How to Protect Your Business From Infectious Disease with Isabell Estes
Podcast by Clarence Fisher
Protect Your Business From Infectious Disease

About This Episode

Is your small business doing all it can to protect you, your team, and your customers from infectious disease?

This episode will explore tips for keeping your small business clean and safe. You may be surprised to learn how often most people wash their hands before leaving a restroom or what the dirtiest part of a restroom truly is. Neither answer is what you think. We'll cover the difference between deep cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing and when you need to do each.

Whether you are a highly trafficked business or a small office and want to learn how to avoid shutting down for a week due to a COVID outbreak, this episode is for you. Listen now!

Disclaimer: The transcription below is provided for your convenience. Please excuse any mistakes that the automated service made in translation.

Isabell Estes: Chick-fil-A is a big customer of ours nationally. And we had an outbreak of some sort in another part of the country. And the health department said we think it's coming from there. And normally in circumstances like that, a business has to shut down for two to three days, because all you could do is wipe down. You don't have any idea where it's coming from. And they had called us. We went in and got them open and approved by the health department within an hour and a half.

Clarence Fisher: Welcome back to Local Market Monopoly. Happy new year. Did you miss us? Did you miss me? I think so. We definitely missed you. It's been a crazy, crazy break and we're just now kind of getting things rolling and what better way to get it rolling than with my good friend, Isabel, Estes up in Enviro-Master. They are tackling this infectious disease, at the hearts of it all, which is your business and even in your homes, but for sure in your business, in the restroom. I was reading an article about planning a trip and they were saying the safest way to go is to drive. And then I'm thinking, okay, what are the chances that people, these businesses are taking their bathrooms as seriously as I need them to take them. So I called my good friend to figure out how do you stay safe when you're traveling and when you're doing that, and that's what we're going to share with you, how to stay safe in the public restrooms in the middle of this pandemic. But then, of course, you know that bubbles over to your homes, she shares some crazy, crazy stats with me, including what is truly the dirtiest place in a public bathroom. And it's not what you think we're going to cover all of this and more with Isabel Estes. As soon as we get back, hold on,

Intro: You're listening to Local Market Monopoly with Clarence Fisher, uncovering the tills tactics and strategies. The most successful small businesses used to their local market and own the block.

Clarence Fisher: All right. Isabell. Hey, how are you?

Isabell Estes: Good! How are you, Clarence?

Clarence Fisher: I'm Great. Welcome. Welcome to the show. I'm so glad to have you here after all of the holidays on the mass and everything that we've been kind of going through, you've been busy, busy probably. Huh?

Isabell Estes: We have been slammed. That's all I can say, like grateful and just blessed that we can protect Oklahomans and hopefully be a part of the solution to ending this pandemic and getting back to normal.

Clarence Fisher: Exactly. It was so, and that's why I'm so glad that you're on today. What can you tell my audience number one, who you are and what you do?

Isabell Estes: Sure,.So my husband and I own a franchise called Enviro-Master Services. We invested in it a little over six years ago. What we do is we focus on protecting people from infectious disease. And the way that we do that is we focus on the epicenter of infectious disease. And that's the restrooms. During outbreaks is like what we're experiencing the third step in our restaurant sanitation program is to use an electrostatic sprayer. It is reason that it's very unique or has been unique is when you have a disinfectant, the disinfectant that we happen to use is EPA approved and EPA registered to kill 47 pathogens. And then when this novel coronavirus came out very quickly, our chemical was approved to kill COVID-19. So 47 pathogens also including COVID-19. When you put that type of disinfectant in the electrostatic sprayer, it puts a positive charge on it.

Isabell Estes: Cause everything around us, anything that you touch that's around, you have a negative charge. So when you put a positive charge on it, it'll cling to everything like a magnet, and you want it to do that because then it will kill that bacteria and the viruses that could harm us. And so that's what we do during outbreaks. And this pandemic has just brought us into the spotlight, but we've always done. This Chick-fil-A is a big customer of ours nationally. And we had an outbreak of some sort in another part of the country. And the health department said we think it's coming from there. And normally in circumstances like that, a business has to shut down for two to three days, because all you could do was wipe down. You don't have no idea where it's coming from. And they had called us. We went in and got them opened and approved by the health department within an hour and a half, which Chick-fil-A smake a lot of money. And if you're shut down for two to three days, that that's hard. And for fans like myself, that's hard on that. So I have a tough enough time it being closed on Sundays, we were just grateful. We could, we could help them, but we're very grateful that God put us in a place where we could protect our fellow Oklahomans too.

Clarence Fisher: Wow. And you're right. You did this before the pandemic came around. So you were right there even before this, what were some of the advantages that you found that businesses had for their employees, their customers, from what you do from making sure that those restrooms are, I want to say deeper than clean.

Isabell Estes: Sanitary? Cause there's the cleaning and then there's what we do and that's to sanitize. Most people don't realize that. So a virus on any service surface can live for anywhere from two hours to nine days in a porcelain fixture, because it's such an absorbent material, a virus or a deadly bacteria can actually live on that surface for weeks at a time. And so my husband's a germaphobe. I mean our softball trips are, our daughters played competitive softball and our son played competitive basketball, football, and baseball. Our trips were always being paranoid germaphobes. You know, we're always looking for that might not have, a lot of infectious disease in it. And so we were very strategic on which restaurants we went to. And so when we found this business, it was really cool to us that we could actually protect people from that.

