Webinars Coming up in March

Don't miss out on the great information, wisdom, and interviews that can help your carpet, floor, or restoration business succeed!

Success Wisdom: Wednesday, March 3, 2021

success wisdom

Webinar Topic: Marketing Madness...What Really Works!

The only webinar that features panel discussions with successful business owners discussing procedures, technical issues, and business and marketing strategies.

Jessika James and Roby Harris invite you to join this webinar, the 1st Wednesday of every month for a virtual “Ride Along” so to speak. This webinar will have a panel of successful business owners and business leaders, every week, who will discuss the “tricks of the trade” and methods they have utilized to help them become successful.

Each month, register and join in to hear from successful businesses on “What Worked, What Didn’t and Why!

Sin Miedo Al Éxito- Miércoles 10 de marzo del 2021

Topic: Remover manchas de alfombras

The first Spanish-speaking only webinar series in the industry!
¡La primera serie de seminarios web en español de la industria!

Cuenta con un panel de 5 limpiadores profesionales y dueños de negocios. Esta mesa redonda de discusión abierta repleta de información invaluable que no puede obtener en una clase o en un libro. El panel cubrirá todos los aspectos de la gestión de un negocio exitoso. Cada mes se abordará un tema diferente en una mesa redonda abierta, en la que los espectadores pueden participar. Ya sea que esté comenzando o haya estado en el negocio y quiera crecer, este es el seminario web para usted. Aprenda de los expertos sobre cómo tener éxito sin miedo. Seminario solo en español, dirigido a la comunidad hispana en nuestra industria para llevar su negocio al éxito.

Meets The Experts: Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Meet The Experts
Topic: Grooming Your Business to Attract High-End Clients

Features presentations and interviews with top industry leaders. Aaron Groseclose and Tim Baker will be hosting this exciting new webinar series, which will be held on the 3rd Wednesday of every month at 6:00 P.M. PST.

Each month “Meet the Experts” will hold a virtual webinar where the hosts will be interviewing a leader in the field. All topics will be geared towards all aspects of running a successful business in our industry.

You can be a part of this candid webinar and hear firsthand how these individuals became successful. Why not learn from the experts?

“It’s Never Too Much To Ask”

Roby Harris
Roby Harris III
President, CFI

My mom always said, “It’s never too much to ask”. My ask, to all CFI members, is, do you know what your best referral was for the year 2020? Do you know where your referrals are coming from and are you keeping up with your referral sources?

Twenty-eight years ago, my wife and I started a janitorial business with just a few business cards, business licenses, flyers, and a small ad in the phone book. We quickly added carpet cleaning, and the rest is history. The problem we faced was how do we set ourselves apart from the rest of the cleaners? Angela and I had a lot of hopes and dreams to move our business to the next level, but we always ran into stumbling blocks, very few clients with no way to reach people without the phone book. Angela and I were up against 40 to 50 cleaning companies in Ma Bell shouting, Pick Me, Pick Me.

Angela and I tried all types of different ways of advertising, from flyers to radio with no such luck, not even a call. We spent countless amounts of money and no return on our investment. A wise man once said, to do the same thing over and over again, with the same results is insanity. We came to an understanding if we did not make a positive return on our investment then never do it again. Angela and I were at our wit's end when a business investor invited us to a local business networking group. Within the networking group, there were all types of different businesses, from plumbers, contractors, flooring contractors, to the dentist, lawyers, and doctor. A whole group of business professionals who were willing and ready to give business to one another with the understanding of building relationships first before trusting you with their friends, family, and coworkers.

Once a week as a group we would receive weekly training to better build our group and confidence in our own businesses. Giving the best referral to help our teammates get into the door with two steps ahead of their competitor. One of the best trainings I have received in twenty- eight years of business is what I am going to share with you now. Make sure you take out a pen and paper and write this down.

