by Dean Dean



The next DIFFERENCE MAKERS CONFERENCE in Humble, Texas is coming up November 2-3,2023.  The conference is for those who own and operate a small business in the home service sector.  We especially invite those who have been in business for 3 years or less.  But any and all are welcome to be part of this dynamic, motivational experience.  In those conference, we focus on best practices for those who own and operate a small business.  In addition to Doug Rucker, we welcome back once again guest speakers Jeffery Blackman and Von Cross.  In addition, Kelsey Elliot will speak about financial matters, and Nick Terry will speak from the perspective of a commercial property manager.


Here are some of the topics you can expect to hear about from our DIFFERENCE MAKERS CONFERENCE speakers.

Commercial Sales – Working with and gaining new commercial clients.  What is it that commercial and HOA property managers are looking for when choosing vendors?

High End Residential Sales –  Lessons on getting and keeping large residential clients.

Money Matters- (with guest CPA speaker Kelsey Elliott) Taxes, Budgeting, Profit and Loss, Balance Statements, and much more

Pricing- A comprehensive session on how to price your services so you never have to ask “How do I price this?”

Building a Residual Based Income Business – Every business should be built on clients that have a need to continue using your services.  We will discuss and show you ways to build a residual based business.

Creating & Building Relationships with Clients –  The success of your small business will be based on your ability to build relationships with your clients.  Learn from our years of experience in working both residential and commercial clients on how to create and build relationships.


The conference will be held at the Country Inn and Suites located in Humble TX with room rates at $79.00 per night.  For reservations call 281-446-4977 and ask for the Doug Rucker School rate.  The hotel also offers a shuttle to pick you up at the Bush Intercontinental (IAH) airport and bring you to the hotel, as well as transportation to local, (within a 5 mile radius), places around the hotel.  There are plenty of restaurants and even a mall very close to the hotel.


We encourage you to bring your wives as in most cases, they play a critical role in small business owner’s success.  You’ll hear a special speaker also address the role of wives. Wives can attend free but you need to register them as an additional attendee.

To register for the DIFFERENCE MAKERS CONFERENCE, please click here.


by Dean Dean



Recently, there were several questions coming in by text or email all relating in some way to SETTING CUSTOMER EXPECTATIONS.  In this video, I begin by sharing a story from years ago when I lived in Clearwater, Florida.  We were residing in a home and came to the realization that previous owners covered wood flooring with carpet.  There were circular rings caused by water damage, perhaps from plants.  This is most likely why they chose to cover this beautiful wood floor with carpeting.  Well we were going out of town on vacation and decided to have the wood floors refinished.  When asking about those circle stains, the owner responded cautiously.  He said something like this: “I have no idea whether we can remove those stains because I don’t know how deep it goes.  All I can do is try my best, but I really can’t promise those stains will come out.  I always like to under promise and over deliver.”  This was a great life lesson for me about the importance of SETTING CUSTOMERS EXPECTATIONS, and something I have always applied to my own business.


SETTING CUSTOMER EXPECTATIONS is equally important in the exterior cleaning business.  Our main objective is removing stains, but we must be honest and upfront about the reality of whether the stains can be fully removed.  We must always also under promise and over deliver.  We don’t know how deep the stains are or whether those stains have damaged the surface on deeper, unseen levels.  The longer the stain has been there, the deeper the penetration and the more difficult removal will be.  We deal a lot with organic growth such as algae which acts like a sponge.  That algae retains moisture, which is what causes unseen damage below the visual surface.  It can deteriorate paint or discolor brick.  So we are able to educate the customer about these things both verbally as well as on the written estimate.


At about 4:45 in this SETTING CUSTOMER EXPECTATIONS video, I discuss the positive results of this important strategy.  They are always more willing to understand and accept results that may not have been what they were looking for.  Trying to explain this AFTER the job, they tend to be much more suspecting and more likely not to use your services again in the future for repeat business.  They tend to think “well, he’s just making this up as he goes along.”  It’s unprofessional, and you will not be grow your business if you are not SETTING CUSTOMER EXPECTATIONS.  If you are dealing with oxidation, here is another post that might be helpful for that.  By the way, when we returned from vacation, those stains were gone.  We were expecting those stains to have remained, but it really could not have looked any better!  If this post has been helpful to you, check out my online video school with over 250 videos for on demand, self paced learning.  My passion is helping new pressure wash business owners not just survive but succeed in this industry.