I would like help growing my business, or at least know why it didn't work. Unbelievable low revenues with no growth.

Welcome to our Community
Wanting to join the rest of our members? Feel free to sign up today.
Sign up
Oct 31, 2013
115
18
18
Real Name
Nathan Yoder
#1
I've been in business for 4 years, and have had zero growth for 3 of those years and my first year numbers were really low too. I don't want to say what my revenues are, because honestly, it's so embarrassing. I've perused these forums since before I even started my business and I've never seen anybody state revenues as low as mine. I do get repeats from the customers I do get, as well as some referrals. I have a great reputation online, with 5 star averages on Google, Yelp and Facebook. In fact, I show up on the first page for yelp in my city and all of the surrounding cities. Yet, I haven't even been able to turn it into even a reliable part time job. I'm not blaming anyone, I know I'm at fault as the only one running it is me, I have no one above or below me, I just don't know where I've faulted. I've heard so many stories on here of people starting their business, and within months they don't even need any other form of income. I've been at this 4 years and have not been able to even think about that. To give you an idea, today, it has been 18 days since my last job. Yes, that's how bad it is. Please, help. I'm willing to try your suggestions. Right now, my advertising budget is not big as money is tight, but I'm willing to do marketing in whatever ways I can. Even if my business reputation wasn't as good as it is, I still never would have imagined my revenue being this bad. Thank You in advance.
 

SRD

Well-Known Member
Nov 6, 2010
2,606
1,574
113
midwest
Real Name
Spencer Dawdy
Business Location
United States
#2
What type of work are you pursuing? Commercial, Residential, Multifamily?
If your only pursuing residential, maybe try to pick up a few commercial accounts or some multifamily just to get some revenue coming in, its cheap only costs you some time and a business card.
 

PistolPete

Well-Known Member
Sep 28, 2014
1,445
784
113
Real Name
Peter Dymond
#3
So the phone isn't ringing?
That's a marketing issue.

Are you on next-door, facebook?
Both are free.
Create a business page and then post.
Craigslist can get you bottom end customers.
EDDM works, pick a nice area near your house and send out a holiday special post card.
You don't have to spend much.
 

ToddBenne

Active Member
Sep 7, 2008
532
219
43
O' fallon, MO.
Real Name
Todd Benne
#4
First off, after 30 years in this industry, I have learned to take what is stated on the iternet with a large grain of salt. Every market will respond differently. Every market has a different level of carpet cleaning demand. You cannot and must not compare yourself to others. Period.

One of the basic business skills that is never discussed or taught in classes is you must have an intimate knowledge of the market(s) you intend to serve. What do I mean? You need to know the median income level, home price, home size, average number of rooms in a home with carpet to be cleaned, how long will it take you to clean, your COG etc etc.

Do not fall into the trap spread around on the web about 'charge high prices, do quality work, you'll be sooo busy.' BS. You're a carpet cleaner. Another type of home cleaning service. Be realistic.

My suggestion would be to review your company's position in your market. Do you know your COG? Can you answer any of the questions above about your market knowledge? Is your pricing to high for the market you are attempting to serve? I am willing to bet it is.

As to securing commercial accounts, perhaps. But that doesn't resolve the need for immediate cash flow. Commercial accounts will string out billing 30 or more days.

Marketing; what methods are you using now? who are you trying to reach? What is your offer? Do you have a USP? What is your response rate? Conversion rate?

This industry is so much more than buying a $1500 wand, the latest hyped pre spray and a monster machine. You need to be a business man, not a carpet cleaner.
 
Feb 6, 2018
8
0
1
Real Name
Cheryl Shenave
#5
I've been in business for 4 years, and have had zero growth for 3 of those years and my first year numbers were really low too. I don't want to say what my revenues are, because honestly, it's so embarrassing. I've perused these forums since before I even started my business and I've never seen anybody state revenues as low as mine. I do get repeats from the customers I do get, as well as some referrals. I have a great reputation online, with 5 star averages on Google, Yelp and Facebook. In fact, I show up on the first page for yelp in my city and all of the surrounding cities. Yet, I haven't even been able to turn it into even a reliable part time job. I'm not blaming anyone, I know I'm at fault as the only one running it is me, I have no one above or below me, I just don't know where I've faulted. I've heard so many stories on here of people starting their business, and within months they don't even need any other form of income. I've been at this 4 years and have not been able to even think about that. To give you an idea, today, it has been 18 days since my last job. Yes, that's how bad it is. Please, help. I'm willing to try your suggestions. Right now, my advertising budget is not big as money is tight, but I'm willing to do marketing in whatever ways I can. Even if my business reputation wasn't as good as it is, I still never would have imagined my revenue being this bad. Thank You in advance.
Wow! 18 days that is quite long. How are you marketing yourself? Do you have a website? Do you have a Google business listing? You can create a google business listing yourself. www.google.com/business sign up and make a post. Remember to use words that people will be using to search for your services. This listing gives you an option to post videos and pictures. You can post a special offer and this is a good place to put a link back to your website. There is a call now option and many of your clients will most likely be searching via mobile device. Also, you can post your google listing in forums like these and if you have a specific page you want to direct folks to you can get a short url to link to that page. Example: https://goo.gl/9HctHK
Google business listing EXAMPLE : https://goo.gl/maps/m7LhbtigweK2
Instructions for Google business listing url: Make a business listing / Go to info page / click on Maps / Click copy link
Now you can post and share this link to your page. Always email this link after a job to the client and encourage them to leave a review.
I hope this helps!
www.myhoustoncarpetcleaning.com
 

