Super Size Your Income In One Easy Step

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by Tom Watson on April 25, 2011

When you first start your cleaning business you are happy to just to get a check each month from the customer.

I know how it feels getting that check every thirty days. It’s quite a feeling, one that I never get tired of either.

But after a while you’ll soon realize that you just may be leaving a lot of money on the table each and every month. This “money” I speak of goes uncollected by far too many cleaning businesses.

While many of you are getting paid for taking out the trash, cleaning the bathrooms, vacuuming and the rest of your basic duties, there is a lot more that can be cleaned at virtually every place you are responsible for.

This would include the carpets, as they get dirtier and dirtier each month. Then there is the hard surface floors. This includes any VCT and tile found in many facilities. My question to you is this…

Who’s cleaning them?

If it’s not you, then you better try to change that. This is where the “real” money is made when operating your own cleaning business. Sure you can do just fine doing the basics, but tons of money is sitting out there waiting for you to claim it.

This is the one easy step I was speaking of. You just need to add some services to what you already do, it’s that simple. For instance adding carpet cleaning to your list of services is not that difficult. If you start out small it doesn’t even need to cost all that much money to get into.

Consider the fact that for about $1,200.00 to $1,800.00 you could purchase a nice portable carpet extractor. You may even be able to get one that is much less expensive by looking for a used one. If you are interested in going that route you may want to check out eBay.

When you add carpet cleaning to the mix of services you provide your customers you open doors to all kinds of new work. The great benefit is this added work pays quite well, much more than doing the basic cleaning will.

In many cases you will be able to earn more from carpet cleaning in a few hours than you would make all month doing the basic duties for a customer.

Once you learn the ropes and get a system down, earning $100.00 to $150.00 per hour cleaning carpet is the norm. Making your money back does not take that long when you are making that kind of money per hour.

As far as learning how to clean carpet, it’s not all that difficult. Carpet today is pretty hard to “mess up” from a cleaning perspective. Besides, training classes are available all over the country if you look for them.

I learned how to clean carpet at a series of seminars not too far from where I operate my cleaning business. They were conducted by a company called Jon Don. This company has locations all over the U.S.

In fact, I highly recommend Jon Don. They are a world class company, and you will not be disappointed by them. If you are ever looking to learn how to clean carpet, perform restoration services or any other service they have classes on just check out their training classes schedule.

Earlier I also mentioned adding hard surface floor care to your list of services. Just like carpet cleaning, this speciality is not all that expensive to get into. It basically involves purchasing a floor machine, a few attachments and a wet vac to get started.

This set of equipment opens the door to a variety of services such as stripping & waxing, scrubbing & waxing and routine maintenance to VCT floor surfaces. This equipment should run you roughly the same as the carpet extractor ($1,200.00 to $1,800.00), maybe even a little less.

As you can see, adding a few more services to your company’s repertoire can super size your income is a big way. To fund this process just reinvest your profits at every possible chance and before long you will be making bigger profits than you ever though possible.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Nick Rosamilia May 15, 2011 at 2:23 pm

Hey Tom,

I have a question about another surface. I’ve got a bid coming up on a fitness center where 75% of the floor surface is tumbling mats. Any thing I should watch out for in the bid process? How about cleaning and sanitizing the mats themselves. Any tricks of the trade?


2 Tom Watson May 15, 2011 at 6:09 pm

Hi Nick,

I must admit that my company never cleaned a large fitness center, so I have only limited first hand knowledge. I’ve bid on a quite a few, including a large YMCA, but never landed any. The reason I never closed the deals was probably because I came in too high on my pricing.

My general concerns on bidding a fitness facility would be include the following.

1 – At what time can I get my crew in to clean. Every facility I bid on had crazy hours that resulted in me not being able to clean until very late in the evening. In my experience, the later a crew member was able to start cleaning, the more I had to pay them. The pool of workers looking for evening hours is many, but the later it gets the slimmer the pickings if you know what I mean.

2 – Cleaning bathrooms with showers and lockers could be time consuming. Is the customer willing to pay for this? Some will “say” yes, but their budget will say no. Asking the right questions is key. Try to find out what their current budget is, as that will clue you in on whether or not their expectations match their wallet.

3 – Why are they considering making a change in the cleaners? The issues they raise will be the ones that they hold you accountable for if you get the job, so make sure their problem is solvable.

I do think landing a fitness center is a great gig, as it gives you some exposure in a sense. You can make mention of this when bidding other facilities down the road. Plus cleaning a well known place is a nice little feather in your cap.

I don’t have any specific ideas on cleaning the mats but I would do two things. One, I would ask them if they require the use of a certain product. They may already have something that they use, who knows. Two, and before asking them the first question, I would call a local janitorial supply house to find out what is recommended. Call several until you get an answer. If need be call the makers of the mat itself. In other words do your homework.

Now when you do talk to the potential customer, you have the “knowledge” that makes you look like a solid choice in their mind.

P.S. Pay close attention to the answer you get on cleaning the mats from the vendor. If they take up 75% of the floor, it could take a while to clean properly. Make sure you factor this into the bid.

Hope that helps Nick!

3 Brandon December 8, 2013 at 6:53 pm

Hi Mr. Watson,

Are there any particular commercial properties that has a very high likelihood of having VCT Flooring as their flooring type?

I’m very adept at stripping/waxing floors, but finding a good number of commercial properties that has VCT Flooring has been kind of difficult in the area that I’m in… A lot of businesses either have ceramic or hardwood tile…

4 Tom Watson December 8, 2013 at 7:15 pm

Hi Brandon! Any type of medical facility. That means all types of doctor offices are perfect for you.

5 Brandon December 9, 2013 at 9:54 am

Thank you!

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