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Starting and Building a Business

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doug View Drop Down
King of the One Liners
King of the One Liners

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Joined: 31/January/2004
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote doug Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post 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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greg View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote greg Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20/October/2004 at 12:33pm
honesty, good reliable service, good communication, follow ups. and all the posts above.
nothing is impossable. it just hasn't been done yet.
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greg View Drop Down
Journeyman
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote greg Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post 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.

nothing is impossable. it just hasn't been done yet.
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Carpetologist View Drop Down
The Great Hardini
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Hocus Pocus

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carpetologist Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post 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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MR. STEAMER View Drop Down
True Patriot
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MR. STEAMER Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post 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

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PadMan View Drop Down
Dr. Low Moisture
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote PadMan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post 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



Edited by PadMan
Converting HWE customer to VLM customers for 30 Years!
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doug View Drop Down
King of the One Liners
King of the One Liners

Just My opinion

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote doug Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post 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
Just My opinion
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MR. STEAMER View Drop Down
True Patriot
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MR. STEAMER Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post 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

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PadMan View Drop Down
Dr. Low Moisture
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http://ccsop.com

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote PadMan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post 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.

Converting HWE customer to VLM customers for 30 Years!
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splash_$$$_dash View Drop Down
Carpet Cleaning Specialist
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote splash_$$$_dash Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post 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

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The Great Hardini
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Hocus Pocus

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carpetologist Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post 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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MR. STEAMER View Drop Down
True Patriot
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Only in the GTA

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MR. STEAMER Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21/October/2004 at 1:05pm
So basically what you're say Ted is "ONE CAN'T WIN"
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Carpetologist View Drop Down
The Great Hardini
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Hocus Pocus

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carpetologist Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post 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.

Vehicle Pockets

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Steaminpile View Drop Down
Master Carpet Cleaner
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Steaminpile Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post 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??
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