How to Start and Optimize a Carpet Cleaning Business

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As the pandemic forced a shift to virtual and remote communications, many individuals discovered that their hardwood floors created echoes. And that wasn’t good for Zoom calls. So, they switched to carpeted floors, leading to a 12% increase in residential carpet sales. The growing number of homeowners switching to carpeted floors will also lead to an increase in demand for carpet cleaning services. This makes it a great time to start your own carpet cleaning business.

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How to Start a Carpet Cleaning Business

To start any business, you’ll need to create a plan and register your business. However, to start a carpet cleaning business, you’ll also need to think about industry-specific necessities, like making sure you have the right tools to do the job. Then you’ll need to get the word out about your business and all of the services you offer.

1. Create a business plan

A business plan serves as an easy-to-follow roadmap that guides how you run your business. It is a document that holds information on what your business is and how it operates—and you’ll need to create one if you want your business to succeed.

The first and easiest step in creating a business plan is creating a title page for the document. Next, you’ll need to write the seven different sections that make up the business plan. According to Forbes, those sections are:

  1. Executive summary
  2. Company description
  3. Products and services
  4. Market analysis
  5. Organization and management
  6. Market strategy
  7. Financials

Each section should include specific details. For example, your company description should outline what your business model is and who your target market is. And in the products and services section, you should list details about which specific carpet cleaning services you plan to offer and at what price. Meanwhile, your financial section should include details on how you handle cash flow, including specific information about your business bank account and your tax ID number. You need to be able to refer back to your plan to guide your business to success, and the more specific you are, the more helpful your business plan will be.

2. Register your business

Registering your new business allows you to operate as a legal entity by assigning a tax ID to your company and informing the relevant local parties about the establishment of your business license. Depending on the size of your organization, you’ll want to register your business as either a sole proprietorship or an LLC.

Registering your business as a sole proprietorship is a good option if you plan to work as an individual contractor. But if you plan to grow your business, then a sole proprietorship won’t provide you with the status you need. Registering as an LLC establishes your business as its own entity, separate from you as a business owner. This means that you and your employees are protected from a variety of things, including being held responsible as an individual if a customer sues your business for accidental carpet damage.

The specific documents you’ll need to register your business may vary, depending on the legal requirements for a business license in your state. In all states, you’ll need a business name as well as some form of insurance, such as business or general liability insurance. Beyond that, the specific certifications and permits you’ll need to operate can vary.

3. Acquire the necessary equipment

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Without the proper carpet cleaning equipment, you won’t be able to successfully do your job as a cleaner. To get a successful business off the ground, you’ll need a variety of cleaning tools, including:

  • Vacuum
  • Carpet cleaning solutions
  • Solvent shampoos
  • Stain removers
  • Carpet rake
  • Air scrubber
  • Steamer
  • Rubber gloves

You can buy many of these tools at your local hardware store, but they will be primarily designed for homeowners to clean up small messes. To find professional carpet cleaning equipment and cleaning products, consult expert product reviews in industry publications like Cleanfax.

You’ll also need to invest in other equipment for your business. This includes office space for your headquarters and all of the tools your administrative staff needs to keep things running, from pens and paper to software. You’ll also need trucks or another type of vehicle that your employees can use to drive to job sites.

4. Create a marketing strategy

Once you’re ready to start offering services, it’s time to market your business, so customers know you’re available for scheduling a service appointment. For field service businesses like carpet cleaning companies, traditional marketing tactics are still commonplace and effective. For example, handing out business cards to customers or giving them a sign to post at their house is a great way to generate referral business. You can also go door to door to pass out flyers and coupons in your service area. While this type of old-school marketing is still popular for small businesses, it shouldn’t be your only tactic.

Your marketing plan should also include building a company website and registering it with Google My Business. This makes it easy for potential customers to find your business and informs the search engine of relevant information to show searchers, including your phone number, business hours, and website. Then you can expand your marketing efforts by establishing a presence on social media or paying for advertisements in local media outlets.

5. Offer other carpet-related services

After you’ve established your business, it’s a good idea to expand your service offerings. This will help generate more business, which means you’ll earn higher profits. Some common services that companies provide in addition to carpet cleaning include:

  • New carpet installation
  • Upholstery cleaning
  • Rug cleaning
  • Tile cleaning
  • Mattress cleaning
  • General janitorial services

To define the services your business will use, assess both the startup costs of the service and the potential profits you stand to earn. For example, adding an additional cleaning service for upholstery has a relatively low cost as you may only need to buy special brushes or cleaning solutions. However, the demand for these services is relatively low, so you may not see a substantial increase in profit by adding this service on its own.

How OptimoRoute Can Help Create Value for Your Carpet Cleaning Business

For your business to succeed long term, you need to earn a profit. Carpet cleaning businesses make money by completing cleaning jobs—and the more jobs you complete, the more you’ll earn. One way to do more jobs is to hire more cleaners and grow your team. But to do this, you’ll need to dedicate time to hiring new employees and increase your budget for employee pay. While you might increase the number of jobs you can complete, the increase in costs means you may not see a noteworthy boost in profits. Instead, if you focus on improving your routing and scheduling, you can make your current team more efficient – fitting in more jobs without increasing costs. 

