Whether it be for homeowners or commercial real estate operators, starting commercial carpet cleaning is a big business. It is one of the most profitable cleaning businesses you should consider if you have what it takes.

However, we won’t be discussing any other thing than showing you how it is done. This is a multi-billion dollar industry that continues to grow.

Reading on, you will find the basic steps to take to realize your dream. We’ve also stripped it of all unproductive strategies and only included those which will be of help in letting you attain your goal.

Starting a Carpet Cleaning Business: New Venture or Buy Franchise?

This question is very crucial to achieving your objective. Finding the right answer requires an inward assessment of what works best for you. We have dwelt more on starting a cleaning business from scratch due to its challenging nature.

Buying a cleaning franchise, on the other hand, is a much easier route when working with a reputable brand.

Certain carpet cleaning franchises have shown themselves to be market leaders. These have thousands of franchises working under their brand name and earning good profits.

Some of the most popular carpet cleaning franchises include Chem-Dry Carpet & Upholstery and Cleaning, Oxi Fresh Carpet Cleaning, Stanley Steemer Carpet Cleaner, and milliCare.

Others are Zerorez, The Cleaning Authority, Heaven’s Best Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning and Corvus Janitorial Systems among many. If you prefer a carpet cleaning franchise, you will be choosing the easy way out.

However, you might not be as profitable as someone who has to build a carpet cleaning business from scratch.

Develop a Business Plan! It’s Important

This point can never be overstressed enough. An entrepreneur having a plan for his carpet cleaning business will perform or do much better than another without a plan. Your plan is your blueprint and helps guide the business.

The good part of having a plan is that it has been planned ahead of time. This has taken into consideration different contingencies or future scenarios.

The result is a well-run business with the capacity to navigate through challenges successfully. Writing a plan isn’t a difficult process. Nevertheless, it needs all the attention it can get. You can use the services of an expert in putting together a solid cleaning business plan.

Get Trained And Certified

Have no carpet cleaning skills removing dirt and red wine stains? No problem! There’s always a way around things. One way is to find someone who’s into carpet cleaning. Ask if he can allow you to assist him on the job (of course you shouldn’t expect to get paid).

This allows you to get crucial on-the-job training.

Another way to get trained is by actually enrolling in an online training program. The TMF Academy provides such training. This is an online program that has all the materials you’ll need to become a successful carpet cleaner.

Work Out Your Budget

Your operational budget is the lifeline of your carpet cleaning business. Getting this worked out in detail will help in no small measure to avoid having money problems. The money at hand may or may not be enough to get started.

If it won’t be enough, you’ll need to find out how much will be sufficient.

Equipment might take a good chunk of your budget in addition to registration and licensing fees. You also need to apply for insurance and this costs money.

What more? Running costs! This is an essential part of doing business.

Your truck or project vehicle will need to be fueled and maintained among other things. Working out your budget lets you cover all areas of your operations.

  • Buy or Lease A Project Vehicle

One of the most essential requirements for carpet cleaning is a vehicle for easy movement. These help out a lot in conveying supplies and equipment.

Nevertheless, their costs can be quite substantial. You’d be lucky to have one. If you don’t, you can either buy one or lease.

Leasing a vehicle for your carpet cleaning business will be less expensive. You should consider this option as it drops your overhead costs significantly.

Choose a Legal Structure

However, you choose to run your carpet business, it must have a legal structure. These are broadly classified as the sole proprietorship, partnership, and the limited liability company.

Under the sole proprietorship structure, there is no distinction whatsoever between personal assets and those belonging to the carpet cleaning business.

As a result, your assets will be at risk of being confiscated or sold should there be a lawsuit instituted. Partnerships are preferable for 2 or more individuals. This could be your spouse, friends or business partners, etc. This type of business structure is great.

However, the problem lies in its makeup. Disagreements may arise which might tear down or cripple the business.

LLCs have become the ideal legal structure for lots of carpet cleaning businesses. This is because liabilities are limited to the business alone. In other words, your assets aren’t exposed. The business itself takes the form of an entity that can be sued.

Before you make up your mind, consider asking for the opinion of a legal expert. Their advice will depend on what you want to achieve with your carpet cleaning business.

Business Registration

All businesses operating within a state must be registered. Except of course sole proprietorship. The registration process includes searching for name availability. It is expected that you must have chosen a name for your carpet cleaning business.

In addition to this, other registration and licensing requirements will be provided by the state’s commerce department.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issues an Employer Identification Number (EIN). This is meant for those businesses having employees. Registration for state taxes is yet another. This covers all businesses operating within a state.

Licenses and permits obtained to enable you to operate freely within your location.

Open A Bank Account

This is necessary for easy bookkeeping. Your carpet cleaning business bank account opening should be considered a priority. The benefits are immense when you make one available. Apart from being beneficial for bookkeeping, having a bank account won’t complicate issues when there’s a lawsuit. It also enables you to keep track of cash flow.

Apply For An Insurance Cover

No serious carpet cleaning business will operate without insurance. Getting this is so vital to your business operations as it not only protects your business but also protects your clients.

Risks are commonplace, especially when operating a carpet cleaning business. Damage is likely to result.

If it does happen, your insurance should cover such damage. This saves the client from having to pay or cover such costs. This type of insurance coverage is known as general liability insurance. It will cover bodily harm or injuries to either your workers, clients or yourself among other things.

Also, consider extending your insurance plan to cover your vehicles. These are used to transport equipment and cleaning supplies. If there’s an accident, you shouldn’t be left to foot the cost. Your commercial auto insurance should suffice.

Discuss with your insurance agent to find out the right type of plan that provides comprehensive coverage.


The role of marketing to the growth and patronage of a carpet cleaning business can’t be overstressed. Without putting the word out no one will know if such a business exists or not. To attract patronage, you need to go out.

Going out means trying out multiple marketing techniques.

Word of mouth marketing is an age-old technique that continues to be very relevant and effective to this day. The place to begin spreading the word will be to your circle of friends, family, acquaintances and local businesses. These are likely to be the first group of individuals and businesses to patronize your carpet cleaning business.

Word of mouth doesn’t end with you. You can ask your friends and families to further spread the word. Create a website for your carpet cleaning business.

In addition to that, open social media accounts for such business. Paid ads can be localized to your targeted market. This way, lots of people within your target area get to hear about your service.

You can list your cleaning business in Yellow Pages. That is a useful directory were tons of people check to find useful services. Never limit your marketing efforts or overlook any tool. You never know where your next lead could come from.

Consider distributing or sharing your business cards and flyers to potential clients and be as polite as you can. A marketing expert can be of immense help in developing an effective marketing plan.

Bottom Line

Is carpet cleaning a good business to start? Yes. Running costs can be as low as 10% of job revenue, translating into significant profit for the individual or team in charge.

Starting any cleaning business involves a lot of work. This can be overwhelming for some entrepreneurs. However, we advise you to stay the course and see it through.

In the end, the rewards can be deeply satisfying. You should love what you do to as only this will keep you inspired during difficult times.

These are vital steps on how to start a carpet cleaning business. They aren’t complex but practicable steps to implement when starting new.

Although we have talked extensively on starting from scratch, you have the freedom to choose the franchise option. This is less challenging and can be rewarding too.