Anybody interested in a partnership in NYC's north/west suburbs in rug plant

MikeGaure

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I know for me personally it's all about the medium. Seeing a post asking about interested partnership simply puts me a little on the cautious side - I would assume there are plenty of local guys in your area you would have connections with. Would take a while to build that with someone meeting online

partnerships usually always fail.
 

your good sons

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well here's the thing, I have ideas, some are probably good, some probably are just downright stupid. I am human. Like you or anyone else. We all have some really good ideas, probably some really stupid one too. Getting together pools resources, which is good. I spent from 1982 until 1997 working in photofinishing. I worked for a lab that probably developed 40,000 rolls of film in two shifts seven days a week. That meant on a good day, a million of the little prints. The day shift, where I worked was was a little less automated, we made 5x7's to about 24x36's, maybe 30x40's. I can't remember. We had paper processors that never stopped running except for maintenance or repairs. Maybe three strands of 8" paper like I'd often do. I printed a lot of wedding photos. To this day I can't stand wedding photos. Single sheets of 20x24 and up. I was doing the completely manual printing of large prints the last few years. Point is those processors, which were like $20-30k each and more never stopped. We had about a dozen of them. Low utilization of space or machinery is death in manufacturing. You have to think of rug cleaning as manufacturing.
The company I worked for was an association of photo labs, they purchased most, started a few. They imported about 15 brands of accessories and aftermarket lenses. They imported at least one camera brand used by professionals, maybe some 35mm equipment too. By about 1995, things plateaued. I lost my job, in 1997 because I wasn't going back to the overnight making snapshots. That part of the business was only expected to last another year anyways. By 1998, the company started to break up again, yes it wasn't pretty, but for 40 years, the company made incredible money. Today, I'd take a good 10 year run. Look at pharma. Look at tech.
 

Scott W

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The cost of a rug washing plant can be anywhere from $5,000 to several hundred thousand. To have expensive equipment sitting unused is a waste. I do know of a few independent owner / operators who joined together to purchase equipment. Multiple people or companies feeding rugs to the same plant may be a good idea for efficient use of the equipment.
 
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Mama Fen

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We have been knocking ourselves out for many years doing commercial carpet and janitorial cleaning. While the work has been fairly steady, since 2011, the rates have not budged even a penny. We find ourselves working for essentially minimum wage.
Residential has been a nightmare. Advertising at $500 per month or more gets us about $200 worth of clicks that lead to no contact, another $200 worth of fraud from one or two competitors I consider mentally ill. About $100 worth of clicks that lead to perhaps $1,000 worth of work. You can't spend half your sales on advertising. We find most carpet to be <$2 per sf builder's grade crap some cheapskate want's cleaned. It is generally trashed.
Our bright spot has always been area rugs. I find my hourly rate to be more like $25-35 per hour and we are very careful with our advertising as to stay below the radar of competitors.
I am about to undertake a 250+ piece mailing for wholesale accounts. Then follow up with cold call personal visits about a week later. I don't want to get into specifics of who my targets are, but I will say where they are. About 150 in Putnam, Rockland and Westchester counties in NY. About 100 in Bergen and Passaic counties in NJ. I have a list of about another 100 NJ targets who will launch a month later after the first batch. This includes parts of Essex, Morris, Hudson and a little bit of Sussex counties. I have more distant plans for NYC that may not launch until late 2019 or 2020.
The point is, I have to get off the driveway and out of the portable garage. The volume is going to grow, or 2019 will be my last year cleaning.
My secret weapon is rapid cleaning of synthetic rugs, one that might be $3-5 per sf in purchase price. I call it "Mexican Artillery" and it is not up for public discussion. Nor are my water saving devices or any other techniques I have been developing to increase efficiency and lower costs. While one makes a lot more money on cleaning wool rugs that cost $20-40+ per sf, there is a huge number of cheap rugs. As for tufted rugs, I have very little good to say about them. I'm the one who breaks the news to the client that they are essentially disposable.
I am also a rug dealer online. That business just started six months ago, and that is not necessarily part of the deal, the margins are really good. If I leave the cleaning business, I will have time to grow rug sales.

If this is of interest, we can arrange an in person meeting in any of the areas I just mentioned. Thanks.

