Archives for August 2020

Are you Easy?

My education on writing a blog begins with learning how to use the right title.

ARE YOU EASY?  lol….so many ways this conversation could go.

Fear not. “Are you easy” is questioning the ease of customers being able to do Business with you. The ease of customers being able to make a choice of service. The ease of customers navigating either via your website, or telephone or SM in finding the answers they are looking for.

 

CFBLogoOval

I am constantly tweaking all avenues of communication in an effort to make ease of doing business with Centre For Beauty a pleasurable one.

I have to say though, no matter how easy I believe I make it…..there is always someone who has difficulty.

Sometimes I shake my head, but I always look into why whatever they were doing seemed so difficult to them. I always look at what I could have done so they did not have any issues. Whether it be ordering from our on line store, learning about the details of our brands or even just trying to communicate with me.

I learn from you, my customers…..I also learn from my own experiences with what I need to accomplish on a daily basis.

  • When I have a question, I want an answer now
  • When I want to call someone, I want to be able to locate a phone #
  • When I order from a site, I want it to be simple
  • If I have a return, I want it to be easy
  • If I want to track my order, I want necessary information

Another words……make my life easy and pleasurable to do Business with you.

Words for blogv2

Let’s look at life in your Salon.

I often speak with Owners/Technicians about their service menu. I find many want to be real creative in their services.

I get this, after all…we are crafty, creative souls.

However, does this avenue make it easy for your client to follow? Or, do they just end up telling you to do what you want to do…..and you end up doing what you “like” to do.

One lesson I learned when I owned my Salon is when giving the option to choose, most will go with the lesser amount.

It’s human nature. Very few of us will tell our Technician “just do what you need to do”. And, very few Technicians will do actually THAT.

Most will ask the price, and we begin with our “basic” pedicure starts at $30.00, our “spa” pedicure is $45.00 and then we offer our “customized” pedicure which STARTS at $50.00.

Given that option, our clients more than likely will say….I’ll just take the basic. I really just want my toenails polished anyway.

They don’t know…..and they won’t know unless we teach them. A foot care service isn’t just about pretty toenails. In fact, it has nothing to do with pretty toenails. In my opinion, pretty toenails are just the bonus.

Our foot care service needs to be about the clients needs. It needs to be about taking care of their feet, educating them on their feet and educating them on the importance of at home care.

So…..if I had a Salon now, what would my menu look like?

Customized foot care service. Starting @ $60.00

Price determined after verbal and visual personalized consultation

Which by the way……would begin on the phone or an on line form

I recently had an experience with lack of information.

For severals years now, my family and I have been managing an effort to move our parents into a smaller, safer environment.  After 4 years, it happened...we found them a lovely villa in an over 55 community.

I took care of their internet provider. Which, happened to be the same as at their home of 44 years.

When I first did Business with them over a year ago, on behalf of my parents. I recalled not being able to find a phone #.  They did NOT want you to speak to a human being. Everything about it was computerized. Brutal….absolutely brutal.

When I did get the number, I stored it in my phone.

Fast forward over a year later, I’m in the same situation. I need to cancel one home and add another. Not an easy thing to do all computerized.  I looked and looked on their site for the phone #, with no avail. Then I remembered….I had it in my contacts.

The difficulty of being able to speak to a live person has put a very bad taste in our mouth about the Company….along with a few other things.

However, those “other things” may not actually be so bad. They seem bad because we already had a bad taste in our mouth.

The negativity just snowballed.

What about response time?

This is one of my personal pet peeves. Electronics is all around us. In my opinion, there is absolutely no reason it should take more than a day to hear from someone. In fact, it should be seconds. If you can’t respond immediately, there is technology which allows for “out of office” messages.

I’ll be the first to admit, when messages are coming in from all over social media…..FBm Insta, LND…and text messages, I messages, email. It’s insane in trying to keep up with it all. I’ve missed messages here and there. It’s an awful feeling.

This is why I don’t understand why people don’t respond quickly. Just answer the gosh darn question I need to be able to answer my clients questions.  Ugh!

I can’t tell you how much Business I received and maintained because I was the one to respond. And, how much business I lost because I missed a message.

Now, back to the question. ARE YOU EASY?

