eClean Issue 22

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23 eClean Magazine The NAPWO Difference "Our goal is to provide a one-stop shopping experience where we provide business model advice, marketing assistance and education, and we become a part of their business team," Kimberlee stressed. "We both love to solve our customers' problems." Additionally, Kimberlee said she enjoys getting to be a "personal shopper. I provide options based on the customer's budget and needs, give honest opinions and won't oversell." NAPWO believes strongly in educating their customers, and supporting those groups that educate the industry as well. Tracy has authored the book Pressure Washing Basics and includes "all the basics" as they relate to the residential market: surfaces and substrates, stains, chemicals and cleaners, equipment, SEO activities, marketing, bidding, estimates and washing techniques. "It is an easy read and is designed to be an often-used resource. I keep a copy on my desk because there are times when I need to reference it." Tracy has also trained Kimberlee in the field so that she not only has technical knowledge, but also field knowledge. "I think men trust my opinion when it comes to cleaners, scents and specialty stain treatments," she explained. "I personally like to test the products. I have ordered too many products off late-night TV only to be disappointed. My disappointment as a consumer led me to start our online blog reviewing products in the pressure washing industry. Part of our business model is that the products, when used correctly, will work on the intended substrate and stain or we won't carry them." Additionally, Tracy has begun teaching classes at various industry-related events, including the Power Washing 101 course at the 2013 PWNA Conference and Trade Show in Orlando, Florida. "Being new to the industry, I must say I was very impressed with the PWNA training," Kimberlee explained, referring to the PWNA convention. "Classes were available on hood cleaning, roof cleaning, wood care, outdoor demonstrations and plenty of opportunities to meet with manufacturers, distributors and other contractors." Both Kimberlee and Tracy enjoyed being able to meet with contractors in person. "The face- to-face time with customers and attendees was fantastic. That's when we get to hear their needs in their business models and find ways to meet those needs. Sometimes it's adding to a product line and sometimes it might be a technique issue." NAPWO is planning to participate in other industry events this year as well. While we primarily focus on pressure washing contractors, we also have customers in various industries. Because many of the parts are plumbing fittings of some sort, the cross- overs to other industries are almost limitless. And while we are growing and expanding, it's important that we remember the needs of the customers we serve. Our web store is continually expanding to add new products as a result of customer requests. If Kimberlee could give new contractors one piece of advice it would be this: "Find your expert and take time to work on your business and not just in your business. Build your knowledge so that you are the expert and your customers will be able to see that. It's important to distinguish yourself as a professional. " And lastly, "Working with your significant other or spouse certainly creates challenges. I am thrilled with our work environment and how our skills complement each other. Most days (let's be honest!) it is an awesome feeling to be building a company with your best friend."

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