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4 Reasons to Get Serious About Cleaning Commercial Carpet

commercial-cleaningWe spend the entire Value Added Service for Technicians class (VAST) I teach discussing the Emotional Dynamics of cleaning for a residential customer, usually a woman. And yet as much as I love residential, I have to admit that commercial work offers some serious advantages to a carpet cleaner.

There is no question that cleaning commercial carpet is certainly different (and in some ways much easier) than residential.  However as we teach in the Strategies for Success seminar, it still comes down to building relationships by providing Value Added Service. So if you’re not tapping in to the commercial market yet here are a few reasons to strongly consider it.

  1. Steady income. True, not all businesses will have their carpets professionally cleaned. But statistics prove by far that more businesses will have their carpets professionally cleaned than will residential homeowners. As SFS instructor Chuck Violand (more about Chuck) always says, “I’d rather have 40 nice commercial accounts than work for 400 residential customers.”  Of course you can have both if you want to!
  2. More profitable. With commercial carpet cleaning you can explore faster and more economical methods of cleaning, such as encapsulation. True, you’ll still need your portable or truck-mount for an occasional hot water extraction flush.  But for the interim maintenance (where you really make money!) you can use equipment like the Cimex, Procaps or even a standard 175 rpm buffer. It’s nothing to average 2,000-3,000 sq. ft. per hour when using encapsulation type cleaning. Do the math! Even at very low per square foot prices you can make a killing!
  3. No slow season. In many parts of the country residential carpet cleaning comes to a screeching halt in the winter. With commercial work you’ll probably be even busier in the winter! Businesses need to have their carpets maintained all year long. When the snow, rain and muck start piling up it’s essential to have these customers set up a maintenance program to keep their carpets looking great all year long.
  4. It’s almost too easy! With commercial carpet cleaning it comes down to 2 simple things. Do WHAT you say you’re going to do. And do it WHEN you say you’re going to do it!  No touchy feely stuff as the Emotional Dynamics are much less complicated. Sure, in addition to a smile you’ll need to wear a clean crisp uniform with neat, well maintained equipment. (That’s where Jon-Don can help). Even better, unlike residential customers, commercial customers are so busy most don’t have time to nitpick your work. They just want their carpets cleaned at a reasonable cost. Once they hand the job over to you they can concentrate on their more important duties.

Don’t be fooled though. Even with commercial carpet cleaning customers it still comes down to building relationships. However, you’ll be cleaning more square footage AND you’ll be cleaning it more frequently. Plus, you’ll be using equipment that’s faster, easier and less expensive to operate. Which means you’ll have more fun and make more money!  What’s not to like?

Jeff Cutshall
VAST Instructor (get info on upcoming VAST classes)

PS:  Almost every carpet cleaner I talk with would like more contract commercial carpet cleaning.  and yet many don’t DO ANYTHING about it!  Steve Toburen has come up with a great solution for you- a step-by-step program on how to sell commercial contract cleaning.  Even better, his Report is FREE!

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7 Responses to 4 Reasons to Get Serious About Cleaning Commercial Carpet

  1. dkeech January 15, 2010 at 1:41 PM #

    I’ve never approached commercial accounts just because I’m a lone o/o with kids and a working wife. I don’t think I could pull off working at night, but it seems like I need to do that to grow. How do other people handle this?

    Dan
    Carpet Cleaning Raleigh

  2. Jeff Cutshall January 16, 2010 at 1:48 PM #

    Dan,
    You are right. There are numerous benefits to pursuing commercial. But as an owner operator you have to decide if that’s the direction you want to go. It’s certainly tough working day and night though! That may not be a problem if you just dabble in commercial but if you go after it seriously you’ll need some help. I’d recommend hiring an employee to do the late night commercial stuff

    Remember though, Dan, that there’s a lot of commercial that can be done during the day (can you sacrifice one Sunday a month to start?) and much depends on the type you pursue. As on owner operator you may be a little concerned about turning over your “bread and butter” customers to an employee at this point but remember that new commercial accounts aren’t necessarily expecting you to show up to do the work. Plus with commercial work you don’t need to hire an extrovert “Value Added” personality type of employee. Just someone honest and dependable!

    I know in your Strategies for Success seminar Steve talked about the challenges of having employees but I tell ya, there’s nothing better than to be able to go on vacation, spending the evening with your family (or even sleeping), knowing that the money is still rolling in! Since you probably already have the infrastructure in place to run your business it may not be as difficult as your think to establish some regular commercial contract work.

    Jeff
    PS Uh-oh, I’ve been hanging around Toburen too long. Now I am doing P.S.’s too! Anyway, Dan, I know you feel like you are at a crossroads in your business and your life. Remember that having regular CONTRACT commercial work will add enormous value to the eventual sale of your business.

  3. dkeech January 17, 2010 at 9:30 AM #

    Thanks Jeff–I think it will be a necessary addition. I’ll find a way to make it work.

  4. Steve Toburen January 24, 2010 at 10:22 AM #

    Dan,
    If you look under “Resources” on this site and then in both “Special Reports” and also under “Practical Paperwork” you will find lots of procedures and paperwork to both sell and produce commercial work.

    Steve

    PS Remember that commercial work is virtually a separate business from residential. Different buying motives, different image, different procedures. The only thing they have in common is a scrub wand! Actually, with encapsulation and the Cimex machine even that isn’t true. Hey, Cutshall, how about an instructor’s Blog post about encapping with a Cimex???

  5. Steve Toburen January 24, 2010 at 7:55 PM #

    I admire your dedication to your family, Dan. However, don’t forget that many commercial jobs don’t need to be done late at night. For example, we did many of our restaurants that didn’t open early for breakfast at 6 or 7 AM. and don’t forget that many offices are closed on the weekends. So to pick up another 3,000.00 to 4,000.00 guaranteed monthly would you be willing to sacrifice one Saturday and one Sunday per month? Up to you and thanks for your participation here. We need more like you!

    Steve

  6. dkeech January 25, 2010 at 4:56 PM #

    I would certainly be willing to do that. However, I’m a little concerned about running around looking for commercial business when I have such limited availability to perform the work. I also have to figure out what it costs me to do that work, and so on.

    As for participation, I honestly forgot all about this website until you emailed an update to the Operations Manual. You post on the message boards so frequently, you should advertise this site in your signature.

    Dan
    Fiber Clean Carpet Cleaning of Raleigh

  7. cleanex January 26, 2010 at 5:34 PM #

    Commercial work is the lifeblood of our business. We have a commercial crew that works every night for 5 or 6 hours and all day Saturday every week of the year. This sure makes it a lot easier to plan our expenses as we all know that here in the great white north the residential side of our business has a few months of very little activity.

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