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“How can I build up carpet cleaning in my janitorial business?”

Good afternoon, Steve,

I purchased a carpet cleaning and janitorial business about 2 ½ years ago. Since then I have built up the janitorial part of my business. However the carpet cleaning side has stayed flat. I would like to take it to the next level and appreciate your articles and Special Reports. What I’m lacking are a few simple things to get me started.

First thing is a work order form. Do you have anything like that or is it best to create a work order from scratch? I would like to use these first to have the customer and the tech know what is expected and second a way to ensure proper follow up with my customers. I have searched all over the SFS website and in the Practical Paperwork section but have not found anything. Unless I just missed it somewhere!  Can you help me? Thanks very much.

Looking To Grow My Business in San Diego

Dear Looking,

I’m pleased that you are focusing on the carpet cleaning side of your business.  You will find it is a great and very synergistic mix with your existing janitorial accounts.  In fact, in Jon-Don’s SFS seminar I call the combination of a) residential carpet cleaning, b) restoration work and c) commercial carpets/janitorial the perfect “Three Legged Stool” of our industry.  One leg supports the other!  Plus you will find carpet cleaning accounts provide a much higher profit margin and lower labor costs than janitorial.

I am going to send you a sample work order form from the SFS seminar workbook.  Feel free to use any ideas from it or send me any questions you have. However…

I may be going out on a limb here but my guess (and it is only a guess) is that your challenge is much greater than the need for a sample Work Order.  May I humbly suggest that you stop and “Begin with the end in mind“?  (Right now, two years in to your business is the perfect time to do this!)  In other words, right now think about where you want your business to take you?  Some thoughts for you:

1.  How long do you want to run your company?  When do you want to “cash out” and sell it?  Or do you want to transfer it to your children? The answers should affect what you do now.  (Even though I recognize you may just want to be paying the next grocery bill!)

2.  How big do you want to get?  Set a goal both on number of employees, net profit and WHEN you want to achieve these goals.  Too many cleaners just sort of lurch through life and never achieve the true potential of this industry!

3.  What market sectors are you going to attack?  Too many cleaners are unfocused and try to do too many things (and be all things) all at once.  Here’s an idea …

May I suggest you piggy back off of your commercial accounts and experience and first go after the regular commercial carpet cleaning area?  In fact, you may find this part of the industry so easy and profitable you may never diversify into residential cleaning and that is OK!  If you are going to get serious about commercial I STRONGLY suggest you check out the Cimex Cyclone and encapsulation technology.

In fact, our VAST instructor, Jeff Cutshall, runs a commercial carpet cleaning company on the side and here is what he says about the Cimex.  Jeff owns 5 or 6 Cimexes and has crews running them 24-7.  (He recently told me he hardly ever uses his truck mount any more!)

If you like this idea I would highly recommend you download Jeff’s free Special Report on “How to Build Commercial Encapsulation Routes”.  I love this concept simply because you can build a multi-employee company with high net profits BUT with virtually no fixed overhead!

Of course, Looking, the fly in the ointment with the “encap route” idea is you need the “fire in the belly” to get out there and SELL!  Sadly, most carpet cleaners just can’t seem to muster up the will to do this on a REGULAR BASIS!  Instead, they engage in “binge selling” which of course never works long term.

I share a simple system that works for anyone (even a solo owner-operator) on how to get regular contract commercial accounts in this free Special Report. (The tactics also works great for selling janitorial accounts.  In fact, you can sell both on the same sales call!)

Finally (I don’t want to overwhelm you!) once you do get in the door of a prospective commercial account you are faced with “what do I say?” challenge!!!  Instead of doing the usual “blathering on about how great I am” sales pitch just ask the prospect if you can quickly interview them to “find the best solution for your maintenance challenges”.  (This is Sales Training 101- “involve the prospect”)  Do this with the SFS Commercial Carpet Analysis form.  Download the CCA form for free right here.

Let me know how you are doing, Looking, and I gotta tell you the Strategies for Success seminar would be a huge kick in the pants for your success.  But if you just can’t make it to SFS right now Jon-Don and our SFS team will keep helping you through this website!

Steve Toburen

PS  I don’t have all the answers, Looking.  But my guess is our thousands of SFS website users do!  So please, all of you readers chime in with your ideas for Looking in the comments section below.

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