  • Are you easy to locate?
  • Are you available to talk too?
  • Are you simple to do Business with?
  • Are you interested in the people?
  • Are you making it so your clients are at ease, every step of the way?

There are so few Businesses anymore which fall under the above. When I am fortunate to find a Business which answers all the above with a YES.

  • It is such a pleasure.
  • It is rememberable.
  • It is in my head, to tell everyone and go back.

If you are easy…..your clients will feel the same way.

You know, contrary to what is heard on the news…I feel a difference during these COVID times.

I don’t feel the anger and the hatred. I feel the empathy. I feel those who are in the same boat as me. The same boat we all are in.

Our mask hide our mouths. They don’t hide our eyes. You can’t hide from emotions in your eyes. It is so obvious to me that everyone feels the same way. And, in spite of it all has empathy for anyone who crossed their paths.

So BE easy!

Being easy causes kindness. Kindness is contagious. Kindness needs to be the next pandemic

CJ Murray, President

CJ Murray
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Cost per service!

Many of you have reached out to me in regard to knowing your cost per service.

I know what the industry tells us. Break down the cost of each individual service. From suds to soap. From top to bottom.

Most of you break down the “product” cost per service. However, to get a true picture of what your overall “cost per service is”, involves more than just knowing your product cost.

This advice was good advice 50 years ago…..but not now. It’s 2020 for crying out loud.

We have gadgets to determine anything for us. We have Technology like never before and its only getting better.

In other words, we have FREE access to ANYTHING educational.

ARE YOU LEARNING?

ALWAYS?

I believe as a Nail Technician in the Beauty Industry, most of us….not all….most of us only search out education which is pertinent to our Profession.

  • Nail art
  • Nail Glitter
  • E-file
  • Acrylic classes
  • Pedicure classes
  • The list goes on and on

 

How many of you go outside your bubble to experience other types of education?

I have. When I was in search of the best disinfection product available to us, I researched the dental industry. Which, is how I found our disinfection product and why I solely endorse Micrylium.

That’s what I do my entire life. THAT is who I am.

I like to learn so I can  grow so I can share and watch others grow

I learn all over the internet from highly well know Professionals, to someone you would never expect to learn from. It’s amazing.

This is how I was taught, it’s not about cost per service.

It’s about square footage!

How much money do you need to bring in to cover your square footage $$$.

Every bit of money you spend on that Salon must be accounted for.

  • rent
  • electric
  • water
  • taxes
  • payroll
  • insurance
  • license/fees
  • toiletries/misc
  • automobile

Anything and everything that is purchased and ran through your Business.

When we calculate our square footage cost, you can determine so many other areas.

  • If you chair rent, how much should you charge?
  • When you hire, what $$$ production do you need from them?
  • What is your service cost going to be?
  • When you offer a special, how much can you really afford to discount?

These and many more questions come to light when you know your square footage cost.

Let me help you with the calculation. We need to begin with some very important questions

  • What is the total square footage of your facility
  • What is your monthly rent
  • What is;
    • Utility
    • Purchases
    • Education
    • Insurance
    • Payroll
    • etc….ALL your expenses

Once you have these concrete numbers, you can begin to determine your sq footage $$$$.

Let’s use the example of a 2000 sq ft facility, rent amount $3,000.00 per month. And, let’s just use $3000.00 as additional monthly expenses.

Divide your sq footage amount by your monthly rent ($1.50 per sq foot)

Divide your sq footage amount by your monthly expense ($1.50 per sq foot)

Total the 2 numbers together ($3.00 per sq foot)

NEXT SET OF QUESTIONS;

  • How many services will you be offering?
  • What sq footage will these services take up?

In other words, if you have 2000 sq feet (as the example above), the breakdown looks like this;

  • 120 sq feet Skin Care
  • 120 sq feet Massage
  • 120 sq feet Tanning
  • 150 sq feet Pedicures
  • 200 sq feet Manicures
  • 200 sq feet reception
  • 520 sq feet Hair
  • 400 sq feet warehouse/break room
  • 80 sq feet kitchen
  • 90 sq feet bathroom

Now you start the breakdown

  • Skin care = $3.00 x 120 = $360.00
  • Massage = same
  • Tanning = same
  • Pedicures = $3.00 x 150 = $450.00
  • Manicures = $3.00 x 200 = $600.00
  • Reception = same
  • Hair = $3.00 x 520 = $1560.00
  • Warehouse/break room = $3.00 x 400 = $1,200.00
  • Kitchen = $3.00 x 80 = $240.00
  • Bathroom = $3.00 x 90 = $270.00

However, remember….the last 3 produce no income (Warehouse/kitchen/bathroom), so you have to incorporate those $$$ into your other pricing.

