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How to Start a Carpet Cleaning Business in 5 Simple Steps [2023 Update]

Starting a carpet cleaning business or side hustle can be an exciting and rewarding endeavor.

However, not knowing what to do and where to begin can be a barrier to some aspiring entrepreneurs.

If you’re feeling confused about how to start a carpet cleaning business, no worries! This in-depth and comprehensive guide will show you some straightforward steps to success.

By the end of this tutorial, you’ll know the full process, requirements, associated costs, and impressive benefits of establishing a company in this profitable and in-demand industry.

How Profitable Is Owning a Carpet Cleaning Business?

Carpet cleaning businesses are one of the most lucrative and sought-after start-ups in today’s market.

Industry data from Strong Carpet Cleaning Systems indicate that many independent carpet cleaners earn $75 to $150 per hour.

This adds up to around $200,000 per year.

In this fast-paced economy, the majority of establishments and residences outsource their cleaning and sanitation tasks.

This growing demand, combined with stricter hygiene standards, led to a wider client base and increased profitability.

This type of business is also less expensive to maintain and requires minimal investment with high rates of return.

The cost of supplies for each job can be as little as 5% of the total price.

This results in a 95% profit margin for business owners.

What You’ll Need to Start a Carpet Cleaning Business [& Associated Costs]

One of the many advantages of a carpet cleaning business is the minimum capital and requirements needed to get started.

Before you take on your first customer, you’ll need to secure the following essentials:

  • Business Bank Account: Creating a designated bank account for revenues and expenses will typically cost $25 or higher, depending on your chosen bank.
  • Advertisements and Promotional Materials: Methods of promoting your business can range from TV ads to social media posts. Associated costs run from $5 upwards.
  • Cleaning Equipment: Professional carpet cleaning wands, vacuum cleaners, water tanks, and hoses have an associated cost of $500 to $2,000.
  • Cleaning Supplies and Solutions: Common carpet cleaning supplies, such as rubber gloves, carpet shampoo, and stain removers, can cost around $200 to $400 per month.

Do I Need a License or Certificates to Start a Carpet Cleaning Business?

In the United States, you’ll need to comply with several licensing and certification requirements for your carpet cleaning business.

They vary at the federal, state, and local levels, but commonly requested permits include legal entity formation documents, business name registrations, general business licenses, and tax permits.

As for certificates, most states require a Certificate of Occupancy (CO) for commercial building operations.

Related: Find inspiration instant inspiration with our list of names for a cleaning business.

Why You Should Consider Starting a Carpet Cleaning Business as a Side Hustle

Carpet cleaning fits the criteria of an ideal side hustle—it’s profitable, in demand, and relatively easy to learn.

Here are several major benefits of starting a carpet cleaning business as your next side hustle:

  • Freedom and Flexibility: Carpet cleaning allows you to choose your preferred working hours, clients, pricing plans, and service area.
  • Low Barriers to Entry: You’ll only need a small amount of capital, several cleaning materials, and a few employees to start this business.
  • Steady Supply of Clients: Carpet cleaning is a repetitive service that’s needed in most schools, homes, and offices during the entire year.
  • Unlimited Growth Opportunities: You’re free to offer more services, take on new clients, and expand your carpet cleaning coverage anytime.

How to Start a Carpet Cleaning Business in 5 Simple Steps

Establishing a successful carpet cleaning business takes a fair amount of planning, commitment, and resources.

If you’re ready to take on the challenge, you can kickstart your venture with these essential steps:

1. Develop a Business Plan

business plan image - for how to start a carpet cleaning business post

Behind every lucrative business lies a comprehensive and well-executed business plan.

As a business owner, it’s your responsibility to create a vision for your company and steer it in that direction.

Start by identifying your target market, areas of operation, and estimated revenue and expenses per month.

It would be useful to consider your starting number of employees and a possible office venue, too.

You’ll need to determine the exact type of services you’ll offer as well.

Some carpet cleaning companies provide upholstery cleaning and mattress cleaning as additional services.

Note that obtaining a carpet cleaning franchise is also a viable option at this stage.

2. Obtain a Business License and Cleaning Certifications

After planning, the next crucial step would be to secure an official license for your new business.

Drop by your city or state’s local offices to submit the requirements and pay the fees for initial business registration.

Another important step would be to gain the necessary training, experience, and certifications for professional carpet cleaning.

This process ensures that you’re capable of providing top-tier service using the best industry practices.

The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification is among the many organizations that offer carpet cleaning certifications, such as:

  • Carpet Cleaning Technician
  • Commercial Carpet Maintenance Technician
  • Rug Cleaning Technician

3. Get Business Insurance

Cleaning injuries, client complaints, and property damage are among the risks that your carpet cleaning company is vulnerable to.

