Absolutely new to this. Need guidance to get started in the business | TruckMount Forums #1 Carpet Cleaning Forums

Absolutely new to this. Need guidance to get started in the business

jorgon1022

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Jorge Gonzalez
Hey guys,
So lately ive been thinking about getting into the carpet cleaning business. However, I know nothing about it. Probably my biggest question would be what materials I need in order to get started. What would my initial investment be and what would be a good machine to buy for someone that is just starting? I know that machines can vary in pricing so Im curious as to what you guys would recommend. Also, when it comes to chemicals, are there any that you recommend as well?
 

PistolPete

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Spend several hours going through the posts on the forums here, all the questions you asked have been answered.
 
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Todd the Cleaner

Todd Cottino
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Hey guys,
So lately ive been thinking about getting into the carpet cleaning business. However, I know nothing about it. Probably my biggest question would be what materials I need in order to get started. What would my initial investment be and what would be a good machine to buy for someone that is just starting? I know that machines can vary in pricing so Im curious as to what you guys would recommend. Also, when it comes to chemicals, are there any that you recommend as well?

Before you make the investment to start a business you really should go work for a year or two for another cleaner. Find out if you will even like this business. Learn about the business and how to clean.

I would advise having at least $20,000 to buy used equipment (you can easily spend up to $80,000 for all new equipment and van) and another $10,000 - $20,000 for marketing and operating expenses. Add to that enough money to live for a year with no income.

A lot of guys think they can go buy a used $1500 portable machine and start their business with no money. While it can be done this is a hard route to take that usually leads to failure.

This can be a great business if you prepare yourself before diving in. Spend the time to learn the business. Also probably even more important than knowing how to clean, be sure you know how to operate a business. Know how to figure your cost of doing business and how to price your services. Make a business plan. There’s a lot more to runnng a carpet business than just knowing how to spray some soap on the carpet and rub a wand over it.
 

jorgon1022

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Before you make the investment to start a business you really should go work for a year or two for another cleaner. Find out if you will even like this business. Learn about the business and how to clean.

I would advise having at least $20,000 to buy used equipment (you can easily spend up to $80,000 for all new equipment and van) and another $10,000 - $20,000 for marketing and operating expenses. Add to that enough money to live for a year with no income.

A lot of guys think they can go buy a used $1500 portable machine and start their business with no money. While it can be done this is a hard route to take that usually leads to failure.

This can be a great business if you prepare yourself before diving in. Spend the time to learn the business. Also probably even more important than knowing how to clean, be sure you know how to operate a business. Know how to figure your cost of doing business and how to price your services. Make a business plan. There’s a lot more to runnng a carpet business than just knowing how to spray some soap on the carpet and rub a wand over it.

I thank you for this great response. On r/Entrepreneur in reddit, the person that started this business indicated that he invested minimally and made alot in Sales his first year. He said that its all about knowing how to Sell and Market. But it sounds like its a bit more complex than that.
 

Scott W

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You need to decide what area of carpet cleaning you will do. You can't get the right tools untill you know the job that you will be doing.

Commercial properties, large volume residential like apartments or low cost volume cleaning, high end homes, etc all have different needs.

Find out what your market needs and what you would like to be doing.

You can start with lots of cheap work with out a long wait. High end homes pay much better but that business takes a long slow time to build up and gain people's trust. Just an example of the differences. How long the hose runs, how thick the carpets, the types of soil and the level of soiling all different.
 
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kevinj6121

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When I started way back in 1983 after getting out of the Army, and moving back to Long Island NY I bought a portable and a 175 with solution tank and carpet brush, and just jumped in knowing nothing

bought a few different chems and all my friends and family were used as guinea pigs. This allowed me to get comfortable and confident in what i was doing.

Then i started to charge people. I was a hard worker, had a great personality and people liked me and the job i did

Word of mouth took off and there was no looking back, I did very well
No advertising at all, just business cards, There was no internet or social media or anything even close to what is available nowadays.

After 5 years of this in NY i sold my customers, kept my equipment and moved to San Diego CA where i restarted by going to work for one of those 9.95 per room bait and switch companies
Although i didn't know going in that they were bait and switch and had never even heard of that scam before.

Well i couldn't do this to people, it was and still is just wrong.
So when i went into peoples home's, before i did anything i explained to them what was expected of me by the company and expressed how i did not agree with their method, i then would negotiate with them a fair price to which they would agree, i'd clean there carpet, do a good job and give them my personal phone number.

Did this for two months and before i started getting calls because i was getting recommended to the friends and family of these people i already cleaned for.