1ST CHOICE CLEANING

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Premium VIP
Mar 30, 2010
23,742
7,979
113
44
texas
Real Name
jason fisher
Business Location
United States
#6
Where are you located and what is the population? My first year was only $17k but have but it as high as $120k although the last 2 years have been rough for us but we are getting back on track after losing a few key accounts.
 

1ST CHOICE CLEANING

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Premium VIP
Mar 30, 2010
23,742
7,979
113
44
texas
Real Name
jason fisher
Business Location
United States
#8
I'll help you. My first question is how much are you spending on marketing per month?
I think I have discovered his problem: He does not answer questions when he is looking for help :unsure:
 
Oct 31, 2013
115
18
18
Real Name
Nathan Yoder
#9
What type of work are you pursuing? Commercial, Residential, Multifamily?
If your only pursuing residential, maybe try to pick up a few commercial accounts or some multifamily just to get some revenue coming in, its cheap only costs you some time and a business card.
Residential mostly, as it’s just me and I only have a HWE machine. Have done some commercial, though.
 
Oct 31, 2013
115
18
18
Real Name
Nathan Yoder
#10
So the phone isn't ringing?
That's a marketing issue.

Are you on next-door, facebook?
Both are free.
Create a business page and then post.
Craigslist can get you bottom end customers.
EDDM works, pick a nice area near your house and send out a holiday special post card.
You don't have to spend much.
I’m on Facebook. Never heard of next-door, but will certainly check it out.
 
Oct 31, 2013
115
18
18
Real Name
Nathan Yoder
#11
First off, after 30 years in this industry, I have learned to take what is stated on the iternet with a large grain of salt. Every market will respond differently. Every market has a different level of carpet cleaning demand. You cannot and must not compare yourself to others. Period.

One of the basic business skills that is never discussed or taught in classes is you must have an intimate knowledge of the market(s) you intend to serve. What do I mean? You need to know the median income level, home price, home size, average number of rooms in a home with carpet to be cleaned, how long will it take you to clean, your COG etc etc.

Do not fall into the trap spread around on the web about 'charge high prices, do quality work, you'll be sooo busy.' BS. You're a carpet cleaner. Another type of home cleaning service. Be realistic.

My suggestion would be to review your company's position in your market. Do you know your COG? Can you answer any of the questions above about your market knowledge? Is your pricing to high for the market you are attempting to serve? I am willing to bet it is.

As to securing commercial accounts, perhaps. But that doesn't resolve the need for immediate cash flow. Commercial accounts will string out billing 30 or more days.

Marketing; what methods are you using now? who are you trying to reach? What is your offer? Do you have a USP? What is your response rate? Conversion rate?

This industry is so much more than buying a $1500 wand, the latest hyped pre spray and a monster machine. You need to be a business man, not a carpet cleaner.
There is tremendous wealth disparity in my area. My surrounding areas are Woodland Hills, Calabasas, Bell Canyon, Hidden Hills, then East is Canoga Park, Winnetka, tarzana. I’m right in between wealthy and poor areas and have served people in both areas.
 
Oct 31, 2013
115
18
18
Real Name
Nathan Yoder
#12
Wow! 18 days that is quite long. How are you marketing yourself? Do you have a website? Do you have a Google business listing? You can create a google business listing yourself. www.google.com/business sign up and make a post. Remember to use words that people will be using to search for your services. This listing gives you an option to post videos and pictures. You can post a special offer and this is a good place to put a link back to your website. There is a call now option and many of your clients will most likely be searching via mobile device. Also, you can post your google listing in forums like these and if you have a specific page you want to direct folks to you can get a short url to link to that page. Example: https://goo.gl/9HctHK
Google business listing EXAMPLE : https://goo.gl/maps/m7LhbtigweK2
Instructions for Google business listing url: Make a business listing / Go to info page / click on Maps / Click copy link
Now you can post and share this link to your page. Always email this link after a job to the client and encourage them to leave a review.
I hope this helps!
www.myhoustoncarpetcleaning.com
I did have a Google Business Listing, but they suspended it due to me using my UPS Store mail box as my location (I run it from home and don’t want my home address public). After a few years they did that. That was a help while it was up.
 
