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August 2011

The official journal of the National Carpet Cleaners Association


Properties of Velvet Carpet Cleaners Carnival ŠFinePoint by Brintons


Published monthly by:

03 From the editor

The National Carpet Cleaners Association

03 From the president 06 Unearthing hidden treasures 08 The mystery of the orange stains 10 The characteristics of cotton 12 The properties of velvet

62c London Road, Oadby, Leicestershire, LE2 5DH Tel: 0116 271 9550 Fax: 0116 271 9588 E-mail: Website: Editor Nikki Law

14 Getting the best out of

Editor in Chief Keith Robertson

your Website

Design Editor Nikki Law

16 The Carpet Cleaners Carnival

President/ Technical Director Paul Pearce

24 48 reasons why they will want us back

Training Director Pawlo Woloszyn

27 Parliamentary business buddy

Vice President/ Marketing Director Keith Robertson

scheme is launched 28 Neglect of health and safety

Member Liaison Director Glyn Charnock

procedures have serious

Associate Liaison Director Denise Pitt

consequences Opinions expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the Association or it’s officers or members. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the statements within this publication, we cannot accept responsibility for any errors, or omissions, or matters arising from any clerical or printing errors, and whilst every care is taken of manuscripts and photographs submitted to us, we can accept no responsibility for any loss or damage.

Vice President/ Events Director Nigel Lay ŠCarpet Cleaners Association Ltd 1994 (Trading as the National Carpet Cleaners Association). No part of this Newsletter may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the Carpet Cleaners Association Ltd.

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From the editor


here are less than two months to go until the NCCA's inaugural Carpet Cleaners Carnival takes place. It is going to be a great event, so don't miss it! It will be held on the 17th September at Wicksteed Park in Kettering, Northamptonshire and will be a mixture of business and fun activities, with the focus very much on fun (see centre pages for full details). There are a number of substantial discounts avaiIable to anyone who pre-registers with the NCCA office. Vouchers and passes will need to be provided in advance and these offers will not be available on the day without them. So, contact the NCCA office

From the president


today to confirm your attendance. We are also holding two NCCA courses during September - a Leather Identification and Cleaning Course to be held on 14th Nikki Law September and a Health and Safety course aimed at the carpet and upholstery cleaner (NCCA members only) to be held on 15th September. Both courses will be held at the NSPCC Training Centre in Leicester. So if you haven’t already contacted us do it today to book your place and avoid disappointment.

Paul Pearce

t the recent AGM it was announced that we would like to honour two of our retiring past members. These two gentlemen have been involved with the organisation for many years and have given their time freely as Directors. They have held many positions over those years and served us well. Even when they stepped away as directors they have continued to help and support us on many projects and have become good friends over the years both to the NCCA and me. The two gentlemen we have awarded the position of Honorary Membership are Derek Bolton and Tony Abbott. This allows them to keep in touch with the industry from the NCCA's point of view. We will present them with their certificates etc., at the NCCA Carnival Event at Wicksteed Park on the 17th September. I hope that many of you will be able to visit to witness this and have some fun with your colleagues. I am also taking this opportunity to remind you about Health and Safety within your business. It doesn't matter whether you are an owner operator or a multi-employee company you need to know about the procedures of supplying a risk assessment, a method statement and a COSHH assessment so that you can get a permit to work in a commercial building. If you are not being asked for this information then the owner or management of that business is not carrying out due diligence or duty of care to their employees or visitors. If you work in peoples homes you should understand your obligations to your client, you may not have to give them the paperwork I mentioned above but you certainly need to know and convey that to them.

What about yourself? Are you up to date with manual handling or lone working? You will learn all this and more on the Health and Safety course I am running on 15th September (see 'Diary Dates' on page 13). Health and Safety laws apply to all businesses no matter how small, even the self-employed. The laws are there to prevent people from being harmed at work and providing a satisfactory working environment. They are also there to protect the public from workplace dangers. This course will take you through several policy and assessment documents, which are all on Microsoft Word templates and can be completed as required. I will walk you through step by step procedures to create your own documents. Many of these can be completed during the course, so if you have them please bring your own laptops. You will be able to leave the course having started to implement your company's health and safety policy. The topics to be covered include: ! The Law ! Manual Handling, ! Lone Working ! Emergency Plans & Reporting Accidents ! Work Environment Guidelines ! Slips & Trips ! First Aid Guidelines ! The importance of Training & Induction ! Risk Assessment (inc template on CD) ! Method Statement (inc template on CD) ! Health & Safety Policy (inc template on CD) ! COSHH Assessment (inc template on CD) ! 30 Health & Safety PDF documents on the CD page 3

Acid Rinsing Vs Acid Cleaning Why not join the acid revolution and try these two products and see for yourself, which is best and how they compare. Liquid High Heat Low pH extraction cleaning with 21st century formula. All Fibre Textile Rinse Neutralises alkaline pH whilst rinsing out suspended soils after high pH Traffic Lane Cleaners. See our latest newsletter for full details. Why not order both together before the end of September and get a FREE BUCKET with your order.

Chemspec Europe, Tong Park, Otley Road, Baildon, West Yorkshire, BD17 7QD. Tel: 01274 597333 Fax: 01274 597444 E-mail: Website:

NCCA Associate Members NCCA member referral results Since publishing a referral statistics report in last month's Newslink there have been 248 recommendations for full members provided by the NCCA. This number is made up of 131 referrals from the NCCA office, 114 potential customers contacting members direct through the website and 3 referrals to members without an email address, which we have tracked using the office database. If you have not yet supplied us with an email address, but would like to receive notification when your details have been given out, please contact the NCCA office on: 0116 271 9550.

+ Alltec Network: 01763 208222 (C/M/F/T) + Amtech UK: 0845 130 4755 (C/M) + Ashby's Cleaning Equipment: 01322 227806 (C/M/E) + Bio Productions Ltd (inc. Stapro): 01444 244000 (C) + Camberford Law (insurance brokers): 0208 315 5000 (I) + Chemdry UK: 01482 872770 (C/M/Fr) + Chemspec Europe Ltd: 01274 597333 (C/M/T/D/F) + Cleanerswarehouse Ltd: 01772 434333 (T/C/R/M) + Cleaning Support Ltd: 0844 8482371 (C/M/W) + Cleaning Systems UK: 01334 656787 (C/M/T/F) + Cleansmart Ltd: 0115 8240034 (T/C/R/M/K) + Cleantec Innovation Ltd: 0870 733 7733 (T/C/W/M) + Dri-Eaz: 01908 611211 (C/M/T) + Dry Fusion UK Ltd: 01772 433711 (C/M/T/W/Fr) + Forum of Private Business: 01565 634467 + Gleaming Insurance (insurance brokers): 0845 4740068 (I) + Hi-Tec Cleaning Group: 02866 341416 (C/E/F/M/T) + Host Von Schrader Ltd: 0151 347 1900 (M/C) + Hydro Dynamix: 01622 664993 (Fr) + LTT Leathercare: 01423 881027 (T)

NCCA Member Benefits + Amicus Legal Ltd (free legal helpline): 01206 366500 + SiteWizard (website creation) 08450 608860 + EMJ Management Ltd (workwear clothing and accessories): 02392 434650 + Brian James (Marketing Consultant): 08450 608860 + Thompson Local (Ask for Corporate Advertsing Department) 01252 390385 + Yellow Pages (Ask for Corporate Advertising Department) 0808 100 7890 + Adalante Merchant Services 01628 820500 + Payatrader