Isabell Estes: So when we go in and sanitize a restroom, we do a deep clean, cause you got to pull out, you gotta pull out whatever's in those fixtures. And that also includes not only the toilet bowls but the urinals and actually the dirtiest pot part of a restroom is the sink. And I know that sounds weird, but it's because guess what? We approach the sink after we've used the restroom. And so your hands are dirty. There's been the toilet Steve , it's going to that sink. And so the sink is a really dirty, dirty germy spot. Anyway. So when we said the three-step process, we are, we're going to deep clean it. We're going to use the right chemicals. We're going to pull out the invisible bacteria, a visible bacteria is called uric scale. It kind of looks like calcium buildup except it's brown and it's not poop.

Isabell Estes: It's just, it's just urine and fecal matter combined together. That's glommed onto this thing and it's like a hard concrete surface then that just wonderful. So we get rid of that. And then the really cool thing is once we get all of that off, the second step is it's a proprietary chemical called Sanishield. That's what we call it. And it's made by the makers of Rain X. So it cooks those fixtures and it kind of gives it like it does on our cars. It does put a protective coating on it. So it can't go back in there. So you're actually protected for seven, anywhere from seven to nine days. So, and then the third step is to do the electrostatic spraying with the right chemical, to hit the restroom from top to bottom. And that's our process. And we do that week after week after week, our studies, it was really interesting.

Isabell Estes: We have a gentleman by the name of Dr. Gerba to the rest of the world, his nickname is Dr. Gerba are announced, microbiologist and virologist. We commissioned him to do a study for us at the University of Arizona and what was, what was cool. We knew at work, but we needed it, it was neat to have concrete evidence. He tested it, we just did our normal, like we just normally do. We just do a normal service. And he tested it with this team for a few weeks. And we learned that a treated restroom week after week 89 to 90% of the bacteria never comes back. So you walk into one of our restrooms, you see our little sticker, you know, it's sanitary. And you know, of course, you're going to meet the staff or the janitorial staff. I've always worked alongside a janitorial staff.

Isabell Estes: They do their normal job, but we know without a shadow of a doubt that we are protecting you when you walk into that restaurant. And that's how we slowly but surely curtail infectious disease things that I was always concerned about. Flu. A lot of people don't realize on average, 60,000 people die from complications from the flu every year. And then you add salmonella on top of that, you add norovirus, which is called stomach flu, pneumonia, hepatitis, hepatitis A, all sorts of stuff that we pass on to each other that could be passed onto the restaurant. And that's what we do is our staff. Our staff keeps everybody safe from infectious diseases.

Clarence Fisher: Wow. I, of course, I didn't know hardly any of that. So now it's,

Isabell Estes: So now you're going to be totally weird when you

Clarence Fisher: Seriously it's like if I don't see the seal, then Hey, we got to keep driving

Clarence Fisher: Everything that we're doing Clarence. I mean, you know, I, I try not to think about it and I go into restrooms, you know, there's that don't that we don't service. I mean, it'd be great if we could service everybody, but you know, it's, it's one of those things. But if you do go into restroom like that, I actually, it's actually kind of cool that we're wearing masks now because you flush a toilet and there's a video that you can look up on YouTube, just put like Dr. Oz did it and he did this, he does this. It's like this toilet sneeze. So when you flush your toilet and he does the black light and you'll see all these like tiny micro particles go up in the air. So imagine that it's doing that and it's got urine and fecal matter in it and you're walking into it cause it stays in the air for up to two hours at a time. So you're walking into a restroom after somebody flushed and he breathing it in. The cool thing is we're all wearing masks. You're not breathing it in. And we're all washing our hands, which is really good. I mean, the statistic in October of 2019, nine out of 10, people did not wash their hands after using the restroom.

Isabell Estes: So the blessing, the silver lining in this pandemic is we're all washing our hands now, we are not breathing in stuff. And if you are sick, if somebody's sick, cause you know, a lot of people will go into the office, even though they had a slight cold, we're social distancing. So now we're just infectious disease overall should go down significantly. I mean, once we get through the pandemic part, what the rest and the rest of the pandemic or the rest of the infectious disease is going down. I mean, I'm not seeing the statistics like I used to, but it's only because all of us are focused on getting rid of COVID.

Clarence Fisher: So we've got all these other things that have fallen off the numbers have gone way, way down like Lou and all that stuff, right?

Isabell Estes: Yeah, it has. It has. And you know, so, so that is, that's a huge blessing. I mean, strep all sorts of all sorts of stuff. So that's, that's a huge blessing. And I know people are like, I can't believe she's saying that, but once everybody, you know, the vaccine does its job and all of that. And if everybody keeps doing their job and that, and that the number one thing is wash your hands, wash your hands properly, do it for 20 seconds. Get in between the fingers. And I always tell, and I know 20 seconds is kind of boring. And so I just say, I tell everybody it's like sing happy birthday to yourself twice. And it does, but when you sing happy birthday, happy birthday, not so bad. It's kind of happy.

