Whether you’re an entrepreneur looking to start a new business or you’ve worked in the carpet cleaning industry and you’re ready to go out on your own, here are the four tips to get you started.
Before you can start a carpet cleaning business, you’ll need to register it with the state and make sure you have any local business licenses you need. You should open a business bank account and apply for a tax ID number. It’s a good idea to incorporate your business or form a Limited Liability Company (LLC). That way you can protect your personal assets in case of a business failure or lawsuit.
Make sure you have the proper insurance and bond. This protects you in case of an on-the-job injury or damage to property. Check with your state’s Contractor Licensing Board for the specifics. States have different requirements and insurance minimums.
If you don’t already have on-the-job training, you may want to check out the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification for certification courses. While you aren’t required to be certified, it can help you learn and market your business.
The Small Business Association also has free online learning courses to help you with running the business side of your operation.
Starting a carpet cleaning business will require an upfront investment in cleaning equipment. The type of jobs you’re targeting will dictate which type of equipment you’ll need. Cleaning homes can use commercially-available equipment that’s inexpensive. Businesses may need industrial or more heavy-duty equipment.
When you’re starting, you may want to lease equipment or rent by the job until you figure out exactly what you need and build up some capital for purchasing. You can also buy used equipment but check it carefully.
There’s a lot more to the cleaning business than just cleaning.
You’ll also need the right software to manage your business efficiently. The right solution will allow you to manage your daily tasks, create estimates and invoices, schedule crews, track employee time and location, store customer data and accept mobile payments. If you’re trying to do all of this manually, it can take a lot of time away from growing your business. Check out FieldPulse's website and see if our business management software is right for you!
You’ll also need an efficient way to keep track of all your expenses, including equipment, vehicles, cleaning supplies, uniforms, phones or office equipment to operate your business to prepare for tax time.
Getting your first customers can be difficult. You’re going to need to spend some time and money to get the word out. Tap into your social circles, friends, acquaintances, and personal network to let them know.
The second most difficult task will be expanding your customer base. Take advantage of free or low-cost advertising, such as social media, flyers, business cards and a website. Put stickers or logos on your van with your website and phone number.
You’ll also want to explore spending some time on search engines. Google has a 93% market share in the US. Make sure your free business listing on Google My Business is complete and accurate. This is the info Google will show if someone searches for your business or in a particular location.
You’ll want to buy the right keywords for your business to grab people as they’re searching for a carpet cleaner. Here are some of the more common Pay-Per-Click keywords and a rough cost estimate of costs to get near the top of the page.
Every time you complete a job, make sure the customer is satisfied and then ask for a referral. Once you’ve got a few jobs under your belt, ask for a few customer testimonials that you can use for your marketing.
With all your marketing, you need to think about what makes your carpet cleaning business special or different than others, in other words, a unique service provision. Do you offer better pricing, bundling of services, quality or fast service? For example, you may want to go after a homeowner, renter, or business customer. Each might take a different approach.
You might offer specialized services, such as low moisture instead of traditional hot water extraction, zero-residue or dry cleaning.
If someone’s scrolling through Google looking for a carpet cleaner near me, what makes them stop on your business versus any other?
The key to success for most service-based businesses is getting repeat business. Follow-up with customers by email at regular intervals or encourage them to sign up for service agreements where you agree to multiple cleanings a year at a discounted price.
Repeat business lowers your customer acquisition costs and increases your overall profitability.
You can start small and add employees, equipment, and resources as your business takes off. Follow these four tips to grow a successful carpet cleaning business! If you're finding difficulties managing the fine details and operations, visit our website and see how FieldPulse can help streamline your workday! Book a demo today for a one-on-one walkthrough with a FieldPulse team member.