Business ownership is a big step in life and something you should take the time to research because it is a life-changing experience.
This post offers the steps you need to take to start a carpet cleaning business, along with a collection of resources you can use during the start-up phase and once your business is up and running.
Steps to Starting a Carpet Cleaning Business
1. Make Sure Running a Business Is Right For You
Many people start a business, to improve their finances, to get away from a job, to be in control and run the show, which are all valid reasons. Unfortunately, sometimes people don’t take into consideration the time effort, and money involved in getting a business up and running and bringing in a profit.
One of the key factors that drive a person to succeed in business is passion. If you’re not passionate about your business you will have a hard time succeeding especially when problems show up. Take a look at my article on Business Startup Considerations to bring some clarity and offer insights on what to expect.
The more you research the carpet cleaning industry and the business you plan to start the better your decisions will be and the fewer mistakes you make. What if I told you that you could get a first-hand look at a carpet cleaning business and get advice from experienced people that currently own one? Well, it’s true. See An Inside Look Into the Business You Want To Start, for more.
You must understand your customers and their needs so you can create effective marketing and advertising campaigns. Without an understanding of your customers, it will be difficult to advertise and communicate with them effectively.
For more see, How To Understand Your Target Market
3. Setup Considerations
When you have a clear idea of you’ll set up and operate your business, it will be easier to plan the startup phase. You will know what you want and have a clear vision. There could be changes on the way but they will be minimal. On the other hand, if you’re unclear you will be looking into very little detail and get sidetracked.
You may want to answer the following questions to gain a clear vision of what you want.
- Will you be doing all the work yourself or hiring?
- Will you operate from home or a commercial location?
- If you hire are you planning a large crew to service multiple customers at once?
- Are you going to focus on commercial or residential markets?
4. Choosing The Right Business Location
The location you plan to service must have a demand for carpet cleaning or you are out of business before you even started.
On the other hand, if you locate in an area where there is too much competition it will be hard to compete as a newcomer. The ideal location should be in an area where there is demand, it’s close to your customers and affordable.
For more, see Choosing The Best Location for Your Business.
5. Choose a Business Name
It is critical to choose your business name carefully. As long as you own your business, you will use the name you choose today.
The name of a business rarely changes unless the structure or ownership of the company changes.
It’s important to choose a name that is available for registration, memorable, and catchy. For this important step see How To Register a Business Name
6. Register Your Company
The legal structure of your business needs to be defined.
A sole proprietorship is an easy and low-cost option for many small service businesses. It does not offer any tax advantages or protect your personal assets, but you can begin as a sole proprietorship and convert to an LLC or corporation if needed.
You may benefit from consulting an accountant or lawyer about your situation.
See, How to Register your Business for more.
7. Create Your Corporate ID
The components of your corporate identity include your logo, business cards, website, stationary, business signs, promotional items, etc. So you don’t have to spend a lot of your startup budget on your corporate identity, you can produce components as you need them. Your Corporate ID is the face of your company, so it needs to be professional. See A Complete Introduction to Corporate Identity Packages for more.
8. Estimating Your Start-up Cost
In order to get funding approval, you must estimate your startup costs accurately.
If your estimate is too high, you may not get approved. You could run out of money before you open your doors if your estimate is too low. List everything you have, get prices, and update your list as you go.
For more see, Estimating Start-up Costs: Are you Missing Anything?
9. Writing a Business Plan
Once your business plan is complete you will have a clear vision of where your business is going and how to get there. It’s an essential document, and it’s one you will need if you apply for a business loan or are planning on attracting lenders.
There are a few options to help you create your business plan, such as software, templates, hiring a professional, or writing one from scratch, For details see How to Write a Business Plan.
10. Set up Your Banking
You’ll need to separate your personal finances from your business. Opening a separate bank account is something you’ll need to do. You will also want to get a merchant account so your customers can pay using their credit or debit cards. You will want a mobile terminal to process credit cards at the customer’s site. For more see, How to Open a Business Bank Account and What Is a Merchant Account, and How to Get One.
