What kind of carpet cleaning business income is possible? The average income for a carpet cleaning technician is around $32,000. A solo technician could make $20,000 - $30,000, working for an outfit such as Stanley Cleaner or another similar business. As a solo carpet-cleaning service owner, you can earn somewhere between $50,000 - $75,000 per year, on average. The service charges roughly three to four times the amount the technician makes. However, as the owner of a carpet cleaning service that is scaled large enough, billable accounts would be in the millions. The owner would pull in a salary somewhere up in the hundreds of thousands-plus. It depends on how you scale the business over time. But a majority of carpet cleaners make about $50,000 per year.
Over the first three years in operation, here is a reasonable income trajectory for a carpet-cleaning business owner:
1st year - $35k
2nd year - $50k
3rd year - $75k
After about the third year your company would hit the scaling challenge. This is the point at which your business would benefit from expansion. You would take on more accounts, hire additional crew members, and send out multiple crews to work on multiple accounts, simultaneously. To do this, you would begin to phase out of doing the jobs yourself (or with a helper) and start phasing in the additional crew members. This is easier said than done. You might even experience a dip in income at first as your business navigates this risky switchover.
As you can see, the structure of your business plan greatly effects the income potential of your carpet cleaning business. It's critical to have a flexible enough structure to work well in the early stages, yet strong enough to support and facilitate expansion, as your business grows.
Scale from the beginning
Another option that works well depending on the amount of startup funds you are dealing with, is to grow a large-scale business right at the start. Scaling up the business right from the outset requires a significant amount of investment money. You will need enough money to not take much of a salary for up to six to nine months. But, within the first year you could be earning a positive cash flow of $50,000+ and it would be feasible to start scaling your second year in business.
You can package together additional services for your customers. This technique of value-adding will increase your billing noticeably, and is one of the keys to doubling your money, as compared to the discount rate services, or not charging a per-room fee.
Value adding can include discounted packages, for example:
If you are running a solo operation or a small operation with just a few helpers, market your service as an upscale, “quality” service, as opposed to a "quantity" service. You will actually make more money doing less work. The quantity model only works if you are going to run multiple crews.
Here is a common progression:
You will notice that your job changes dramatically at the point where you are no longer a crew member, and instead take on the role of crew-manager and marketer of your business. These tasks take much more specialized skills than were needed when you were a cleaning crew member. Some people make this transition well, and others find they do not like taking on these new roles in the business. This is why so many carpet cleaning services stay small.
If making loads of money is your goal, then pursue and develop the professional skills that are required, such as employee management, communication, and sales skills. You will only work as a solo-cleaning professional as part of a temporary yet necessary process as you work your way into becoming the business manager.
Start as a management team
Find two partners with whom you want to launch the business. Ideally, you will partner with an experienced sales representative, and a business manager. You will oversee the on-job operations, quality of the service, and your company's brand-reputation in the community.
Read more about increasing carpet cleaning business income.