PLEASE HELP....Is there money to be made or do I sell the equipment???????????

Sonny

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Jun 28, 2008
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HELP ME PLEASE....A little about me... I cleaned carpet full time in the bay area calif when I was a kid and did VERY well.
Then I had the big idea of leaving Calif thinking capet cleaning must be the same everyware..(NOT)
So now here I am with a 4x4 bill board for a van, a very clean prochem performer, everything I have wanted in a cleaning unit.
Here is the problem....I work at least 40 hrs a week at a unrelated (VERY STRESSFULL) job and clean maby 2 times a month, I would love to leave my job and clean full time but I see truck mount after truckmount for sale and that wories me

But on the other hand I see stanley steamer on the way to work and on the way home.

Have I wasted my time and money? Is the little guy doing well cleaning carpet or has the carpet cleaning business been given over to the corps of the us...You know, walmart, home depot, lowes, stanley steamer?
(Nothing against stanley steamer)

I cant afford to clean carpet for 20 bucks a room and make a living.So should I make the jump into my own full time business or sell the darn thing....thanks
 

Alexa

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Mar 4, 2010
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That's a tough question but I can share a little of my experience with you. I am originally from NY but got seduced by Florida some 15 years ago. I had a thriving carpet cleaning business in NY before moving to FL in 1995. Like yourself, I found out that the clientele was much different in my new location. In NY, people made their buying decisions for such things based on quality as long as the price was not outrageous. In FL, I couldn't touch any commercial work, especially hotels ($5 per room was the norm). Even the residential consumers were bottom feeders. The customers I did work for did not have any sense of loyalty and couldn't tell the difference between a diamond and a concrete rock. To the contrary, my NY customers were extremely loyal, nearly to the point that some of them needed to be institutionalized and put under strict observation. They were great customers.

15 years have passed and things are not as bad as they were but it is still a challenge here in FL. Many of the consumers merely call multiple places until they find the lowest price and that is whom they choose to hire. A smaller percentage look for somebody who sounds like they have a reasonable amount of intelligence and can be trusted in their homes.

It helps to have a niche. Try to find yourself one, something that separates you from the vast majority of your competition. Do your best to be honest with your potential customers and hopefully they will sense this when they speak to you. Don't use any of that cliche selling blueprint that so many lean on ("Don't be fooled by unscrupulous......blah, blah, blah"). Be yourself and people will sense this and you will instill confidence in your trustworthiness.

That's about all the worthwhile advice I can provide you with. The pain will never go away completely because you are not in NY or CA and it will never be the same. However, with some adjustments and maybe some perseverance, you might be able to make a decent living.
 

leofry

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Feb 12, 2009
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the million dollard question... i understand what you are looking for... i have many friends who hate there jobs.. I give them all kinds of ideas to do .. but they think of a lot of reasons why they wont work.. it would be great to have a fail safe buisness to start...


I think running a business is hard though..... I am not sure you will get a very good answer on this web site.. (love the web site) but it seems to be also a site where people talk about making allll kinds of money.. well I am sure some are.. and most are not......some questions to ask yourself

do you have enough money to make it through the first 2 or 3 years....... are you a good business man( can you manage money) are you good at sells.... can you deal with people.... make sure you know the differance between staying busy and making money....
 

Jeff Madsen

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There are plenty of us "little guys" with single truck operations doing very well. It is not a fast or quick proposition to go from "I clean a couple times per month" to "I clean full-time and I'm booked out two weeks". It will likely take two years for you to build your business to that point, and only then if you have a firm grasp on how to retain your clients and leverage those relationships for referrals. A good transition would be to have an off-hours part-time job while you work full-time on your carpet cleaning business. It absolutely can be done, but it's hard sledding at first. Don't let the big names or the bottom feeders keep you from attaining your dream.
 
