paper clips, the old coffee cups and water bottles, need to get off of your desk.  This goes back to your first tip. Keep those items that you zoned for supplies stocked. No need to keep them in your work space, put them in the area that you designated for them.

Third, you need to get or create a daily paper system. It’s very rare that a company is actually 100% paperless and most professionals today are buried in it. You can help you streamline your paper work process by getting hanging files or baskets that are labeled with to read, to do, and to file. Then you can set up specific days where you do just such. That way you are not completely overwhelmed on getting things done.  Now something that is on going or completely urgent then you can possible even color code those items and integrate in with your new daily paper system.

The next tip is to establish limits. Now this is with property. How you deal with your co workers is a whole another blog post. But this time, the issue isn’t your space, it’s that you have too much stuff. Set limits on the stuff that you will tolerate and how much of it from the beginning. For example: I’m going to keep one book shelf. When that book shelf gets full, then I will get away one book for every new one that I add to maintain the limit that I set from myself from the beginning. Same thing can go with a filing cabinet. When it gets full,  it’s time to clean out the clutter and getting rid of the paperwork that you no longer need.

Your next tip is provided by your junk drawer. We all have that one catch-all drawer. It’s time to throw some things out and a desk drawer. Get some desk organizers or dividers can provide wonders and free up a lot of space in that catch-all drawer. You can even get anxiety from having these types of drawers, because the majority of people, don’t even know what’s in there.

For your next tip, this also happens to be most people’s biggest mistake. Do not use your email as a to-do list. This is bad! Most of us are drowning and emails and we use our email inbox as a to do list. Email and digital clutter can be just as stressful as physical clutter. I would suggest organizing your inbox with files like we did for your paperwork. Stuff that needs to be done, things that can wait, things to do, etc. This will give you certain tasks to do. Some software and email clients even get you an organizer or a calendar to put tasks in. So what’s making you hold onto those 2,000 + emails in your inbox? If it’s done, time to move on, or even archive them if you feel that you may need those in the future.

Now, streamline your desktop icons. Work should come fluidly to most of us and you should be prepared to do your best work. The same thing goes for your computer. When you have so many icons that you can’t find what you are looking for, those icons are going to trigger your stress hormone, which is going to just make matters worse. Instead come up with a logical streamline system and reduce a couple of those icons off your desk top. Also, take off any sticky notes or reminders from the monitor itself, as they will only distract you.

If your office doesn’t have a coat closet, you may want to hang hooks for outwear. Personal items all over the floor are just going to overwhelm your space or cubicle. Make sure to get separate hooks for the things that you carry: purse, umbrella, jacket, office sweater/hoodie, etc. This will also make it visually appealing and just get in the habit of doing this everyday.

Even the most organized person is going to have over flow. Keep a small basket for these such things. Maybe you have print subscriptions. You could keep them in this basket and then make sure to set a reminder to de-clutter every few days or weeks, based on the frequency of items going into this basket. Also, if you are one who carries a gym bag or change of clothes with you. Make sure to designate a cupboard or drawer for these items to get them out of the way.

And finally, but certainly not last. Make sure to sanitize and disinfect regularly. I don’t care if you think you are neatest person on earth, but you still need to prevent the build up of dust, dirt, food, and finger prints. Once a week, give your phone, desk, keyboard, and monitor a wipe down. This habit will also force you to tide up all those loose papers that should be in your new filing system, and getting rid of all that lingering piled up trash. Plus, 75% of working people say a clean office makes them more productive.

 

So here is your first series of spring cleaning tips. This was just for the desk. Take these tips and see what marvels they perform at your place of employment, unless your a mechanic, may not help much then. Good luck and happy spring!!


Operations:

It’s the job that nobody really thinks about when they start their own business. Operations. Operations management is really key when it comes to something such as the janitorial industry. You have to make sure that everything is going as smoothly as possible. We make sure to do this in the franchise world for many different reasons. You want to make sure that everyone is doing their job, and the way that it is expected to be done, when you are providing a service. You need to realize that while you are your own business, I can guarantee that you are not the only one that is doing this type of work. And if the quality of services that you provide are sub par, then you might find yourself losing a customer, or a contract because of your own doing. Now, I will stay say that’s your own doing if you have employees. Even though its not yourself that is doing the work, it is still your company. So some of the functions in the operations managers position can help make sure that your company is sticking around for a while.

