NCSG Innovation 2013 Convention and Trade Show
Hotel reservations are now being accepted for NCSG Innovation 2013 at Chateau on the Lake in Branson, MO, April 4-7, 2013. Just call 1-888-333-LAKE (5253) and mention that youâ€™re with the National Chimney Sweep Guild to lock in rates starting at $129 for a mountain view and $134 for a lake view. Get ready for some R&R.Youâ€™re earned it!
September 2012 Volume 36 #8
Table of Contents Features 8 Are Small Businesses Protecting Themselves from a Data Breach?
14 The One and Only Thing 18 Focus on What You Can Control 28 Four Things About Fall Allergies
Departments 3 Moving Forward 6 Editor’s Letter 10 Industry Watch 12 The Coach’s Corner 25 Progressive Perks P.29
Sweeping: The Journal of Chimney and Venting Technology (ISSN# 10416692) is published 11 times annually, by the National Chimney Sweep Guild, 2155 Commercial Drive, Plainfield, IN 46168. Annual dues to the National Chimney Sweep Guild are $459 for Voting Member Companies and $689 for Supplier Member Companies, of which $80 goes toward a subscription to Sweeping: The Journal of Chimney and Venting Technology. Additional annual subscriptions are available for $80 by contacting the National Chimney Sweep Guild at the office of publication (NCSG, 2155 Commercial Drive, Plainfield, IN 46168). POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: Sweeping: The Journal of Chimney and Venting Technology National Chimney Sweep Guild 2155 Commercial Drive Plainfield, IN 46168
26 New NCSG Members 27 Sweeps Advantage Coupon Program 29 Perspective 31 Darwin Awards 31 Display Ad Index 32 Dates & Events 32 Classifieds SEPTEMBER 12 SWEEPING 1
NATIONAL CHIMNEY SWEEP GUILD
Committee Chairs and Task Forces for 2012-2013 Bylaws Diane Pilger (631) 863-2460 email@example.com
Governance Randy Brooks (805) 646-8961 firstname.lastname@example.org
NFPA 211 Representative Randy Brooks (805) 646-8961 email@example.com
Convention Site Selection Diane Pilger (631) 863-2460 firstname.lastname@example.org
Government Affairs Phil Mitchell (603) 659-7776 email@example.com
NFPA 31 Representative John Pilger (631) 863-2460 firstname.lastname@example.org
Discussion List Bo Tasso (815) 645-8103 email@example.com
International Relations Steve Pietila (503) 644-0393 firstname.lastname@example.org
NFPA 54 Representative Jim Brewer (757) 523-2400 email@example.com
Ethics Mark Stoner (615) 459-2546 firstname.lastname@example.org
Long Range Planning Diane Pilger (631) 863-2460 email@example.com
Technical Advisory Council Dennis Dobbs (256) 845-9814 firstname.lastname@example.org
Finance Mark Maynard (920) 830-1920 email@example.com
Membership Bob Ferrari (530) 221-3331 firstname.lastname@example.org
Public Awareness Task Force Rob Lindemann (847) 918-7994 Rob@lindemannchimney.com
TECHNICAL ADVISORY COUNCIL To contact any member of the Technical Advisory Council, please call (317) 203-0088 and select the extension for the person who is best qualified to answer your question: Dennis Dobbs Technical Advisory Council Chair Installation or Service of Direct Vent Gas Appliances 317-203-0088 x: 1 Chris Prior Masonry Construction and Restoration and Priorfire Fireboxes 317-203-0088 x: 2 Jim Brewer Gas Venting and NFPA 54 317-203-0088 x: 3 John Pilger Oil Flue Sizing, Relining or NFPA 31 317-203-0088 x: 4
Fred Joy Installation and Venting of Pellet Stoves 317-203-0088 x: 7 Jay Walker Dryer Vents 317-203-0088 x: 8 Rett Rasmussen Vented and Vent Free Gas Logs and Controls 317-203-0088 x: 9
Randy Brooks IRC, NFPA 211 or Customer Communications 317-203-0088 x: 5 Bart Ogden Stainless Steel Lining, Video Scanning and Narrative Report Writing 317-203-0088 x: 6
Rich Martinez Dryer Vents or Masonry 317-203-0088 x: * Rich Rua General Sweeping or Relining 317-203-0088 x: 0
Be advised that advice given by NCSG’s Technical Advisory Council (TAC) reflects best practices of the chimney sweeping industry. However, we are unable to account for any particular type of situation since regional variations in construction practices and additional environmental, physical and geographical factors necessarily vary the level of service appropriate for a particular fireplace and/or chimney. Additionally, local laws and ordinances may govern and/or supersede the information and any recommendations provided. Final determinations are the responsibility of a local professional with first-hand knowledge of the situation, and the local Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ). Neither NCSG nor any member of TAC will be held liable for any damages whatsoever resulting from the use of or reliance on information provided by anyone associated with TAC. By your use of this member benefit you acknowledge acceptance of these terms.
ADVERTISING RATES for Sweeping: The Journal of Chimney & Venting Technology may be obtained by contacting Malisa Minetree at (317) 815-4688 or SweepingAds@indy.rr.com Design by Laura Houser Design • laurahouser.com • (317) 213-7497 NCSG encourages industry partners to submit press release and articles to Melissa Heeke, Sweeping Editor at email@example.com. Submissions should contain items of interest or importance to the chimney and venting industry. Submissions should not contain direct solicitations, prices, or a call to action on the part of our readers. Submissions may contain images or artwork attached in a .jpg format. In all cases, NCSG reserves the right to edit submissions to fit space limitations, keep the release and publish at a later date, or refuse to publish the release for any reason. Neither publishing, nor refusing to publish the submission should be considered a statement of NCSG’s opinion regarding the release. NCSG further reserves the right to reject at any time any advertising determined not to be in keeping with the publications’ standards. Acceptance of advertising by Sweeping magazine does not necessarily constitute endorsement of products or services advertised. NCSG does not make any effort to review or substantiate claims made by advertisers. © 2012 National Chimney Sweep Guild, 2155 Commercial Drive, Plainfield, IN 46168 (317) 837-1500
2 SWEEPING SEPTEMBER 12
NCSG BOARD OF DIRECTORS 2011-2012 President, Region 3 Jay Walker (850) 562-4692 • firstname.lastname@example.org Vice President At-Large Diane Pilger (631) 863-2460 • email@example.com Treasurer, Region 5 Mark Maynard (920) 830-1920 • firstname.lastname@example.org Secretary Jeremy Biswell (913) 236-7141 • email@example.com Region 1 Phil Mitchell (603) 659-7776 • firstname.lastname@example.org Region 2 Bob Fleer (410) 544-7600 • email@example.com Region 4 Ken Hoelscher (937) 833-0505 • firstname.lastname@example.org Region 6 Bob Ferrari (530) 941-5818 • email@example.com At-Large Directors Dennis Dobbs (256) 845-9814 • firstname.lastname@example.org Fred Joy (785) 986-6432 • email@example.com Supplier Representative Edmund Poplawski (570) 504-7107 • firstname.lastname@example.org
STAFF 2155 Commercial Drive Plainfield, IN 46168 (317) 837-1500 Fax: (317) 837-5365 Mark McSweeney, CAE Executive Director email@example.com Melissa Heeke, CAE Director of Communications & Marketing firstname.lastname@example.org
Megan McMahon Office Manager email@example.com
Ashley Eldridge, COI, CPP Director of Education firstname.lastname@example.org
Debbie Cornelius Membership Development Coordinator email@example.com
Candice Bradbury Director of Finance firstname.lastname@example.org
Donna Lee Kasmer Program Coordinator email@example.com
JAY WALKER NCSG PRESIDENT
ello fellow sweeps! I hope this month’s issue finds you well, rested and ready for the crazy season ahead of us.
