Sweeping and Technology. – Techno Sweep!

After this month’s purchases of our smaller lightweight Sturdyvac Vacuums, not quite replacing, but to use alongside the old faithful, yet heavy and numb Numatic Vacuums. With having an old vac in need of repair it made me realise how important technology has become within the chimney sweeping profession, and how we have grown to rely on it.

Techno Sweep 1 Although Sweeping is generally viewed as an age old profession, sweeping is very much ‘keeping up’ and progressing with the times. I wonder what the Chimney sweeps from around 200 years ago would have thought to Rotary power sweeping?

When I started out around 9 years ago now! I had a Van, a vacuum, a hand full of brushes, and a few sets of rods…all of which I still have today somewhere. Well, maybe not some of the exact same brushes and rods they would be extremely bristle bare by now.  Starting out with the basics I have continued to add, and build upon the business essential kit and continue adding to our collection of sweeping equipment and technological bits, although admittedly there is still quite a few things on the wish list that I would very much like to add to our kit! And will in time as and when funds permit.

Only the other day Val sweep was mentioning she now has too much equipment floating around in her van and it is need of having a good sort out and removing the old bits we have not used in years and years to create a bit more usable room in her very full van.

A good Vacuum and high power quality torch are the must have electronic tools.  Power rotary sweeping and Chimney CCTV inspection kits are there to aid us sweeps further. Developments in design and with more approved manufactures entering the market offering a broader range of products, at competitive prices, I am quite sure that these hi tech tools will become part and parcel of the modern days sweeps basic kit.

Day to Day we are very reliant on our Sat Navs and we couldn’t be without them, traveling near and far across town and country, never quite knowing where we could end up! That’s why I personally still like to keep a good old A-Z street map to hand just in case.  It may be coated in a layer of soot hiding somewhere in the van, but it is always there if needed as you can never fully trust a sat nav!

Mobile Phones are also brilliant, not only helping us stay in touch with our customers through our working day if needed, for directions or running a little late or early,  but my iphone has proven to be a very useful aid and has been held up many a chimney! It is very handy for taking pictures to then be able to show and demonstrate to the customers of any issues … so they can actually see for themselves any problems in the lower chimney or appliance without having to kneel on the hearth and crane their neck to have a good look. I also like to take pictures of anything slightly unusual, interesting, amusing or even shocking these pictures normally make their way to the Katie sweep Facebook page.

We have found Social media such as Facebook and twitter (not that I can overly get along with twitter) have been fantastic at keeping us in touch with our customer base and others within the industry, enabling us to share our day to day goings on and all our new exciting sweep news, as well as promoting our brand awareness helping us to stay in peoples thoughts so as and when they are in need of a sweep it will be us they come to.

Online is the obvious place to be, and of cause not forgetting being right here in the online based newsletters and  website of www.fireplace.co.uk Bringing together a whole range of brilliant articles, on-line local search facilities, the latest news and events and everything else you could possibly need to know about what’s going on within all the heating product and services related industries.

One of our most popular features is the website, where a huge amount of our business is channelled through… as peopleTechno Sweep 2 know and recognise the name ‘Katie Sweep’ they simply Google us, or find us on the fireplace.co.uk website where we have a premium listing and contact us via the link to our website or telephone. We regularly get complemented on the Katie Sweep website created by my very clever husband Thomas, and I certainly think it helps that he knows us and the business so well he can truly convey an insight in to our work ethic and individual personality’s.

Another valuable tool is our Service Business Scheduling software (www.getjobber.com) that we have used over the last 4-5 years, again when I started out as a one woman band all I had was a sooty Diary but now with our lovely receptionist Danielle dealing with all the bookings and enquires, the sweep appointments then need to be passed on to the lady sweeps. The computer database makes this super simple and enables us to keep accurate records of where and when and for whom the chimney was swept. So when Mrs Smith from down the road telephones us as she has forgotten when she last had her chimney swept it only takes a few clicks to find out the exact details, rather than having to trawl through years’ worth of busy diaries looking for her last appointment. It also means we know the anniversary of the sweep so we can pre-empt the job coming round year on year and offer a gentle reminder that a sweep is due.

Technological advances are not only benefiting us Sweeps but also our customers, with helpful products like Electrical chimney fans for certain chimney problems, Battery powered and mains powered alarms for their safety and even electrical products such as the Grenadier fire lighter, a brilliant product  who’s slogan I very much like, it is ‘Grenadier - A Modern Tradition’.

I believe in keeping a firm hold of Chimney Sweeping traditions but continuing to keep up with progression in technological advances is the future of maintaining a successful business, helping not only us sweeps maintain the highest quality of work and making our busy days that bit easier, but also keeping our customers happy and safe.


Read more from Katie Sweeps Diary https://www.fireplace.co.uk/chimney-sweep-diarist/59


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