Clarence Fisher: Okay. I'll try that. Because counting from zero to 20 for whatever is just 20 seconds, right. It seems like forever

Isabell Estes: Yeah, it does. But when you, you know, it's like, you're singing a happy song and literally singing happy birthday to yourself once is 10 seconds twice. I literally do that. And you know, and it's, it's kind of a cool thing. I mean, you teach your kids back, you know, like one year number one or an elementary school. And it was like, stop, drop and roll if you'd hot fire. Right. You know, if you're trying to escape, I mean, know, unfortunately, I had to teach my kids, you know, during school shootings. It's like if something happens, it's like one in a zigzag right now you can teach your kids. It's like, Hey, guess what? You know, sing happy birthday to yourself twice. The next generation. We're, we're just that much better off because we just know better now.

Clarence Fisher: Yeah. So how do you, when you walked, you started going down that what are some ways to keep ourselves safe in a restroom just generally?

Isabell Estes: So I touch everything. Like when I walk in, I'm like, if you have to flip a switch, flip the switch with your knuckle, instead of your end at the end of your index finger, you know? Cause that's the interesting thing. Cause if somebody is walking in, right, you know, they, their hands aren't washed or if they didn't wash their hands when they walked out. But so that's the first thing. If you've been on the line, use your knuckles, use the facilities, use the restroom, you know, if he can wear like instead of flushing the toilet, the handle. And most, I, it's funny, I took a survey with gals, but you know, most of us do it any way we use our foot to ship, to flush the toilet. Right. But what's interesting is when you're walking out of the stall, the germy spot actually is that little handle that you have to fight open and open it.

Isabell Estes: And the reason it is, is because you've just used the restroom. You haven't had a chance to wash your hands yet, you know? So you could take a little piece of toilet paper and use that if you wanted to, to open it if the toilet paper is not covered. So like if you walk into a commercial restroom like you'll see a lot of times they're covered. The reason they're covered is that fecal matter can actually fecal in your urine matter can actually go well, once it sprays up into the air will land on the uncovered toilet paper or the uncovered paper towel. So it's like, just take that top layer and, you know, roll it up. Same thing. If you don't see it, that they just have like paper towels, just kind of hanging out, just take the first one and don't use that one, but use the next layer.

Isabell Estes: If there's air dryers, believe it or not. Air dryers are the spread, the germs most. Cause as you can imagine, you hit the little button and it blows a bunch of air. Well, guess what? It's blown out all of the back, it's blowing as the bacteria and germs around. So I think you will see in the future, less air dryers and more paper. And the good news is paper's recyclable, you know? So, and then wash your hands, use paper towels. And then when you walk out, just have a paper towel in your hand to open up the door handle. And then there's usually now you'll see in most restrooms, somebody usually puts a hand to the side so that people can put that. And there are even new things where people they have like handles on the bottom for your foot where you can just pull it open with your foot.

Isabell Estes: I've seen that at, at Rudy's. I have, I, we service the Rudy's in Norman and Oklahoma City, which is a barbecue place. And they actually have a foot handle where you can just open up tour with your foot. You don't want to touch that the handle. So yeah, different ways to do that. And I will recommend like, people ask me like, what about our personal restroom? The best thing you can do is when you flush your toilet, put the lid down. Cause you know, you won't have the toilet flush. If you know, that's a hard thing to remember the number one thing is don't have your toothbrush in the same place you have your toilets because when you flush that toilet, guess what goes on to your toothbrush. So either put that little cover, like I have an electric toothbrush and you can, they'll put, you can put a little cover on the little bristles or, you know, just do yourself a favor. And if the toilet is in the same spot that your toothbrushes shut the lid.

Clarence Fisher: Yeah, we do. We do both. I'm in the same line as your husband. I'm super duper germaphobe. There's just the craziness that we probably go through since the pandemic, as far as wipes in the car and you know, anybody handed me a card and then I just raised my hand, and then my wife does the squeeze. We have it all choreographed. You know, if someone was just looking at us, they'd be like, Oh my goodness.

Isabell Estes: Oh yeah. And you know, it's just, it's just one of those I, cause I never even thought about that kind of stuff until I married my husband and he just had these really odd habits. And so it's been, he's been that way. I mean, I've been married to him for 32 years. This was normal. So when we came across this business, it just, it was like, it just made complete sense to us.

Clarence Fisher: Great. So what, what are you, what do you feel like are the biggest myths that businesses run into when you, when you're talking to them? I mean, is it, uh, is it something that they pretty much get or do they think, Hey, someone cleans the bathroom every, I don't know, two hours or so, so we don't need to get.

Isabell Estes: Right. And that's normally what I, prior to the pandemic, to be honest, that's what I would learn into because you know, it was so different and it was like, so you're deep cleaning and I'm like, yes and no because there's a difference between cleaning and disinfecting and sanitizing. Like now I see, you know, everybody says that they disinfect and sanitize and that's new. If you look at their, what they did prior to the pandemic. And, and hopefully, they are sanitizing in regards to that. Our staff is that we actually, our techs are actually certified and disinfecting and sanitizing because the chemicals that we use and the techniques we use are, it's just, it's different. It's not a deep clean, it's not something you can just go and go get at, you know, chemicals at Lowe's. I mean, it is a commercial thing.

