Question: Can I be more than an “owner-operator” carpet cleaner even in a small town?
Answer: YES! But you can’t depend only on residential carpet cleaning!
I see in your website bio that you built a 1.3 million dollar a year cleaning business in a town of 30,000 people. Great! So my question is can this be done without flood/fire work and did you stay within your 30,000 population area? So why do I ask?
Because my population is exactly 30,000 people too and the next nearest real ‘town’ is 300 miles away! Even our local big name franchise players here don’t have a real year round business, but rather super sporadic depending on floods/fires for the vast majority of their profits.
My basically owner-operated carpet cleaning company does about 100k per year with about 1/2 in rentals and 1/2 in homes spread over a large area. (It can easily be 20-30 minutes drive between appointments.) Even worse, Steve, I’m getting older and tired!
So Steve, is it even possible to build what you call a Critical Mass business with employees where I live? Can it be done with seasonal (non experienced) folks? (My worry is by the time I get them IICRC certified I will have to lay them off.)
My wife and I plan on attending SFS this year, Steve. But before I make the investment are my goals reasonable?
Scratchin’ my Head in Montana
Yes! You absolutely can build a business that will give you Personal Freedom in a small population market base. If I did it anyone can! But it will take work!
We did about 30% of the our 1.3 million gross (in today’s dollars) in residential, 30% was in regular contract commercial and 40% in restoration. In essence we were doing $680,000.00 per year without any fire or water restoration!
NOTE: I know you may not like restoration. BUT small to medium sized residential water losses are the fastest and easiest money out there. Can you do it without flood restoration? Sure. It will just be harder. Your call. And yes, except for a few restoration losses we stayed in our 30K population base.
So yes, Scratchin’, it is possible to build a “real business” in your small town. The key will be:
- Regular commercial contract work which serves as a base income. Here is the Report you need to orient yourself on commercial work which is a whole new beast!
- Residential pre-paid “Stay Beautiful” contracts which will even out your work load and more importantly give you a stable year-round cash flow.
- If you want to make life easier on yourself, start marketing to plumbers/property managers and insurance agents with water damage restoration services.
And hey! Don’t be intimidated by the big franchise cleaners. IF you decide to enter water damage restoration (not fire which is a whole new ball game!) just get educated and go for it. The profits on just your first few losses will more than pay for your initial water mitigation equipment. Plus the Emotional Dynamics of restoration techniques we teach in SFS will zoom you past your competition!
BTW, so it appears you are thinking about bringing the missus with you to SFS. PLEASE do so! Our members who attend with their spouse, partner, manager or key people implement MUCH more than those who come to SFS solo!
See you soon!