First, let’s talk about the crew. If it’s yourself doing the service. Great! That means that this is your business and you are aware that your own financial future is dependent on the quality of the services that you are providing. So you are most likely to do a very thorough job and make sure to keep your customer happy. If you have a crew, well that’s okay too.  But you want to do a few things. You may want to conduct background checks. You have to remember that you are providing a service and these people are going to be going into businesses, peoples homes, or both. Do you want someone in a facility that has a felony offense for robbery?  While they may not be a repeat offender, do you really want to take the chance?

Next, what about inspections. While they are cleaning, and while they are not. You would want to go during the time they are cleaning, because you want to make sure that 1. They are actually there doing the work. 2 That is actually themselves doing the work. 3 So you can make sure that they are following all procedures and policies correctly.  They may be violating some severe safety hazards to get the job done quicker, and nobody wants someone getting hurt on the job. You also want to go while the crew is not there. This gives you a great time period to get some feedback from your customers, and you can see if they have any issues that they would like to address. Some people are not comfortable giving constructive criticism to someone face-to-face. These are just a couple reasons. I don’t want to give away all of our job functionality in of how our business operates, but figured someone may not know much at all and this would be a beginner for them.


Resources for customer growth.

Everyone needs to find leads. But when you are a small start up company, where would one find the funds to buy leads? Now, don’t get me wrong, obviously free is better. So here are a few things that my inside sales team uses.

-Reference USA. Now, this site is absolutely amazing. You can narrow down the search fields to exactly what you are looking for, and for us being a cleaning company we are all about the bigger buildings. You can search commercial facilities by square foot. Amazing. Some of the other search fields include area code, zip code, number of employees, sales volume, etc. The list goes on and on. The only down part is that you need a library card in order to access the site and not all libraries offer reference usa as one of their reference sites.

Google Maps. So, say you get a lead down on Main street and you want to offer discounted pricing to nearby customers, and you don’t want to pay for that type of marketing material. Get your inside sales team to pull up the address on google maps. Zoom in and out, and VOILA.

Social Media. Facebook, twitter, linkedin. They all have their pros and cons, but that is the biggest source of leads that you will ever find. No matter what type of business you have because people are always cruising social media. Also, blogging. Make your blogs a tad more interesting and people will start following, and blog often. Because a silent voice is no voice.

Hit the streets. Get out there and introduce yourself. You don’t have to be a sales genius but just by simply handing out your business card and telling businesses and prospect who you are has gotten you further than what you were before.

 

If you have anything that you would like to add to this, please feel free to comment.


Customer Relations with your Janitorial Services

So, do you ever have an issue with your cleaning personnel? Are you too shy to say anything to them or even worse…replace them? Well this is where customer or client relations come in handy. In part of choosing your cleaning company you should ask them how they make sure that their employees or themselves are doing the job right. 

Well, all companies whether they are personal or a company should have some sort of communication log. Most companies want to have their facility cleaned during off-hours.  Well, communication can be difficult because when companies are operating, most of the cleaning personnel is usually sleeping. So you should get some sort of hand written log between one another. You can let them know how good of a job they are doing (which is always a confidence booster and in retrospect might get them do a better job than they already providing) or where their cleaning could be improved.

Some companies even have a quality control department. That department will usually contact you on a pretty regular basis. It may be weekly, biweekly, monthly, etc. Now that contact could come in the format of an email or a phone call. Personally, I would prefer an email regularly, with the occasional phone call. That way if you ever have an issue, you would have an email address for that department or someone who could get your issue resolved.

Your sales rep: You should ask your sales rep if they have an quality control or provide communication logs for the personnel coming into your facility. And, if they were to ever have an issue and wanted to take a step above a communication log what steps should they take. They usually will give you an answer at that time, or provide it before the first clean takes place. 

