NEWBIE with questions?

BigLou

Member
Jul 7, 2011
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FL
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Luis Canino
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United States
I am located in Central Florida, i am new to carpet cleaning i am looking at purchasing a patriot truck mounted system used with approx 200 hours on it. I had some general questions for the forum.....
I guess some general DO's and Don'ts in the business, the best form of advertising for your dollar, how long from advertising and doing flyer's ect till your first job approx. Average job pay out anything you did starting out that you would do differently. I guess anything that would help a new guy start out in tis business. I am not new to owning a business but i understand every business holds it's own nuances.

I currently own a Party rental business we do inflatables, concessions, clowns and such we do well but the work is back breaking we move between 7 to 10 400lb+ units to and from various locations set up take them down and the clean them. I was looking for something that was a little or i should say a lot less heavy lifting and didn't involve getting up at 530 am and finishing the day at say midnight or 1 am the nest morning only to start over again 4 hours later.

Thanks for your help in advance

Lou
 

jwellsii

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Sep 14, 2008
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www.dbgcarpetcleaning.com
Real Name
John Wells
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United States
First off Lou :welcome: :hi:

As KLR said Use the search box for specific topics. Read the posts on this board and you will learn a lot and answer most of ur questions. After u search around, if u still have questions (and U will) ask and the great folks here will do there best to help U!
 

shane deubell

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May 8, 2006
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.....
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I am located in Central Florida, i am new to carpet cleaning i am looking at purchasing a patriot truck mounted system used with approx 200 hours on it. I had some general questions for the forum.....
I guess some general DO's and Don'ts in the business, the best form of advertising for your dollar, how long from advertising and doing flyer's ect till your first job approx. Average job pay out anything you did starting out that you would do differently. I guess anything that would help a new guy start out in tis business. I am not new to owning a business but i understand every business holds it's own nuances.

I currently own a Party rental business we do inflatables, concessions, clowns and such we do well but the work is back breaking we move between 7 to 10 400lb+ units to and from various locations set up take them down and the clean them. I was looking for something that was a little or i should say a lot less heavy lifting and didn't involve getting up at 530 am and finishing the day at say midnight or 1 am the nest morning only to start over again 4 hours later.

Thanks for your help in advance

Lou

I can tell you this is no better, you need thousands of customers. If you can figure out where thousands of customers will come from and at what cost, you might be ok. But that will be your problem always.
 

XM_Industries

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Aug 11, 2010
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Brent Armstrong
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Welcome to the forums, there is a plethora of information available on this site, just got to get reading. From what everyone's said, Rob's Ride a Long video is well worth the price, and there are auctions going on for them right now. The Marketing section will tell you everything you want to know about SEO and Website work. The information is out there!
 

Scott W

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Feb 14, 2006
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Greetings and welcome to TMF.

You seem to know what you want from the business. Now define it somewhat and match it to a market. You can't be everything to everybody or you will be up at 5AM for one client and cleaning a greasy restaurant after closing for someone else.

Do you want to target businesses? then expect a lot of night and week end work.

If you want to do residential, you have 3 basic markets to choose from. Lots of customers at the cheapest price they can find. A moderate amount of customers for a good value but not necessarily the cheapest price or a very few hard to get clients that will pay top dollar for the best customer service. (These clients will probably want a lot of heavy furniture moved around. Better find a way to do that without breaking your back.)

Then think about what you will need to do to merge the two business. What hours will you be available to clean carpets, etc.

Don't try to be everything to everybody. Pick your target and then aim your marketing directly at that group.

Start with cleaning your own carpets and a few friends and relatives for practice and to work out the bugs.

Oh and be sure to meet your local Interlink Supply (Tampa Bay or Ft. Lauderdale have full service locations).
 

BigLou

Member
Jul 7, 2011
138
2
18
FL
Real Name
Luis Canino
Business Location
United States
Thanks for all the info guys i have been doing some reading, I will get back to you guys if i have any questions. It's a lot of information and i am sure you learn a lot doing jobs.
 

Xtreme Carpet Clean

Active Member
Jun 16, 2011
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Real Name
Steve Steinhauer
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CC is a tough buisness to get off the ground without a somewhat large already established customer base. Be prepared for alot of marketing, advertising and foot work at first. Come to think of it, it never really stops. Tough business to jump head first into. Make sure you have plenty of savings or don't quit your day job.
 

