Initial cost to move carpet repair into your lineup varies with the type of repairs you want to perform
Carpet repair as a service can also open many doors for your other services and play a major role in your marketing program
The market is wide open for those that want to add carpet repair
Do you have a “balanced portfolio?”
I’m not talking about a financial portfolio, but how about a balanced business portfolio?
Most cleaning companies make their bank on water jobs and last year was one of the driest we have experienced in the water damage restoration industry. It was one of the worst on record. Equipment suppliers, water damage restoration companies and others all felt this pressure. Sales of drying equipment and sundries suffered. Companies were laying off employees and shutting the doors. Now let’s combine this with the crisis we have experienced in our economy - as some call it, the new depression. We had the making of the “perfect storm.”
Now flash back to before the economic collapse and dry restoration season. After reviewing their financial portfolio, many companies noticed that their largest income stream was coming from the water restoration market. I know when I ran the Carpet & Cleaning Craftsman in Peterborough, NH that this was a fact for my company as well. Based on this financial review, many companies dropped many, if not all, of the other services they offered and decided to specialize only in water damage restoration. Basically, the decision was to put all of the eggs into one basket.
One thing we learned in the financial world is that it is important to have a balanced portfolio. Though stocks may be soaring through the roof and you can put more emphasis within your portfolio in that arena, it is important to maintain balance with other money-generating avenues. The stock market crash that began October 24, 1929 is a good example and one that we can all learn from.
So, what should our industry learn from the lessons of the past? Diversification is king! Don’t drop your other services based only on your highest return on immediate investment. When one service that you offer is not on everyone’s front burner, another may be. Carpet cleaning, carpet repair, upholstery cleaning, odor control, hard surface cleaning and concrete refinishing are just some of the very valuable services that should be considered in your balanced business portfolio. If you have attended IICRC-approved schools you may have noticed that there are many concepts, tools and techniques that cross over from one service to another, thus to diversify into another service may not cost as much as if you were just starting out making your first financial investment.
Initial cost to move carpet repair into your lineup varies with the type of repairs you want to perform. If you want to focus only on surface grafting, bonded inserts, sewing braided rugs or missing row repairs, you could enter this level of carpet repair for approximately $1,000, which would include training and the tools necessary for these repairs. Your ROI (return on investment) should be very short. If you want to add seam repairs, stretching repairs and other installation-related repairs including re-installation of carpet, then your investment would be approximately $2,500 to $3,500. Your company would now be ready for the vast array of daily repairs found on each and every job opportunity, such as reinstalling carpets after a Category 2 water loss, odor control, partial floating of carpet as a drying technique, re-stretching (which is prevalent in the industry) and seam repairs, which is also one of the top issues in the installation industry.
Carpet repair as a service can also open many doors for your other services and play a major role in your marketing program. There are very few residential and commercial structures with carpet that probably don’t have a need for a carpet repair or installation-related repair. I just left my chiropractor’s office this morning and, low and behold, there are seam repairs needed on a direct gluedown installation.
This additional service becomes part of your marketing portfolio and an additional “add-on” sale, think like applying carpet protector to your invoice. Let’s face it - in an eight-hour day, you are not producing eight hours of income. There are the dead times that we all face. Driving to and from job to job and the set up and breakdown of equipment are all dead time activities. The more services you can provide your customer during your production time at the job site results in extra income to the bottom line.
At a popular Las Vegas hotel visited by many in our industry, two suites had an array of repair needs such as: surface and deep burns, delamination, delamination at a seam, seam splitting, carpet away from the transition to the ceramic tile and open seams. In order to get donor material, the carpet needed to be re-stretched. Over $1,000 worth of repairs were completed as a part of the demonstration. Look down the strip at how many hotels there are, while keeping in mind that this was only two of the many rooms and suites within this specific hotel.
The apartment rental industry often would prefer to hold on to the carpet between renters and stretch out the life of the carpet as long as possible. Knowing carpet repair can give you an edge on your competitors that do not offer this additional service. Color repair and dying of carpet is also another service that can open the door for this segment of the industry.
The market is wide open for those that want to add this service and there are many great face-to-face schools available as well as great educational VHS and DVDs packages available.
If you’re looking to get into carpet repair, make sure you attend a school that encourages hands-on in the learning environment. Can you imagine if you needed heart surgery and the surgeon only learned by watching video tapes, by listening to lectures and graduated sum cum laude but never picked up a scalpel? Now imagine you are that doctor’s first patient. No thank you!
So take a look at your business portfolio and ask yourself - is it balanced?