To understand the carpet cleaning industry in Minnesota, it is important to understand the different types of people who start carpet cleaning companies.
- The first is the most common type of carpet cleaning company owner. This is an easy industry to get started in. For as little as a few thousand dollars, anyone can buy a small portable carpet cleaning unit and start charging their friends, family, and acquaintances to clean their carpets. These are often people who have either been laid-off or have quit their jobs, and want to be their own boss. Despite the best of intentions, carpet cleaning is easy to get into but very hard to succeed at. The term, “fly-by-night” is used quite often in this industry for this reason. Sometimes the very qualities that made them want to be their own boss, are the same qualities that keep them from succeeding on their own.
- Second is the investor. Investors have the money to start a carpet cleaning company. They might be a lawyer, dentist, real estate mogul, etc. They intend on starting a company, watching it grow through mass-advertising, and then selling it off. This can be successful for the purpose of profit, but causes very poor quality-control since they don’t intend on being around when the complaints start coming in. It then becomes the next owner’s job to try to fix the problems caused by the original owners.
- Third are the franchises. Someone who invests in a company with the pure intention of having a successful business. The franchise, however, takes their cut whenever they can, leaving the owners of the franchise the need to find profits where they can. These tend to be heavy marketing companies that stress sales at all cost. It is very common to see the crew chief go an entire day without touching a carpet cleaning wand because he is too busy selling to the customer, while his assistant does the cleaning. These companies would classify as sales and marketing businesses more than carpet cleaning companies.
- Finally, is the independent, specialized, carpet cleaning company. This company is started by someone who has experience in the industry, found their niche, and for some reason or another decided to break out on their own doing what they believe they do best. This can be anything from upholstery specialists to commercial carpet cleaning specialists. As with all companies, the goal is to be profitable. However, without the franchise’s hand in their pocket, it is possible to turn a profit without cutting costs or high pressure sales. While not all of these companies live up to their potential however, this is the most likely business owner to find his company both profitable and respected in their field.
One thing I recommend asking when hiring a carpet cleaning company is whether or not the company shares its profits with its employees. This says a lot about the owners of the company. I believe it is both a smart move in motivation and what every business owner should do to be responsible in the community.