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Starting a carpet cleaning business

Anything considered a "hustle" and not necessarily a CENTS-based Fastlane

Primeperiwinkle

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Join a graphic design group and ask if any one would like to trade you a carpet cleaning for logo or sign designs. They’ll probably not be too keen but make sure you mention that any pm’s about designs would be helpful. Someone might pm you to create some stuff at low cost.

Find out where several of the sign shops (that wrap vehicles or put decals on vehicles) are then go chat those up as well.

My sign guy once gave me examples of all the bad van designs (after I brought him petit fours or macaroons, I brought cookies/pastries to so many businesses!!) and offered to make my first sign for a trade off after I spent about an hour listening to him grumble about his life.

You might be surprised at how willing ppl are to help you if you show up willing to listen. (And bring donuts)

Lastly, move the van around. It’s signage! That means if you park it in different places different ppl will see it. Then when they search your business they’ll know you work in the area.
 
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WillHurtDontCare

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savefox

Bronze Contributor
Speedway Pass
Jun 15, 2022
105
136
Busiest week so far. I've made 3 times more money from this "side hustle" than from my full time job this week while working 9-5 and only having 1-2 carpet cleaning appointments per day in the evening. The only reason I haven't quit my job yet is that I don't know if there will be any demand in Jan and Feb.

I only use google ads for advertisement right now, manual CPC strategy, exact match keywords and getting around $10-20 per conversion. Maximize conversions with target CPA didn't work at all even though I had sufficient data for it to work. Local Google Ads didn't work as well, since the people who called were mostly price shoppers wanting to get 1 room done for $40 per call.

So if there's going to be enough demand I'll be able to easily make $1000 per day at some point next year and maybe even hire someone.
 
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savefox

Bronze Contributor
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Jun 15, 2022
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Just a quick update. Yes, I'm still doing it, though it's going pretty slow right now, but it should pick up some time around March. It's normal in the home service industry. I'm planning to quit my full-time job when I'm able to do 1 or 2 carpet cleaning jobs per day. I'm doing 2-3 per week right now. The average ticket is around $300.

It is a great business with high margins. You can easily make $400-500 for 2 hours of work while spending about $10 dollars on gas and chemicals. The most difficult part is getting those high-margin jobs, because the competition is fierce.

So the demand is definitely there. I think the problem is that there's not enough value skew. I have a nicely designed website with an online booking system, good customer service, a 100% guarantee on cleaning results, a fast dry time, no bait-and-switch tactics. But there are companies that have all of that too, plus hundreds of reviews. I need to think about how I can differentiate myself from them.
 

SPM_ENT

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You may want to look into eventually buying some fans and a dehu. Water damage claims are big $. Some big water damage companies started as carpet cleaners. What city are you in?
 

savefox

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Jun 15, 2022
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You may want to look into eventually buying some fans and a dehu. Water damage claims are big $. Some big water damage companies started as carpet cleaners. What city are you in?
I've been looking into it, and I would have to get a truckmounted extractor for that which is around $35000. I don't know if I should spend that much money on this business just yet. And I'd have to take a loan.
 
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Last edited:

SPM_ENT

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I've been looking into it, and I would have to get a truckmounted extractor for that which is around $35000. I don't know if I should spend that much money on this business just yet. And I'd have to take a loan. I'm in Portland OR
Don't you have a truck mount for carpet cleaning? Most water damage companies use portable extractors that cost about 1k. DM me if you want to chat I used to be in that industry.
 

savefox

Bronze Contributor
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Jun 15, 2022
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Don't you have a truck mount for carpet cleaning? Most water damage companies use portable extractors that cost about 1k. DM me if you want to chat I used to be in that industry.
Nope, I do VLM cleaning with a 175 and encap chemicals. I'm planning on getting a truckmount soon though.
 

savefox

Bronze Contributor
Speedway Pass
Jun 15, 2022
105
136
Goals for this year:
Quit my job by March 31st
Make the company more professional by implementing uniforms, wrapping the van, and branding equipment with company logos and stuff like that
Hire someone, probably a phone answering service, to handle incoming calls and schedule jobs
Hire my first employee to allow me to focus on managing the business instead of working in it.
A profit of $10.000 per month by June 30th
A profit of $20.000 per month by December 31st

$10.000 per month is 2 jobs per day 5 days a week. That's only 3-4 hours of work a day. 1 tech can complete at least 4 jobs per day (I've already done it myself) and bring in $1000 in revenue per day which is around $20.000 per month if the average ticket is $250 which is on the lower side. If things go as planned, I will add another truck and double the profits.

