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what is the cost ?
#1
It seems to me that at times when we look at New equipment we only look at price. Guilty me also. I see a lot of cleaners complaining that some equipment is over priced. In our businesses it is a very limited market for manafafacturer and a lot are small.If you buy a better tools the day may come when you retire or sell and the better tool will have some momentary value. I know you should be able to reconcile some of your investment.I am a pro and I need the right tools to make a living. Buy the best you can afford and make some .money! If you read this far thanks I ..must be drinking to much coffee or my wife is not listing to me. Good luck all.
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#2
i agree. my Cimex for example...bought it 9 years ago for around $3k. made hundreds of K with it, sold it a few months ago for $1k. best investment i ever made.
Currently retired from HWE; VLM only. Commercial Only...well except for the occasional resi job every few weeks.

Carpet Cleaning Rochester NY
Carpet Cleaner Rochester NY

The tools I use or have on the van ... in order from most used, to least used:  Dyson ; 19" Cimex ; Multi-Sprayer ; Orbot ; Oreck-Orbiter ; Hoover-Conquest ; Cyclo Polisher ; DryPod ; 20" Whittaker Trio.
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#3
OK, so if I buy brand X, a very popular brand of OP unit & make $100 an average hour... it is kinda expensive but not extreme...

If I buy Brand Y & I make $140 and clients are happier with the clean, is it honestly worth the $1100 more in the first place?

Oh, I have been pushing the $225 mark at times & $150 regularly with the new machines.

But geesh they cost too much dont they?

Con
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#4
I can see where you're coming from.

However, to me the hourly average example only works if a cleaner is busy enough to constantly fill out a schedule day in and day out.

(08-24-2013, 12:13 AM)Con Schultz Wrote: OK, so if I buy brand X, a very popular brand of OP unit & make $100 an average hour... it is kinda expensive but not extreme...

If I buy Brand Y & I make $140 and clients are happier with the clean, is it honestly worth the $1100 more in the first place?

Oh, I have been pushing the $225 mark at times & $150 regularly with the new machines.

But geesh they cost too much dont they?

Con
I'm just trying to hack my way to glory.

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#5
Agree with Damon here. If you are busy enough to justify the cost and work load, then by all means get whatever you want.

There is also a lot more the scenario. If brand X gives better customer support then brand Y, then I would rather make less per hour while saving $$$ on a initial purchase? Customer support is a main deciding factor for a lot of my purchases.
Carpet Cleaning Salinas, Monterey, Pebble Beach Ca
ProGreen Kleen & Floor Care
http://Progreenkleen.net
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#6
I will share what I've learned as far as cost go's. (speaking of VLM machines)

I have found that a Crb ($500 used host) pre scrub followed by a 175 with a cotton pad for sorption, cleans better then a OP machine by it's self. ANd faster too.

Same results can be had by following a CRB with an OP.

Lets look at cost, $500 ebay Host, $700 for a brand new shinny 175

VS a $2500 - $3500 OP machine.

You wont tip bloom with the 175 , nor will the host scrub hurt the carpet.

You wont shake the picture off the walls with the 175

You wont freak out the old lady when you clean the en even sub floor and create an mini earth quake in the home, like an OP will do,

You won't have to spend buckets of money on pads.

Save the big money purchase on something that matters like [/u]a TM, no need to drop so much coin on VLM gear.
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#7
Some good info there. Thanks.
I have been experimenting with my used (eBay) crb followed by my used OP machine with really nice results!
I haven't tried a 175 yet.
I've never paid more than 800 for any machine, well not since my original Von Schrader purchase many years ago.
But then again I'm frugal (cheap) and like to get a LOT out of each piece of equipment. AND I do mostly resi now.
In my mechanic days I laughed at the guys who tripped over themselves to buy huge 10-20k (plus) tool boxes.
How is that box going to make me $$?
The tools inside make me money.
If I start getting more commercial jobs with large sq ft I would not hesitate to spend money on efficient equipment that can cover more ground quicker.
It all boils down to how much work you have and what tools will get that work done most efficiently and effectively.
The cost of a Cimex for instance, would be nothing if one had large cgd jobs to do. A couple jobs could pay for the darn thing!
We Leave Nothing Behind!
Uncontrollable smiling may occur!
padding happy
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#8
I agree with Andy on the 175 and all the pros.

I have used both an OP and 175 and IMO an OP will do in one pass what a 175 will do with a carpet brush, then loopy bonnet will do. So basically an OP is twice as fast as a 175 IMO.

I still have and love my 175 but mostly use it for VCT and hardwood. For carpet, my Orbot is my choice....
Carpet Cleaning Salinas, Monterey, Pebble Beach Ca
ProGreen Kleen & Floor Care
http://Progreenkleen.net
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#9
Hmmm... good subject.

Lots of reasons, I'm looking at buying 3-4 more machines right now.

My big 'stress' is which Trinity or combination of Trinity's will be best.. do I want to rebuild the old, or just sell off.. how many do I want to be able to run to remove wax? do I want to polish concrete/granite/marble? to I need to be able to offer ceramic tile resurfacing/polishing?

