Cleaning & Restoration Association News

Letters to the Editor: VLM, Steve Toburen and the ICS Bulletin Board

April 9, 2001
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Re: February ICS

I just wanted to tell you that I just received the latest ICS magazine today and it is great! This is probably the most informative and best written issue I have seen to date. Loved the articles on optical brighteners, Low-Moisture systems, and marketing. And it's great to see Steve Toburen contributing too. Thanks again!

Phillip Newell, All Star Carpet Care, Grand Haven, MI

I got my February issue of ICS last week. I enjoyed the "A Life Well Lived" article by Steve. Has everyone read that? Being self-employed has allowed me to take my daughter to and from school almost everyday, and as long as I can pay the bills and enjoy life. I feel I am in the right business.

Richie Gill, Mission Building and Floor Care, San Luis Obispo, CA

Anyone who has read Steve's work will find him a very informative and up-building person. Anyone who has met Steve will be immediately drawn to his caring attitude and personable style. He is truly unique in this field. And he knows his beans when it comes to customer care! This man changed my business.

Aaron Steinblock, Triple A Maintenance, Cameron, WI

Re: ICS Bulletin Board

Note: Recently on the ICS bulletin board, one of our active participants asked a simple question: "How has this bulletin board helped you?" Here are a handful of the responses posted, and to tell you the truth, we just couldn't help but smile, and be thankful for the constructive comments we have received over the years, and put to use.

Yaser Amireh: Since I have been on the ICS BB, I have learned many new things. But the one thing I consider the best was learning about all the chemicals, procedures and short cuts everyone else uses to do the best cleaning possible. What is the best you got from this BB. Also, the people here made me realize that there are really smart and professional people in this industry, contrary to my old belief.

John Geurkink: I learned that we are not alone out here; we have friends and comrades; we share the same experiences; and have (mostly) the same goals. The guy in the carpet cleaning truck going by you is not so much a competitor but a friendship waiting to happen, "If you take the first step."

Brandon J. Miller: I echo John's comments. I have gained a ton of technical knowledge and the like, but have learned more about thinking than anything else. I have learned to question, going along with the flow may not always be the best option. I have gained several friends, most of all Gary Taylor. He is that guy in the carpet cleaning truck running around my area, but we are friends. Why just yesterday as I was preparing to partake of a lonely lunch, in walks Gary. He had seen my truck in the parking lot and thought he would stop by. Competitor? No. Cooperator? Yes.

Vera Harper: All of the above. Learning simple but new things like preconditioning upholstery with white towels and toweling off after completing the cleaning is one thing that springs to mind. Just today Steve Toburen came up with another pearl of wisdom regarding free spotter for prospective customers. Clean a small spot for them and then give them the spotter. How could the customer resist. The suggestions keep on coming. Thanks again for the board and thanks for cleaning it up again. The last couple of days have been the best on the board for quite some time.

Peter Seltzer: Put it this way, if this BB was available when I started 21 years ago I would be a zillionaire. This is a resource that is truly incredible, and free, it's unbelievable. The respect that I have gained for the different methods and people who work in this industry is paramount. I have been able to forge new friendships and learn new things every time I log on. I have also never felt very comfortable expressing myself in written form, but not any more. I am confident that my writing style has improved, much through the criticism of the folks here.
It has also made me realize how much I do not know about other parts of the trade. Although it has also proven to me that the residential end of things I understand well, and have succeeded beyond my wildest dreams.
We are a wild bunch from all parts of the world. We should be very proud of what we do, I truly am. Finally there are people who I can talk shop with, everyone in my life is no longer stuck listening to me.
Thanks to all of you out there who participate and take the time to read my posts and respond, I sincerely appreciate it. I hope that this year will be a record setting year for all of us. We deserve it, this board will definitely help our bottom lines. There is no longer need to make costly mistakes. If we all become a team, which is happening we will own this industry, no matter who comes along to try and take over.

Bob Golitz: All of the above! The information here can cut years off of the time it would take to learn this business well enough to succeed. I've organized much of the info. learned here into a 3-ring notebook that I carry with me. Wine stain? Right here in the book. Wax removal? Right here. Kool Aid? Right here, etc.

You couldn't afford to pay for the expert advice that the old timers have shared with us here! I've never heard of an industry that works so hard to help others succeed! Thank you everyone!

G. Tom Tsao: I guess I value the fun and friendship side of this board more than anything else. Not that the education/information aspects aren't incredibly valuable, but I usually come here to relax and laugh. Never in my life have I felt more accepted, more respected than in this place, or related places (e.g. SummerFest). Even in church I find more false people than on this BB. Peter, I enjoyed your post above. Very nicely written, I might add.

Ed Valentine: I would have to agree with all the thoughts and remarks shared above. However, I do believe that the real value of these boards have been the introduction of "little America"-manufacturers like the Pad-Man, Johnny G.; the Duane Oxleys; the Ken Raddons, and a few more, have put their products into the forefront. This created a great opportunity for you, the professional cleaner and added greatly to your choices.

Up until this point, I believe it was somewhat limited to those large companies that could afford the largest magazine ad; the biggest trade show booth; the largest sales staff; and/or to "make special arrangements" ($) with the dealer.

But now, with these smaller manufacturers who have built their companies from the ground up by rolling up their sleeves, much more advanced technology (that they have invented!) is waiting at your front door!

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