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Starting and Building a Business

Printed From: Carpet & Floor Cleaning Industry Discussion
Category: Carpet Cleaners Discussion
Forum Name: Business Marketing Advertising and Promotion Discussion
Forum Description: How do you successfully promote your business? Offer and receive advertising tips
URL: http://www.kleenkuip.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=673
Printed Date: 23/April/2019 at 8:16pm
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 12.01 - http://www.webwizforums.com


Topic: Starting and Building a Business
Posted By: MR. STEAMER
Subject: Starting and Building a Business
Date Posted: 18/October/2004 at 11:52pm

Some people say that this forum lacks discipline and structure, ok so lets talk about a serious topics...

I would like to know what it takes to build a sucessful Carpet cleaning business??? from the ground up..???

Most post like this get very little play here, but it would be nice for everyone to try and give us some input




Replies:
Posted By: Steaminpile
Date Posted: 19/October/2004 at 12:07am

it's how I've built mine

mostly pounding the pavement in the beginning for commercial work and handing out flyers.........literally

some advertising the first year and voila

referrals and repeats started to happen

 

 



Posted By: Superglide Ken
Date Posted: 19/October/2004 at 2:10am
Starts with a copy of Howard Partrige how to manuel. He is the most successful guy in the business that tells you how he did it.

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Inventor of the Teflon Wand Glide and the Turboteck Rotary Air Duct Cleaners for TMs.


Posted By: doug
Date Posted: 19/October/2004 at 7:47am
Mr. Steramer:  I don't believe there is any one book that will work for everyone.  Everyone in large areas and medium and small areas have different challanges.  Most marketing manuals are for large populations much of what does not work in every area.  The thing is in this day of internet and available resources I wish this had been around twenty years ago.  I still think hard work, dedication, commitment abd sacriface are still needed to get things roiling.Guitar

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Just My opinion


Posted By: Jim Darling
Date Posted: 19/October/2004 at 8:03am

While most of you know our company does not do cleaning - i have been very fortunate to have met cleaners from all over. The only secret i can tell you that i have seen from any successful company is that they  do all or most of the following very well:

1. They look and act professionally

2. They know how to take care of the customer (and communicate with them)

3. They don't take shortcuts

4. They keep their vehicles clean

5. They are not afraid to charge a fair price for their service

6. They have good accounting systems

7. They treat all employees with respect and provide a vehicle to make a fair living.

8. They learn that they can't be all things to all people so they look for certain types of markets and concentrate on being the best they can be within those markets

 

There are lots more things but the basic thing that i have seen from any successful company is that they devise ways to make the customer think only of them and not the other guy. Service is service. Make your customers happy and the returns will come

Jim



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Jim Darling


Posted By: LilNiteRidrhood
Date Posted: 19/October/2004 at 10:32am

Clean the carpet like it was your own.

Pay special attention to the spots that need extra attention.

Follow up with the client to be sure all is well.

Make sure the cleaner is clean.

Make sure the equipment is clean.

Underpromise and overdeliver.

Remember everything you tell a client before the job is a reason, and everything you tell the client at the end is an excuse.



Posted By: MR. STEAMER
Date Posted: 19/October/2004 at 5:23pm

All very very very good advice, to bad we don't have stickies in this forum, you have great input from some of the best in the indusrty.

"Remember everything you tell a client before the job is a reason, and everything you tell the client at the end is an excuse."

words to live by



Posted By: Shortwun
Date Posted: 19/October/2004 at 6:22pm

I would also like to think that:

They learn to market themselves and their business properly.

They also have an efficient accounting system in place that they refer to regularly. (As above).

They fully comply with all regulations, including insurance, and are kept up to date with all changes to such regulations.

They are fully trained and competent to do the work they undertake.

They find a niche market and target that market.

Shorty.



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The short, round, mound of sound, from up top, down under, with a comment on anything and everything.


Posted By: MR. STEAMER
Date Posted: 19/October/2004 at 11:34pm

I noticed everyone had a lot to say... but no one mention MONEY...

It takes money to build a successful business.... Start-up capital is one of the most important things...

How much Capital should a beginner have to start a carpet cleaning business????



Posted By: gmoney
Date Posted: 20/October/2004 at 10:24am

Good topic Mr. Steamer,

I would like to elaborate on some of the points that have been brought up.  Most of us do not have the capital to mass market advertise (throw the playdough up against the wall and see which sticks).  This usually brings the lowest common denominator customer who focuses too much on price.

WRITING DOWN a marketing plan and modifying it as you progress is essential.  Focussing on niche market(s) is also a must.  You can't be all things to everyone.  By doing this you emphasize "specialists in ......." in your marketing.

Have business cards and a 30 second infomercial explaining what you do when you meet people.  Give them your card (write a small incentive on there ie. 5% off) and ask for theirs as well.

Charge a professional rate.  By charging a professional rate you can spend time and do the job properly without feeling bitter towards the customer.  When it comes time to hire an employee if you choose to go that route, you have enough markup to make everyone happy.  This way you can trust your employee is not rushing to do the job or pressuring the client to purchase this and that service.  It is ok to upsell.  I'm just against the pressure sales.  Not good for your business or the industry in the long run.

