When I was given this task to write about how you go about choosing the right machine for your operations, I thought to myself “this is going to be boring.” As I started thinking about it more and more I thought it should really be told in a story form. It would keep it interesting and more people could relate with it. So, I set out to write a short story about my 19 years and how I went about choosing and at times stumbling into finding machines.
After graduation from college with a Bachelors in Marketing, I was faced with a widespread recession. I managed to get a job and start saving for that business I thought I would run one day. Seven months into the job, living with my wife and a roommate in a one bedroom apartment, I managed to save $5,000.00 to start a business.
Back then, there was no Internet. I practically lived in the library researching what kind of business I could start with the little money that I had saved up. There aren’t that many businesses that you can start with the amount of money that I had. Somehow, I narrowed it down to carpet cleaning.
It was really hard back then to get good advice. Today, I would just type in “carpet cleaning supply” on the Internet and 1000’s of results would come up. I knew that I couldn’t really buy a machine that cost more than I had saved up, so I started looking locally for suggestions.
With a little research and a prod from my wife, “if you’re going to do it, then you might as well do it now,” I picked a portable machine for around $3,200.00 and was on my way. Luckily, the machine came with supplies and I had some money still left over for marketing.
I want to keep the focus of this article towards carpet cleaning machines, so I won’t go into too many tangents that are otherwise important but not the focus of this article. I used the machine for a few years and learned a lot more about machines. I learned why truck mounts were better. Mostly better because of the speed they provided the user.
About two to three years into my cleaning career, I started to do two to three jobs a day. I found I was working twelve hour days very often. One night I was cleaning the carpets of a sugar factory. It wasn’t inside the factory, but the adjacent offices where the employees desks and offices were. From the sugar combined with dirt this wasn’t a dream job as you can imagine. It took all weekend to clean what should have taken me a few hours. The results were also not to my liking. So the following Monday I called a salesperson from a local carpet cleaning supply store that was trying to sell truck-mounts to me for a while.
I totally trusted the company and their salesperson. That week, the salesperson came out to my house and did a demonstration. I was impressed with the quality and the speed. For some reason, people had “brainwashed” me to believe that truck-mounts that use hot water extraction, or “steam cleaning” in layman’s terms, over-wet the carpet and that the carpet could get damaged. None of this was true. I could now see myself working less while making the same amount of money. So, I signed on the dotted line and agreed to lease the machine for 60 months for $370.00 a month.
My sales literally exploded after a few months of ownership. I was doing more jobs, I was able to hire help and pay the help well. Within a few months I agreed to lease another unit and in another few years I had five truck-mounted carpet cleaning machines and fourteen employees.
Besides the machines there were other things going right for me as well. My first child was on the way and this gave me a lot more determination to succeed and my Bachelors in Marketing was also a great asset.
Since I decided to write this article in an unconventional way, by telling a story rather then listing pros and cons, I’ll let you draw your own conclusions from my story.
Please feel free to contact me at www.MagicWandCompany.com with any questions you may have.