Starting from scratch (kind of long)

dnspll

New Member
Dec 11, 2018
5
3
3
Real Name
Daniel Spall
I have been mauling over starting a carpet cleaning business for around a year now and every time I google something, this forum is a top hit in the search results. I currently work in the construction trades, mostly painting but also do carpentry, floor installation, and kitchen/bath remodels. While working on a job I struck up a conversation with a cleaner which peeked my interest, especially with the amount of time he had on this job site. He was in and out of the house in under an hour, check in hand, and I talked to him for 25 mins of this time. I went back to building the deck stairs in the freezing drizzling rain.
I work by myself and am getting busy enough that I should hire some people, but I do not want to continue on this path. I currently work 8-10 hour days with travel. Then my nights and some weekends are filled with book keeping and writing estimates. I am looking for a change in pace and something new. I don't want to keep wasting 20 hours of my free time preparing estimates for a remodel that will be above the customers budget, meaning I did all that work for nothing or will spend more time with change orders. I also am looking to change my current situation with time on a job. As a contractor, my minimum time at a job site is one day, usually more. If the customer is a bad one, I might be stuck there everyday for 2 weeks. The appeal of carpet cleaning is that even if the customer is an evil person that is mean to everyone, I can smile and they are in my rear view in a few hours. I've worked hard over the past 10 years to gain a good reputation that has kept me busy by just word of mouth.

Like the title says, I am starting from scratch. I was already planning on buying a van this month to keep from having to unload my vehicle every night, like I do now with my truck. I was going the transit/promaster hi-roof route, but now I am rethinking that approach since I live in Indianapolis and we have temperatures below freezing in the winter. I'm guessing that I should park the van in the garage in the winter time.
I have ZERO experience cleaning carpets or hard surfaces, although I have installed several thousand sq feet of all kinds of flooring (not carpet though). So I have a lot to learn about the methods of cleaning, but should be able to use my contractor experience when talking with customers to gain their trust, talk pricing, and sell them on "me". I currently have 3 leads of local companies that will allow me to shadow them. I will work for free and learn, they will get free labor for a few weeks. I am thinking win win.
I am still in the planning stages, so if anyone wants to chime in with suggestions, I am all ears. I am still planning on attending a couple IICRC courses in the coming months like carpet cleaning technician and carpet repair. Couple of the roadblocks I am having are:

1: Machine- I am still learning the lingo. Truckmount, portable, wand, roto, etc. So I am not sure what I need and what a good starter set-up would include. I stopped by Bane Clene (local in Indianapolis) and talked to them about there systems. Sounds like from research I can get something a little more powerful for the price. I plan to buy used/reconditioned, especially if it comes with a warranty.

2. Budget- I have about $20k to work with, that will be for down payment of the vehicle, down payment of the truck mount, insurance, advertising, etc. I have good credit and plan to finance enough of the equipment so my monthly payment is low-ish. I know others have started with less, but where would the money be best spent to stay in the budget.

3. Operation- I know it will take some time to build a customer base. I want to launch the business by April. I will still take on painting and kitchen remodel jobs (the ones where I am the GC for and sub out most of the work) to keep revenue coming in. I think if I can get enough leeds to clean 2 days a week, construction for 4 other days, I can probably fully transition to carpet cleaning full time in a year. Then just refer people to my list of contractors to keep getting a referral fee and their referrals. Hopefully this is a realistic timetable?

4:Since I will still be doing a little construction while in the startup phase, I was planning on getting a higher roof "euro-style" van. That way I can make some shelves for my tools on one side and have room for a TM on the other. Anyone see any problems with those vans. Im not opposed to a chevy express, as long as their is enough room for my saws and hand tools with the TM and hoses mounted. Usually this space takes up most of my current truckbed. Also in a regular chevy express or gmc van, can you get 4x8 sheets of drywall in them with a truck mount and reels inside.