  • What is your “dream” referral? The referral you always wanted to land; one you would pay out in large sums of money. You have to dream high and go for it and do not settle. You may have had your eye on large retail or a group of designers, or a rug-dealer who works with high-end clients. You might want to be known to them as the expert in your field or for your niche cleaning skills that you may have over your competitors, or even your approach and procedure of cleaning that sets you apart from other cleaners in your area. The goal is to be the go-to guy or gal, the professional that holds the written standard of the industry.
  • What is your “cream” referral? That referral you receive once or twice a year that pays out and gives you more referrals from that one cream referral. You may have been looking at that high end gated community, with very large homes that one job could take you all day or even to come back for a second day or even you may have to come back to pick up all their high-end area rugs that you have to take back to your shop for specialty cleaning. If you do mostly commercial cleaning, you may have your eye on that large Law office of partners with lots of employees that can become a mainstream of referrals just from the employees who work in the office. Like I said a few paragraphs above, dream high and go for it. What do you have to lose? What can they say, NO? I have come to my own conclusion that a simple ask, you can win your way into speaking to the right people that will get you in the door before your competitors.
  • What is your bread-and-butter referral? This referral keeps your doors open, keeps you in business. The referral that you need for everyday cleaning whatever you do.

The referral source keeps your bills paid and your crews working. For example, a large residential community filled with people over 55 years of age. My wife and I work for a large community of mobile homes and every month we are in the park working. Your ask should be, who is the owner, or the name of the property management company that manages the community?

I hope you all have taken what I have given you as a spark and boost to your business. To just go for it, look into a referral group that fits your business. Nowadays groups may be slowing down due to Covid19, however, Zoom Meetings are the way most business meetings are conducted. My goal for all the members of the CFI is simple; To give members the ability to have the resources to be successful through education and camaraderie.

I have an open-door policy. My email is President@cficonnects.org and my cell number is 530-941-7390. If you have a question or if you just want to talk please feel free to email or call.

Roby Harris III
President, CFI

Introducing Roby Harris as Your 2020-2021 CFI President

Roby Harris
CFI President, Roby Harris

To the members of the Carpet and FabriCare Institute, I want to thank you for your vote of confidence by electing me as your President. I was elected to serve and represent the CFI with honesty and integrity, and I am up to the challenge.

On November 14th, 2020 we held our Annual Business Meeting and Award Banquet, at Sequoia Cleaning, In Palo Alto, CA to swear in the new Board of Directors for the upcoming year of 2021. Congratulations team. It is going to be an exciting year working with this dynamic Board.

  • Andrea Varnai, Northern California Director
  • Terry Jones, Southern California Director
  • Jim Morris, Central California Director
  • Jose Solorzano, Secretary-Treasurer
  • Roby Harris, President
  • Charlene Locke, Chairman of the Board

As I begin my term on the Board of Directors, I will be working on our membership growth by continuing to add value to CFI. The new CFI Webinar Series: Success Wisdom, Meet the Experts, and the first-ever Spanish speaking webinar series - Sin Miedo al Exito, are being recognized as great educational webinars for professionals to be a part of.

In addition to the webinars, I'll be working with the Board to enhance the already great membership benefits we have. By collaborating with other organizations, CFI can add and increase discounts, perks, and build on our large group insurance coverage like the CFI Long Term Disability, Basic Life insurance and AD&D coverages we already have. Gather information on plumbers insurance to make sure you are covered. I do believe CFI is the only carpet cleaning association that provides disability insurance to members.

We have reached an exciting new era in CFI and I am proud to be a part of the new generation. With all that has happened in 2020, COVID 19, shutdowns of businesses, and the loss of life, our industry pushes on. Online learning and Zoom meetings are the way of the world. However, we will still be meeting in person on some occasions. Make sure you attend the RED - Regional Education Days, Chapter meetings, and Webinars. Take advantage of all the benefits CFI offers you as a member.

Remember, CFI adds value, we are apart of one of the longest standing associations in the industry, and the best. From our beginning’s in 1954 to 2020, I am very proud to represent you as your new President.

Please take the time to email me or call me. My email is President@cficonnects.org and my cell number is 530-941-7390.