Many clients ask me "are you sure this is your price because I had ...... in last year and they ended up charging me ......".  I always say that if they are being truthful about the condition of the carpets, then I am being truthful about my price.  If you get there and things are not as they seem, straighten everything out BEFORE you start the job.     



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If you know what is good for you get it dry as quickly as possible


Posted By: doug
Date Posted: 20/October/2004 at 10:30am
GMONEY: Things discussed before are an asset.  Things discussed after are a liability.  That is if you have an accounting program.Guitar

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Just My opinion


Posted By: gmoney
Date Posted: 20/October/2004 at 10:48am

Being able to communicate and educate the customer on carpet fibre, dry times, carpet care (ie. importance of regular vaccuuming), cleaning method, frequency of cleaning, etc is vital.  This is what sets you apart from Mr. Discount carpet cleaner. 

Spend a few minutes to engage in small talk with the customer and also find out what areas they would like you to pay special attention to.

Lee made a good point uderpromise and overdeliver.  I like to do a walkthrough with the customer and point out EVERYTHING.  What each spot is, what will be used on it, what are the chances of getting it out, the condition of traffic areas and what to expect etc.  It takes a little bit extra time but it allows you to build repoire with the client, set their expectations and distinguish yourself as a professional. 

Have a company shirt with logo and proper pants (IMHO not jeans).

In terms of capital needed Mr. Steamer, that all depends on what your niche market is, what equipment you are going to use, how much you will spend on advertising, vehicle, and what your CREDIT is like.  For instance if you want to focus on residential and some commercial to start then you can get a 400 psi portable or a small truckmount and a half decent portable.  The cost variation can be extreme as we all know: from $1000 to $3000 for a portable and from $4,000 to $50,000 for a truckmount. 

Tough question, I'll try and tackle it when I have some more time. 



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If you know what is good for you get it dry as quickly as possible


Posted By: gmoney
Date Posted: 20/October/2004 at 10:54am

Couldn't agree with you more on that one Doug.  The heavens must be parting.



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If you know what is good for you get it dry as quickly as possible


Posted By: Steaminpile
Date Posted: 20/October/2004 at 12:20pm

A beginner should have more $$ than I did starting out ...I was quite broke my first year

kinda depends on what equipment you start off with and whether it's paid for

I like to have at least $2000 sitting in case of break downs etc.

approx $500 kickin around for chems

and a good sized pile for advertising (not sure how much,I don't advertise alot)

but 5 grand after startup costs you should do o.k. but more is always better.



Posted By: doug
Date Posted: 20/October/2004 at 12:32pm
Start up???  Too many people go to a trade show or convention and hear someone say that this machine will make you a millionare.  I hate to hear stories of people investing their all their savings and buying a franchise or a tm whatever and guess what.  They go broke.  I started part time, didn't give uop my day job right away, but to each their ow.  Someone has to have aa solid income when you are getting started, wife, night job what ever.  I started with an old used Deep Steam Machine, than the Steam Valet R2D2 and than onto a tm.  What some don't seem to understand that in some cases like mine it took years to accumulate all my debt and collection of junk.  I didn't just do it overnight.  I guess what I am trying to say is start small, think big.Guitar

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Just My opinion


Posted By: greg
Date Posted: 20/October/2004 at 12:33pm
honesty, good reliable service, good communication, follow ups. and all the posts above.

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nothing is impossable. it just hasn't been done yet.


Posted By: greg
Date Posted: 20/October/2004 at 12:35pm

All very very very good advice, to bad we don't have stickies in this forum, you have great input from some of the best in the indusrty.

"Remember everything you tell a client before the job is a reason, and everything you tell the client at the end is an excuse."

words to live by

 very good point mr steamer.



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nothing is impossable. it just hasn't been done yet.


Posted By: Carpetologist
Date Posted: 20/October/2004 at 1:58pm
Originally posted by MR. STEAMER MR. STEAMER wrote:

I noticed everyone had a lot to say... but no one mention MONEY...

It takes money to build a successful business.... Start-up capital is one of the most important things...

How much Capital should a beginner have to start a carpet cleaning business????

Steamer,

You hit the nail right on the head. Yes it takes money to start, run and grow a business. So this is why so many fail. After I take approximately $2,500 in selling a newbie a carpet cleaning machine they generally don't have enough left over to buy a cheap pre-sprayer.

It's a good thing I throw in the chemical or they couldn't afford to do the first job.

Yes, money is the stumbling block.



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Kleen Kuip Supply Mart Inc.

http://www.kleenkuip.com - New & Used Professional Carpet Cleaning Machines, Restoration Equipment, Training, Service and Supplies


Posted By: MR. STEAMER
Date Posted: 20/October/2004 at 4:38pm

Money makes the cleaning go round.....  I think at least 15 thousand working capital is need... this is after chemicals and equipment has been purchased. 

 I know of a lot of great cleaners with great customer service capabilities that never get a chance to grow...

you have to cast your bread upon the water..... bread meaning cash



Posted By: PadMan
Date Posted: 20/October/2004 at 5:17pm

Over the last 31 years I have started and run four business's.