BigLou

Member
Jul 7, 2011
138
2
18
FL
Real Name
Luis Canino
Business Location
United States
I understand the marketing and advertising as well as the building a customer base, this is a given in any business. The current business i own is the same way, once a year rental for a party then i must generate new customers constantly. i think a business is only as tough as you make it out to be, i.e. you will get out what you put into it. I also don't believe in this "it's a down economy" BS, yes it is a down economy however if you keep your nose to the grindstone and run out every ground ball you will do well period. Nothing supersedes hard work and persistence in any business.

I still turn 800.00 stops for parties for 3-5 year olds every week in this down economy, meanwhile my buddies who are in the same business bellyache about the down economy and do nothing to improve their situation. I am not worried about jumping feet first into this business, my main concern is excellent customer service and proven techniques for a solid carpet/tile cleaning that has customers calling back every time they need a cleaning. I think a lot of business owners have sticker shock even more so than the customers do. If you provide a service and a top notch service at that, what is your time worth? I value my time and labor higher than some, and think that i should get paid what i am worth, so i don't have sticker shock when i ask for my price. I know there is always someone cheaper out there always will be, if you spend a lot of time worrying about what others are charging you will end up in the same boat they are in miserable and hating your job because it doesn't pay for the time you put into it.

My website is in the works and i do SEO so i am working on that as soon as my website is complete i will have a solid 2 months to work my magic before i actually acquire the business. I plan to hit the ground running with some commercial accounts because my aunt owns a commercial cleaning business and currently subcontracts the floors to another company but when i am up and running i have 4 accts lined up for the floor cleanings and best part is i know what they are paying the other guys currently.

I am done "stepping off soapbox"

If anyone has any info on Patriot model "excaliber" Truck mount i would love to hear any info you have
please let me know i posted a link in my post above
Thanks
Lou
 

BigLou

Member
Jul 7, 2011
138
2
18
FL
Real Name
Luis Canino
Business Location
United States
I have done a ton of browsing and searching does anyone have any sample work order forms for carpets and tile and possibly water extraction services? I found 1 that i printed but wanted to see if anyone else has some they could e-mail me pm me if you do it would be greatly appreciated.
 

shane deubell

Premium VIP
May 8, 2006
21,650
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.....
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I understand the marketing and advertising as well as the building a customer base, this is a given in any business. The current business i own is the same way, once a year rental for a party then i must generate new customers constantly. i think a business is only as tough as you make it out to be, i.e. you will get out what you put into it. I also don't believe in this "it's a down economy" BS, yes it is a down economy however if you keep your nose to the grindstone and run out every ground ball you will do well period. Nothing supersedes hard work and persistence in any business.

I still turn 800.00 stops for parties for 3-5 year olds every week in this down economy, meanwhile my buddies who are in the same business bellyache about the down economy and do nothing to improve their situation. I am not worried about jumping feet first into this business, my main concern is excellent customer service and proven techniques for a solid carpet/tile cleaning that has customers calling back every time they need a cleaning. I think a lot of business owners have sticker shock even more so than the customers do. If you provide a service and a top notch service at that, what is your time worth? I value my time and labor higher than some, and think that i should get paid what i am worth, so i don't have sticker shock when i ask for my price. I know there is always someone cheaper out there always will be, if you spend a lot of time worrying about what others are charging you will end up in the same boat they are in miserable and hating your job because it doesn't pay for the time you put into it.

My website is in the works and i do SEO so i am working on that as soon as my website is complete i will have a solid 2 months to work my magic before i actually acquire the business. I plan to hit the ground running with some commercial accounts because my aunt owns a commercial cleaning business and currently subcontracts the floors to another company but when i am up and running i have 4 accts lined up for the floor cleanings and best part is i know what they are paying the other guys currently.

I am done "stepping off soapbox"

If anyone has any info on Patriot model "excaliber" Truck mount i would love to hear any info you have
please let me know i posted a link in my post above
Thanks
Lou

Sounds like you have the right attitude to succeed.
still do not really understand this trade off, will you keep the rental business?