This month of September has always been one of anticipation. You have stocked your inventory, put your systems in place, ongoing training is taking place, your trucks are loaded foryear and your equipment is in top condition. You anticipate a full phone appointment book and an increased bottom line . I looked recently back into Dave Ramsey’s Entre Leadership Article and found the following I would like to share. My hopes are that if you are a one-man or a multi-truck operation, you can pull some good tidbits from this article, and hopefully implement them into your business.
list of errands when you hear the siren song of your TV? Your remote is calling, and before you know it, you’re sucked in. You have to see that last episode of Pawn Stars. The same holds true at work. You walk through the door and are faced with hundreds of distractions. Soon, the day is gone, and you feel like you’ve accomplished nothing. The Solution: Each morning, make a prioritized list of tasks for the day and stick to it. If there’s a fire to put out, throw some water on it. But then get back to the chores at hand quickly. As Dave says, “You will either tell your day what to do, or you will wonder where it went.” To avoid distractions, try: • Scheduling email viewing times
A Smoking Hot Deal.
Fight the Summer Slowdown: How to Keep Your Momentum Going
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from daveramsey.com Every EntreLeader has it. That fire in their belly to succeed, a passion for their company. But despite all that love, it’s easy to fall into the trap of losing that spark, especially during the lazy, hazy days of summer when everything just seems to move a little slower.
1. Step Away From the Remote Have you ever been at home with a long
So how do you keep that momentum going in order for your business to continue moving forward? As Dave teaches in EntreLeadership Master Series, there are a number of ways to stay productive during the dog days of summer. Use these tips to get back on track, so life once again can be a day at the beach.
SEPTEMBER 12 SWEEPING 3
leading you to even more education and prosperity.
• Setting time limits on meetings • Avoiding other distractions If you feel tempted to look at your email at non-scheduled hours, hand your assistant your phone or turn off your Internet connection. Avoid distractions by putting away your electronic devices, hanging a do-not-disturb sign, or going off-site. Do whatever it takes to keep on track. 2. Get Fired Up Starting a company, creating a new product, or signing that contract with your dream client is unbelievably exciting. It’s what makes business a lot of fun. But along with those incredible moments comes a lot of everyday hard work and worry that can cause you to lose your passion. The Solution: The best way to get re-energized is actually to use no energy at all. Taking a vacation revitalizes your brain, allowing creativity and passion to flow. Here’s even a better reason: Taking time off can save your life. Research shows that men who miss annual breaks are 32% more likely to die of heart attacks, while women who take a vacation less than once every six years are eight times more likely to develop coronary heart disease. 3. Learn Something New There is a scientific evidence that when you are feeling uninspired, picking up a book can help. According to a study by researchers at Harvard and MIT, learning something new and having success fires up the pleasure section of your brain,
The Solution: Dave is a huge proponent of reading nonfiction leadership/business books as a way to grow his business. He’s not alone. The average millionaire reads a book a month. Leaders are readers. But that’s just one way to gain more knowledge. Find a mentor, network with fellow business leaders, or attend seminars or other business events. Take advantage of your summer downtime to refocus, recharge and learn. It’s an awesome way to keep the momentum flowing and get your team fired up for the fall. To learn more about business, team building and leadership, download Dave Ramsey’s EntreLeadership podcasts (http:// www.daveramsey.com), which include lessons from Dave plus interviews with key business leaders from across the nation. NCSG is about helping sweeps grow their businesses and providing progressive services. By the time you read this – your NCSG board would have reviewed the next budget for the upcoming fiscal year (2012-13)and have revisited our goals and plans moving forward. Please start planning now for the 2013 NCSG Innovation convention and trade show at Chateau on the Lake in Branson, MO, April 4-7. As always, Sweeps Luck to you and your family and God Bless, Jay Walker NCSG President
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Now smoothwall liner doesn't have to be stiff and clumsy. Because HomeSaver's new Smooth-NLite gives you "smooth" without the headache. Nestling right into HomeSaver's famous family of UltraPro, Pro, RoundFlex, RectangleFlex, OvalFlex and Dial-A-Flex liners, our new .010" Smooth-NLite gives you the superior weight, flexibility and strength you need for smooth liner applications.
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MELISSA HEEKE, CAE NCSG DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS
elcome to September! Hopefully the season has been kind to you so far this year and you’re in good shape for a safe and sane remainder of the home heating season.
NCSG can help you promote your event!
This month, we look at how small businesses can protect themselves from a data breach, how to avoid hitting the proverbial “wall” in your business and focusing on what you can control. Strong and steady wins this game. This month’s issue should help you play your next move with confidence.
Please email email@example.com with info on your upcoming meetings and events. We’ll list your event on the NCSG website, in Sweeping magazine and in our weekly dates and events post to the NCSG Discussion List. You’re also encouraged to submit meeting and workshop photos and recaps for publication in Sweeping. They say a picture is worth a thousand words and we agree. Let everyone know what a great time you had and welcome them to your next event. Please send photos and articles directly to Melissa Heeke at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Until next time, I wish you all the best for a safe and successful season,
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Are Small Businesses Protecting Themselves From a Data Breach?
data breach can be a challenge for any business, but this is especially true for smaller businesses. Not only can it be more difficult for a smaller business to recover from a data breach, but criminals may also be more likely to target smaller firms.
When a data breach occurs at a large firm or government agency, it winds up all over the news. If one occurred at a small business down the street, those unaffected would probably never hear about it. But a recent report released by Verizon found that nearly three-quarters of data breaches analyzed last year involved businesses with 100 employees or fewer. “Most small-business owners simply do not believe they are at risk,” says Lynn LaGram, assistant vice president of small commercial underwriting for The Hartford. “The reality is that small businesses are often more vulnerable - making them easier targets.” LaGram says part of the reason may be that small-business owners often don’t have the time or resources that larger companies may have to assist them in protecting data. However protecting data may not be as difficult as one would think.
If a breach occurs While it’s important to take proactive steps to help prevent a data breach from occurring, there’s no way to eliminate the risk entirely, so it is also important to have data breach insurance. According to LaGram, a business owner should consider insurance that provides: 1. Coverage for expenses associated with responding to and recovering from a breach. “Business owners may not realize that they must comply with various notification requirements, which can be costly,” says LaGram. Additional advertising expenses to help a business restore its reputation after a breach would also fall into this category. 2. Legal expense and liability coverage. A customer or employee whose personal data is compromised may sue the business owner for damages. This insurance provides coverage for defense costs, civil awards, settlements or judgments that a business owner may be obligated to pay. 3. Access to data security experts to help the business owner navigate the various notification requirements as well as determine the cause of the breach and take steps to prevent it from happening again. Both consumers and business owners can learn more about what to do if they are involved in a data breach at www.ftc.gov/idtheft. “A data breach can happen to anyone, so it’s important for business owners to be prepared,” says LaGram. For more information about protecting your business from a data breach, visit www.hartforddatabreach.com.