First in San Diego area, then Dallas, then Wisconsin and now in Lexington, Ky.

Carpet cleaning is SUPER easy to make money at, however ONLY if you have THE WORK..LOl

So many DO make the mistake of counting chickens before they hatch, it takes WORK people, plenty of work, but one thing I do that has worked the BEST for me over the years is: When you are being paid and the customer is raving about your work, THAT is the time to hand them three small brochures about your company, ASK them to tell thier freinds and family, TELL THEM you want to grow your business.

So many people just talk and don't ASK or give them a tool  to HELP you, if you do great work they WANT to help you.

 

WE give $10.00 referral cards redeemable at the time of cleaning for EACH customer they have referred us to. USUALLY they THROW the 10 dollar cards away... WHY???????? Because they say telling thier freinds about our cleaning makes THEM look good.

As much as I am for doing the BEST job, that is second in importance to how you HANDLE customers. What do you do to make them remember you? Just the cleaning? Humm, works sometimes but more often it will be something you SAY or discuss with them that will make them remember you.

The other day Bri, my daughter was cleaning for a old fart biker with a big belly and a gray beard. HE grumpily asked her is she was any good at cleaning and IF she could handle the job. She looked him in the eye and said, "I can probably handle this machine and cleaning job BETTER than you handle your Harley."  He belted out a big laugh and told her, he would NEVER forget that.

ANother time a customer stood their watching every move, Bri spun the handle around of the Conqueror and told her, if you are going to watch you might as well learn...LOL the lady loved it, again she will NEVER forget her.

Love your customers, remember THEY are your reason for success. Your attitude should be more like you are going to see a freind than a client. Many deny this, but it has worked very weill for us over the decades and also for those who worked with us and then went on to run their own businesses.

Great info up above, great thread!

 

PadMan



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Converting HWE customer to VLM customers for 30 Years!


Posted By: doug
Date Posted: 20/October/2004 at 6:06pm
Mr. Steamer:  You have to learn how to walk before you run.  It is hard to start at the top and stay there.  One has to realize their expections with regard to results.  It takes time sometimes longer than some want to wait, regardless of how much money they have behind them.Guitar

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Just My opinion


Posted By: MR. STEAMER
Date Posted: 20/October/2004 at 10:15pm

With the right funding and the proper Marketing ploy along with all the good service tips, sure sounds like a money maker to me.

I think it's hard to start from cold turkey... you have to work for someone to gain enough experience.

What I see everyday is people starting a full blown business with no back ground, no experience, no money..  Doug you're 100% right when you say you have to walk before you run



Posted By: PadMan
Date Posted: 20/October/2004 at 11:14pm

We have started 100's of companies from ground zero, we sold them a system and 95% have then have succeeded. Realistic expectations plays a major role in success as well. Most of these people NEVER owned their own business before, they were carpenters, dairymen, lawyers, airline workers, school teachers, principles etc.

 

This is not a quick rich scheme.



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Converting HWE customer to VLM customers for 30 Years!


Posted By: splash_$$$_dash
Date Posted: 21/October/2004 at 6:32am

Move to a big city of at least 5 million people, then you can not fail.

Spend your money on adverstsing.

GET IN, SPLASH SOME WATER AROUND, CHARGE FOR THE CHERRY DEODORIZER, CHARGE HUGE FOR THE STAIN GARD, GET YER CASH AND RUN LIKE HELL



Posted By: Carpetologist
Date Posted: 21/October/2004 at 1:03pm

Steamer,

Staying a one-man-show with maybe a helper will make you a good living. But the years go by the body starts to fail and you are worn right out. Now you say I have built up this business over 35 years and I will sell it.

Guess what? It's worth nothing unless you go with it.



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Kleen Kuip Supply Mart Inc.

http://www.kleenkuip.com - New & Used Professional Carpet Cleaning Machines, Restoration Equipment, Training, Service and Supplies


Posted By: MR. STEAMER
Date Posted: 21/October/2004 at 1:05pm
So basically what you're say Ted is "ONE CAN'T WIN"


Posted By: Carpetologist
Date Posted: 21/October/2004 at 1:14pm

This is not new as it has been posted before. But I think that Vehicle Pockets is one of the best ways to promote your business. Dollar for dollar it is absolutely the best value.

Your van is parked most of the day infront of customers homes for other neighbours to see. Why not have them take a business card from your Vehicle Pockets?

I have customes who have actually had people flag them down for a business card.

http://www.kleenkuip.com/products/vehicle-pockets.htm">Vehicle Pockets



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Kleen Kuip Supply Mart Inc.

http://www.kleenkuip.com - New & Used Professional Carpet Cleaning Machines, Restoration Equipment, Training, Service and Supplies


Posted By: Steaminpile
Date Posted: 21/October/2004 at 3:42pm
or you could laminate a few of them fridge magnets we all give away and stick em on the van with a lil sign or sticker that says take one??


Posted By: MR. STEAMER
Date Posted: 21/October/2004 at 5:55pm

Hey not a bad Idea Steamin....

So far we have to build a good business Service... Marketing.... Money, what else can be done???



