Making the decision to start and run your own carpet cleaning business is an exciting, but sometimes overwhelming process. Once you’ve decided that launching your very own carpet cleaning business is the right fit for you, it’s time to take the necessary steps to get your business up and running. Thankfully, launching a carpet cleaning business is relatively straightforward, and with the right employees, equipment, marketing, and management, your business has a good chance of returning high profits.
Franchise or Independent Carpet Cleaning Business?
When launching any business, there are a number of critical decisions to make right away. The first, is whether you’ll launch an independent business, or buy a franchise. Franchises are costly to start up – ranging anywhere from $20,000 to $50,000 (or more) just for start up costs including training, basic marketing, and the rights to the franchise’s branding. Generally, any costs associated with rent, overhead, attorney, and inventory will become your burden.
The plus side is that you get to take advantage of the franchise’s established branding and marketing efforts, and the startup process will be pretty straightforward. Franchises are for entrepreneurs who may not be good at marketing and who want to eliminate many of the usual hiccups of starting a new business – but they should also prepare to make a fairly hefty up front investment.
Conversely, an independent startup allows you to maintain full control of your brand from day one, giving you control over how you invest your funds – from equipment and marketing to hiring and training. As an entrepreneur, you’ll face the same hiccups and challenges as anyone launching a new business for the first time. Assuming you are willing to invest in marketing efforts and enjoy a good challenge, an independent startup could be the right choice for you.
In this article, we’ll assume you’re launching an independent business, and offer our best advice for hitting the ground running.
Equipment will likely be your greatest investment cost, and for good reason. The success of your entire carpet cleaning business will depend on how well your equipment and employees can actually clean carpet. Quality equipment that is easy to use, easy to train, and delivers efficient cleaning (including quickly cleaning large spaces with a quick dry time) is the cornerstone for building a successful carpet cleaning business.
Training and Preparation
Start by talking to other carpet cleaning business owners. Learn as much as you can from their mistakes, and decide what advice you think will be useful, and what lessons you can learn from their business operations. It’s also best practice to get certified through the IICRC. Find local and national exhibitions and conferences, like the Building Operating Management’s NFMT, where you can network and learn about cleaning products and machines. Another valuable step is to read up on several carpet manufacturers’ maintenance guidelines to keep from voiding your customers carpet warranties.
Marketing and Building a Customer Base
You're going to have to sell your services in those early days, so marketing will be key. Building a commercial carpet cleaning business can take time, as you’ll need to find buildings or businesses who are either new and who haven’t yet contracted a commercial carpet cleaning service, or convince those who already have a carpet cleaning service to convert and give you a try. Either way, you’ll need to be put-together, convincing, and have a method of differentiating yourself. Why is your carpet cleaning business better than any other?
Make sure you put together some “before” and “after” pictures, to show some of your most dramatic cleaning transformations. We also recommend having a few references lined up. Finally, make sure you have professionally branded marketing materials, including pamphlets, a social media presence, and a website, at a minimum.
If your services prove to be as exceptional as you claim, you’ll start to find that you may benefit from word of mouth advertising. You can encourage this incredibly valuable type of marketing by offering discounts for recommendations and referrals.
Here at Whittaker, we are committed to creating exceptional carpet cleaning systems that deliver uncompromising quality, efficiency, and reliability. Check out our lineup of Smart Care® systems, designed with business owners in mind.
Our Brand Commitment -
Making sure that every square foot of carpet adds to the beauty of a facility as its manufacturers, architects, designers, and installers intended.