8 SWEEPING SEPTEMBER 12
When It Comes to Chimney Liners, Hose Master Invented the Wheel. Almost 50 years ago, Sam Foti, Hose Master’s Meet Sam Foti. Hose Master C.E.O., engineer and innovator. C.E.O., redesigned interlocked machine Intechnology. His innovations are still the core of 1964, Sam got involved with interlocked products. Identifying the problems associated with manufacturing the hose, Sam manufacturing flexible chimney liner today.
redesigned the tooling and machinery to not only produce a consistent interlocked hose, but to also speed-up the production. Today, the results of Sam's ingenuity is the technology used throughout the industry in the production of interlocked products. His designs not only changed the way that stripwound hose is made, but the way that it is used and perceived in the industry. • 25 years ago, Sam invented RectangleFlex, OvalFlex, and Dial-A-Flex technology
Redesigned Interlocked Machine Technology
Innovations are still the core of manufacturing flexible chimney liner today. • 15 years ago, Sam invented UltraPro - the only patented roll-lock design, light-weight 1983 HeavyFlex liner with extreme flexibility and crush Invented RectangleFlex, OvalFlex, resistance and Dial-A-Flex technology.
2000 Pro & UltraPro Smooth-N-Lite
Invented UltraPro - the only • Today, Sam has designed Smooth-N-Lite -
patented roll-lock design, the light interlocked liner for smoothwall light-weight liner with extreme applications. flexibility and crush resistance.
Today, Sam has designed Smooth-N-Lite the light interlocked liner for smoothwall applications. Manufactured on the same machine technology he invented in 1964.
... and now he invented
SEPTEMBER 12 SWEEPING 9
Industry Watch Jim Cochran of Magic Mountain Chimney Sweeps Passes Jim Cochran of Magic Mountain Chimney Sweeps in Thurmont, MD passed away on Thursday, April 5, 2012. He and wife, Debra Cochran, have owned and operated this company since 1979. Debra continues to operate Magic Mountain Chimney Sweeps. Jim is survived by his wife, Debra Howell Cochran, married October 6, 1973, in Tampa, FL. He is also survived by one son, Wesly M. H. Cochran, of Frederick, MD and one daughter, Wendy V. Cochran Taylor of Thurmont. Debby writes, “Jim was a legend, and many people and sweeps knew and loved him. He was one of a kind. He had chimney sweeps in top hats and tails for his pallbearers and had a real chimney sweeps funeral. It was a great tribute to him.” Contributions may be made to Cancer Support Community, 1050 17th Street, NW Suite 500 Washington, DC 20036. Industry Watch Policy NCSG encourages industry partners to submit press releases to Melissa Heeke, Sweeping: The Journal of Chimney & Venting Technology editor, via email at email@example.com. Submissions should contain items of interest or importance to the chimney and venting industry. Submissions should not contain direct solicitations, prices, or a call to action on the part of our readers. Submissions may contain images or artwork attached in a .jpg format. In all cases, NCSG reserves the right to edit submissions to fit space limitations, keep the release and publish at a later date, or refuse to publish the release for any reason. Neither publishing nor refusing to publish the submission should be considered a statement of NCSG’s opinion regarding the release.
10 SWEEPING SEPTEMBER 12
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BY JERRY ISENHOUR OF CHIMNEY & VENTING CONSULTANTS IN CONCORD, NC
irst of all, if you are reading this, CONGRATUATIONS. As I shared at a recent MIX group meeting I did a presentation for, many of you have survived the worst economic downturn in the history of our country; one that in many ways rivaled the Great Depression. So congratulations are definitely in order. Many American businesses did not survive the economic downturn, and others are still on the borderline of survival and/or failure. I am sure each of you knows of successful business owners who have had their lives (and their lifestyles) undergo a tremendous transition during the past few years. Others among you may have only entered our industry since this economic devil revealed itself. What is even more remarkable is that some who read this have done much more. Not only have they survived, they actually prospered. Their businesses grew, their profits increased and their business models strengthened. Each business that did this faced the same economic conditions as others. Yet due to their grit and determination, they became true winners. Yes there may have been geographic considerations, but few areas have escaped the wrath of the economic turmoil our country has faced. What the economic conditions have done for many is force them to become better managers, better watchers of their numbers, better students of lean methods of operation, and better in so many other beneficial ways. And it is truly enlightening to see the benefits that have been awarded to those who have continued to make their businesses grow, in truly tough economic times and without assistance from banks or other lenders. The true success stories of business owners who have completely revamped their operations and have shown levels of excellence that many dream of! But even as a survivor, many will encounter roadblocks that will cause stress, will slow progress and will serve to raise caution to the wind. At times, it will come at you with a warning, at other times it will simply pop up in front of you with no warning. Perhaps it hits you when you awaken in a cold sweat, or perhaps it hits you at times when things are just not going as you feel they should. The roadblock I refer to is something I classify as the WALL! I feel that a successful business manager can be compared to a star athlete. The star athlete will practice, he will work out,
12 SWEEPING SEPTEMBER 12
he will have a strict regimen that will include his diet, his sleep habits and will govern his life. As he undergoes his training any and all things that can hamper his performance are examined and examined again. No matter if he is a runner, a swimmer, a baseball or football player or a star in other sports. He will dedicate himself to excellence, just as you do each and every day in your business. We saw this in August as we watched the Olympics, and see those who receive the gold and hear the stories of the work they did to prepare for the competition. But even with the preparation, even with the regiment he has posed to himself, at times he will find that his energy is zapped. His will to go on will be challenged, his fortitude questioned. HE HITS THE WALL! As a business manager this is no different than what you encounter at times. Not only does the wall come up and block your progress, as one person even explained to me about the dreaded wall, at times, it will even collapse on top of you and you may have to dig out of the rubble. During a recent conversation, a business owner related “I am digging out of the rubble where that wall fell on top of me” when asked how he was doing. Has this ever happened to you, causing you to stop and wonder, just why am I doing this and will I meet my objective? Even worse, the thought comes to the forefront; is it really worth what I am putting into it? In my business endeavors I deal with a lot of folks in different stages of their business models. Some have recently launched a business, some are transforming a business, some preparing exit plans and others are building infrastructure. Others still have found success and are working to bring in new management to begin to pursue their true dreams of more free time, as the free time was a goal of the original business start-up plan. In preparation for this article, I asked several who always seem to be going up, up, and up just what was their secret. Just how did the walls not stop them in the progress of the business? I think the overall answer I heard was best summed up by one phenomenal business owner. His answer was “Jerry, I keep myself up all the time because I always look at the potential and the markets we have not tapped into yet. I just don’t see how anyone can get beat due to the problems when there is so much potential and so much untapped business”!
