There are two fairly new, and very important conditions existing
today that have not only made the carpet cleaning industry
a “billion dollar business,” but also practically guarantee your
success as an entrepreneur in this field.
First, almost all homes and office buildings built since 1960 have
wall-to-wall carpeting. Secondly, the replacement costs have caused
people to want to make what they already own last longer, especially
in the case of carpeting, which is a sizeable investment.
It’s true that people everywhere try to save money by handling these
jobs themselves. However, most people are just too busy to handle
all their do-it-yourself projects. They continually put off until later any
chore that requires special equipment. Thus, they’re more than willing
to pay an expert or a specialist to do this kind of work for them.
It doesn’t take any special education, skill or experience to
operate a professional-type, deep-cleaning carpet cleaner.
Common advice is to line up customers in advance, then rent cleaning equipment
to provide the service. This may be the most economical way to get started
but is risky in that you are going into customers houses cold and trying
to appear professional. You had better know what you’re doing.
A word about equipment
Rental cleaners are usually “steam cleaning” systems. Technology has come a long way.
Steam cleaning takes hours to dry, inconveniencing the customer long after they have paid & you are gone. Issues with shrinkage and mold have brought new technology which provides a deeper cleaning and fast drying time (under 1 hour) leaving you with a happier customer. Repeat business and referrals are really what you need.
If you choose to rent equipment, make sure you get a good idea as to
daily costs. Unless you have a lot of experience, rent the equipment for
yourself and practice on your own carpet, then offer free cleanings to
family & neighbors to familiarize yourself with the process. You would
be well advised after that, and only after that, to line up customers in
advance as to not “waste” equipment rental costs.
Purchasing equipment may well depend on your start up budget but if you
are serious, this is the recommend way to start. Costs are low compared to
other home based businesses and generally run in the $3500-$5000
range. Financing is usually available and the provided supplies, advertising
materials, training and support could well be worth the initial investment.
Shy away from franchises because although the have the name recognition,
ongoing fees and their commissions will necessarily force you to charge
higher prices. Not what you want when starting out.
Choose a name. You need something easy to remember such as Jerry’s Carpet Care
or Carpets Unlimited etc. Don’t use Acme 2 U Carpet Cleaning (shady) or
Greg & Roses Ultimate Carpet Cleaning Service for You and the Ones You Love…..
You get the picture. Keep it credible & simple.
You Don’t Need a Website. If you can put up a simple website for free
or very cheap, for your customers informative purposes only, go for it.
Do not depend on a web presence to advertise. Contrary to what some may
tell you, trying to get customers online is neither efficient nor cost effective.
Save it for when you have an advertising budget (from profits) more specifically
one that utilizes off line advertising first. Then focus on the internet.
Setting up a website, trying to attract customers will surely take way too
much time away from the thing you really need to do…..
Some companies offering start up business packages will provide you with
a beginning supply of flyers, business cards etc. You can order more from them
or scan the ones you have to your computer, modify them and print out
your own. Consider the costs of ink (particularly color), local print shop prices
& the cost of ordering from the company direct to find your best option.
Generally, printing your own will be the cheapest way to get what you need
to get started. Many programs are available to design your own materials.
Keep costs low at first. You can always increase advertising as your profits rise.
Post business cards, postcard sized flyers to any & all local store bulletin
boards you know of. If you are so inclined, pass out flyers door to door.
Also consider paying neighborhood kids to do this for you. (Be sure to get
their parents permission)
Word of mouth advertising is huge in this business. Do some free jobs in
exchange for referrals. The cost of you cleaning a single carpet is very low.
Satisfied customers referrals are the best advertisement you can get.
Talk, talk, talk! Tell people about your new business. Bring it up in general
conversations. This in itself will get you customers without even asking
for their business.
Visit apartment managers. Many require their tenants to have annual cleanings
done. Offer to clean their elevator carpets for free in exchange for posting
a small card in the elevators:
This carpet cleaned courtesy ……
Call now for special tenant rates!
There are many ways to get new customers without spending a lot of money.
Use your imagination. People will always need your service and the profit
margin is such that you can quickly recoup your costs.
Always look and act professional (some companies provide a uniform…a great idea)
Be courteous and polite.
Check local pricing and start somewhat below them. Offer discounts on
additional services (area rugs, upholstery etc.)
Upholstery cleaning packages can also be used for vehicle interior cleaning
opening a whole new market for you.
A Carpet/Upholstery Cleaning Business offers one of the easiest, low cost
start up of any home based business
It’s easy & satisfying work and can be done right from your home.
Full time, part time or on the side in your spare time!