  • All 3 = $1,710.00
  • Divided by # of services (7) = $242.85

Therefore, you actual total sq footage cost per service =

  • Skin care = $3.00 x 120 = $360.00 $602.85
  • Massage = same
  • Tanning = same
  • Pedicures = $3.00 x 150 = $450.00 $692.85
  • Manicures = $3.00 x 200 = $600.00 $842.85
  • Reception = same
  • Hair = $3.00 x 520 = $1560.00 $1,842.85

Knowing these numbers is how you determine how your services are performing. You can determine how your team is doing. You can determine how much to charge for rent, if you booth rent. And, if you are in a suite, you can determine how much you have to bring in just to cover the overhead. In addition, and most important….you determine what to charge for your services…..and so much more!

The last, but not the least of what you need to determine is….

What is your worth?

When I was hiring, I would always ask potential team members, how much do they want to make? I never ever got a satisfactory answer. Either they couldn’t give an answer or the answer was so low, it didn’t make me want to hire them.

This is a very important and necessary question to answer.

As you can see, determining your cost per service is well beyond knowing your product cost.

If you really want to know your cost per service, the exercise just listed will give you the most accurate.

Don’t know the numbers? Bad on you. Every Business owner large or small MUST know their numbers. Having this information and surviving during critical times is the difference between success and failure.

Once you have all the numbers, you now need to break it up into hours.

Will all your services being working 7 days a week, 24 hrs a day? Of course not. Therefore, you have to break it down even further.

Let’s keep it simple and figure that all services will be available 40 hrs per week.

  • Skin care = $3.00 x 120 = $360.00 $602.85 ÷ 40 = $15.07/hr
  • Massage = same
  • Tanning = same
  • Pedicures = $3.00 x 150 = $450.00 $692.85 ÷ 40 = $17.32/hr
  • Manicures = $3.00 x 200 = $600.00 $842.85 ÷ 40 = $21.07hr
  • Reception = same
  • Hair = $3.00 x 520 = $1560.00 $1,842.85 ÷ 40 = $46.07/hr

Realization – we aren’t done yet, however based on the above. If you charge $30.00 for a pedicure, you have just rated your worth at $12.68 per hour 

    This exercise is not easy and it is an exercise which you should take your time on.

    I also recommend adding another 10% to your numbers….for incidentials that you may have forgotten. AND…don’t forget to add at least 10% for “owner drawer”, an expense we should always take first. (the most valuable lesson I ever learned)

    Once you have determined your sq footage cost. You now know what amount of $$$ you MUST bring in JUST to pay the rent and expenses.

    Once you know your worth….how much do YOU want to be worth per hour.

    Combine the two(2) together and THAT is your bottom line service cost.

    I’m sure heads are spinning and many may look at this like it’s too much work. Well, if you are one of that many…..close shop right now. You don’t belong in Business.

    Knowing your bottom line cost is your key to survival. Otherwise, you are just winging it!

    Ya know……I was self taught after my years in College. I taught myself how to do nails, I taught myself the Business aspect. There was no internet, no utube and not even a spec of Mfg. education that there is now.

    Resources are our greatest assets. I’m happy to be your resource if you would like some help. Reach out to cj@centreforbeauty.com

    CJ Murray, President

    CJ Murray
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    What is Professional?

    I don’t know why I write about the topics I do. It’s whatever hit’s me at the moment I’m ready to write. Sometimes an idea might come the week before, mainly because of what I’ve seen on Social Media(SM).

    Lordy be!

    I have come to the conclusion that I am not supposed to be on this earth.

    I don’t mean that from a “I’m suicidal” type thing…..I mean it from the standpoint as I see and hear things all day long, I just can’t wrap my brain around the unprofessionalism of it all.

    Professionalismthe competence or skill expected of a professional

    Professionala person engaged or qualified in a profession.

    If we go by the above definitions, all of us are Professionals. We engage or are qualified in the Beauty Industry, licensed.