I don't like used/older equipment, but I do like having a back up (I still have 3 Easy Glides, a brat and several basically new "Oreck" wannabe stair tools) that I can keep/use in case of an emergency.

The cost of my van with wrap/equipped with two Trinity machines/beast option on one, stepson, steamer, pads, products, etc is over/close to 36000.00. Now, if I'm going to budget for three years use before upgrading, then $36,000.00/36 months is $1000.00 per month needed in gross margin to 'rent' those tools from the bank essentially starting new IF I just 'dispose' of them at the end of the 3 years... which you won't as someone is always looking for used equipment: so say you can recoup ONLY 1/2 of the cost at the end of 3 years.. Your costs are now $500.00 per month.

What if instead I started with say 1/2 of $36k at $18,000.00 and used the same ratios's from above? It would be the exact same number's EXCEPT you would have to look at the whole business model 'return on investment': your decision can't be made only with one side of the equation. Yes, you would save $250.00 per month using the cheaper option, but, as in my case I can/have produced many times the number of referral/repeat customers, new referrals, higher gross revenue/margins, opened the door to many other revenue streams (i.e. have done more tile, laminate, tile/grout, etc that I would never have bid with the lower cost option).. etc.

Yes, I would save $250.00/month, but would loose out on thousands of extra revenue that I 'bought' with that extra $250.00.

When I 're-started' in this business again full time, there would have been NO way I could have made the decision to spend ANY extra money or borrow more and for folks in that position, PERFECT choice with WHATEVER you have ... like that toothbrush system Andy had... :-).

Yes, I understand there are limits: i.e. Vortex/Aerotech: yes you will get an AWESOME return on investment increase, just not proportionate as what my example was and will not fit as large of a market.

Yes Lefty what you mentioned is also another factor that affects return on investment, confidence, etc. etc.... and why I'm now and have been fanatically loyal to John/Patty/Steve. Especially since everything is farther/harder to come by and/or delayed so much longer than for you folks... and so much more expensive. I need to know that the people that I'm purchasing from will stand behind what I buy and provide the service.
Coby Gibson
formerly: www.45Clean.com
CobyGibson@me.com

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#10
this industry...and maybe cause its mostly a bunch of guys involved suffers from the "if i only had this or that syndrome"...then id be busy and making more money etc etc.....once i add the cimex...or the TM...or TRINITY LOL or all i need now is a crb...toys toys toys....and im sure you can always come up the reason about how it will make you more money faster easier etc etc in order to justify your new purchase....the problem i do believe though is that most guys are not doing this cause they are rolling in the extra money and so they just get it cause they can......the opposite is in fact true...most guys are not busy enough....and really dont have the cash....so they charge it...finance it...or opt to spend whatever profit they might have in order to make the new purchase that will "put them over the top".....and yet does it work....most the time NO....how many of you have bought some $3,000 machine and 6 - 9 months later are selling it for $1500...You go month to month pay your living expenses...just getting by and the minute you start to get ahead you go "invest" it in another must have machine......numbers on paper are great but they never seem to pan out that way.....It really does not matter how many vans you have...or how busy you are...you how much you gross....in the end we all got into business so we could make money for ourselves to live on and spend on ourselves not the just spend on "building" the business.......Just recently a couple Heavens Best companies were brought up....and it could be anyone not just heavens best....but for 20+ years the one company has used a 175 the same as they always have...no new toys...no must have machines...no spending profits on experiments.....Running a business like this you can after a few years have a very set idea of costs of running your business without all the additional surprises or expenditures that are just not needed....and start spending the money on YOU ....

now i get that my situation is different than the full time cleaner who is trying to capture every single dollar he possibly can...especially if he isnt totally booked.....but IMO the answer will always be forget new machines...learn to market.... I am only part time...i do not make a killing...i do not gross that much at all...3k to 4k a month during the busy season with an occasional spike here and there........but i have cut my operation down to the very bare minimum....no pads to buy for years...no parts...no new toys needed....just chems ...thats it.....i am done falling for the gotta have this and that....I could have bought a Trinity last year...instead i took the fam on a nice vacation.....i spend every dime of that monthly carpet cleaning money on nothing but fun stuff..Beer Carpet cleaning has been great for me....i actually enjoy it in some weird way...it is almost like a hobby for me...and makes me some extra coin....But even full time...The VLM system can be a nice little money maker even if only doing carpets and upholstery and maybe some tile and grout....but it takes some really GOOD marketing....no need for all the other stuff.....and no need to replace things every 3 years etc etc....expenses low and profits high....no need for brand new vans, wraps, etc (sorry coby ) think of the crazy write off you get on a 5k van for 5 years with all those miles written off........i have to remind myself all the time to Just get my Pride and EGO out of the way...quit trying to compete with other carpet cleaners in the dog and pony show.....and just worry about me and my goal and what i need to accomplish.....

Its not a matter of what it costs...its a matter of can you REALLY afford it....and is it REALLY needed....and if your family is the one sacrificing cause you need the NEW MUST HAVE MACHINE...then is it worth the cost....and if you have to convince them it is....then you probably dont need it!!
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#11
Good post, Good Job
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#12
Joel, I know you don't know me but.... you just explained me to a tee!