I said bye bye to the bait and switch people and was off and running on my own again, and again did very well for myself.
Still no advertising at all other then business cards

If your a hard worker, have a good personality and are good with people and of course you have to do a good job, you'd be surprised how far just word of mouth can get you.
Now add to that the power of the internet and social media and go make some $$$$
Don't get greedy either
 
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PhilipW

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I thank you for this great response. On r/Entrepreneur in reddit, the person that started this business indicated that he invested minimally and made alot in Sales his first year. He said that its all about knowing how to Sell and Market. But it sounds like its a bit more complex than that.
Interesting. I'm on /r/entrepreneur. Would rather not give out my user name but I've directed people here to tmf in the past
 

rob allen

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Take classes www.tmfacademy.com and get your stuff and chemistry at www.tmfshop.net. Get my cell # and I’ll mentor you through virtually anything. And anything you are not satisfied with classes or chems tell me and I’ll give you your money back.
 

jorgon1022

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Nov 7, 2017
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Jorge Gonzalez
When I started way back in 1983 after getting out of the Army, and moving back to Long Island NY I bought a portable and a 175 with solution tank and carpet brush, and just jumped in knowing nothing

bought a few different chems and all my friends and family were used as guinea pigs. This allowed me to get comfortable and confident in what i was doing.

Then i started to charge people. I was a hard worker, had a great personality and people liked me and the job i did

Word of mouth took off and there was no looking back, I did very well
No advertising at all, just business cards, There was no internet or social media or anything even close to what is available nowadays.

After 5 years of this in NY i sold my customers, kept my equipment and moved to San Diego CA where i restarted by going to work for one of those 9.95 per room bait and switch companies
Although i didn't know going in that they were bait and switch and had never even heard of that scam before.

Well i couldn't do this to people, it was and still is just wrong.
So when i went into peoples home's, before i did anything i explained to them what was expected of me by the company and expressed how i did not agree with their method, i then would negotiate with them a fair price to which they would agree, i'd clean there carpet, do a good job and give them my personal phone number.

Did this for two months and before i started getting calls because i was getting recommended to the friends and family of these people i already cleaned for.

I said bye bye to the bait and switch people and was off and running on my own again, and again did very well for myself.
Still no advertising at all other then business cards

If your a hard worker, have a good personality and are good with people and of course you have to do a good job, you'd be surprised how far just word of mouth can get you.
Now add to that the power of the internet and social media and go make some $$$$
Don't get greedy either

That's what I've been thinking of doing. Using friends and family as Guinea pigs. You think it's possible to profit six figures a year in this industry?
 

kevinj6121

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That's what I've been thinking of doing. Using friends and family as Guinea pigs. You think it's possible to profit six figures a year in this industry?

Well in addition to using family and friends as guinea pigs here's something else you can do and I have done this myself as well.

If you have a store nearby to where you live that sells and installs carpets, they are most likely to have a dumpster full of carpet they removed from peoples homes. Go inside and ask if you can take some, tell them the truth why.
I've never been told no, yes i've done this more then once
its a good way to experiment and put a new chem to the test as well as trying different procedures.

As far as can you make six figures a year in this industry, I suppose there are some that do but that would take time to get to that point.
But you can make a very good living for yourself in this industry.
Deffination of a good living will vary among different people
 

James L.

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I thank you for this great response. On r/Entrepreneur in reddit, the person that started this business indicated that he invested minimally and made alot in Sales his first year. He said that its all about knowing how to Sell and Market. But it sounds like its a bit more complex than that.

It's much more complex than that! I recommend you get in this business only if you like the work, and are dedicated to customer satisfaction. Sales only gets you new business, customer retention and positive word of mouth advertising will keep you in business. Your customers will sense whether you are passionate about your work. This is just my opinion based on my experience. Good luck!
Also, like it has been previously mentioned, spend some time on this forum and you'll learn so much about this field!
 

kevinj6121

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Jun 29, 2014
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It's much more complex than that! I recommend you get in this business only if you like the work, and are dedicated to customer satisfaction. Sales only gets you new business, customer retention and positive word of mouth advertising will keep you in business. Your customers will sense whether you are passionate about your work. This is just my opinion based on my experience. Good luck!
Also, like it has been previously mentioned, spend some time on this forum and you'll learn so much about this field!

Very well said James
 
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jorgon1022

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Jorge Gonzalez
Well in addition to using family and friends as guinea pigs here's something else you can do and I have done this myself as well.

If you have a store nearby to where you live that sells and installs carpets, they are most likely to have a dumpster full of carpet they removed from peoples homes. Go inside and ask if you can take some, tell them the truth why.
I've never been told no, yes i've done this more then once
its a good way to experiment and put a new chem to the test as well as trying different procedures.

As far as can you make six figures a year in this industry, I suppose there are some that do but that would take time to get to that point.
But you can make a very good living for yourself in this industry.
Deffination of a good living will vary among different people

This is a fantastic idea. I will definitely try this out. And yeah i do want to get to six figures. I spent 5 years in school getting my degree in business with an emphasis in IT but I quickly realized that I dont want to work for somoeone the rest of my life.

