New to carpet cleaning but not new to small business

clay.dawson

New Member
Dec 3, 2021
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Clay Dawson
Hello All,

My back story & plan:

I am in the beginning stages of starting a carpet cleaning business. I've owned my own pressure washing business for 9 years, but sold it in 2018 to get a bachelors degree in Supply Chain Management and try out the corporate life. Turns out, a good paying corporate desk job with benefits is torture.

I believe I've got a strong marketing plan; I've got a list of 500+ of my previous customers that I will mail a letter letting them know that I've returned to their area in the form of carpet cleaning, and offer a discount for any job scheduled during business launch month. I'm setting aside several thousand dollars for marketing and branding. (Note: this is not my full plan, my full plan is a 17 page business plan, I'm trying to keep it brief here..)

I've got a feasible plan to ease from the full time corporate gig to full time self-employed. I'm on 2nd shift every other month, I plan to do a carpet cleaning job in the AM, and then head into the corporate gig. Hopefully after a month or two.. or three, I will have enough work on the books to make the jump.

I plan to enroll in the training classes offered on this site, as well the training and certification offered by IICRC.

My questions:

What I am struggling with, is equipment. Due to budget constraints, I will need to start this endeavor with a portable. (I've read on here that they aren't that popular.) There are so many brands out there and sites don't usually have any reviews on them. Several sites offer start up packages, Rotovac offers a package with a Enduro 2500H 500psi w/heat with the Rotovac360i. I will also purchase a CRB separately. Does this seem to be a good starting off package? Or should I piece a package together?

I will be purchasing a 5x8 enclosed trailer that I will have wrapped or lettered. Ideally, I would love to be able to leave the equipment in the trailer when performing a job. I think I've read on here of someone doing that. Most homes in my market will have relatively short driveways ~ 20-30'.

Thanks for reading my dissertation. Any questions, comments, or concerns are welcomed.

Thank you!
 
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mrotto

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Sep 1, 2009
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Paul Ottensmann
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hi Clay!

Surprised that nobody has responded to your post!

I started with a portable in 81 so no shame in that. But those days were different. You may need to talk with Jim Davisson. he has been a great help to me on other things.
 
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Dave Weidlich

Active Member
Nov 19, 2013
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www.advanceddry.com
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Dave Weidlich
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Welcome to the carpet cleaning band of brothers!

Your plan will certainly work, especially given your business training and experience. However, you'll be providing a sub-optimum service compared to your many competitors.

Do better than the rest. I recommend a niche that is wide open in most regions - very low moisture (VLM) carpet cleaning. It costs much less money to get started. I lucked into it and have been providing VLM cleaning for carpet and rugs for 8 years now, starting at part-time. My customers love my service and they're loyal.

Here are some videos of how I clean:
How We Clean

Unfortunately, the equipment I use is no longer made and the guy who developed the system and promoted it has retired. But there is a similar option. The Challenger system starts at $3,000. I haven't used their equipment, but a colleague recommended them to me:

https://challengerop.com/start-a-carpet-cleaning-business/

Keep us posted on how it's going.
 
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mrotto

Well-Known Member
Sep 1, 2009
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Wisconsin
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Paul Ottensmann
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United States
wow, watch the video. The carpet is still dirty. And as for HOST, DONT do it. Been there, done that.
However, you'll be providing a sub-optimum service compared to your many competitors.
yes, if you do what he does, you will be doing sub-optimum service compared to premium Hot Water Extraction companies. There arent that many our there but join them and reap the rewards!
 
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OxiFreshGuy

Well-Known Member
Nov 12, 2016
3,109
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Boris Johnson
Business Location
United States
Hello All,

My back story & plan:

I am in the beginning stages of starting a carpet cleaning business. I've owned my own pressure washing business for 9 years, but sold it in 2018 to get a bachelors degree in Supply Chain Management and try out the corporate life. Turns out, a good paying corporate desk job with benefits is torture.

I believe I've got a strong marketing plan; I've got a list of 500+ of my previous customers that I will mail a letter letting them know that I've returned to their area in the form of carpet cleaning, and offer a discount for any job scheduled during business launch month. I'm setting aside several thousand dollars for marketing and branding. (Note: this is not my full plan, my full plan is a 17 page business plan, I'm trying to keep it brief here..)

I've got a feasible plan to ease from the full time corporate gig to full time self-employed. I'm on 2nd shift every other month, I plan to do a carpet cleaning job in the AM, and then head into the corporate gig. Hopefully after a month or two.. or three, I will have enough work on the books to make the jump.

I plan to enroll in the training classes offered on this site, as well the training and certification offered by IICRC.

My questions:

What I am struggling with, is equipment. Due to budget constraints, I will need to start this endeavor with a portable. (I've read on here that they aren't that popular.) There are so many brands out there and sites don't usually have any reviews on them. Several sites offer start up packages, Rotovac offers a package with a Enduro 2500H 500psi w/heat with the Rotovac360i. I will also purchase a CRB separately. Does this seem to be a good starting off package? Or should I piece a package together?

I will be purchasing a 5x8 enclosed trailer that I will have wrapped or lettered. Ideally, I would love to be able to leave the equipment in the trailer when performing a job. I think I've read on here of someone doing that. Most homes in my market will have relatively short driveways ~ 20-30'.