+ McGregor Lloyd (insurance brokers): 0121 706 0616 (I) + Nu Life Stone Care Ltd: 0161 480 7284 (M/C) + Prochem Europe Ltd: 0208 974 1515 (C/F/M/T) + Rainbow International: 01623 422488 (M/C/Fr) + Restoration Express: 01252 726106 (M/C/T/A) + ServiceMaster Ltd: 0116 275 9000 (M/C/Fr) + Sebo UK Ltd: 01494 465533 (M) + Stainshield Ltd: 01372 841467 (C) + Textile Cleaning Solutions: 01934 521155 (M/C) + The Big Clean: 0208 3934778 (M,C,W,K) + Truvox International Ltd: 02380 702200 (M) + Vitec Global: 02392 666053 (C) + Woodbridge Comercial Ltd: 01279 422220 (C/M) C - Chemicals / M - Machinery / W - Wholesalers / Fr Franchises / I - Insurance / K - Marketing / T - Technical Services / F - Fire Retardents / A - Auxiliary Services

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ŠPhotographs: Keith Robertson

Keith Robertson

Stoneman’s Corner

Unearthing hidden treasures


he Links Hotel in the town of Montrose on the east coast of Scotland is not particularly prepossessing although this is partly made up for by the large free car park. The core of the hotel is a large Victorian House with a number of extensions which have been added to turn it into a hotel suitable for weddings and other functions. It is only when you enter the reception area that you come to appreciate what an interesting place it is. It was built in the 1850's as a private home by one of the mill owning Paton family. Some features were added later while still a private house, which is perhaps why the website incorrectly describes the building as Edwardian when in fact it is Victorian and shown on the 1848 Montrose town map.

When Angela and I stayed there recently, while attending the wedding of an ex-employee, we were provided with a pleasant first floor room with balcony in a modern extension. All the rooms are individually themed; ours was named the Garden Room after the Scottish television show the Beechgrove Garden and there were photographs of the presenter on the walls. The hotel main hall is dominated by an amazing Victorian Staircase leading to the first floor with a huge stained glass window on the half landing. The first floor drawing room, now used for meetings and small functions, contains a truly beautiful yellow French marble fireplace. The most imposing feature, however, is a fine example of an Arts and Crafts fireplace in the ground hall. As the Arts and Crafts movement didn't page 6

really get fully underway until about 1880 the fireplace is obviously an addition and is an amazing mixture of wood, tiles, glass and painted panels. During an on-line conversation with specialist tile maker Fay Jones Day, Fay commented that she couldn't understand why the maker used the blue and white tiles on the inside as they didn't look right to her eye. I am sure she is quite right as the blue and white Dutch tiles with biblical scenes, that I have previously come across, have been dated from around 1820 or earlier. After looking closely at the tiles, I deduced that they may have been taken from a pre-existing fireplace and re-used. It's interesting to speculate whether the Paton's, when commissioning this masterpiece, specifically made a request to have these tiles reset into their new fireplace. The specific reason I wanted to tell you about this fireplace was because of an obvious problem I noticed with the sealing of the black and red quarry hearth tiles. Early in my career when sealing tiles and stone I decided that using a water-based emulsion dressing was a waste of time. Now there are a number of water-based topical seals which are specifically made, but I am still not a fan. There are occasions where I find we do have to use them but my preference is a solvent based enhancing impregnator every time. I may be fortunate that I have built a relationship with a small company that still hand-blend their products and have the experience and ability to make subtle changes to their formulas to deal with specific scenarios. In the case of the hearth tiles in this hotel they

had been sealed with an oleo-resinous product or a varnish. When I first started to work on stone there was little choice of finishing products, so I have sealed many floors with an oleo-resinous product, but I no longer do so. The picture shows one of the reasons (there are also other problems that can be caused by this type of product which can be relevant to some floors). If the hearth tiles were stripped back and retreated with a quality enhancing impregnator the problem would be solved. Montrose isn't on my doorstep so I didn't rush to reception with a business card to tell them I could carry out some first aid on their tiles, but it does pose the question as to what amazing items and surfaces are hidden in buildings in your own town or city. Perhaps part of your marketing programme could include a visit to some of them and, where you find a possible job, introducing yourself to someone in authority. In many cases the people who manage these properties are aware that some of the floors or fireplaces in their building are in need of specialist restoration but have no idea who to turn to for help. One final point, if you want to visit the east coast of Scotland, north of Dundee, I can thoroughly recommend staying in this hotel especially if you are a jazz fan. I would never have considered Montrose as a centre of the jazz scene, but if you are an enthusiast it would be worth travelling to this pleasant east coast Scottish town simply to enjoy one of their jazz evenings where they feature renowned musicians. A further feature is the large number of framed posters of Jazz musicians who have performed at the hotel. page 7

The mystery of the orange stains


recently had the opportunity to clean for a new client. A carpet cleaning friend, who had retired from the business, passed this client on to me. In fact he had given me quite a few of his past clients as the person that had purchased his business came from quite a distance and only wanted his cleaning equipment. When I made contact with the client (let’s call her Mrs Clark) she said that my friend (Tom) had already explained that I was going to be giving her a call. We talked about what she wanted to have cleaned and she said that Tom came round once a year and cleaned all the carpets and upholstery, and that I had called at the right time. I booked the job in and said that within reason I would carry out the work at the same prices as Tom had in the past (we weren't a million miles apart in our pricing structure anyway).

Paul Pearce

I turned up on the day in question and met Mr and Mrs Clark - a really nice couple. We went through the work to be carried out and I remarked at how white everything was. Mrs Clark said that now the children had grown up and flown the nest they had decided to have the colour they had wanted for their furnishings. I had not realised that white was a colour, but there you go. I then remarked that it was good to see they'd been having a yearly clean and that Tom had kept it looking new. Mrs Clark replied that Tom hadn't seen these particular soft furnishings as they were changed last September, a few months after his last clean. I carried out my usual audit inspection and noted the following: the carpet was nylon, tufted and good quality, well fitted, white and without any noticeable marks/stains. The upholstery was white, page 8

sculptured, rayon, with no soil or hand marks (I could only assume that white gloves were used at all times!). Now I had a dilemma as I had already agreed a price, comparable to Tom's last clean, making the assumption that it was the same set of soft furnishings and that they were wet cleanable. I made the decision to clean the fabric with odourless mineral solvent. I explained my process and that I would stand the cost of the extra for the solvent and everyone was happy. I did my best to look like I was happy too - white carpets and upholstery still send shivers down my spine even after over thirty five years! Mrs Clark went to work and left her husband and I to fend for ourselves. He made the coffee and I did the cleaning. I took all the precautions necessary, dustsheets on the floor where I cleaned the upholstery, dustsheets at the doorway to protect the carpet as I brought equipment in, etc. The upholstery was an easy task; I vacuumed it all over and then wiped on, wiped off the solvent and two hours later I was ready to start on the carpets. The carpet to be cleaned was situated in the hall and through to the lounge, 400 sq ft in total. Everything seemed fine and two hours later I was packing up. Once my equipment was on the van I presented Mr Clark with the invoice, he came to the door and said “I will just get my chequebook”. Now at this point I noticed that he had brown leather slippers on and when he came back with the chequebook I noted that he had white hotel slippers on and I commented that he was well trained. He said “well you have met Mrs C haven't you?” Off I go. The following day Mrs Clark called at around 4pm and left a message on my answer phone (don't you hate it when that happens?). She said that she'd left it as long as she could before phoning me as she'd hoped the orange marks (!?) might have faded during the day but they still hadn't. When I heard the message my immediate thought was that the problem was with the upholstery and that perhaps the solvent had affected something and it wicked up to the surface - you think of all the worst

things that it could be. I called Mrs Clark and apologised for her disappointment and said that I obviously need to get back to see the problem marks. She was extremely nice and I agreed to see her two days later, on the Friday, as it was her day off. I finished the call by saying that she wasn't to worry and to use the upholstery as she would normally; the next comment shook me as she said “Oh! The suite is lovely, it's the carpet that's the problem; there are around eight orange marks on it”. I then spent the next two days thinking of all the scenarios that it could be and wishing I could have got there sooner. Well, I arrived on the Friday and Mrs Clark greeted me with a smile, a wave and a coffee. I asked her to point out the orange stains so that I could get on and deal with it. Now these stains were not glaringly obvious, as Mrs Clark was struggling to find them again and initially I couldn't see them either. However, after a short while we identified several problem areas and I marked each of them using a post-it note. I then brought my dustsheet, spot machine and a couple of spotters in. Whilst I was setting up I chatted about the stains and suggested that they might be foot marks and, as they were in and around the fireplace, it was possibly me that had put them there when I went back into the room to collect my phone, watch and ring from the mantle piece on completion. I said this because the last thing I wanted to happen was for Mr Clark to get in trouble for wearing his brown leather slippers just after I'd finished cleaning. As it happened he dropped himself in it anyway because just as I'd rinsed all the marks from the carpet he walked through the lounge, wearing the aforementioned footwear, and Mrs C got a glimpse of what brown leather slippers do to a freshly cleaned carpet. None of us said anything, but we all knew. I packed up, finished my coffee and went on my way. Mr and Mrs Clark waved me goodbye as I made a very hasty retreat…. I'd have liked to have been a fly on the wall in their house that evening! page 9

