Most of you know the lines “for the loss of a nail, a shoe was lost. For the loss of a shoe, a horse was lost. For the loss of a horse, the warrior was lost. For the loss of a warrior, the battle was lost.” Please forgive the paraphrase but I have found that oftentimes the little things (a simple nail for a horse shoe) are more important than they appear at the time. Following are a few examples of what I mean:

1. Not taking the time to have clean cloths so you simply move dirt/soil from point A to point B without regard for the additional work necessary to re-do the job.

2. The same can be said for failing to use clean mops and clean solution. Any time or money saved is usually lost due to poor outcomes and customer dissatisfaction.

3. Buying cheap vacuum cleaners that can be very expensive in lost productivity. The cost over time is the labor and benefits, not the equipment costs.

4. Failing to service that vacuum cleaner so that it is not as effective as it could be. You can buy a lot of paper liners with just a few hours lost due to having to dust more often.

5. Buying and using cheap cleaning products, strippers, disinfectants and other chemicals that are either diluted or not strong enough to do the job.

6. Buying and using the wrong cleaning products that can damage a surface or cause injuries. Do you really need 26% bowl acid in your inventory even though you may think it cleans faster?

Remember that we are not only battling to protect people’s health but also battling to maintain and grow our business. Cheaper can be very expensive when it comes to the tools we use especially if it costs us accounts. Remember the horse shoe nail did not cost much but the battle did. I am sure you can think of other examples that you have either experienced or heard of in your life.

Your comments and questions are important. I hope to hear from you soon. Until then, keep it clean...

Mickey Crowe has been involved in the industry for over 35 years. He is a trainer, speaker and consultant. You can reach Mickey at 678-314-2171 or