    Therefore, we are expected to be competent or skilled.

    However, what does Professionalism have to do with the way we present ourselves. The way we talk to others, our appearance, our attitude? After all, if we are a true Professional aren’t we not just a credit to ourselves, but to others as well?

     

     

    10 qualities of a true Professional

    10 qualities of a true Professional:

    1. Appearance
    2. Demeanour
    3. Reliability
    4. Competence
    5. Ethics
    6. Maintaining Your Poise
    7. Phone Etiquette
    8. Written Correspondence
    9. Organizational Skills
    10. Accountability

    Now, I’m not going to through all 10, however, I do feel there is a couple specifically to mention.

    • Appearance – external show : outward indication
    • Demeanor – outward manner
    • Phone Etiquette (SM) – the conduct or procedure required by good breeding or prescribed by authority to be observed in social or official life
    • Ethics – the discipline dealing with what is good and bad and with moral duty and obligation
    Top r qualities of a true Professional

    Appearance;

    What do we look like on the outside. What do you see, what do other people see.

    • Wrinkled clothes
    • beat up shoes
    • unravelled hair
    • stains on your clothes

    It is what the eye sees and is a BIG part of Professionalism. You not only have to know the part, you should absolutely look the part.

    Unfortunately, appearance is what we are most commonly judged on.

    Demeanor;

    What do we look like on the inside. What attitude, action or non-action are we portraying.

    • weak
    • Aggressive
    • Passive
    • Over confident

    It is what the eye sees and is a BIG part of Professionalism. You not only have to know the part, you should absolutely act the part.

    Unfortunately, demeanor is what we are most commonly made fun about.

    Etiquette;

    Authority to be observed in social or official life
    • Know it all
    • abusive
    • defiant
    • story teller

    SM(social media) is the new phone etiquette. There are manners to be learned when on social media. You are a Professional, through and through. Many people sabotage their Professionalism on SM.

    SM is the COVID19 of the internet.

    Ethics;

    Always doing the right thing even when no one is watching. Always observe both sides and don’t lean one way or another.  
    You empathize with people, you bring yourself to them and connect.
    They trust you because of your ethics.

     

     

    These in a nutshell is the ground zero of Professionalism.

    If you know you are faltered in any one of these areas, that is where your Educational focus should be.

    Professionalism must be your whole way of living….of being.

    It saddens me to see the lack of Professionalism being portrayed of our industry Social Media. Just in the last week I have witnessed;

    • Presentations with stained clothing
    • Unprofessional communications
    • Mis-information
    • Immature behavior
    • Aggressive, abusive, defiant behavior

    It’s crazy. It’s crazy because the lack of Professionalism on our SM sites, over shadows the enormous amount of talent we have in our Industry.

    It’s sad because this type of attitude is what is being “put out there”. Once there…..it always swings back.

    Whats my point?

    I’ve advocated for years and still do, the need in the industry to “change our image”.

    Yes, we have to let the world know we are knowledgable and talented enough to handle the challenges of Nail care and Foot care which is around in our Industry today.

    However, as I believe “knowledge is power”, I also believe presentation is a part of that power.

    We not only have to be knowledgeable about what we need to know, we have to be knowledgeable and aware of our presentation. Our presentation including, Appearance, demeanor, etiquette, ethics and more!

    SHOULD THIS BE YOUR NEXT FORM OF EDUCATION?

    CJ Murray, President

    CJ Murray
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    THE BEST OF ALL WORLDS

    One of the things I like about being my own boss, is being the final decision maker in the products which I bring into my venue.
    As a former Salon owner and still a licensed Nail Technician, I understand the challenges we face within our Industry. One challenge being the grueling task of choosing which products are right for you, your team and your clients.

    I like my story. I believe it enhances why I brought in the products I have. What my decisions were based upon and why I continue to share with my clients why it’s so important to know what you are using.

    The Best of All Worlds…..

    FOOTLOGIX - LCN - PODOSAFE

    footlogix

    My story with Distribution truly begins way before 2008. However, 2008 was a huge turning point for me, so let’s begin there.

    Working one Friday evening, late as usual…2 people walked into my facility. 2000 SQ feet of Spa Services. Hair, nails, pedicures, facials, waxing, massage and tanning.

