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Truckmounts / Interim/Maintenance Cleaning / Carpet Care / Rug Equipment / Spot & Stain Removal / Odor Control

The 2013 Carpet Cleaning Industry Leaders Review

January 05, 2013
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Beyer’s Carpet Care

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Derek Beyer runs a small business, and he does it well. The reason why he is successful is he is tenacious.

“Mostly I am a salesman,” he says. “I am always making telephone calls to potential clients and am constantly scheduling jobs with current clients with the main goal of maintaining their facility’s appearance.”

Beyer is the owner and operator of Beyer’s Carpet Care in Bloomfield, NY. His company services all of Western New York, including the famous Finger Lakes region.

After high school, Beyer worked as a mason’s helper and then as a brick layer. His wife and business partner, Shawna, was a nanny at the time.

They have built their small cleaning business over nearly 20 years, and are enjoying the benefits that, as they say, only a small operation can provide.

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Derek and Shawna had been married less than two years and they "wanted out of our jobs."

They thought that a cleaning business would be a great opportunity. So they started an office cleaning company and subcontracted out the carpet cleaning. Eventually, Derek realized he was giving away opportunities and decided to do the carpet cleaning himself.

In 2006, he and Shawna decided to devote all their time to commercial carpet cleaning. Although they concentrate on the commercial side, they never turn down the lucrative residential job if it comes their way.

Getting the work

Beyer believes in the personal touch, and his main marketing platform is “canvassing.”

“I go business to business, talking to receptionists and then I follow up with a telephone call after,” Beyer said.“This type of canvassing has worked extremely well for us.”

Beyer has no regrets about his decision to spend his professional life as a carpet cleaner. But if asked to do it all over again, he said “I would have given up janitorial work 10 years sooner and pushed the carpet cleaning side of the business.” He added that he would have added low moisture cleaning much sooner.

Future plans include: “Doing what we have been doing. Sales, customer service and cleaning.”

Professional Carpet Systems & Olde World Rug Washing Company

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Anyone involved with the various regional carpet cleaning associations knows Tom Sherman. He’s been a major player in the Society of Cleaning and Restoration Technicians (SCRT) association for many years.

Recently, due to family challenges, he was forced to relocate from one town in Ohio to another. But that didn’t stop his business strategy.

“I had very little money and no customers, but I did have plenty of time on my hands,” Sherman said. “I knew I had to come up with a strong strategy.”

That he did.

Sherman is the owner and operator of what might be considered a “dual” company: A Professional Carpet Systems (PCS) franchise along with the very first franchise location of the Olde World Rug Washing Company, in Marietta, OH.

New in town

Sherman had toyed with taking a job with a local carpet cleaning firm, but what he saw he didn’t like.

“You know what they say… it is harder to hire someone better than you,” Sherman said.

So he contacted Professional Carpet Systems and went the way of the franchise. Turns out, after much investigation, that he got more than he had originally expected — a PCS franchise partnered with the brand-new Olde World Rug Washing Company franchise. Both segments of his business are rapidly growing.

His first strategy was with pricing. He called every cleaning company in his area and found that most didn’t even answer their telephones — most calls going straight to voicemail. So he decided to go with at least 12 cents per square foot more than his competition. Why did that work for him? The simple fact of being available paid off.

He also concentrated on soliciting carpet retailers. “I was surprised that the local companies never visited these retailers,” Sherman said. “I hit hotels, restaurants, real estate agents, churches and other businesses. I sold them.”

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Basic marketing pays off

Sherman found success in building his new business by joining local business-to-business (B2B) groups, such as BNI.

“I built up trust, and they could tell I was different. I was always in a nice uniform, with a clean truck with logos, and my guarantee couldn’t be beat,” he said.

Sherman believes in modern marketing as well. He spends a lot of time with website marketing and his social media platforms.

“I love social media,” Sherman said. “And learning a few tricks-of-the-trade with blogging has helped me a lot as well.”

Sherman believes that anyone in the industry must continue their education, and never stop learning about their business, whether it is the technical or business side.

Langenwalter Carpet Cleaning and Stain Removal

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Customer satisfaction goes a long way in growing a business. Just ask Mitch and Jennifer Mauck.

With earlier beginnings in the housecleaning industry, both Mitch and Jennifer felt it would be smart to invest in a service business with an easy transition and more growth potential. Enter carpet cleaning.

With solid backgrounds in marketing, management and business development, the Mauck duo launched Langenwalter Carpet Cleaning and Stain Removal in 1995 in the greater Indianapolis area. They have been growing ever since, with 18 trucks 16 full-time employees plus 10 on-call staffers for restoration.

They operate out of a 10,000 square foot facility and have accumulated more than 1,000 pieces of drying and specialty equipment over the years.

Career goals

Both Mitch and Jennifer love the service industry. It’s why they were quick to choose this industry as their career path.

“We felt that we could make a positive difference with carpet cleaning,” Mitch said. “We place a lot of emphasis on our customers and their complete satisfaction, and also hiring and retaining a truly kind and caring staff.”

Jennifer agrees. “This combination is a ‘win/win’ for everyone. We love taking care of our customers. With a great staff and a great customer base, building a business like ours is really satisfying.”

Langenwalter offers more than carpet cleaning. The company also concentrates on rug cleaning, guaranteed stain removal and spot correction, upholstery and leather cleaning, hard surface cleaning and water restoration, for both residential and commercial customers.

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When Mitch and Jennifer started their business, they were exclusively a specialty carpet stain removal/spot correction service. After overwhelming customer requests, they decided to add carpet cleaning services.

They purchased their first truckmounted cleaning system in 1998, to not only clean, but to also fulfill a need to become experts in pet stain removal.

As the years passed by, they started receiving “pleas to help our customers with their water damage emergencies,” Jennifer said.

In the summer of 2002, the Langenwalter service area experienced a heavy amount of rain and the company officially was introduced to the water damage restoration industry.

In the summer of 2008, their area was again devastated with heavy rains, and they successfully serviced more than 140 flooded customers within a two-week period of time.

Each year in business has shown a 10-20 percent annual growth.

Marketing strategies

One of the best sources for customer generation has been with Angie’s List, a nationally known residential service referral company. 

In April 2010, Angie’s List recognized Langenwalter for achieving a significant milestone in Angie’s List history. The company became the only service provider nationwide to accumulate more than 1,000 current member reports, this among 2.7 million service companies throughout the country.

Another excellent source for their new customer generation is the Langewalter referral program, which rewards customers for sending their friends and family to “someone they trust” for their carpet needs.

Both Mitch and Jennifer have solid plans: To continue to build strong relationships with customers and staff, while staying open to all of the requests and suggestions they receive from them.

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