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Looking to gain experience before starting my own cc/t&g business.

jsimmons

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Looking to gain experience before starting my own cc/t&g business. My plan is to work p/t as a tech however what's keeping me from doing that is signing a non-compete form...I'd hate to be restricted from starting a business after gaining that experience. Do you recommend other ways to gain experience before jumping in as an owner/operator? I'm near Austin, TX and see Interlink offers certification classes...just don't think that would give me enough experience to dive in on my own. Thanks!
 

Bret

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I've never heard of a non-compete form in carpet cleaning. And if it exists, anyone who wants you to sign one you should tell them to go to hell. Only my opinion
 

rob allen

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State of the Art online streaming classes that come with a cert.

www.tmfacademy.com

Plus I mentor you. Never had anyone fail in business and most are large companies now.
 

Mama Fen

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Most people misunderstand Do Not Compete clauses. They don't mean you can't operate the same type of business you were in - they usually just mean you cannot actively seek out and convert the customer base of the existing business.

In my city, there are over 2.5 million people. That's a lot of carpet. One can easily sign a non-compete clause, then go into business and NOT go after the previous boss's customers.

If you approach a seasoned, REPUTABLE cleaner in your area, and explain that you want to start a CC business of your own, most guys will be THRILLED not only to mentor you, but to have you do the heavy work that they themselves are probably getting tired of doing. You'll start off pulling hoses and running back and forth, and he'll be telling war stories about the worst thing he's ever seen, and next thing you know you're learning a ton from him.
 

Scott W

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The classes held at Interlink (or another local distributor) are invaluable in giving you the foundation science behind cleaning. They don't stop at showing you how to do something, but focus on the way you should do something. Then you have the knowledge for many different situations.

But a classroom is not real life. It is good to start with some actual experience. Keep these points in mind:
  1. There are many ways to run a carpet cleaning company. Don't think that the one way you are shown is the only way to do something.
  2. Most companies that would hire you do not want to teach you how to run a cleaning company. They want to show you how to clean carpet. Those two things are a world apart. The hardest parts of running a successful and profitable company don't end at how to clean carpet. Marketing and management practices are important.
When you do get ready to start your own company, let me know. I have some training materials I will be glad to share. scottw@bridgewatercorp.net
 
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Harry Mullett

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My advice is to first decide where you want to be at the end of your career and plan a strategy to accomplish this goal. Even an exit strategy. Most carpet cleaners just have a job and have not planned for retirement and acquired the assets/wealth to retire. Then they find themselves broken down with crappy worn out equipment and doing a few jobs to make ends meet while trying to live on social security when they retire.

So my advice is to plan with your exit strategy always in mind. Plan from the beginning of where you want your ending.
 

rob allen

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My advice is to first decide where you want to be at the end of your career and plan a strategy to accomplish this goal. Even an exit strategy. Most carpet cleaners just have a job and have not planned for retirement and acquired the assets/wealth to retire. Then they find themselves broken down with crappy worn out equipment and doing a few jobs to make ends meet while trying to live on social security when they retire.

So my advice is to plan with your exit strategy always in mind. Plan from the beginning of where you want your ending.
Why exit? There’s a guy on forum who is 92 and still cleaning.
 

Johnny Bravo

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Why exit? There’s a guy on forum who is 92 and still cleaning.

Because no one wants to have clean carpet to make a living when/if they make it to 92.
 

rob allen

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Why exit? There’s a guy on forum who is 92 and still cleaning.

Because no one wants to have clean carpet to make a living when/if they make it to 92.
When people retire they die. I find cleaning an enjoyable workout. I’ve been off Truck for few years now but I miss meeting new people and the workout personally.
 

Anderson

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I will never quit the carpet cleaning business....
rob is right retirement for most men is quick death......

if I am too old to clean...I will hire out and train.....
If I cant find workers I will build truckmounts and sell them.....

at age 85...my hands are as strong as when I was 40....Caleb
and caleb fought giants
Joshua 14:10 in the bible
 

PATRICK YANELLO

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Looking to gain experience before starting my own cc/t&g business. My plan is to work p/t as a tech however what's keeping me from doing that is signing a non-compete form...I'd hate to be restricted from starting a business after gaining that experience. Do you recommend other ways to gain experience before jumping in as an owner/operator? I'm near Austin, TX and see Interlink offers certification classes...just don't think that would give me enough experience to dive in on my own. Thanks!
Classes can help to get clarification and ideas (and I have taken several, from Interlink, and TMF). Yet, they come with little to no hands on experience (except with Rob Allen, I did a ride along with his tech).

Your focus on getting real on the job experience is the thing that will help you the most, and quicken you to learn carpet cleaning, or any other floor cleaning. Keep aiming to do the work, do free demos (for family, friends, potential customers, ride alongs), and believe it or not, if you just start marketing your business, you will be able to do this. Avoid the big pitfalls of overwetting/rinsing carpets, and inferior vacs, and leaving chems in the carpet (rinse them out, but dont leave water/moisture in the carpet, it wicks back or makes customers upset, rightfully so, so fan it as soon as you extract to help, but the best extractor vacs will help you in this area for sure, number one sure).

TMF or anyone can help you with prespray, rinse, spotting and specialty issues. Altogether these folks have been great. Just watch out for the partiality in the industry, and make it your goal to remain impartial on tools, chems, methods, certifications, etc. People are real buggers when it comes to trashing who and what they dont use or like.