Posted By: Carpetologist
Date Posted: 21/October/2004 at 6:57pm

Originally posted by Steaminpile Steaminpile wrote:

or you could laminate a few of them fridge magnets we all give away and stick em on the van with a lil sign or sticker that says take one??

That's a hell of an idea! Your van loaded with fridge magnets would be a  definite show stopper.



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Kleen Kuip Supply Mart Inc.

http://www.kleenkuip.com - New & Used Professional Carpet Cleaning Machines, Restoration Equipment, Training, Service and Supplies


Posted By: Superglide Ken
Date Posted: 22/October/2004 at 2:09am
I have another good idea for you. Get a copy of a $1000 bill, and in the middle of it have it read: Our work may not cost this much- but it's worth it! Then print your company Name and phone number just below that. They wont throw it out. Magnetize it, and they will keep it on their fridge.

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Inventor of the Teflon Wand Glide and the Turboteck Rotary Air Duct Cleaners for TMs.


Posted By: splash_$$$_dash
Date Posted: 22/October/2004 at 5:47am
Cover your entire truck with those little fridge mags


Posted By: MR. STEAMER
Date Posted: 22/October/2004 at 7:34am
only bad thing... say if the truck gets dirty or wet....lol That couldn't happen with the card box..


Posted By: Carpetologist
Date Posted: 22/October/2004 at 9:56am

Originally posted by MR. STEAMER MR. STEAMER wrote:

So basically what you're say Ted is "ONE CAN'T WIN"

You make it sound so hard & cold. There just has to be a better way. Put your thinking cap on. Cleaning carpet has to be a better job than many other jobs out there. Maybe you need to import people from countries who would be overjoyed to be in this country doing anything.

Or maybe you take Splash's method. It appears he has the ability to wheel, deal, hire and fire plus put up with this constant turn-over. Personally I couldn't handle that.

But today you do what you have to in order to stay in business.



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Kleen Kuip Supply Mart Inc.

http://www.kleenkuip.com - New & Used Professional Carpet Cleaning Machines, Restoration Equipment, Training, Service and Supplies


Posted By: MR. STEAMER
Date Posted: 22/October/2004 at 1:15pm
In a lot of other countries...a shop vac and foam is considered big business


Posted By: Superglide Ken
Date Posted: 22/October/2004 at 2:48pm
In Mexico today, if you got that, you are an important businessman. If you got more than that, you are an important kidnap target, to be held for ransom.

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Inventor of the Teflon Wand Glide and the Turboteck Rotary Air Duct Cleaners for TMs.


Posted By: OCC Boss
Date Posted: 23/October/2004 at 5:42am
Good points. We opened up on a casual basis $30,000 doesn't go far, trust me! You also have to have a spot to store your van for winter weather.Advertising is out of this world. You have to have good equipment, and a van that doesn't make you look like a plumber. We charge "what ever we can get". We are not in a position to turn work away, its better than the van sitting.

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H8 DIRT


Posted By: MR. STEAMER
Date Posted: 24/October/2004 at 10:58am
Advertising is the thing... you put your money out in ads, which inturn bring you revenue..  The small cleaner can't afford to do that.... To get the calls you have to have at least five different forms of ads running at the same time


Posted By: PadMan
Date Posted: 24/October/2004 at 5:52pm

To get the calls you have to have at least five different forms of ads running at the same time

 

Wow, 5 types, I guess my business of 31 years will never get off the ground... LOL We have a small YP and that is IT, period



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Converting HWE customer to VLM customers for 30 Years!


Posted By: Superglide Ken
Date Posted: 24/October/2004 at 8:33pm
That works well in Kentucky John, but a guy in the GTA will starve with that approach. I know, cause my first year in business was spent there and I almost did.

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Inventor of the Teflon Wand Glide and the Turboteck Rotary Air Duct Cleaners for TMs.


Posted By: MR. STEAMER
Date Posted: 24/October/2004 at 8:41pm

Well I guess you don't need the volume of calls Padman... since you make 30 to 40% more than HWE operators....

I can read between the lines and basically your telling me I have no idea..

See its comments just like that one, that make things get down and dirty

but I'll just play dumb, easy enough for me since I don't know what I'm talkin about.....LOL

I'm just a dumb Canuk



Posted By: Superglide Ken
Date Posted: 24/October/2004 at 8:50pm

Mr. Steamer: John does make 30% to 40% more than most guys in the USA get, and  more than double what most guys in the GTA are getting. He has been charging .30/sq ft US for a few years now.Last national survey I saw put the average price per ft down there at .22/sq ft. Add 37% to that price and you get .30/sq ft.

I believe John only used to average 2 jobs a day. At his prices though, he still ended up with a pretty nice home and vehicles with that.



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Inventor of the Teflon Wand Glide and the Turboteck Rotary Air Duct Cleaners for TMs.