11. Get the Funding for Your Operation
There are various ways to get the funds you need for your business. You can make copies of your business plan and speak with lenders for a business loan. You can seek out investors. Use your own money, and sell off any assets you own. Or in this case, the company you purchase your equipment from may offer financing. For ideas see our article, Getting a Small Business Loan.
12. Software Setup
Now it’s time to think about the software you’ll need. Accounting software, for example, is something to discuss with your accountant or bookkeeper.
You may also want a suite such as Microsoft Office or Google Docs.
Consider any software packages available specifically for carpet cleaning operations, which can assist with customer management and scheduling. If you find something you like, be sure to research the software and the company, to ensure both are stable.
13. Get The Right Business Insurance
You must have the right insurance before any activity occurs at your business or customer’s location.
Insurance is something you regularly pay for but rarely use, but if you ever need it, it can be a lifesaver.
Without insurance, any incident that occurs can lead to financial ruin. Therefore, it’s important to understand business insurance, and I would speak with an experienced broker to get the best coverage you can afford.
For more on business insurance, see What to Know About Business Insurance, you will also want to browse the latest search results for carpet cleaning business insurance.
14. Choose Suppliers
Suppliers play an important role in a business, even if they have no direct control, they do have a level of control. Imagine you have a supplier that is the only one that carries a cleaning solution you use to clean carpets and suddenly you are cut off. Now you have nowhere to get your supplies and you can’t service your customers.
It is critical to have suppliers you can rely on who won’t cut you off even during a shortage. If you want a supplier to take care of you, there must be a professional relationship, which takes time to build. Your first step should be to choose a good supplier, then work on building a strong professional relationship. See, How To Choose a Supplier, for tips and insights.
15. Physical Setup
In this step, you’ll set up your office and customer service area if you are located in a commercial location. You want your office and customer service area clean and organized, to impress your customers. Your office will be a space where you will spend time managing your business, therefore you need it set up in a way that is productive and organized. See, Here are Considerations for The Setup of Your Office, for the details.
Spend some time on your company sign, you want it to be visually appealing and incorporate your logo. Your sign will be one of the first things your customers will see before interacting with you and you want to make a good impression For more see, All About Company Signs.
16. Creating a Website
Your website is an important business tool you’ll use to communicate and market to your customers. Don’t opt for a Facebook Page as your main online presence. Make your website your main online property and add social pages as additional online properties.
17. Create an External Support Team
An external support team is a group of people that are not on your payroll or employed by you, instead, you will use their advice and services when needed. The cost may be on a proejct basis, by the hour, by the job, or on a retainer or contract.
Your team may consist of a lawyer, an accountant, a financial advisor, a marketing expert, a banker, various consultants, etc. It takes time to put your team together, and you can’t complete this in a week, it can take months and years, it’s something you work on as you’re running your business. Your team will be the people you go to when you have a problem, need advice, need a service, or want to expand.
For more see, Building a Team of Professional Advisors.
18. Hiring Employees
You may be planning on doing everything yourself. It isn’t a bad idea because the cost of payroll in the early stage of operations can hold you back. So you can do everything yourself to gain a better understanding of the business. Once the business starts to gain a larger customer base you may have to hire people to keep up with demand.
When your business starts to gain traction you’ll have a larger budget and may be tempted to hire more people than you need. When it comes to hiring, hire the right person for each position. Don’t just hire to fill the positions. The second guideline is, to only hire for the positions needed and nothing more.
For more see, How and When to Hire a New Employee.
Next Steps to Evaluate
At this point you have gone over the steps to get your business started, now it’s time to bring awareness to your service.
Getting Customers Through The Door
Getting customers through the door isn’t the easiest thing to do, it takes time, money, and trial and error. Some techniques work better for some businesses than others. For a list of tips see our article How To Get Customers Through the Door, to find a few ideas you can use.
Marketing is an essential part of any business. You can’t depend on people calling you out of the blue, you must market your carpet cleaning service to experience any success. See the following link for ideas to make your carpet cleaning service.
