Friday, August 28, 2015

Business Phone will ring in 3, 2, 1...

It's 7am and I am actually looking at my OOma phone set up. What's an OOMA?you ask. Remember magic jack? That lil whatever device that plugs into.,,, anyways OOMA is a VoIP phone system that takes all my calls, it forwards them via text or vm to my cell phone. When I first got it and set up my two numbers, home and business, I had the handset on two different ring tones so I could identify if it was home or business. Of course I always picked up the biz ring tone in hopes it was a potential customer. I soon found out that most of my first year calls ( around 80%) were solicitors. They wanted me to spend money I had not generated yet. Advertisers, SEO, companies falsely representing google, penny savers, val-Pak etc etc etc..,
Anyways, all that to say this. The phone rings the opposite way after the third year  now in business with 80% of my calls are customers. I get so many calls that I had to change my VM and respond instead of picking up. Mostly because I am out the door now on jobs and bids to do future jobs. Do I miss calls? Not really because I get a text of all missed call numbers and that alone tells me if someone is calling from my area code as a client or just another out of area solicitor. If the out of area solicitor does not leave a courtesy VM  as to why they called I have the option to block that number through the system like a smart phone can. If a client does not leave a message then I just simply call their number back and tell them I am sorry I missed their call and then find out what they need. 
I am not selling OOma but it is the best $99 I have ever spent in the last three years for business. The only way I can out do that is an answering service that knows my business like the back of my hand and can answer all questions while on the phone.

Now the reason for this particular post- which is not OOma .., lol ( sidetracked)
It is now 7:34 and I usually will get one call just before 8 am. That is when the business officially opens and sometimes there are savy people who want to get a jump on the day early. It is Friday though and people are planning their weekends.
(So am I ) 
The most interesting thing about my calls now, is that because of my blogging and social networking, I am getting more calls everyday asking about services Im not focused on,in my surface cleaning business.  Here are some examples that if I choose to capitalize on right now it might require me to hire and expand just to meet the needs....
1) window cleaning
2) concrete polishing/ grinding/ cutting
3) pavers
4) concrete pouring
5) tile grout repairs
6) carpet dye
7) throw rug services 
And there are several others but these are pretty frequent requests. And they somehow found us by google,   The service request list has grown exponentially and organically. 
In the case of blogging about what we do, more means more. The more people visit our different web presences, the more google throws us into the search results..,, 
Happy blogging folks!






Google hates you


Yes- it is true google hates.... It does not hate you, just your web site. It is boring to google so it moves on over it rather quickly. You change a couple pictures and make new titles but your phone isn't ringing like you want it to. 
So what can you do to change your boring ness to Google? 
1) Google plus
2) blogger
3) Google add words
Get a Google online presence right away. Make a profile, get a gmail account and start tying all that together with a you tube account. Sign up with blogger and start talking about your business. Jobs you have done services you offer and if you want to spend a few bucks buy some keyword searches attached to your web site so people land there and have a reason to call you. Don't procrastinate and be lazy when it comes to blogging. Learn to do it daily if not at least weekly until your phone starts ringing looking for services. And when it does start ringing, start tracking how they found you. You might learn something. Yeah this might be oversimplified, but it needs to be for some of us to just get going. ( you know who you are)After you do this one highly effective but simple step then you can move on to loftier goals...or focus on cleaning.
Warm regards, and in your best interest...


Thursday, August 27, 2015

Why A Cleaning Blog

You are wanting to get that phone ringing constantly. That is good! It is why you are going to read this blog about how to do that organically...without paying a lot of money to SEO companies and web masters that promise you 25 different things by using them.
A blog embedded into your web site will provide daily fresh content with little effort. As long as you blog about your business and provide new content weekly. If you use blogger (which is a google product) it is even more likely that google picks up on it. Wordpress is also another blogging tool that can provide fresh content for your business, however everything within it isn't free like blogger. I happen to use both. The more the merrier right?
So for anyone new to blogging- get started if you have a business. The object is to get people looking and spending time on your site. This in turn pushes it up the ladder in search results. This is not the only free thing you can do for your business, but it is a very important piece of the puzzle!
Happy blogging! Start today by getting a Google plus account and adding a free blog about your business.
Www.fastfinishor.com


