Starting A business with A portable ..

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Aug 5, 2016
4
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47
Real Name
John A
#1
Hello, I have been A school custodian for 15 years. Just recently things have changed and would like to start A carpet cleaning business . I would have to start with A portable but wanted to know if customers would be reluctant to use me rather then A company who uses A TM? I would appreciate any info.
 

LookNGood

Well-Known Member
Mar 17, 2014
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Joe P
#2
Hello, I have been A school custodian for 15 years. Just recently things have changed and would like to start A carpet cleaning business . I would have to start with A portable but wanted to know if customers would be reluctant to use me rather then A company who uses A TM? I would appreciate any info.
At this point I'd say it's more about your age than perception. (The reason I would tell you to skip the portable, since you are 45)

I am 27 and I hate lugging around a portable. It wears you down.

Search vlm equipment or look for a small truckmount. It's better to lug some sort of scrubber than a porty. And doing the bucket brigade takes up more time and effort

What state are you in?
 
Aug 5, 2016
4
2
1
47
Real Name
John A
#3
At this point I'd say it's more about your age than perception. (The reason I would tell you to skip the portable, since you are 45)

I am 27 and I hate lugging around a portable. It wears you down.

Search vlm equipment or look for a small truckmount. It's better to lug some sort of scrubber than a porty. And doing the bucket brigade takes up more time and effort

What state are you in?
I am in Ca.
 
Dec 3, 2012
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Nick
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United States
#5
At this point I'd say it's more about your age than perception. (The reason I would tell you to skip the portable, since you are 45)

I am 27 and I hate lugging around a portable. It wears you down.

Search vlm equipment or look for a small truckmount. It's better to lug some sort of scrubber than a porty. And doing the bucket brigade takes up more time and effort

What state are you in?
Hey man I'm 41 and carry portables. It does suck lol. But it's do able. I do wish that I started with vlm though. Didn't even know about that till after I dove in.
 
Dec 3, 2012
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Nick
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#6
If your going to go the porty route. You will want the bells and whistles. Bucket brigade sucks. Fine for small jobs and upholstery. But some you'll be filling & dumping repeatedly like on heavy pile or filthy carpets and tile if you get into it. Tile cleaning goes through alot of water. Look for portables with auto fill and auto dump features. Little bit of a set up time but sure beats the buckets.
 
Aug 5, 2016
4
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John A
#7
Thank You!! Looks like I need to look into getting A TM
 
Dec 3, 2012
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Nick
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#8
As far as the customer go's on perception of tm vs portable. They don't know. Some might. But I never worried about it. Make sure you do the very best you can do. And leave carpet as dry as possible. Use fans or whatever. But get them dry. Some I post bonnet to remove any left soil if any and excess moisture. I like doing that it works very well. One of the questions I do hear the most is " how long before it dries 12 or 24 hours?" I say What!? No. About 4 to 6. And funny they all have used that school bus ss. And yet they run tm's go figure. As @OldCarpetVet has repeated. "It's not the tool it's the man".
 

ColoradoCleaner

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Dec 31, 2010
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Kevin M
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#9
It can be done but man what a tough life. I would definitely prefer a truckmount. You can get a good used one for cheap if you know how to turn a wrench.
 

Spooney

Active Member
Jun 17, 2015
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Benn Heath
#10
Get a truckmount!!!!!!!!!!

Nah, just jokes.. Go a portable with decent vacs in parallel not in series, that way you can leave your porty in the van on maybe 70% of your jobs. Good vacs in parallel + 2inch hose = longer hose runs. Make sure your porty has a 2inch port and 2inch internal plumbing.

Oh yeah.. and use flash cuffs to connect hoses for better unrestricted airflow. Good luck man.
 
Last edited:
Sep 13, 2015
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Matthew Tyson
#11
Hello, I have been A school custodian for 15 years. Just recently things have changed and would like to start A carpet cleaning business . I would have to start with A portable but wanted to know if customers would be reluctant to use me rather then A company who uses A TM? I would appreciate any info.
I thought the same thing when i started. In the 2 years of me doing it on my own about 3 customers have requested a truckmount. Customers only care that you going to come to there house and do a good job. A portable is a good place to start when your starting out. I use a portable only, works great for me

Sent from my SM-N920P using TMF Forums mobile app
 

Fairway detail

Active Member
Dec 23, 2015
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Chris foltyn
#12
Get a truckmount!!!!!!!!!!

