There’s information and inspiration all over the Internet for cleaning business owners, but where do you start? Here’s a quick list of our recommendations.
Where do you find inspiration and information on what’s going on in the cleaning business? Are you confused by all of the options and looking for a quick start? Let Cleaning Business Today be your guide! Here’s a quick primer to getting started mining the Internet for practical advice on how to start and manage your cleaning business.
1 LinkedIn Groups
LinkedIn Groups are perhaps one of the most popular functions of the professional networking site and with good reason. Groups provide a great forum for discussion with industry peers. The most active groups are those established by professional and trade associations serving our industry like ARCSI and ISSA. You’ll see other cleaning business owners posting and responding to questions about everything from market research to equipment recommendations. Some LinkedIn groups associated with professional and trade organizations require membership in those organizations.
Twitter is a great place to view information shared by cleaning business professionals, relevant professional and trade organizations and related cleaning product and equipment manufacturers. To find out if your favorite organizations or vendors have Twitter accounts, check their websites for a link to their Twitter profiles and be sure to follow those accounts. To find out if your friends in the industry have Twitter accounts, look for links in their email signatures, or just ask them for their Twitter usernames.
Webinars, or online seminars, provided by professional and trade associations and vendors serving the cleaning industry are a great source of information for business owners. For example, ARCSI maintains an active calendar of its upcoming future webinars (you must be an ARCSI member to register to participate). In addition, CRM provider Infusionsoft and Customer Thermometer, a popular client feedback tool, offer webinars that feature how tos and share best practices to its current and potential users. Remember that if you participate in a webinar offered by a service company, such as an email marketing provider, there may be an “upsell,” so use your best judgment when taking in the information. Also, be sure to register for these webinars since they often provide a link to their presentations or downloadable handouts to those who have pre-registered. These are perfect for sharing with staff!
4 Training and Informational Videos
Many professional and trade associations, product and equipment manufacturers and business service providers also offer pre-recorded training / informational videos that you can watch on demand. For example, the Housekeeping Channel, maintains a page on its site just for video learning. Equipment manufacturers like Betco also maintain video libraries for current and potential customers.
For a wealth of training and informational videos from a variety of sources, visit YouTube.com. Use the search function to uncover videos that suit your needs and offer the information you’re seeking. Be careful there though — it’s easy to lose focus and waste a few minutes watch cute cat videos!
We’re all familiar with Facebook as a way to stay connected to family and friends, but many businesses now maintain a very active presence on the social network. Often information shared by businesses through Facebook is more anecdotal in nature, so if you like your advice delivered in the form of relatable stories, this is a great option for you! To find out if your favorite professional / trade associations or product and equipment manufacturers are on Facebook, look for a link to their Facebook pages on their respective websites. Just “like” the page to see their updates appear in your Facebook news feed.
There are literally thousands of blogs available for you to learn more about the cleaning industry and the tools available to help you succeed in your role as a business owner. A few that are relevant to our industry include: Talk Clean to Me blog, Build My Cleaning Business blog and Varsity Facility Services blog. There are also more general business focused blogs and websites like Intuit’s Small Business blog, Inc.com and Entrepreneur.com.
Cleaning Business Today
We said 6, so consider this one a bonus! We’d be missing a BIG opportunity if we didn’t take the chance to plug our monthly magazine, Cleaning Business Today. Delivered right to your in box around the first of each month, Cleaning Business Today provides information on everything from industry trends and projections to information on the science of cleaning to information confirming the value of cleaning for health. To make sure you don’t miss out, click here to subscribe to Cleaning Business Today. Our June issue will be delivered tomorrow!
What sites do you check out for inspiration and information on how you do your job as a cleaning business owner? Where do you go online every day? We’d love to hear more about how you use the Internet as a learning tool in managing your business.