Those are just a few things that I kind of noted to myself that I am not sure on. I know I've missed much more. If there are any tips that community would like to pass out, things that you might have learned the hard way or wish you didn't buy right a way, please share. I am a total newbie to this profession, but not in business per se.

I truly appreciate the time anyone spent reading this and commenting,
 

Scott W

Preferred Vendor
Premium VIP
Feb 14, 2006
16,373
7,020
113
69
West Jordan, UT
Machine - I point I make often here, don't decide on the machine (the tool) until you know what you want to use it for. As a building contractor, you understand, you can't just ask what is the best hammer or saw until you specify the job you want to do. Cleaning commercial carpet, cleaning in high rise condos or office buildings, cleaning mass market residential or cleaning high end residential each require a somewhat different approach. Decide on your market before you chose the machine.

Bane may have just what you need, but there are likely better options.

Locally, talk to the folks at Advantage Marketing. They have a variety of truckmounts, wands, rotary machines, Counter-Rotating brushes, portables, new and used. You can see and try out the tools that you might need.

Budget - Financing is available if needed. Some say the payments are a huge motivator to get out and hustle everyday. Others would rather not have the pressure of a loan or lease. Whatever route you take, expect to apply a significant portion to proper training and to marketing expenses. Until you have built a reputation (which can take years) getting the business requires a lot of effort and money.

Operation - It sounds like you have a good plan if your market is similar clientele to your current construction business. I like that approach.

Vehicle - I like the Ford and Nissan high roof vans. You always end up wishing you had a little more room. So get as much storage space as possible. I have not tried to get plywood in with hose reels on that style van. It did not work on my old Econoline vans.

When you are ready to get your first machine, let me know. I will send you some things to get you started. [email protected]

My education calendar can be reached by going to www.interlinksupply.com and clicking on EDUCATION. Here is a direct link - https://www.cvent.com/c/calendar/ab53c6cb-fee0-44a6-a384-c51a2a4b32c0
 

Mama Fen

Well-Known Member
Jul 18, 2012
3,895
4,379
113
Real Name
no name
Business Location
United States
I have been mauling over starting a carpet cleaning business for around a year now and every time I google something, this forum is a top hit in the search results. I currently work in the construction trades, mostly painting but also do carpentry, floor installation, and kitchen/bath remodels. While working on a job I struck up a conversation with a cleaner which peeked my interest, especially with the amount of time he had on this job site. He was in and out of the house in under an hour, check in hand, and I talked to him for 25 mins of this time. I went back to building the deck stairs in the freezing drizzling rain.
I work by myself and am getting busy enough that I should hire some people, but I do not want to continue on this path. I currently work 8-10 hour days with travel. Then my nights and some weekends are filled with book keeping and writing estimates. I am looking for a change in pace and something new. I don't want to keep wasting 20 hours of my free time preparing estimates for a remodel that will be above the customers budget, meaning I did all that work for nothing or will spend more time with change orders. I also am looking to change my current situation with time on a job. As a contractor, my minimum time at a job site is one day, usually more. If the customer is a bad one, I might be stuck there everyday for 2 weeks. The appeal of carpet cleaning is that even if the customer is an evil person that is mean to everyone, I can smile and they are in my rear view in a few hours. I've worked hard over the past 10 years to gain a good reputation that has kept me busy by just word of mouth.

Like the title says, I am starting from scratch. I was already planning on buying a van this month to keep from having to unload my vehicle every night, like I do now with my truck. I was going the transit/promaster hi-roof route, but now I am rethinking that approach since I live in Indianapolis and we have temperatures below freezing in the winter. I'm guessing that I should park the van in the garage in the winter time.
I have ZERO experience cleaning carpets or hard surfaces, although I have installed several thousand sq feet of all kinds of flooring (not carpet though). So I have a lot to learn about the methods of cleaning, but should be able to use my contractor experience when talking with customers to gain their trust, talk pricing, and sell them on "me". I currently have 3 leads of local companies that will allow me to shadow them. I will work for free and learn, they will get free labor for a few weeks. I am thinking win win.
I am still in the planning stages, so if anyone wants to chime in with suggestions, I am all ears. I am still planning on attending a couple IICRC courses in the coming months like carpet cleaning technician and carpet repair. Couple of the roadblocks I am having are:

1: Machine- I am still learning the lingo. Truckmount, portable, wand, roto, etc. So I am not sure what I need and what a good starter set-up would include. I stopped by Bane Clene (local in Indianapolis) and talked to them about there systems. Sounds like from research I can get something a little more powerful for the price. I plan to buy used/reconditioned, especially if it comes with a warranty.

2. Budget- I have about $20k to work with, that will be for down payment of the vehicle, down payment of the truck mount, insurance, advertising, etc. I have good credit and plan to finance enough of the equipment so my monthly payment is low-ish. I know others have started with less, but where would the money be best spent to stay in the budget.

3. Operation- I know it will take some time to build a customer base. I want to launch the business by April. I will still take on painting and kitchen remodel jobs (the ones where I am the GC for and sub out most of the work) to keep revenue coming in. I think if I can get enough leeds to clean 2 days a week, construction for 4 other days, I can probably fully transition to carpet cleaning full time in a year. Then just refer people to my list of contractors to keep getting a referral fee and their referrals. Hopefully this is a realistic timetable?

4:Since I will still be doing a little construction while in the startup phase, I was planning on getting a higher roof "euro-style" van. That way I can make some shelves for my tools on one side and have room for a TM on the other. Anyone see any problems with those vans. Im not opposed to a chevy express, as long as their is enough room for my saws and hand tools with the TM and hoses mounted. Usually this space takes up most of my current truckbed. Also in a regular chevy express or gmc van, can you get 4x8 sheets of drywall in them with a truck mount and reels inside.

Those are just a few things that I kind of noted to myself that I am not sure on. I know I've missed much more. If there are any tips that community would like to pass out, things that you might have learned the hard way or wish you didn't buy right a way, please share. I am a total newbie to this profession, but not in business per se.

I truly appreciate the time anyone spent reading this and commenting,

To add to Scott's excellent advice, a few tips for you:

1. Machine - the idea of used/reconned is a good one, provided you have both a warranty (these can be had through distributors and supply companies like Scott's, NOT from buying direct from an owner-operator) AND have a mechanic nearby who knows the type of machine and can work on it. Having a backup plan if the machine duds on you is crucial during the first 18 months. The best machine ever built can still have a bad day, and you don't want to be stuck with no one nearby who knows how to fix it.

2. Field time - find a local carpet cleaner whose approach you like and ride along with him for a few days. Get a feel for what the job is like, reasonable expectations of time and effort, and most importantly how much he's pulling in by the end of the day. Much like GCs, carpet cleaners don't necessarily work 9-5. And unhappy customers can make your life just as miserable in this industry as any other.

3. Playtime - grab old sofa cushions that are out for the garbage, rolls of carpet left out for pickup after a new install, anything of the sort that you can find. Buy cheap rugs at the local secondhand store. And play with them all. Rub engine oil, mustard, and all sorts of soils into them, and practice cleaning it up. (just never bring the stuff into your house, you don't want someone else's bed bugs!)

4. Classroom learning - this will get you the terminology you lack, so let that worry go. It will also give you the basics of chemistry, how carpets are built, and some decent business tips on how to be successful. It is still only an adjunct to field experience, however, so make sure you balance your time between the two.

5. Diversity - it's tempting to want to do everything so as to make a bigger ticket at each job. But don't try to do carpet, upholstery, stone and tile, leather, area rugs, wood floors, water damage, air duct cleaning, mold remediation, blood clean-up, and oh by the way can you train my dog to sit? START SMALL. Become proficient at one before you let customers pressure you into doing another. Rugs especially are a great way to get in trouble if you don't know what you're doing.