The problem that I am currently in though is that I make roughly 65k a year so I want to atleast be making that before I quit my job. So in essence, it is more as a side hustle that I would start doing this.
 

jorgon1022

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Jorge Gonzalez
It's much more complex than that! I recommend you get in this business only if you like the work, and are dedicated to customer satisfaction. Sales only gets you new business, customer retention and positive word of mouth advertising will keep you in business. Your customers will sense whether you are passionate about your work. This is just my opinion based on my experience. Good luck!
Also, like it has been previously mentioned, spend some time on this forum and you'll learn so much about this field!

Thank you James. I will start looking at this forum to see what I can learn from you guys.
 

kevinj6121

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This is a fantastic idea. I will definitely try this out. And yeah i do want to get to six figures. I spent 5 years in school getting my degree in business with an emphasis in IT but I quickly realized that I dont want to work for somoeone the rest of my life.

The problem that I am currently in though is that I make roughly 65k a year so I want to atleast be making that before I quit my job. So in essence, it is more as a side hustle that I would start doing this.

65k a year income is a good to very good income depending on where you live, not that good if you live in a place like NY or CA and some others, here in north carolina where I live you can live very good on that. But everyones definition of good will vary.
If your going to get into carpet cleaning as a side gig only it would be hard to do 65k a year in my opinion.
I don't know how much of your time is committed to your current job and how much time (as part time) you could devote to carpet cleaning
 

jorgon1022

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65k a year income is a good to very good income depending on where you live, not that good if you live in a place like NY or CA and some others, here in north carolina where I live you can live very good on that. But everyones definition of good will vary.
If your going to get into carpet cleaning as a side gig only it would be hard to do 65k a year in my opinion.
I don't know how much of your time is committed to your current job and how much time (as part time) you could devote to carpet cleaning
I live in the boise area. But yeah I work roughly 35 hours a week. So I could realistically dedicate 20-25 hours a week as a side hustle counting Saturday and Sunday
 

kevinj6121

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I live in the boise area. But yeah I work roughly 35 hours a week. So I could realistically dedicate 20-25 hours a week as a side hustle counting Saturday and Sunday

Correct me if i'm wrong but doesn't Boise Idaho have cold winters with snow and all, if that's the case your carpet cleaning in the winter months will suffer as that is the worst time of year for this business, that and only doing it part time makes reaching 65K a year that much harder.

Here's what I did, i moved here to north carolina 4 years ago from NY, bought all my equipment with me and restarted my business here, I knew it would take some time to get it going good and i needed to generate some immediate steady income, so i got a night job 6 nights a week that i don't have to be at till 5pm.
That left my days (all 7 days a week) open to devote to building and doing carpet cleaning.

Worked out good for me and all is well now. I'm not rich by any means but i'm not busting my ass either and, well when i can walk around with like $800 in my pocket at all times which i consider my pocket change it can't be that bad.
I live in a nice house in a nice neighborhood have two vehicles that are paid for and all my equipment is also paid for, i owe no one nothing.
Of course it helps that i am single with no kids either. Just me and my little doggie, lol
 
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ACP

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I live in the boise area. But yeah I work roughly 35 hours a week. So I could realistically dedicate 20-25 hours a week as a side hustle counting Saturday and Sunday

If you work 35hrs a week and dont hate your job, and make 65k... I would stick with it lol.. unless you are ambitious and are setting your sights on building a solid cleaning company.

If your only aiming at being a 1 man show/owner operator, I would stick with your 35hrs for 65k cause carpet cleaning can be a tough business. Its a saturated market and youll have to spend a lot of time outside of work hours if you want to make it.

Not to sound like a downer, personally I like saturated markets.... as long as they are saturated with hacks and idiots who dont know how to run a company ;)
 

jorgon1022

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Jorge Gonzalez
Correct me if i'm wrong but doesn't Boise Idaho have cold winters with snow and all, if that's the case your carpet cleaning in the winter months will suffer as that is the worst time of year for this business, that and only doing it part time makes reaching 65K a year that much harder.

Here's what I did, i moved here to north carolina 4 years ago from NY, bought all my equipment with me and restarted my business here, I knew it would take some time to get it going good and i needed to generate some immediate steady income, so i got a night job 6 nights a week that i don't have to be at till 5pm.
That left my days (all 7 days a week) open to devote to building and doing carpet cleaning.

Worked out good for me and all is well now. I'm not rich by any means but i'm not busting my ass either and, well when i can walk around with like $800 in my pocket at all times which i consider my pocket change it can't be that bad.
I live in a nice house in a nice neighborhood have two vehicles that are paid for and all my equipment is also paid for, i owe no one nothing.
Of course it helps that i am single with no kids either. Just me and my little doggie, lol

You are correct. The winter is cold and usually lasts roughly 4 months. Eventually, I dont plan to do the work myself. Rather, I plan to hire workers, train them, educate them, and have them do the work. I plan to focus more on scaling the business and growing it in this area. However, when I look at google, there is so much competition. I would say roughly 15-20 companies are in the Boise area alone.