Isabell Estes: And, and so it was, I honestly, I kind of felt like the Canary in the coal mine, and when I would talk to people, cause it was the leg. So we clean and I'm like, that's very cool that you clean, but do you disinfect and sanitized? And it just didn't resonate with people unless they were them, they themselves were germaphobes or they had experienced an infectious disease themselves, or they like the health department. Like when you're in the restaurant business, you have to take all these classes and you see this or you worked in a hospital setting, those folks got it. But it, it just took a while. That's what was really interesting because before people didn't understand what we did when I said, Oh, we own a company called environmental services and we explain what we did. And they're like, you clean restrooms.

Isabell Estes: And I'm like, yes and no. But now when I say it Clarence and they're like, Oh, we bet you're busy. It's like instant recognition. And we never had that. We never had that until this pandemic hit. And so it's easier people get what we do. And then, then they think, well, you're super expensive. And then it's like, no, this is how we do, this is how we do it. And they're completely shocked how reasonable it is. And it's because we just have the right techniques and the right chemicals. And this is all we've ever done. You know, the company's been in existence. Environmental services has been in existence for over a decade, but its predecessor, which is called Swisher hygiene was around for 30 plus years. But you know, it's not something you think about and it changed a little bit used to be that. What was the saying? Cleanliness is next to godliness. I can tell you being in restrooms and you know, different places that wasn't the mantra anymore. It is now, it is now people are like, we need to make sure this is super duper clean and sanitary. So the world's changed.

Clarence Fisher: Oh absolutely. I remember going on a, um, a, a trip, my wife's Brandy, uh, you know, Brandy's, we, we bought a car in New York and we didn't have any car. They, we got, we sent some money to a transporter and got jet. They never brought the car to us. So we were this, this was years ago and we were like, uh, okay, we don't have money for a plane, anything like this. We had spent all that money for the car. We got on a bus and rode from Tulsa to New York to get, to get this car. And you can imagine the restrooms. And this is why I'm telling you this is because

Clarence Fisher: I held it until we got to New York. Because every time we stopped at a, I mean, we have an inside joke about, I think it was Chicago or maybe it was, it was one of these where I just, I was like, you know what? I can't hold it anymore. I'm going. So I would, so I first I get to the restroom and there's this long line. And I'm like, well, you know what you can't hold anymore. So one after one, these guys were coming out of this stall. Finally, I get to the stall and I'm next. And the guy comes out and when the door swings, I look in there and there are stuff everywhere. And I'm sitting like, if you could just see me, there's this single tear, just coming out of my kids, do it. And so I came back outside and by the suitcases and I told my wife, I said, I can't do it. And it's a wonder, it's a wonder, I'm still living. Like I held it until we got to the Bronx or something.

Isabell Estes: Yeah, I get it. I get it. Cause you know, I mean, there were times it's like we would rather go use the restroom on the side of the, on the side of the road. I mean, like, not like an actual restroom.

Clarence Fisher: Yeah. It's like what it is so bad. You can't hover is bad. So like, okay. So when a business, what do you, what are some of the fears may be that businesses have? I mean, okay, so you get over we're not super expensive, but do they worry about the chemicals or anything like that or,

Isabell Estes: Yeah, they, they, they do. And, and rightfully so, you know? Cause I get that, but what's interesting about the chemical we use it is food safe, it's human safe and it's non-corrosive. And so like we in our daycares one week, like, well we'll do we'll spray, not, well, not only do the restroom but once a month. And if we need to do it more often, we will cause, but we'll like spray the toys. Cause you can imagine little guys, you know, they got their hands and everything, touching everything. Right. And so like we'll spray like the toy, the toy area. And, but even in of course, you know, we go early in the morning before the kids come, but even if they came and they put a toy in their mouth, it would not harm them. I mean, I've actually, I've picked up something and tasted it and it's fine.

Isabell Estes: I mean, it's, it has a weird taste to it, but I'm here, I'm living and breathing to tell you about it. And I actually, and the other sidebar benefits on this chemical is that it kills allergens and mold spore and I'm highly allergic. And we had, and I, you know, I've sprayed in our house and it's good for a month, you know, for, or for allergens, not for other viruses and bacteria, but for like allergens and mold spores. So we had endorsed brand. But when I really noticed the difference was my son had plugged up, accidentally plugged up the toilet and the toilet overflowed and you know, disaster. Right. And so cleaned up everything. And so just clean the carpet with the steam machine, you know, the whole, the whole nine yards. And so it was like just sanitary, you know, all of that. I mean, I, you know, just, I went got after it and, but I was still having trouble breathing and you know, I like, it was, it was like an allergy thing.

Isabell Estes: And I was like, okay, this can't, I, the wintertime I don't have as much troubles with my allergies. So I'm like, okay, I'm just going to take the spray. And I'm going to spray where the mess had been. And I sprayed and all of a sudden I was not coughing. I was having zero trouble with my, drainage. And it's because apparently it could have been, I'm assuming it was like a mold spore of some sort or something in the air mildew. Right. And it just was still hanging in the air. And once I did that and I, I told my husband,I said, I can breathe. And I said, and he goes, okay, so you're one tester. And I said, yeah, but it's me, you know, how bad?