Thanks for reading my dissertation. Any questions, comments, or concerns are welcomed.

Thank you!

If you want to make money and take carpet cleaning seriously unfortunately you will need a truck mount. I was told by many many many people I would fall flat on my face and die a horrible financial death if I bought a new mount/truck. 3 years and a million dollars later I am doing perfectly fine (and now have 3 trucks).

There is no replacement for the efficiency and quality a truck mount gives you AND the presence of WOW with the customer. Don't underestimate its value.

Even a used truck mount setup if you can find one for $30-$40,000 and finance it out over 5 years is only $600 a month in payments. That is literally 2 carpet cleaning jobs on average to make your truck payment.

Just try try try to find a truck mount. They are out there I promise!
 
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OxiFreshGuy

Well-Known Member
Nov 12, 2016
3,109
2,298
113
Real Name
Boris Johnson
Business Location
United States
Welcome to the carpet cleaning band of brothers!

Your plan will certainly work, especially given your business training and experience. However, you'll be providing a sub-optimum service compared to your many competitors.

Do better than the rest. I recommend a niche that is wide open in most regions - very low moisture (VLM) carpet cleaning. It costs much less money to get started. I lucked into it and have been providing VLM cleaning for carpet and rugs for 8 years now, starting at part-time. My customers love my service and they're loyal.

Here are some videos of how I clean:
How We Clean

Unfortunately, the equipment I use is no longer made and the guy who developed the system and promoted it has retired. But there is a similar option. The Challenger system starts at $3,000. I haven't used their equipment, but a colleague recommended them to me:

https://challengerop.com/start-a-carpet-cleaning-business/

Keep us posted on how it's going.
Did I just watch a video of carpet cleaning with a towel....?
 

Oberin

New Member
Apr 6, 2021
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Nick
Can you tell me if there is any way to simplify social networking?
I have worked in social marketing for quite some time and now have a certain amount of knowledge in this area. I used different platforms and utilities to simplify my work during my work. One of them was a platform where I could manage multiple accounts simultaneously. I could also manage up to 40 social media accounts in one easy-to-use interface and segment subscribers and audiences to focus on specific topics for better interaction.
 
Last edited:

Mama Fen

Well-Known Member
Jul 18, 2012
3,899
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no name
Business Location
United States
Hello All,

My back story & plan:

I am in the beginning stages of starting a carpet cleaning business. I've owned my own pressure washing business for 9 years, but sold it in 2018 to get a bachelors degree in Supply Chain Management and try out the corporate life. Turns out, a good paying corporate desk job with benefits is torture.

I believe I've got a strong marketing plan; I've got a list of 500+ of my previous customers that I will mail a letter letting them know that I've returned to their area in the form of carpet cleaning, and offer a discount for any job scheduled during business launch month. I'm setting aside several thousand dollars for marketing and branding. (Note: this is not my full plan, my full plan is a 17 page business plan, I'm trying to keep it brief here..)

I've got a feasible plan to ease from the full time corporate gig to full time self-employed. I'm on 2nd shift every other month, I plan to do a carpet cleaning job in the AM, and then head into the corporate gig. Hopefully after a month or two.. or three, I will have enough work on the books to make the jump.

I plan to enroll in the training classes offered on this site, as well the training and certification offered by IICRC.

My questions:

What I am struggling with, is equipment. Due to budget constraints, I will need to start this endeavor with a portable. (I've read on here that they aren't that popular.) There are so many brands out there and sites don't usually have any reviews on them. Several sites offer start up packages, Rotovac offers a package with a Enduro 2500H 500psi w/heat with the Rotovac360i. I will also purchase a CRB separately. Does this seem to be a good starting off package? Or should I piece a package together?

I will be purchasing a 5x8 enclosed trailer that I will have wrapped or lettered. Ideally, I would love to be able to leave the equipment in the trailer when performing a job. I think I've read on here of someone doing that. Most homes in my market will have relatively short driveways ~ 20-30'.

Thanks for reading my dissertation. Any questions, comments, or concerns are welcomed.

Thank you!
It is perfectly possible to start a successful company with a portable - I have had half a dozen guys do it in this area in recent years, many of whom now own truckmounts and are profitable.

It's also quite possible to run a successful VLM-based business, catering specifically to high-end residential and high-rises in downtown areas. One of my highest-earning cleaners in this area is a VLM guy; his reputation is outstanding, his invoices trend in the high-hundreds to a thousand and up, and his startup costs were under $10k.

Truckmounts will always be a standard in our industry in some form or another, but the stigma of "porty cleaning" has waned with the advent of new tools, new chemistry, and new processes that allow portable power to do a much better job than it did ten years ago.

Porty work will be slower; you will spend more time on each job to start. But the carpet can be just as clean after porty work as it is after truckmount work. Our own @Jim Davisson is a prime example of how to use portables to best advantage.

There are as many different models for a successful carpet cleaning company as there are owners of successful carpet cleaning companies.

I know great carpet guys who are terrible businessmen, and I know great businessmen who are terrible carpet cleaners.

A healthy balance of both means you can be successful regardless of what equipment you have - you simply tailor your customer base to the niche best served by your specific resources.