Quite frankly, this hit it on the head. Each and every day, as a business owner, you face adversity, perhaps from a customer, perhaps from the world around us, perhaps simply from an employee who did not meet our expectations. But you know this is life, and life has a way of throwing curve ball after curve ball. The real winner will anticipate what the curve balls will be and will develop the methods to hit the ball no matter how it is thrown at us.
and continue to grow and prosper. All the while, raising the PERCENTAGE of profit from the gross figure. They do not look at the number, they view the number as the percentage. Only through viewing the percentage can we truly have a yardstick by which to measure our progress as we grow our management skills.
The true winner will always view each and every adversary as a learning experience, taking what is learned from each error, each loss and each hiccup and use these as the basis for new procedures, new methods and new ways to grow and prosper. The true winner knows that his #1 accountability partner is that guy with him all the time, the guy he knows as the man in the mirror!
With this, my wish is for you to have an excellent fall. By the time you read this we will have hit that great part of the year called FALL and what so many call THE BUSY SEASON. As you enter this, make plans now as to how you plan to promote your business come January 1, 2013. This is what the guys who are moving forward are doing. The fall is already through the planning stages and they are ready for action. ARE YOU? If not ask that man in the mirror if he is truly operating at the level he needs to be. He has the answer I am sure.
Some are even developing methods within the business to pull these errors and mistakes out of the hidden abyss of the unknown, to find the ones we may not even be paying attention to. Recently observing several who have instituted a new method that can isolate and eliminate issues is producing astounding results. As a respected colleague shared with me “Jerry, it feels like we are walking on glass but we are finding the ways to end the dreaded Groundhog Day happening over and over.” Successful business managers use this as the basis of how they will change the business model, adapt their procedures
About the Author: Jerry Isenhour is an industry consultant, coach and educator who authors a monthly article in Sweeping as a service to the industry. For more information about Jerry and how he can assist you individually, and your business in your quest for success and your rise to the next level, take a look at his web site www.chimneyandventingconsultants.com He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (704) 425-0217. You can also obtain great business tips from his Facebook page Chimney & Venting Consultants
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BY GREG POLAKOW OF COPPERFIELD
The One and Only Thing
erhaps the most important thing to recognize about business is that customer service is not an afterthought to everything else. It IS everything else. Or, as Leon Gorman, the CEO of LL Bean, puts it, “Customer Service is just a day in, day out, ongoing, never ending, unremitting, persevering, compassionate type of activity.” Oh, that’s a nice thought, you say. I’ll be certain to put a little more attention on that the next free moment I get. If this is your response, you’ve missed the point and perhaps the boat, too. So, what does it mean when we say service? What does good customer service look like? Here’s a good hint from Peter Drucker, “Quality in service or product is not what you put into it. It’s what the customer gets out of it.” In other words, in the final analysis, it’s not simply how
14 SWEEPING SEPTEMBER 12
well you do your job that matters. What matters is how your customer feels about you or your company once the job is completed. What matters is what they got out of it. And in that regard, in any arena of competitors, the battle will be won by the company who leaves the customer feeling the best, the happiest, the most satisfied. Jerry Gregoire, CIO of Dell believes, “The customer experience is the next competitive battleground.” Now, you might be thinking your customers must be pretty satisfied since most of the time they don’t seem to have any complaints. If you are feeling this way, it would behoove you to remember most customers don’t complain, even if there are dramatic issues with the work. Why? People don’t like confrontations. And many people feel their complaints will be neither appreciated nor dealt with, so why bother.
The course of action they choose, rather than wasting their time and emotions complaining to someone they feel will be either hostile or unresponsive, is to select one of your competitors next time they need work done. As the saying goes, they vote with their wallet.
insure that the very first impression a customer has of you and your business is excellent? What are you doing to make this very first customer service experience positive? What are you doing to provide your customer at the very outset with a feel good experience?
You might rightly be asking yourself, well, if my customers don’t tell me when they’re not satisfied, what can I possibly do about it?
Whatever your answer is, remember, it is often this first impression that will determine whether or not a customer will call and complain if there is a problem later rather than simply opt to call one of your competitors next time. Why? Because it is in this first encounter with you that a customer begins to decide if they trust you. If you trust that a company has your best interests at heart, you are much more likely to call if there is a problem.
The answer is there are many things that can be done about it. But the first starts with the understanding that customer service is not something that kicks in only when there’s a problem. Customer service has to be part of every contact you have with your customers. It is how you treat your customers before you even show up at their door. It is how you conduct yourself during your visit. And it is most certainly the way in which you handle follow up.
So, how do you establish a feeling of well being and trust with your customer from the get go? Again, it has to do with how you make them feel the moment you pick up your phone to answer their first call. If your tone is cold, indifferent, or even matter of fact, they are not likely to feel you care. And if you Remember, it is how your customers feel after all is said and don’t seem to care about them, can you really be trusted to done that matters. have their best interests at heart? EVERTHING you do from the outset, absolutely everything, will create an opinion of you We are always forming opinions about others. It is a natural in the customer’s mind. That means your tone of voice, the part of being human. And we begin formulating those opinions patience with which you respond to their questions. And the with our very first encounter. The initial opinions may later give very language and even diction you use to talk to them about way to either better or worse opinions, but initial opinions are News So, (Snews)_Smoothcore_Z-Max_no 1 12-03-30 related 2:12 PM issue they are having. whatever chimney extremelySweeping influential. ask yourself, what arebooth_HR_March you doing to29, 2012.pdf
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Use language that is too technical and you lose them and put them on the defensive. “Am I supposed to understand what this guy is talking about,” they wonder. Speak too fast or indistinctly and you get the same result. Seem like picky details? They may be to you, but they will not be to your customer. Remember, when a customer comes to you, he is laying his problem at your feet. If he could remedy it himself, he would. But he can’t. He needs you to help him. So, he is feeling a bit vulnerable, a bit out of his league. How you respond to him in this circumstance can either make him feel immediately comfortable and in safe hands, or something less desirable. You decide which effect you want to create. I think you can see that if this first encounter leaves your customer glowing instead of glowering, you win. You win his confidence, his trust and even here, at the very outset, his gratitude. If you’ve done this well, i.e. addressed his initial questions and concerns in a compassionate, understanding, thorough manner, well you are off to an excellent start.
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But the battle has not been won because you’ve also set some expectations and your customer’s expectation that this kind of treatment will continue must be met. If your crew shows up to do the work and forgets they are in the customer service business first and foremost, all you accomplished at the beginning can be ruined.
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Does good customer service trump sloppy, careless or substandard work? Of course not. Because the quality of your product is a huge part of the customer service package. It’s all customer service. The bottom line is, your customer will appreciate, value and respect you to exactly the same degree you appreciate, value and respect him. No more and no less. And the great thing is, when you treat your customers as friends, when you gladly and openly address their concerns and fix their problems, your work and your life become easier and more fulfilling. Try it out. Start thinking of customer service as being the be all and end all of your business and see how well things go. You’ll be amazed.
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Remember, as Tony Allesandra has observed, “Being on par in terms of price and quality only gets you into the game. Service wins the game.”
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BY BRIAN NOE OF MW FINANCIAL GROUP
Focus on What You Can Control
ou all have accomplishments. You support your family, your employees and their families, your vendors and you provide comfort and safety for your customers.
