How Do I Start a Carpet Cleaning Business?

Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari
A professional carpet cleaner.
A professional carpet cleaner.

Before you decide to start a carpet cleaning business, you may want to talk to other carpet cleaners to find out more information about the typical business environment. Try to find out what type of money you can expect to earn, what start up costs you will need to consider, the pros and cons of the job, and so on. Be sure to consider what the cost for equipment will be, and research different ways to fund your start-up business. You will also need to do some market research to find out where the most customers will be; this should be done before you start a carpet cleaning business.

Frieze carpeting.
Frieze carpeting.

Writing a business plan is a very smart move if you intend to start a carpet cleaning business. This plan will outline all your start-up costs, your target markets, your finances, your budget projections, and your long- and short-term goals. Writing such a plan does not have to be excessively difficult, but it will take some time and patience. Community colleges often offer courses on writing business plans, and many websites on the Internet are dedicated to this topic. This is an important step toward success when you intend to start a carpet cleaning business, so even though it is a tedious step, it is one that should not be skipped.

Be sure you are familiar with the carpet cleaning process, and understand that this job can often be quite dirty. You will more than likely spend a significant amount of time building your business, and you can expect to work between five and seven days a week for many hours if you want to be successful. You must, therefore, either be enthusiastic about carpet cleaning or at least able to do it for long periods of time without getting burnt out on the process.

Securing a business loan is one of the most common ways to finance yourself when you start a carpet cleaning business. Bring your business plan with you to the banks or credit unions so you can give your best pitch and show how prepared you are. If you have your own investment capital, be sure to hold yourself to a strict budget to ensure the business is truly profitable. Begin marketing immediately. Think about ways to reach customers who are likely to need carpet cleaning services. This may mean building a website, making up flyers and business cards, or even advertising on the radio or television. Research rates to ensure you are competitive with other carpet cleaning services in the area, and don't be afraid to run promotions every so often.

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Discussion Comments


I read a lot of ideas about starting a carpet cleaning business and am very interested to have one.


Drentel - It sounds like your friend made lemonade out of lemons. If you're going to start a carpet cleaning franchise or business, then you might want to consider doing it in addition to your current job. If you start out small then you can work on weekends and evenings or whenever you aren't working at your main job. This way, you won't be short on money from the start.

Any business usually takes time before it is financially viable. And like the article said, you should make a business plan or at least know what your goals and expectations are.


My friend started his carpet cleaning business one spring when he was unemployed. He had been laid off from a high paying job and was collecting unemployment wages. He thought it was the perfect time to figure out how to start a business.

He read about the many different types of machines and processes used to clean carpet. Once he decided on a machine he used his savings to buy it and he was in business. He had an old pickup that he put magnetic business signs on and that was his work vehicle and his advertising.

Basically, he let people know what he was doing and he got a few jobs, and then word of mouth brought in more business. It was hard work, but he would usually get someone to help him on larger jobs and with two men he could move faster.

He didn't get rich overnight, but he hasn't been laid off since and he has landed a couple large contracts that keep him busy most of the year and then he has his residential customers also.

If you're willing to work and you're good with people, carpet cleaning might be a good business for you to look into. After all, carpet continues to get dirty, so once you get a customer and do a good job you should establish repeat customers.

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    • A professional carpet cleaner.
      A professional carpet cleaner.
    • Frieze carpeting.
      By: Popova Olga
      Frieze carpeting.