Isabell Estes: And he, he just, he just chuckled. And I said, I go, this stuff is great. Our staff, like we tell them when they, the first time they go into the restroom, cause you don't know what you're walking into. We tell them if I can't go and spray it because you don't know what you're walking into. So it's, this stuff works. I'm just, I'm not the smartest person in the whole wide world. I just know that the chemists that put this together, the people that invented this electrostatic sprayer, I mean the people that did these techniques, you know, that taught the rest of us in the world that invest in this business, this stuff works. I couldn't, I would not be able to just get on the phone and tell you that it just works. And I'm so grateful that the people that figured this out and said, it's just because that's how we're, that's how we can stop the infectious disease.

Isabell Estes: And, and that's, I'm grateful that if you had told me Clarence that, that Scott and I would have invested in this, I would've just laughed because this was never on our screen, but God led us to it and said, you need to do this. And we followed, we obeyed. And it was okay, where do you want us to invest in this? And we did. And this was why, I mean, there were days that I didn't understand, particularly when people like, why what's this business we claim, you know? And I can't tell you how many times you just, like, if I'm talking to God in the car gone, okay, you sure you want me to do this? And you know, and he would answer in different ways. Sometimes it was a song, you know, and take it one day at a time or, you know, whatever.

Isabell Estes: But when the pandemic hit and we aren't and plants, we lost 80% of our business because restaurants and bars had to close and you know, we're praying about it. And we're like, okay, you know, we didn't want to lay off anybody and you know, but we weren't sure how we're going to make payroll. Right. And nobody knew what was going on. And we prayed about it and God said, just trust me and just keep doing business. And we did. And we were supposed to, it was, I don't, I've never believed in coincidence because God knows everything and you just have to trust. And he put us in here because we were supposed to do this. And that's just, that's like, okay. And, and we're grateful to do that. Hopefully, we've, we've prevented a lot of illnesses from happening. And maybe there's one person that, you know, I know there's a 99% recovery rate, but there's that 1%. And hopefully we kind of chunk that down where maybe there was just less people, you know, loved one that didn't get sick from the complications of it or other diseases, you know, like the flu or other things we prevent, we help prevent staff. You know what I mean? Just, just different things. So we don't know, but we just know it's the right thing to do and that we're supposed to do it.

Clarence Fisher: I cannot imagine. And thanks for sharing that. I cannot imagine that happening and going through that, which of course we know a lot of businesses, you know, that happened too, uh, losing a huge chunk of your business like that. Especially if you serve the industries that you serve. Yeah.

Isabell Estes: Yeah. It was literally overnight. It was, you talk about deer in the headlights. It's like, what do you do? How do you take? Cause we have, we have 10 staff members. I mean, when you include Scott and I said, there's eight, you know, that work with us. And we've added two. So we had, at the time, there were, there were six of us or six other staff members and then Scott and I, and you know, we all have families to support and we weren't sure. And, but we also knew we had a job to do. Cause it was like, well, we gotta protect the essential businesses. You know, the daycare set, stayed open. The people that serve construction, you know, the construction crews, you know, just wherever we could and just reach out to them and or they reached out to us and you know, so it was a, you just have to do what you asked to do and to help people.

Isabell Estes: And that's what we did. It was, we were so grateful. It was, uh, it was that middle of March, you know, the first part of April, we were grateful that we were helping businesses week that never, we called on them. But you know, they never talked to us. I'm sure. I'm sure Scott and I got kicked out several times for both companies. I'm just, don't remember. And you know, and then they called us and, and then, and then having to comfort people, our clients become our friends. So many of the restaurants and bars are owners and then the managers just helping them get through it. Because at that time we didn't know how temporary it was. It wasn't going to be two weeks was it could be eight weeks. How are you going to feed your family? You know, what does this mean? What if our family?

Isabell Estes: And at the time we didn't know you, all you heard was that there was a potential death rate. And so it was very scary. And you know, they just, you just, everybody learned as we progressed in all of this. Yeah. So it was just, it was just odd, but you know, we knew we had God's protection and he wanted us to be there. So, and he wanted us to, to protect others. And so our, our staff took on the task. I mean, none of them quit. They, they could have, like I said, I'm, I'm not, I can't do this because you know, this might just disease could have killed me. And none of them did, they all go like, Nope, send me in. And I'm ready. So we're just very grateful to them and their willingness to ride out the storm with us.

Clarence Fisher: Th there's so much there. We could do a whole other episode on, on getting through that. I mean, like at what point, at what point did you feel like, okay, we're going to make it because you're, you're reaping some of that reward from the canvassing you did beforehand. Right?

Isabell Estes: Sure. Yeah, we did. It was, we still weren't sure. Cause we, 80% of our business when they shut down, we hadn't gotten paid yet. And so, okay. And then of course we were going, we got other central businesses, the relief came when we, we got approved for that first round of PPP money. But what was scary was we heard on the radio, you know, the money had run out and we had not heard back from our banker. And so we were just gonna like, okay, you know, and we were brainstorming on how we were going to make, make it. Cause we were still trying to collect the money in a way. I mean, I had, I had customers who gave me their credit card and they shut down and of course, the credit card shut down or you know, just different things. And so it was April 20th and it weird in that way, how I remember all these days, March 11th was a big day.

