What to expect?

Discussion in 'Lets talk Business!' started by claybalz, Aug 21, 2017.

By claybalz on Aug 21, 2017 at 4:57 PM
  1. claybalz
    claybalz

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    Hey guys! New to the business so thank you ahead of time for answering all my entry level questions! I plan to start out slow and test the water but if I get quick steady results would spend on marketing/advertising and the equipment to run the business! But for now I'm plan to start out with a portable and do it in my spare time. (3 days a week+evenings) so currently I'm having door hangers made and fixing to purchase a machine. My question is what to expect?
    •Is the return on investment as fast as one would think?
    •are most costumers loyal or mainly a one time cleaning?
    •what would you expect to make 3 days a week? 150 1000?
    •at what point should I establish an LLC?
    •is insurance a must right off the start? If so what's the average cost?
    I know it's important to protect yourself but when?
    •what is the most common type of community that purchase carpet service? Rich/middle class?

    I have many more but that should get us started! Lol I really have done a lot of research on line.. google/forums but it is mostly contradicting so I figured I would just ask the guys that do it everyday.. thanks for your help!

Comments

Discussion in 'Lets talk Business!' started by claybalz, Aug 21, 2017.

    1. Matt Wood
      Matt Wood

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      75% of my customers are return loyal customers. That number is from january2016 to today. That should give you a good answer to your second question.
    2. hogjowl
      hogjowl

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      I have to have one question at a time.
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    3. claybalz
      claybalz

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      Well that's a pretty big number! And a plus you must be doing something right. And sorry hogjowl I just have so many! You can have number one it's an easy one! lol
    4. hogjowl
      hogjowl

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    5. Mark Saiger
      Mark Saiger

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      Congrats at diving in and welcome to the board....

      Return on investment....it can be ok, and you can make some money fairly well...but you can also loose it fast too. Establishing a client base takes time. Working part time is probably a good start...and go clean some relatives and friends to get more comfortable is a good suggestion.

      Customers usually have carpets cleaned when they finally see....they are really dirty....so they can be loyal if you start out on the correct foot and make sure you have a good professional presentation out of their home, and of course while doing work for them in their homes....

      Keep in mind, on loyalty...if they are using you....they were not loyal to the last cleaner...but they might have particular reasons to switch besides price.

      With a portable, you are just going to have to add a bit more chemistry, and agitation, and take more time...but that's ok. I have seen a lot of great cleaners with portables, and I feel they have become even better cleaners when they switch up to maybe a truckmount.

      Money you can make is going to depend on your area, and how you price things. Don't price to be the cheapest....establish a good fair market price, but also know what you are going to need to make money later if you want to leave your other job. It is more difficult to raise your prices later to support a full time job and not shell shock your client base later when you need to make more money.

      LLC, that can happen at anytime...an accountant might help you...for now, most people probably start out as a Sole Proprietorship. But at Tax accountant is someone you want a conversation with to help you....

      Insurance....YES! And sit down with a good honest insurance person who can help you. And some places, you won't get in the door to work if you don't have certain amounts of coverage.

      Depending on your pricing is where you are more than likely to attract a certain type of clients....being cheap...expect cheap clients.

      Also, before you invest in a lot of equipment, many of us would encourage you to do a ride along with another cleaner...or give carpet cleaning a try...you might find out it is not as fun, and even with good money...still not fun....then a bunch of these guys will be out to snatch up cheap equipment....

      But again, welcome and I hope we can help you in some manner with an abundance of questions you are going to have...

      Also, look at the top right for the search box...type in a question and you might find a lot of topics you are searching for that have been discussed here....

      And Marty @hogjowl is a lot nicer than he really comes off to be on these forums....but we don't want people to really know that :)
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    6. Desk Jockey
      Desk Jockey

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      You are in a great area between Springfield and Branson there is some serious money down there. Don't make the mistake of being too cheap. Its a trap that is hard to recover from. Most new guys under cut the last guy. Low end price shoppers are NOT loyal to any cleaner, they are loyal to a low price.

      Fast return? Very fast but you won't be able to pocket it.

      You're going to need to reinvest it on tools and chems that will allow you to clean better, faster and offer more services. Such as upholstery in boats and RV's, tile & grout.

      Loyal? Most are very loyal once you develop a relationship and do a good job. Not loyal at all if you're in the cheap market.

      3-days with a porty. $500.00 a day X 3 =$1,500.00

      LLC? right away, get some of that liability off of you.

      Insurance?
      Its your risk. I think could get by for a little while but don't quote me. Oh and please release me from any liability instructing you to do so and hold me harmless forever. :winky:

      Both middle and rich
      Any one with discretionary income that would rather pay for the service than do it themselves.

      Now go out there, have fun, be safe and by all means don't fook up! :biggrin:
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    7. hogjowl
      hogjowl

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      It really does depend, idiots
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    8. Desk Jockey
      Desk Jockey

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      Shudddd up YOU!
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    9. Old Coastie
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      If you don't know how to clean, start with your own house and your mother in law's house.

      Don't look for a magic bullet, it does not exist. Find a chemical pimp and ask him for defoamer and a good all-round powder to use.

      Think the process through. Vacuum, prespray, scrub, extract. Be methodical. Process matters, efficiency will come.

      Do NOT make promises beyond "I'll do my best." Read all you can on spots before tackling them.

      Call Mikey a lot, then Marty, in that order. Watch Saiger videos until you scream. Send $10 for the d*mned good advice.
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    10. Derrick T.
      Derrick T.

