How to Start Your Own Carpet Cleaning Business
Businesses, especially running your own, adhere to conditions existing in the world today, that have not only made the carpet cleaning industry a ?billion-rand business,? but also practically guarantee your success, as an entrepreneur in this field. Your Own Carpet Cleaning Business, is one of the easiest of all small businesses to start. You will find the initial start-up costs, are well within your reach, and the margin of profit most astounding! It is an easy business to run, and yet one which can be called necessary to today?s standard of living. It carries an extremely high rating on all business evaluation stability charts, and it is a business that will grow rapidly, bringing you the monetary rewards, you wish with your own carpet cleaning business.
No Need to Search Far and Beyond
Almost all homes and office buildings built since 1960 have wall-to-wall carpeting. Secondly, the replacement costs and the cyclical faltering of the national economy, has caused people to want to make what they already own last longer, especially in the case of carpeting, which is a sizeable investment.
Most businesses employ janitors, or janitorial services to vacuum their carpets after hours daily, and then, ?master? carpet cleaners to deep-clean them every three months or so. Homemakers also generally vacuum their carpets several times a month, then hope to deep-clean every spring or autumn, depending on the kind of household traffic, and budgets. This is where your own carpet cleaning business comes in.
It is true, people everywhere try to save money by handling these jobs themselves. However, empathy with the people, as well as an understanding of this trend, should be neither cause for alarm nor a deterrent, to your success in this business. Keep your prices in the current trend range of the day, and your Professionalism tops, you should have ongoing jobs coming in from your own carpet cleaning company. Remember when you step away from all customers, knowing the results are your footprints you have left on their carpets, being spotless and clean carpets.
Become A Specialist, Pro
This is where you come in. Most people are just too busy to handle all their do-it-yourself projects. They continually put off, until later, and almost never get to this chore, that requires special equipment. This is especially true with carpet cleaning, as deep down, they are fearful of botching the job. Thus, they are more than willing to pay an expert, or a specialist to do this kind of work for them.
It does not take any special education, skill or experience to operate a professional-type, deep-cleaning carpet cleaner. Yet, from your first job onward, you should project the image of a thoroughly experienced expert in your field. I would like to show you how you can get started in this business, and make R 3 000.00 or more per working day, with virtually no investment!
Marketing A Service
Carpet Cleaning, yes, it is a service, that you will be running as an Entrepreneur, cleaning carpets!
The important part of this business or any other business is the owner-operator?s ?sense of marketing? and salesmanship. Make no mistake about it, all businesses succeed through marketing strategies, and salesmanship. You will not be selling a product with this business, you?ll be selling a service. The selling of services, is often more difficult than product sales.
Your success in this business, is based upon the sales effort, you put forth. Getting it off the ground will need a great deal of selling ability on your part. You will have to sell, yourself AND your services.
Therefore, it will be to your benefit to learn all you can about selling. You should continue to add to your knowledge an ongoing program of learning. Keeping up to date and being aware of successful selling ideas and methods, will add to the total success of any business person.
Even before the purchase of equipment, you need customers. Your prospects are all the businesses and homes with carpets in your area. Your problem is going to be in reaching these prospects, impressing upon them the benefits of your service, and getting them set up with an appointment for you to do the work.
We have found that the least expensive and most productive method of reaching these people, is by way of neighbourhood ?hand-out? flyers or announcements, delivered door-to-door.? By using the services of very willing Brownies or Cub Scouts, or members of other youth organisations, against a fee, they will love doing this.? You are also teaching them early business skills as well. These flyers are advertisements or announcements of a ?Carpet Cleaning Special,? printed on 5 1/2 by 8 1/2-inch sheets of paper, that invite the recipients to call you for an appointment.
