3 Things Every Carpet Cleaning Business Owner Should Know
Tips from Chem-Dry, America?s largest carpet cleaning business
Carpet cleaning is an attractive business for entrepreneurs ? it doesn?t cost too much to start, there is good earning potential for even a one-person operation, and there are tens of billions of square feet of carpet in the U.S. that need to be cleaned.
So it?s no wonder that many carpet cleaners are able to make a decent living. But how do you go to the next level? As America?s largest carpet cleaning company and the top-rated carpet cleaner by Entrepreneur magazine, Chem-Dry has been studying the market for 36 years in order to ensure that we offer great support to our franchisees and help them avoid the pitfalls that can hold back independent carpet cleaners.
Here are a few tips that can help you out. If you?d like more, give us a call at 855-811-2436. Chem-Dry has helped dozens of independent carpet cleaners grow by becoming part of the Chem-Dry family, and we?re happy to help you, too.
Tip 1: Invest in internet marketing
The Yellow Pages don?t cut it anymore. To compete effectively with customers, you need to have a good website that is optimized to rank well in search engines, and you need to take advantage of profiles in Google Places, Yelp and other local business listing sites. You should set up a Facebook profile, and you should coordinate all of these pieces into your overall marketing effort. Pay-per-click advertising can also be effective if used judiciously. (If not, it can drain your wallet and produce little return on investment.)
Navigating the online marketing world can be difficult, and hiring an outside expert to handle it for you can be cost prohibitive. Chem-Dry franchisees benefit from training on how to make the best use of their marketing dollars, and can also tap into Chem-Dry?s team of specialists to help them run their online marketing efforts. Chem-Dry?s parent company, Harris Research, keeps a tight focus on ROI for franchisees, and works hard to make sure marketing efforts yield revenue.
Tip 2: Computerize your customer records
Many carpet cleaners conduct their business on paper, with very little data making its way into a computer. We understand ? you?re busy, and you don?t always have time to enter every single order, every payment, and every detail about a customer into a computer at the end of a long day. Truth is, though, good digital records make it much easier to remind your customers and offer them coupons when they might be due for another carpet cleaning, boosting your repeat business and your bottom line.
Chem-Dry makes it easy for franchisees to maintain exceptional customer records by offering a software solution that allows you to use a smartphone or tablet to take customer orders, schedule jobs, create invoices and accept payments ? all of which feeds into a customer database that ensures that you have detailed records of the customers you served, the services you performed, and when you should follow up with that customer. These records not only help franchisees boost their revenue through repeat business, they also enhance the value of their business. When the time comes to sell a business, a thorough, organized customer database is golden ? businesses that have one tend to fetch top dollar. Those that don?t can go for pennies.
Tip 3: If it?s a family business, plan ahead
If you have a family business, it pays to think long-term. While many independent carpet cleaning businesses fail quickly, those that survive often thrive on the business savvy of their founder. But when the founder is ready to retire and pass along the business, the successor?s skills may not be as sharp. That?s when it?s valuable to have someone to call with questions, or a place to turn for support.
Chem-Dry franchisees always have support. For the first year, they work with a quickstart coach who helps them master various aspects of the Chem-Dry business, including all the marketing and business support systems that we have in place to help franchisees grow and to help make it easier to manage their business. After the first year, franchisees are still assigned to a coach who they can turn to for help with any problems or advice about how to run their business more smoothly and make more money. When combined with a network of over 1,100 franchisees in the United States to share ideas and best practices, great support is never far away.
Chem-Dry surveyed its American franchisees last year to ask them how much they make, and 211 franchisees, who own 475 franchise licenses, responded. On average, the revenue per franchisee was $250,297.