Mar 30, 2010
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I think it would be very hard to start and grow a company part time because you are working a full time job already, but it is not impossible. There are several other members here that has done the samething, seek them out and see how they did it. With your situation it may be better to market yourself for commercial jobs so you can do those after hours around your regular job, but the key is to market yourself and get your name out to anyone that will listen. You have to give it 100% effert to know if you are chasing a pipe dream or if you can make it. I believe that if one is really dedicated and wants something then they will achieve what they are after. Owning a carpet cleaning business is just like life, you get out what you put in.
 

admin

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I know of a company or two in Knoxville, would teaming up with another company be in one of your options?
 
Jun 18, 2008
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If you are in debt with your TM system, my advice would be get out while you can, with whatever you can.

I honestly believe that alot of small undercapitalized operators are going to fall by the wayside over the next 12 months for 2 main reasons:

1) Because most have no idea (yet) how the new 5 minute drying systems that I am introducing in a big way next month are going to change the cleaning landscape. Simply put if an operator does not have $5000 to upgrade a compatible TM to this they will be SOL in terms of being able to compete. Not only will they not be ablle to have the approx $5000/mo extra income advantage other Power-Dri Sytem operators will enjoy($60,000 extra per year), but their customers will desert them! A customer will not stand to be told that the carpets will take 8 hours to dry when their friends and neighbours are getting their carpets dry in 5 minutes. This will change everything. Many of the franchise operations I deal with are already going to this . If Chemdry was able to grow to the World's biggest Carpet Cleaning organization on the promise of 1 hr drying(it wasn't the cleaning quality thatv got them there. lol), what do you really think is going to happen when one company can deliver dry carpet in minutes and the rest are still taking hours?You need to think about this. Lead or get out of the way.

2) Oh and I think the economy is going to turn down in addition as well. But that is more speculative. I consider point 1 almost as sure as death and taxes. Those that ignore it don't say you were not warned.
 
Jun 18, 2008
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No offense Ken but it seems like every thread I read you are promoting yourself. Your post here had nothing to do with what Sonny posted about.


Wrong Jason.

This post had everything to do with timing.

I am telling him that there is a massive change about to take place. The biggest change since TMs got invented 42 years ago in my opinion.

This was his question:

Have I wasted my time and money? Is the little guy doing well cleaning carpet or has the carpet cleaning business been given over to the corps of the us...You know, walmart, home depot, lowes, stanley steamer?

Now in light of the fact he has already said he has a Performer TM( Not one of the Supported Direct Drive systems that can use Power-Dri) and he has only 2 jobs a month coming in, he is clearly not going to be competive in the new reality that is almost here. So I answered his question and told him he should get out.

The big companies(franchises etc) ARE going to be going Power-Dri very soon because they see the money and marketshare they will be able to grab from small operations . So I gave him the most honest answer I could and took the time to explain my rational for giving it.

Advertising had nothing to do with it. I have already committed to spending thousands of dollars/month on advertising on this system starting in July and all the months after that. Don't need to do it here.
 

Steve Toburen

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Jul 15, 2008
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Wow, Sonny, that is a tough call that no one but you and your family can answer. So what to do? IT ALL DEPENDS. On what? Well, here are few things for you and your family to meditate on …

1. Do you like your current job? How secure is it? Do you see yourself retiring there?

2. Speaking of "retirement" how old are you? What is your risk tolerance?

3. How about your "personal overhead” and monthly debt load? So many people today have an “entitlement mentality” where they feel they deserve to eat out 10 time per week, drive the latest (leased) cars and run up huge credit card bills on impulse purchases! Don’t get me started here on a rant! (BTW, Sonny, I’m not saying you folks are in this situation.)

4. What about your wife and kids? Will they be on board with your new venture? How about lending a hand on big jobs? More importantly, will your family pull together and be happy to live on a reduced budget till the business makes money?

5. Finally, what do YOU want? Do you have the “fire in the belly”? What is your dream?

If you can answer in the positive on all the above then you will be successful IF you do it right! No question about it. However, Sonny, only you can decide.

