1. Survey Your Marketplace & Get to Know Your Competition
Get a notepad and get the phone book out, or use a search engine to identify all of the carpet cleaning businesses in your target service area and call them. The goal is to document as much information as possible about your competitors – ask about pricing, services, pet spots, red stain removal, carpet repair and stretching, hard surface cleaning (tile and grout), upholstery cleaning, and anything else you can brainstorm.
You should be able to get a decent feeling for how crowded your target geographic area is, how the competition stacks up, and what you can provide that makes you stand out.
2. Name Your Company and Establish a Brand
If you haven’t already, coming up with a good name for your business is a foundational exercise. Don’t overthink it and get stuck in indecision, but try to use a name that will reflect you and the services you will provide. Look at the names of carpet cleaning businesses in your area (and nationally) for inspiration.
Spend some time, energy, and money to create a real brand with a professional logo, color scheme, uniforms, and more. The more time and energy you spend on your name, logo, and brand up front, the better your results are bound to be in the long run. A strong brand is often overlooked, but it can really draw customers to you through advertising, social media, and physical recognition (seeing your wrapped van, etc.).
3. Tell Everyone You Know You are Starting a Business
Tell everyone you know: friends, family, acquaintances, professional connections, etc. Post to social media, talk to people on the phone and get the word out that you are about to launch a carpet cleaning business. Getting excited about your new venture and sharing it with the people in your life will make it more real. Gather external feedback from people who aren’t afraid to tell you their real thoughts. Find accountability and start a buzz through sharing your plans.
Not everyone you know will become a brand cheerleader and future customer, but everyone knows somebody with dirty carpet, and it is always good to start creating word of mouth right away. You may have some doubters or negative reactions, but your enthusiasm can easily outweigh them.
4 & 5. Education: Learned Knowledge & Hands-on Learning
Hands-on learning can come from a variety of opportunities – talk to someone who is already running a successful carpet cleaning business (preferably in another geographic area), and ask if they will allow you to shadow their work or train under them in exchange for free help. If you can’t make that work, and you really need to learn the ins and outs of the business, see if you can get work as a technician to get plenty of hands-on experience.
Learned knowledge is about taking formalized classes or courses to learn the equipment, lingo, and basics about removing stains, cleaning carpets, and other every day skills important to the business. There are a variety of classes available online and in-person – some of them provide certifications, while others do not. Classes generally aren’t cheap, but a solid educational foundation is worth the cost, and a recognizable certification may go a long way in winning new business after you launch.
Questions or comments? Leave us a comment below! We would love to hear what other thoughts you have about jumpstarting a carpet cleaning business!