You can improve routing with route optimization, a process focused on finding the most efficient sequence of stops for all destinations. True route optimization takes into account the location of your service appointments, how long you need to travel there, what time you’ve agreed to be there and how much time you need to spend at the location – and then finds the quickest sequence to meet all criteria. But even if technicians are already taking a direct route, you don’t want them driving back and forth across town to get from one job to the next. Using efficient service and technician scheduling practices helps you prevent this by scheduling services in nearby areas together.

Optimizing your routing and scheduling can impact your bottom line in a few ways:

  • Lower your overall mileage and, consequently, your fuel costs too
  • Reduce wear and tear on company vehicles to help extend their life
  • Minimize the amount of time cleaners spend traveling, so they can spend more time serving customers

However, relying on a single individual (or even a full field service management team) to improve your routes and schedules is time-consuming. It also leaves plenty of room for human error that can be costly to your business. For example, if someone accidentally schedules two appointments at the same time, you might not have enough technicians available to complete the service. And if you have to cancel a customer’s service unexpectedly, it can ruin their experience with your business. Using software like OptimoRoute minimizes the risk of these types of mistakes by leveraging AI.

Make Your Business More Efficient and Profitable With OptimoRoute

Routing and scheduling are vital aspects of mobile workforce management because they coordinate service appointments for your carpet cleaning business. Unfortunately, they are difficult and time-consuming processes. OptimoRoute is a routing and planning tool that helps eliminate the headache of these processes by automating them.

Generate routes automatically

To automate route planning with OptimoRoute, all you need to do is upload specific information to the platform, such as what time a service is scheduled and where the job is located. Then, just click the “plan routes” button, and OptimoRoute will assess the details of all of your scheduled jobs and automatically create routes that get technicians to appointments on time. Routes created by the system are also optimized for lower mileage, helping you reduce your fuel costs and minimize wear and tear on your vehicles.

After generating the routes, drivers can access them right from their mobile phone. OptimoRoute’s driver app will provide them with turn-by-turn directions, so they arrive at the job site without any hiccups. 

Optimize cleaner schedules

It’s important to schedule enough cleaning technicians to complete all of your planned services. But inefficient scheduling can lead to costly issues like overstaffing or overtime. OptimoRoute helps you avoid these issues during schedule creation by automatically calculating employee hours and assessing all of your planned appointments to determine how many cleaners to schedule. By using the Weekly Planning feature, you can even plan out an entire week or month at once, making sure that everyone gets enough hours and that all clients are served. 

Complete more jobs with the same workforce and equipment

Using OptimoRoute to optimize both your routes and schedules helps you to maximize efficiency by using the resources you already have to get more done. For example, improving your routes with optimization reduces the amount of time your cleaners spend driving between appointments, which means they have more time to spend cleaning carpets for your customers. Meanwhile, OptimoRoute’s workload balancing capabilities help you distribute work among the members of your team so that you can complete all of your scheduled jobs while avoiding employee burnout.

Provide customers with live ETA

After scheduling appointments and giving cleaners easy-to-follow directions to get to their appointments, you can use OptimoRoute to let your customers know when their service will be complete. This helps improve their experience with your business by letting them know exactly what they should expect from you and your cleaners. The system can automatically send updates to your customers to let them know when their service is confirmed and another update to remind them when their appointment is coming up.

OptimoRoute also provides managers with full visibility into where cleaners are while they’re out on the job. This means that if a cleaner gets delayed by a traffic accident or some other unforeseen event, you’ll know exactly what the delay is. This makes it easier to determine whether you should reschedule the customer appointment, send a new technician, or call the customer to let them know that their cleaner will be a few minutes late.

Sign up for a free, 30-day trial to see how OptimoRoute can maximize your profits by boosting efficiency.

Carpet Cleaning Business FAQs

In the next section, we’ll answer some of the most frequently asked questions about starting a carpet cleaning business.

Is a carpet cleaning business a good business to start?

Carpet cleaning businesses are profitable, and with the industry poised for growth, now is a great time to start a business. However, exactly how much profit you’ll earn depends largely on what your business costs are, how many jobs you’re able to complete, and how much you charge customers for your services. 

What do I need to do before starting a carpet cleaning business?

Before starting your own business, you should get hands-on experience as a cleaner by working for an already established commercial carpet cleaning or steam cleaning company. Once you’ve developed the expertise to run your own business, you should research what licenses, certifications, and insurance coverage you’ll need to operate a legal business. You may also need to take out a small business loan to cover your startup costs, which include everything from permits and licenses to tools and office space.

What kind of carpet cleaning equipment do I need?

Commercial carpet cleaners need professional quality tools, including cleaning products like shampoos, vacuums, and carpet rakes.

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