Posted By: MR. STEAMER
Date Posted: 24/October/2004 at 8:58pm

I was talking about the advertising... he say he only has the YP... In the GTA YP a lone will bring you nothing... If I was counting on the YP I wouldn't have any TP



Posted By: doug
Date Posted: 24/October/2004 at 9:01pm
I can recall a day when we made more a sq. ft. here in Canada  for carpet cleaning than in the US.  What to hell happened?Guitar

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Just My opinion


Posted By: MR. STEAMER
Date Posted: 24/October/2004 at 9:10pm

Free enterprise happened douggie... CC machine became more affordable for everyone here in Canada...

and the Big Firms Cutting the price so low, that they aren't even making money...

American believe in paying for service... Canadians want them for free



Posted By: Steaminpile
Date Posted: 25/October/2004 at 11:22am

"American believe in paying for service... Canadians want them for free"

 

that's a crock

last CC co. I worked for we were charging .30 sq.ft. and I know he's raised his prices since then.

I think it is how and who you market your services to.

where you live makes a big difference.

I have only been on my own since Dec. 2002 and other than a smaller YP ad I have done 0 advertising this year and I can hardly keep up to all the work.

but I can see it being more difficult in a larger city

 

 



Posted By: MR. STEAMER
Date Posted: 25/October/2004 at 3:01pm

I guess it does depend on geographic location... but Steamin I don't think what I said is a crock, once again someone has to belittle someone else to get their point across... if you don't agree don't agree but don't talk to me like I'm a fool....

In Orlando Florida Sears charges more than we do here, and people pay, no complaints... call average is way higher...

When I post I only post with the knowledge and experience from the GTA, where in the Yellow pages there is a few hundred CC co. with big ads and a 1000 or so with word ads... as a small guy if you get 1 call all year from the yellow pages you're bloody lucky.... to cover the GTA area with a small 10 by 10 ad will easily cost you $1000-$1500 a month... with no guarantees

I've been in this a while I don't post crap.... I only speak from what I know

If your 15mins late... they want it free.... Had one Lady demand that we pay her for her day off (500 bucks) and clean the carpet free..

Gta also has alot of ethnic peoples who will try anything to reduce cut or get it free....

Out in the boons where Santa claus dare not go anything can happen

BIG CITY BIG PROBLEMS



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www.mr-steamer.com


Posted By: doug
Date Posted: 25/October/2004 at 4:07pm
Mr. Steamer:  You are right about Sears in the US.  I usually collect their brochures when ever we go over.  Puting what they get into canadian money and I might even be happy with what they charge.  I may not be in the GTA, but we do have one thing in common.  People who want things for nothing.  My horse and I can get pissed off real easy somedays.Guitar

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Just My opinion


Posted By: MR. STEAMER
Date Posted: 25/October/2004 at 6:45pm

I was thinking about buying Sears Orlando.... but too hot you only can do 3 jobs a day if your lucky.. plus there is a lot of grout cleaning... maybe even more than carpet....

I think at the time they where charging 27 bucks a room....

anyways if you want to have volume of calls you have to have more than one form of advertising... Steamin you and Padman can laugh all you want but its true...

What does a big company have over you???

Lots of them only have a few employees and the rest are subs.....anyone can do that..

They Advertise... YP...Val Pak... news paper... telemarketing... mass mailings from more than just 1 pak company....

Believe it or not Sears GTA will book 60 to 90 calls a day... 60 calls is slow, they need at least 60 to keep things rolling...

How do they get the calls ADVERTISE every single form possible...

For extra Money Techs do door hangers up and down the street they are on..

Advertise + good Service = CASH MONEY MILLIONAIRE

 



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www.mr-steamer.com


Posted By: doug
Date Posted: 25/October/2004 at 7:45pm
Mr. Steamer:  I talked to a carpet cleaner who was cleaning at the place where we stay in florida.  I have talked to a couple of different cleaners each year we go.  You think GTA is cut throat, it has nothing on Florida.  But I like the heat so I would go there. After all I think there  is thousands people a day  moving into Florida.  But we stay in Kississmme a few minutes from everything and a little slower pace.  I think the hard part would be having no real season change.Guitar

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Just My opinion


Posted By: MR. STEAMER
Date Posted: 25/October/2004 at 10:57pm
The Heat will kill you....

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www.mr-steamer.com


Posted By: Superglide Ken
Date Posted: 26/October/2004 at 12:15am
So will the humidity. And if that doesn't, the hurricanes get a shot at you every few years.

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Inventor of the Teflon Wand Glide and the Turboteck Rotary Air Duct Cleaners for TMs.


Posted By: Steaminpile
Date Posted: 26/October/2004 at 12:40am

Never meant to belittle Steamer with my "that's a crock" response.

 

but it was in response that ONLY Americans will pay for good service....which I still believe to be untrue.

 

then again,my competition is only aboot 15-20 other CC's

not 100's



Posted By: gmoney
Date Posted: 26/October/2004 at 9:03am

Steamer you can build a successful business without mass advertising and spending tens of thousands.  Yes advertising is important but not the be all and end all.  If you have deep pockets and name recognition like Sears then you can throw tons on money into Valpack advertising.  It seems to attract the lowest common denominator if you ask me.  I have used this form of advertising before.

The name of the game is referalls and by getting on the phone and exhausting your warm market, your business will build steadily.  For example, success can be achieved by aligning yourself with a company that already has a database of customers and offering a complimentary service and a small percentage. 