A cotton plant

The characteristics of cotton


he understanding of textile fibres and their characteristics is of paramount importance to the professional carpet and soft furnishing cleaner. There are innumerable variations of fibres and fibre blends on the market today, and indeed the way that they are constructed, each having their own advantages and disadvantages for differing environmental conditions. By understanding the nature of the fibres and their construction, in relation to the staining or soiling contaminant, you may anticipate limitations and overcome potential problems prior to the commencement of cleaning. Additionally, speaking with an authoritative approach to your clients about their soft furnishings will serve to reassure

Robert Olifent

them that their prized furnishings are in safe and professional hands. As fibre and textile manufacturers continue to make greater advancements in their field of technology never has there been such an important time to keep fully abreast of this ever changing technology. Additionally the professional cleaner must never take anything for granted as fibres will often be extremely deceiving. Cotton is perhaps one of the most widely used natural vegetable fibres. It is used to make clothing, fabrics, towelling, handkerchiefs, sheets, tarpaulins, bandages, carpeting and rugs to name but a few. Cotton fibres are strong, and increase in strength when wet, which is opposite to that of viscose/rayon that decreases in strength when wet. page 10

Cotton is very durable, and can be adapted to many differing applications, hence its popularity in such a wide variety of uses. Cotton fibres are what is termed as a cellulosic fibre and come from the plant seed (or boll) of the cotton plant (Gossypium family), grown in warm moist regions around the world. There are different variations of cotton plant ranging in height from 1ft to 8ft tall, which may all have different levels of quality, some being more suited to clothing, others to more industrial applications. The bolls develop after the cotton plant has flowered, and when ripe they burst open to expose the seeds which are covered in a white fluffy mass of fibres (cotton). These fibres are picked, gathered and sent to a ginery where a machine called a gin separates the seeds from the long cotton strands. The fibres are then packed into bales and transported to the spinning mill. The bales are then broken up by a special machine and all the dirt, and other unwanted debris is taken out. The cotton fibres are also opened out into their original fluffy state, into a fleecy type of sheet (Lap). The higher quality cotton has the longer staple length of approximately two inches, whilst the common type of cotton is in the region of 1.5 inches in length. Just as important, however, are the conditions that the cotton plant is grown in. The quality of the fibre depends very much on the seasonal conditions, and whether these allow the cotton fibres cell wall to reach full maturity and adequate thickness. Carding and combing is the process of straightening out, selecting, and removing the shorter staple fibres from the longer lengths, from the Lap. Additional selections may be carried out for the finest cotton and longer staple lengths. The sorted fibres are then gathered into slivers or loosely wound ropes, then go to be spun. The cotton seeds are not wasted as they too have a variety of uses. The seeds are covered with tiny fibres known as cotton linters, which when

bleached and sterilised are known as cotton wool. Linters may also be used to make viscose/rayon. The cotton seeds themselves are crushed and used to make oils.

Summary Cotton: is not attacked by moths is prone to mould and mildew stains easily is easily dyed is highly absorbent has longer drying times has potential dye instability is prone to water marking may be damaged by water based applications when used in velour pile (velvet) curtains or upholstery materials ! is degraded by strong acids ! is weakened by bleaching agents ! is prone to shrinkage ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

New NCCA Members FULL MEMBERS Wizard Cleaning (London, SE19 3BA) Jani-Clean (Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire) A & K Cleaning Services (Basingstoke, Hampshire)

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The properties of velvet


rom the medieval era through to the renaissance, and even today, velvet is being used in a variety of ways. In earlier times only royalty and nobility could afford to own garments made from velvet. More yarns are required to create velvet than used in the manufacture of other fabrics and a number of different steps in this process add to the expense of producing it. It was also common for supplementary sets of yarns to be placed on the surface of the fabric to create a brocade effect, thus making the design intricate and interesting. As nobility knew, and we can see today, some of the richest colours can be produced when dyeing velvet. It has only been in this last century that velvet has become affordable to the masses. The

Peter Collins industrial revolution brought with it the chance for the common people to experience luxury that was once reserved for only the very wealthy. Manufacturing Velvet is a warp pile fabric, which means that it has one set of filling yarns and two sets of warp yarns. The second set of warp yarns can be cut or uncut. Double cloth and over-wire methods are two ways to create pile fabrics. In the double cloth method, two fabrics are woven, one above the other, and connected with an extra set of warp yarns. The over-wire method involves placing wires across the loom which intersect the cloth in certain places to create a pile. The pile is then cut and the wire removed before the fabric is detached from the loom. If an uncut pile is desired, waste picks can be page 12

placed on the wire and these will not be removed until the fabric is taken off of the loom. Velvet can be made out of various fibres and blends. The most common types of fibre used are rayon, silk and acetate. Types of velvet The most common type of velvet is a plain weave with a cut pile. It is soft, comes in deep rich colours and is used in formal evening wear. This type of velvet is also commonly used in interior design applications such as curtains, upholstery and pillows. A common type of upholstery fabric is cut velvet, which has a pattern cut out from around uncut loops of pile. Crushing the velvet pile can produce two additional types of velvet, crushed velvet and panne velvet. Crushed velvet involves the fabric being mechanically twisted while wet. Applying heavy pressure to the pile in one direction produces panne velvet. Crushed velvet is mostly found in interior applications, however it is also used for apparel. In upholstery manufacture, crushed velvet can have a coated backing applied to provide stability. When being used in apparel the texture of crushed velvet creates a beautiful lustre effect and the direction of the pile can also be used to provide various looks from the same fabric. Velveteen is a pile fabric that, in general, has a shorter pile than true velvet. Velour is usually made out of cotton, or reconstituted wood pulp, this type of velvet has a deeper pile than velveteen, is heavier in weight and is commonly used in upholstery and curtain fabrics. Knit fabrics can now be made to resemble types of velvet; however this type of fabric does stretch and is remarkably comfortable to wear. Panne velvet is often found as a knit garment, however knits are not true velvets. Velvet should be handled with care because folds and creases can permanently flatten the pile. There are also many potential problems to face when attempting to clean this fabric and my article next month will cover this subject in more depth.

Diary Dates 2011 NCCA COURSES Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning 23rd - 24th September 25th - 26th November Health and Safety For The Carpet and Upholstery Cleaner (NCCA members only) 15th September 17th November Spot and Stain Removal 18th November Hard Floor Cleaning 3rd - 4th November Leather Identification and Cleaning 14th September 24th November (date has been changed from 14th July) Carpet Cleaners Carnival 17th September Wicksteed Park, Kettering, Northamptonshire NCCA courses held at NSPCC Training Centre, Leicester unless otherwise stated. Visit: for booking forms and further details.

