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How much carpet cleaning experience do you recommend before starting a business?

Adam724

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How much carpet cleaning experience did you have before starting your own business?

What's the minimal amount of time you believe is necessary working in the field before you can strike out on your own?

Do you recommend any good courses or certifications before starting a carpet cleaning business?
 

1ST CHOICE CLEANING

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I had 6 years experience cleaning when I started on my own but had 0 experience on running a business, that's the hard part.

Hard to give a answer on how much time is needed with experience but my opinion is that guys starting off with no idea of what they are doing is bad for everyone. It's bad for them, bad for customers that think they are hiring a professional that knows and understands exactly what they are doing and giving the best results possible.
It is also bad for the guys that have been in the trenches for years giving the customers the best cleaning possible. Guys do not understand pricing and keeps prices low in the industry plus customers get a bad experience and think all cleaners are the same.
 
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Todd the Cleaner

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I totally agree with Jason.

I worked for years as an employee first as well before starting my own. I recommend you go to work for another cleaner for at least a year before starting your own business. Find out if you even like the work. If you decide you like the work take some classes and learn all you can before you take the plunge.
 
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1ST CHOICE CLEANING

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I totally agree with Jason.

I worked for years as an employee first as well before starting my own. I recommend you go to work for another cleaner for at least a year before starting your own business. Find out if you even like the work. If you decide you like the work take some classes and learn all you can before you take the plunge.
About 2-3 years ago I saw a video of one of our local cleaners in a local buy and sell group on Facebook cleaning a sectional sofa with a stair tool and couldn't stop laughing for about 30 minutes as I watched it over and over. All I knew about the guy was that he had signs posted all around town advertising 3 rooms for $59 and I saw a few posts from him in the group advertising and being cash only. About 3 seconds into the video it was obvious he had no idea on the proper way to clean and was hitting that sectional with the stair wand cleaning with at least 800 psi and standing on ceramic tile. He was spraying water everywhere in every direction and kept slipping and sliding, he couldn't keep his balance on the wet tile as he was jamming the stair tool into the sectional and came close to busting his a$$ a few times. In the 2-3 minute video he proceeded to clean about half the sectional and it did look like he was cleaning the crap out of it as water was going everywhere and it was soaking wet.

Now I laughed like crazy and thought I broke a rib because I knew that sectional was going to take days to dry, probably wick back all over and he probably ripped it somewhere the way he was slamming the stair tool into it. Once I wiped the tears of laughter away I noticed he had close to 20 likes and people was asking him how much he charges.

Customers do not know the difference between a professional and someone that does a crappy job and lump us all together. Anyone that saw that video and never hired a real professional would think a sectional would take less than 20 minutes and would be charged $50.

My point is everyone needs to get some real experience and not bring down our industry before starting a carpet cleaning "business".
 

Todd the Cleaner

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About 2-3 years ago I saw a video of one of our local cleaners in a local buy and sell group on Facebook cleaning a sectional sofa with a stair tool and couldn't stop laughing for about 30 minutes as I watched it over and over. All I knew about the guy was that he had signs posted all around town advertising 3 rooms for $59 and I saw a few posts from him in the group advertising and being cash only. About 3 seconds into the video it was obvious he had no idea on the proper way to clean and was hitting that sectional with the stair wand cleaning with at least 800 psi and standing on ceramic tile. He was spraying water everywhere in every direction and kept slipping and sliding, he couldn't keep his balance on the wet tile as he was jamming the stair tool into the sectional and came close to busting his a$$ a few times. In the 2-3 minute video he proceeded to clean about half the sectional and it did look like he was cleaning the crap out of it as water was going everywhere and it was soaking wet.

Now I laughed like crazy and thought I broke a rib because I knew that sectional was going to take days to dry, probably wick back all over and he probably ripped it somewhere the way he was slamming the stair tool into it. Once I wiped the tears of laughter away I noticed he had close to 20 likes and people was asking him how much he charges.

Customers do not know the difference between a professional and someone that does a crappy job and lump us all together. Anyone that saw that video and never hired a real professional would think a sectional would take less than 20 minutes and would be charged $50.

My point is everyone needs to get some real experience and not bring down our industry before starting a carpet cleaning "business".
Wow, that’s quite a story. I had a local cleaner in Vegas call me one time because his truckmount broke down in the middle of a job. He asked if I could let him use my machine to finish his job. When I arrived we hooked his hoses up to my machine and he finished the job. I went in to pull hoses for him. The house was about 4000 square feet with over 3000 square feet of carpet. He had only cleaned 2 rooms when his machine went down so he still had about 2500 square feet to go.