Peter Hewel


If I may inject an opinion here, from someone who has watched many many businesses start and grow, or start and fail:

The biggest problem with your proposition lies in this statement - "the rates have not budged even a penny. We find ourselves working for essentially minimum wage." Well, you're not going to find a partner who's willing to join you for minimum wage. Partners want 'in on the ground floor' of a business that is moving up, not one that is struggling. And you announce toward the end that if this doesn't work, you'll hop over to rug sales... leaving your "new partner" holding the bag. That's not appealing to potential investors - it makes you sound like you're trying to dump a problem into someone else's lap.

Your entire business model seems to be based on price - lowest price, to be specific. Even to the point of targeting low-end disposable rugs to clean. And you won't be the lowest price for long - there's always someone hungrier than you, or more desperate than you, and your customer retention will shrink rapidly.

Most reputable rug cleaners specifically target the valuable rugs, as people who invest in such rugs typically don't let the dog treat it like a toilet, and keep these pieces maintained better than the folks who buy the latest chunk of viscose off the rack at Home Depot. I'm not sure that being the "bargain cleaner" for "bargain rugs" is a good path to growth.

The model you have in place right now doesn't seem to be working... and I hate to say it, but you'd likely be better off changing your own dynamic before you try to bring someone in as a partner. One of you doing this isn't making much money - two of you isn't going to do much better. The old saying about doing the same thing and expecting different results applies.
 
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your good sons

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I am well aware of that and trying to change direction. When I started, I had the intention of dealing with better stuff. Dealing with the upper 25% income earners. Problem is in my immediate area, those people don't even represent 10% of the population. On the flip side, the bottom 25% is very over represented. The 75-50% percentile is over represented. The 50-25% perhaps slightly under represented. You play the hand you are dealt. That never worked. Now being in a state (NY) where minimum wage is $11.10 or $12.00 depending on the county, and being 15 minutes to 45 minutes from a state that is $7.25 per hour (PA) or $8.00 per hour (NJ), you have a lot of out of state contractors breaking the law, paying well below minimum wage to people working in this state. Not paying NY income tax, but much lower income tax to the home state. It is too easy to cheat. I can't compete with that anymore.
As for rugs, I started selling three brands last September. One is all Turkish PP and PL. One is almost all PP and PL from Turkey. I will net sell Viscose, Tensile, etc. The third is all PP but actually made in Maine, USA which is a selling point. The bottom 25% don't buy rugs. Maybe garbage pick them. the 75-50% might but a thin PP rug or a commercial remnant. The 50-25% are buying what I sell. I target them in Google Adwords. I know this from 200 rugs I've sold, 130 in the month of December alone. My 2nd wholesaler actually has a few hand knotted Persian rugs available. A ton of Indo-Pak rugs, many hand knotted, even more tufted (which I am on the fence with). The upper 25% well they may buy a cheaper rug or a more expensive rug. Hard to say. I know from my Adwords analytics, I certainly have sold $200 5x7's to people in the top 10% income. Why? I have no idea. Don't assume if it is under $25 sf retail it won't be washed and can't be done profitably.
 

your good sons

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They fail when you walk in predetermined to fail. Mike you are not a half empty glass kinda guy, your more like the glass is cracked so just throw it out kinda guy aren't you? I on the other hand see that anything can be fixed and succeed, but it won't if you don't try type of guy.
 
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Mama Fen

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I am well aware of that and trying to change direction. When I started, I had the intention of dealing with better stuff. Dealing with the upper 25% income earners. Problem is in my immediate area, those people don't even represent 10% of the population. On the flip side, the bottom 25% is very over represented. The 75-50% percentile is over represented. The 50-25% perhaps slightly under represented. You play the hand you are dealt. That never worked. Now being in a state (NY) where minimum wage is $11.10 or $12.00 depending on the county, and being 15 minutes to 45 minutes from a state that is $7.25 per hour (PA) or $8.00 per hour (NJ), you have a lot of out of state contractors breaking the law, paying well below minimum wage to people working in this state. Not paying NY income tax, but much lower income tax to the home state. It is too easy to cheat. I can't compete with that anymore.
As for rugs, I started selling three brands last September. One is all Turkish PP and PL. One is almost all PP and PL from Turkey. I will net sell Viscose, Tensile, etc. The third is all PP but actually made in Maine, USA which is a selling point. The bottom 25% don't buy rugs. Maybe garbage pick them. the 75-50% might but a thin PP rug or a commercial remnant. The 50-25% are buying what I sell. I target them in Google Adwords. I know this from 200 rugs I've sold, 130 in the month of December alone. My 2nd wholesaler actually has a few hand knotted Persian rugs available. A ton of Indo-Pak rugs, many hand knotted, even more tufted (which I am on the fence with). The upper 25% well they may buy a cheaper rug or a more expensive rug. Hard to say. I know from my Adwords analytics, I certainly have sold $200 5x7's to people in the top 10% income. Why? I have no idea. Don't assume if it is under $25 sf retail it won't be washed and can't be done profitably.
I simply give my interpretation of your situation based on my experience - dealing with hundreds of carpet cleaners in an over-saturated market that STILL earns O/O less than anywhere else in the country (but pays its techs just as much as anywhere else). And it's the low-tier guys who fail, over and over and over. The customer base simply won't support them, no matter how big it is, because there is no loyalty.

