Starting A Carpet Cleaning Business
How much, you might ask, does it cost to start your own carpet cleaning business? There is no exact answer to this question. The answer depends largely upon which cleaning method you want to be identified with. If your choice is to offer hot water extraction (HWE), perhaps better known as “steam” cleaning, you can spend a little or a lot. If on the other hand, you choose to offer your customers some form of low-moisture carpet cleaning, then your cost for carpet cleaning equipment plus needed supplies will be somewhere between very little and not a whole lot more than very little.
Hot Water Extraction (HWE) Equipment Costs
If your choice is HWE, you can begin with a portable “extractor” package, probably priced in the $2000 – $4000 range, depending upon its rated PSI and how many attachments come with the package. Most practitioners of the steam cleaning method, especially those who run truck-mounted systems, would probably discourage you from buying one of the low PSI models. The higher the PSI (up around 1200) the better the soil removing ability, they say.
If you wish to go the truck-mount route yourself, a manufacturer or distributor of truck-mounted carpet cleaning systems should be able to sell you the basic mechanical unit for somewhere in the range of $20,000 to $30,000. Then, of course, you will need the truck itself, as well as the various additional items used by TM users. There is also the used truck mount market.
Let’s just say that if buying a TM unit, it’s kind of like buying a new car vs. a used car.
You can spend top dollar and buy a top-quality new vehicle, or you can try to save money by going on Craigslist and looking for something old and cheap, and then pray that it’s not hiding a whole lot of defects. Plus, owning and operating a hot water extraction rig in a cold climate, unless you own or can rent a heated garage, might prove to be problematic.
If you are perceptive enough to appreciate the customer benefits of low-moisture, rapid-dry carpet cleaning, then you can enter the business, with brand new equipment, for far less money. All of the Nature’s Quick-Dry packages, for example, sell for less than $3000.
Low Moisture Carpet Cleaning Packages
With one of these packages, you get a highly durable, made in the USA, Challenger brand oscillating floor machine, also known as an OP machine. The Challenger will enable you to professionally clean wall-to-wall carpeting, area rugs, as well as various types of tile floors Plus you will receive a tool for the low-moisture cleaning both carpeted stairs and upholstery, using a method that won’t leave your customer waiting days for everything you’ve cleaned to dry out.
There are other costs, of course, to keep in mind. Perhaps foremost among these is the cost of marketing your new service. Since the internet has become the most used method for both marketing as well as locating almost any kind of service, the more tech-savvy you are in this area means the less money you will have to spend for others to set up and operate internet marketing methods for you. This should be an incentive for anyone starting a business in any field to do some research, some homework in such techniques as SMM (social media marketing),
SEO (search engine optimization), and PPC (pay per click). Or, on a super-low budget, kick start your business the way I did. Print up some fliers or advertising cards describing what you do, then get these out to the people in your vicinity that you feel would make your best customers. I just went out walking these kinds of neighborhoods, dropping off my literature at homes and business locations. And before I knew it, I was getting phone calls from some of these people.
If you’re looking for how to start a carpet cleaning business you can check out my previous post here.