IICRC COURSES (SURREY) Carpet Cleaning Technician 15th -16th September with Adam Jankowski Water Restoration Technician 20th - 22nd with Adam Jankowski Held at National Flood School, Farnham, Surrey. Tel: 01252 821185

IICRC COURSES (HERTS) Stone, Masonry and Ceramic Tile Cleaning Technician 5th - 6th September with Keith Robertson Commercial Carpet Maintenance Technician 13th - 14th September with Paul Pearce Held at Alltec Network, Royston, Hertfordshire. Tel: 01763 208222 page 13

Getting the best out of your website


ou probably already have a website but have you recently analysed how well it is actually working for you? If you do not have a website then this will provide you with all the knowledge that you will need to launch your business on the internet. One of the essential tools required with any site is a free tool from Google Analytics. If you do not already have this installed we have a 'How To' guide available on our website (follow the link: that will show you how to install Google Analytics onto your website. Once installed, this will provide you with the number of visitors you receive, how long they stayed on your site, what they typed in to find you and much much more. Once you have had this running for at least a month you will have a good amount of data. Armed with this information you will then be able to analyse how to promote your website more effectively. By looking at the following scenarios you can then make a decision on how to move


forward. The key things to look at are: Not getting much traffic If you are not getting very much traffic to your website then you need to be looking at ways to improve this such as search engine optimisation (SEO) to get you found in the organic listings in Google, or a pay per click campaign (PPC) to get you found in the instant paid for listings. Whilst both options will generate more traffic it is worth looking at a long-term solution such as SEO, as the organic listings in Google receive 75% of the traffic; also if your marketing budget dries up you will not drop out of the listings overnight, whereas if you stop a PPC campaign you will stop being listed instantly. SEO is also considerably cheaper over the mid to long term. High bounce rate A high bounce rate means that visitors to your website are only browsing the page that they land on, not further pages. This could be for a number of reasons; your advert was not relevant to the page page 14

on your site that you directed the traffic to, it takes too long to load, or maybe it does not look professional and therefore no trust is earned. Whatever the reason, you need to address this as you need to aim for a lower bounce rate by providing the information that your visitor is searching for. What are people typing in to find you? Looking at these results will give you a better understanding of what side of your business you should be promoting more effectively through your site. For example, you might find that although you sell, as a sideline, a service to repair carpets, that this is actually what the majority of the visitors to your website are searching for, therefore you can make sure that on the homepage there is a big feature made of this, taking people to the correct page. Without this knowledge you could be missing out on more business as visitors to your website are unable to easily find what they are looking for. Your designer will be able to make your website look beautiful and professional, however the vast majority of website designers are not copywriters.

You need to make sure that the text on your site is correct and not littered with typos or grammatical errors. Ensure that your website is easy to navigate and that you mention in words what your business actually does. If those words are not included then you will not be found when searches are made using them, as Google and other search engines are not able to guess what it is that your business does. Another area to consider is how up-to-date your website looks? Does it have a homemade feel to it or does it look the way that you want your business to be seen. Many businesses make do with a site that the owner of the company designed at home who is normally so proud of the fact that they managed to design their own website that they forget to compare it to those of their competitors. If your business sells products or services then the site should have a professional feel to it. If you run a market stall then your clientele will not be expecting a really slick design. Either way the website should portray the business accurately.

Join us at the Carpet Cleaners Carnival! 17th September Wicksteed Park Kettering Northamptonshire


hether you are a business owner, technician, supplier or member of a family with a vested interest, the Carpet Cleaners Carnival is for you. It is to be held at Wicksteed Park, in Northamptonshire, on 17th September and is set to be the greatest, most enjoyable 'family friendly' industry event of the year, so don't miss it! This exciting new venture will combine fun and festivities together with business and is open to everyone within the industry, along with their friends and families. Best of all, it's FREE to attend! The event provides an excellent networking opportunity and will include an exhibition populated by top industry manufacturers, suppliers and advisors from within and outside the Association, many of whom are offering very generous discounts on any orders placed at the show. In conjunction with the exhibition, there will be demonstrations of exhibitors products throughout the day. The NCCA will also be running demos on Leather Repair (stitching seams) and Carpet Repair (retufting cigarette burns). However, entertainment is the main focus of the event and, with that in mind,

the chosen venue provides the ideal setting. Wicksteed boasts acres of beautiful parkland and was one of the first Leisure Parks in the UK. It also has one of the largest children's playgrounds in Europe and is the location for one of the first water based rides in the world. The Park is a popular day out destination for families. There are in excess of 35 rides and attractions. From high rides to water rides and from Rollercoasters to the world famous Waterchute, it has everything to keep kids entertained for a whole day. When you need a rest you can find peace and seclusion in the grounds of the park - the ideal setting for a picnic. If you don't want the hassle of bringing your own food there are various refreshment kiosks, diners and cafes onsite offering a wide range of snacks and full meals. There is also a licensed bar in the Park View Bistro, which offers bar meals and a full children's menu. As part of the Carnival, attendees have free access to the park grounds, play area and lakeside. Additionally the NCCA has negotiated discounted rates for families wishing to make use of the feature page 16

attractions and fairground rides. A wristband is required for access to the main features and rides, and these can be purchased on the day. Anyone that has pre-registered to attend the Carnival will receive a fairground entry discount voucher from the NCCA, which will entitle you to purchase wristbands at £12 per person (saving £4.50 per child). Discounts are also available for senior citizens. In addition to the discounted entry to the fairground, the NCCA has also negotiated free parking for all Carnival visitors (normally £6). Wicksteed offers excellent onsite camping facilities, which are available to attendees at a reduced price. The campsite is situated right in the heart of the park, in a beautiful spot overlooking the lake, and is ideal for an overnight stay or long weekend break. So, if you don't want to drive back home after the day's events, bring along your tent, camper or caravan and you won't have to spend a fortune on overnight accommodation. It is vitally important that you pre-register with the NCCA office to be eligible for the above discounts. Vouchers and passes will need to be provided in advance and these offers will not be available on the day without them. So contact the NCCA office today to confirm your attendance. We are looking forward to this exciting new venture and some fun and festivities for the entire carpet and upholstery cleaning industry. If you don't come you'll be missing out, so join us on the 17th September and be part of the very first Carpet Cleaners Carnival! Call the NCCA office NOW on: 0116 271 9550 to pre-register and to receive all the discounts available to you. EXHIBITORS AT THE CCC

Alltec Network ALLTEC Network are pleased to announce they will be launching a number of new products at the Carnival, including new high-powered portables and new chemical lines. ALLTEC has always been a leader in products, training and support for smaller owner operator carpet cleaning businesses and this year is focused on helping carpet cleaners to grow their business. Today their range is wider and more diverse than ever, meaning they are ready to offer you everything

for carpet, upholstery, rug and floor care. Carpet Cleaning Machines From spotters to electric truck mounts… ALLTEC have something for you. This includes a new UK built highpowered Portable and Truck Mount machine. Carpet Cleaning Products ALLTEC have a new in-house made range of cleaning solutions, including new pre-sprays, spotter, low moister products, rug cleaning and eco-products. They also have the full line of cleaning solutions from Bridgepoint USA. Eco-Friendly and Allergy Products ALLTEC have a range of eco-friendly cleaning solutions and allergy control products to support your business. Rotovac's ALLTEC have been a UK distributer of Rotovac's, the world best powerwand, since 1997… come and see how they can improve your cleaning. Cleaning Accessories They carry the most extensive line of tools and accessories in the UK for the carpet cleaning and hard floor professional. The Hydro-Force tools are designed to help you grow your business. Hard Floor Care ALLTEC have a new line of hard floor cleaning and sealing solutions for Tile and Natural Stone. Plus a full line of hard floor cleaning machines and accessories to help your business grow. They also have the 'Cheetah' and 'Monkey' pads to make quick work of restoring natural stone floors. Training and Support With the most comprehensive range of training schools for the carpet and hard floor cleaners you will find something to help your business grow from a Hands-On School, to IICRC Approved Schools, to 12Month coaching programmes designed to grow your business by at least £35k Technical Service and Consultancy If you have cleaning issues and machine issues ALLTEC have the staff to help you keep on running. The ALLTEC ServiceTeam repair and service any make of portable or truck mount. ALLTEC Philosophy To support small business owners with the right equipment and solutions for the job and the knowledge and confidence to excel at it.