I'm also getting a lot of calls about rug cleaning, so I'm planning on renting a physical location and building a rug washing facility in there. I will pick up area rugs, clean and deliver them to their doorstep. I imagine I could make $150-200 per rug or even more.

The margins in this business are pretty high, I use like $10 worth of gas and chemicals on every job and $20-30 to acquire a new customer which I can retain and get recurring revenue.

I'm using google ads, google local service ads and facebook ads to get new customers.

I believe it's all possible because I'm running this business like an absolute retard right now and still making good profits while working a full time job and spending like 10 hours per week on the business.

What I would have done differently:
I followed the advice of buying everything as cheaply as possible. Now I have to replace half of my equipment so I don't look like an idiot walking into a customer's house with a rusty floor buffer and a Walmart broom. Cutting corners to save a couple grand in the short term can end up costing you more in the long run. But don't buy anything expensive before you test the idea and make sure it'll work for you. Don't go and buy $70k worth of equipment before you even start. You need to minimize your expenses while looking professional and being able to do your job efficiently.
 
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Paul David

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Just a quick update. Yes, I'm still doing it, though it's going pretty slow right now, but it should pick up some time around March. It's normal in the home service industry. I'm planning to quit my full-time job when I'm able to do 1 or 2 carpet cleaning jobs per day. I'm doing 2-3 per week right now. The average ticket is around $300.

It is a great business with high margins. You can easily make $400-500 for 2 hours of work while spending about $10 dollars on gas and chemicals. The most difficult part is getting those high-margin jobs, because the competition is fierce.

So the demand is definitely there. I think the problem is that there's not enough value skew. I have a nicely designed website with an online booking system, good customer service, a 100% guarantee on cleaning results, a fast dry time, no bait-and-switch tactics. But there are companies that have all of that too, plus hundreds of reviews. I need to think about how I can differentiate myself from them.
Here's a few things I do for my carpet cleaning clients:

1. automate the collection of reviews from their customers. It will get 3x more reviews than asking verbally.

2. Share those reviews across their website and post them on social media pages.

3. Use an AI system to automatically respond to their reviews in a human like manner. This will not only show customers you care but also help Google rank the business listing higher.

4. Facebook ads launcher - Choose from library of proven carpet cleaning ads and launch them in 3 clicks without ever having to go into Facebook business manager.

5. Missed call text back - A lot of carpet cleaners miss calls because they're busy doing the job. When this happens our system sends the customers a text if they miss their call, something along the lines of Hey, it's Joe from Joe Bloggs Carpet Cleaning, sorry I missed your call how can i help?

6. Recommendations - Invite customers to recommend you to their friends and family on Facebook. Can be incentivised or not.

7. Automated messages to previous customers inviting them to rebook.

8. Textchat widget added to their website to pick up extra leads and they can still contact the lead even when they've left their site.


You can do any of these things manually also. Hope that helps.
 

savefox

Bronze Contributor
Speedway Pass
Jun 15, 2022
105
136
Here's a few things I do for my carpet cleaning clients:

1. automate the collection of reviews from their customers. It will get 3x more reviews than asking verbally.

2. Share those reviews across their website and post them on social media pages.

3. Use an AI system to automatically respond to their reviews in a human like manner. This will not only show customers you care but also help Google rank the business listing higher.

4. Facebook ads launcher - Choose from library of proven carpet cleaning ads and launch them in 3 clicks without ever having to go into Facebook business manager.

5. Missed call text back - A lot of carpet cleaners miss calls because they're busy doing the job. When this happens our system sends the customers a text if they miss their call, something along the lines of Hey, it's Joe from Joe Bloggs Carpet Cleaning, sorry I missed your call how can i help?

6. Recommendations - Invite customers to recommend you to their friends and family on Facebook. Can be incentivised or not.

7. Automated messages to previous customers inviting them to rebook.

8. Textchat widget added to their website to pick up extra leads and they can still contact the lead even when they've left their site.