If it is any consolation the number one question I get on Steve’s Bleeding hearts Club (my advice column for worried carpet cleaners) is variations on the “Can I make it?’ theme. Check out these worried folks from all around the country:

http://sfs.https://shop.truckmountforums.com.com/2457/bhc/just-getting-into-business
http://sfs.https://shop.truckmountforums.com.com/1546/bhc/1546
http://sfs.https://shop.truckmountforums.com.com/1541/bhc/just-starting-out-and-a-bit-scared
http://sfs.https://shop.truckmountforums.com.com/3040/bhc/ok-in-ok
http://sfs.https://shop.truckmountforums.com.com/1311/bhc/perplexed-in-springfield
http://sfs.https://shop.truckmountf...ss-700k-per-year-in-my-30k-person-market-base
http://sfs.https://shop.truckmountforums.com.com/2311/bhc/so-how-long-is-it-going-to-take

and you can read dozens more just like these here:

http://sfs.https://shop.truckmountforums.com.com/3708/bhc/steve-toburen-bleeding-hearts-club

Once again, Sonny, IF you have “the fire in the belly” and you will DO IT RIGHT then don’t believe the nay-sayers. Only you can decide.

Let us know what you decide and then become an active member. This little band of brothers will be a huge resource for you.

Steve
SFS.https://shop.truckmountforums.com.com

PS Speaking of “doing it right” we recently developed a new Special Report called, “Ten Essential Strategies for Success in a Tough Economy”. The download is free to everyone right here:

http://sfs.https://shop.truckmountf...ial-strategies-for-success-in-a-tough-economy

You know, Sonny, just an idea. Have you approached your boss about a part time gig that would let you keep your health benefits?
 

steam king

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Apr 11, 2009
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Although I do agree with you up to a certain point Ken, I don't agree completely. Your example about Chem-Dry and their niche marketing of 1hour dry times is good but not that accurate. If dry time was the only concern for a customer, everybody would go with a low moisture cleaner. But companies like Stanley and most of us here have still managed to grow our businesses despite Chem-Dry offering faster dry times than us. What that means is that even though your Power-Dri system will take it to the next level it won't be as revolutionary as you are making it seem. That is just my opinion.
 

grimel

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Apr 18, 2010
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Give me a break! Chem-Dry may be the world's largest, but, they ain't close to the only. You numbers are your guesses. If dry times were the end game, pray tell why hasn't VLM put everyone out of business? Why, pray tell, are those who get carpets clean busy even if they have 2-3hr dry time? Sales 101, all things being equal, people prefer to buy from people they know; all things not being equal, they still prefer to buy from people they know.

Get the customer, build rapport, keep friendly contact, and keep the friend.
 

rjfdube

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Dec 18, 2008
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If you are in debt with your TM system, my advice would be get out while you can, with whatever you can.

I honestly believe that alot of small undercapitalized operators are going to fall by the wayside over the next 12 months for 2 main reasons:

1) Because most have no idea (yet) how the new 5 minute drying systems that I am introducing in a big way next month are going to change the cleaning landscape. Simply put if an operator does not have $5000 to upgrade a compatible TM to this they will be SOL in terms of being able to compete. Not only will they not be ablle to have the approx $5000/mo extra income advantage other Power-Dri Sytem operators will enjoy($60,000 extra per year), but their customers will desert them! A customer will not stand to be told that the carpets will take 8 hours to dry when their friends and neighbours are getting their carpets dry in 5 minutes. This will change everything. Many of the franchise operations I deal with are already going to this . If Chemdry was able to grow to the World's biggest Carpet Cleaning organization on the promise of 1 hr drying(it wasn't the cleaning quality thatv got them there. lol), what do you really think is going to happen when one company can deliver dry carpet in minutes and the rest are still taking hours?You need to think about this. Lead or get out of the way.

2) Oh and I think the economy is going to turn down in addition as well. But that is more speculative. I consider point 1 almost as sure as death and taxes. Those that ignore it don't say you were not warned.