Continued on next page page 17

Continued from previous page The range on offer includes: ! ALLTEC Advance and Elite machines ! Carpet and Upholstery Products ! Eco-Carpet Care Products ! Oriental and Speciality Rug Care Products ! Bridgepoint Cleaning Products ! Tile and Grout Cleaning ! Cheetah pads ! Curtain and fine Fabrics ! PROmite Anti-Allergy Products ALLTEC aim to be your ONE source for all your equipment, chemicals, spares, accessories AND training. Tel: 01763 208222 / Email:

Client Database Marketing Solutions Our company is Client Database Marketing Solutions Ltd. The Carpet Cleaners Carnival is the UK launch of the latest Edition of our Database Marketing Software - GetBookUp. We are a UK based business and this system was developed by us for use in our own carpet cleaning business, some people will know it as Psam Software. Since its first launch in 1998 it has undergone many changes, rewrites and developments to keep it up to date and add functionality requested by users. After carrying out an extensive user survey, and taking everything on board, we have redeveloped the software to be much more intuitive for the smaller user, the 'man and van' operator, but it still retains the powerful functions used by larger businesses and experienced computer users. Beta testers also suggested a name change, to reflect what the software has actually done for their business. After many suggestions we settled on GetBookedUp, because that's just what the software does for any size operation, it helps you Market Better, Quote Clearer and Book More, by using this system you'll GetBookedUp. On the stand you'll be able to sign up to our Forever FREE Edition, a completely FREE working system, not time limited, nor number of transaction limited, completely free. People have said we're bonkers for giving this away, and many have told us it's better than some of the paid for software they use, so why is it free? Well, we realise that the full blown Business Builder Edition is just far too much for most businesses, and there are many guys out

there who have never used database software. For those the thought of spending a few hundred pounds on something that they may not get along with, or has far more features than they would use immediately, would put them off spending their cash. With this free edition at least they can keep their valuable data on a basic system, with no obligation to buy any upgrades, ever. Once they are ready for something more powerful to make their business grow they can take a no obligation tour of our other Editions and see if it suits them. By using our Free Edition they are not stuck with something that can't be upgraded and then have to learn another system and transfer data. GetBookedUp can grow with their business and become far more than a list of names and addresses. There will also be some introductory offers for new users, with flexible pricing options on all Editions. This is a proven bit of software with hundreds of users in the UK alone. It's recommended by the Chem-Dry Master Franchise in the UK and used by most of their operators. It's also used by many independents, from 'man and van' businesses to large multi van operations. A powerful marketing system with too many tools to list here, drop by the stand and see how it can help you GetBookedUp. Tel: 01405 813665 / E:

Dry Fusion Cristal Fusion Following a very successful launch at this year's Cleaning Show, the Cristal Fusion Upholstery Cleaning System will also be showcased in grand style on the Dry Fusion stand at this year's Carpet Cleaners Carnival. The new upholstery cleaning system offers the perfect complement to the groundbreaking Dry Fusion Carpet Cleaning System. Utilising the same unique surface activity of fluorochemistry as its sister application, Cristal Fusion effectively removes deep seated dirt from fabric fibres and replaces it with an invisible film that dramatically reduces the ability for future grime to 'stick'. Cristal Fusion is safe for use on a variety of both natural and synthetic fabrics. Dependent on the page 18

prevalent environmental conditions together with the type of fabric used, Cristal Fusion can clean and leave upholstery completely dry within two to three hours. Dry Fusion Ten years since its original launch the benefits of the Dry Fusion system are already well publicised with thousands of satisfied customers having their carpets cleaned via the innovative process that has made its name by being cleaner, fresher, drier, faster and safer

than any other dry or wet carpet cleaning system. Following years of intensive research and development, the new enhanced Dry Fusion machine allows for better ease of operation and much improved safety. The innovative and patented rotary cleaning machine heats an Activator solution to provide an amazing cleaning and stain removal action. The Dry Fusion process is pH neutral and does not rely on water flushing to clean. In addition, the 'Pure Fusion' range of cleaning products for use with the Dry Fusion system is odourless, colourless, non toxic, anti-static and more environmentally friendly. As with the original Dry Fusion carpet cleaning system and perhaps most importantly for the end user, the impressive drying time for carpets cleaned with the new Dry Fusion system remains at only 30 minutes. Both the Dry Fusion and Cristal Fusion systems will be part of ongoing demonstrations at the Carpet Cleaners Carnival together with tempting package deals exclusive to show attendees. Every visitor to our stand will be eligible for an impressive 10% discount to any customer who places an order for any

Dry Fusion products if they present the promotional voucher available on the stand at Carnival 2011. Dry Fusion UK Ltd, Unit 119, Clydesdale Place, Leyland, Lancashire, PR26 7QS Telephone: +(44) 1772 433711 Facsimile: +(44) 1772 431289. Sales E-mail

Carpet Cleaners Warehouse Proshield Cleaners Warehouse has developed several additions to the groundbreaking range of products called 'Proshield'. Launched in 2009, Proshield now boasts a full complement of products not only for general cleaning purposes but for carpet, fabric and now floor care too. Developed for use not only in the health care sector, the Proshield range has been highly successful in areas such as leisure, tourism and hospitality where the need for effective customer protection against bacteria is paramount. Proshield Ultra not only removes bacteria, protects surfaces against 99.9% of bacteria including MRSA, CDiff and Ecoli but actually cleans effectively. The new floor care products can be used in a range of applications from simple cleaning, heavy duty cleaning to stripping, polishing and sealing floors. It is safe and effective for use on nearly all floor types: Vinyl, linoleum, safety floors, rubber, marble, cement, stone, terrazzo, tiles, sealed and unsealed wood. Shaun Bradbury Managing Director, Cleaners Warehouse explains why the floorcare addition to the Proshield range is so imperative: “When we introduced the original Proshield Ultra range of products including the concentrate and the trigger spray, our customers soon let us know in their businesses that any sanitising range of products had also to include options that they could use safely on any type of carpet or floor covering. So we set to work and added an impressive nine floor care products to the Proshield family. I am confident that Cleaners Warehouse will reap the rewards from the expansion of the Proshield sanitising product range at a time when healthcare hygiene is still grabbing the headlines.� Research and Citrus Products Cleaners Warehouse has benefited from the surprise acquisition of its antipodean parent company Dry Fusion Australia. Continued on next page page 19

Continued from previous page E D Oates Pty Ltd, (a wholly owned division of G.U.D. Holdings Limited), located in Melbourne Australia, acquired ownership of the chemical product range and brands of: Research Products, Citrus Resources and also Dry Fusion Australia. Oates is the biggest supplier of Janitorial products in Australia, leading the market both in the industrial and retail segments. This acquisition not only complements their existing infrastructure but adds further strength to their market leading position in the region. One change that will be implemented very quickly is transferring the manufacture of Research Products and Citrus Resources chemicals destined for the UK market from Australia to the UK. The agreement to appoint 'Cleanerswarehouse' as exclusive European distributor for the Citrus and Research brands has now been completed and will run alongside the developments underway with the Dry Fusion brand. Under the agreement, all manufacturing is to be done under license in the UK. Cleaners Warehouse, Managing Director, Shaun Bradbury explains the reasons why: “In this day and age transporting chemicals from one side of the world to the other is no longer an option. Our industry is fast becoming conscious of its environmental responsibilities and I think that the future of the cleaning industry has to be 'greener'. Like so many others we have to rise to the challenge and explore ways of reducing our carbon footprint. With the approval of Oates, we are delighted to be able to make this positive change the first of many!� Cleaners Warehouse is offering an impressive 10% discount to any customer who places an order for any Cleaners Warehouse products if they present the promotional voucher available on the stand at Carnival 2011. Cleaners Warehouse Ltd, Unit 119, Clydesdale Place, Leyland, Lancashire, PR26 7QS. Telephone: +(44) 1772 434333 Facsimile: +(44) 1772 431289 Sales E-mail:

Chemspec Limited Chemspec Limited will be showing various machines and consumables for restoring and maintenance of stone surfaces. P.O. Box 133, Staines, Middlesex, TW19 7ND Tel: 01784 259814

WoolSafe Organisation The WoolSafe Organisation is really looking forward to meeting NCCA members at the Carpet Cleaner's Carnival in September. It promises to be a more informal and relaxed affair than the usual trade shows. To get into the party spirit of the event WoolSafe will be offering festive discounts on training courses, technical literature and merchandise to all NCCA members so don't forget to come over to the WoolSafe stand for a chat. WoolSafe is a world-wide organisation dedicated to the promotion of quality care for wool and synthetic carpets and rugs through tested and approved products, accredited companies and services, and comprehensive information and professional training. WoolSafeprovides: ! networks of accredited carpet cleaning companies ! networks of registered carpet inspectors ! advice on how to care for carpets and rugs ! testing and accreditation of wool carpet cleaning and maintenance products The WoolSafe Organisation is dedicated to improving carpet care. Tel: 01943 850817 / W:

Asset Finance Solutions Asset Finance Solutions is probably the largest independent finance broker serving the UK SME market place. We have achieved this through building long term relationships with our customers, suppliers and financial institutions. We have offices based in York and Blackburn and over 30 highly experienced and professional sales staff situated across the whole of the UK. We facilitate finance for a wide variety of assets for all businesses, from new starts to established multinational organisations. With no restrictions on industry sectors or size of deal we have sourced competitively priced finance packages for thousands of businesses since we started trading in 2005. Having access to a broad base of over 20 financial institutions we can provide highly competitive and flexible funding packages to suit your specific requirements. We can help you choose the right finance package by discussing the contractual agreements, page 20

repayment rates and benefits of the following facilities: Hire Purchase, Hire Purchase with a balloon (Lease Purchase), Finance Lease, Finance Lease with a balloon, Contract Hire and Operating Lease We provide finance packages for all types of businesses including: Limited Companies, Public Limited Companies, Sole Traders, Partnerships and New-start Businesses The benefits of using our brokerage: Our brokerage is a relationship-based service, offering friendly and experienced advice through our sales office in Blackburn and our regionally based Broker Managers on products most suited to your requirements. We identify the best market provider for your specific financial needs and secure the most competitive rates available from our lenders. Our team makes the overall process of financing a vehicle or equipment easier by collating all the necessary paperwork required and by providing quick decisions from the financial institutions. We alleviate the hassle of co-ordination between you, the customer and the finance provider. For more information please come and speak to us on our stand at the Carpet Cleaners' Carnival or contact Justin Ford on 07740 095701 or 01254 584404 or email More information and contact details can also be obtained from our website

Chemspec Europe Since the 1980's, Chemspec Europe has been an Associate member and a keen supporter of the NCCA. Part of the vast RPM Group with 7,500 employees worldwide, Chemspec Europe supplies a complete range of cleaning solutions via a network of distributor partners throughout UK and mainland Europe, west of the Urals. From modest beginnings with the simple importing and distribution of a range of cleaning chemicals, Chemspec Europe has become famous for really strong technical support and has a history of introducing innovative products ahead of the rest. It was Chemspec who introduced the first Traffic Lane Cleaner, the first Gel type of solvent cleaner, many other firsts and is still innovating today. DFC 105 and Formula 429 were the 2011 new product innovations awards winners. As well as providing advanced problem solving solutions, Chemspec Europe has always made a great investment in education and training, for large

John Kelly

groups or specific training for small, even 1:1 training sessions. Loyal support of not only NCCA but also other organisations; IICRC, ISSA and Woolsafe, bear testimony to the commitment of this remarkable organisation. All of this excellence, inevitably, has a price, but having the lowest cost in use is also really important to Chemspec. Some Chemspec products cost more to buy in a five-litre bottle than a competitive product, but when the dilution rate is taken into account, the cost in use is often actually lower. Coupled with the tendency for Chemspec products to be more effective and faster acting, many users choose them to just get a better result. The wide range of chemicals provided by Chemspec Europe is now expanding still further to meet the demand for natural products, which are environmentally friendly and sustainable from naturally grown sources. Numerous products claim to satisfy the 'natural' requirement and avoid the use of harmful surfactants but, frequently, they include phosphates or other equally harmful to the environment ingredients. At the Carnival you will meet John Kelly of NSL Restormate, one of our many very valued and fully Continued on next page page 21

Continued from previous page qualified technical Chemspec distributor partners. John has been a professional carpet cleaner for 17 years and has a great wealth of experience in the Fire and Flood restoration side of the industry. He will be there showing the latest range and to discuss all aspects of the Chemspec Products and give you many hints and tips on the practical uses of the brand and their benefits. John operates a very successful Chemspec distribution centre along with his wife Lynn in the North East of England and is a very valued member of the Chemspec team. Problem solving has always been the mission for Chemspec Europe and the dedicated team of long standing staff and our fully experienced local distributors are always ready to provide help and guidance to cleaners and those who specify requirements for particular cleaning problems. Telephone 01274 597333 Website: Technical Support Richard Sudall: Julie Roberts: John Kelly

SB Web Consulting Ltd SB Web Consulting Ltd specialise in on line marketing, but with a difference… We guarantee you results! If you have a website or are thinking of having one made then you need people to see your website. Otherwise, in most cases, you have wasted your money. We can get your website onto page one of Google's natural search results (not the paid adverts) for your chosen key phrase, or you don't pay us. For example if someone types into Google the following phrase: “Carpet Cleaning Derby” or “Carpet Cleaning Cambridge” we guarantee to get your website onto page one of Google, or you don't pay us. For more information see us at the show or visit Tel: 01332 298011 Email:

Amtech UK AMTECH UK is the leading wholesale distributor of Carpet and Floor Care equipment, products and

accessories in the UK. We have a reputation for delivering high quality without the high prices. As the UK's sole importer of the famous brand names such as CFR and Powr-Flite we are uniquely positioned to bring the best value in equipment, chemicals, training and technical expertise. Our aim is to offer our customers, wherever they may be, the convenience of a one stop shop by making our products and equipment available through many distribution outlets nationwide. We are delighted to be taking part in the great NCCA Carpet Cleaners Carnival and to play our part in supporting the NCCA and its members in this family fun day out. And, to demonstrate our commitment and our appreciation to all the NCCA members for their support over the years we will be offering massive discounts of up to 50% on all orders placed on the day. If you are in the market for new equipment, or hunting for a bargain, then YOU CANNOT AFFORD TO MISS THE GREAT CARPET CLEANERS CARNIVAL. T: 01444 23 22 11 / F: 01444 23 23 55 E: W:

Textile Cleaning Solutions Textile Cleaning Solutions are manufacturers of Industrial cleaning equipment, specialising in carpet cleaning machines and carpet cleaning supplies. Established in 1998 we pride ourselves on the performance and quality of our products. Our equipment is designed and manufactured in-house allowing us to ensure the highest standards of build and quality. On display at the show will be our innovative EMV All in One machine. The new EMV201 is not just a carpet cleaning machine but a versatile all rounder. The EMV201 will allow you to adapt to each cleaning page 22

task, whether it is industrial carpet cleaning or residential carpet cleaning, upholstery cleaning or hard floor cleaning. Come and have a play! We look forward to seeing all our old clients and potential new clients. Tel: 01934 521155 / email: W:

quotation system, enabling multiple packages to be utilised via room measurements, upholstery, stone and tile, leather etc. This latest version will be showcased at the NCCA Carnival! 543 Hitchin Road, Stopsley, Luton, Bedfordshire, LU2 7UL / Tel:01582 518467

CleanPro Software Solutions UK Ltd Cleaners Mate is a unique British piece of software, designed by and for carpet and upholstery cleaning companies - not only in the UK, but also America and Australia. A trade favourite loved by franchise's, independent operators and leading figures throughout this industry. Whether a new company - or someone who has been trading for many years, everyone can take advantage of its full blown features to help increase profits, save money and have more free time. It boasts: An invoicing and quotation system, a database, a unique fingertip reporting analysis, a sales accounts, an appointments scheduler, a specialist easy mailing system to contact clients - plus more! There is also a new feature available on our latest PRO version. This includes an in-home

Opinions expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the Association or it’s officers or members. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the statements within this publication, we cannot accept responsibility for any errors, or omissions, or matters arising from any clerical or printing errors, and whilst every care is taken of manuscripts and photographs submitted to us, we can accept no responsibility for any loss or damage.