Isabell Estes: March 15th was a big day. April 20th was a big day. The reason April 20th was a big day was that's when our bank called us and said, you get, we're going to be able to give you the PPP alone. And it was like, praise God. You know, we're gonna be able to make payroll and we're going to be able to get more chemical. We're going to be able to get more PPE. Cause we have to wear, you know, when we go into a circumstance where somebody tests positive COVID we have to wear a hazmat suit, like a white suit and goggles and gloves. And, and we're we were, when our guns, the sprayers would break down, it would give us, we could get some more and you know, that type of thing. And it was just a huge relief that we could do. We could continue to protect people.

Isabell Estes: And you know, that PPP loans really, really came in. It just, it came in at the right time. And so we're so grateful for that. And we could continue to press on. The interesting thing, Clarence, both Scott and I were still very, very peaceful and I, I can't emphasize enough. It's just having God and Jesus Christ to talk to every day. I mean, there were times that I was talking to bless her heart. You know, I was dialing them up every three minutes and it's like, I'm really scared. It's like, help me, you know, this is what I'm worried about. And then a wave of peace would, you know, you just, it was like, God's hand would just, just pat me on my knee or, you know, there was just that, you know, being able to lean into in Jesus and go, and it's just like just it's going to be okay.

Isabell Estes: And that's, and I could do that because I ha I had that inner peace because Scott had that inner peace when someone would call and, and they were scared because COVID was in their facility or they had a family member that got it or they got it. We could be there for them. And it was just, there's an inner peace doesn't mean we didn't feel our panic moments because that's just being human, but the blessing and all of that is we could lean into him and lead into God and Jesus and talk to him. And you know, I look back and I go, wow. You know, I think about some of the stuff we went through and I'm like, have we, can we get through that? And my only explanation is we had gotten Jesus. I just, he was, they were there. I mean, I just, they were holding my hand and the whole time.

Clarence Fisher: Totally, totally get it. Before we started recording, we were talking about, you know, you really don't know what it's like to run a business too. You're, you're, you're, you're faced with making payroll the next week or any of these other things that happen. Of course, you know, I serve business owners too. And some of the out of this started coming some of the most, I mean, heroic things that I've, I've seen on, even the smallest scale, you know, like one vendor calls another vendor and says, uh, I mean, this has, this happened to happen to me. And I didn't, I didn't ask for it, but you know, my bookkeeper said, Hey, don't worry about it this month. You've always paid on time. This is something that I can do. Right. And so then I'm like, Oh wow. And so then I paid it forward to someone else and that was able to help his practice, you know? And it's just, I just saw a bunch of, uh, leaders in business, people coming together to say, Hey, you know, like you said, we don't know how long this is going to last, but we're going to try to help as many people as we can and, you know, be in business when it's over.

Isabell Estes: Absolutely. I mean, and it's been, it's been a blessing because you know, other business people have, have helped us. We've helped them. And I've just through all this. I mean, I know it's been an awful thing and for a lot of folks, but I've also seen God's work in it as well and just grateful and just feel very blessed in regards to that.

Clarence Fisher: So if someone is, I mean, for me, what you do is a no-brainer of course, but I told you I'm a germaphobe, right. I pull up to the gas station and wants, this was way before COVID and I saw a guy pull out a glove before he touched the handle. And I thought, I never thought of that. So I understand that. Right. So no more grabbing the little towel, the little paper thing. So I'm on that crazy. So it is an easy sale for me. And you're saying that I really think that moving forward, this is going to be, should be an easier sell for you. Do you think?

Isabell Estes: Yeah. Yeah. It's, if anything, people get what we do, they're like, Oh, you know, once we explain and how it's different than because I don't, I don't want to replace somebody doing their daily cleaning or their janitorial person, because it's what they do is very complimentary to what we do because it's, you know, they're, they're, they're cleaning and keeping up with it and we're, we're able to do something that they're not, they're not able to do. So I I've always been, you know, let's work alongside each other and yeah. So that's where in once, you know, once people understand that then, and they do now, it's much easier and you're exactly right. And still, some folks are like, you know, this is too good to be true. And I'm like, you know, we've, we've been doing this, you know, Scott and I personally, we've been doing this for six years and I said, but this has been around for a while.

Isabell Estes: And it's, and I'm like, well, why, you know, why isn't this happening? It's like, well, it's just through the course of it. Things change and people forget, or people think that whatever they're doing is enough. And, you know, in some cases it is enough, but in the cases of highly trafficked restrooms, like the bus stations that you guys stopped at those very popular restaurants or, you know, whether there are lots of kids at a daycare or, you know, those types of things, you know, you don't know what other people's hygiene habits are. And that's what we are. We're, we're a preventative measure for the folks that may not be as, as cautious as you. And I would be

Clarence Fisher: If I were, if I'm a business, I am marketing the heck out of this, that, that we use a service like yours, as we were thinking about taking a trip, a lot of the news that articles that we were reading were saying, Hey, drive, and then you should be okay if you're going to, you know, you stop and you're, and you're going to the restroom just don't linger too long. But then also I saw some pieces that were like, you know, I immediately started thinking about you and what, what you all do. And wondering what are the chances of finding stops along the way? Who takes it this year?

Isabell Estes: Yeah. So like, and we've always, we've always given like certificates of disinfection and what was interesting, you know, it's a normal certificate size and, you know, people would frame it and they put it in their restroom. And then we've always had stickers that say sanitized by Enviro-Master that would be on the toilet or on the sink or on the urinal. And that's always been part of it when this all occurred. People like our window decals a little bit, they use a lot of, a lot of people, our customers we'll put it like right where they accept American express or, you know, that type of thing. But people want to know when they're walking into a location. So, we created window and door decals. And then, um, we created a table tent because, you know, they may not use the restroom when they walk in there. Right?

