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Just Starting Out

Sep 15, 2013
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Marc Payne
Hello,
Im new to the forum and am just starting out in the business.
My dilemma is what to spend and what is out there.
One setup is a prochem blazer plus with 1300 hrs and 2002 van (very clean)with 90,000
for $ 15,000.
Other option is A Hydracat Crossfire 4.2 with about 5000 hrs and a 97 Dodge ram with 150,000 miles
all for $3500.
Machine works good ...water gets extremely hot and suction is pretty strong although it is better
on the Prochem obviously being a newer. unit.
Pros on the the Prochem set up is newer unit and probably wont have much problems for awhile.
Cons are if the business doent work out its a bigger investment Ive lost out on unless I can recoup my money by reselling it.
Pros on the Hydracat is minimal investment to get my feet in the water and if doesn't work out
im not out the $15,000 like I would be on the Prochem.
Cons is it is and older van and truckmount so it could go at any time.
The owner and a buddy of mine says he has gone through it kept it up but people will say anything
to make a buck.
Can anybody give me some advise on the hydracat.Ive ready some negative things on it.
What should I look for in evaluating this set up.
I know when I put my hand on the the vacume inlet on the tank its not like I have to pry my hand off to
take it off (almost the strength of like a wet and dry)but if I leave my hand on the suction builds up and gets stronger.
I took a piece of cardboard and left it on the inlet for about 10 seconds I noticed the longer I left it on
the lower the engine idled...almost like it was about to die.Is that normal or just stressful on the motor.
Water get to about 210 degrees.
Belts have a little bit of a wobble too but not too bad but I do see belt dust around the pullys and
owner said he was using wrong belt size at first so went through belts.
I am skeptible on an older set up like this but the price seems right and if all goes well in a year
I can upgrade and maybe have 2 vans if this one hangs in there.
Anyways thanks for any advice..
 
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Spazznout

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Welcome Marc!

Buying equipment is the fun and easy part.

A few questions for you though first.

What is your marketing plan?

How are you going to make your phone ring?

After buying equipment, how much money in CASH do you have set aside to implement that marketing plan and to make your phone ring?

Once we understand that, then directing you to the correct equipment will be much easier.
 
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rob allen

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Hello,
Im new to the forum and am just starting out in the business.
My dilemma is what to spend and what is out there.
One setup is a prochem blazer plus with 1300 hrs and 2002 van (very clean)with 90,000
for $ 15,000.
Other option is A Hydracat Crossfire 4.2 with about 5000 hrs and a 97 Dodge ram with 150,000 miles
all for $3500.
Machine works good ...water gets extremely hot and suction is pretty strong although it is better
on the Prochem obviously being a newer. unit.
Pros on the the Prochem set up is newer unit and probably wont have much problems for awhile.
Cons are if the business doent work out its a bigger investment Ive lost out on unless I can recoup my money by reselling it.
Pros on the Hydracat is minimal investment to get my feet in the water and if doesn't work out
im not out the $15,000 like I would be on the Prochem.
Cons is it is and older van and truckmount so it could go at any time.
The owner and a buddy of mine says he has gone through it kept it up but people will say anything
to make a buck.
Can anybody give me some advise on the hydracat.Ive ready some negative things on it.
What should I look for in evaluating this set up.
I know when I put my hand on the the vacume inlet on the tank its not like I have to pry my hand off to
take it off (almost the strength of like a wet and dry)but if I leave my hand on the suction builds up and gets stronger.
I took a piece of cardboard and left it on the inlet for about 10 seconds I noticed the longer I left it on
the lower the engine idled...almost like it was about to die.Is that normal or just stressful on the motor.
Water get to about 210 degrees.
Belts have a little bit of a wobble too but not too bad but I do see belt dust around the pullys and
owner said he was using wrong belt size at first so went through belts.
I am skeptible on an older set up like this but the price seems right and if all goes well in a year
I can upgrade and maybe have 2 vans if this one hangs in there.
Anyways thanks for any advice..
Before we talk equipment Marc let's address a few other issues;
How much experience do you have cleaning?
Do you have a part time or even a full time job still?
How much do you plan on spending on marketing?
Do you have accounts set up already?
Do you have money set aside to live off while the business gets off the ground for a year or two?
What's your target audience?
What's the medium income where you live?
What's the population where you live?
How's the housing market in your area?
Do you have an established working relationship with an attorney,accountant and business advisor?
What's your projected income for the 1st year?
What's your 5 year plan?
How is the local economy?
Who will answer your phone?
How many days a week do you plan on working?
Do you have sales experience?
Are you willing to go meet face to face with business owners?
Are you mainly going after commercial or residential?


That's just off the top of my head. Sure I will think of a few more. That should do for now though.

Rob
 

rob allen

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Welcome Marc!

