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Archive for April, 2009

Domestic cleaning service Bradford

Saturday, April 11th, 2009

We once had a client who we had provided a domestic cleaning service for around about six months with absolutely no problems, until one day our domestic cleaners came back saying they couldn’t gain entry to the property. A man that our domestic cleaners had never seen before had slammed the door in their faces saying he had never had or wanted a cleaner.

Upon further investigation it appeared that the lady of the house had signed our domestic cleaning agency agreement and not informed her husband. She had led him to believe that she was keeping the house spotless herself. She was paying us the domestic cleaning agency from her own bank account and supposedly he never saw her statements.

If there’s anything I have learned from this experience it is that if at all possible when I go out on a client visit I try to make sure that couples are always together!

This post as kindly been provided by Susan Marshall Dolly Char Bradford

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Dolly Char new franchisees

Friday, April 10th, 2009

It has being a very eventful and busy start to the New Year 2009 here at Dolly Char with several new faces joining our team of friendly local franchisees. 

I feel certain that everyone would like to join me in welcoming, Philip Todd (Cleveland), Philip Docherty (Sheffield), Richard & Megan (Wakefield) and Ysanne Seddon (Warrington) aboard.

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Cleaning magic-marker ink domestic cleaning tip No60

Thursday, April 9th, 2009

I hope that you will find this household domestic cleaning tip that gives you useful advice on removing magic-marker ink to be helpful. You will also find below a further link to other useful household domestic cleaning tips that make up this series of small articles that I am currently publishing on a regular basis.

Household domestic cleaning tip No60 gives you advice on magic-marker ink removal.

Magic-marker ink can usually be removed from surfaces by using hairspray.

New cleaning tips are always more than welcome.

Please note that I have produced these cleaning tips in good faith and has such will take no responsibility for any failure or damage that may be caused or attributed by the use of any of the tips given.

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Cleaners

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009

I have had two companies recently contact me regarding my main company website www.dollychar.com stating that they had run online searches looking for the site and had found that the site was not to be found anywhere in google searches. When I have queried this and asked which keywords or search terms they had used, both companies had just tried using the term cleaners, this brought a little smile to my face as I am aware that I do not rate very highly for that one specific search term.

I went on to tell both companies that the term cleaners is too much of a vague term as anyone searching for cleaners could be looking for carpet cleaners, domestic cleaners, industrial cleaners, patio cleaners, window cleaners infact there are countless different cleaning possibilities.

What other types of cleaners can you think of that people using the basic search term cleaners could be searching for.

My examples again are:- carpet cleaners, domestic cleaners, industrial cleaners, patio cleaners, window cleaners.

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spring-time holiday of Passover

Monday, April 6th, 2009

The most likely origin of spring cleaning can be traced right back to the ancient Jewish practice (over 700 years prior to Persian culture emerging) of comprehensively cleaning their homes in readiness for the spring-time holiday of Passover.

In remembrance of the Jews’ hasty flight from Egypt following their captivity there, during the eight-day holiday there is a strict prohibition against eating anything which may have been leavened. Jews not are not only supposed to refrain from leavened foodstuffs, they are expressly commanded to rid their homes of even small remnants of chametz for the length of the holiday. Therefore, for the past 3,500 years, observant Jews have conducted a thorough “spring cleaning” of the house, followed by a traditional hunt for chametz crumbs by candlelight on the evening before the holiday begins.

Source http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spring_cleaning

 

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Cleaning windows window cleaning tip No59

Sunday, April 5th, 2009

Hopefully you will find this domestic cleaning tip that gives you advice on cleaning a window to be useful. You will also find a further link to other household domestic cleaning tips that constitute part of this series of blogs that I am currently publishing on a regular basis.

Window cleaning tip No59 gives you advice on cleaning a window.

Cleaning a window, put a little vinegar in a bucket of hot water, wash window, dry with soft cloth, or even news paper. No need for expensive cleaning products.

New cleaning tips are always more than welcome.

