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Jon, I think the many snow storms that hit the New England area had a lot to do with the slow down that you experienced, as I did as well. I'm not sure the Marathon tragedy had any real effect, other than over a couple of days when everyone who was able to, was glued to their TV screens watching the hunt for the kid in the boat.
My own April went very well, and that is continuing into May. Unfortunately (sort of) I planned a trip to S.E. Asia, accompanying my wife on a trip here with several of her fellow faculty at Tufts Univ. Med. School. While here (Chiang Mai, Thailand and Nha Trang, Vietnam), I am responding to customers via email, so I'm working and sightseeing at the same time.
Commenting politically, it's very strange in a way being here in VN. I was first here in 1965 wearing the uniform of a U.S. Navy Lieutenant, when everybody thought the move to take on Ho Chi Minh and the Viet Cong was a great idea. Given the destruction that the U.S. caused here pursuing such a dubious and badly thought out goal, I have been amazed at how well Americans are treated here. And it's not just because we spend some money here. There are very few Americans here as tourists. The largest single group is the Russians, and the Vietnamese hate the Russians, even though it was the then-USSR which was helping out Ho and the V.C. against the U.S.
OK finally my Spring started!
After a real LOUSY February and March, the worst yet, business looks like it used to again. After a bad start to April, April turned out average, and May is looking good... booked solid for five days out, Saturdays too, and the phone is ringing again.
1) February and March are almost non-existent for the residential carpet cleaning business here in New England.
2) 50% of a carpet cleaner's job is marketing. The day that I stop making a full effort at finding and executing on new ways to get customers, is the day that I go out of business. I had a busy early Winter, and so I let my marketting slide. If your a newbie just entering the cc business... remember that. You will eventually get and keep sufficient customers so long as you never stop your marketing efforts (and do a good cleaning job). Marketing includes all ways of getting customers: advertising, networking, guerilla marketing, encouraging referrals, internet marketing, newsletters, etc. etc.
If your a cleaner in a cold weather state you'd better make sure you save for those cold months. I was able to save enough to spend Jan/Feb camping in Florida, this years goal is to go Dec-April. I'm looking forward to being a snow bird
dang, if only my wife loved camping like me.