Training Video Link Below
Don’t Forget: Your Participation is Requested in ALI’s 2020 Ladder Safety and Citation Survey
Hi IWCA Members!You’ve been invited to participate in American Ladder Institute’s (ALI) 2020 Ladder Safety and Citation Survey. This research is conducted to assess the effectiveness of ladder safety training in decreasing the number of ladder-related accidents, injuries and citations.We’d like to hear from you regarding ladder-related safety training, injuries and OSHA citations at your company. By participating in this 15-minute survey, you will help improve safety training efforts and resources for ladder users.15 minutes of your time could help save a life.Please complete the survey by September 8, 2020.Your individual responses will be completely anonymous and not connected to you or your company. Thank you in advance for your valuable input and commitment to safety!Please contact us if you have any questions.Sincerely,American Ladder Institute
American Ladder Institute
The American Ladder Institute (ALI) is a not-for-profit association dedicated to promoting safe ladder use and is the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) approved developer of ladder safety standards.
330 N. Wabash Ave., Suite 2000Chicago, IL 60611info@americanladderinstitute. orgwww.americanladderinstitute.or gCopyright © 2018. All Rights Reserved.
Fatalities caused by falls from elevation continue to be a leading cause of death for construction employees, accounting for 320 of the 1,008 construction fatalities recorded in 2018 (BLS data). Those deaths were preventable. The National Safety Stand-Down raises fall hazard awareness across the country in an effort to stop fall fatalities and injuries.
A Safety Stand-Down is a voluntary event for employers to talk directly to employees about safety. Any workplace can hold a stand-down by taking a break to focus on “Fall Hazards” and reinforcing the importance of “Fall Prevention”. Employers of companies not exposed to fall hazards, can also use this opportunity to have a conversation with employees about the other job hazards they face, protective methods, and the company’s safety policies and goals. It can also be an opportunity for employees to talk to management about fall and other job hazards they see.
Anyone who wants to prevent hazards in the workplace can participate in the Stand-Down. In past years, participants included commercial construction companies of all sizes, residential construction contractors, sub- and independent contractors, highway construction companies, general industry employers, the U.S. Military, other government participants, unions, employer’s trade associations, institutes, employee interest organizations, and safety equipment manufacturers.
OSHA is partnering with key groups to assist with this effort, including the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA), OSHA approved State Plans, State consultation programs, the Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR), the American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP), the National Safety Council, the National Construction Safety Executives (NCSE), the U.S. Air Force, and the OSHA Training Institute (OTI) Education Centers.
Companies can conduct a Safety Stand-Down by taking a break to have a toolbox talk or another safety activity such as conducting safety equipment inspections, developing rescue plans, or discussing job specific hazards. Managers are encouraged to plan a stand-down that works best for their workplace anytime. See Suggestions to Prepare for a Successful “Stand-Down” and Highlights from the Past Stand-Downs. OSHA also hosts an Events page with events that are free and open to the public to help employers and employees find events in your area.
Employers will be able to provide feedback about their Stand-Down and download a Certificate of Participation following the Stand-Down. The certificate pages will be active on September 14, 2020, for employers to enter their information and print their certificate.
Like many of you, I’ve spent the past 6 months fighting to rebuild our small business to be strong enough to survive coronavirus. We’ve redesigned our training programs, our marketing systems, our client communication tools and changed our entire business model to be able to keep a “safe distance” and ensure our staff and client’s safety…. And amazingly we’ve lived to tell the story.
Now, I’m not saying it was easy or that we’ve done things right (or even well), but we are coming out of 2020 stronger. Below are 5 things we did differently to pivot and stay profitable even after having to lay off all of our staff back in March and rehiring them in April.
Lesson 1: We got lean…
Like SUPER lean… like I threatened to only cook ramen and considered canceling our $14 per month spotify subscription lean…
By getting intimate with our numbers we figured out how to cut our expenses with care and were able to right-side our business. So as our income dropped by 90% and our staff was down to 1/10th of our normal capacity, we cut our expenses by an equal percentage so we could ensure we stayed profitable
I’m not saying it was easy, and I’m not saying it wasn’t difficult, but I can confidently say that we are much better off! As our income came back we didn’t add the expenses back as quickly so we’re actually MORE profitable as a company than we were 6 months ago.