Also, if you are using a company the team cleaning your facility should tour your facility with yourself and the sales rep. That way everyone is on a clear page before they start cleaning your company. That way when an issue arises you can automatically dismiss the possibility  of a communication error. It also makes the relationship between the client and the service more personable because they can put a face to a name.

Overall, there are a lot more ways that you can have a better relationship between yourself and the services, but I do think that making sure that your getting the best value for your dollar is always making sure that the client is happy and comfortable reaching out when they don’t get the expected.

 

 


Green Cleaning:

Today we deal with everyone wanting to do green cleaning. But, what exactly is green cleaning? Well, there are many different ways that people state that they are a “green” company. Let’s look at a very brief overview of how a company can be green.

First, the chemicals. Now, what you have to understand is that most companies are going to use the chemicals that do the best job, and they are not green chemicals. While green chemicals are more environmentally friendly, they are not going to produce the sanitation that you want for your facility. 

Second, the company recycles. Now, with my company I know that we use only environmentally friendly and recyclable cleaning tools. Like our mops heads, they are made with a mirco fiber cloth that can be washed and reused over two thousand cleans while still providing a very deep, great clean, and not transfer bacteria back and forth with our patented mopping bucket design. I am not going to go into too much detail about our tools as I don’t think my boss would like that too much.

Last, and very easy. Recycle. Recycle everything. Paper, metals, chemicals, etc. For the most part most companies recycle. But some companies will stamp themselves green and all they do is recycle the paper in their office, which is nice, but not what we are looking for. So if you are trying to get your establishment green certified, ask your janitorial company about their green clean services that they provide and ask for it on paper.

 

Just a brief post while I am under the weather. Hope everyone one is healthy and well.


Cleaning companies: Franchisees

Most people often stick up there noses to using a franchise system for their cleaning needs. The biggest reason: because the brand name that they are running their business under collects royalties or a percent tags of their earnings. Well. That is true but most don’t realize that those “royalties” usually give them insurance, payoff their equipment, etc. Every franchise company is a little different but most of them run the same. While few look down on this business model it can actually save you a lot of time and money.
Reason One: these franchise owners work hard because the result of their work is directly impacting their financial future. So they (most) are going to work hard to keep their client happy and their customer becoming a recurring one.

Reason Two: if using a franchise system, you are not obligated to a single crew or person. Say that franchisee is one of those that does not make you a fully satisfied customer. You can contact the franchising company that you are using. Meet with their quality control or operations personnel. While still paying the same rate you can have another crew put on place without breaking any contract or having to go through the bidding and hunting process to get another company or person replaced. Hopefully, your franchisee just doesn’t up and quit. Then, again, you would not have to go through the process of getting them replaced. One phone call and you should be done.

Reason Three: If you hire just an individual, do they have insurance? Most franchise systems will give the franchisee insurance through their franchisee fees. That way if anything were to ever happen while they were at your location, they would be covered. Which would include: property damages, theft, or them even getting hurt while cleaning your facilities! I’m sure you would not be in a good mood if someone fell down while mopping your floors and you were left with the medical bills.

Reason Four: Experience… We all look for some experience. When using an individual they may have years of experience in cleaning, but who doesn’t? When you use a franchise system their management teams will have DECADES of industry experience. That way when you call the company you are reaching an experienced individual that can get anything that you need done.

Reason Five: Simplicity and accountability: Ever ask your cleaning personnel for something and they have to reach out to someone else, or just simply can’t do it. When you use a franchise system, the individual cleaning your facility may not be able to do a specific job that you need done; however, the franchise system most likely has someone on their staff that can get that job done. Then you are not paying out multiple invoices to several companies to get some cleaning done. You could also have multiple locations in different areas and instead of hiring multiple people to do it and receiving multiple statements from billing you most likely would receive one invoice from one company for all of their locations.

These are some just basic quick reasons to go with a franchise system. It’s just peace of mind knowing that all your cleaning expectations will be handled quickly and you will never have a headache of having to deal with multiple people or having to constantly rehire and sign contracts to get someone else in.