By focussing on a niche market and refusing to get down in the trenches with the bargain hunters, your life will be easier.  And if you ever choose to expand beyond a one man show then the margins are there to pay someone so they remain happy and loyal.

Grout cleaning can be lucrative.  It pays much more than carpet cleaning and in my opinion is usually easier.



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If you know what is good for you get it dry as quickly as possible


Posted By: MR. STEAMER
Date Posted: 26/October/2004 at 2:46pm

Niche niche niche... thats all I can here...who or where is this niche market.  I can tell you right now in the GTA... there are customers out there that don't know who to call... the don't know the GMONEYS... they don't know the Splash n Dashes... they only know the Co. with the big ad.

niche is everyone who wants their carpet cleaned for me... referrals are nice but that alone will not keep food on the table...

Starting a business from the ground... you have no customers so where are the referrals going to come from...???? how are you going to get the exposure you need??? You can only get referrals if you have customers.

you can only get customers if you advertise...For the part time or weekend cleaner referrals are great but for those that need the calls to put gas in the tank and food on the table you have to think bigger.

Truthfully sometimes word of mouth falls on def ears



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www.mr-steamer.com


Posted By: doug
Date Posted: 26/October/2004 at 3:35pm
Originally posted by MR. STEAMER MR. STEAMER wrote:

.

niche is everyone who wants their carpet cleaned for me... referrals are nice but that alone will not keep food on the table...

Starting a business from the ground... you have no customers so where are the referrals going to come from...???? how are you going to get the exposure you need??? You can only get referrals if you have customers.

you can only get customers if you advertise...For the part time or weekend cleaner referrals are great but for those that need the calls to put gas in the tank and food on the table you have to think bigger.

Truthfully sometimes word of mouth falls on def ears

Mr. Steamer:  Very good responce.  Living in a smaller market people startup everyday.  People jump ship and try them. "new broom sweeps cleaner" they say.  But for how long?  I think in some cases you are only as good till a cheaper price comes along.  Loyalty is not like it was 10 or 15 yasr ago.  Things have changed.  I have had calls asking if it was my company was coming to do their cleaning as they could not remember who the called?  I stated we have done your cleaning in the past.  Their responce" someone in the office used this company and they did a good job and they are cheap. No sence going on as I will have to listen to the cleaners who will say their clients would kill their first born rather than call another carpet cleaner.Guitar



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Just My opinion


Posted By: MR. STEAMER
Date Posted: 26/October/2004 at 7:43pm

Customers will try another cleaner even if your good... they will try a few then most times come back to you... people are always looking for better and cheaper.... That includes me, I guess it's a part of human nature..

If they don't try anyone else how will they know your good???

To keep a customer you actually have to love them... they need to feel that you love them and will do everything in your power to do a phenomenal job.

I believe you have to be professional, yet sensitive, you have to be able to anticipate , you have to be able to read body language and facial expressions.

and trust me every customer wants to feel special..... you have to convey to them that you want to clean their dirty carpet and do it with a smile..

 



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www.mr-steamer.com


Posted By: PadMan
Date Posted: 27/October/2004 at 8:50pm

Me thinhks you guys are doing something wrong ...LOL

If you are not getting loyalty maybe you need to CHANGE something, we live by the loyalty of our customers, always have.

 

Referrals are from MUCH more than just clean carpet, how do you interact with your customers? How do you set yourself apart? WHY should they call you again and again... I know why my customers do, now you have to give YOUR customers a reason too.

 

PadMan



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Converting HWE customer to VLM customers for 30 Years!


Posted By: MR. STEAMER
Date Posted: 29/October/2004 at 6:15pm

Padman... for the small guy maybe not...but for the big company... customers will always play the field...

Commercial customers love our written quotes



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www.mr-steamer.com


Posted By: MR. STEAMER
Date Posted: 03/November/2004 at 4:04pm

When it comes to uilding customers... people want an personal approach... they will clean with the same guy for 10 years... but they won't clean with the same company for ten years...

I don't know if you get it.....sometimes I get lost in the moment too



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www.mr-steamer.com


Posted By: PadMan
Date Posted: 03/November/2004 at 4:29pm
Last year I got off the truck and my daughter took over, she hasn't lost any customers either, you need to do and say something that helps them remember you forever. Interaction and knowledge and friendliness all are a part.

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Converting HWE customer to VLM customers for 30 Years!


Posted By: MR. STEAMER
Date Posted: 03/November/2004 at 4:34pm

but thats your family man.... put a stranger on the truck and have someone else do the call every year and see what happens...

the customer and your daughter can relate through you... right off the bat the have something to talk about...john the pad man

that was the pad that John built



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www.mr-steamer.com


Posted By: doug
Date Posted: 03/November/2004 at 5:08pm
John:  My son has almost taken over.  The good thing after awhile people just call and ask for him.  That never happened when I had someone else on the truck. I had the same man for over 5 years on one truck and still I was the one called. So I think a family member is a different comparson than a stranger.Guitar

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Just My opinion


Posted By: MR. STEAMER
Date Posted: 03/November/2004 at 11:25pm
Originally posted by doug doug wrote:

John:  My son has almost taken over.  The good thing after awhile people just call and ask for him.  That never happened when I had someone else on the truck. I had the same man for over 5 years on one truck and still I was the one called. So I think a family member is a different comparson than a stranger.Guitar
wow doug you've been there and done that... thank you for such a great reply...