Isabell Estes: But they, they can, like, if they're at the hostess stand or they're at the counter at, you know, a plumbing supply place, they see our, they'll see our table tent. And they're like, okay, you know, they're, they're doing everything that they can. Employees. It's, you know, they want to know that their employer's doing everything that they can to keep them safe. And so having that certificate that just says, it's sanitized weekly by us is a reassurance to them. And, but the window decals and the table tents, that's a brand new thing for us. But how do you get the word out? Cause it's not something I'm going to go to the restroom and see if they're saying, are they doing, do they take this seriously? So it had to be outside of the restaurant where they saw, Oh, okay, they're doing what they're doing, what they're supposed to do.

Clarence Fisher: That's great. Now you've, this is a franchise. Right?

Isabell Estes: It is.

Clarence Fisher: Okay. And you are no stranger to business. I know all of the years that I've known you, you were actually helping franchisees and then you were actually helping business owners. Like it was, it was just a thing that you did, like you help business owners, 24/7 is what, is there any lesson that maybe you learned, learned early on in business or helping businesses that, that helps you, that you stick to today in your own?

Isabell Estes: So, you know, it's, you know, one of the things, the mantra that is create your plan and work your plan. I can't, you know, that helps keep you focused, particularly as, you know, you get bombarded by, um, various individuals, there's new things and you have to go, is this, is this the right thing? And you know, we, you know, then as a small business owner, I mean, we were pretty specialized. I mean, how many people build a business on only sanitizing? We focus on the restroom only, right. And we do floor scrub. We, you know, we have some other revenue streams, but our core business is there's always been that restroom. And so I always tell folks, it's like, you know, when you have a business, to be really, really good at whatever your niche in the world and be the very, very best in that.

Isabell Estes: And, and we felt when we invested in this, as you know, into this franchise, that's what they're really good at. I mean, it's just, this is how we, and that's what it is. And so I, you know, the things that I learned from coaching other businesses and, and etc, it guided me to this. It's like, okay, what are they really, really good at? And you plan for it and you work the plan. I will be honest. We didn't plan for a pandemic. I don't think anybody did that was that definitely came out. But we could have said, okay, you know, let's just, you know, we could have said, what do we do now? And, and we shifted because our restaurants closed or bars closed 80% of our business, but it's like, okay, we have, let's talk to the people that, you know, are still open.

Isabell Estes: And the other pivot point was we, we knew how to handle outbreaks. And we're, unfortunately we were in a constant, it's a constant outbreak with this pandemic, but we knew how to, we knew how to handle it and do it very effectively and do an efficient way so that people could stay open. I really, we take a lot of pride and that, that you don't have to stop doing business because the minute we go in or we kill everything, their facility is safe to walk into. So they, their employees can continue working, can coming in. Cause there's just, there's certain businesses, you know, you can't, you have to go inside to work and you know, that type of thing. So be really good at your niche or niche. You know, I don't, I don't know what the appropriate way to say that and create your plan and work your plan. And then thirdly, it's like have faith. I mean, God put you there for a reason and trust him.

Clarence Fisher: Okay. So in closing, I thank you for spending all this time. I know you're busy. If I've listened to this and my audience are all at least 90, 95% business owners, many of them, because we specialize in hyper-local marketing, basically what we call own the block. So most have brick and mortar businesses. I've heard this. We, we have on our routine, someone to clean the restrooms. What's the biggest question I need to ask myself when I'm trying to consider whether to step it up a notch to a service like yours.

Isabell Estes: So the businesses that need us the most are where they have quite a few employees that come in and out, right? I mean, you don't know where they've been. You don't know what their habits are and also, or are their businesses where they've got a lot of people coming in, customers coming in and out. And cause you gotta look at the highly trafficked areas. And when we w when we're working with someone and I walk in, I'll ask them, it's like, what's during this pandemic during an outbreak, it's like, what's the walk, what's the pattern, you know, are they walking in the door? So we want to make sure we stray the entrance. Then after they, when they walk through, you see the paths that they, that they'll take and they go to the front and they have the plexiglass and all of that.

Isabell Estes: Well, they're still touching stuff. So we want to spray that. And then we want to hit your restrooms. Because even though I've seen some businesses where they close, it's like, people still need to use the restroom and there's going to be emergency. So you got to do that, but you got to look at what is it? Is it highly trafficked? Are there a lot of people coming in and out, and a lot of people to be 30, 40, 50 people coming in and out? And so, and that could just be just employees and, and vendors coming in and out to supply you. So that's what I, I look at. And I, I have, I have customers that, you know, they have a small number, but they still take that extra step because they want to protect their business and they want to protect their employees. And so they'll do that. And they're usually like a small restroom. Let's just say, it's, there's a, uh, male, female restroom where it has two bowls, two toilets, and two things. It's going to run you 24 bucks a week. That's it to have a highly sanitized restroom

Clarence Fisher: And you can market it. I want, I want it to be very clear about that.