48 reasons why they will want us back


ellow carpet cleaner Nigel Woodhead, who runs Designcare from St Albans, is an experienced carpet cleaner with a successful business who has become known in the industry for crafting a celebrity rich client list. A few years ago, if my memory serves me correctly, Nigel answered a question raised on a forum and shared what he described as his quick list of reasons why his customers use him. I was sufficiently impressed to make a copy and still use a slightly modified form in my own business. He commented that over the years he has fought shy of advertising and direct marketing and that he doesn't do leaflets or use Yellow Pages, and so he understands that everything needs to be right to

Keith Robertson

keep the phones ringing. He commented that a large collection of small things keep the customers coming back with enthusiasm. Here is the list as he presented it: 1. Smart Uniform (shirt, tie, proper shoes etc). 2. Clean and polished equipment (nearly all blue and coordinated). 3. Clean and neat/tidy personal grooming. 4. Overshoes. 5. Dust sheet to protect floors. 6. Treating all client possessions with great care. 7. Stain removers with Designcare labels. 8. Itemised quotations. 9. Quotations emailed from van within ten minutes of leaving site (if required). page 24

10. No hidden extras. 11. Straightforward honest advice. 12. Hand tooling edges. 13. Drying carpets with airmovers for quick use (where required). 14. Upholstery dried to use that day. 15. Ability to remove draught marks (in 95% of cases). 16. Dealing with stains not removed during normal cleaning. 17. Ability to clean curtains. 18. Specialist stain removal service. 19. Having a website. 20. Account facilities offered for payment. 21. Computer system that enables all client details to be called up almost instantly.

22. Flexible attitude to fitting in jobs. 23. Smart tidy van with tons of equipment, including truckmount. 24. Enthusiastic attitude. 25. Only working on recommendation (people like this). 26. Celebrity/ interesting client list (people like this too). 27. Confidential (they like this even more). 28. Under promising and over delivering results. 29. Not being tied to one type of chemical/system. 30. Calling to confirm bookings day before. 31. Always arriving on time or calling if a problem occurs. 32. Being boringly reliable. Continued on next page

page 25

Continued from previous page 33. Taking the time to talk - and remembering small details about the client's life. 34. Top quality cleaning results. 35. Returning phone calls promptly. 36. Emailing on the go - so message replied by return. 37. Always booked up 2 to 8 weeks in advance. Makes people aware that you are in demand. 38. Replacing furniture in place so no out of position indentations. 39. Cleaning skirting boards behind beds and cupboards. 40. Re-fitting carpet where required as part of the clean. 41. Repairing and spot dyeing carpet when required. 42. Re-assuringly expensive but not ridiculous. 43. Ability to clean the most delicate expensive fabrics and carpets. 44. Company longevity.

45. No constant mailings - just simple hand written reminder post cards at agreed intervals. 46. Job right first time - no need to call back. 47. Complaints rare and dealt with immediately. 48. Accidents rare but owned up to and rectified immediately. Think about how many of the above apply to you and your company. I am sure that Nigel would be the first to say that although this is a very comprehensive list there are probably other items that could be added. If you can think of anything to add to the list, or perhaps disagree with something we've listed, then we would be interested to hear from you. Email Nicky at: or phone her on: 0116 271 9550 and we will publish your contributions in a future edition of Newslink. We each run our businesses in our own individual way. Do let us know what works for you and also if possible, how and why.

page 26

Parliamentary business buddy scheme is launched Phil McCabe (Forum of Private Business)


new work experience scheme to give the UK's politicians some valuable insights into the nation's small firms has been launched by the Forum of Private Business. The not-for-profit Forum is urging Westminster MPs, Scottish SMPs, and members of the Welsh Assembly to accept the challenge presented by its Business Buddy scheme. Parliamentarians who are opting in are being placed with small constituency businesses during the summer recess. It is all part of a pioneering initiative to teach politicians the realities of running a small business, prompted in part by research carried out by the Forum last year, which showed that just a handful of politicians have more than ten years of business or financial management experience, and that many have none at all. This lack of experience, it has been argued, has helped to create a disproportionate tax system, a culture of mounting red tape and declining finance and enterprise policies that favour large corporations. So far approximately one hundred MPs have signed up to the scheme, with the first placement having started early in July and others taking place during Parliament's summer recess, which comes to an end in September. High profile politicians who are taking part include Vince Cable, the Business Secretary and MP for Twickenham, who has experienced life at a furniture manufacturer, and Cabinet Office Minister Oliver Letwin, who will be working at a pie shop in his West Dorset constituency. The scheme forms part of the Forum's Get Britain Trading campaign, which aims to raise awareness of the importance of small firms to the economy and remove barriers to growth. As part of the campaign, Forum members commented that they would like their local MPs to focus more of their support on small businesses in their own constituency. Towards the end of 2009 the Industry and Parliament Trust (IPT) published research examining the business experience of prospective parliamentary candidates standing in the 2010

General Election - some of whom went on to become members of today's coalition government and shadow cabinet. Fewer than half of the candidates surveyed - 48 per cent - could demonstrate business and financial management experience. Just 31 per cent cited business as a political interest while fewer - 22 per cent - mentioned the economy as a concern. Better news is that, compared to a 2008 IPT survey, the number of parliamentary candidates with extensive business experience has doubled. However, today they still represent only a fraction of serving politicians, with just 7% currently boasting that kind of experience. Conditions are still extremely tough for small business owners expected to drive sustained economic growth and employment in the wake of widespread public sector job cuts. The latest Forum research shows that complying with red tape costs small business owners approximately ÂŁ17 billion per year. They spend almost forty hours each month filling out forms. In addition, finance from banks remains scarce and extremely costly, late payment is rife - with some ÂŁ24 billion currently owed to small firms in outstanding invoices - and over-taxation is stifling growth. Clearly, more business-minded politicians are needed. It's hoped that politicians taking part in the Business Buddy scheme will stay in touch with business owners long after the visits have finished, creating a 'hotline' for firms to communicate any emerging issues and concerns in future. The Forum believes that is incumbent on all parliamentarians - new and old - to work to create an enterprise environment that supports business growth rather than hinders it. As a leading business support and lobby group that acts as the coordinated voice of its members the organisation wants to hear any other suggestions as to how politicians can be convinced to sit up and listen to what small business owners are saying. To find out more about how the Forum can help small businesses develop and flourish call 0845 612 6266 or visit page 27

Neglect of health and safety procedures have serious consequences Andrew Bennett (Eversheds LLP)


global packaging company with a factory in Wigton, Cumbria has been fined ÂŁ90,000 for significant breaches of health and safety law. Innovia Films Limited were also ordered to pay ÂŁ26,790 towards the Health and Safety Executive's investigation and prosecution costs. Carlisle Crown Court had previously (on 18th July of this year) heard Innovia plead guilty to section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. The Facts On 12 September 2006 a small fire in a fuse box at the Wigton factory had been put out with a fire extinguisher. However live power cables had, after the fire, been routed through the fuse box so that cooling equipment at the factory could continue to operate. The next day, an engineer and his apprentice were removing debris from the fuse box when a fireball shot out of the circuit board, setting their clothes on fire. Although the fire was put out very quickly, the engineer (Mr Metcalf) suffered burns to 47 per cent of his body in the explosion, and was in a coma for four weeks with a total stay in hospital of five months needed. The apprentice needed nine weeks in hospital and both individuals are still receiving treatment for their burns. Mr Metcalf may never return to work.