Some of you can enjoy your success and can focus on preserving what you have. Many of you want to and have the capacity to grow and be more successful. Some of you may be struggling with the seasonality and economics of your business. Regardless of your level of success, almost all of you have varying degrees of uncertainty.
struggling to achieve their goals – or have yet to explicitly define their goals which could help them to get their time back and allow them (you?) to enjoy their (your?) lives. Maybe you’re stuck on tactics without a strategy. Maybe you’re stuck on “noise” – noise that the media airs about events you cannot control and distracts you from your business. Perhaps that “noise” has contributed to a pessimistic perspective. Perhaps all of the above is “noise” that covers up past or current mistakes or regret, either real or perceived?
Many articles, books, conferences and videos have been made about the importance of having a strategic plan to help guide you to fulfill your potential.
Let’s work on facing your concerns and your past. Fear fades when facts are faced. Regrets can become wisdom when success lies ahead.
This magazine has offered numerous articles written to help you fulfill your potential. The NCSG offers courses to help you gain skills to be more successful.
Consider forming a team of trusted professionals, emulate successful associates, select friends and close family members who can create a “judgment free” zone to allow you to unwind the past that may be keeping you from achieving your potential.
Yet there still appears to be too many business owners
18 SWEEPING SEPTEMBER 12
It's Not Too Late For Your team can help you realize your dreams by developing a sound strategy employing objective facts without bias. Your team has your back.
So let’s throw out the rear view mirror, set aside our mistakes and regrets and look forward to what you can control that can lead to success. You and your team can control your personal finances. You and your team can control your business. Here are some steps you can take to help seize the day, sleep easy and get your time back. 1. Budget – do you have a personal and business budget? Do you adhere to your budget? Does your budget include protection and savings for retirement and your legacy? Do you know how much you need to save for retirement and your legacy? Are you prepared in the event that you may “live too long”? 2. Help Protect Yourself, your Family, and your Business – you can take steps to control your risk. Do you let your employees drive your personal vehicles? Do your employees drive your work vehicles for personal use? Are you covered for that activity? These are a just a few examples of “hidden” liabilities that you may be exposed to but unaware of. Do you have adequate umbrella insurance protection in addition to home and auto insurance that covers you and your employees? Do you take steps to relieve stress? Do you have disability insurance to provide you with income or your business with funds to pay expenses in the event of illness or injury that prevents you from working? For your business you can implement a safety program. This sets up a plan of employee procedures for handling vendors, customers, and inter-employee communication, skills to improve workmanship, and other employee development. For events you cannot control do you have liability, E&O, and similar insurance? Does your business take advantage of legal structure, asset titling (multiple businesses? Spouse ownership?), retirement plans, life insurance, annuities, trusts and homestead
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exemptions (if available) to help protect assets from creditors and frivolous lawsuits? 3. Employ Efficient Debt – we may be at the bottom of the interest rate and inflation cycle. If interest rates rise and/or inflation heats up the general rule of thumb for most of us is: debtors win, creditors lose. If you have the cash, you have control. If the banker has the cash, they have control. 4. Manage Taxes – whether or not income or estate taxes increase in the future, a retirement asset/income distribution, business succession, and legacy strategy is a must for everyone. 5. Investment Management – you have plenty of risk with your business. Do you want to have unnecessary risk with your investments? You cannot control macroeconomics (sequence of return risk, rising interest rates, trade and budget deficits, unemployment, inflation, taxes, real estate values, commodity markets, fluctuating foreign currency, etc.). You cannot control geopolitical events (elections, Euro zone issues, violent foreign government changes, war, etc.) or environmental events (hurricanes, earthquakes, fires, tsunamis, etc.).
How do you insulate yourself from economic events you cannot control? Consider historically tried, tested and true strategies. Consider strategies that your grandparent’s generation may have used. They had to protect themselves – government bailouts and subsidies were few and far between. Congratulations if you can assemble a team to help you define and implement a strategy using the tactics described above. This can be achieved in a relatively short period of time (a few hours a week over several short weeks can do it) which can help give you your time back so you can focus on your business and family. 6. Manage your Business – this you can completely control. You can engage in any of the following business expansion activities without losing energy and enthusiasm to the issues you and your team of advisors tackled above. Perhaps you would rather: • Recruit and develop key employees (and future buyers of your business?) • Market expansion (are you getting on board the e-marketing train?) • Develop operating procedures and processes • Improve safety (reduce liability) • Expand into new territories • Enter a new industry • Purchase and manage real estate
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Life Happens – Enjoy It! About the Author: Brian Noe of MW Financial Group, Ltd. was a guest speaker at the NCSG 2011 convention held in Hartford, CT where he discussed How to Get Out of Business and The Economy and Animal Spirits. Brian has a son Eric who served four years in the U.S. Army. Eric is ranked first in his class with a degree in Computer Science, is working in his field and plans on attending graduate school in 2013. His daughter Kara recently graduated undergraduate school with distinction and is planning to attend graduate school to become a Physicians’ Assistant. Brian thoroughly enjoys helping others spend more time with their families and friends while becoming financially successful. He can be reached at (860) 606-0834 or Brian_Noe@MWFinancial.com
CSIA Update Publication for CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep®s
VACHP Sponsored Inspection & Report Writing The Virginia Association of Chimney &
as Louisville, KY.
Hearth Professionals sponsored CSIA’s Inspection & Report Writing class in
The event was sponsored by Wakefield
Arlington, VA this August 6-7. Tom Urban
Brush, The Chimney Sweep News,
served as the instructor for the two-day
Ahren’s, Copperfield, Wohler, Estoban,
session. Forty one professionals were
Lindemann Chimney Supply, National
in attendance with 19 being business
Chimney Supply, Olympia Chimney
owners and 22 being employees. The
Supply, SaverSystems and Whitecaps.
session drew attendees from as far away
When renewing a credential earned after September 1, 2009, a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep® is required to: • S ubmit a minimum of 9 CEUs earned within the preceeding 3 years (in any category) before testing. NOTE: This requirement will not apply to CSIA Certified Chimney Sweeps already holding the credential on September 1, 2009 until their next 3-year certification cycle. • P ass a one-hour exam based on Successful Chimney Sweeping (2009) and NFPA 211 (2010) • P ass a ninety-minute open-book exam based on the 2006 IRC®
Fred Regar served as auctioneer of the sponsordonated items on the second day of the session.
Tom Urban teaching the CSIA Inspection and Report Writing Class in Arlington.
• A gree to pay the Annual Certification Fee. • Sign CSIA Code of Ethics.
Check out the CCS & CDET area at CSIA.org Available downloads for CSIA Certified Chimney Sweeps® and CSIA Certified Dryer Exhaust Technicians® include: • C SIA Certified Chimney Sweep and CSIA Certified Dryer Exhaust Technician Trademarks
• Ladder Safety Tips • “ Chimney Fires: Causes, Effects & Evaluation” Prepared by Chimney Safety Institute of America- Chimney Fire Education and Research Task Force
• Buttons for your Website
• P rint version of this whitepaper is also available for purchase.
• C ustomizable PowerPoint presentation for home inspectors
• T op 10 Woodburning Tips from the Chimney Safety Institute of America
• Inspection SOPs ADVERTISEMENT
OR • S ubmit appropriate number of Continuing Education Units (CEUs) in the relevant categories. • A gree to pay the Annual Certification Fee. • Sign CSIA Code of Ethics.