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www.mr-steamer.com


Posted By: doug
Date Posted: 04/November/2004 at 8:09am
Mr. Steamer: It is true there is no comparison.Guitar

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Just My opinion


Posted By: PadMan
Date Posted: 04/November/2004 at 9:57pm

I don't think it is FAMILY as much as it is PERSONALITY and desire.

 

My daughter desires to treat customers well, do a great job and create an even larger business for HERSELF.



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Converting HWE customer to VLM customers for 30 Years!


Posted By: MR. STEAMER
Date Posted: 04/November/2004 at 10:46pm

The customer accepts your off spring in their home...... It's a mini you....

If you send a stranger it becomes a lot less personal and more generic

People don't care about a company or loyalty... they want a specific cleaner no matter who he works for.... or a relative....lol

My brother can do my calls anytime.... my help could not



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www.mr-steamer.com


Posted By: PadMan
Date Posted: 05/November/2004 at 6:14pm
Whatever, seems you are GLUED to your view...

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Converting HWE customer to VLM customers for 30 Years!


Posted By: MR. STEAMER
Date Posted: 07/November/2004 at 11:13am

Customers like Personal service.... They don't want to be your customer they want to be your friend... as soon as you can grasp that concept.  Your business will grow leaps and bounds



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www.mr-steamer.com


Posted By: PadMan
Date Posted: 07/November/2004 at 3:04pm
Truth, truth, truth, I totally agree Mr. S.

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Converting HWE customer to VLM customers for 30 Years!


Posted By: OCC Boss
Date Posted: 07/November/2004 at 7:49pm
People want to deal with the Boss/Owner, they always do. They think the Boss is likely to cut a better deal or knows more (even if that is not the case). Put youself in that situation. You go to buy a car. The salesman is forever running to the managers office or to the Boss. You might as well be dealing directley with the Boss. The son taking over the business, he is too going to be the Boss. He is already the Bosses so/daughter.

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H8 DIRT


Posted By: MR. STEAMER
Date Posted: 17/November/2004 at 4:43pm
I'm just wondering... How does the independant Cleaner deal with their big name competition????

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www.mr-steamer.com


Posted By: PadMan
Date Posted: 17/November/2004 at 4:44pm
WE don't CUT ANY deals, 30 cents a square PERIOD!

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Converting HWE customer to VLM customers for 30 Years!


Posted By: MR. STEAMER
Date Posted: 17/November/2004 at 4:48pm
So you're willing to lose a few calls.... Padman I think your in a market of your own..... you're not steam and you're not chem dry... ur OP

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www.mr-steamer.com


Posted By: PadMan
Date Posted: 17/November/2004 at 7:21pm

Well all I can tell you is "IF" what you guys are telling me is true, then WE really do have a much larger benefit than even I thought we did.

 

People don't even bother ASKING for deals, the DEAL is clean carpet.



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Converting HWE customer to VLM customers for 30 Years!


Posted By: steed
Date Posted: 17/November/2004 at 8:03pm

The key to building a business can start from a number of angles. What types of business image, example small family business image, corporate image . This will decide what avenue of marketing!!!! Word of mouth, PR with your existing customers, type of advertisement direction , live demonstrations at malls with entry mats or carpet spotters , home and garden shows . Its requires effort and time not necessary allot of money.

I started in 1982 , very small carpet cleaning business. Its took me 6 years to make it a very stable and profitable company. It seem to take you a direction of deciding what market share do you want, the low end clients or the mid to high end clients . Do I what to work more jobs a day for a certain $ amount or work few jobs the same $ amount.  Every one has an view what a successful company is and that view will not be the same for every one. My view is keep it simple and have fun doing it!



Posted By: MR. STEAMER
Date Posted: 25/November/2004 at 5:53pm

Have fun...and pay the bills....some customers can make you re-evaluate your job... I've felt like to pack it in many a day... but I have wife ..kids ..mortgage...car payments... tax payments... damn it's worse than jail...so I grin and bare it....most times it works out alright in the end

 



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www.mr-steamer.com


Posted By: doug
Date Posted: 26/November/2004 at 12:50pm
In my small area we cleanem all.Guitar

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Just My opinion


Posted By: MR. STEAMER
Date Posted: 26/November/2004 at 9:27pm
but you don't have to like it douggie

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www.mr-steamer.com


Posted By: doug
Date Posted: 26/November/2004 at 10:28pm
Mr. Steamer:  WE do because we have to.  Like it or not.Guitar

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Just My opinion


Posted By: MR. STEAMER
Date Posted: 16/December/2004 at 11:21pm
it must be busy to be able to run 2 405's up in your one horse town???

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www.mr-steamer.com


Posted By: Superglide Ken
Date Posted: 17/December/2004 at 2:14am
Not if they are pulled by the same horse Mr. Steamer.

