Should I wear a bow tie when cleaning?


Hey Steve,

I’m a technician who attended your recent Langhorne, PA Strategies for Success. Quick question for you. When you were in business, did you by chance have your employees wear bow ties? I think they could create a great positive Moment of Truth when worn to a customers home. I really would like to start wearing them but I’m having trouble convincing my boss (who also attended SFS with me) to implement them. He seems skeptical about them and after all, he’s the boss! I’m just looking for your opinion on my bow tie suggestion and any input you could give.

Thanks for your help,

Pennsylvania Bow Tie Boy!

P.S.  I’m still seeing amazing things happen from implementing procedures from SFS! I am sooo excited about our business!!!

Hi Pennsylvania,

Great to hear from you.  Even before I focus on your question- congratulations for caring enough about the business you work for to write in!  (And I LOVE your PS where you state that you are “so excited about our business!”  I wish you had been around back when I was working down in the trenches! Your boss is fortunate to have you!)

Anyway, to the bow tie idea.  It is true- I wear a bow tie with my carpet cleaning technician uniform in our SFS seminar.  And I think it is a great idea to appeal to your customers- most of whom are over forty years old and were raised on the old Texaco “you can trust your car to the man who wears a star” commercials.  (And of course they were also wearing BOW TIES!)  My guess is it would make people smile and/or talk about you to others and isn’t that what a Cheerleader does?  TALK!

Now, on the other hand, is the “bow tie issue” going to sink a business either way?  No.  It is just a detail- nothing more.  And the “old guard” (my apologies to the owner of your business!) is probably going to resist it.  (Especially older technicians!)  Why not ask your boss if you personally can “try it for a week”?  Why not?  I would have been delighted to have a tech showing the amount of initiative you are.  (And yes, Pennsylvania, you can quote me to your boss!) 🙂


P.S.  A easy, cheap way to get the type of black bow tie I wear at SFS is go to any second hand clothing store and look in their formal wear section.  It will probably cost you a dollar!  Also another hint is to buy your uniform shirt a half size too large.  This way you can button that top button to wear your bow tie and yet be comfortable without the collar constricting your neck!

NOTE to business owners:  Isn’t it great that Pennsylvania (who is a technician but with management potential) is “buying in” emotionally to the business he works for?  Would you like to enjoy the same result from your key people?  Then do them the honor of trusting them enough to bring them to SFS!  The return on your investment in them will be enormous!

5 thoughts on “Should I wear a bow tie when cleaning?”

  1. I think the bow tie is really a matter of choice, as I recall in the sfs class there was only one person who showed interest in the bow tie and that was jacob. I think it is worth a shot, I personally don’t think it would work for our company but it shows you care about how you present yourself and your company to your clients. Write back and let us know how it is working for you.

  2. “I think it is worth a shot, I personally don’t think it would work for our company …”

    Exactly. As I mention to every SFS class, “Try it for a week”. OR “give it a shot”. Sometimes the craziest notions are the best ones!


    PS OK, Pennsylvania, we’ll be waiting to hear from you!

  3. If you are going to wear a bow tie then you had better make sure the rest of you is up to par!
    Bow tie with dirty baggy jeans? NO
    Bow tie with a too tight shirt around the belly? NO
    Bow tie with a shirt showing evidence of what you had for lunch? NO
    I could go on and on…..

  4. Yep. They call it a “plumber’s crack” but carpet cleaners are equally guilty of showing more of themselves than the home owner wants to see!

    Thanks fo rthe reminder!


    PS It all gets back to your CHOSEN image!

  5. This is a great topic! I know the “standard” in the industry is to wear khakis with a polo shirt with a company logo. I worked for my dad’s business for over 25 years and we focused on working with Interior Designers and very high end clientele. We used to get pretty dressed up. Dress shirt, slacks and nice shoes. I can’t tell you how many times clients thought I was there for a sales pitch and wasn’t going to actually do the cleaning, as I was so dressed up. In some ways I always thought it gave the wrong impression.

    Two years ago my dad and I split the team up (long story), and one of my biggest decisions was my uniform. To this day I still clean for Interior Designers and High End clients. I chose to wear a polo with my company logo and nylon stripped jogging pants, and sneakers that are always NEW. Giving the impression I’m going to the gym to work out. I think it tells the client, I’m ready to work out and get sweaty. I still look clean and professional. Just my two cents on the subject. You can see a picture of me on my about us page on my website.

    Kevin Houle

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.