Thanks to advances in technology and communication, the carpet cleaning industry has changed a lot in the last ten years. Social media has created an enormous pool of DIYers, critics, and cheerleaders who are all there watching 24-7. Nowadays so much of a carpet cleaner's focus is on marketing and getting his name out there rather than just on how to clean carpets well, it's tricky to find that happy medium any more.
 

Ken Raddon

Well-Known Member
Jul 22, 2010
1,908
955
113
UT
Real Name
Ken Raddon
Business Location
United States
For the heck of it I will offer some different advice that you can use until you're up and running with the carpet cleaning.
Charge for your estimates. I went from a total clean out company to just carpets years ago. At that time I was charging X for my bids and taking 2X off it they gave me the work. Try it you might like it. There is a company here that charges $75 for a landscaping estimate.
 
  • Like
Reactions: dnspll

rob allen

Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
Sep 5, 2007
38,561
19,905
113
Va.
www.drynclean.com
Real Name
Robert Allen,Jr.
Business Location
United States
...
 
  • Like
Reactions: dnspll

Fedri

Well-Known Member
Jan 25, 2015
4,471
2,346
113
Mississauga Canada
Real Name
Fedri Irsat
My advice is before you invest make sure you will like to clean. After all you are a handy man coming from renovation to the cleaning business is not the same thing and you may not be able to adjust yourself to carpet cleaning. Go and work for free as you have mentioned and find out if it is worth to switch over.
 

rob allen

Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
Sep 5, 2007
38,561
19,905
113
Va.
www.drynclean.com
Real Name
Robert Allen,Jr.
Business Location
United States

Luky

Well-Known Member
Nov 29, 2013
1,976
1,175
113
62
Chicagoland
Real Name
Marian Lukacisin
Business Location
United States
I have been mauling over starting a carpet cleaning business for around a year now and every time I google something, this forum is a top hit in the search results. I currently work in the construction trades, mostly painting but also do carpentry, floor installation, and kitchen/bath remodels. While working on a job I struck up a conversation with a cleaner which peeked my interest, especially with the amount of time he had on this job site. He was in and out of the house in under an hour, check in hand, and I talked to him for 25 mins of this time. I went back to building the deck stairs in the freezing drizzling rain.
I work by myself and am getting busy enough that I should hire some people, but I do not want to continue on this path. I currently work 8-10 hour days with travel. Then my nights and some weekends are filled with book keeping and writing estimates. I am looking for a change in pace and something new. I don't want to keep wasting 20 hours of my free time preparing estimates for a remodel that will be above the customers budget, meaning I did all that work for nothing or will spend more time with change orders. I also am looking to change my current situation with time on a job. As a contractor, my minimum time at a job site is one day, usually more. If the customer is a bad one, I might be stuck there everyday for 2 weeks. The appeal of carpet cleaning is that even if the customer is an evil person that is mean to everyone, I can smile and they are in my rear view in a few hours. I've worked hard over the past 10 years to gain a good reputation that has kept me busy by just word of mouth.

Like the title says, I am starting from scratch. I was already planning on buying a van this month to keep from having to unload my vehicle every night, like I do now with my truck. I was going the transit/promaster hi-roof route, but now I am rethinking that approach since I live in Indianapolis and we have temperatures below freezing in the winter. I'm guessing that I should park the van in the garage in the winter time.
I have ZERO experience cleaning carpets or hard surfaces, although I have installed several thousand sq feet of all kinds of flooring (not carpet though). So I have a lot to learn about the methods of cleaning, but should be able to use my contractor experience when talking with customers to gain their trust, talk pricing, and sell them on "me". I currently have 3 leads of local companies that will allow me to shadow them. I will work for free and learn, they will get free labor for a few weeks. I am thinking win win.
I am still in the planning stages, so if anyone wants to chime in with suggestions, I am all ears. I am still planning on attending a couple IICRC courses in the coming months like carpet cleaning technician and carpet repair. Couple of the roadblocks I am having are:

1: Machine- I am still learning the lingo. Truckmount, portable, wand, roto, etc. So I am not sure what I need and what a good starter set-up would include. I stopped by Bane Clene (local in Indianapolis) and talked to them about there systems. Sounds like from research I can get something a little more powerful for the price. I plan to buy used/reconditioned, especially if it comes with a warranty.