Protect yourself from unexpected losses and possible bankruptcy by getting an insurance plan for your small business.

General liability insurance is a common type of business insurance.

It covers attorney fees, court costs, medical fees, and other expenses related to workplace accidents and impairment of clients’ property.

You can also avail of other types of insurance to protect your business-owned vehicles, major equipment, and office building.

4. Prepare Your Carpet Cleaning Equipment

Invest in good quality and reliable cleaning tools, supplies, and equipment to allow your employees to perform their best work.

 Here are several items to add to your carpet cleaning kit:

  • Stain removal solution, rug shampoo, or any other carpet cleaning chemical
  • Carpet cleaning machines, such as carpet wands and steam carpet cleaners
  • Deodorizers, air scrubbers, carpet rakes, and other cleaning supplies

5. Promote Your Carpet Cleaning Company

After successfully completing all of the previous steps, you’re all set to serve your first customer!

One of the most effective ways to promote your company would be through emails, digital advertisements, and social media posts.

Don’t underestimate the power of your family members, close friends, coworkers, and relatives in spreading the news about your services.

Partnering with your local community and other businesses via sponsorships and promos is another way to gain traction and attract clients.

Things to Consider When Building a Carpet Cleaning Business

Every carpet cleaning business owner must consider the following key aspects when starting their own venture:

Can You Run a Carpet Cleaning Business by Yourself? 

Yes, a one-person carpet cleaning business is possible for business owners who prefer not to hire additional staff.

This alternative is advisable for start-ups with a manageable client base and workload.

It allows the owner to reinvest the majority of revenues back into the business without having to deduct employee expenses.

Funding and Financial Matters

Good business credit allows your company to borrow funds to purchase supplies, pay loans, or expand your facilities.

You can improve this aspect by opening a business bank account and monitoring your credit score.

Other financial matters to consider are your company’s tax obligations and pricing for every square foot of clean carpet.

Choice of Cleaning Methods

Decide on the specific cleaning techniques you’d like to use in your business. Carpet shampooing, steam cleaning, dry carpet cleaning, and encapsulation are a few popular options.

Another related consideration would be your choice of cleaning solutions and whether you’ll offer additional services like inspection cleaning and floor cleaning.

INSPIRATION: Carpet Cleaning Business Ideas

Here’s a list of promising business ideas to try:

  • Residential Carpet Cleaning: This business specializes in disinfecting carpets in bedrooms, bathrooms, and other places to find house cleaning jobs. Focusing on these clients can lead to repeat customers and popularity due to word-of-mouth publicity.
  • Commercial Carpet Cleaning: A growing number of restaurants, hospitals, and hotels require regular carpet cleaning to adhere to sanitation standards. Some establishments will hire your business on a contract basis, leading to long-term profits.
  • Airbnb Carpet Cleaning: Airbnb-focused cleaning services, such as carpet cleaning for cabins, can be lucrative if your business is servicing a tourist destination. You can expect multiple cleaning jobs per week, depending on the arrival of new guests.
  • Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning: Upgrade your carpet cleaning business by offering to sanitize the fabric on clients’ chairs, sofas, and car interiors as well. This add-on provides a second income stream using the same products and equipment.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the most common queries about carpet cleaning:

Is There a Demand for Carpet Cleaners?

Yes, there’s a steadily increasing demand for carpet cleaners because of the improving economy and booming tourism industry.

Home improvement trends and online markets have also contributed to the growing carpet cleaning industry.

Global forecasts for the carpet cleaning service market indicate an expected annual growth of 6.28% from 2022 to 2027.

How Do I Get Clients for Carpet Cleaning?

Social media marketing, promotional products, and TV advertisements are some ways to gain clients for your carpet cleaning business.

You can also sponsor local events, create attention-grabbing posters, and partner with other businesses to increase popularity.

Another option is to develop an official website where potential customers can access testimonials and order forms.

Similar Businesses to Consider Starting

If a carpet cleaning business doesn’t appeal to you, there are plenty of other well-paying business ideas to try.

Consider the following similar ventures:

Wrapping Up

There you have it! Now you know the key considerations, related costs, and essential steps on how to start a carpet cleaning business from scratch.

We hope this tutorial has satisfied your curiosity and answered your queries about this promising venture.

As the carpet cleaning industry grows over time, so do the opportunities for unlimited earnings, workplace flexibility, and business expansion.

All you have to do to reap these rewards is to take the first step!

If you have any comments, feel free to leave them in the comment section below.

Don’t forget to share this article if you like it!

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