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How to start a carpet cleaning business

How to start a carpet cleaning business

If you’ve got a bit of an eye for a clean floor, love the thought of being your own boss or already have experience in the cleaning field then starting a carpet cleaning business could be a lucrative opportunity for you.

How to start a carpet cleaning business

The way we live and work has evolved hugely in recent years and it has certainly been a long time coming. With the introduction of work from home or hybrid office models, 4-day work weeks and greater flexibility regarding part time work and how we manage a work/life balance, opportunities to take on a side-hustle, upskill or switch careers have never been more abundant.

One industry that has seen huge growth in recent years is cleaning. Due to the flexible nature of the work and ability to control the amount taken on, cleaning businesses ranging from windows and guttering to ovens, carpets and domestic services have been popping up all over the UK.

So, if you’ve got a bit of an eye for a clean floor, love the thought of being your own boss or already have experience in the cleaning field then starting a carpet cleaning business could be a lucrative opportunity for you.

Carpet cleaning, whether domestic or commercial is in high demand and this type of job can be done on a part-time or full-time working basis - offering a fully scalable opportunity. So, as an outsider, amateur or seasoned professional how do you go about starting out on your own? This blog takes a look at some of the key things to consider when looking to start your own carpet cleaning business.

Do your research

Before doing anything, it is vital to fully research the market to gauge demand for your services in your geographical areas as well as determine the competition. Look at what other businesses are offering, their online presence and marketing strategies and how they’re pricing themselves. This will help set the groundwork as you become more familiar with the type of services you want to offer and if there is a gap in the market for a particular way of cleaning. It will also help to understand the level of work involved to get up and running as well as maintain your business as it grows.

Build a loveable brand

Once you have researched and decided your areas of specialism it’s time to create your brand. The brand shouldn’t just be a name you call yourself and a clever graphic but also your tone of voice, how you position yourself on the market, your ethos and personality. Will you be eco and pride yourself on sustainability or share your heritage as a family business servicing a specific area. This part of the process really helps to define your route and set you apart. If you don’t have much experience in this area or are looking for starting points then there is some great software out there to get started such as Canva or various AI tools to help generate a name and slogan based on your requirements.

Research, try out and buy your equipment

Once you have decided on the services you want to offer. Be it deep cleaning, general maintenance or more specialist services you will need to invest in the right machines and products to carry out the work. With so many options on the market you will need to do your research. For help and advice on specific machines and solutions there are plenty of forums out there where you can ask for advice from seasoned professionals. Generally, its best to not over buy equipment when starting out as you can always add additional services at a later stage. When being new to market it is often easiest to have a clear service and proposition that sets you apart rather than multiple options trying to appeal to all audiences.

Under equipment you will also need to think about transport, uniform, business stationary and other items to help you in your work. 

Get the appropriate training and certifications

Although there is no requirement for certification in regard to carpet cleaning you will still want to be the best you can be so it is well worth joining courses to learn about specific cleaning skills, keep up to date with new technologies and understand how to treat and clean different carpet and flooring types. Joining a trade body, such as the National Carpet Cleaners Association is a great way to gain access to training, networking events, help and advice from likeminded professionals and establish yourself early on as a trustworthy business. It is also a great idea to buy off cuts of different carpets and purposely stain them with everyday soils to test methods and techniques for removal. This will help you narrow down the products you use and take with you to cleaning tasks as in most cases, many products on the market such as carpet spot remover or biological cleaning solutions are multipurpose.

Determine your pricing

To determine your pricing you need to first look at all your operating costs and then market demand and the competition. You always want to ensure your prices are competitive whilst at the same time generate a good profit.  Some businesses advertise their prices based on rooms but one downside of this is yes it might generate enquires and get you a few jobs but each living room, or bedroom, is different from house to house. It also depends on the level of soiling, the carpets you are working with and how much furniture needs to be removed. See what the competition are pricing and match this up against what it costs you. This will help generate simple guide prices for quoting.  It also always pays to upsell. Going to a property to clean one room will probably not be worth your time so if you can offer special offers or discounts on additional rooms it’ll make the job worthwhile.

When quoting it is also good to get an idea from the customer about the types of soiling and to always manage expectations. It is far better to over deliver rather than underwhelm at a job so never promise all stains and soils can be removed.

Develop a marketing plan

Having a business website is essential so that should be one of the first things to get up and running. Ensure it is easy to find, well optimised and speaks to your target market. Start building up social profiles too where you can showcase your before and after cleans as well as engage with your audience. Once you’ve started cleaning encourage people to leave reviews as this will be a huge source of new business. Sign up to various directories and service websites and get listed on local listings pages.

Direct marketing also helps depending on the services you’re offering. This could be from contacting companies, Air bnb properties or letting agents direct to offer your services to leaflet dropping and attending tradeshows and exhibitions. Other options to consider are affiliate marketing agreements working with a local tradesperson, carpet fitter or other cleaning service to recommend you and vice versa. Paid ads like Google AdWords are also a quick and easy option but they can eat into your profit due to high competition and wasted clicks. As with any marketing strategy, test and analyse everything.

Get insurance and register your business

Things don’t always go to plan so it is always important to get the right level of insurance and protection to cover you and your business if a clean doesn’t go as expected, anything is damaged, or your equipment is lost or stolen. You'll also need to register your business name and set up with HMRC how you'll be arranging tax (i.e self assessment). Depending how much your business makes you'll also need to register for VAT (the threshold is currently £85,000 + turnover). A good accountant or legal professional can help you navigate this area or there are some easy guides on setting up as a sole trader on the website

Provide excellent service 

You’re all set up, you have enquiries coming in and jobs booked. Now all you need to do is delight customers with your cleans and provide excellent customer service. You’ll soon find the positive reviews start to rack up and referrals start to come in as your customers become your biggest ambassadors.

Ready to start a carpet cleaning business? 

At Envirodri we specialise in dry carpet cleaning technology which helps to give carpet cleaning businesses a competitive edge. This innovative way of cleaning carpets requires no water so carpets can be cleaned and put back into immediate use. Your customers do not have to wait for floors to dry, avoid using rooms or worry about the risk of damp smells and odours. 

As a process that works well as both spot cleaning and deep cleaning, and, due to the versatile equipment used can be performed in tight spaces, on raised flooring or in hard to access rooms, dry carpet cleaning as a service is becoming more and more in demand. 

To discuss the introductory packages and on-going support we can offer your business, please contact us and we will be happy to help.