Roby Harris III
President, CFI

Wildfire – Environmental Assessments

Wildfire Impact Assessments

After a Wildfire, Do I need to hire an industrial hygienist and other qualified experts? “It Depends” is the answer, which sounds vague, but it is not.

Scroll down to read the summary and the article, or click here to download the PDF

Article provided by Blue Sky Environmental Consulting, Inc.
For more information call: (714) 379-1096


  • After a wildfire, communities will have various degrees of damaged and smoke impacted structures and it may be necessary to have them inspected or tested by experts before occupancy.
  • It is necessary to have non-fire damaged buildings inspected and tested? Generally, no. In a light wildfire impaction situation, the building owners may feel comfortable doing their own work.
  • In more severe situations, building owners or their representatives may need to hire experts. Initially, a visual property inspection, assessment, photo documentation, and report written by qualified experts should be sufficient to document property and content damage and identify the means and methods of cleanup and repair.
  • A few situations may require inspection by experts. These include, but are not limited to:
    • When property around buildings or the building itself is charred or experienced high heat damage it should be inspected by licensed contractors.
    • Buildings having their power interrupted because of a power outage or burnt wiring, should be inspected by utilities, an electrician, or both.
    • When neighboring buildings burnt, where there could be a release of toxic materials, they should be inspected by environmental experts.
    • When you or other individuals in your family or business experience health effects when entering the building, surface and air quality should be sampled and analyzed.
    • When there is moderate to high levels of smoke and/or particulate impaction in the building, attic insulation, and HVAC system, an industrial hygienist and other qualified experts should inspect the property and determine if sampling is necessary.
    • When there is an increase in risk or liability, materially interested parties (e.g., mortgage, insurer, CPA) may require independent verification of the extent of heat damage or smoke and particulate impaction, where their documents support the cost of cleanup and repair.
  • The focus of this bulletin examines the qualifications of experts, investigation processes, the types of sampling and analysis methods, and the interpretation of lab data that drives cleanup and restoration reports.
Update - August 2020 - Wildfire - Environmental Assessments

Download PDF

The Three R’s for 2020-2021 Rethinking, Reinventing, Restructuring

Some of you might be too young to remember the Three R's. I have vivid memories of being taught Reading, 'Riting, and 'Rithmetic. Okay, I am showing my earthy years, but stay with me.

With what our nation is struggling through economically and with no clear end in sight, I have been thinking about the “Three R’s” – not the three I was taught, but three for today’s times. Rethinking, Reinventing, and Restructuring.

We all know adapting is a form of survival. To have a profitable and healthy future, we need to adapt by Rethinking how we do business, then Reinventing and Restructuring our business models. This holds true to both our individual businesses and CFI.

Your CFI Board has embraced and succeeded in Rethinking for the future of our great association. While we bridge the gap between our membership of cleaners and industry leaders, affiliates, distributors, and educators, our vision remains the same. CFI is recognized as "The Association" who is unified and empowers its members.

CFI, clearly acknowledges, a significant part of our Restructuring success is because of your dedication and participation. You have embraced the modernized website where members are accessing their benefits, continuing education, resources, and networking - faster, easier, and safer. Restructuring continues and will bring added value to your membership benefits. We are expanding benefits with new accredited classes, extensive discounts, implementation of the next phase of webinar series, and introduction of a marketing campaign to reach cleaners nationwide.

My Presidential terms have been rewarding. As your President, I am honored to be the architect orchestrating such a monumental restructuring of CFI. As I transition from President to Chairman of the Board, I remain committed to CFI and its Rethinking, Reinventing, and Restructuring.

It takes your participation, it's your association, get involved, nominate and vote. I passionately believe 2020-2021 Membership year will prove to be one of growth, profit, and a healthy future.

