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what do I need to get started

I'm moving to mount pleasant Pa sometime near the end of february. I want to start my own carpet cleaning biz I have no prior experience and am completely lost on what I actually need to get started. Since I have no experience
I thought about attending a class with JON-DON. As far as equipment goes I was thinking about the Rotovac start up package. please help

Re: what do I need to get started

That's certainly one way to go. Whatever system you go with you'll want to try to get a few carpets on to do to get used to your system/method and gain some confidence.

When I first started I did an ultra low rate for 2 rooms/hall for $49. You don't really make any $$ for that but I just wanted to get some experience. Several of my early customers have actually stuck with me through my price changes.

Mark sells a package also which you should look at. Depends on what "method" you want to offer.

Re: what do I need to get started

I got started by buying the package from Rotovac. I still have that same machine and porty. I use it to flush really bad residential carpets and area rugs. I know of plenty guys who started by getting that system. was not too long before I stopped using the Rotovac and simply used the wand. I ended up putting the Roto away...and stopped cleaning carpets.

Then I found VLM methods....
I get better results, faster, easier and is an easier sell.

If I had it to do over, I'd start by getting VLM first, then a better porty.

Re: what do I need to get started

Joew, By VLM, Phil means Very Low Moisture - just the kind of method I base my "Start Your Carpet Cleaning Business" Package on. If you found your way to this Forum without first seeing my site:, you should go there are read through it. My Training Manual is the heart of my Package. To help you get started successfully in this business, you will get a lot more out of it than you will from a single technical Jon Don session. Keep the moisture level down and offer the customer a service using natural cleaning products. This combination is your best shot at building a competitive "niche" business.

Re: what do I need to get started

i did same thing as Phil in terms of starting out with a portable, got less than average results (my fault) and became disinterested with CC'ing.

found VLM, invested and went from part time CC'er and a fulltime toilet cleaner, to a fulltime carpet cleaner and no more toilets. only reason it's worked for me is because of the results are what i always imagined they would be when i 1st started with HWE.

thanx --- Derek.

Re: what do I need to get started

AWESOME posts so far.

Bottom line VLM rocks hard.

Re: what do I need to get started

Thanks for all your help Iam very interested in the vlm and would like to know if there is finacing available

Re: what do I need to get started

My Package is priced just under $2000. Most people who buy it just self-finance via a credit card purchase.

Re: what do I need to get started

i did what Mark suggests: cruised the internet and within a half hour i had 2 or 3 credit cards with 0% interest for 12 full months ready to accept me.

i took 1 of them out, bought equipment and paid it off within the 12 months (THAT IS KEY!!!).

thanx --- Derek

Re: what do I need to get started

Mark is correct above that the cost of his package is relatively low, esp. compared to an HWE system. However, i strongly recommend having significant additional funds so that you can:
1. weather a slow startup period;
2. have funds to use for advertising;
3. other needs such as maybe needing an additional vehicle, additonal cleaning products (deodorizer?, urine control products?, carpet protector?), a vacuum or two, uniform, van/car lettering or magnets;
4. also you'll likely need more pads;
5. you'll need business liability insurance

If you have another job you are avoiding a lot of the potential downfalls and can afford to start slow until you get a comfort zone and start getting referrals and figure out what marketing works for you. If you are just going to "dive in" then I am just trying to help you realize what to expect as far as other costs.