If you want to make money working for yourself and be your own boss carpet cleaning is an easy business to get into. When you start up a business there are two key components that you need, a product to sell and someone who’s willing to buy it. Carpet cleaning is not rocket science but does require knowledge on general carpet cleaning, stain removal and knowing the limitations of what your equipment can handle.
If you want to make money working for yourself and be your own boss carpet cleaning is an easy business to get into. When you start up a business there are two key components that you need, a product to sell and someone who’s willing to buy it. Carpet cleaning is not rocket science but does require knowledge of general carpet cleaning, stain removal, and knowing the limitations of what your equipment can handle.
There are three main types of carpet cleaning; dry foam carpet cleaning, liquid extraction carpet cleaning, and hybrid liquid extraction using a bonnet to thoroughly scrub the floors. Most carpet cleaners use the liquid extraction method because it is the most cost-effective.
When starting your business you need to layout a business plan. To develop a carpet cleaning business you must have money for a start-up because your business is equipment-based.
When you first go to purchase carpet cleaning equipment you’ll be amazed at how many different types of extraction equipment is available. To find carpet cleaning equipment it is advisable to shop at a local cleaning supply and janitorial equipment distributor or look online at vacuum cleaner and carpet extractor websites.
There are many types of carpet cleaning units available, some of these types include carpet spotters, portable carpet extractors and truck mount carpet extractors.
Carpet spotters are made for cleaning smaller spaces and areas that are not flat like cars, boats, and furniture. Carpet spotters are also great at removing small spills and stains and are light and easy to transport.
A great way to expand what you offer in your carpet cleaning business is to offer mobile auto detailing. Mobile auto detailing is quickly catching on and people will pay good money for this extra service.
Portable carpet extractors are what you are probably going to be looking at if you’re just starting out in the carpet cleaning market. There are two types of portable carpet extractors, tank and wand units, and portable walk behind.
Tank units are the best if you are going to be cleaning a lot of carpets frequently. Tank units allow you to attach carpet wand tools for a variety of jobs and are the most versatile. Tank extractors also come with heaters that super heat your extraction solution which in turn yields a cleaner carpet. Tank portable carpet extractors usually range from $1200 to $7000 dollars new and are available with many options.
The third type of carpet extraction unit is the truck mount. Having a truck mount unit for commercial carpet cleaning is the ultimate way to go. Truck mount carpet extractors are usually mounted in a truck, van, or trailer and contain very large suction motors which are run off the vehicle’s own power.
Truck mount carpet extractors come with super heating heaters that heat the carpet extraction solution up to high temperatures. Truck mount units are usually self-contained so both the solution tank and the waste liquid tank are contained in the vehicle.
Truck mount setups can range anywhere from $10,000 to $60,000 dollars depending on the options you choose. If you are starting out your own carpet cleaning business a used truck mount system is a great way to go.
The basic equipment needed to start your carpet cleaning business is a vehicle to get to your carpet cleaning location, a carpet extraction unit, and carpet cleaning chemicals and cleaning supplies. After you have acquired all your cleaning equipment it’s time to get insured. It is not recommended that you clean someone else’s carpets with out insurance and most people who hire you will require proof that you are insured and bonded for their own protection.
Knowledge of carpet cleaning is required for cleaning carpets. There are many books and internet sites that are devoted to commercial carpet cleaning from which you can gain knowledge about the carpet cleaning industry.
After you have learned and practiced with your own equipment it’s time to get some clients. A great way to learn and get experience is to offer to clean your friends’ and relatives’ carpets for free or at a discounted price.
This is a great way to gain experience and knowledge about carpet cleaning and sometimes learning by making mistakes is the best way to perfect your carpet cleaning skills. The most cost-effective way to get clients is networking.
Tell people about your carpet cleaning endeavors and ask them to spread the word. Advertising in smaller local newspapers is also a great option because ads are usually cheap and are targeted to specific communities.
When you first start out you should run some good deals even if you are breaking even on the actual carpet cleaning costs at your jobs. You will want to get the word out there as much as you can, and if you do a great job word will spread fast.
When you are cleaning your clients’ carpets it is important that you look and act professionally. Remember that you are in someone else’s house and that you are being paid as a service to clean their carpets. Before you start cleaning your clients’ carpets, have them show you all the trouble spots and let them know if it is possible to get stains out.
Many people believe that professional carpet cleaners can remove every stain from carpeting but this is not true because some stains can be ground in and permanent. It’s ok to let the client know if you are unable to remove a stain.
After you are done cleaning the carpets take the client around and show them any trouble spots before you leave. Explain to them why you can’t get the stain out and what other treatments such as dying can be done to the carpet.
Make sure before you leave that the client is happy, just as good carpet cleaning spreads by word of mouth news of bad carpet cleaning will spread even faster and could give you a bad reputation in the carpet cleaning world.
Make sure to keep a list of all your clients and follow up with them over the year to see if your carpet cleaning skills are needed again. Over time you will build up repeat clients to add to your new clients which will in time expand your carpet cleaning business.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Sven Hyltén-Cavallius