Startup Costs: $2,000 - $10,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Franchises Available? Yes
Online Operation? No
Here's how it happens--the kids get a little carried away with the Kool-Aid, dad tracks in dirt from the garden, and the dog doesn't quite make it to the backyard for his morning romp. And all of a sudden, the battle of the dirt transforms that pretty beige carpet into one ugly mud puddle. Those rentable carpet shampooers down at the supermarket don't really do a professional job and the in-laws are coming to visit in a week. And now that you look, your sofas have somebody's chocolate fingerprints on them plus a nice film of smoke from the time you burned the burgers under the kitchen broiler. If you like putting the spring back in a carpet's fibers and making dingy upholstered furniture clean and bright, you can save the day--and clean up profits in the process--with a carpet and upholstery cleaning service. All you need to get started is some experience with carpet- and upholstery-cleaning machines and the basic skills to operate them safely and effectively, plus the marketing know-how to make your own spot in the field.
Your customers can come from both residential and commercial sectors. Apartment and rental property owners and managers make good target markets because people are always moving in and out, and even the tidiest tenant leaves carpeting in need of cleaning. You can also target real estate agents who may have vacant or lived-in properties that need a good shampoo to put their best feet forward. Visit these businesspeople and leave your card or brochure, call and introduce yourself and your services, or initiate a direct-mail campaign. Advertise to residences through coupon mailers, offering specials like a discount for one room if you do two or more.
As a carpet/upholstery cleaner, you'll need a good steam, rotary or dry-cleaning system, a commercial-grade vacuum cleaner, and of course, lots of shampoos, stain removers and stain guards, along with a sturdy vehicle to cart it all around in. You can also invest in a polo or good-quality T-shirt with your company name on it to lend a professional image.