Monday, August 3, 2015

Cleaning carpets

http://www.angieslist.com/articles/6-signs-you-need-replace-your-carpet.htm?CID=SocialCarpet_New_080315
Clean it or replace it? 
Here is a great Angies list article on what to look for. 
We clean carpets because we have awesome tools that get it done right. It is not our company focus do we usually only do it as a package for existing customers. We rarely go out just to clean a house carpet. We will refer it to one of our carpet cleaning friends who need the business more than we do.. ( Carpet cleaning companies struggle) It's our way of giving back and supporting the industry.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

August is Cleaning and Sealing month

As the hot days of July spread into August, Salem oregon residents have turned to cleaning their driveways with basic pressure washers to save money. And if you are one of those people who like to get out and do it yourself then there are a few things to keep in mind and we offer some professional tips for the do it yourself types.
First there are there different types of concrete finishes. Most driveways are broomed concrete, exposed aggregate or stamped stained concrete. There area few that also have pavers. Each of these can be power washed but they are not all powerwashed equally the same. So after you identify which one you have here are some considerations. Aggregate is a very common choice in the Salem Oregon and surrounding areas. They can be beautiful but they are also one of the more delicate of all the surfaces so we will start with this type as it is so common and most often damaged. Aggregate is basically a finish where a layer of concrete is ashed off the surface to expose the rock. The finish is beautiful when sealed but very prone to damage due to the missing cement binder that usually covers the rock. This is why you will often see missing rocks after a basic pressure washing service from most pressure washer companies and home owner units. If the company has aggregate spinners it is less likely that damage will occur so if you hire a company ask if they have one or at least the nozzle that agitates while it cleans. even with the spinners rocks can and will come loose over time and multiple cleanings. This is why it is vital to protect your aggregate with the proper hydrophobic sealers that keep the pores of the concrete from absorbing moisture and creating the expanding and contracting effect over time, which eventually cause the rocks to break free. Hardened sealers can also color enhance aggregate and create a nice sheen to the finish. If the cheaper 25% acrylic sealers are used that can be purchased over the counter, you often will end up with aggregate that is not uniform in appearance on follow up cleanings. And last but not least, hire a company that has done hundreds with great reviews from real customers in the area like Fast Finish. They take the time to explain and point out potential issues with all jobs, as they want to retain their clients for future jobs.
So now you have tackled the hardest or should we say the most delicate and fragile of all the finishes(aggregate). lets move on to the stamped concrete. Stamped and stained concrete is a great addition to any home visually. It is not bullet proof however. The most common thing that happens to stamped concrete that is colored(and most are) is that they fade in areas that get the most sun. And I am here to tell you that there is no magic bullet that blends an old faded area into the non faded area. The basic colors that are usually used with stamped concrete offer little in UV protection. And the cheapest of all acrylic sealers are usually put on afterwards. The combination of the two is a bright lite that burns out quicker. There are nice UV stable acrylic colors that can be put over the entire area and re-sealed. This is how it is done. The partial color approach or just a re-seal is can often disappoint the home owner in the long run. Spend the money now or more later. there are cases however, that a good high performance elete crete sealer can darken up and enrich the existing area for a few more years before having to re stain it.
Last is the basic concrete and pavers. Pavers are the most durable of all the available materials with a much harder PSI than any of the others. it can be pressure washed with great success. It is just as important though to seal them as the sand packing material usually invites long term growth of weeds and mold which leads to moss growth in between them. There are sealers that keep the growth from occurring and also help with the efflorescence (white chalky) that happens from moisture.
The bottom line is that each of these can be cleaned effectively but never forget to have it sealed for the long life... All concrete will crack eventually. Left untreated, you can cut the life of it by 50% and causing costly repairs later. Fast Finish is the premier company for sealing all types of materials. If you want it sealed call them for an estimate. You can get the best sealers available to date for as little as 50 cents up to $2 a square ft applied. Ask abot their clean and seal packages and save even more. What you do now will save you money later...