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      Thats what ive been doing...plus going to MF in scottsdale...
    11. Matt Wood
      Matt Wood

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      If you're thinking the return of investment is fast, then you're looking at this from a employee's mindset. From @Desk Jockey s comment, you'll need to put the money back in your business, and save, save, save. Because the first few years of your business (mine was 8) wasn't fun with the downtime. I quit my part time job too soon. But I also didn't do hardly any marketing. I depended solely on the yellow pages and word of mouth. Big mistake. Word of mouth only gets you the loyal customers, which come in a lot slower than the one time cleaning customers

      And if you're planning on working only 3days a week, I make it a goal to work from 7-8 all the way to dark or later. The best way to reach that goal so early in your business is take a few apartment complexes in. Those jobs will fill in the slow days and will bring in steady income. Apartment complexes are always looking for a good carpet cleaner, so advertise on quality (specifically quick dry time), not price.

      Insurance (general liability) yes. It's cheap. Don't mess with workman's comp. If the apartment complex requires it, ask them to include you on their policy, since you're just a one man show. They normally take off 10-16% off the invoice to pay for you on their policy, but it's worth it. And LLC???? I'm on my 15th year in the business and I'm still a sole-proprietor. If you break something, your general liability will cover it. There's all kinds of things to scare you into wanting LLC, but if you're an owner operator, low risk, I don't see a need.

      And it depends on your location as to whether the rich or middle class will be the bulk. Just present yourself as professional as you can. Don't smell like cigarettes, brush your hair or wear a nice business hat, wear some nice work pants (most of the guys disagree with me on this), etc, and you'll attract good customers. You're a professional cleaning service, so don't bring any filth in their home while you're cleaning
    12. Radar Foster
      Radar Foster

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      Great questions with equally high quality responses

      My advise is to stay small and keep it all,

      provide impeccable service with a winning personality

      With a little luck you too will be able to retire to a third world dump before you're 40


      PS click the link to get my special report I like to call " Retire Prestige Worldwide Rich...Boats and Hoes"

      IMG_1287.JPG IMG_2547.JPG

      Attached Files:

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    13. claybalz
      claybalz

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      Thanks guys all good info! I feel a little more comfortable with multiple opinions vs me forming one from what I read! So I plan on starting out in a 04 Dodge Ram single cab pickup. I know a van is ideal but i currently don't own a van so. Should I advertise on the truck? I know free advertising is a no brainer but so is looking professional.. also on pricing I have looked at it so much my head hurts! I was woundering what you guys do personally. Do you like offering 3 different packages options? Or more of a 2 rooms for 50- 20 a room after kind of deal? What actually works?
    14. claybalz
      claybalz

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      Thanks guys all good info! I feel a little more comfortable with multiple opinions vs me forming one from what I read! So I plan on starting out in a 04 Dodge Ram single cab pickup. I know a van is ideal but i currently don't own a van so. Should I advertise on the truck? I know free advertising is a no brainer but so is looking professional.. also on pricing I have looked at it so much my head hurts! I was woundering what you guys do personally. Do you like offering 3 different packages options? Or more of a 2 rooms for 50- 20 a room after kind of deal? What actually works?
    15. scottw
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      By the room pricing offers the advantage of being able to give an exact price over the phone most of the time. But you don't know what it will be like when you get there. If you raise the price enough to cover the really nasty jobs, it could drive away those who like to keep the carpet in better shape. From my short experience with room pricing, it seemed to attract price shoppers.

      Bidding on a job by job basis or by the square foot pricing allows you to go out, look at the job, price accordingly, be prepared for what awaits you. It also gives you a chance to meet the customer and them a chance to meet you. Start building a relationship. See what other services they need and you can offer. Maybe additional rooms, protector application, tile floors to clean and so forth. It certainly does require more time, especially early in your career. Eventually, you will build up a list of repeat customer. You know the place, they know you. No need to go see those each time.

      The percentage of callers that became customers was higher when I did room pricing. The total sales on each job was also much higher.
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    16. hogjowl
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      You'll make money faster if you price by the room, aggressively advertise, and price over the phone. However, your profit margins will be lower and you'll quickly find that you can't afford to do a good job, unless you press add-on sales and minimum room sizes. Both leave a bad taste in your customers mouth. So, your repeat and referrals will suffer. Making you have to keep generating new customers and more advertising. It's a vicious circle.

      If you price by the s.f. and offer in-home estimates, you'll grow more slowly (if you offer premium pricing), but your margins will be much higher and your repeats and referrals will be more stable, assuming you do outstanding work.
    17. Desk Jockey
      Desk Jockey

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      I would get something on the truck even if just the doors or just the pickup bed.
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    18. Matt Wood
      Matt Wood

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      Surf craigslist for a trailer. These guys will give you hell, but a trailer is an awesome billboard, plus you'll have more storage room. It's a cheap setup that gets you to the job and looks just as professional.

      As for whether or not to charge by the room or sq. ft...I charge both. For someone with a 4000sq. ft house, you need to charge by the square foot. for a little 900sq. ft house, you need to charge by the room.

      And when someone calls to ask what you charge per room, say this: "Determining on what type of home you have, I charge an average of $$ per AREA." Use the word Area instead of room, because a living room is the average size of 2-3 Areas. You don't want to charge the same price of a living room vs. a small bedroom. The size of an area is about 12'X14'
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    19. Radar Foster
      Radar Foster

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      Good grief that was clear as mud:headscratch:


      Don't forget to tell him about the waste water removal fee too:icon_rolleyes:


      Square foot pricing and get a Van or box truck setup

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