The Failure The failure of Innovia will sound depressingly familiar and basic to many in the health and safety industry. Innovia did not have a suitable risk assessment for the work that the two men were undertaking. Moreover, the Court held that it was a major failing for the power supply to the fuse not to have been isolated before the men started working close to it (particularly in the light of the known risk of it causing a fire due to what had happened the previous day). In many cases, the lack of a risk assessment is only the symptom of a company in danger of neglecting health and safety. However, in this case, the lack of a risk assessment was seen to have been one of the major and direct reasons why the men were injured. Any credible risk assessment would have identified the risk of fire and the need to isolate the power supply to minimise this risk. The HSE described the decision to carry on work with the power supply on as 'astonishing' and identified that this actually went beyond the company's own work procedures. Such a decision, by such a credible company, could only have been made without a risk assessment having been produced, let alone even being contemplated. page 28

The Sentence The link between the basic failure to properly risk assess the job, and to take into consideration recent (and obvious risks) was undoubtedly a major reason for the large fine in this case. In health and safety cases, it is not uncommon for fatal incidents to result in fines for companies of ÂŁ100,000. By fining the company an amount very close to ÂŁ100,000 (after reductions for guilty pleas and considerable mitigation evidence had been produced by the company), the Court has laid down a marker to companies who seriously injure employees as a result of basic omissions to risk assess. The fact that the company chose to continue to fully operate the plant and not shut down the power supply to this area may or may not have been a deliberate cost saving ploy, or may have been simply a result of the company neglecting to consider the basic safety implications of the work for the two men. However, whether the failure was deliberate or as a result of neglect, either way it could only be seen as a gross error or omission. A large fine was therefore appropriate in the circumstances. The Lessons to be learnt Innovia pleaded guilty and offered strong mitigation evidence and an apology to demonstrate how the company had learned from the incident for which they were being prosecuted. Innovia had no

previous convictions, a good safety record, and strong work procedures in place before the incident, but the incident still occurred. The incident therefore shows that there can be no shortcuts for companies in relation to training and re-training of employees' in matters of risk assessment. Unless employees' are taught why things need to be risk assessed and taught to identify and react to new or known dangers, operating procedures are static and meaningless. If a company doesn't prioritise this training, and if basic errors or omissions occur which result in serious injuries, the company will be punished in Court with a fine, and the fine will be heavy. Editors Comment. We read of these reports and sometimes fail to really understand that the same principles must be applied to our businesses even if we work on our own. Not only should we carry out risk assessments for each type of job that we are involved in carrying out, but we ought to have assessments - related to parking and unloading our vans, handling and lifting equipment, carrying out repairs or servicing to our equipment and any other activity we become involved in. It is also often forgotten that risk assessments are site specific so there is a process that we are required go through at every job that we undertake.

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Items for sale BUSINESS FOR SALE Carpet and Upholstery cleaning services business for sale, established in 2001. Includes Renault Master van (2006) with bespoke fittings for chemical storage. Premium interactive website with online survey/quotation facility which can be viewed at The domain names www.spotlesscleaningproducts and also www.spotlessnetwork domain names included, and online shop facility. Steempro 2000 with all extras, Sebo Vacuum cleaner, karcher hot water extraction stainbuster, orbis cyclical cleaner, chemicals, etc. Leather restoration kit. Regular customer base. Reason for sale: Allergy to chemical products. Sale price £20,000 O.N.O. Tel: 0141 941 2510. Email: BUSINESS FOR SALE Small, long-established, reputable NCCA Registered, working carpet, upholstery and soft furnishings cleaning company. Essex based. Owner Operator retiring. To be sold as a complete package only. Mobile HWE and dry cleaning system. Domestic and commercial clients. Genuine interested parties only please to call 07903 497298 and leave details. CLEANING EQUIPMENT AND VAN 2 Dryfusion carpet cleaning machines, 2 Drizair 110 dehumidifiers, 2 turbo dryers, 1 Dri-eaz fogging machine, 2 Dryfusion stair tools with pads, 1 Advance Dryfoam rotary upholstery cleaner, plus 1 large signwritten white Fiat Ducato Turbo Diesel van (less than 5 years old - mileage 41,000). Total cost: £11,000 ONO. Phone Mike on: 01443 492455 or mob: 07881 807436. BUSINESS FOR SALE Small carpet and upholstery cleaning business for sale due to imminent retirement. Established over 31 years in North Yorkshire and Cleveland areas. Business complete with Bane Clene truck mount and Ford Transit Van or will sell individually. Phone Derek of Aquamaster to chat on 01845 537640 or email BUSINESS FOR SALE URGENT SALE! Due to the owners moving away! Carpet, upholstery and stone floor cleaning company 50% OFF the valued price to the first person who offers the sale price of only £75K. Fully Automated business system in place. Full training and consultation will be provided, if needed, for a limited time only. Contact Andrew Sacker on: 07711 454402 or email:

VAN & TRUCKMOUNT Hydramaster Boxxer 318 with only 600 hours on the clock, in excellent condition comes with all attachments and chemicals and Ford Transit 51 reg service history and 60,000 miles ply lined and racking for chemical storage in excellent condition. £9000 + vat call 07970 835686 for more details. MACHINERY FOR SALE Numatic 17" Rotary Deck Machine with new 40ft cable, Driveboard. Shampoo Brush and 10 Bonnet Mops. All in perfect working order. Genuine reason for sale. £350.00 (complete package £800 when new). Please call Tony on 07951 413815 or 0118 3779149. CURTAIN CLEANING MACHINE Prochem 20A Curtain Cleaning Machine. In perfect working order, tidy for its age. Comes complete with trolley, stainless steel hand tool, various hoses, holdall. Pat tested. Can email picture if interested. £400 ono. Price new: £3000. Tel 01749 671016 or MACHINERY FOR SALE Swan neck twin jet Prochem carpet wand (recently serviced): £75.00. Gloria 5 litre stainless steal pump-up sprayer: £67.50. No VAT.Please call Steve on 07973264783 or alternatively email : VAN & TRUCKMOUNT Blue Line ThermalWave HP II - 50hp and Citroen Relay LWB Van. True Twin Wand Operation Truck Mount Cleaning. Asking Price: £17,995 + VAT. Call 0118 931 0516 for more details. Or Visit: PROCHEM VACUUM HOSE Prochem: 100ft Vacuum hose, 75ft Solution hose for Truck Mount Machine. £100 + VAT. Tel Aastra Clean: 01454 626259. HYDROMIST CHAMP SUPREME Well maintained machine, workshop tested, hose, wand, hand tools, powerbrush, 3 stage vac, silenced, power and portability. Cost: £900ono. Telephone: 0131 331 4670. The Association advises that all goods are checked to be in a satisfactory condition, and comply to electrical and health and safety standards, etc. It is recommended that equipment serial numbers should be checked to ensure the seller is the legitimate owner. The Association accepts no responsibility or liability arising from any transaction or dispute between the buyer and seller.

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Join us at the

Carpet Cleaners Carnival Wicksteed Park 17th September To book your tickets in advance and receive all the available discounts please ring the NCCA office on: 0116 271 9550

August 2011