About Nate Brott
Nate Brott is the founder of Integrity Cleaning, a carpet cleaning business that started as a side hustle in Vancouver, Washington! Making the leap from side hustle to full-time was a big feat for Nate Brott, but with the support of his family and friends, he was able to do it.
Nate Brott did not have an easy journey to get here though. He had a small janitorial side hustle throughout high school. That helped pay for some bills, but not enough to make a living. He ended up working for Corporate America and had side hustles all the time.
How much does it cost to start a carpet cleaning side hustle?
You can do it for as little as $300. Nate went in the wrong direction a few different times, and he ended up spending a lot more to get started. When Integrity Cleaning first started, Nate bought $50,000 machines, only to realize that low moisture machines that are $300 will do the trick just as great.
How long does it take to learn how to do carpet cleaning?
“It’s pretty easy. There are a lot of different stains and carpets that you’ll need to know. The reality is, you need to point and shoot at the stain and if you’re using the right soap, it will solve 95% of your problems.” – Nate Brott
When I was talking to Nate, I could tell that he has a passion for making people happy, whether it was his employees or customers. With a carpet cleaning side hustle, you see results right away. Customers are happy, and when they’re happy, you’re happy.
How would Nate Brott start a carpet cleaning side hustle today not knowing anything?
Nate would bootstrap the creation of the company, starting with a Squarespace website. They look really nice and only cost $8/month. Nate also mentioned that he would start talking to friends and neighbors about the service to try and land his first client.
Using free tools like GoogleMyBusiness is important for people to find your business. Every local business or side hustle should have a GoogleMyBusiness page! For more information on getting ranked in Google, listen to episode 60 with Jason Eland here.
When I searched for “Carpet Cleaning Near Me”, while talking to Nate Brott, I found that there were 3 large companies with hundreds of reviews. As a new business owner, that is overwhelming and does not give me the confidence to start my carpet cleaning side hustle.
How do you break into the maps section of the Google Search Results?
Although businesses may have a lot of reviews, it really isn’t that much! Additionally, Google favors small businesses over franchises in most cases. Pairing those together, you actually have a great chance to show up in the map listings.
Integrity Carpet Cleaning is the smallest company in his area by employee size and sales, but they have more reviews than any other company. Many companies don’t know the importance of reviews. Because of that, they don’t make it a priority.
How to get reviews for your carpet cleaning side hustle?
Nate Brott uses software called Nice Job, which plugs into different CRMs and drips emails to every customer asking for reviews. Nate can charge 5x what the highest company is charging because of the happy customers and reviews they have.
If you don’t have a CRM, that is okay too, you can just type in the customer’s name and email that you just served.
If you sign up for Nice Job, mention Nate Brott for a special deal!
What are the different types of carpet cleaning side hustles?
When starting a carpet cleaning side hustle, you will have to make a few different choices. The first question is what kind of carpet cleaning will you be doing? With maintenance and insurance, you are looking at a $40/hour cost just for the machine for the large machines. This does not include labor and repairs (which can be costly).
In the beginning, Nate Brott bought these machines and was a big proponent of steam cleaning. He later realized that this was not the best approach to his carpet cleaning business.
Low Moisture Carpet Cleaning
Nate decided to pivot his side hustle to do low moisture carpet cleaning. There are major differences between low moisture and the traditional large machines that you think of when doing carpet cleaning.
The low moisture cleaning can start as a low at $300.
There are several advantages, but here are a few Nate Brott mentioned:
- Dry in about 1/2 hour
- You dont get reoccuring stains because you are not wetting the backing of the carpet
- Cost of operation is much lower than the traditional method
- Machine may last you 5 years before breaking down
Pricing your carpet cleaning side hustle
In the carpet cleaning industry, you often see the promotion of “3 rooms for $99”. Nate Brott is “3 rooms for $300” and people don’t complain!
Most people in the industry are using bait and switch techniques. They start with a low introductory offer for $99, and when they get there they upsell and add-on services. This often leaves customers upset and not willing to use the company again.
Nate Brott On The Flat Rate Pricing Model
Nate Brott had no interest in the bait and switch business model for his carpet cleaning business. Instead, he decided to go with a flat-rate pricing system. Doesn’t matter the room, one flat fee for all the services.
How can you get your first client?
To put it in perspective, there are 160,000 people in their service area. This roughly means there are 60,000 dwellings (houses, apartments, condos, etc.) and of that, about 30,000 are single-family homes. Servicing the 30,000 single-family homes are over 400 carpet cleaning companies!
With this being said, it is super crowded, and maybe where you are located too!
Most companies are using paid lead generation services like Google AdWords or sponsored listings to get their first clients. It cost Nate $100 to acquire a company at the beginning of his business. The industry has an average repeat rate of 19%, which is basically 1 in 5 customers.
Last year, Integrity Cleaning had a customer retention rate of 85%!
What can you expect to pay a carpet cleaner?
Usually, you are expected to pay minimum wage plus some time of commission. Commission can be tied to daily sales, referrals, sign-ups, overall profits, or their own individual sales.
Nate Brott pays his tech higher than the industry average and treats him like an owner. This allows Nate piece of mind to do other side hustles and live life on his own terms.
How else are you scaling and growing your carpet cleaning side hustle?
At first, Nate Brott didn’t think growing the business more would be good. He is already 4x more than the second-highest competitor. Since he is so expensive, he doesn’t know if the service area will support another vehicle.
Right now, Nate is deciding on the next steps and what he wants to do. One thing for sure is that he wants to hire another tech.
What were the biggest challenges getting to where you are now?
Every mistake along the way, Nate jokes. They spent $140,000 on equipment that they didn’t end up using. He also gave Yelp $60,000 for advertising that he didn’t see an ROI on.
Everything Nate did was learning the hard way, through trial and error. Now, knowing the mistakes, he believes he could fast-track his success in another city.
What is your #1 tip for a side hustler starting out?
To be confident! That is the only way you will get to charge the price you deserve. People can smell when you’re not confident and they won’t want to work with you.
Connect with Nate Brott
If you want to learn more about starting a carpet cleaning side hustle, you can connect with Nate Brott on his website at MrBrott.com!