Nothing like an unprecedented state of emergency to get you deeply in touch with the health of your business.
Here’s the deal: if you haven’t right-sized your business yet, it’s not too late! Now is the perfect time. None of us know how long we’re going to have to ride this wave, so the sooner you get your financial house in order the better!
Lesson 2: We ditched our ideas of perfection.
It can be hard to remember that we aren’t the only ones juggling work, kids, home schooling, new bread baking skills, serious wanderlust, and fighting the blues on the regular….
And on normal times, we appreciate our clients but in these global pandemic times we really NEEDED our clients. We decided early on in this whole mess to embrace the mess and the chaos and the imperfections. We got real with our clients and decided to just be ourselves. And the results were so heart-warming! We sent a couple of emails and posted a couple of videos talking about how the pandemic was effecting our family, our staff, our clients, and our businesses. We were straight-forward about how we were trying to juggle & handle everything. And we were honest about how they could help us (by bundling their services, leaving us a review, talking about us to their friends, etc).
In normal times asking for help would have felt weird and too vulnerable, but in these times – it was freeing and beautiful.
If you’ve been hiding how you’re hurting from your clients I’d encourage you to step out of your comfort zone and try being real with them. If you need some inspiration, go watch an episode of SGN with John Krasinski, or an episode of Conan streaming live from his living room. It’s okay to embrace the imperfections, in fact you’ll be closer and better for it, I promise!
Lesson 3: We got to know our client’s better.
Building on the last lesson, that once we’ve become vulnerable with our clients, there is a deeper connection with them that goes beyond the transaction. We’ve invited them into our homes (through video) and discussed our struggles.
We’re friends now.
So we used this as a chance to get to know our clients better. We had a little more time on our hands in March & April (funny how that happens when your call volume drops 90%). So we actually got on the phone and called our top clients.
We asked them how they were.
We asked about their families.
One of the most amazing things about this pandemic is that the entire world is experiencing it together. I heard from friends in Italy, France, Spain, Australia, England, Kenya, India, Japan and Canada. Every conversation started with how are you holding up? How are you handling this?
So that made what used to be so big and scary (picking up the phone) easier because our ice breaker was already done for us. Once we got past the pleasantries and the small talk we asked our clients just a handful of questions.
We asked them if there was something about our services that they wish were different? We asked if there was something they wish we offered but we didn’t.
We asked if there was something we could do to make buying from us easier.
The key here is we didn’t sell them anything. Instead we appealed to needing their help. Because of our communication with them, they felt compelled to help us because they were rooting for us, and they want us to not only survive but succeed. And we made it clear we wanted to listen.
We were transparent that we wanted to come out of this better and stronger. We took a lot of notes and their honesty helped us. We learned that many of our best clients didn’t actually know what services we offered. We didn’t know that they were frustrated with our scheduling process. We didn’t know that they were actually wanting our services more frequently but kept forgetting to call us. Their feedback and our vulnerability gave us a chance to really improve our business.
And you know what? After calling the first client the second one was MUCH easier.
Lesson 4: We pivoted.
As you know by now – not only do I teach business owners how to do their own bookkeeping and offer done-for-you bookkeeping services. I also co-own a window cleaning business with my husband.
Many of you probably don’t know that my husband won the window cleaning world championship at the IWCA conference back in January (Is it just me or does January feel like 12 years ago?).
And even less commonly known is that I placed 3rd in the women’s division of that world championship. 🙂
But here’s the crazy thing…
I know… I know… You probably thought me… the nerdy CPA, Meaghan cleaning windows was the crazy thing.
But it isn’t…
The crazy thing is that 6 short weeks after probably the highlight of our window cleaning careers our world came crashing down and we weren’t able to offer window cleaning services anymore.
You see we live in California, and in California – Window Cleaning was not really deemed an essential service.
For those of you stuck working at home looking through dirty windows I hear you that it absolutely SHOULD be an essential service, but the way we saw it – it wasn’t worth killing someone over.
So – what does a window cleaning company led by the worlds best window cleaner do when they can’t offer window cleaning services anymore?
Like many of you we pivoted. We leaned on our other service offerings and we communicated & marketed the heck out of them. We used the word that had hurt us (“essential”), to our benefit.