Buying equipment is the fun and easy part.

A few questions for you though first.

What is your marketing plan?

How are you going to make your phone ring?

After buying equipment, how much money in CASH do you have set aside to implement that marketing plan and to make your phone ring?
Ha! You beat me Matt.
 
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rob allen

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Yeah, but your list is more comprehensive.
Matt I think it's overdue with all the newbies to give them an idea of what they are jumping into. We probably should make this a sticky.
 
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Sep 15, 2013
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Marc Payne
Thnks for the response.
My background and marketing plan on carpet cleaning would be the following:
I own another business which is my bread and butter and has allowed me to save to invest in another business such as carpet cleaning.
So I don't need to make a living from this right now.Its more of a long term goal.
one of my workers and long term friend ran a carpet cleaning business a few yrs back and is certified in stain removal,rug cleaning etc.
(I would want to as well )and he would be the tech I would use .we are talking like a 30% -40 commission on any work he gets an dose.
Of course if I do the work I keep it all.
I just think he can make more money carpet cleaning then he can by the hour paying what I pay him at the shop.My goal to start would be extra $500-$1000
a month to start but anything is better then the interest im getting on the money sitting in the bank.
He has many contacts from doing carpet cleaning before and is big on facebook and has a big following as well from the local successful band he is in.Also has a stay at home wife that could make contacts.
One of my main marketing strategies is SEO and online involvement because it has worked for my existing business.
I have many business contact such as realtors, professional etc that I would let know of the new business.
We also have a college nearby with lots of dorms that my worker has done before.
Our population in our county is about 271,000.Im in California.
There is a lot of competition in our area and lowballers which worries me but I know that everywhere.
Cash set aside for business is $20,000-$30,000 if needed.
 

Mojo Rising

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You should find out what type of machines your local supply house works on.. if you get a machine that breaks down and they can't fix it, then you are up a creek. If you don't really have a supply house just get a simple machine that you can work on yourself.
 

rob allen

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Mojo (Brent) makes a good point about your local. But if I had to choose out of the 2 of course I would go with the Prochem for several reasons;

-easy get parts for
-one most sold and recognized brand
-relatively easy to repair
-most distributors work on them
-better condition
-less headaches
-sounds like the other unit has issues already

That being said I might look for a little better deal or try to negotiate. My biggest concern is using 50-75% of your starting capital on equipment. You could buy new or lease with no money down and use that full capital for getting the phone to ring.
 

Artie09

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Where California are you in?
I'm 25 minutes from Los angeles.

Id buy an entry level tm. Cheap as possible. You can always restore the cosmetics. Keep the majority for marketing which looks like you know what's up
 

Artie09

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Where California are you in?
I'm 25 minutes from Los angeles.

Id buy an entry level tm. Cheap as possible. You can always restore the cosmetics. Keep the majority for marketing which looks like you what's up
Know*
 

Mojo Rising

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Every once in awhile I can come up with a good point or two.. I like to spread them out as to not spoil everyone :):)

I agree with going with the prochem over the spitfire.. Of course I would still be looking because neither one of those choices really get me excited.

Its so true.. the eyes are bigger than their checkbook effect. Majority of businesses in this industry go out of business because they spend to much on their equipment and not enough for long term marketing. The good thing is you have another business to help you along while you grow it.
 
Sep 15, 2013
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Marc Payne
Locally they work on Prochems and machines but as far as the Hydracat goes nothing too local.
But I can get parts if needed and know people that can work on the engine if needed but I guess the one of the reasons I am posting theses questions
is to find out if this Hydracat is an easy machine to work on or is it a piece of shit.Maybe I don't need the $15,000 prochem either but maybe something
between the Hydra and Prochem.
Like I said what I do like about the $3500 set up is it a minimal investment to test the waters and it leaves me with more money to invest in whats needed wheteher it be the van marketing etc.
I mean it does work...ive seen it clean carpets and seems to work good.
 
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Prosteam-sonomacounty

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The fact that you don't NEED to make $$ right away puts you in the drivers seat and IMO makes partnership not necessary. Additionally it allows you to charge accordingly higher prices and grow the business slowly the right way instead of pushing out a bunch of ads with 5 room specials. If I didn't have to make a profit right away when I started , I'd have been better off today.
 

AZ cleaner

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blazer and 02 van.....15k seems a bit much.....with cash in hand and some patience you`ll find someone giving up their vision of achieving global dominance in the carpet cleaning industry and score a good deal on a van and mount :D
 

rob allen

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blazer and 02 van.....15k seems a bit much.....with cash in hand and some patience you`ll find someone giving up their vision of achieving global dominance in the carpet cleaning industry and score a good deal on a van and mount :D
Agreed Gary. I'd show up with about 10k and see where it goes from there.
 
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