The Efficiency Thread | TruckMount Forums #1 Carpet Cleaning Forums

The Efficiency Thread

Jim Ellis

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How does an Efficiency thread turn into a: I am so obsessed with carpet that I get angry if I can't spend 4 hours at a 4 bedroom house - carefully vacuuming every corner, edging every crack, mixing up a fresh pre-spray brew, pre-agitating with a 175 (because a power wand leaves the carpet wetter (god forbid)), doing extra dry strokes, boring the customer to death, etc etc etc.

Are you kidding???? Like I said previously if you can average $100 an hour - GREAT - but if you aren't and you are spending time in carpet obsession land then maybe this is your hobby - not business. I time everything I do & my techs do - a clock is going inside my head the moment my van parks near the customers house/biz. The clock runs very fast when it's a coupon deal - even faster when it's volume "turn" and much slower when it's one of my high-end - high paying customers.

The point of starting this thread was not to "cut corners" or to brag about how obsessed somebody is about carpet - the point is efficiency - ways to make a job go faster while maintaining quality expectations. Quality expectations vary by client drastically.

If it's apartment "turn" then it's wet n jet - wham bam thankyou ma'am - that's all they want - they don't want somebody to be slowwwwww and take all day to clean a few apartments.

If it's a coupon customer then you go in and do a solid job. They pre-vac or you charge extra - if the carpet is trashed instead of breaking out the 175 you pull out a power wand (rotovac, powr-flite, etc) and leave the carpet a little wetter but clean.

If it's a high-end customer then you do the pre-vac - you edge the carpet - if you use a power wand you come in after it with your regular wand to improve dry time - etc etc etc

Oh, by the way - you will get repeat customers all day long if you give them what they want - the coupon customer doesn't want you at their house all day long obsessing over their carpet and filtration lines. In fact I believe that some of my repeat customers are glad I'm in in and out pretty fast and don't take up space in their house too long.

So let's keep on focus - This is a business, not a hobby - the bottom line is making $$ - keeping a good rep and getting repeat customers. I think I'm pretty good at the last two considering my google reviews and repeat customers. I'm just always trying to fine tune the time I - or one of my techs - spends doing a job to increase bottom line profits. That's what I'm obsessed about - making $$ - getting carpet clean and removing most stains is pretty easy.
 

Jim Ellis

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Oh, and I call out the bullshit meter on some that claim they make a $100 an hour when they charge $300 or more for the average 4 bedroom house. I seriously doubt - considering some of the websites I've seen - some of you are getting enough to make $100 an hour for the 3 hour job that could be done in one hour. I know there are a few members that focus on high-end clients and then, of course, I can see that and would expect a great deal of extra time being spent on doing an extraordinary job.

But Mr. & Mrs middle class that are spending $149 for you to clean their 4 bedroom house aren't going to make you $100 an hour if you aren't very efficient and understand what their expectations really are. I have many of them as repeat customers. In fact one of their expectations is that you are out of their house in less then an hour - I'm sure.
 

Prosteam-sonomacounty

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I get quite a few middle class clients who come to me because they are very frustrated with the level of service they receive from $149 5 room cleaners. 2 day dry time, recurring spots, lingering odors ,fast service, etc...
 
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Jim Ellis

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Now that I've ranted and raved - I'm going to look for a backpack after turn or some sort of big ass satchel that I can strap on to carry: inline sprayer - spotters - my last 50ft of solution hose - carpet/upholstery tool - a couple cuffs allowing me to carry my wand and my last 50ft of vac hose as I enter the customers house/biz/apartment.
 

Jim Ellis

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I get quite a few middle class clients who come to me because they are very frustrated with the level of service they receive from $149 5 room cleaners. 2 day dry time, recurring spots, lingering odors ,fast service, etc...


2 day dry time? Not with a TM and a reasonable amount of PSI. My dry times average about 3-4 hours on average jobs - 1 hour for the higher paying clients - All types of clients get clean carpet - odor control and spot removal with a mild acid rinse.
 

Jim Ellis

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You provide what the market demands or you don't do very well and spend all your time during working hours on this forum posting shit. I give the customers what they want - Most want clean carpet and stain removal - some want more and pay more. You give them what they want - not what you want. It's arrogant to say - I decide what the customer needs and I just can't do a job without making it perfect - 90% of your market doesn't want that. My REPEAT customers are always happy that we are affordable - in and out of their home quickly - have good dry times - and leave their carpet clean and smelling fresh. Is every corner edged? Did we pull out a kirby and pre-vac our ass off? Did we use a 175 to pre-agitate carpet that didn't need it? NO. They call us every 3-4 months to come back - we gave them what they wanted. That's called sales ladies and gentleman.
 

Jim Ellis

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Na, just quik cleaners trying to get all there stops in.
Pretty bad cleaners then.. We did get some unhappy Stanley Steamer customers that said it took about 24 hours to dry. One of their techs also left hose puke on their hardwood.

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Todd the Cleaner

Todd Cottino
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I hear it all the time.


I do too. There are a lot of truckmount hacks out there. I have watched some cleaners that hold the trigger valve wide open the whole time they are cleaning with no dry passes and move the wand at lightning speed cleaning a 150 sq ft room in 3 minutes. I guarantee their carpet is not dry in 4-6 hours.
 
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bjones2004

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I do too. There are a lot of truckmount hacks out there. I have watched some cleaners that hold the trigger valve wide open the whole time they are cleaning with no dry passes and move the wand at lightning speed cleaning a 150 sq ft room in 3 minutes. I guarantee their carpet is not dry in 4-6 hours.

I only do that in empty apartments with no move ins scheduled for the next couple days. Paying customers get corner guards and all that stuff.

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cyphersbg

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I am still brand new and pretty slow on my set up and tear down but I am getting better. My van set up needs organizing because I can't seem to find a place for my water hose.
 

Clean-Team

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4.5 hrs for what maybe 400 sqft? Probably less if you say it was small.
Cost$50 ? Is that what you got or what your cost was? Why would a small job cost $50.
You need to clarify my friend. Your math is a bit off
I have already mate.

I didn't type the 4 I had already made a followup post with the correction.

Sorry where is says $50 it was meant to say $450. My apologies.

Grant
 

Clean-Team

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Gents the correction is the first post atop this page. please re-read the thread.

Grant
 

Steve Toburen

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Just to get things back on track all my techs carried a holster with a set of "duckbill" napping shears in it. It is amazing what minor repairs and "spotting" you can do with a set of duckbills. The key here was to have them on your belt and not back in the truck.

Steve

PS HERE are five more "efficiency ideas" from our QuickTIP email. (Check out all our QuickTIP's HERE.)
 

Decker

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Some sort of HOUSE BAG that goes to the house as you start up. Contains basic spotters (fels, orange solvent gel), sliders, plastic tabs, some blocks, napping shears, towels, stair straps, solution hose QD wrap, poker chips, black light, horsehair brush...

all the stuff you wish you had not left in the van...

Never go empty handed, either take something up to the house, or bring something back.

Carry fresh water if possible.

Defined roles for lead and helper, and an organised system of who does what when.

We pull the whole dog and pony show, drop cloths, corner guards, edge details, cleanup our mess on hard floors as we leave, etc... Including much socializing with Mrs. Finklebean. after all, she thinks we did a good job based on HOW MUCH SHE LIKES US. At least this is usually the case with the middle to upper end clientele we deal with...

~~~
and I see Steve said all that in his Quick Tips!!! Thanks Steve - You are a wealth of good info!