Annual Certification Requirements Upon earning the CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep® credential, your certification is valid for one year. You will need to recertify annually by paying the annual certification fee. This fee will be invoiced annually prior to your expiration date. Please note that your credential will require renewal every three years by submittal of the minimum 48 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) in accordance with the CSIA Credential Renewal Policy or by passing the certification exams and either submitting a minimum of 9 CEUs or completing a CSIA Review. If your annual certification fee is not paid prior to your certification expiration date, your credential will be considered lapsed and you will immediately lose all rights and privileges of the CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep® credential. The following terms will then apply if reinstatement of the credential is desired:
If you do not pay your annual certification fee by your expiration date, the following timeline will begin: • Within 90 days from the date of expiration, if you submit payment in full for the annual certification fee, your credential will be reinstated and you will be considered a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep® in good standing, maintaining your original annual expiration date and certification number; • If more than 90 days and less than 12 months beyond your expiration date, you will be required to Pay the current annual certification fee and current testing fees and test again. Doing so will reinstate your previous annual certification expiration date and certification number. You will still be required to pay your next annual fee within the next 12 months.
Venting Problems Solved
Congratulations to Our New CSIA Certified Chimney Sweeps California Michael Gipson • Midtown Sweeps • Lancaster Omar Saenz • A Fiddler on the Rood Duct & Chimney Service • Van Nuys Indiana Alex Stewart • Old Smokey’s Fireplace & Chimney, Inc. • Ashley
Solve your customers’ smoking, sooting, odor and draft problems. It’s easy with CSIA’s new ONLINE course!
Are these problems frustrating you and your clients?
• If more than 12 months beyond your expiration date, you will be required to either participate in a CSIA approved certification review course or submit evidence of 9 CEUs that were accumulated during the time your credential was active. In addition you will be required to pass the CSIA certification exams. Upon successful completion, a new certification number will be assigned and you will have a new annual certification expiration date.
Kansas Ryan Berry • Full Service Chimney • Olathe New York Jay Felli • Hearth & Home of Ithaca • Ithaca
Spillage from factory-built fireplaces
Sooting with vented gas logs
Odor problems from fireplaces
Ghosting/sooting on ceiling
Erratic smoking problems with fireplace
Problems with fireplaces after remodeling
Cross-over smoking from one fireplace to another
Cold drafts around factory-built fireplaces
Vermont James Donovan • Lincoln Peak Properties • Waitsfield
Upstairs fireplace works but the downstairs fireplace doesn’t
Performance problems in one-story fireplaces in two-story houses
West Virginia Michael Adwell • Top Hat Chimney Sweep • Lewisburg
Learn to solve these problems, save time and money, and keep your clients happy with CSIA’s Online Chimney Physics program.
Register today at www.csia.org CSIA: 1.5 Tech, 1.5 C&L, 1.5 H&S, 1.5 C&S NFI: 5 Tech ADVERTISEMENT
Wisconsin Dustin Myers • Chimney Specialists, Inc. • Highland
Top 10 Woodburning Tips
from the Chimney Safety Institute of America To aid in the prevention of chimney fires and carbon monoxide intrusion and to help keep heating appliances and fireplaces functioning properly, the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) offers the following safety tips: 1. Get an annual chimney check. Have chimneys inspected annually, and cleaned as necessary, by a qualified professional chimney service technician. This reduces the risk of fires and carbon monoxide poisonings due to creosote buildup or obstructions in the chimneys. 2. Keep it clear. Keep tree branches and leaves at least 15 feet away from the top of the chimney. 3. Install a chimney cap to keep debris and animals out of the chimney. 4. Choose the right fuel. For burning firewood in wood stoves or fireplaces, choose wellseasoned wood that has been split for a minimum of six months - one year and stored in a covered and elevated location. Never burn Christmas trees or treated wood in your fireplace or wood stove. 5. Build it right. Place firewood or firelogs at the rear of the fireplace on a supporting grate. To start the fire, use kindling or a commercial firelighter. Never use flammable liquids. 6. Keep the hearth area clear. Combustible material too close to the fireplace, or to a wood stove, could easily catch fire. Keep furniture at least 36â€? away from the hearth. 7. Use a fireplace screen. Use metal mesh or a screen in front of the fireplace to catch flying sparks that could ignite or burn holes in the carpet or flooring. 8. Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Place detectors throughout the house and check batteries in the spring and fall. When you change your clocks for Daylight Savings Time, remember to check your batteries. 9. Never leave a fire unattended. Before turning in for the evening, be sure that the fire is fully extinguished. Supervise children and pets closely around wood stoves and fireplaces. 10. The CSIA recommends annual inspections performed by CSIA Certified Chimney Sweeps. These chimney sweeps have earned the industryâ€™s most respected credential by passing an intensive examination based on fire codes, clearances and standards for the construction and maintenance of chimney and venting systems. The National Fire Protection Association also recommends that all chimneys are inspected on an annual basis. For more chimney and fireplace safety tips, visit the Chimney Safety Institute of America online at www.CSIA.org.
Send us your greenhorn.
in 6 days, and we’ll send you back a pro.
You can spend weeks trying to get a new employee up to speed. In the process, you’ll have used up your valuable time, your patience, and more money than you would like to admit. Instead, send your employee to the most popular, cost-effective chimney sweep training in North America: CSIA’s National Chimney Sweep Training School. In less than a week, we’ll create an employee that you’ll be proud to send on a call – and happy to count toward your bottom line.
Classes fill quickly, so register now!
April 2-7 April 2–7 June 11-16 June 4–9 August August 66-11 –11 September 24-29
At the 6-day hands-on Training School, your employee will learn: How to inspect and service chimney systems serving any fuel burning appliance.
How to be safe, with the latest health and safety equipment and methods.
How to work with residential heating appliances, including wood stoves, pellet stoves, inserts, factory-built fireplaces, central heaters and furnaces.
How to diagnose chimney performance problems: understanding draft and flow, diagnosing down drafts, flow reversals, inadequate flow, stack effects, updrafts, pressure effects and gauges.
How to navigate the International Residential Codes.
How to follow the NFPA 211 standards.
Class size is limited to ensure a ratio of no more than eight students per instructor. This small class size means that students have the opportunity for individual attention from the school’s experienced instructors, and ample opportunities for hands-on training. Because class size is limited, it is important to apply early to reserve your place.
Register today at www.csia.org or call us at (317) 837-5362. Take advantage of these other CSIA educational offerings that can build your business:
The online CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep review provides exam candidates with a convenient and affordable guided learning experience.
The online Certified Dryer Exhaust Technician (CDET) review provides exam candidates with a convenient and affordable guided learning experience designed to help you pass the CDET exam.
BY DEBBIE CORNELIUS MEMBERSHIP DEVELOPMENT COORDINATOR
Get Organized and Make the Most of Your Busy Season! Sometimes it really surprises me that more NCSG members do not take advantage of the discounted benefits available to them. These will not only save you time, but… money too! Paycor Payroll Services price reduction on payroll and tax services. One specialist will be dedicated to your account with a team of tax specialists available to resolve issues in the fastest amount of time should an issue arise. Market Hardware can bring your business up to speed in the competitive market of technology where more and more customers are looking to the Web. Once they have customized the design that includes a “Home Page”, “About Us”, and “Our Services” page, you will have the ability to easily update and edit your Web site yourself instead of paying someone else to do it.