And we took the opportunity to really communicate with our clients about what other exterior-only services we offered. Pressure washing? Solar Panel Cleaning? Gutter Cleaning?
I can’t think of much more essential exterior services than freeing sidewalks & driveways of slipping hazards (moss). Or helping our clients stretch out the life of their roofs and prevent leaks by cleaning them and their gutters. And we maintained the efficiency of their solar panels now that they were working from home and had higher energy news.
It turns out that these services are ALL more profitable than window cleaning AND we’d done a terrible job selling these services to our existing, loyal clients. So I guess thank you Covid-19 for this lesson. It turns out our clients we’re delighted to PAY us to come do additional more-essential work for them.
Lesson 5: We kept at it.
We kept showing up. We didn’t give up. We kept working our tails off. We took it one day at a time and we got here. And dang it feels good looking back at the past 6 months and all the mountains we’ve climbed and hoops we’ve jumped through…. Wow, when I look back at it I’m proud…. It wasn’t easy, but boy are we stronger for it!
This is turning into quite a marathon, so be sure to pace yourself and take care of you. Remember, you are not alone and you can do this.
I think this is the perfect time for you to take a minute to reflect on your business and the hurdles you’ve jumped in the past six months. What have been your lessons. How are you stronger than you were in February?
Okay now…. Your Turn! Write down some of your wins & lessons.
Finding and hiring the right staff to maintain and grow your window cleaning business is an important key to your success and likely your biggest challenge. IWCA is now partnered with CareerPlug, our recruiting software of choice, to support all IWCA member organizations in hiring. CareerPlug provides easy-to-use software and proactive services to make hiring easier. Over 160 associations and franchise networks (10,000+ clients) rely on them to help consistently hire the right talent.
Every IWCA member organization receives a free CareerPlug account that comes with a branded careers page, pre-built job templates, and a configured hiring process to help evaluate your applicants. If you have urgent hiring needs, we highly recommend that you upgrade the free account to paid Pro subscription at an exclusive partnership rate of $41.25/month for unlimited job postings to top job boards (Indeed, ZipRecruiter, GoogleJobs, Facebook Jobs, etc.), use of personality assessments.
IWCA recommends that all member organizations activate their free accounts immediately and upgrade to the “Pro” version if you have urgent or upcoming hiring needs! See the attached flyer for more details and instructions on how to activate your free account. IWCA Partnership Flyer
For additional help with activating or upgrading your account, contact email@example.com. Be sure to bookmark CareerPlug’s Help Center at https://support.careerplug.com/ for a library of getting started resources and how-to guides.
While most people would probably find scaling the exterior of a skyscraper terrifying, it’s all in a day’s work for members of the International Window Cleaning Association. Of course, worker safety and adherence to regulations are paramount, which is why IWCA has been in an alliance with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration since 2011……
For Members – the PowerPoint Presentation for this webinar is located inside your membership log in in the Members Only Toolbox Section.
*If you are a member of the IWCA, log in and go to the Members Only Toolbox area for the PowerPoint Slides.
WaterFed® Obstacles, Solutions, and Maintenance by ABC Window Cleaning Supplies
The ability to clean windows with pure water is scientifically brilliant and innovative, but WaterFed® carts can seem intimidating if something doesn’t work as expected. In this article, we address the three most common obstacles users run into when using WaterFed®.
Obstacle: Hydrophobic is the kind of glass that repels water. While you’re working, you’ll notice your WaterFed® rinse rolls off the window in beads, as opposed to a stream of water. This is an indicator that you’re working on hydrophobic glass (think water-hating), and you may find it hard to get a good rinse.
Solution: There are two solutions for getting a good rinse when confronting hydrophobic glass. The first involves using fan jets instead of pencil jets when cleaning and rinsing. Fan jets spread the water out evenly, and for hydrophobic glass, it enables you to achieve a successful rinse. Some brushes, like any of the Triple Crown brushes, come with both fan and pencil jets options on every brush.
The second solution is to use a rinse bar. Rinse bars were recently developed to help when cleaning very high windows. It allows the user to rest the brush on the window while spraying water from above the brush, and in the Monster Rinse Bar’s case, from below the brush as well, instead of having to pick the brush up off the window. For hydrophobic glass, this means you can rinse with twice as much water on both the up and down strokes, regardless of how high you are cleaning.
