Starting a Carpet Cleaning Business

Carpets are an integral part of home furnishings. Many homes in America have carpets covering their floors. However, they can get dirty and really messy. This has led to the mushrooming of many carpet cleaning businesses. This article will introduce you to the various aspects of starting such a service.
The use of carpets have been traced back to the Neolithic Age, around 7000 BC. The nomadic tribes weaved them from wool reared from their herds, and used them to cover the floors or walls of their tents, to keep away insects and cold. The Persian, Oriental, and Turkish varieties are famous all over the world. Carpets have been used in home decor as wall coverings, floor coverings, and mats. Over the years, there have been many designs, patterns, fabrics, colors, and styles that have evolved gradually.

Types

Foremost, it is important to understand the different types of carpets that you may have to deal with.

Textured Plush: This has a decorative, smooth cut pile surface which hides the footprints and vacuum marks. Most homes have them generally to cover the floors within its walls.

Saxony: This has a refined cut pile surface. It is luxuriously smooth and soft with subtle highlights. It usually goes well with traditional interiors, in living and dining rooms.

Berber Loop Pile: This type has a wool-like appearance. The rugged loop surface has a natural and handcrafted feel. The tight loop texture hides the footprints and vacuum marks. It is well-suited for contemporary to country and cottage-style furnishing.

Berber Cut Pile: This variety comes with wonderful colors and the style of traditional loop berbers. They are great for kids rooms and other casual decor. These beautifully crafted and colored yarns help cover the soiling and any stains.

Cut and Loop: These carpets are exactly how they are named; some of the fibers are looped, whereas some are cut to form a pile. They come with a choice of soft tone to bolder color combination.

Commercial Loop: They are durable and made for rooms that have a high foot traffic, such as offices. They come in a wide range of patterns and colors that are suitable for professional installations. They consist of looped fibers of a uniform height creating a flat surface, which is extremely easy to clean.

Making a Business Plan

Before starting a business, you need to make a professional plan to ensure that you have all requirements covered. Also, if you're looking for any kind of funding, this document will come in handy.
  • Budgeting: The first thing is to decide on the budget. In any kind of business, you need to invest some money before you actually start earning revenue. In this case, you will need to invest in carpet cleaning machines. There are two types of machines available in the market. The first one is the truck mounted system. This machine is powerful and expensive. The good varieties are available for USD 19,000 - USD 25,000. You can charge more for your services if you are using these units. The second type is the freestanding portable unit. These are not as expensive as the former. A complete start up unit is available for less than USD 3,000. The truck mounted ones are a better investment, if you wish to expand your business in the future.

    You can even rent these units if you do not have the required capital. Make sure to purchase the cleaning supplies in bulk quantity, as it will be a lot cheaper. The next step is to calculate the number of jobs per month/day that you will need to remain profitable. Calculate the charges on the basis of the number of rooms and the total area. Predict a target earning in the first year and plan your budget accordingly.
  • License: Then, you will need to apply for a license at the local Small Business Administration (SBA) district office. They can provide you all the details for getting the required licenses. Few states also require the business owner to get bonded.
  • Professional Qualification: In order to make an impression on the potential clients, you may want to join a professional training course that qualifies you in this field. Choose institutes that are listed and approved by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification (IICRC).
  • Marketing: You need to build an image in the eyes of the public to achieve your business goals. By this I mean you need to promote your business. Print flyers and hand them out everywhere in your locality, town, or city. Contact estate agents, moving companies, pet services, maid services, etc., and inform them about your new business and rates. Work out special deals with these companies that can be offered to their clients. Make your own website and get listed in the business directories. You can even print advertisements in the local newspapers or magazines. Paste your flyers in coffee shops and department stores. Visit commercial business setups and introduce your new service. These businesses have more carpet area for cleaning and prove to be better revenue-earning sources than residential units.
  • Hiring Staff: The business plan also involves deciding how many working hands you need. Do not hire more people initially. Hire experienced hands and a few inexperienced ones to assist them. This work needs to be executed efficiently and effectively. Therefore, choose people who are capable and responsible. Do a background check before employing anyone.
  • Quality is the Motto: Quality is the important factor to market the business through word-of-mouth publicity. Make sure your staff employs professional cleaning methods. Stain removal should be done without destroying the carpet's beauty. Always be on time for your scheduled appointments, and be as professional as you can be. If you are late or there is a genuine complaint about the quality of the service, politely apologize and offer a discount to the client. This will calm him down and make him want your service again.
A carpet cleaning business can be very profitable as carpets are used everywhere in homes, offices, and even cars. Plan and market the business with utmost care, and listen to the sweet sound of your cash register ringing!
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