By Amanda Hosey

Growing a business is not unlike raising a child. In the early years, it’s just finding its legs as you learn the skills—both business and technical—and try to create a strong foundation for it. After a few years, if all goes well, you find the business easier, still tough at times, but more manageable and learning to work on its own a bit.

For any company that successfully makes it through those early years, at some point, the pains of adolescence kick in—that time when the company is growing and changing so fast it’s hard to keep control. And if we’re lucky, we come out the other side with a well-formed business we can be proud of.

While there can be no guarantee that the company we “raise” will turn out strong, healthy, and well put together, just as in parenting, there’s a lot we can do along the way to give it its best possible shot. That’s why, each issue, we try to fill these pages with helpful info from industry experts.

This month, we have an assortment of topics for bettering your business—all focusing on changes in the industry that you need to stay up to date on to avoid adverse effects.

On page 8, Scott Warrington and Tom Forsythe remind us why it’s important to keep up with carpet manufacturing trends and explore recent changes in carpet fiber that cleaners should know for best cleaning results.

And Sonny Ahuja explains the adjustments Google has made to its guidelines for the search engine’s human content quality raters and how to avoid a drop in your SEO rankings on page 22.

The Property Insurance and Restoration Conference recently brought together restorers and insurance industry professionals to develop photo documentation standards for insurance submissions. On page 24, Tomer Poran discusses the document’s development, and we take a look at some of the guidelines from the document’s early draft.

Turn to page 12 for a review of the current insurance market by Kari Dybdahl to decide if you’re paying the right price for your insurance in today’s insurance climate. And the IICRC lays out ways to create a safer workplace to protect your employees, the environment, and your bottom line on page 28.

Lastly, on page 16, our annual Restoration Benchmarking Survey Report takes a look at the ever-changing restoration industry through data and statistics developed with input from you, our wonderful readers. Use the results to see how you stack up against your peers and inform your decisions in the coming year.

My sincere thanks to all who took part in the survey, and congratulations to Raymond Rutkowski of Puroclean of Northern Lancaster County in Denver, PA; Dewayne Chatman of 911 Hazmat Cleanup in Ripon, CA; and Mark Royer of Service Team of Professionals – Metrowest in Framingham, MA, who each won a $100 Visa card in our survey respondent drawing!

If there’s ever a specific topic you’d like to see covered, send me an email at amandah@issa.com, and I’ll find a qualified person to cover it.


Amanda Hosey is the managing editor of Cleanfax. She has worked as an editor and writer for more than six years, including four years with Cleanfax. Reach her at amandah@issa.com.