Sounds like a load to me; I agree with Jason; the man is reaching out asking a life altering question.

Sonny IMHO if you have a paid for t/m hold your ground; get a newer porty to work jobs with; use t/m for better paying jobs. Other wise I would work weekends to stash a nest egg just in case you need to break away. Take care of your family first; and keep the t/m if your finances allow it. Just remember sometimes it's darkest before the storm. Just my 2 cents.
 

Sonny

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Jun 28, 2008
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knoxville, TN
Hi Steve, No I have no dept, I own all the equipment,van ect. No credit card dept. Im 42 yrs old and in very good health. I have one son at home (18) that is more than willing to help. The other two are serving in the military. No I dont want to retire doing my other job I want to get out while im young enough to work hard and build somthing.
My fear is that the cleaning buisness has changed so much that it would be foolish to start a cleaning business.
Im not affraid to work hard, I jsut dont want to waist my time... And I thank you for your reply,,,,Sonny
 
Jun 18, 2008
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Give me a break! Chem-Dry may be the world's largest, but, they ain't close to the only. You numbers are your guesses. If dry times were the end game, pray tell why hasn't VLM put everyone out of business? Why, pray tell, are those who get carpets clean busy even if they have 2-3hr dry time? Sales 101, all things being equal, people prefer to buy from people they know; all things not being equal, they still prefer to buy from people they know.

Get the customer, build rapport, keep friendly contact, and keep the friend.


You forgot one very important thing George.

The reason that the fast 1 hour dry franchises did not take over is because most of their systems cannot clean worth a damm. Whats the point if you dont end up with clean carpet at the end of the process? LOL. Most of you small operators ran circles around them both in the finished product and customer service areas. The customer went along with the multi-hour drying times because they saw that as a reasonable trade-off to get the better cleaning from service providers they could trust.

Fast forward to the new reality. The same guys that delivery the great cleaning results that they trust now have a new tool in the toolbox to make their lives better. They can deliver everything they did before, except now they get dry carpets before you leave the house too. What did it cost them to get that? an extra .30/sq ft is all. Think people wont pay that? You are wrong there too. I have been making .75 to 1.00 per sq ft for YEARS at those rates. People will pay to get a superior service experience. Too many of you think like a carpet cleaner and think if you would not pay that, your customer wont either. Thinking like that will keep you poor or struggling. Think outside the box. If you don't think different from the crowd, how in the world are you ever going to do better thn them

This is a system used by my company for 19 years. I know it works and I know people don't want their carpets cleaned and dried any other way once they experience it. You can either get on board the train or be run over by it. Big change always produces big winners and losers. The big winners will be those individuals that check to see if their TM is one that can adapt this system and use it to increase their income at least another $60,000/truck a year or more. If they have a Dynachem machine, Butler, Hydramaster DD or a Cleanco DD the answer is yes. These peoples standard of living is about to go up as they not only get more money from their customers, but get the customers of their competition as well. They are about to eat their lunch. Possibly their breakfast and Supper too.

And the losers in this? The thousands of single operators running slide-in systems that cannot be adapted to our Cactus Power-Dri system. For them the sales are about to go down. Maybe fast or maybe slow, but the direction is down. Increasingly you are going to be asked after the Franchises tell people that they can have dry carpets in 5 minutes, "Do you have that new fast dry system I heard on the radio or saw on the TV? When your answer is no many will keep shopping till they find a company that does offer it. You will be faced with a choice. Sell off your now reduced in value TM(reduced because lots of others will be selling theirs too, creating a glut) and buy one that does offer Cactus Power-Dri, or buy a Portable system for about $4 to 5K and clean carpets that way? For some here it will cause the end of their business, especially the new guys without the stable customer base to support them. I am causing this change to happen so I feel the responsiblity to point these truths out before they occur, so as many of you can get ready as much as possible.

You have a choice. Be in the camp of the winners and watch your life get better and more prosperous. Or stick your head in the sand and refuse to believe what is happening all around you till it is too late. As always, it is your call.