For more ideas to market your business, see our marketing section to spark your creativity.
In this section, you will find a collection of resources that can help you when you are starting your service and when it’s up and running. You may want to bookmark this page and return to use the resources when needed.
Trends and Statistics
Looking at trends and statistics can give you an overview of where the industry stands and where it’s headed. See Carpet Cleaning trends and statistics for the latest.
Top Carpet Cleaning Businesses
A look at the top businesses allows you to gain a strong overview of the industry. You can gain ideas to use in your business, ensuring you’re not missing anything while offering a chance to uncover opportunities missing in the industry. I suggest you spend some quality time studying top carpet cleaning businesses.
The Future of the Carpet Cleaning Industry
Looking into the future gives you an advantage as to what’s coming. Naturally, predictions aren’t set in stone, but there are people that study trends and give a prediction on where the industry is going. For example, if there is a new technology on the horizon you could prepare for it and get ahead start.
It’s a good idea to research the pricing for carpet cleaning services. You have to remember, that prices depend on your location, the demand for carpet cleaning, and the location you service. With that in mind, you gain an idea of the average pricing to give you a starting point and you can adjust accordingly. See the latest Carpet Cleaning Prices.
The equipment you choose will make your business run smoothly or can cause problems and reduce productivity. You need to research the equipment you’ll use. Once you find equipment that appeals to you, search for reviews for each item before your purchase it. See the latest search results for carpet cleaning equipment.
As you gain experience you will pick up on the industry terminology which is something you must be familiar with. You don’t have to wait to pick up the information, instead, you can view the glossaries available. See the latest search results for carpet cleaning industry terminology
A Day In The Life
To get a sense of what running this type of business is like, you can research a day in the life of a carpet cleaner, for an overview from others in the field. Search results for a day in the life of a carpet cleaning business owner
Businesses For Sale
You may want to check out businesses for sale before you start from scratch.
Buying a business for sale allows you to start to earn revenue from the day you take over, however, buying a business usually costs more than starting from scratch because you are purchasing the goodwill which includes the customer base of the business.
It’s a good idea to check out franchise opportunities to see if it’s better to open a franchise instead of starting from scratch. There are pros and cons to starting a franchise.
For example, one of the pros is you are working with a proven business strategy, and you have the tools and equipment set up. In a nutshell, all you need to do is focus on the operating procedures provided by the corporate office.
Some of the cons include ongoing franchise fees, and you are rested to change how you run the business or the products and services you provide. For a franchise to be successful all locations must be standard.
Knowledge Is Power if You Use It!
I’m sure you understand the power of information. There is a lot of it out there and the key is to use it. The more you know about the industry the better your chances of succeeding. Spend some time on the area below and I’m sure you’ll find valuable information you can use.
Forums are one way to connect to customers and others in the industry. By joining forums you can contribute to conversations and build relationships. You’ll also have access to trending topics.
- See the latest search results for the top carpet cleaning industry forums.
Courses are an excellent way to learn more about carpet cleaning and the industry. I prefer self-study courses allowing me to learn at my own pace and return to use the information any time I want.
- See the latest courses related to starting a carpet cleaning business.
- View the latest courses related to Carpet Cleaning
Blogs are an excellent way to stay up to date with the carpet cleaning industry. You can use the link below for the latest and most popular blogs. Subscribe to all the ones you like and as your email starts to flow with the new topics, unsubscribe to those that don’t add value. In the end, you’ll have fine-tuned the list of blogs that offer valuable information.
- Carpet cleaning blogs to follow
If you’re interested in books related to carpet cleaning you can browse the latest offered by Amazon below.
- Books on Amazon related to carpet cleaning
Keeping an eye on the news is another source of information you can use to keep up with the carpet cleaning industry.
- See Google’s news search results related to the carpet cleaning industry
- News search results related to a carpet cleaning business
You can take a few minutes to browse some videos related to carpet cleaning below.