The sad truth is that most of the carpet cleaning businesses that start out this year won’t make it 12 months. Of the fortunate ones that do survive, only a fraction of them will be around 5 years from now. There are a lot of reasons for this, but if I had to name the #1 offender it would be: they don’t take their new endeavor seriously.
Because it’s so simple, cheap, and “easy” to start a carpet cleaning business – the industry as a whole has a tendency to attract a lot of people that won’t be taking their business as seriously as they could, or should. I won’t pretend to think that I have this secret recipe for how to make someone take their business as seriously as they should to find success. I unfortunately don’t know how to get new cleaners to somehow unleash their hidden potential and get amazing results in a short period of time.
I can say that most people in the carpet cleaning don’t take their business as serious as I do. When I got out of the Navy I didn’t have a back-up plan, or a plan B (if you don’t know me that well, learn a bit more about my history and business here). I had to make carpet cleaning work for me. I took my business very serious. I obsessed on it. I went door to door on hot days, thought about how I could achieve success and did many things wrong in an effort to find a secret shortcut. The truth that nobody likes to deliver is that there are no secrets or shortcuts. It takes what it takes for each and every one of us to arrive at whatever we define as “success.”
I now define success as happiness; personal happiness and the happiness I can arouse in every person I come into contact with. When I first started out in carpet cleaning it was all about the money. I tracked and obsessed about it. When I finally shifted my thinking and priorities the money took care of itself much better than when I obsessively tracked it. Don’t get me wrong, please, the financial aspect of any business is truly what differentiates bankruptcy from profit – but there are several factors that can make the money part a whole lot easier to manage.
It’s very difficult to take your business seriously if you also have a part or full time job. I am not saying that you can’t build a very successful carpet cleaning business part time or in your spare time – but focus and attention is usually diminished when it is split among a number of different means of generating income. The more time, attention and focus anyone can invest in their business the better it will perform. If carpet cleaning is your side hustle make sure to give it the attention it needs to succeed, despite all of the other demands on your time. For a lot of people (including myself) there was so much to learn and a HUGE ego that got in my way. And continues to get in my way. The more I learn, the less I know.
In the beginning, I was extremely arrogant and ignorant. It took pain and failure to help me to start to learn just a smidgen of humility. Learning how to take advice, ask for help, read, study and change my bad habits was the beginning of success for our company. One thing I didn’t mess up though was taking it seriously. I have consistently considered our business with the proper level of respect and seriousness, and that might be one of the only reasons we’ve thrived and grew as others failed and bailed out. Any carpet cleaning business has the potential to generate a ridiculous amount of revenue and therefore should be taken seriously. So, take your business seriously and dedicate time, energy, and money and it will grow and thrive so long as you develop humility and don’t give up no matter what happens. This is your chance to view every single problem, challenge, or failure as simply an opportunity to learn, grow, adapt and change. Go make it happen!
Great article. Bold headline choice there. Customers suffer and our industry gets a bad rep when the people you write of “don’t take their new endeavor seriously.”