You’ve probably become very aware of the commonly announced statistic that, “80% of all startup companies fail in their first year,” or similar sensational numbers. I’m a huge fan of statistics and data, but also understand that most of the time, we don’t get all the facts. The truth is that there is only one person who will determine if your business fails or succeeds, YOU! The other, even more important fact, is that the only way for you to fail in your carpet cleaning business is to quit. So long as you never give up or quit your business – you will not fail. I’m not suggesting that you continue to dump more and more money into a losing enterprise through ignorance or arrogance – but, I believe most of ‘success’ is simply an attitude of never giving up or giving in.
So, why do carpet cleaning businesses fail? – most fail because we fail our business – we quit or give-up. There are a number of reasons for deciding to walk away or “change your mind” but if you make a firm resolution within yourself that there is no other option than to ‘make this work’ – amazing things will come to pass and you cannot fail. Failure is something we accept for ourselves. Failure is not something that happens to us. Much of what happens within your business, especially early on, is simply an opportunity to learn and grow. There really aren’t any ‘bad’ or ‘good’ things that happen in life or business – just things that support our success and things that don’t.
Most people, including myself, come into the carpet cleaning business with an ego problem. A problem accepting knowledge gained from others and a willingness to learn and implement ideas and systems that have worked for millions of people that came before us. We are all unique and have incredible gifts that make us different, but leveraging our own success with the knowledge of more successful entrepreneurs makes too much sense to ignore. The ego will contend that ‘we can figure it out ourselves’ – or ‘we know best.’ A mindset of true success will readily admit we know very little – and the more we learn, the less we know. When you become aware that failure is just thinking you know better, it becomes easy to keep an open mind and continue to learn and grow. Every single day is an opportunity to learn something new that will help your carpet cleaning business grow and succeed in a whole new way.
There are many reasons why franchises have a better chance of succeeding than independent startups. Undeniably, one of the top reasons is that franchise owners have a lot more support and intentionally designed & built-in systems to follow that ensure their success. In addition, a franchise usually costs significantly more and therefore the investors are much more committed, at least financially. I’m not advising everyone go out and invest in a franchise, but we can all learn a lot from borrowing success principles, ideas, and philosophies that work for them.
Starting a carpet cleaning business is cheap. In truth there are many very successful carpet cleaning companies that had ridiculously affordable start-up costs. The downside to being able to commit very little financially is that it’s that much easier to walk away from when things go south. In addition, just because you can start your company with very little money doesn’t mean you should. Many carpet cleaning businesses fail is because they don’t have proper funding. While I don’t wholeheartedly agree with the “it takes money to make money” philosophy – it’s worthy of mention. In order to gain momentum in your business you’ll need to invest time, energy and money. The more money you can afford to invest in the beginning; the more momentum you stand to gain early on. Momentum is a huge help in growth and success. Most carpet cleaning businesses don’t take into account the correct amount of money needed to truly jump-start. Many new owners buy a used machine or truck and have no money left to invest in the development of their brand, marketing, or advertising.
For instance, if you have $10,000 to invest in the beginning – it’s tempting to take all of it directly to your local JonDon and plop it all down on the biggest, best, brand new portable extractor with all the fixings. It may prove a better idea to start off with a used Cimex or ‘OP-Machine’ for a couple thousand and strictly work the low-moisture commercial side of the business until you make your first $50K. Another very common pitfall that leads to failure is not reinvesting money back into the business. In every case of a ‘shoe-string’ start-up becoming a huge success you will find an owner hell bent on reinvesting a LOT of money back into the company. Such was the case for me and many others I know personally. The more money you can separate yourself from and dump back into the business, especially early on, the better. I’m not suggesting you don’t take a paycheck or starve yourself – but if you truly want to compete in this industry you will need to accept the power of sacrifice. It’s not easy to take a large chunk of cash from a profitable job and sock it away in your “truckmount-fund,” but the long-term payoff far exceeds the short term most of the time. The development of this type of habit can become very helpful later on as your business continues to grow and develop.
Remember, failure is a mindset. Success is a mindset. If you took the time to talk with a hundred ‘successful’ carpet cleaning owners and asked them about the idea of failure, you’d be amazed. What you would likely find is a hundred men and woman that simply didn’t even entertain the idea. Failure wasn’t an option for them and it need not be one for you or your business. I’m not saying there won’t be a lot of surprises and challenges to overcome – but, with the right level of planning, determination, persistence and an ever-improving attitude driven toward success and progress you will not fail. Carpet cleaning is very easy, fun, lucrative and extremely rewarding – it is very easy to become extremely successful in your carpet cleaning business. If anyone tells you otherwise I would strongly advise you walk away from them and their ideas as fast as you can.