Please note that I have produced these cleaning tips in good faith and has such will take no responsibility for any failure or damage that may be caused or attributed by the use of any of the tips given.

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Origins of spring cleaning

Saturday, April 4th, 2009

The origins of spring cleaning are thought in some quarters to date right back to the Iranian Norouz or the Persian (Iranian) new year, which falls on the first day of spring.  This theory although as been questioned, because Iranians and many of the population of the old Persion empire lived by a lunar calendar and not a solar calender and spring was never calculated many years ago in the same way that our present day society calculates it.

Present day Iranians still continue their regular practice of “khooneh tekouni” which literally means “shaking the house” just before the start of their new year. This practice means that everything in their house is thoroughly cleaned, including their curtains and furniture.

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Traditional & Computer Methods of Monitoring and Controlling Building Operations

Friday, April 3rd, 2009

Up until just a few years ago the main way of controlling and monitoring building operations whether on a new development, refurbishment, civil engineering or any other project was by recognised paper based systems, in other words manually writing down and documenting everything before and during the project. In recent years a challenge as been made to this old technique with the advent of computer based systems of monitoring and controlling building projects. I will in the following artile explain the in and outs, for and against for both systems. Hopefully we will be able to come to a conclusion as to which if any of these systems gives us the greatest scope and best means of monitoring and recording activities etc.

Paper based systems

Paper based systems are still used very widely throughout the industry and can be exceptionally time consuming in their preparation and use. Method statements are still commonly written by hand; there use is for the explanation of how the activity that is covered by it is going to be carried out and when it will happen. From this Method statement a risk assessment can be produced ascertaining the particular risks involved with the particular activity mentioned and working out what the safest means of doing the job will be. Also COSHH assessments can be added to this portfolio.

The actual programme of events from start to finish is monitored by hand written and drawn bar charts that can be readily found on the site office wall. These are often colour coded for the different trades to make them more user friendly and they are usually up dated daily or weekly by hand. Also the Site Manager will usually write out what are called short-term programmes that cover smaller sections of the project to enable him/her to keep a better eye on the progress of the project and enable better monitoring on a day-to-day basis.

Other types of forms regularly used in site monitoring are Day work record sheets, Daily allocation sheets, Quality assurance check sheet, weekly plant return sheets, and Site instruction sheets to give a few examples. Day work sheets are filled in by hand to monitor and record extra work that is been done on site by tradesman, which is not covered, by their usual price work etc. Quality assurance sheets are used to basically keep a check on standards and quality been achieved during and at the end of the operations. These sheets usually have the items, things requiring checking, a column for the person whom carries out the check to place his/her name against the item checked a column for the date the item was checked and a further column for any comments he/she may wish to make. Weekly plant returns sheets are used to document where the plant was hired from, what the actual item of plant was, and the order number the hire rate etc. Site instruction sheets are used to basically give written confirmation of verbal instructions to give confirmation of variations to the contract, these require a signature from the client’s architect or nominated person before the instruction can be carried out.

All these different activities take hours and hours of the site managers and assistant’s time if he/she is fortunate enough to possess one. Also there is far more than mentioned above that needs manually documenting for instance a good site manager will keep a record of daily events in his diary, deliveries will be documented on paper quoting the order numbers, the delivery note number to cross reference and keep a check on stock been delivered etc etc.

All this paperwork requires storing somewhere this is usually done by filling up one after another of lever arch files. There needs to be obviously separate files for each different type of form to make it easier to find a particular piece of information in the future if required to do so.

Computer systems

Computer based systems of monitoring work are now becoming much more commonly used within the construction industry. One well-known package is Microsoft project, although there is many more on the market to chose from. Because Microsoft project is the one that I am most familiar with it will be the one that I am referring to in the following few paragraphs as I describe what can be achieved through using this software.