    Although I thought the gentleman looked familiar, I didn’t know either one of them. As it turns out, it was Katharin VonGavel and Murray Smith of KVG Group (Footlogix).

    They made a last minute u-turn into my facility in an effort of looking for a Salon to host an event which involved the Home Shopping Network. Which, ironically, was not only just 5 minutes from us….my Salon was the Premiere Salon approved by the Home Shopping network .  For 14 years we serviced 150 team members from show host, hand co-ordinators, models, management etc.

    Any hoot, Katharin and Murray representing Footlogix had been invited to produce a private label product (rough skin formula) for the network. Katharin, the visionary, wanted to host an event in which she and her team could explain to everyone from HSN who worked on the product what Footlogix was all about. She felt if they all knew how great the brand was, it would be an easy sell.

    Nail care

    On March 31st, 2008 my team and I worked along side the team of Footlogix introducing the brand to approx. 35 HSN team members. Show host, models, marketing, producers…..anyone affiliated with the project.

    By the end of this 8 hour very busy day, I learned a lot about a product I knew nothing about. In fact…I had never heard about it. I also knew that I somehow wanted to be affiliated with the brand. And, much to my surprise, I found out Katharin and Murray were also thinking they would like me to be affiliated with them as well.

    The day was a huge success for all involved. I saw many faces I had not seen in a while, exchanged a lot of hugs and reminisced about some very good times.

    Footlogix also was successful from that point on with HSN as they worked for years introducing the brand to our end users which in turn sent them to our Salons.

    By end of day and evening arrived, we celebrated over dinner and talked about future opportunities.

    It was April of 2008 when my first shipment of Footlogix arrived at my Centre For Beauty warehouse. I’ve been sharing the brand ever since.

    And….on a side note. In July of 2008 through December of 2013 I was asked to be the National Sales Director for Footlogix. Heading the charge to introduce Footlogix into the USA. Needless to say, to this day…I am very familiar with the brand.

    Why Footlogix?

    As my Business has progressed over the years, I’ve come to realize there are only a few ingredients which truly work to repair the skin. Urea is one of them.

    Urea is a hygroscopic. It penetrates into the layers of the epidermis which allows repair from the inside out.

    As I take on new products, Footlogix still has it’s place. It is non-scented which makes it great for any clinical atmosphere. It is non-greasy which appeals to men. It’s effective in the repair of dry, cracked, peeling skin.

    THEN CAME LCN

    Why LCN?

    LCN was a product of survival.

    In 2015 I was made aware that Footlogix was heading into the big box stores. It didn’t settle well with me for many reasons. However, the biggest reason was because this big box store had 200 locations right out my back door. To say I was a bit angry is an understatement. However, I was more afraid of losing my Business than anything.

    It almost happened. My Business decreased by 62%.

    I searched for new products over a 9 month period. It wasn’t easy. I believed (still do) in Footlogix and it would go against everything I believed and I taught over a 5 year period IF I chose another brand which didn’t offer what Footlogix had to offer. It was NOT easy.

    Then….one day…..

    My dear friend and Business cohort posted a picture on facebook of a client he performed a service on using LCN products. I remember specifically calling him and asking if he was cheating on me. After all, he was a Footlogix client of mine.

    It was Nellie Neal who introduced me too LCN.

    You can imagine how thrilled I was to learn that LCN was also urea based. The same, yet different.

    LCN is able to offer what Footlogix can’t. Results with luxury!

    I’ll admit, at first I saw this brand taking over my entire inventory. However, as time rolled on and I learned more….I realized and got very excited at how compatible the brands are together.

    I was excited because it was at that time, I would be able to offer the best of both worlds.

    When I brought LCN on at the end of 2015, it was less than a chore than I originally expected. Whether clients were looking for a change or whether they were thinking like I was with Footlogix. It’s a great product, yet something (didn’t know what), something was missing.

    The missing piece, I soon discovered was Luxury!

    LCN has many of the same products which Footlogix has, but it isn’t a mousse product and it isn’t scent free. However, it does produce the same amazing results.

    Since taking on the LCN line my clients have introduced me to many various ways the products can be used together. We have discovered over time, items in each brand which is best for certain conditions, and some maybe not so much.

    We have discovered over time, the benefit of having both products on our shelves for retail. In short, we have discovered over time, the need for both.