2. Budget- I have about $20k to work with, that will be for down payment of the vehicle, down payment of the truck mount, insurance, advertising, etc. I have good credit and plan to finance enough of the equipment so my monthly payment is low-ish. I know others have started with less, but where would the money be best spent to stay in the budget.

3. Operation- I know it will take some time to build a customer base. I want to launch the business by April. I will still take on painting and kitchen remodel jobs (the ones where I am the GC for and sub out most of the work) to keep revenue coming in. I think if I can get enough leeds to clean 2 days a week, construction for 4 other days, I can probably fully transition to carpet cleaning full time in a year. Then just refer people to my list of contractors to keep getting a referral fee and their referrals. Hopefully this is a realistic timetable?

4:Since I will still be doing a little construction while in the startup phase, I was planning on getting a higher roof "euro-style" van. That way I can make some shelves for my tools on one side and have room for a TM on the other. Anyone see any problems with those vans. Im not opposed to a chevy express, as long as their is enough room for my saws and hand tools with the TM and hoses mounted. Usually this space takes up most of my current truckbed. Also in a regular chevy express or gmc van, can you get 4x8 sheets of drywall in them with a truck mount and reels inside.

Those are just a few things that I kind of noted to myself that I am not sure on. I know I've missed much more. If there are any tips that community would like to pass out, things that you might have learned the hard way or wish you didn't buy right a way, please share. I am a total newbie to this profession, but not in business per se.

I truly appreciate the time anyone spent reading this and commenting,
It can work both ways...A few years ago , I did a job for custumer, who turned out to be a former CC. He told me similar story to yours, just industry were reversed. While cleaning carpets , he picked up small handy man jobs and after a year, he was ful blown remodel/ construction entity. We became friends and he sold me ( gifted)2 Ninja portables and Olypmus upholstery spotter for $800 altogether. So, what's the moral story. He got stuck in wrong idustry, so did you, so it seems. I'm not trying to talk you out of it, each industry has its perks,, just letting you know I'm out there 4-5 nights a week living the "dream" . So far, no blistering cold, but it's pretty close. Working with a truckmount, it takes only a few seconds for solution line to freeze( below 0° for sure) If you're going to be using portable, still have to deal with a snowy driveways, unless you gonna come up with a master plan first, while continuing with existing line of work and start with a carpet cleaning endeavor in spring. Get some valuable information here, take some classes, invest wisely and take pride in what you doing...
Welcome to the industry!!!
 

dnspll

New Member
Dec 11, 2018
5
3
3
Real Name
Daniel Spall
Thank you everyone for the replies, I always feel it necessary to always respond to someone when they take the time to give out info, so here goes.....hopefully I did this right...

Machine - I point I make often here, don't decide on the machine (the tool) until you know what you want to use it for. As a building contractor, you understand, you can't just ask what is the best hammer or saw until you specify the job you want to do. Cleaning commercial carpet, cleaning in high rise condos or office buildings, cleaning mass market residential or cleaning high end residential each require a somewhat different approach. Decide on your market before you chose the machine.

Bane may have just what you need, but there are likely better options.

Locally, talk to the folks at Advantage Marketing. They have a variety of truckmounts, wands, rotary machines, Counter-Rotating brushes, portables, new and used. You can see and try out the tools that you might need.

Budget - Financing is available if needed. Some say the payments are a huge motivator to get out and hustle everyday. Others would rather not have the pressure of a loan or lease. Whatever route you take, expect to apply a significant portion to proper training and to marketing expenses. Until you have built a reputation (which can take years) getting the business requires a lot of effort and money.