Computer based systems can take the place of and be used for many of the traditional paper based methods of control and monitoring. Microsoft project can be used for planning the operation from start to finish. A bar chart can be created for monitoring the progress of the work and also it can be updated very quickly and effectively. Print outs of the updated chart can be created more or less in an instance to replace previous ones. As well as the different work tasks different forms of information can also be inputted for example plant, labour, materials, costs etc, also values can be attached, so running totals of how the project is functioning against planned expenditure and costs can quickly be assessed. Also the package allows you to break down the project into smaller areas just like short-term programmes in the paper-based system. Critical path analysis can also be created using the software so the critical path of the project can quickly be checked and monitored.

Method Statements, Risk Assessments and other forms of documentation can be readily created using word-processing on a computer. Different forms can be created and saved as templates so they can be used over and over again. A lot of items like method statements if saved can be altered with a very minimal effort to suit new projects in the future when the time arises. With computer systems though a back up of all the work is always strongly advised just in case the system crashes. If work isn’t backed up on disc or a copy sent to another computer then a system crash can be disastrous.

Conclusion

The conclusion that I have drawn up whilst examining both systems, firstly the paper based system of monitoring projects and secondly the computer based system is as follows: - I strongly believe that a computer based system is a more efficient and effective because the project can be monitored and altered much more easily by the touch of a button, and it can even be carried with you around the site by means of a lap top computer if necessary. This could also benefit members of the different trades by discussing with them and showing them up to the minute details of how their particular activity is effecting the over all site project. Also if the computer system is net worked then your head office can also monitor the activities and view how the project is progressing, failing this the daily up dated chart could soon be e-mailed through as an attachment. Once familiar with the computer system I believe the site manager would find that he had much more time at his disposal. Also the production of method statements and other forms such as checklists etc can be produced very quickly and efficiently especially once a template is produced for the particular item. Even letters can be quickly produced and printed off. Even a computer database could be used for monitoring deliveries, members of staff etc. Another big benefit as I see it of a computer based system is the potential saving of space in the site office which could be made through not having to have all the documentation stored in lever arched files as is common at present.

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Cleaning washbasins and baths bathroom cleaning tip 58

Thursday, April 2nd, 2009

Hopefully you will find this bathroom cleaning tip that offers you advice on keeping clean baths and washbasins to be useful. You will also find below a further link to other domestic cleaning tips that make up this series of small articles that I am currently publishing on a regular basis.

Bathroom cleaning tip No58 gives you advice on keeping clean baths and washbasins.

This bathroom cleaning tip is focused more on the prevention of scum and grime buiding up in your bath and washbasins. When ever you have a bath or alternatively wash your hands and face in a wash basin it is always good practice to rinse out your bath and wash basin quickly afterwards with clean water to prevent scum and grime solidifying on the sides and bottom and ultimately causing you a much more difficult domestic cleaning job.

New cleaning tips are always more than welcome.

Please note that I have produced these cleaning tips in good faith and has such will take no responsibility for any failure or damage that may be caused or attributed by the use of any of the tips given.

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A Franchise Is Not Just For Christmas

Wednesday, April 1st, 2009

When I walk down my local high street I see literally dozens of happy franchise owners, from the Vans driving past me blazoned with cleaning franchise logos and Home Decorating slogans to the Taxassists Accountants and Legal Firms I see dotted down the Street. Each and every one of these business owners are making a success of their franchise and the franchise shopbusily going about their day helping out the local community, providing services and earning a good living for themselves and their franchisor partner.

Trawling the Internet though is a different kettle of fish completely.  Forums are full of dire warnings, rip off reports posted to scam sites and entire sites devoted to warning people off a particular franchise.  In fact, visiting almost any general business forum is enough to put one off buying any franchise for life.

Whilst walking down the high street and seeing successful franchises in operation does not paint the full picture, neither is believing everything you read on the Internet.  The fact is only a very small percentage of franchises should be avoided and with the right research you can be buying into the high street picture.

Due Diligence!

“A common example of due diligence in various industries is the process through which a potential acquirer evaluates a target company or its assets for acquisition.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Due_diligence
 
Quite simply - do your research and avoid falling into any traps where you and your hard earned money are parted for no mutually beneficial reward.

This post as kindly been provided by

Matthew Anderson

The Franchise Shop

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