Obviously, you will work with whatever business model suits you best - there is no right or wrong model, after all. But I don't think your chances of picking up a partner are very good with the model you're choosing to run.

Maybe getting out of the cleaning end altogether and doing rug sales would make you happier - you certainly speak at some length and with some passion about rug sales, which you decidedly do NOT do about cleaning.

Wish you the very best of luck, whatever you choose to do! :)
 

paradoxengg

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We have been knocking ourselves out for many years doing commercial carpet and janitorial cleaning. While the work has been fairly steady, since 2011, the rates have not budged even a penny. We find ourselves working for essentially minimum wage.
Residential has been a nightmare. Advertising at $500 per month or more gets us about $200 worth of clicks that lead to no contact, another $200 worth of fraud from one or two competitors I consider mentally ill. About $100 worth of clicks that lead to perhaps $1,000 worth of work. You can't spend half your sales on advertising. We find most carpet to be <$2 per sf builder's grade crap some cheapskate want's cleaned. It is generally trashed.
Our bright spot has always been area rugs. I find my hourly rate to be more like $25-35 per hour and we are very careful with our advertising as to stay below the radar of competitors.
I am about to undertake a 250+ piece mailing for wholesale accounts. Then follow up with cold call personal visits about a week later. I don't want to get into specifics of who my targets are, but I will say where they are. About 150 in Putnam, Rockland and Westchester counties in NY. About 100 in Bergen and Passaic counties in NJ. I have a list of about another 100 NJ targets who will launch a month later after the first batch. This includes parts of Essex, Morris, Hudson and a little bit of Sussex counties. I have more distant plans for NYC that may not launch until late 2019 or 2020.
The point is, I have to get off the driveway and out of the portable garage. The volume is going to grow, or 2019 will be my last year cleaning.
My secret weapon is rapid cleaning of synthetic rugs, one that might be $3-5 per sf in purchase price. I call it "Mexican Artillery" and it is not up for public discussion. Nor are my water saving devices or any other techniques I have been developing to increase efficiency and lower costs. While one makes a lot more money on cleaning wool rugs that cost $20-40+ per sf, there is a huge number of cheap rugs. As for tufted rugs, I have very little good to say about them. I'm the one who breaks the news to the client that they are essentially disposable.
I am also a rug dealer online. That business just started six months ago, and that is not necessarily part of the deal, the margins are really good. If I leave the cleaning business, I will have time to grow rug sales.

If this is of interest, we can arrange an in person meeting in any of the areas I just mentioned. Thanks.

Peter Hewel
Hi, yeah I would perhaps want to make a deal.
 

MikeGaure

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They fail when you walk in predetermined to fail. Mike you are not a half empty glass kinda guy, your more like the glass is cracked so just throw it out kinda guy aren't you? I on the other hand see that anything can be fixed and succeed, but it won't if you don't try type of guy.

im an opportunist sir

while the optimist and pessimist are arguing
im selling the fella ice cubes for his glass of water.

mic dropped
 
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MikeGaure

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They fail when you walk in predetermined to fail. Mike you are not a half empty glass kinda guy, your more like the glass is cracked so just throw it out kinda guy aren't you? I on the other hand see that anything can be fixed and succeed, but it won't if you don't try type of guy.

in addition i sir DO NOT work for minimum wage or anywhere close too it! I haven't done so since I was a teenager and that was only one job and that pay lasted couple mos before I received a raise!

I dont sell services that dont turn a profit thats just stupid.

i also dont go online looking for partnerships for a failed venture

im in a tight market and a border town too boot. we just choose not to compete with those types of people.

our clients dont want bottom feeders in their homes

good luck with your walmart rugs
 
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