Oct 31, 2013
115
18
18
Real Name
Nathan Yoder
#13
Where are you located and what is the population? My first year was only $17k but have but it as high as $120k although the last 2 years have been rough for us but we are getting back on track after losing a few key accounts.
I am located in Canoga Park, California. There are probably several hundred thousand in my area.
 

ACP

Well-Known Member
Apr 9, 2014
2,665
1,637
113
34
Washington
Real Name
Bjorn Marshall
#15
Make sure every job you do get your appearance is very very good, do what ever you can to make sure your van and you are clean and nice looking.. no crazy neck tattoos, no ripped jeans, no holey sweatpants, etc.

you need to be really clean and presentable looking to succeed in this business..
 

PistolPete

Well-Known Member
Sep 28, 2014
1,445
784
113
Real Name
Peter Dymond
#16
Reopen your Google business page.
You can choose to not have your address listed but they will need an address.
Ask for Google reviews by email after every job.
As your reviews increase you will naturally rank higher on Google.
Get a YouTube channel going.
Post some short videos there.
Put those videos on your website and post on facebook.
If you don't have money then you have to invest time.
 

ToddBenne

Active Member
Sep 7, 2008
532
219
43
O' fallon, MO.
Real Name
Todd Benne
#18
As to reviews and your Google ranking increasing, I am skeptical. That used to work. I currently have two reviews and rank #1. Guys below me have more and less reviews. The ranking is dependent upon the Google algorithm flavor of the day.

As to Nextdoor.com, my experience in my market has been null. I honestly think it is questionable. I had a client refer me last year to her neighbor via Nextdoor. I landed that job. Then slowly I saw my territory of being able to be seen by neighborhoods increase. It began to include neighborhoods and clients I had never serviced. I verified this. My company would become recommended in topics in neighborhoods like pizza parlors, nail salons, caterers. Huh? I had one lady go on Nextdoor upset that Nextdoor claimed she recommended me, which she never did and has never used our services and how did I or Nextdoor get into her account to post such?, in a discussion about kids parties and looking for a face painter and balloon artist. In a little over a year of being on Nextdoor, we have received one job. As I said above originally, every market is different.

Try this; go to a few restaurants during their off peak hours. Don't disturb the manager during lunch or dinner shift. Ask if you can offer a quote to clean their fabric chairs and/or booths. Don't even mention carpet, every cleaner and his brother have already been down that road with him. Be polite and explain how his customers come in to eat and then sit in other diners' mess in their clean clothes. Figure what your production rate will be, know your COG and bid it. You may be surprised to find no other cleaners have asked for his business of cleaning the seating.
 
Last edited:

Odin

Well-Known Member
Mar 26, 2014
1,349
787
113
Real Name
terje brevik
#19
" I've perused these forums since before I even started my business"
that was your first mistake

Most of the guys on the forums are not really telling the truth about the masses of amount of loot they bring in. Their all high class and only rich customers and each time they raise their prices the customers only love them more. LOL

You live in a area with a billion people and million carpet cleaners.

If you have all this free time on your hands time to hit the road start talking to people
passing out business cards, Some very good advice from Todd above some of the best advice.

Restaurants he has some great advice and I would ad a free demo clean. Latter you can pick up the carpets or what not. Once you have the restaurant you offer all the employees discounts for cleaning of their carpets cars motor homes what ever.
 

1ST CHOICE CLEANING

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Premium VIP
Mar 30, 2010
23,742
7,979
113
44
texas
Real Name
jason fisher
Business Location
United States
#20
I am located in Canoga Park, California. There are probably several hundred thousand in my area.
Ouch- 18 days between jobs with that population screams that there is a problem. I get pissed off if I go 2 days in a row without a job and that is including Saturday.
It has to be something wrong with one of the following areas:

-You are not trying hard enough to get more jobs. You have to go shake some trees every now and them to get the fruit to fall.

-Your prices are too high for your area; are there a bunch of other cleaners doing the same quality work for far less then you?

-Your prices are too high for the quality of work you deliver

-Your phone isn't working

-You have 0 marketing going on

-You lost the passion for your business and the industry. It happens to guys and it becomes more of a burden than something they enjoy and want to spend time on.

Again it has to be one or more of the above reasons. My first 3 years I did not have a website or any online presence but I was still able to grow the business by going out talking to people and businesses looking for job. I spent many hours and walked a ton of miles putting up cheap looking door fliers that I made myself and had printed off cheap.