Advertising Carpet Cleaning Spotless
Here are three extraordinarily strong forms methods used to advertise:
- Study the Carpet Cleaning Service Industry
- Take your ideas to advertising
- Making your Carpet Cleaning Company Name Known
Below is a Description of each:
Study the Carpet Cleaning Service Industry
Study the carpet cleaning service ads in your local newspapers, yellow pages of your telephone directories, and any similar flyers you may have received or seen. Make a pencil sketch of your own flyer, emphasising customer benefits and your capabilities of doing the job.
Take your ideas to advertising
Take your ideas to the advertising class at a local college. Explain your project and ask for volunteer help. In most cases, you will be favourably impressed with the work, and will only have to pay with a copy of the finished flyer for the student?s portfolio, and a recommendation or testimonial about his work for you. Even if there should be a charge for the work you have done at the college, it will be a reasonable one. ?You will be giving somebody a chance to practise something for the real world, regarding his/her future as mentioned before.
Contracting with advertising agencies
Contracting with an advertising agency will take longer, also cost a significant amount of money. However, you might be able to contact a staff member who does freelance work on the side. You should set a specific date for completion of the project, and agree to pay no more than half the total estimated cost, until the job is finished, and meets with your approval.
Making your Carpet Cleaning Company Name Known
Plan to run a quarter page ad in your local business and telephone directories. You will really be surprised at the number of calls you get from these ads. At least in the beginning, you should run a regular ad in your newspaper. This should be a display ad, at least 2 columns wide by 4 inches deep. This should appear in your Wednesday and Thursday papers. As you become established, it will not be necessary to run more than an ad every other week in your Wednesday paper. Important, before the holidays such as Easter, and Christmas, when people always want to spruce up their residences, is a wonderful time to run ?event? specials.
Radio or television advertising are effective, a little costly though. I would suggest, that you contact these type media and try for a trade or barter agreement. You clean their carpets on a regular basis, and they allow you to store up advertising credit, to use in the spring and autumn when people are serious about spring cleaning, and Holiday or Christmas preparations.
Get the word about your being in business, out, to the people in your area. Get the Chamber of Commerce to mention you in their newsletter, send ?blurbs? about your business and service to all your area newspapers, TV and radio stations. Arrange to put on an all-day demonstration of your work, on the carpeting in the covered mall areas in your city?s shopping centres. Hand out brochures to all the people watching. Rent a booth and hand out brochures at all the home building, remodelling, and home improvement shows. Do the same thing at your county fair, and hold seminars on how to take care of fine carpets. The ideas for free publicity and promotion are limitless, so use your imagination. Push to get your name in the paper and on radio and TV as often as possible, considering the costs factor, what you can afford.
The next step is to take the original of your flyer to a printer. Printed whatever number of copies you want to start. Most quick print shops will be able to print up to 20,000 copies, and deliver in a reasonable time, with nominal costs. If you decide to start with more than 20,000 copies, you will do better by going to a regular commercial printer. Larger quantities that would take a quick print shop all day, can be done by a commercial print shop in a few hours.
While your flyers are getting printed, you should be lining up your delivery Troops. No big problem here. Either look up their local headquarters office in your phone book. Perhaps call a friend or two with children about the right age and ask for the name and phone number of troop leaders. Arrange to pay these scout troops R 100.00 for every thousand circulars they hand out door-to-door. As mentioned before students also grab this opportunity.
Back in Your Office
One other thing before you start handing out your flyers, be sure that you have someone available to answer the phone and set up appointments for you. It is usually best to have a woman do this, it makes the caller think of your service as an established business. You can pay an answering service business to handle these calls for you, but if your wife or a friend is available, that would be even better. It is, however, imperative that a ?live voice? answer your phone. People have some strange ideas about answering machines. Most businesses find they do much better not to use them. Think yourself, how you feel when you must talk to a machine?
Your ?secretary? should have a set pattern of answering your calls, and an appointment book. Their voice, must have a smile in it. (If you do not know what i mean, send me a message, i would love to share this with you).