You can do any of these things manually also. Hope that helps.
Thanks Paul,

I'll definitely implement the ones I'm not doing, especially replying to reviews. By the way, most of my reviews don't even show up on my profile even though I know for sure that a customer left one. Is there any way to fix it? It looks like it's a common problem
 

Carlitos

Bronze Contributor
Speedway Pass
Jul 13, 2016
172
180
New York City
Business phone system + phone tree to route calls + RingCentral set up to forward missed calls if your sales girl or you doesn’t pick up, forwards to answering service such as voicenation or ruby which have a sales script and can fill out web form that automatically ads them to a crm, or they can schedule appointments using a calendly that you use for scheduling quotes = 0 missed leads
Man I got so many questions for you, I use google all of the stuff you mentioned, i think the phone tree is a bit overwhelming but very interesting to look in to. I don't have a problem picking up calls, but more of a problem taking calls while I'm doing the work. I am trying to simplify everything to where my call girl can pick it up. I do have a CRM as well, but I also have questions on that. Do you mind if I ask those questions in my thread and tag you?
 

Carlitos

Bronze Contributor
Speedway Pass
Jul 13, 2016
172
180
New York City
Goals for this year:
Quit my job by March 31st
Make the company more professional by implementing uniforms, wrapping the van, and branding equipment with company logos and stuff like that
Hire someone, probably a phone answering service, to handle incoming calls and schedule jobs
Hire my first employee to allow me to focus on managing the business instead of working in it.
A profit of $10.000 per month by June 30th
A profit of $20.000 per month by December 31st

$10.000 per month is 2 jobs per day 5 days a week. That's only 3-4 hours of work a day. 1 tech can complete at least 4 jobs per day (I've already done it myself) and bring in $1000 in revenue per day which is around $20.000 per month if the average ticket is $250 which is on the lower side. If things go as planned, I will add another truck and double the profits.

I'm also getting a lot of calls about rug cleaning, so I'm planning on renting a physical location and building a rug washing facility in there. I will pick up area rugs, clean and deliver them to their doorstep. I imagine I could make $150-200 per rug or even more.

The margins in this business are pretty high, I use like $10 worth of gas and chemicals on every job and $20-30 to acquire a new customer which I can retain and get recurring revenue.

I'm using google ads, google local service ads and facebook ads to get new customers.

I believe it's all possible because I'm running this business like an absolute retard right now and still making good profits while working a full time job and spending like 10 hours per week on the business.

What I would have done differently:
I followed the advice of buying everything as cheaply as possible. Now I have to replace half of my equipment so I don't look like an idiot walking into a customer's house with a rusty floor buffer and a Walmart broom. Cutting corners to save a couple grand in the short term can end up costing you more in the long run. But don't buy anything expensive before you test the idea and make sure it'll work for you. Don't go and buy $70k worth of equipment before you even start. You need to minimize your expenses while looking professional and being able to do your job efficiently.
March 1, 2022 I quit my full time job, I actually had 2022 Range Rover in my shop I was stressing in finishing lol by end of Dec 31, 2022 I did over 165K + by myself. I strongly believe March is the perfect time to go all out, you don't need to hire anyone, you can do it a lone, you just need to figure out a system that works. Look in to sideline is an app that helped me a ton!
 

savefox

Bronze Contributor
Speedway Pass
Jun 15, 2022
105
136
March 1, 2022 I quit my full time job, I actually had 2022 Range Rover in my shop I was stressing in finishing lol by end of Dec 31, 2022 I did over 165K + by myself. I strongly believe March is the perfect time to go all out, you don't need to hire anyone, you can do it a lone, you just need to figure out a system that works. Look in to sideline is an app that helped me a ton!
I'm hoping it'll start picking up in March because it's super slow right now as I expected. That's why I didn't quit my job in November. Thanks for the app suggestion, I'll check it out. I'm not satisfied with Grasshopper. I want to hire someone to answer the phone because like you said it's difficult to take calls when I'm working
 
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Johnny boy

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May 9, 2017
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Washington State
Man I got so many questions for you, I use google all of the stuff you mentioned, i think the phone tree is a bit overwhelming but very interesting to look in to. I don't have a problem picking up calls, but more of a problem taking calls while I'm doing the work. I am trying to simplify everything to where my call girl can pick it up. I do have a CRM as well, but I also have questions on that. Do you mind if I ask those questions in my thread and tag you?
Sure or can send dm, can chat on the phone if you want
 

AlanBest

PARKED
Feb 2, 2023
1
0
It doesn't seem you have a USP problem. It seems your problem is not closing sales.

If you are unable to answer your phone due to work, could you hire someone for cheap? For instance a virtual assistant. Another option could be that you hire one of your parents or relatives or someone who either works at home or doesn't currently work.

What is the point of running ads if your can't close because you are busy with your slowlane job.
 
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