Not being negative, just sounds like the grass is always greener type of thing. We are just giving it to you straight
 
That truckmount looks ok. It is entry level. Never heard of that brand before. Are you buying new or used? Looks like a painted steel frame, so it will be a rust bucket in a couple years unless you can get it up off the floor on some treated lumber or something. It has a good, proven blower. Cat pumps are my favorite, but that 290 model is only putting out 3 gallons a minute. By the time it pushes water through 250' of solution hose, you'll be getting like a gallon or gallon and a half per minute. That's pretty low, especially for hard surface cleaning, even if it does make 1200psi. I wouldn't want that machine but it's ok for a start up.

Also, if you're looking for easier work, this probably isn't it. From what you described I would compare your current job to weight lifting, and carpet cleaning to a nonstop aerobic workout that would make Richard Simmons crap his pants. This is hard, fast, hot work and you're moving allllllllll day long.

Competition is fierce and it will come from all sides. TONS of carpet cleaners out there. Especially in FL for some reason. You may not be used to that coming from the party rental scene. I can't imagine the competition being as brutal. I would also warn against jumping into this with no training. What are you going to when a customer asks if you can clean her sisal rug, or you turn a nylon carpet yellow? Not trying to discourage you, just being real.
 

BigLou

Member
Jul 7, 2011
138
2
18
FL
Real Name
Luis Canino
Business Location
United States
In the party rental business Competition is brutal when i started my company there was 6 companies in a 30 mile radius now there is over 80 to be conservative. There is no trade off i will own and operate both, i have two crews for my party rental business and i handle paperwork and orders/sales. I am no a stranger to hard work as i was in the Army for 10 years served in 3rd bat ranger battalion and i was also a flight medic not to mention after i left the service i worked as a fireman for a few years before i had a back surgery. I work as an RN and am in school full-time finishing up my Masters, on the side or weekends i run and operate my party rental business. The carpet cleaning will be an extra income and i will start out doing it myself and eventually get a full-time crew to run it on the labor side. I stay very very busy to say the least. In this economy and in Florida period there is no such thing as small or minimal competition. I don't care how many other companies are out there or what they are doing, i see my company and mine alone and the goal i want to reach. Of course i would be naive to not look at others pricing and practices so i take note and go about my business. I appreciate you guys shooting straight, but i by no means thought the grass was greener or that i was going to have minimal competition or have it easy starting out.

Theeyeball i appreciate the input on the truck mount, i knew it was an entry level just wanted to know the upside and downside of what i was buying. It is used the guy bought it new in 2010 has around 200 hours on it but it is very clean and he maintained his trailer before he passed. I am getting everything for around 7500, i am taking it to jon don to have it gone over mechanically to make sure everything is sound and running correctly. The lady i am buying it from just wants it gone as it reminds her of her late husband. It is in a hallmark 2010 single axle trailer that is wrapped with general info like carpet cleaning, tile water extraction etc etc. Everything is relatively new and the receipts show 34k when it was bought new last year for the trailer and all the equipment. it has a 75 gallon fresh water tank and 100 gallon extraction tank. The unit is mounted up off the floor on pressure treated or treated wood mounts also the floor is sealed and has what looks like or is similar to rhino liner. That could be a pain in the ass down the road if i have to replace the floors. Also it is heated by propane, is this good or bad? I know propane can be dangerous but i think it is only as dangerous as the person operating it. Does propane heat well and fast?

I plan to start out with this and build the business up until i have some commercial bread and butter accounts and then stack cash until i can get something new and more efficient. What would be a good all around machine? I have read quite a bit about el diablo both good and bad what are some other decent machines if i were to buy a new truck mount?
 

Scott W

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Premium VIP
Feb 14, 2006
16,373
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West Jordan, UT
Other brands that have a national sales and support network and can be service at many locations around the country include Hydramaster, Prochem and Sapphire Scientific. There are also many fine locally made machines, but support is more spotty due to lack of a national organization.

Each of those companies makes several models from entry level to machines for multiple users. The better you define you intended uses, the easier it will be to choose the proper truckmount.

Will you have jobs that require multiple people using the wand at the same time? (Even 2 man crews may not mean both are using a wand at the same time. One may be spraying, vacuuming, moving furniture, taling with the client to help make additional sales, etc.)

What length of hose runs will be needed? Most homes can be done with 150 to 175 feet or less. But very large homes may need 250 feet or more. Some businesses may require even longer hose runs.

Will you need higher pressures for doing tile and grout?

These are the type of questions to consider before you decide. Of course there are also budget questions.

Interlink Supply carries all the major brands and can get you a unit to fit your needs, while some will just try to sell you waht they happen to have available.