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Start a Carpet Cleaning Business

Why is the Carpet Cleaning Business a Smart Choice?

I have been in the carpet cleaning industry for over 24 years. In that time I have started a janitorial business then moved into carpet cleaning and then into water and fire damage restoration and finally into franchising. I have started from scratch 3 carpet cleaning franchises for three of the largest companies in their respective businesses. I have seen hundreds, no thousands of individuals get in this business and thrive. It brings me a lot of satisfaction to see satisfied carpet cleaning business owners who have put their children through college and are even retiring on the back of the fuzzy stuff that we find under our feet.

And why not? This is one of the greatest industries one can get into. Where else can you start a business that is so profitable so fast, with so little investment? Where else can you see immediate results from your hard work and get paid on the spot? Although a higher education would be helpful in operating a large or high performance carpet cleaning company, it is not essential. I have seen many of multi-million dollar operations that are run by hard working and dedicated individuals with high school or even less education. I will never forget the day the President of the bank that I cleaned called me in to “fire” me because he found out that I was making more than he was. Yes, education is important but a diploma isn’t in this business.

I personally love the challenge of getting a really dirty carpet sparkling clean and removing spots and stains that others said could not be. I also enjoy meeting so many interesting people in their own homes where they often feel more comfortable and are more into being themselves. I have built lasting friendships with my clients that have lasted a lifetime. And there is a bonus for those who go into the water damage restoration side of the business. You get to help people who are many times very upset and turned upside down by a water loss and you get to help put their lives back together again. People you help in this condition late at night and on weekends are eternally grateful for your services, (and it doesn’t feel bad either to get those large and well deserved checks when you’re done).

Just look at this list of advantages and following chart that compares owning a store front business with a carpet cleaning business.

Fritz Thompson
CEO of Professional Carpet Systems, Inc.

Why is the Carpet Business such an Awesome Opportunity?

  • Be in control of your own future, get some real security!
  • Fun business with personal contact with interesting people
  • Work out of security and comfort of your home
  • Low investment
  • Low overhead
  • No long term commitment for store frontage or building leases
  • No large and expensive inventories
  • Create a large business with a few employees
  • Freedom to set YOUR own schedule (no fixed hours or weekends unless you want)
  • Unlimited potential to grow your business (build the size business that you want and are capable of running)
  • Variety of services to offer and explore
  • Opportunity to create a continuing family business
  • Work with the people YOU want to work with
  • Opportunity to learn a RECESSION RESISTANT trade that is necessary in markets worldwide
  • Freedom to determine your customer profile (commercial, residential, affluent, etc.)
  • Opportunity to deal with a variety of business relationships (many levels of management, ownership)
  • Unlimited educational growth
  • Income tax breaks by writing off things that you weren’t able to before

Retail or Store Front Business vs. A Carpet Cleaning Business

Retail or Store Front Business

Your New Business

Must locate and lease space

  • Long and protracted start up
  • Slower cash flow
  • Expensive build out and fixtures increase initial start up costs
  • High risk (long term lease)

Can start out of home

  • Quick start up
  • Immediate cash flow
  • Low initial cost
  • Low risk (can sell off assets easily)

Immediate Need For Employees

  • Immediate increased overhead
  • Immediate training needs

Can Start With Yourself or One

  • Can begin with little overhead
  • All training done with initial education

Long Hours incl. Weekends & Sundays

  • Most store front operation are open 6-7 days per week and after 5:00 p.m.
  • Requires very long hours and lots of employees to cover shifts

Hours more flexible

  • Sundays and evenings are free
  • Most work is done from 8-5 occasional evening and Saturday work

Advertising Is Limited & Expensive

  • Limited means to attract customers
  • Must compete with deep pocket companies
  • Location is critical and can kill you if not perfectly situated
  • Competition is highly developed and sophisticated

Marketing Is Targeted

  • Can begin largely with low cost face to face marketing
  • Direct mail, automated voice, & fax marketing can be highly targeted
  • Most competition is unsophisticated

Business Is Fixed/Expansion Difficult

  • Adding new products can be very expensive and is usually tightly controlled by home office/franchisor
  • Adding new locations can be even more time consuming and costly

Business Is Mobile/Expansion Easy

  • 7 Separate services; start with the basic ones and add more as you are able
  • 4 different markets; expand into other markets as you grow your business

Large And Costly Inventories

  • Inventories must be carried and frequently become old & obsolete
  • Carrying cost and spoilage can be substantial

Low & Inexpensive Inventories

  • Chemicals and products normally comprise less than 6% of gross & can be purchased on a just in time basis
  • Carpet is handled with no inventories

Stuck Inside In One Location

  • Must stay inside with little change in environment, with same profiled customer

Get Out & About With Your New Business

  • Constantly changing settings interfacing with a variety of types of individuals

Opportunity For Growth Stymied

  • Personal growth opportunities limited
  • Horizon for radical change flat

Growth Opportunities Abound

  • Scene of business constantly changing with new things to learn

Why is the Carpet Maintenance Business Better Than Other Business Types?

There is so much carpet and other flooring that must be maintained and repaired. In 1999 alone 17.2 Billion square feet of carpet was sold and installed. All of this carpet must be maintained by someone. It might as well be you!

Now you should not try to go this new venture on your own. There are many ways to reduce your headaches, and keep from stubbing your toe or worse, shooting your self in the foot. First, pick a solid and reputable distributor, like Sun-Belt USA. They have been helping folks like you for over 30 years. They know all about the right equipment and products to get you started. They are very concerned that their customers get just what they need for their circumstances, and they will not push or pressure someone to buy something they don’t need. Next you will want to join an association or a franchise organization. There are advantages to both of them but you should affiliate yourself with one or the other. Why, because you can learn from the experience of others. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you know it all, that’s the first and the worst fatal mistake anyone could make that attempts to start their own business. You may not want to pay the dues or franchise fees, but trust me on this one; it will be the best money you have ever spent.

My last word of advice, never stop learning. Go to every seminar, training course, school or trade show that you possibly can. You will always get more out of it than it cost you. I have an old saying that goes like this, “The more you know, the more you grow” and grow profitably too when you take the time to learn. Sun-Belt USA has a training opportunity almost every month. If you meet certain modest purchasing qualifications, you can even attend at no cost for the course. Just ask any one of their helpful sales representatives.

In closing I will have to say that choosing to be a carpet cleaner is a noble and exciting career. As I look back over the 24 years that I have been in the business, I don’t regret it one bit and I would do it again in a heartbeat. If I can encourage anyone to get into this business I will. It is a solid, worthwhile, interesting, and rewarding endeavor.You will not regret getting into this wonderful business.



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