Obstacle: While WaterFed® was intended for used as a maintenance system, it is often used for many different types of cleaning. One of which is those very dirty, “hasn’t been cleaned in X years,” kind of windows. When this happens, you may find that your results are not meeting your expectations and that a good scrub just isn’t doing the trick.
Solution: There are two solutions to this obstacle. The first is to connect a pad holder and a white pad or bronze wool pad to the end of a pole to give yourself some scrubbing power. This also allows you to use a chemical to help get the dirt off the windows. Note: Pads do not use water while cleaning. Therefore, you might need a separate pole, or a gooseneck (which enables you to connect multiple brushes on one pole), and to turn the water/WaterFed® system off while using the pad.
The second solution is to use a Hog’s Hair WaterFed® brush. Each of the bristles is an organic material that has hundreds of tiny bristles on it. This enables the hog’s hair to scrub a window better than a synthetic brush, allowing you to clean a very dirty window better. Note two things: since a hog’s hair brush is an organic material, it does not last as long as a synthetic brush. Also, if the very dirty window is still not clean after these two solutions, we suggest you traditionally clean the window and after that use WaterFed® as maintenance.
Obstacle: WaterFed® water does not need to be squeegeed off, that’s one of the best features of the innovation, the evaporation of the remaining water. So if you see spotting on the windows, something is not going correctly.
Solution: If the water coming out of your system has a TDS level of 10 or less, the spotting is not from your cart. If the TDS level is 10 or higher, it might be time to change a filter. Click here for a helpful resource to assist in determining which filter should be changed. To figure out the best solution, you need to understand why spotting is happening.
The first reason spotting might occur is because of an improper scrub. If there are not enough passes or the pressure you’re applying isn’t enough, dirt will remain on the window. This leftover residue can be one reason for spotting. Try giving the window a few extra passes, and a little added pressure, to see if the spots persist.
The second reason for spotting is because of an improper rinse. The rinse of purified water is essential to the overall WaterFed® cleaning process because it pushes dirty water (pure water that attached itself to dirt), off the window and leaves behind only clean, pure water. That purified water will easily dry spot-free because it has no impurities (which is the reason for spotting). With that said, try giving the window a very thorough rinse if you see spots. This is especially true the first time you use pure water on a window that in the past, was cleaned traditionally. Soap residue can stick to the window and require extra rinsing to remove.
Once your system is in working order and meets cleaning expectations, it is going to be crucial to maintain the cart to continue seeing those results.
Flushing your RO is used as a sort of “reset” button for a multi-stage system. It clears out any impurities in the filter, in turn, making the filter last longer. To flush your RO filter, turn on your water source and open your bypass valve for 1-2 minutes. Click here for more in-depth instructions on flushing your RO filter.
Loading and unloading your system is easy once you feel comfortable doing so. The process is often overlooked but should be practiced to avoid damage when on a job. Work with your crew to make sure everyone is comfortable loading and unloading your WaterFed® system. This is key to avoiding unnecessary damage.
Don’t forget your system in those winter months. If your filters freeze, they will need to be replaced. When slow season approaches, make sure you store your WaterFed® system in a place where it won’t freeze. Reference your manual for specific instructions.
***See our RIPL Social Media Graphic/Video Tutorial in Campus IWCA
Like many other small business owners, you probably do not have a ton of time and can’t hire a full marketing team to run and create your ads on Facebook. To help you, we’ve created an easy step-by-step guide to get your first Facebook Ads campaign up and running!
Before you start spending money on ads, it is essential to get your Facebook Business account properly set up.
Create a Facebook Business account: follow these steps to get started.
Install the Facebook Pixel: this will allow you to monitor your website traffic and performance, which is essential to spending your marketing dollars efficiently. Find out more here.
Now that you have a Facebook Business Account and the Facebook Pixel, you are ready to set up your Facebook Ads Campaign.
First, let’s take a look at how Facebook Campaigns are structured. There are 3 levels to every Facebook campaign:
The campaign level: where you will choose your objective, define your goals, and set your budget.
The ad set level: where you will define your audience, select where your ads are shown, and decide on what event you want to optimize for.
The ad level: where you will set up your ad, write your caption, and provide a URL link.