Usually, your flyer will advertise a special such as:
?Your living room carpet deep-cleaned for just R 200.00. Get all the ground-in dirt and unpleasant odours out. A professional job by experienced expert carpet cleaners, and we can do it all for you tomorrow. Give us a call, set up a carpet cleaning appointment with us now, and we?ll have your home sparkling clean.?
This unique offer should take you no more than an hour or two in the customer?s home, meaning that your secretary can book appointments for you. Remember to take the travel distance between appointments in consideration for time concerns between appointments. Never overbook as this will give you a bad name very soon.
A Customer Contact
When working these advertising specials, just concentrate on doing the job and moving on to your next customer. If the customer questions you about the cost to do the other rooms, give an estimate and set up a tentative appointment. This you should later confirm with them and call-back, after checking your schedule. Do not try to sell your complete carpet cleaning services on this first call. Do be sure to leave a business card, with the name of your company and your phone number.
This is only a guideline:
Your day ??8:00 to 5:00
By setting your first appointment for 8:00 in the morning, and working through the day, allowing 90 minutes between appointments, you will be able to handle several appointments per day. Charging R 200.00 per call. Your secretary should book you solid from 8:00 through 5:00 each day. This is just an estimate. Later below I will give another example.
Naturally, some people may want you to stop by them, at a certain time, which might be booked already. In that case, you set them up for their requested time on an open day. You will also find that as you gain experience, you can cut down the time it takes you to handle each job. Including your travel time between jobs, enabling you to book more appointments.
As soon as you have enough confirmed job appointments lined up, hurry over to your local carpet cleaner distributor, your local rent-all store, or even some supermarkets, and rent a steam-clean carpet cleaner. Most of the time, you will not have to pay until you return it, but even if you do have to pay at the time you take it, the cost is usually R 250.00 or less for twenty-four hours. Read the directions and make sure you know how to operate the equipment. Then load it into your car, van, or pickup, and set out for your first appointment.
Professional Look and Service
This goes hand in hand. You should bear in mind that carpet cleaning, is a type of service business, that takes you into the homes of your customers. Therefore, how you look, dress, and handle yourself particularly in the presence of your customers, will have a direct bearing on the success of your business. Professionalism is always the order of the day.
Be clean and conduct yourself in a business-like manner, again as mentioned above, always. Dress neatly. In fact, one of the best ways to get off to a good start, is to arrive in a working uniform. Drop by a ?print shop? and have them make up a special oval name tag which is visible, over the left breast pocket. At the same time, have them make up a large oval with the name of your business and your phone number, to sew on the back of the uniform. When you hire people to help you with the work, outfit them similarly. The rule of work etiquette is, they must arrive tidy and presentable to work inside customers? homes. Lately screen printing is little costly, but very professional as well.
Go out of your way to be polite and friendly with your customers but refrain from being fresh. Avoid getting involved in extended conversations, if you are to keep on schedule, you will not have time for a lot of talk.
Rented equipment will always be clean. Your own tools, and equipment, keep clean, orderly presented, and running smoothly. Have your supplies organised and within easy reach. Do not allow yourself to be caught in a position where you must make excuses, due to the equipment not functioning properly. Or even worse, you can?t find what you need, or you suddenly find yourself out of certain supplies. Keep stock on hand.
Let?s say your service is the ?deep-down shampoo cleaning? of carpeting in your customers? homes or places of business. Always strive to use the best equipment that is available. Later, possibly in a month or six weeks, you?ll want to buy or lease your own equipment. Your business will grow and flourish because of you doing a good and complete job every time. It may take you a few minutes longer, especially when you are learning the equipment and establish a procedure, but in the end, this will pay off with satisfied customers, and a group of satisfied customers is the key to your becoming wealthy in this business.
You want your customers to call you repeatedly to clean their carpets. Being pleased with your work, they will spread the word about your service for you, free of charge! And this, of course, will generate an almost unlimited amount of ongoing work for your new business.
The average price to the customer to have a 12 by 18-foot wall-to-wall carpet ?shampoo cleaned? is about R 500.00. Your materials to do that size job will cost about R 50.00.
