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Two carpet cleaning techs instead of a solo employee?

Sure, the downside of two techs on a truck is obvious- an extra employee “dead-heading” during travel time!  But the advantages are compelling …

Create a more secure atmosphere for the home owner by putting two employees on a carpet cleaning truck.  Instead of being alone with a single tech (usually male) in their home residential clients (usually female) just feel more comfortable with two employees.  Plus with two techs you have a witness in the event of an assault or theft accusation.

I’ve been preaching the two-person crew concept for a long time. There are so many advantages. Two techs mean faster production, better morale, (carpet cleaning is brutally HARD physical work) more flexibility and higher sell-ups because the job can go on while one tech focuses on the home owner. And as noted above, customers are quite correctly more concerned about their personal security than ever before. So much so I would even advertise running two-person crews as a “differentiation factor” to separate my company from my competition!

NOTE:  Another huge advantage with two-person crews is always having a “crew chief in training” in the event of an employee quitting or if you want to add another truck.

We would usually have two techs on most trucks with one van manned by a single employee out doing spotting calls, empty apartments and other small jobs. Plus I always tried to have one back-up unit just sitting at the office to take care of those highly profitable “I just have to have it done today” calls.  With two people on most vans we could usually split a crew up and take care of these highly profitable jobs. (I just HATED sending new prospects to my competition!)  If all the guys were booked solid, the boss would throw on a uniform shirt and go play carpet cleaner!

Steve

P.S: Have you made two-man crews the norm in your company? How have you made it work? Join the conversation by commenting below.

Note: Every week we share a timely, practical tip like the above. So if you’re not already signed up for these weekly QuickTIPS, do so now.

This week’s FOCUS: Be the Leader your business needs

The two BIG responsibilities of a good leader …

How the Mighty Fall- Lessons in avoiding failure

Which type of carpet cleaning business “boat” will you choose to sail on?

Is your cleaning business a “leaky bucket”?

True leaders are willing to take the hit. Are you?

What can carpet cleaners learn from Honda?

Feeding your carpet cleaning troops …

David Gargan discovers “cleaning freedom”!

Download: Avoiding the Road In-Between

Download: The Customer Comes Second

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7 Responses to Two carpet cleaning techs instead of a solo employee?

  1. RandyB April 26, 2011 at 4:46 PM #

    Ok finally something I can comment on and not feel out of place. We are a mobile pressure washing company. I hang out here just to pick-up marketing tips. This two man crew thing is GREAT. It’s two two guys in the truck or it don’t go. First safety, that’s all. Two the comfort factor for the home-owner. Third the whole theft/assault he said she said. Fourth great morale booster. If one guy is having a crappy day he’s got somebody to talk to. And lets face it it just looks cool to see two guys in uniforms working at a jobsite. If routes are planned out well enough the two guys in one truck can do a fair amount of work and be profitable at the same time.
    Randy Borio
    Panther Outdoor Maintenance Services Inc
    815.481.2292

  2. Steve Toburen April 26, 2011 at 5:18 PM #

    No need to feel “out of place’ EVER here at SFS, Randy. Actually a lot of our members do a fair bit of pressure washing. (Even if your primary focus is interior fabrics such as carpets and upholstery pressure washing makes a great add-on sale.)

    And yes, I agree 100% with your analysis. Thanks for chiming in and don’t ever be shy!

    Steve

  3. Supreme Steam NH May 18, 2011 at 5:54 PM #

    I think that a two man crew is the only way to go, unless there is a reason that we would need to split up such as stated in the article. Mostly because of the efficiency, but also because I’ve been at a job before solo and the customer tried to help move things and pull hose haha. This is the LAST thing I want them to do when they are paying me a considerable amount to be there. As our company expands we will continue two men crews with the exception of quotes and stuff like that as we plan to have a solo man go out for evaluations and networking. Carpet cleaning is definitely HARD work and its nice to have the extra man power too.

  4. BurdicksCleaning May 24, 2011 at 3:21 PM #

    We were pretty happy with what John was able to accomplish as a solo gig for many years. Before we became involved in SFS, we thought having a second person was going to be bad for our business in terms of higher costs and overhead for an employee. Why mess with something that is working so well, right?

    It was a car accident that forced us in to hiring an employee. When I was 7 months pregnant with our first, John and I got into a car accident. The baby and I were fine, but John suffered a torn rotator cuff which required surgery. He worked with the injury for about a year before he had to have surgery. The plan was to have someone in place just until he had healed and could go back to doing the work himself.

    We quickly realized that we were going to keep a two man crew. Our average invoice skyrocketed. We attributed it to the fact that John was not rushed and trying to get off to the next job and he actually had time to chat with the customer while the tech was doing the work. He was building trust and a relationship and had the time to up sell and knew that they could handle the add ons right then and not put them behind schedule.

    In addition, we think that subliminally people felt they could add that room they were thinking of doing that had all the large furniture, that they would have never done before because they assumed there was no way John would have been able to move the things himself.

    John is fully recovered, but we have kept a second tech on. After attending SFS and building our business plan to making sure we can handle growth, planning unexpected things that come up that would bring business to a halt if John was the only one on the truck, and taking vacations while our business is still running and making us money, we will never go back to a one man show again. We learned the hard way, but everything Steve says about it in SFS is spot on. Luckily this is one thing from SFS that we didn’t have to go back and implement since we already had a tech in place.

  5. Steve Toburen May 24, 2011 at 6:08 PM #

    As usual, Meg, you are spot on. Running two people is not for everyone. But this site (and the SFS program in general) tries to get people to “think outside of the box”. As always, we are delighted to be you and John’s “partners for success”.

    Steve

    PS This was quite the missive, Meg. I think in the future we’ll need to convert it into one of your justly famous “Front Line Dispatches”. (FYI, in our recent Salem SFS class several mentioned that they are addicted to your dispatches!)

    For those of you who want to know what all the excitement is about just click on “From Our Members” above and then on the “Meg’s Journal” section. You will be glad you did.

  6. BurdicksCleaning May 25, 2011 at 1:50 PM #

    Gee, Steve. Maybe you should think about having me as a guest speaker at future SFS or get me on the circuit ….

    Sometimes I get the itch (and miss my previous life before joining John) for when I got to travel around the country training and interacting with others. Don’t get me wrong….I love what I’m doing now, but it would be a welcomed diversion!

  7. Bill Corridan October 4, 2016 at 9:31 AM #

    Your thoughts on an owner operated, high end residential carpet, rug, and upholstery cleaning business for over 20 years. Virtually have never had a helper with me. Have always felt that my clients appreciated that I was the one performing the work and that they could trust me with their home. Reluctant to bring in anyone as I do not want to change their trust, feelings of not spending enough time in the house… Probably over thinking it for sure. Recently turned 50 and now am thinking more and more about a part time technician.

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