How much money needed to start a carpet cleaning business? | TruckMount Forums #1 Carpet Cleaning Forums

How much money needed to start a carpet cleaning business?

rob allen

Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
Sep 5, 2007
35,105
17,644
113
Va.
www.drynclean.com
Real Name
Robert Allen,Jr.
Business Location
United States
Over the years since TMF started I have been asked this question numerous times and feel it's a loaded question. Love to hear a few different viewpoints to make sure my advise is sound. So how much money does it cost to start a carpet cleaning business?

ADDED COMMENT-Feel free to post how much money you had and what you bought when you started.
 

See Spots Run

Well-Known Member
Nov 1, 2010
3,768
1,147
113
redding, Ca.
www.seespotsruninc.com
Real Name
Ivan Smith
Business Location
United States
We sarted with about $25,000.
That got us a new El Diablo, 1990 GMC van, reels and hoses, a few new tools, some used tools,
chems, 5000 business cards, uniforms and paint and lettering for the van, and our first order of postcards
to mail out.
Kind of a shoestring startup, but it's been working out great for us.
Not quite the shoestring that Joey started with though.
 

Lefty724

Well-Known Member
Oct 21, 2008
4,604
856
113
Salad Bowl, Cali
Real Name
E
Business Location
United States
I would say about $500, and that should cover a buffer (175), chems, and vacuum? All the biz expenses (license, insurance, marketing) can come later if you decide this is for you?

If I had to start all over again I would go this route. I would push bonnet/encap cleaning and be 100% honest about my experience and skills.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Erik Cable

Richard Baldwin

Premium VIP
Sep 5, 2008
6,226
785
113
Ontario
www.expertcarpet-care.com
Real Name
Richard Baldwin
I started with a $10,000 loan from a customer when I was working for another company. It was barely enough to get started with a Ninja, tools, chems, down payment on leasing a van and marketing to get started. We lost money for the first two years before it started to turn around.
 

Kipp

Smart Ass Of The Year!
Premium VIP
Apr 13, 2011
12,848
9,137
113
Real Name
Kipp
That's something somebody has to figure out on their own....that's the wrong question for them to ask, they need to be asking what's involved in operating a carpeting cleaning business...process, procedures, equipment etc....then it's up to them to research and develop a plan.

I would ask how hungry are you? ....the hungrier your are the less it will cost....

Guys have started with $10k and been successful and other get $100k loans and are out of business in 6 months

It's not about money it's about drive
 
  • Like
Reactions: WtWalker

Colby

Member
Nov 11, 2010
180
24
18
Real Name
Colby
Business Location
United States
$6,000 got me a trailer my portable my licensing all my chems and hoses all my marketing with biz cards and doorhangers wand and some tools with about 300 left over .
 

Frank DiGi

Premium VIP
Sep 3, 2008
12,337
2,685
113
pa
www.dicarpetclean.com
Real Name
Frank
Business Location
United States
1300 with a portable , couple years later then purchased 2 Vans and with Tm's ,and same year F650 box truck for flood work..
 
  • Like
Reactions: A1CS

peakcleaning

Active Member
Jan 26, 2011
191
29
28
mo
Real Name
les
Business Location
United States
We started with about 4k. We picked up a beat up chevy and a rusty prochem legend. The two broke down twice a week, but I kept going. We were not left with much other options because of a serious illness we needed cash for prescriptions and fast. I got out and hit doors, bugged businesses and told everyone I ran into about our services. (literally everyone!) I would say we had about 2-300 for flyers and cards after the machinery repairs. After the 5th month we were doing consistant and I was working most of the week straight. Now we are doing great and I am happy I chose this and not and extra job to cover the costs!!
 

peakcleaning

Active Member
Jan 26, 2011
191
29
28
mo
Real Name
les
Business Location
United States
Oh yeah...if I would have fallen pray to interlinks salesman I would of been led to believe I could cover the cost of a leased set up with a couple of jobs...easy they said. Tip: don't go sigh into a bucnh of debt. Scape by with what you can get and go that route. Unless you have a generous Grandpa or sugar moma or something that route!
 

carpetwarrior

Member
Apr 12, 2009
88
2
6
Real Name
Bob Knoffler
Business Location
United States
Great question but there are too many variables for any one amount to hit the nail on the head for any single person or startup.

Just a few of the bigger variables;

1 - are you starting an operation around a TM, Porty, Encap, etc.

2 - is your business model going to be primarily residential or commercial or both, (greatly effects your advertising budgets).

3 - what are your personal income needs for the next 12-18 months.

4 - what will your business expenses be in the next 12-18 months.

I think the most important cost of starting any business is #3 and then figuring our #4 and making them a part of your startup cost, #3 could vary BIG time, a 24 year old living with his parents can live on peanuts, a 36 YO with 4 kids one about to start college next year might need an immediate 60k the first year or be under water - it's a startup cost, with huge variables in itself.

In an ideal world, you should have enough liquidity to run your biz and pay your personal expenses without making a dime for 6 months, and have that money - or as much of it as possible, set aside and kept there for your first 2-3 years.

With the right biz plan, I think this could be the best time to borrow as much of that startup cost as possible, lent money is cheap now - if you can get it.

Not having the reserve capitol you and your biz needs is why we see so many $2800 dehus with 250 hrs on them on ebay going for a quick $1000 - and why so many fail in the first 18 months.

My startup was $150k yr1
 

bill

Well-Known Member
Jun 29, 2008
1,910
443
83
Southern California
freshcleanhome.com
Real Name
Bill Vivers
Business Location
United States
Hard to say but you could start with this.
1. Portable route maybe $5000 to $8000
2. truck mount route maybe $10,000 to $20,000
This could get you some decent used equipment and leave some money for marketing. Really depends on the situation somebody is in a the time. How they want to be perceived by the client, how good a job they want to be able to perform etc.. For instance. My best friend who worked with me at SS many years ago decided he wanted to start his own company. Came out and trained with me, bought a new TM (legend GT) and a used van in good condition along with all the goodies Inc tile equipment for about $30,000. A year later is doing well, presenting a awesome image, performing great work and building a solid clientele base. I believe TM is the way to go for sure as you will be able to knock out jobs faster, especially dirty ones. You also present a professional image when you pull up in a shiny clean van with all your decals/wraps on it. Most of my clients and consumers in general want the power of these vs portable or dry cleaning.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Bob Lain

flagship

Member
Sep 5, 2010
156
0
16
pa
Real Name
Joseph James
Business Location
United States
I traded a new laptop for my old equipment to get started. It worked great and now I am really doing well and own new equipment. The key is to do a great job when you get the work and ask your customers to put the word out.
 

steam king

Member
Apr 11, 2009
604
13
18
California
Real Name
Miguel Mayorga
Business Location
United States
When I started I used an old Clarke 15" 175 machine, a couple bonnets, bare minimum of chemicals, and a garden sprayer for my prespray. Total I would say about 1500 for everything and used my F-150 to get around. But within 2 years I upgraded to a new portable set up, a used van, and then to a truckmounted set up, and finally to purchasing a second truckmounted unit.
 
  • Like
Reactions: StevenB.

steam king

Member
Apr 11, 2009
604
13
18
California
Real Name
Miguel Mayorga
Business Location
United States
I do agree with 1kaday though, you can start with a vortex or a rug dr and still fail...in the end it's all about the hard work you put in, sacrifice and the drive that you have to succeed.