The typical job involves more than just one room, and the average period of time spent on the typical job is about two hours. An average billing to the customer of R 750.00 materials for each R 750.00 job cost you about R100.00. This means that with just five appointments per day, five days per week, your gross income before expenses, will be approaching between R 15 000.00 to R 20 000.00 per week.
Start-Up Carpet Cleaning Spotless
Most people who set up carpet cleaning businesses manage to gross R 500 000.00 or more the first year. We have described how to get off the ground with no real investment. However, we do recommend you to either purchase or lease your own carpet cleaning equipment, just as soon as you can afford it.
Several equipment manufacturers have financing plans available. It would be well to check out several of these plans before buying your equipment. Even better than the financing plans offered, some of the manufacturers have business start-up programs to help you along the way. They will provide you with a complete carpet cleaning training, many advertising materials, a regular newsletter featuring business ideas from all the buyers of their equipment, and low-cost supplies. All you need is a good business plan.
Registering Your Business
Before starting work in your carpet cleaning business, you should register your business or company name within your Country Laws and Regulations needed. The cost for this is not nominal, and you will receive a registration certificate or card, which you will need to open a bank account in your company name. You should also talk to a few business insurance agents to get complete business insurance. This is vital, against damage to any of your customers? carpets or accidents in their homes. Being able to say, ?All work fully insured,? will greatly add to your business image.
I recommend that you register as a ?probationary member? of your Chamber of Commerce. This will add prestige to your business and enable you to associate on equal terms, with the various other business leaders in your community. Joining and attending civic club meetings, taking part in their causes and events, will also result in long-range business income for you.
Company Van & Logo
Think seriously about buying or leasing a Van for your service calls. Repeating again, a uniform with the name of your company emblazoned on the back, plus a Van with your company name neatly painted on the side, will do about as much to build your image and your business, as a full-page advertisement in the Sunday paper.
Regarding advertising, so long as you do not erect a sign on your front lawn or your roof, proclaiming for all the world to see the fact that you are running a carpet cleaning business, you will not have any problems running your business from your home. Eventually though, you will have to buy a City or county business license. So, the sooner you do this and are an approved by the licensing agency in your area, the better you are going to feel and the more confidence you will exude in all your business dealings.
Something else to keep in mind
There is always going to be competition.
Some of it will be good for you, and some of it will be bad for you. Accept it as a part of life. Just keep in mind that you are in business because you feel you can do a better job, you can do it more efficiently, and you can do it with greater satisfaction to your customers, than anyone else. Be aware of the competition, but do not worry about it. Just stick to your own business plan, and you will be okay.
Depending on the population of your area, you should be planning for additional carpet cleaning machines and the hiring of people, to do the work for you within three to six months that is. Unless your original motive for a business of your own, was to see how fast you could work yourself to death. Within a couple of years, you should have ?hired help? running the business, while you enjoy the fruits of all the work you put in at the outset.
No Need to Buy into a Franchise
I personally do not see the need for you to even consider buying a franchised operation. There is just too much real help available, for the ?independent? to go to the considerable expense and obligation, of a franchise. Starting from nothing, and as an independent, this is most assuredly a low-investment, low-overhead type business, the kind we recommend for anyone and everyone who?s determined to make it on his own.
Carpet Cleaning Technician Job Description
You do not need property to rent space, you only need transport to get you going, how easy can this be.? Meaning no huge upfront expenses to get going. What is stopping you to try it, if this has been on your mind.
Your job is only completed and done, when the carpets are clean. After carpets have dried, go back, and inspect carpets, to see if you are proud of your work also. If you see a stain that is showing, treat it again, as it should lift out now, with the second round. Your customer will note that you go the extra mile, making sure your service is tip-top. They will most certainly, refer your work to others, who also would like their carpets cleaned spotlessly.
We would love to hear from you if you have a Carpet Cleaning Business or thinking of starting one since reading this.? Share your ideas with us as well, it would be great hearing from you.