Pm me if you wish to discuss your ideas over the phone.
 

Harry Mullett

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I tried to quote Rob on the why exit question and it would not work. A couple of reasons to retire. Someone might get tired of sucking $hit and piss from carpets. And Who wants some old fart carpet cleaner shuffling around their house smelling up the place?
 

jsimmons

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I appreciate everyone's input/advice! Didn't expect this much response as I'm sure my concerns are cliche.
 

Mama Fen

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They're not cliche, they're the same concerns that everyone who's ever thought about getting into this industry has had.

Most guys who clean carpet do it for one of several reasons, and many of them have little to do with money:

1. It's intense physical labor, not a desk job, and it involves a lot of travel so you see a great deal. Carpet cleaners are a bit like long-haul truckers - they typically enjoy working alone, and don't mind sweating or driving.

2. Most of my local guys are independent O/Os, so they are their own boss, set their own hours and prices, and decide what balance between work and family/home suits them best. They don't bother with employees, they'd rather do it all themselves since it's THEIR reputation on the line. The business is only as big as THEY want it to be, so they can set their own pace.

3. First responders of all sorts flock to this industry because it's an instant gratification process - you see immediate results - and it answers their drive to fix, to heal, to make something better. (but without the threat of someone dying if they screw up)

4. A lot of guys do this part-time, to supplement their "real" job. @ANDY2012 is a GREAT example of how this part-time gig can become a full-blown successful cleaning company in a relatively short time... IF you want it to and are willing to put in the effort. And it doesn't cost tens of thousands of dollars if you're willing to take time building up your equipment pool. Dribs and drabs over time wind up equalling everything you'd need to go all-out.
 
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lvtandg

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Go work with someone else who has experience...F the schooling and online classes...Go first to see if you like manual labor, then see if you can talk the talk...

Did I mention never had schooling, never had online classes and made millions on my own over 19 years...Matter of fact never went to trade show or convention...LOL
 

Johnny Bravo

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They're not cliche, they're the same concerns that everyone who's ever thought about getting into this industry has had.

Most guys who clean carpet do it for one of several reasons, and many of them have little to do with money:

1. It's intense physical labor, not a desk job, and it involves a lot of travel so you see a great deal. Carpet cleaners are a bit like long-haul truckers - they typically enjoy working alone, and don't mind sweating or driving.

2. Most of my local guys are independent O/Os, so they are their own boss, set their own hours and prices, and decide what balance between work and family/home suits them best. They don't bother with employees, they'd rather do it all themselves since it's THEIR reputation on the line. The business is only as big as THEY want it to be, so they can set their own pace.

3. First responders of all sorts flock to this industry because it's an instant gratification process - you see immediate results - and it answers their drive to fix, to heal, to make something better. (but without the threat of someone dying if they screw up)

4. A lot of guys do this part-time, to supplement their "real" job. @ANDY2012 is a GREAT example of how this part-time gig can become a full-blown successful cleaning company in a relatively short time... IF you want it to and are willing to put in the effort. And it doesn't cost tens of thousands of dollars if you're willing to take time building up your equipment pool. Dribs and drabs over time wind up equalling everything you'd need to go all-out.

Well said Mama Fen.
 

Mama Fen

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Go work with someone else who has experience...F the schooling and online classes...Go first to see if you like manual labor, then see if you can talk the talk...

Did I mention never had schooling, never had online classes and made millions on my own over 19 years...Matter of fact never went to trade show or convention...LOL

Forgive me, lvtandg, but the idea of telling someone to not bother with an education is...frightening, to say the least.

Two guys show up to my door. Both are equally good at getting the job done.

One shows up with visible tattoos, slouchy pants, and a regular shirt on. His speech patterns are colloquial, bordering on lazy, and he tells me "I'll clean it for $100 and put Scotchguard on it for $50."

The other shows up in a collared shirt with a logo, pleated pants, and a smile. He introduces himself, walks the job with me, and then says "I can pre-vacuum for you to remove loose soil, do a deep treatment that's allowed to dwell for extra soil suspension; then I'll extract with a rotary device that will scrub the fibers and help correct any crushing damage from foot traffic. If there are spots remaining, like that Kool-Aid over there, I can do a special heat-activated treatment for an extra fee. I can then apply a protectant to help prevent any further staining over the coming six months, after which we can schedule a maintenance cleaning for you. This would total to about $350 for these areas. Would you like me to start now, or is there a better time for your schedule?"

Guess who's getting the $350 and another paid job in six months.

Classroom education does three major things for you as a professional cleaner:

1. It gives you WORDS (terminology) to explain to the customer what makes you better than the rest. ("Wax", "fans", and "soap" will leave your dictionary for good.)
2. It gives you KNOWLEDGE to speed your learning curve and make you do a better job faster, and to run a more profitable business.
3. It helps to give you the APPEARANCE of professionalism and trustworthiness in the customer's eyes because you can answer intelligent questions about your process.

Anyone can clean a carpet. But making yourself stand out from the crowd by being professional, efficient, and savvy can make the difference between a $150 job and a $350 one.
 
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rob allen

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Not availing oneself of schooling is foolish. It is better to learn and live than live and learn. Wisdom has proved that it serves as a protection against liabilities, saves one 1000’s in poor equipment choices and untold amounts by delivering improper service and quality. It also accelerates one’s business growth to levels in a couple years that would take decades. The more you learn the more you earn holds true.