Charlene Locke
CFI President 2018-2020

Important Links


Newsletter and Presidents Message

CFI Phases Forward Together

I was once told, "If you look forward, you won't stumble on the stones behind you." I find myself referring to this statement now, as I look at what lays ahead, after emerging from a pandemic driven economy. The last few months have been an eyeopener, for all of us, on so many levels. Yet, when I have spoken to CFI colleagues I am comforted in a shared optimism for continued growth and prosperity for our businesses.

The secret to success is adapting and CFI is adapting by looking forward. As we phase through June and July 2020 with on-line meetings at GoToMeeting.com, we plan to continue being on-line while resuming actual social meetings in August 2020.

Your CFI Board continues working on our collective vision; making the CFI brand nationally recognized. We will continue to couple with our longtime supporters, industry leaders, and Associate Members to adapt the groundwork that we have been building to move forward with this vision. We are adapting and phasing CFI to provide cohesive and balanced Chapter meetings membership wide. CFI Directors are working together to create great on-line Chapter meetings for all members while phasing in our Regional Chapter meetings for our members to gather and socialize. All meetings that provide an educational component will continue to be acknowledged by IICRC and receive Continuing Educational Hours ("CEH") as a membership benefit.

CFI and its members are there for each other to share knowledge, offering their skills, and giving support in any way needed. Always building, adapting, and looking forward! As a 2nd generation CFI member, I can truly attest that members are vested in each other's success. I want to personally thank all of you for your support and for being an important part of CFI.

Charlene Locke
CFI President 2019-2020

RSVP Bay Area: SBA Coronavirus Resources

Hi Everyone,

This email is a little out of the ordinary for me, but I was able to be on a national call yesterday with the administrator of the SBA and the Chamber of Commerce, along with 800 other business owners across the country, and some helpful information came out of it regarding help that is or will be available in short order.

I'm working on using a couple of these programs myself, and since it's relevant to me, it's also relevant to you, as we are all small businesses.

As a disclaimer, these are my notes from the call, please be sure to verify as things are changing by the day.

  1. EIDL (Economic Injury Disaster Loans) Loans- this is an existing program and is now approved for all states, as all states are now declared to be in a state of emergency. These loans are streamlined in process compared to a standard 7a loan, and as of now, do NOT require real estate collateral, which they ALWAYS did prior. Limit of $25 Million, rates are 3.75% (I assume that this is 3.75% + prime, which is how the 7a loans work)
  2. Grants- These would be awarded even if you were not eligible for the EIDL or PPP loans, and is a one time grant of $10,000. You must apply for either the PPP or the EIDL loan to qualify. They mentioned these a few times, but were a bit short on details. They made it sound like these would be broadly awarded for those that apply.
  3. PPP Loans (Personal Paycheck Protection Loans)- This is part of the pending legislation, and is up to $10 million in order to maintain payroll and other operating expenses during the outbreak. 8 weeks worth of payroll covered by this loan is forgiven after one year in order to assist businesses in keeping their employees on payroll rather than laying them off.

Other important notes, they are in the process of streamlining the applications to be just 2 pages, making it much simpler.

You can apply for both loan programs, the funds must be for different purposes (I.E. you can’t apply for both and get double funds for payroll, but you can get the EIDL Loan for ongoing things like rent/IT/Phones/etc, and then get the PPP loan for payroll in order to take advantage of the forgiveness program)

The repayment term for these loans is UP to 30 years. Both loans are payment deferred for one year from the date of award.

For existing SBA Loans, disaster loans are currently deferred payments until January 2021, and for 7a loans, they CAN be deferred up to 6 months, preapproved by the SBA (previously it was 3 months, 6 months required additional approval)

Sole proprietors are eligible for these programs in addition to all other business organizations.

More information can be found on the SBA Disaster Recovery site here: https://disasterloan.sba.gov/

And on the Chamber Website here: https://growwithco.com

Finally, there is an excellent spreadsheet with gobs of additional resources if you want to go down that rabbit hole as well. Too many programs to talk about here, but worth a look.

As always, if I can be of assistance during this mess, I'm available by phone or email.

Best Regards,

Eric Meyers
RSVP Bay Area