Alcoholism – The Money Pit For Business And Industry

A true story is told of a man who had eighteen years of service with his employer, and yet was unable to take a vacation. The inability to qualify for a vacation was not due to a mean or avaricious employer, rather is was due to the fact that during the previous year, the employee had simply failed to put in enough days to earn a vacation. A minimum 101 days of service of service were required. Our man had put in only 100 days.

This is not an unusual story in industry. The kind of employee we are looking at seems to have the uncanny ability to convince his or her employer that there are legitimate reasons for being absent from the job. Since the behavior is tolerated, the absenteeism gradually increases. Finally, the supervisor is found in the position of having covered for the employee for so long that it has become a habit.

Supervisors may even become so exasperated that they no longer care. Excuses range from “it’s always the way we’ve done it,” to “my management does not want to get into a hassled with the union” to “that employee is not that much good when he is at work anyhow.”

Some employees like to game the system. This unfortunate attitude creates a situation that is a natural breeding ground for the addiction process. A manager that permits deviant behavior, high absenteeism and poor performance to prevail soon learns that the department is no more efficient than the poorest performer in the department. Sooner or later the supervisor will be forced to give this employee a choice. It is either the job or the alcohol and I will act accordingly.

Studies prove that alcoholism and drug addiction are costing business and industry millions of dollars in lost productivity, time off work, accidents, sick leave, union grievances, job performance to name a few. A well run employee assistance program managed by professional people in the field of addictions will return ten dollars for dollar invested in the program.

The Time Management Game in the Restaurant & Food Services Industries

A well known experienced restaurateur once summarized the restaurant, night club and affiliated food industries as “In the restaurant business you (the owner) have to be there (on-site on the premises inspecting and supervising). Otherwise the hams start walking out of the freezer all by themselves. This may be one way of looking at the food service trade yet at the end of the many restaurants, cafe and bistro owners may wonder who got the best deal. For all the hours put in they just as well worked for someone else and not had the headaches and responsibilities owning and running a business entails. Putting in such hours is not only hard or impossible on a family life, but in the end may well work out to a wage below the minimum wage of their state per employee hour worked.

How can an owner of such a business manage and juggle their workload so that all in they are putting in reasonable and human work time hours?

It is common and popular route now for those wanting, or always wanting “to open a restaurant” to go the franchise route. It is not so much that you are buying a restaurant or any other business when you purchase a franchise. It is that the purchaser is obtaining for the value of his money proven systems. It is the systems that are on the table – not the food service or hospitality business.

Two areas of emphasis that owners and operators typically spend a fair amount of time and wasted time every working day are firstly time spent with vendors and suppliers.

The second is in the preparation of ingredients themselves or on items that lack profitability for their venture.

For purchasing one stop shopping and automated point of sale systems are the way to go. Sure its as if you are driving all over town getting the best bargain – however in most cases your most limited commodity overall of yourself in your business is your time. Time wasted is not only money thrown down the sink but also your precious, limited time squandered. Make it a point to try to deal with one vendor only or in the cases of specialty items – as few vendors as possible, and on an appointment basis only. Preferably on top of that you can schedule one block of time per week – at your preference for that purpose.

Food preparation is another area where time can be saved even if you feel that you must make “everything from scratch”. Often owners and managers of food and hospitality service industries not “leveraging” their suppliers enough or “reinventing the wheel” when if they only asked their favorite suppliers or even outside specialty providers if they might not supply basically that identical product or service.

In the end delegation and systems employed can both save your business as well as your health and sanity.

A Career In The Cleaning Services Industry

Irrespective of the location, whether it is polishing the floor in a restaurant or washing the windows of a 747, it is easy to get into the cleaning industry at various levels. Housekeeping jobs are suitable for those who are looking for short-term jobs. However, housekeeping jobs have repetitive tasks, and involve a pre-planned routine. The garbage removal and hospital housekeeping career is more stable, and can last for years.

There are numerous job openings in the cleaning industry, providing far better options to choose from, including disaster clean up, upholstery and carpet cleaning, eavestrough cleaning and window washing. Cleaners also carry out wastewater restoration, removal of industrial toxins, and cleaning out plugged sewer pipes after using televised inspection devices.


The cleaning industry is divided into two sectors, consumer and commercial. Cleaning crews and house cleaners are hired to clean offices, hotel hallways, rooms, bathrooms etc. You may want to combine the two depending on your preferences. Applying and getting a job in the industry greatly depends on what services you can offer. Keeping the customer happy is an underlying requirement to help the business thrive.

A set of predefined rules and regulations are set down for the employees before they start the job in any organization. The employees are expected to follow these rules, as customer satisfaction depends on how well the cleaning staff does its work. Usually, customers don’t visit a particular hotel or restaurant again if the service they received isn’t satisfactory. This directly affects the business as well as the reputation of the employees. However, both the customer and the managing department should know their limitations. To prevent any kind of conflict, the client should be given a clear idea about the working of the management.

Some people opt for independent work, if they have a thorough knowledge of the working of the industry, and ample experience to take up jobs on their own. Others decide upon franchising. In which case, they can set their own rules and administer the working on their own, without consulting any outer managing company.

Options In The Cleaning And Service Industry

The service industry has grown over the years, and it is no longer limited to housecleaning tasks. Here are some of the jobs available in this industry:

Building Superintendent – Cleaning and maintaining the surroundings of a business. Co-ordinate renovations and repairs, team up with tenants and owners to maintain a safe environment. They earn about $12,110 to $ 66,440 per year.

Carpet and Upholstery Cleaner – Gauge the nature of the job and administer the cleaning accordingly. Cater to customer needs and develop a healthy rapport with the customer. They can work on an hourly or commission basis.

Hazardous Waste Management Technologist – This is an industrial job, and the knowledge of machines and petrochemical companies is needed. On the job training, and post secondary education is the minimum experience and education required for this job.

Cleaning, by its nature, is not a “clean” job. If it were, the need for house cleaners would never arise. People would happily scrub grime off from floors without complaining. Every industry and organization needs cleaning and maintenance from time to time. This is the reason the industry has grown and prospered over the years. There are said to be more avenues opening up in the near future.

Starting a Lawn Mowing Business – Different Ways to Get Into the Lawn and Garden Service Industry

If you are looking at changing your career, or just want to supplement your income, then getting into the lawn and garden care/service industry may just be “what the doctor ordered”. There are different ways and approaches to entering the lawn and garden business.

Broadly speaking, there are 2 main ways to get into the business which are:

  1. Starting with an existing client base
  2. Starting without an existing client base

If you do not have any customers, and want to purchase an existing customer list then this can be done in 2 ways:

  1. buy an existing business from an independent contractor. It is important to keep in mind that when you buy someone else’s business you cannot be sure they have priced and quoted their jobs correctly, and you cannot be sure the customers will stay with you or be poached by the former contractor. Or,
  2. buy a lawn mowing franchise, for example, Jim’s Mowing, VIP, Marks Mowing etc. Jim’s Mowing is a world-wide franchise system, whereas the others are Australian based only. In this case, the franchisor offers a guaranteed income (what is known as the Work Availability Guarantee) for up to around 13 weeks. In short, this income guarantee is bank-rolled by the initial franchise fee (that is, the money you initially paid to buy the lawn mowing franchise)

If you want to start your own business without a customer list then for obvious reasons your income stream will be slow taking off. To counter this, you can pick up immediate income from garden makeovers and odd jobs whilst you build your own lawn mowing customer roster.