Operation - It sounds like you have a good plan if your market is similar clientele to your current construction business. I like that approach.

Vehicle - I like the Ford and Nissan high roof vans. You always end up wishing you had a little more room. So get as much storage space as possible. I have not tried to get plywood in with hose reels on that style van. It did not work on my old Econoline vans.

When you are ready to get your first machine, let me know. I will send you some things to get you started. [email protected]

My education calendar can be reached by going to www.interlinksupply.com and clicking on EDUCATION. Here is a direct link - https://www.cvent.com/c/calendar/ab53c6cb-fee0-44a6-a384-c51a2a4b32c0

Thanks Scott for the links, I actually am planning to stop at Advantage tomorrow. It has been on my list of things to do, but never seem to get the time allotted to get in there and ask for info on machines, products, supplies. I have had some classes on my radar, but they always seem to fall into times when it wasn't feasible to attend.
I like your point on deciding on a machine. I just plan to target homeowners and realtors and stick to residential. Partially from my background. In painting especially, apartments and commercial are a special breed of production that is hard for a one man crew to match. I will like to "be able" to do tile, upholstery, and commercial...but will not target that until I get some experience on my own.

Where are located?

Indianapolis, IN

To add to Scott's excellent advice, a few tips for you:

1. Machine - the idea of used/reconned is a good one, provided you have both a warranty (these can be had through distributors and supply companies like Scott's, NOT from buying direct from an owner-operator) AND have a mechanic nearby who knows the type of machine and can work on it. Having a backup plan if the machine duds on you is crucial during the first 18 months. The best machine ever built can still have a bad day, and you don't want to be stuck with no one nearby who knows how to fix it.

2. Field time - find a local carpet cleaner whose approach you like and ride along with him for a few days. Get a feel for what the job is like, reasonable expectations of time and effort, and most importantly how much he's pulling in by the end of the day. Much like GCs, carpet cleaners don't necessarily work 9-5. And unhappy customers can make your life just as miserable in this industry as any other.

3. Playtime - grab old sofa cushions that are out for the garbage, rolls of carpet left out for pickup after a new install, anything of the sort that you can find. Buy cheap rugs at the local secondhand store. And play with them all. Rub engine oil, mustard, and all sorts of soils into them, and practice cleaning it up. (just never bring the stuff into your house, you don't want someone else's bed bugs!)

4. Classroom learning - this will get you the terminology you lack, so let that worry go. It will also give you the basics of chemistry, how carpets are built, and some decent business tips on how to be successful. It is still only an adjunct to field experience, however, so make sure you balance your time between the two.

5. Diversity - it's tempting to want to do everything so as to make a bigger ticket at each job. But don't try to do carpet, upholstery, stone and tile, leather, area rugs, wood floors, water damage, air duct cleaning, mold remediation, blood clean-up, and oh by the way can you train my dog to sit? START SMALL. Become proficient at one before you let customers pressure you into doing another. Rugs especially are a great way to get in trouble if you don't know what you're doing.


Thanks to advances in technology and communication, the carpet cleaning industry has changed a lot in the last ten years. Social media has created an enormous pool of DIYers, critics, and cheerleaders who are all there watching 24-7. Nowadays so much of a carpet cleaner's focus is on marketing and getting his name out there rather than just on how to clean carpets well, it's tricky to find that happy medium any more.

Thanks for the input Mama Fen. I actually have saved some carpet from the last two floors that I demo'd to practice on. I will try and shadow more than one crew to see what each does different, but have learned from experience that being on your own is a different ball game. I plan to clean a ton of family and friends carpets to gain experience in the actual cleaning and also in what things I can do to be more efficient in time. I feel most important to doing business is to go "the extra mile" when possible. I find that it is the only way to keep a loyal customer and/or get referrals.

My advice is before you invest make sure you will like to clean. After all you are a handy man coming from renovation to the cleaning business is not the same thing and you may not be able to adjust yourself to carpet cleaning. Go and work for free as you have mentioned and find out if it is worth to switch over.