In the next 3 steps we will walk you through each of these levels and what you can customize at each step.
It’s time to create your campaign! Go to the Ads Manager section in your Facebook Business Manager. Once you are there, click “Create” and you should see this screen:
Once here you can choose how you want to optimize your campaign. Here are some recommendations depending on your specific goals:
Traffic: Good for brand awareness and drives actions if implemented well. If you have not had a lot of purchases on your website this is a good place to start. This will get you the most visitors to your website possible.
Conversions: This is where you can optimize for things like Purchases, Landing Page Views, Add to Cart, etc. (this is why installing Facebook Pixel is so important). One thing to note: for Facebook’s algorithm to learn it is important to get multiple events per day. So if you are starting small it is best to begin with events like “landing page visits”. Once you are getting more events you can transition to events like “purchase” and “add to cart”.
Lead generation: Great for collecting email addresses, phone numbers, and contact info as you try to find prospective customers.
After choosing your goal, you will see this screen:
In this screen you are given the ability to name your campaign, choose your budget and a campaign bid strategy. We have broken out how each of these options works below.
Naming your campaign: This is a step that even a lot of experienced marketers do not pay attention to! If you do it well, it will keep your Ads manager more organized and will help when you add more campaigns in the future. We recommend naming your campaign something relevant to your goal and how you set up your campaign. For example, we named this campaign “Website Traffic | CBO | Lowest Cost | USA | Yoga Pants”.
Choosing CBO vs not choosing CBO: CBO stands for “campaign budget optimization”. When you turn CBO on, it means that Facebook will allocate your campaign spend between your Ad Sets and will optimize by spending the most on the best performing Ad Set. This means that if you choose to not turn CBO on, you will manually set budgets for each of your Ad Sets.
We recommend using CBO. Facebook does a good job allocating budgets and it’s a feature that Facebook will force most advertisers to use in the near future.
Campaign Budget: Here you can choose how much you want to spend per day on a campaign or how much you want to spend over the lifetime of the campaign. You might be asking “how much should I spend?”. A good starting point is to determine how much one purchase or lead is worth to you – so if one pair of Yoga Pants is worth $50, start off spending $50 per day. We recommend choosing a daily budget. This way you know how much you are spending on a daily basis and can turn it off and on as needed.
Campaign Bidding Strategy: In this entry Facebook allows you to choose between three things – Lowest Cost, Bid Cap, and Cost Cap.
Lowest cost – Facebook will try and get as many conversions as possible at the lowest cost while trying to spend your entire budget. This might be right for you if you want to get as much scale and results as possible and you are unsure what bid is necessary to achieve that goal.
Bid Cap – Facebook will not bid more than the amount you enter in any auction. When you use bid caps you have more control over your cost per optimization event, but if your bid is too low you might get less delivery. This might be right for you if you know how much you are willing to bid for a result and do not want to exceed that amount per result.
Cost Cap – Facebook will only spend as much as it thinks it can to reach the cost per result you set. Cost cap bid strategy lets you tell Facebook the cost of the results you care about. This might be the right strategy for you if you know how much a result is worth to you and want to get as many results as possible at that cost.
And that’s it! You can now click “Continue” and move on to the Ad Set level.
After getting your campaign set up, we move onto the Ad Set section. Within the Ad Set portion you will define your audience, select where your ads are shown, and decide on what event you want to optimize for.
Naming your Ad Set: Just like when naming your campaign, it helps to keep your naming consistent across Ad Sets and to enter information about what your Ad Set contains.
We are naming our Ad Set “IG Feed | Yoga & Pants Interest | USA | Women 20-45”.
Traffic & Optimization Event: Next you will decide where you want to send traffic. For this example we want to send people to a website page.
Dynamic Creative & Offer: For the sake of this blog post, we are going to skim over these two sections. These are more advanced features that are great to explore but require more information. If you want to learn more here are two links to help:
Audience: Next up is choosing the audience that you want to serve ads to. Facebook has a ton of options for who to target and it can feel overwhelming, so here are three things to keep in mind as you create your audience:
Focus on who your typical customers are. For this example, customers purchasing yoga pants are typically women between 20 and 45 years old. This yoga business ships throughout the United States, so we will target the entire US. Think about your customer base, their age ranges, and other demographics. For example, if you are trying to grow brand awareness for your tire shop, you might want to choose both men and women from 25-65 years old who live in your city.
