Let’s try and answer the big question… how much income is a reasonable and realistic goal or expectation for your first year as a new carpet cleaning business, and how can you help your business make more money? Obviously, there are a number of factors in play: your geographic area, how much cash you have to invest, the type of cleaning services you market, your competition, etc. The most important thing to remember is that you and your thoughts and actions directly determine your income. This stands true in your first year and every year thereafter. With that said, if you have never made more than $25k a year working for someone else, it’s not completely realistic to assume you’re going to gross $350k in your first year. But, it is possible!
If you are like many people and want to “limp in” to this new carpet cleaning adventure by starting it as a side gig, you will also limit the amount of time and energy you have to invest. Be aware, there is a direct correlation: the more time and energy you decide to dedicate toward your carpet cleaning business the more you stand to earn. It’s a fact that a healthy goal for you is extremely important in achieving success. A real “goal” is written and S.M.A.R.T. (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely). If you aren’t making S.M.A.R.T. goals, you are really coming up with dreams and wishes. So, write it down, be specific. Right now! Make your revenue goal challenging, but also make it possible in your own mind as well.
“I will generate $125K in gross sales in the next 12 months cleaning carpets.”
I personally prefer to state revenue goals in gross sales – it is easier to use gross numbers for financial goals in the beginning, but eventually your net (your profit) will also need to be assessed. For now though, pick a realistic and aspirational number and write it down. In order to dramatically increase the odds of achieving this goal, post this written goal on your bathroom mirror and repeat it twice daily. Loudly and proudly proclaim this goal every morning and evening while looking at yourself in the mirror. Setting your intention, and practicing this simple exercise will increase your odds of achieving your goal by 10 times!
Like many jobs, carpet cleaning for the self-starting entrepreneur boils down to trading your time for money. Many people aim to realistically earn $100-200 per hour in their carpet cleaning business. It therefore follows that if you can invest 15-20 hours per week to start your business, it is likely to generate between $78K-208K in a 52 week period of time.
The formula is simple:
(hourly rate x by hours worked) – (expenses + business re-investment funds)
Now, before you get excited by the numbers, keep in mind that you are the only one standing between where you are now and where you want to go. The more you grow, the more you will earn. If you have significantly more money to invest into your marketing, education and equipment up front you obviously have more potential to make a lot more. If this is your first entrepreneurial business you need to realize some very important concepts about revenue and income. Taking into account the operating expenses is very important. Some expenses are “fixed” and some are variable. Fuel and chemical costs are variable as they will change based on your work volume. Things like insurance and your cell phone bill, on the other hand, stay fairly static from month to month. We recommend (and most successful carpet cleaners plan to) reinvest a specific amount back into their business every single month. A great rule of thumb is to set aside a percentage (10-15%) of the gross revenue from every job completed which you will use later to improve and expand your business. For example, you should expect to spend at least 5% of your total revenue on marketing. The learning curve in floor care and carpet cleaning skills isn’t nearly as steep as the learning curve for generating a profit. Realistically, most new companies don’t succeed, and truly understanding the common reasons, including all of the ins and outs of your business financials, will be essential for your success.
Learning how to generate a profit is probably just as (or more) important than learning how to clean carpet or scrub grout lines. Carpet cleaning is simple, easy, and fun; but if you can’t make a profit you won’t be doing it for very long. Profit is a simple formula: your gross sales minus your expenses. It’s easy to overspend to get your business started – but you have to understand that all the money coming in is not really all yours. Some of it belongs to the government (taxes) and some belongs to the future success of your company.
If you can learn how to invest a lot back into your company in the beginning, you set yourself up for success. Because of the low-cost of start-up, carpet cleaning tends to attract many people that don’t completely understand business expenses and cash flow. Just because your company generates $95k in sales in the first year don’t think you’ll be driving around in a Lamborghini next month. Keep in mind that money is very valuable – the more you value money the more of it you will attract. Don’t pretend that the “money-part” isn’t very important or that it will “take care of itself” – the success of your business depends on it. Commit to goal setting and achievement, commit to an attitude of learning and growth – carpet cleaning is very rewarding work, but having the patience and knowledge to generate a ridiculously high income and net worth is equally as rewarding.
Lastly, no matter where you are starting from or how much money you earn – be grateful. Train your mind to be very grateful for every job, for every penny! Gratitude is an extremely attractive quality and important skill that will help you in every facet of your life, especially your business. Find gratitude for your opportunity to build a very successful business – enjoy the process and the journey, while being realistic and smart about monetary goals, and you will find success.