I do plan to do this. I figured this industry might be a good fit since I like oddly satisfying things like rolling paint on a wall. Before I make any purchase though, I will make sure I know 100% if it is the right path to walk
 
  • Like
Reactions: Fedri

dnspll

New Member
Dec 11, 2018
5
3
3
Real Name
Daniel Spall
It can work both ways...A few years ago , I did a job for custumer, who turned out to be a former CC. He told me similar story to yours, just industry were reversed. While cleaning carpets , he picked up small handy man jobs and after a year, he was ful blown remodel/ construction entity. We became friends and he sold me ( gifted)2 Ninja portables and Olypmus upholstery spotter for $800 altogether. So, what's the moral story. He got stuck in wrong idustry, so did you, so it seems. I'm not trying to talk you out of it, each industry has its perks,, just letting you know I'm out there 4-5 nights a week living the "dream" . So far, no blistering cold, but it's pretty close. Working with a truckmount, it takes only a few seconds for solution line to freeze( below 0° for sure) If you're going to be using portable, still have to deal with a snowy driveways, unless you gonna come up with a master plan first, while continuing with existing line of work and start with a carpet cleaning endeavor in spring. Get some valuable information here, take some classes, invest wisely and take pride in what you doing...
Welcome to the industry!!!
Thank you. Living the "dream" sums it up. I realize it is not sunshines and rainbows doing any work. I am looking to do work that is somewhat on my terms and still work for myself....while still working for others, the vicious cycle. I do need to still get some time in the field before deciding though.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Luky

dnspll

New Member
Dec 11, 2018
5
3
3
Real Name
Daniel Spall
I stopped by Advantage, a product retailer here in town, and talked to one of their specialist for a good long while. He was kind of trying to steer me toward learning other specialized areas in the field rather than try to get into actual carpet cleaning. Like odor removal and fire and smoke restoration, I think because of my background in the trades and it might be somewhat "easier" to break into a less flooded market. Looked at a few machines and saw some prices. Defiantly need to figure out the route I would want to go, portable vs TM, used vs new. Also looks like I will need to attend to some classes to help sculpt these decisions as well as shadowing a crew or two.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Scott W

OldCarpetVet

Premium VIP
Nov 2, 2014
5,656
4,004
113
63
Florida
Real Name
Richard Santoro
I stopped by Advantage, a product retailer here in town, and talked to one of their specialist for a good long while. He was kind of trying to steer me toward learning other specialized areas in the field rather than try to get into actual carpet cleaning. Like odor removal and fire and smoke restoration, I think because of my background in the trades and it might be somewhat "easier" to break into a less flooded market. Looked at a few machines and saw some prices. Defiantly need to figure out the route I would want to go, portable vs TM, used vs new. Also looks like I will need to attend to some classes to help sculpt these decisions as well as shadowing a crew or two.

If you want to be where the money is, then you need to do insurance claim work. It was my bread and butter for 30 out of 38 years. I'm talking water damage, fire damage, puffbacks, and so on. BUT....You will still need to know and understand a few things. Carpet, rug and fabric cleaning being just 3 of many things. But more importantly is understanding exactly HOW the insurance game is played. If you catch my drift. Anyone can visit a claims office and drop a business card off. Everyone does that. That will not impress them and it only ends up in their circular file. You need to get creative because 100 cleaners did the same thing before you.. But before you put your creative thinking cap on, you STILL need to learn the trade. And that takes time.
 
  • Like
Reactions: dnspll

Gregory Stiel

Member
May 20, 2017
49
41
18
Real Name
Gregory Stiel
I have a story pretty much like yours. I was a carpenter in my early 20s Got into the carpet cleaning game when it was still new. Did well and walked away retired at 60. I was board and started rehabbing houses flipped 10, kept 5 as rentals and got it out of my system. Now I just collect the rent. And take a nap every afternoon.

The grass always looks greener on the other side of the fence.