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Inventor of the Teflon Wand Glide and the Turboteck Rotary Air Duct Cleaners for TMs.


Posted By: doug
Date Posted: 17/December/2004 at 7:47am
Mr. Steamer: I woudn't want ot over work them.Guitar

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Just My opinion


Posted By: MR. STEAMER
Date Posted: 27/January/2005 at 4:05pm

How do you feel about give aways??? good or bad



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www.mr-steamer.com


Posted By: Superglide Ken
Date Posted: 28/January/2005 at 12:49am
Free rooms are a good thing if directed to high income households and you charge premium rates so that you make good money on additional work done.

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Inventor of the Teflon Wand Glide and the Turboteck Rotary Air Duct Cleaners for TMs.


Posted By: MR. STEAMER
Date Posted: 28/January/2005 at 7:51am
Hey Kenny do you have any sample ads???

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www.mr-steamer.com


Posted By: Superglide Ken
Date Posted: 28/January/2005 at 9:13am

Joe Polish has many ideas like this that work, and if applied right they work well. My scanner is busted, so I have none to show you.

 

 



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Inventor of the Teflon Wand Glide and the Turboteck Rotary Air Duct Cleaners for TMs.


Posted By: Dennis Conner
Date Posted: 28/January/2005 at 11:55am

Ken....I'm VERY suprised YOU don't have the BEST and CHEAPEST marketing package out there.....dude, you are slipping!!! I bet it's one of the millions of ideas you are bringing to the market in the next 12 nanoseconds.

You are the copy king, so use jOey's stuf as a template.  I can just imagine your version of a booty camp, complete with a giveaway of one of the '70's clunkers in front of your house...I bet your neighbors would appreciate that!!!

 

 

 

C'mon...

LIE TO ME!!!!!

 

 

 

P.S. OIL and GOLD are DOWN today!!

 

 

 

 

 



Posted By: MR. STEAMER
Date Posted: 28/January/2005 at 12:51pm
People copy each other everyday Dennis, just look at your hair cut..lol

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www.mr-steamer.com


Posted By: Superglide Ken
Date Posted: 28/January/2005 at 12:52pm
Chuck, you need to get a life. Your constant fixation of me is getting old not only to me, but alot of other readers on this board as well. There is lots to talk about besides what I might or might not do.

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Inventor of the Teflon Wand Glide and the Turboteck Rotary Air Duct Cleaners for TMs.


Posted By: MR. STEAMER
Date Posted: 28/January/2005 at 12:53pm
well said Kenny

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www.mr-steamer.com


Posted By: Dennis Conner
Date Posted: 28/January/2005 at 1:23pm

Other than your antics it seems that this BB is about the weather in Kenada and other similary mundane things....

 

 

I haven't seen a post from the winner of the wand.....Kenada mail lost it yet???

 

 



Posted By: Superglide Ken
Date Posted: 28/January/2005 at 1:34pm
Scott will have his wand on Monday. He will post about getting it after that. UPS air delivery.

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Inventor of the Teflon Wand Glide and the Turboteck Rotary Air Duct Cleaners for TMs.


Posted By: MR. STEAMER
Date Posted: 28/January/2005 at 1:57pm

wow cutting it to the wire Kenny....lol... if that guy doesn't get that wand your name is going to be MUD...

poor Kenny



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www.mr-steamer.com


Posted By: Superglide Ken
Date Posted: 28/January/2005 at 2:02pm
Mr. Steamer, what can I say; I am a guy that likes cutting it close. Playing it safe is not my style. Besides, if UPS is late I get my $100 for shipping back and the wand got delivered for free.

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Inventor of the Teflon Wand Glide and the Turboteck Rotary Air Duct Cleaners for TMs.


Posted By: MR. STEAMER
Date Posted: 28/January/2005 at 2:11pm

If that wand doesn't get deliverd Kenny... they might burn a cross on your front lawn...lol

I can hear the cries of"Grab your Torch and Pitchforks"



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www.mr-steamer.com


Posted By: doug
Date Posted: 28/January/2005 at 2:18pm
Niether rain, nor sleet nor hail will stop tha wand. Guitar

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Just My opinion


Posted By: MR. STEAMER
Date Posted: 28/January/2005 at 2:19pm
it will if the wand never existed..... what will happen to kenny if there is no wand???

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www.mr-steamer.com


Posted By: Superglide Ken
Date Posted: 28/January/2005 at 2:20pm
If it was late due to some unforeseen delay, it would only be by a day at most. Scott would be okay with that. He would know that it was UPS, not me. It took me a while to make the SHO glide for that wand after I recovered from the pneumonia I had until this week. This is the first week I have felt well since KK day 2 months back. The SHO glides are custom made one at a time for the KH3 wands and the Prochem titanium wands out of a special Teflon mix of glass and Titanium to impart added durability.

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Inventor of the Teflon Wand Glide and the Turboteck Rotary Air Duct Cleaners for TMs.


Posted By: MR. STEAMER
Date Posted: 28/January/2005 at 6:06pm
Kenny I trust in you... I know there will be a wand

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www.mr-steamer.com



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