I watched in amazement as he went through moving the wand as fast as he possibly could holding the trigger open the whole time. Not once through the job did he let off the trigger, no dry passes what so ever. I watched him clean 4 bedrooms, a large hall, stairs, an office, living room, dining room, den, and bonus room in less than 30 minutes. 10 areas plus the 2 rooms he did before I got there and had he not broken down he would have done the whole job in under 45 minutes. When he was done I saw him collect $100 for his work. I guess the customer got what they paid for. Shocking enough, this was one of his repeat customers that used him 3 times a year:oops:

So, once again I have to completely agree with you. If these guys would get the proper training and education not only on the cleaning side but the business management side too we as cleaners would all benefit. Cleaners like these in our stories just bring the whole industry down.
 

MikeGaure

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It’s really not rocket science. I don’t think you need a year too get an idea of how too clean. I wouldn’t have been able too survive at what some guys earn as an employee too clean carpets. So I jumped in with both feet. Now we’ve definitely evolved since then and clean carpet minimally.
 
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Anderson

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good to start with cleaning for training purposes that is a little more room for learning....
example:
hotels
apartments
rentals
 

floorclean

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Experience is one aspect of cleaning and yes very important. But I’d say equally as important and maybe slight more so is the drive to learn and the desire to do better and be better. And never to be so so full of yourself to think you know it all. There’s not a veteran in the industry that can say they know it all.
 

Todd the Cleaner

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And never to be so so full of yourself to think you know it all. There’s not a veteran in the industry that can say they know it all.
So true, even after 25 years I still learn new things all the time.
 
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Mama Fen

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So true, even after 25 years I still learn new things all the time.
Wiser words never spoken.

After eight years, I am still trying desperately to cram more stuff into my itty bitty brain every time I open the doors. If I haven't learned something new from my guys throughout the course of a single given day, then I just haven't been paying attention.

As for what it means to be a professional carpet cleaner - well, let's look at what "professional" means to begin with, eh?

The six important aspects of professionalism often touted in training programs are as follows:

Specialized Knowledge
- what's in your skill-bank that the customer doesn't have?

Competency - do you make excuses, or do you set realistic expectations?

Honesty/Integrity - do you follow through? keep your word? do the right thing?

Accountability -
do you hold yourself accountable when things go south?

Self-Regulation -
do you maintain your dignity even when a customer is rude?

Looking the Part -
is your appearance a help or a hindrance to perception of you?

#1 is where training schools AND hands-on practice come heavily into play. You can have #2-#6 in spades, and if you're lacking #1 then you're just another guy looking to make some money. So spend the time becoming truly good at what you intend to do, before you start asking people to pay you to do it.

A good test I often give my guys when they ask this question is, "Wait to call yourself a pro until you've as good as, or better than, the guy you'd want to do it for your family in case of an emergency. THEN you call yourself a pro."

Conversely, you can have the HIGHEST possible specialized knowledge, but if you have an abrasive personality, severe halitosis, and a "Hilter Loves Yo Momma" tattoo across your forehead, you just might not make it in a service-oriented industry.

There's no "magic line" you can cross to go from hobbyist territory to professional. It is a flexible, breathable barrier that's located in a different place for everyone.
 
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Todd the Cleaner

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Ya but in fairness your a little slow
Well, true. The first 17 years that I was a cleaner I worked for a company that didn’t believe in training and also didn’t keep up with the times. Most of what I learned there I learned by trial and error and doing my own research. By the time I left the company I thought I was a pretty good cleaner and one of the best in town.

Over the next year as I started my own business and found TMF I found out just how little I knew. I saw guys on TMF getting stains out that I had always been told were permanent stains. I saw guys dealing with all kinds of issues that I had no idea were fixable. I have learned a lot from TMF that now allows me to fix issues that I used to tell customers I couldn’t help them with. I’ve learned more in the last 8 years than I did my first 17 years.
 

floorclean

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Well, true. The first 17 years that I was a cleaner I worked for a company that didn’t believe in training and also didn’t keep up with the times. Most of what I learned there I learned by trial and error and doing my own research. By the time I left the company I thought I was a pretty good cleaner and one of the best in town.

Over the next year as I started my own business and found TMF I found out just how little I knew. I saw guys on TMF getting stains out that I had always been told were permanent stains. I saw guys dealing with all kinds of issues that I had no idea were fixable. I have learned a lot from TMF that now allows me to fix issues that I used to tell customers I couldn’t help them with. I’ve learned more in the last 8 years than I did my first 17 years.
Now I just feel bad implying your slow! LOL
 

rob allen

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Come take a week ride along with me. I’ll have you cleaning like a pro and will mentor you via FaceTime.
 
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