Isabell Estes: Absolutely. You can market it because it is very important. I remember marketing that you are doing everything you can, it needs to be on your social media. It needs to be in places that it's very visible, that you are doing everything to keep people safe, that when they walk into your facility, that it's safe. That's what people want to know. Is it safe for me to walk into your facility? Is it safe for me to use your restroom? And they do need to market it?

Clarence Fisher: I mean, that's a no-brainer to me too. I mean, a hundred, 200 bucks, rather than putting it in a, in an ad or something. I mean, you, you get more bang for the buck with that. And so, okay. So now I'm convinced, but now I'm trying to figure out which of these services to use. What should I be considering them?

Isabell Estes: So a lot of times I'll just come in and we'll talk about what's happening. I will always recommend the restrooms. It's just because I know that's where infectious disease, it's an, you know, it's the epicenter of germs and it just is, we pass every virus that we have Clarence, it passes through our system. It's so that's why restroom number one, but two, you know, there are outbreaks, sprays people go, well, I just, I closed down my restaurant with only one or two people. Okay. Well, there are people coming in and out of the facility. Yes. Well, let's spray. We'll do that. Yeah. So that's where, and then, you know, depending on the frequency and what's going on, well, you know, we'll talk about it. And sometimes, you know, we're Scott and I, if it doesn't make sense, we're going to say it doesn't make sense. You know you don't need to be doing this. And we're just really upfront with people because we want the most important thing is that we're protecting each other, you know, it's like, you know, we're protecting each other when we wash you, don't wash your hands. Right. Um, not only ourselves, but the others around us. So that's, you know, we're, that's the same with us.

Clarence Fisher: What differentiates Enviro claim from maybe the guy down the road who says, Hey, I'll, I'll, you know, I do that too

Isabell Estes: Enviro-masters. Yeah. I can only speak for ourselves. I mean, I do know what my competition does, but our staff is certified to do what they do. So we know that the chemicals that we use is proprietary. And so we know that works. We've got a long history of doing what we do. We know we just didn't pop up overnight. The fact that the chemicals we use are environmentally friendly. That's big for us. That's a big deal that they're environmentally friendly. We know it's not going to harm the human body. It's not going to harm the surfaces that we touch. And we're very conscientious about that. So that's really key. And then the techniques we use, and then honestly, it's my staff. They care. They know it is not a, you can imagine it's not the most glamorous job in the whole wide world, but it's important.

Isabell Estes: And they care about the job that they do, and they understand your stand and they, they take pride in what they do. So, and we're responsive. You can talk to our customers. We're the type. Okay. You know, we're, we're looking at our schedule and we're trying to figure it out, you know, we've had, you know, and we have, our staff knows if an emergency occurs and we need to get out there cause we gotta get 'em open, you know, we'll figure it out. And so my staff, I mean, they will tell you, it's like, it's, it's been exhausting, but they, they want to do it. So we, we do our very, very best to get as much rest as we can, but they also know it's like, okay, yep. It's my turn. It's my turn to go out. And so they do, but we are all looking forward to when it can get a little bit more normal and, you know, we get, we get more into preventative mode versus reactive. And so that's the blessing is we get the vaccine, we've got the vaccine already out and it's going to get slowly, but surely it'll come from, you know, get to the rest of the general population. Yeah,

Clarence Fisher: That was great. So how does, how does someone get ahold of you're in Tulsa, in Oklahoma City, right?

Isabell Estes: Yes. Yep. And so we've got a great staff in Oklahoma City, our main number, and we had people call us (918) 919-3386. I've had people messenger us through Facebook. And, you know, we have a Facebook page. You can like that page. There are all sorts of tips and people hate going to it. I didn't realize I started taking pictures of our stickers in different places. And people like knowing that they can go to a black bear diner or a marble slab in Shawnee or Johnstone supply, you know, where they do plumbing and HVAC supplies that they, they know that they're safe. And so our, our page gets like, almost like, well that person's liking it and they just want to know where to go. So you'll see. And then there are different tips on there. And what's the difference, you know, of course, select times their sense of humor too. Cause it's, you know, you gotta have a sense of humor. So, and, and you can also go to our website, we're networked as a franchisee, we have corporate headquarters so that our corporate headquarters will say, Oh, you're in Tulsa, Oklahoma City, you know, they'll give him the phone number or there's also, you can get on there where you can enter your information and it gets distributed to us. But truly, truly the quickest way to get ahold of us is just to call us.

Clarence Fisher: That is so great. Thank you. Isabell, I've learned way more than I thought I was going to learn today.

Isabell Estes: Whoever thought, you know, it's like, Hey, let's talk about potty.

Clarence Fisher: Right, right. And then that, there's so much to it. You know, I've, I am blown away about nine out of 10 people. I seriously am. That is just a high number. Yeah.

Isabell Estes: Yeah. And the good news is when they do the statistics again, it'll be, it'll be significantly lower.

Clarence Fisher: I agree. I agree. Well, thank you. Uh, my friend for, uh, last, it goes with your time and knowledge today. I really appreciate it.

Isabell Estes: Absolutely. Well, thank you. And now my best to you, and I just appreciate the opportunity and just stay safe and healthy.

: We appreciate you listening to Local Market Monopoly. Be sure to rate, review, and subscribe to the show and visit ClarenceFisher.com for more resources that will help you dominate your local market and own the block.


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Episode 36: 7 Tips to Get Your Business Live Streaming on Social Media