Keep it simple. In our example, we are keeping it simple and targeting people with interests in yoga and yoga pants. You can choose to narrow your audience and add additional interests. This will help you target a more specific group of people.
Try a few different audiences. One way to find out who is your best converting audience is to create another Ad Set and choose a different type of audience. With our yoga apparel example, we could create another Ad Set that targets people interested in fitness apparel and Lululemon.
Note: as you move forward you can begin to create re-targeting and lookalike audiences. Re-targeting audiences are audiences that target people who come to your website, like your page, or have done an action on your website. For more information on how to create re-targeting audiences, click here. If you are interested in understanding lookalike audiences, click here.
Placement: Once you have created your audience, you can decide where you want to show your ads. Facebook can run your ads across multiple platforms: Facebook, Instagram, What’s App, and the Audience Network. Within each of these platforms you can choose the types of ads you want to serve: feed, stories, search results, etc. Facebook gives you two options: Automatic Placements and Manual Placements.
Automatic Placements: Facebook will allocate your budget across their networks to where your ad will perform best. For simplicity we recommend choosing automatic placements and let Facebook allocate your budget to placements where it will be spent most efficiently.
Manual Placements: You can select where you want your ads to be shown. An example of when this is a good option is when you have an ad that’s format (9×16) only works for Facebook and Instagram Stories.
Optimization: This is the last step of the Ad Set! Now it is time to select what events to optimize for. We are running a campaign to drive traffic and are going to optimize for Clicks.
If you decided to optimize your campaign for Conversions, this is where you will select the Conversion event you want to optimize for. If you choose Conversion optimization you will be prompted to choose from options like “Add to Cart”, “Purchase”, etc.
You can also choose when to start and stop this Ad Set from running. Additionally, if you chose a “Cost Cap” or “Bid Cap” campaign strategy, here is where you would set the amount you are willing to bid or spend for a conversion.
Once you have completed this step select “Continue” and you can move onto the final part of setting up a Facebook campaign.
Ad Name: Here we are again, naming something! Like we said about the Campaign naming and Ad Set naming – make sure it is something that helps you identify the ad.
We named our ad “Static | Two Women Standing | Made in USA”.
Format: There are 3 different types of ad formats that you can use: Carousel, Single Image or Video, and Collection. We recommend starting with a single image or video. This is the easiest and most common type of ad people create and run.
Media: Once you have selected your format you will have to choose your media. Because this ad is only going to run in the Instagram feed, we only need to upload a square image. To easily create static or video ads, a great place to start is using Ripl. Ripl allows you to quickly add your logo, text, and music to any of your businesses photos or videos. Click this link to see a quick demo of how Ripl can make it easy to create an ad and watch this video to see how to upload your brand to Ripl.
Below is the size recommended for each social media platform.
Facebook and Instagram Feed: Square 1×1 or 4×5
Facebook and Instagram Stories: 9×16
Facebook Right Column: 16×9
Text & Links: Finally we will insert our Caption, Link, and Call to Action.
Caption: For the Primary text make sure to keep it short and simple – we recommend 125 characters or less. In this section don’t be afraid to have a little fun and let people know what your brand is all about!
Website URL: This is where all of the people who click on your ad will be directed. It is important to pick a page that will help you achieve the goals you want. For example, because we want to drive traffic to the website and get people to purchase, we are driving people to the page where people can shop for yoga pants.
Call to Action (CTA): For the CTA we recommend choosing the option that aligns with your goals. For this example, we selected “Shop Now”. However, if you are driving people to get more information about a home for sale or a special offer, you might choose “Learn More”.
Tracking: This last part is simple! Since you have the Facebook Pixel installed on your website, make sure to turn “Conversion Tracking” on for the Facebook Pixel.
Congratulations, you have now set up your first Facebook Ads campaign and you are ready to start running ads!
Moving forward here are a couple things to keep in mind.
Give Facebook time to learn. If you do not see results right away do not panic.
Test multiple audiences and ads. Best practice is to have at least two ads running in an Ad Set
The 2021 IWCA Annual Convention & Trade Show is January 25-30, 2021! Register