Nah, just jokes.. Go a portable with decent vacs in parallel not in series, that way you can leave your porty in the van on maybe 70% of your jobs. Good vacs in parallel + 2inch hose = longer hose runs. Make sure your porty has a 2inch port and 2inch internal plumbing.

Oh yeah.. and use flash cuffs to connect hoses for better unrestricted airflow. Good luck man.
I don't know anything about truckmounts, but this is a great example of how helpful TMF is for us new guys and how helpful the members are. Great post.
 

Rick Imby

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Jul 2, 2009
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www.missoulagreencarpetcleaning.com
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Rick Imby
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United States
#15
Best advice you can get is find a Mentor in the business. There is a lot to learn. There are many different directions that you can go.

Equipment options---Porty, TM, OP VLM, Rotary VLM, Cimex VLM, Porty in the van,

Van, Minivan, Trailer,

All residential cleaning, All Commercial Cleaning, High Rise Cleaning, Tile and Grout, Rugs, Low priced cleaning, High priced cleaning. A mix of any of these.

Newspaper advertizing, Facebook Advertizing, Google adsense, Post Office Mailers, handouts, Radio advertizing, Face to Face,

Nearly any business plan can work if you think it through. You can change somewhat once you get going.

Marketing will be the key.

If you don't know the difference between all the equipment options---get on google and start searching on this site and others. If you can bond with a successful cleaner that lives 200-2000 miles away that you can model his business that would be the simplest.

There is an educational arm of one of the major national distributors called Strategies for Success.---This is the most highly rated Carpet Cleaning Business advice you will find anywhere.

There are a lot of nice guys on here. A few of them are successful, many are still hoping to figure it out.

Let me say this---long term success depends upon you getting a Marketing plan that works.
 

Ed Cruz

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Aug 1, 2013
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Ed Cruz
#16
Start your business with the porty. If your still sucking rugs in a year staying fairly busy your cut out for this business work wise. Not saying you'd be a good businessman but work wise if it doesn't break you you'll last and the work will only get easier the better equipment you get.
 

trumansteemers

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Mar 14, 2012
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Courtney lee
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#17
I used a portable for 5 years and when I got a truckmount I got more repeat & referrals in 1 year than 5 years with a portable. So basically you will have to keep marketing harder with a portable than a TM because most customers especially than higher end customers won't like it or accept. I had customers turn me away when they seen I didn't have a TM. So if a portable is all you have that's fine but PLEASE try your best to get a TM.
 

Common janitor

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Apr 5, 2014
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Ed Feil
#18
Hello, I have been A school custodian for 15 years. Just recently things have changed and would like to start A carpet cleaning business . I would have to start with A portable but wanted to know if customers would be reluctant to use me rather then A company who uses A TM? I would appreciate any info.
Lots of good advice and questions in this thread you started John . Congratulations on surviving 15 years as a school custodian !! Starting year nine myself and its a tough job these days . TBH, going the VLM route gets my vote as well . Like Nick ( Keep It Clean ) I knew nothing about it till after joining here . Having a 175 and a decently powerful portable you can handle just about everything . Cleaners have been successful with a lot less .
All the Best, Ed
 

OldCarpetVet

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Nov 2, 2014
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Richard Santoro
#19
As far as the customer go's on perception of tm vs portable. They don't know. Some might. But I never worried about it. Make sure you do the very best you can do. And leave carpet as dry as possible. Use fans or whatever. But get them dry. Some I post bonnet to remove any left soil if any and excess moisture. I like doing that it works very well. One of the questions I do hear the most is " how long before it dries 12 or 24 hours?" I say What!? No. About 4 to 6. And funny they all have used that school bus ss. And yet they run tm's go figure. As @OldCarpetVet has repeated. "It's not the tool it's the man".

"It's Not The Method - It's The Man".
Always has been.....Always will be. If anyone tell you different, they're full of shit.
 

OldCarpetVet

Well-Known Member
Nov 2, 2014
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Richard Santoro
#20
Lots of good advice and questions in this thread you started John . Congratulations on surviving 15 years as a school custodian !! Starting year nine myself and its a tough job these days . TBH, going the VLM route gets my vote as well . Like Nick ( Keep It Clean ) I knew nothing about it till after joining here . Having a 175 and a decently powerful portable you can handle just about everything . Cleaners have been successful with a lot less .
All the Best, Ed

I couldn't agree more, Ed. (y)