Technical Solutions the “Survival Kit for Small Businesses” can provide on-demand remote repair 24/7, 365 days a year. For the price of $24.99/month with no long term contact involved, you can cover up to 20 computers including multiple office locations. Commercials On Hold, provides a great way to brand and promote your full range of services when callers are on hold before they talk to a member of your staff. Take a few minutes to just explore these benefits. It would be well worth your time to compare the savings to save you time and help increase your profits!
SEPTEMBER 12 SWEEPING 25
NCSG REGIONS REGION 2
CONNECTICUT Christopher Gonsalves • Millstream Construction • Hebron David Heissenbuttel • DMH & Associates, Inc. • Wilton
VIRGINA Jack Johnston • Johnston’s Chimney Sweep • Yorktown
MISSOURI Jason Patrick • Shamrock Qualty Services • St. Louis Bill Bonney • Bonney, Bill • Jackson
REGION 1 Connecticut, Vermont, Massachusetts, New York, Maine, Rhode Island, New Hampshire
KENTUCKY Joshua Moore • Moore, Joshua • Mt. Sterling
ILLINOIS Jack Lutz • Lutz, Jack • Eureka Clay Nelson • Clean Sweep • Collinsville OHIO Anthony Ramsey • Elite Chimney Solutions • Beavercreek
Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania
INDIANA Travis Beckley • Beckley, Travis • Coal City
TEXAS Matthew Milner • Milner, Matthew • Whitesboro Tony Drew • A/C Contractors dba Fireplaces • Longview Christopher A. Hess • Atlas Chimney • Leander
MINNESOTA Renee Gustafson • John C. Gustafson Builder, LLC • Little Falls
Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia
REGION 4 Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio
COLORADO Kent Macintosh • Russian River Chimney Sweeps • Healdsburg
CALIFORNIA Errol Davis • The Chimney Specialist • Huntington Beach
NCSG Charter Members Paul Bourque Huntsville, AL
John Cline, Menlo Park, CA
Don Leavitt San Diego, CA
Dale Meisinger, N. Augusta, SC
David Harris Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
Eva B. Horton, Greenwich, CT
Dan Wheeler Santa Rosa, CA
26 SWEEPING SEPTEMBER 12
Alan Hisey, St. Louis, MO
Harry Richart, Hasbrouck Heights, NJ
REGION 5 Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Wisconsin
REGION 6 Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming
2012 – 2013 SWEEPS ADVANTAGE COUPON PROGRAM Featured Coupons of the Month The 2012 – 2013 offers are being added daily in the “Members Only” section of the NCSG website at www.NCSG.org. So start checking for these new offers each week. These coupons will be good until June 30, 2013. Copperfield Chimney Supply • Lindemann Chimney Supply • Meyer Machine & Equipment • National Chimney Supply • SNEWS - The Chimney Sweep News • Wakefield Brush • Wohler USA, Inc.
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Four Things You Might Not Know About Fall Allergies As most allergy sufferers will tell you, allergy symptoms can always be bothersome, turning any time of year into sneezing season. A runny nose, itchy eyes and scratchy throat can arise as the days get shorter and the leaves begin to change. The fall can be especially difficult for people who are sensitive to mold and ragweed pollen. But these seasonal elements aren’t the only triggers that can make symptoms worse this time of year. There are also a few lesser known triggers. Here are four things you might not know about fall allergies, courtesy of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology: * Hay fever - Hay fever, a term from a bygone era, actually has nothing to do with hay. Instead, it’s a general term used to describe the symptoms of late summer allergies. Ragweed is a common cause of hay fever, which is also known as allergic rhinitis. The plant usually begins to pollinate in mid-August and may continue to be a problem until a hard freeze, depending on where you live. See an allergist for prescription medications to control symptoms or to see if allergy shots may be your best option. * Lingering warm weather - While most people enjoy Indian summer, unseasonably warm temperatures can make rhinitis symptoms last longer. Mold spores can also be released when humidity is high, or the weather is dry and windy. Be sure to begin taking medications before your symptoms start. Track your allergy symptoms with MyNasalAllergyJournal.org and visit with your allergist to find relief.
* Pesky leaves - Some folks might find it difficult to keep up with raking leaves throughout the autumn. But for allergy sufferers, raking presents its own problem. It can stir agitating pollen and mold into the air, causing allergy and asthma symptoms. Those with allergies should wear an NIOSH-rated N95 mask when raking leaves, mowing the lawn and gardening. * School allergens - It’s not only seasonal pollen and mold that triggers allergies this time of year. Kids are often exposed to classroom irritants and allergy triggers. These can include chalk dust and classroom pets. Students with food allergies may also be exposed to allergens in the lunch room.Kids with exercise-induced bronchoconstriction (EIB) may experience attacks during recess or gym class. Help your child understand what can trigger their allergies and asthma, and how they can avoid symptoms. Be sure to notify teachers and the school nurse of any emergency medications, such as quick relief inhalers and epinephrine. No matter the season, it’s important for those who think they may be suffering from allergies or asthma to see a board-certified allergist. An allergist can help you develop a treatment plan, which can include both medication and avoidance techniques. Having your allergies properly identified and treated will help you and your family enjoy the season. To find an allergist and learn more about allergies and asthma, visit www.AllergyandAsthmaRelief.org.
Meyer Machine & Equipment
28 SWEEPING SEPTEMBER 12
SUCKING DUCTS & INSULATION FOR OVER 20 YEARS
BY MARK MCSWEENEY, CAE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Support Those Who Support You “Our success has really been based on partnerships from the very beginning.” -Bill Gates
trategic partnerships. Sounds fancy, but what does it really mean? They are called what they are called because there is a true strategy behind them; the thought and planning that goes into identifying and development those relationships in a way that will ultimately help those who are participating to achieve their mission. The fact that it is indeed a “partnership” indicates that everyone involved mutually stands to benefit in some way…It’s a win-win. The strategic part of establishing partnerships is analyzing who you are, your goals and your current resources and then finding organizations (partners) that will allow you to get the things that you need in order to take your organization to the next level. But true partnerships are about what you can bring to each other to help achieve your goals and enhance your resources. It is not solely about what you can give me, but rather what we can give each other. As the great John F. Kennedy is well known for encouraging of a world partnership, “ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.” So where does this leave an association like NCSG? The key to nonprofits establishing strategic partnerships is having the infrastructure to attract and maintain these relationships. In this country, there are plenty of nonprofits that are doing great work, but there is no organization that will be able to survive if they try
to achieve their mission without establishing partnerships that help provide resources and relationships that allow us to achieve our mission. NCSG is very fortunate to have an impressive array of partners who have for many years, some since our inception, done just that. Our partners have advertised in this magazine, exhibited at our conventions, contributed to the building and maintaining of our headquarters and the premier industry training facility in Indianapolis, discounted thousands of dollars in products and services to our members, and have helped us promote the Guild and recruit membership in countless ways, not the least of which includes maintaining their own membership in NCSG. Our partners are committed to helping us advance our mission and in turn propel our professional field forward. Their partnership supports that programs that ignite your professional and technical development and provide the products and services that have helped you bring your own businesses to life. They are integral to the success of this industry and most renew their support of the Guild year after year. Without their support of Sweeping magazine through their advertising, we would not have been able to come close to bringing this publication to our members and the industry for the past 35 years (originally The Chimney Sweep Guild News) without significant taxation on the readers. Without their support SEPTEMBER 12 SWEEPING 29
of NCSG’s annual convention through exhibiting and additional sponsorships, registration fees for attendees would easily be double what they are today.
online, or you remember they exhibited at the convention so that they know they are getting positive exposure and that their investment in our partnership is not going unnoticed.
