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Carpet Cleaning Issues - Carpet construction, upholstery cleaning, stain removal, equipment, events, etc.

starting up

Posted by jdstella (jdstella), 19 January 2004
i am researching web sites regarding equipment and courses in preperation to starting up carpet/ driveway/ patio cleaning business.
i would be grateful of any guidance / advice which could be of assistance.
also need to know about v.a.t and tax /  business issues.

thanks in antisipation.

jon
Posted by Ken_Wainwright (Ken Wainwright), 19 January 2004
Hi Jon and welcome to the board.

To cover all areas relating to starting a new business would be a massive undertaking. But much of the info. you are looking for is available on this site. Just browse through the previous topics or use the search facility.

Training is absolutely vital. I feel that generic based training is of more benefit than that of a manufacturers "Branded" approach. I feel that the NCCA  (0116 271 9550) would be of greatest benefit to you. They run a 2 day course for carpet and upholstery cleaning in Leicester. IICRC also give superb training, but may be a little too intense and will require 4 days of your time and money to cover carpets and upholstery. Of the manufacturers, Prochem, Chemspec and Alltec have excellent reputations. There are obviouisly others too, but I have no personal experience of their courses.

Before you start, ask around other business people in your area about accountants. Don't necessarily accept the first one you see, but find out what they can do for you, speed of service, whether they charge you for every single call/letter or just offer you an overall package within the price. V.A.T. isn't compulsory if your turnover from all business activities combined is expected to be less than 55k (?) pa. This would be an enourmous turnover for a fledgling one man carpet cleaning business marketing himself  to the residential market. Discuss this with your accountant.

If you are mechanically minded, you may wish to consider second hand equipment. The working components are generally considered to be consumable items. If you intend to buy new, yes research the marketplace, but it may be wise to choose kit from a local supplier. It can save a lot of time, cost and bother.

To get a feel for our industry, why not approach local cleaners and see if they are prepared to give you a taster for what it's about? Quite a few of us on Cleanitup have done this.

Finally, this Wednesday pm, we are holding a branch meeting of the NCCA just off the M1 near Nottingham. Non members are welcome. It's a 5.30pm start. If you're interested call the NCCA at the number above.

Safe and happy cleaningSmiley
Ken
Posted by jdstella (jdstella), 19 January 2004
cheers ken,
thanks for your time and effort to reply.
i have found some good info regarding the business side of things on http://www.businesslink.gov.uk
I take on board your comment about contacting local cleaners for a taster, but would they concider helping out someone who would potentially be direct competition for future business?
If anyone is reading this in manchester/ warrington area and would like to offer experience, i would be very grateful.
i have looked into the alltec training, which you reccomend and thought that it looked worthwhile myself.
Basically, i want to be able to provide a first class job to clients when i do start up, and not learn the hard way after ruining peoples houses!!

thanks again ken!
Posted by Ken_Wainwright (Ken Wainwright), 19 January 2004
You're welcome Jon.

Some of us regard other CC's as colleagues, and some regard them as competitors. My own opinion is that we are all colleagues, and a well trained, knowledgeable technician will enhance the reputation of our industry and so benefit us all. It is in our own best interest to put something back into the industry in order to attain and maintain a high minimum standard,.

Safe and happy cleaningSmiley
Ken
Posted by woodman (woodman), 19 January 2004
Hi Jon

Go here:

www.startups.co.uk

you will get all the advice you need Wink

Good Luck
Posted by mark_roberts (mark_roberts), 19 January 2004
Go to Prochem for their two day course.  They will teach you all you need to know to clean carpets, starting out.  The NCCA course is very good theory but lacking in the practical as is IICRC.  I been to them all.  Go to NCCA after a few months if money permitting.  Getting registered with them will give your business more credibility.

If you can't afford new then don't be afraid of good used equipment.  Most suppliers will have used stock.  You need more than a HWE machine to clean carpets.

Think about marketing.  You will waste thousands of pounds and hours of time if you don't learn to market and how to choose your market.

MOST IMPORTANTLY, as Ken said, go out with a carpet cleaner for a few days to see what your letting yourself in for.  You may hate it.

It will take a few years to make a living so if its a get rich quick scheme your after, forget it.

all the best
Mark Roberts

PS. I may sound harsh but you need to think with the brain not the heart when starting a business otherwise you may regret it.




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