     

    The need to get out of the box

    PODOSAFE was a result of a couple of things.

    1. I thought maybe I wanted to venture into the Medical market. I thought I could find a product which was conducive to being Medical grade but not necessarily used in the Salon Foot Care arena. I was trying to tap into another market.
    2. I was purposely trying to step out of the box. Full transparency here…..when your clients can skip over you and go direct to the Mfg…..it doesn’t settle well. After all, how would you feel if you found a Centre For Beauty amazon store selling to “your” clients?

    This box I was in, not only included you, my clients….it’s includes my Mfg. Footlogix and LCN. the fight sometimes gets exhausting. It’s truly not fair, however…it is what it is.

    So I thought, if I could find a product not available to our Industry, yet opens a world for the Medical foot care industry….it’s a win win situation.

    I met Podosafe in Atlanta at the Foot Forward Summit, August of 2018. Our booths were right next to each other.

    I watched, I listened, I learned. And…I thought this product would be perfect for what I wanted to accomplish. Except…..1 thing. I couldn’t keep it a secret.

    Turns out, my mind started whirling with possibilities and I soon realized, I need to introduce this product into our Salons as a “solution” based product.

    PodoSafe is also Urea based, so it has all what I believe in. It also has just one tiny spec of another active ingredient which gives it the crazy results it produces. We could use this product as an added service into our venue. Charge more – take less time.

     

    The Best of ALL Worlds

    For me, this was super exciting. How lucky could I be to have found three(3) brands which have the same base ingredient I so truly believe in yet……offer 3 different services. The same…yet different?

    Let’s now go into the Salon……how do we use them and how do we market them?

    I am certainly not the guru of feet. However, being a former Salon owner and a licensed Nail Technician of over 30 years, I would have to say….I know a little 🙂

    What I know is;

    • You can’t have 50 different product lines you use in your Salon. If you do, Ibet most of them just sit in your stock room.
    • You have to use products you believe in. Products you can talk about. Products/services you can be excited about.
    • You have to work smarter….not harder
    • You have to care first about your Customer, 2nd about the money.

     

    I believe all 3 of the worlds have a purpose.

    • Footlogix – Clinical
      • Perfect for the more clinical service in a clinical like atmosphere with amazing results
    • LCN – Luxurious
      • Perfect for offering pampering yet with amazing results
    • PodoSafe – Solution
      • Perfect for a stand alone callus solution service

    The great thing about all 3 brands, they are compatible. I have many clients who choose to mix and match because they can.

    Personally, I would keep the systems separate in the service arena because I feel we have limited amount of ways to increase our income in our service arena s Pedicurist. We need to highlight what we offer in stand alone services. Believe in them, promote them, use them as a tool to improve your clients feet and teaching them how to manage the skin on their feet between visits.

    However, when it comes to retail…let your clients choose what best suites them

    Would they prefer a mousse formula application?

    Do they like the luxury feel of a cream?

    Or maybe the easy application of a roll on?

    With Footlogix and LCN….you can offer all 3

    What I have learned also over the years regarding the products we use in our Pedicure room.

    It first was all about the fluff. Clients visited our Salons to feel good and to make sure their toenails looked pretty.

    Although that hasn’t changed, it has progressed into a need to improve. Our clients WANT to see results and they want the results to last.

    In addition, because our boomers are getting older and our parents are aging, we are seeing more of this market in our Salons. Consequently, it isn’t just about looking or feeling good anymore….it’s is literally about “taking care of our clients feet”…..for them.

    With this being said, it is imperative we know our “sh–“. We can’t fake it until we make it. We have more at risk, and we have more people depending on us.

    Knowing what you use, why you use it and how to use it is a must. In addition, knowing how to express that point to your clients so they maintain the health of their feet between visits, is also a must.

    So many $$$$ are being lost in our Salons because our Tech’s do not not how to retail. (hmmm….could that be my next article?)

    The point is, if you are going to use products you believe in, make that standard across the board.

    Follow through with your services and you’re retail. And remember……..it is possible……….

    To have the BEST OF ALL WORLDS

    Want more detailed information?

    • Visit our Tube channel
    • Read more blogs
    • or just call…I’m always happy to help!

    CJ Murray, President

    CJ Murray
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