When viewing our relationship with exhibitors, sponsors, advertisers and supplier members as a partnership, the question needs to be asked: How are we as an association mutually helping them achieve their respective goals?
With that said, here are some simple and tangible things things you can do to help the partnership you are a part of: • Consider our partners each and every time you need to make a purchasing decision and give them an opportunity to earn your business when you can. Look at those who are advertising in Sweeping or see a full listing of NCSG Supplier Members under the Chimney Sweep tab on ncsg.org.
The answer comes back to us having infrastructure to attract and maintain these partnerships. And that infrastructure is you, the member. NCSG cultivates and maintains the relationship with our industry partners on your behalf. You are asked to back that up through your support of these partner service providers. Now, I’m not saying you should buy everything you need at any one place or only through our partners. At the end of the day, you ultimately need to make your purchasing decisions based on your individual business needs. However, what would be great to see is our members calling our partners up and giving them a chance to compete for your business. Let them know you are a part of NCSG, and even if you are not in a position to do business with them this time around let them know you appreciate their continued support of the Guild and the industry. It’s one thing to call up to a supplier and ask about a product, get a price and hang up. It’s another thing to make sure you let them know you saw their ad in Sweeping, you read about them
• When you talk to them, let them know you’re part of NCSG and thank them for their support of your association. • If you like them, even if you can’t do business with them currently, spread the word and help get their name out there. • Attend events where our partners have stepped up to sponsor. Help show them we value them being there and appreciate their efforts. This helps everyone when it comes to working out future programs, discounts, events, and more. We are all in this together. Just as you want to ensure you are receiving the return you need on the investments you make, our supplier members, advertisers, exhibitors and sponsors need to justify their own ROI on the variety of support avenues they offer to NCSG. I thought I’d take a minute this month to say “thank you!” to all of you who support us in so many different ways, and would like to encourage others to do the same. Until next time, I continue to wish you every success!
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Darwin Awards Have you snapped a photo of a peculiar chimney in your area that made you shake your head in disbelief? Send it to Melissa Heeke at email@example.com for publication in Sweeping. Or, mail it to NCSG, 2155 Commercial Drive, Plainfield, IN 46168.
The pole and bucket chimney. That is how they keep rain and birds out during off season. Notice the class A is just an extension of a masonry chimney. Submitted by Kevon Binder of Doctor Flue, Inc.
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SEPTEMBER 12 SWEEPING 31
Dates & Events September 13-15, 2012 Lake Murray, SC South Carolina Chimney Sweep Guild’s “The Gathering” For more information, please contact Blume at (864) 232-9811 or blume357@ bellsouth.net September 17-21, 2012 CSIA (online) CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep Review For more information, please call (317) 837-5362 or visit www.CSIA.org September 17-21, 2012 CSIA (online) CSIA Certified Dryer Exhaust Technician Review For more information, please call (317) 837-5362 or visit www.CSIA.org September 17-21, 2012 CSIA (online) Chimney Physics For more information, please call (317) 837-5362 or visit www.CSIA.org September 17-21, 2012 CSIA (online) CSIA eLearning For more information, please call (317) 837-5362 or visit www.CSIA.org September 17-21, 2012 CSIA (online) Lining Masonry Chimneys with Stainless Steel For more information, please call (317) 837-5362 or visit www.CSIA.org September 19, 2012 Taunton, MA Fall Protection User Training Class: Including OSHA’s 2011 ruling on alternate fall protection methods - Sponsored by the Massachusetts Chimney Sweep Guild For more information, please call Jeffrey Wright at (781) 233-2321. September 24-28, 2012 CSIA (online) CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep Review For more information, please call (317) 837-5362 or visit www.CSIA.org September 24-28, 2012 CSIA (online) CSIA Certified Dryer Exhaust Technician Review For more information, please call (317) 837-5362 or visit www.CSIA.org September 24-28, 2012 CSIA (online) Chimney Physics For more information, please call (317) 837-5362 or visit www.CSIA.org September 24-28, 2012 CSIA (online) CSIA eLearning For more information, please call (317) 837-5362 or visit www.CSIA.org September 24-28, 2012 CSIA (online) Lining Masonry Chimneys with Stainless Steel For more information, please call (317) 837-5362 or visit www.CSIA.org September 24-29, 2012 CSIA Technology Center CSIA National Chimney Sweep Training School For more information, please call (317) 837-5362 or visit www.CSIA.org October 1-5, 2012 CSIA (online) CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep Review For more information, please call (317) 837-5362 or visit www.CSIA.org
32 SWEEPING SEPTEMBER 12
October 1-5, 2012 CSIA (online) CSIA Certified Dryer Exhaust Technician Review For more information, please call (317) 837-5362 or visit www.CSIA.org October 1-5, 2012 CSIA (online) Chimney Physics For more information, please call (317) 837-5362 or visit www.CSIA.org October 1-5, 2012 CSIA (online) CSIA eLearning For more information, please call (317) 837-5362 or visit www.CSIA.org October 1-5, 2012 CSIA (online) Lining Masonry Chimneys with Stainless Steel For more information, please call (317) 837-5362 or visit www.CSIA.org October 8-12, 2012 CSIA (online) CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep Review For more information, please call (317) 837-5362 or visit www.CSIA.org October 8-12, 2012 CSIA (online) CSIA Certified Dryer Exhaust Technician Review For more information, please call (317) 837-5362 or visit www.CSIA.org
Please send notice of your events for NCSG Dates & Events listings at firstname.lastname@example.org for inclusion here, in weekly posts to the discussion list and online at www.NCSG.org/dates. The event must be considered educational or informative for the industry (sales events and open houses will not be listed).
Classifieds Gotta chimney question? Sizing? Codes? Call Royal Edwards! Make Royal your tech department. CALL NOW 813-982-0219 for on-call tech support. Continuing Education special bonus – ask how you can get the Friday morning E-Blast for FREE. CALL NOW 813-982-0219 GasVent Software for Sizing Chimneys only $195. Call 1-800-648-9523 for more info and visit www.elitesoft. com to download a free trial version. Chimney Sweep business for sell in the Northern Rocky Mountains of New Mexico. Services a large area, with three ski resorts in the service area. Equipment and signed three year contracts goes with the business. Business is well established. For pricing and other info please email your questions to email@example.com CLASSIFIED ADS FREE FOR NCSG MEMBERS Members can run one 35 word classified free each year! Regularly classified ads are $2/word or $1/word for NCSG members. Classified ads are non-commissionable and must be pre-paid. To place a classified ad, please contact Megan McMahon at firstname.lastname@example.org or (317) 837-1500.
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National Chimney Sweep Guild 2155 Commercial Drive Plainfield, IN 46168