Starting a business can seem like an overwhelming task, and a new carpet cleaning business is no exception. Once you start to actually think through all of the variables that go into starting a business, you may get overwhelmed. One of the best solutions to this overwhelm is to put together a plan – yes, creating a business plan may sound like a scary task in itself, but business plans are nothing more than a simple tool to help organize your thinking and get more concrete with your planning for your new cleaning business.
Often people have mis-perceptions about business plans – it doesn’t have to be a formal, finished, concrete document that outlines anything and everything about your current and future business. Actually, the best business plans are simple and flexible, because your plans will *definitely* change as your business evolves. Use a carpet cleaning business plan as a guideline to help you check off tasks and make progress toward completing your first job and satisfying your customers. After that, all you need to do is evaluate and make changes as needed.
To help break you out of analysis paralysis, and get you started on actually making progress toward your goal of starting a carpet cleaning business, sit down with the questions below and start to sketch out a rough business plan. Even if you spend a few minutes per day filling in the details, you will eventually have more confidence to get started. You might be surprised what you come up with – and remember, it doesn’t have to be complete or perfect for it to be a helpful exercise.
Description, Objective, Mission
- Describe your ideal business – what problems do you solve, what will make you a success, who will be involved, what are your strengths & weaknesses?
- What, if anything, makes your business unique?
- What are your objectives? To create jobs? To support your family? To make a specific dollar amount per year? To spread joy through cleaning?
- What is your business mission? How does your mission serve your customers?
Define Your Target Market
- Who is your ideal customer?
- What demographics and behaviors define your ideal customer?
- What percentage of commercial or residential work do you want?
- How often do they get their flooring cleaned? What size homes or businesses do they have?
- What geographic area are you targeting?
- How many people live in your target area?
- What else do you know about the cleaning customers you want to attract?
- How many competitors are there in your target area?
- Who are the best competitors in your market?
- What do they offer and how do they price their services?
- What do their reviews say about them?
- How can you differentiate from them?
Organization and Employees
- Are you a solo owner/operator, or do you want to hire employees? If so, what is your hiring plan? How long will you handle everything yourself?
- Who will answer the phone?
- Who is in charge of customer service?
- Who will do the marketing?
- Who will do the bookkeeping?
Services & Pricing
- What are your core service offerings?
- What can you offer that competitors don’t?
- What can you do better than anyone else?
- What services should you cut (you can’t do *everything* well)?
- How will you price your services?
- How does your intended pricing compare to the competition?
Equipment & Training
- What equipment do you need to purchase to provide your core service offerings (portable or truck mount, vehicle, vacuums, hoses, wands, chemicals, etc.)?
- Do you need an office or are you working out of your home?
- What learning or training do you need to compete and offer services that stand out?
- What is your carpet cleaning business name?
- What should make up your visual style, logo, colors, etc.? What will appeal to your ideal customers?
- What’s your budget and plan to put together a visual brand (logo and brand style)?
- What messaging helps define the brand you want to create?
- Will you still be happy with your brand in 1 year? 5 years?
- How are you going to reach your ideal customer?
- What messaging will convince them to call?
- What marketing strategies or campaigns will you use to get your first customers (Facebook Ads, Google Ads, etc.)?
- What do you need to spend on advertising to bring in enough leads to keep you busy?
- What will make up your presence on the internet (website, Google My Business page, Facebook page, advertising, etc.)?
- How are you paying for business start-up costs?
- How quickly do you plan to recoup your initial investment?
- Do you need any loans for equipment or other start up costs? How will you get them?
- What is the minimum workload necessary to cover loan payments and other expenses?
- What is your projected carpet cleaning business revenue after expenses?
Remember, none of this has to be complete or perfect – write down what you know now. For anything that you aren’t sure about, start talking to other industry professionals, asking questions, and brainstorming possible solutions. Feel free to join our community of cleaning professionals and ask as many questions as you’d like!
It will also be extremely helpful if you set a reminder for yourself to revisit this initial carpet cleaning business plan every few weeks when you first start out, and every few months after things are rolling smoothly. Your plan should be a “living” document that you use as a guide. Regularly reviewing and revising your business plan helps you keep the big picture in mind, and allows you to realize what has changed in your business as you learn and grow through experience.