Jk nice post.

Sent from my Galaxy Note II using Tapatalk
Carpet Cleaning Salinas, Monterey, Pebble Beach Ca
ProGreen Kleen & Floor Care
http://Progreenkleen.net
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#13
One thing I am trying to avoid and that is to have a pile of equipment collecting dust that I hardly ever use. Every once in a while I think jee I wish I had this equipment for this job but I would use it so little that I can not justify it so in them situations I just take a little longer and can still do the job. It sucks but it does pay to operate like that. My last new purchase was a Cimex and that changed everything for me. Before I got the Cimex I was killing myself but now I feel like I got one of the best combos in this industry with the use of the VS and Cimex together. My next purchase will likely be an OP machine but not until I NEED to increase my production times.

I got no junk collecting dust yet happy
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#14
I thought you've said in the past that to VLM the nasties an OP is a must have tool?

This is not to say that I disagree about the price of the machines. The Orbot and Trinity are way expensive.

However, I have used both (albeit limited with the 175). One certain advantage I've noticed with the Orbot - and I would assume that the same holds true for the Trininy - is that the weight kit and oscillation does a great job on the dirty, dirty, fiber.

(08-24-2013, 10:52 AM)Andy Mc Wrote: I will share what I've learned as far as cost go's. (speaking of VLM machines)

I have found that a Crb ($500 used host) pre scrub followed by a 175 with a cotton pad for sorption, cleans better then a OP machine by it's self. ANd faster too.

Same results can be had by following a CRB with an OP.

Lets look at cost, $500 ebay Host, $700 for a brand new shinny 175

VS a $2500 - $3500 OP machine.

You wont tip bloom with the 175 , nor will the host scrub hurt the carpet.

You wont shake the picture off the walls with the 175

You wont freak out the old lady when you clean the en even sub floor and create an mini earth quake in the home, like an OP will do,

You won't have to spend buckets of money on pads.

Save the big money purchase on something that matters like [/u]a TM, no need to drop so much coin on VLM gear.
I'm just trying to hack my way to glory.

Get Encapsulation Pads & More!

1 X's Orbot, Windsor & Sanitare Vacs, Multisprayer, Oreck Orbitor, Stepson, BrushEncap (TM4) CRB  
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#15
Yes D.

I have done nasty with both the 175 and an OP. The OP wins as far as speed in these situations due to the oscillating action and mf pads.

For me to get the same results with a 175, I need to hit the whole place with a dirt napper brush then follow it with loopy bonnets to get the same results as a OP.

If you are on a budget, use a tm (mostly), or just like simplicity a 175 is a very valuable tool to have in the van.



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Carpet Cleaning Salinas, Monterey, Pebble Beach Ca
ProGreen Kleen & Floor Care
http://Progreenkleen.net
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#16
Great post, Joel! I should have your post tattooed on my stomach so I'll never forget it.

I can relate to everything you've said on every level.

I spend so much time thinking about - among other things - getting a TM or not. It drives me crazy sometimes. What holds me back is the expense. I could do it, but I don't know if the setback justifies the cost. Also, the idea of working solely to replace the cost of purchase makes me ill. The burden of ownership is another factor as well.

The reason I think about buying one are for some of the reasons you mentioned. Keeping up with the Jones', industry acceptance, 'perception', doing more business (working faster).

But then I think about it long and hard.

How I am judged by others in the business is ultimately meaningless. Not to sound like a nut, but 'industry acceptance' is in reality a top down driven campaign by TM makers, chemical makers, distributors, etc. This is the only industry that I am aware of where 'bigger is better'. Others strive to consolidate, cut expenses, etc. Whereas we need bigger trucks, bigger machines and accessories, accessories, accessories and more accessories. It never ends. I'm willing to bet that If the actual cleaning end of this business were dominated by big franchises and corporations it would be a different story.

Much in the way of perception - from what I've learned at least - is up to the cleaner. Confidence is a big part of it, not worrying about competition and what other cleaners think and above all else, how you present yourself. Uniform, nice vehicle, professional, etc. negates almost all of that. That's not to say that you don't think about this when you're not working. I think the cure all for this is a busy schedule.

Working faster is an advantage that a TM seems to offer in many instances. I have a hard time rationalizing this any differently. The exception being in how you clean vs. the TM guy. If he does the vac and rake/post vac, etc. like you do then the gap is shortened. However, I think the simple reality is that if you're a VLM single O/O you will take longer. If you want to go faster you'll need a helper.

I do think that every VLM cleaner needs a flushing tool though. Question is how big and how much?

Yes, market, market, market and market!

Anyway, thanks for the post!

(08-24-2013, 09:59 PM)joelhall Wrote: this industry...and maybe cause its mostly a bunch of guys involved suffers from the "if i only had this or that syndrome"...then id be busy and making more money etc etc.....once i add the cimex...or the TM...or TRINITY LOL or all i need now is a crb...toys toys toys....and im sure you can always come up the reason about how it will make you more money faster easier etc etc in order to justify your new purchase....the problem i do believe though is that most guys are not doing this cause they are rolling in the extra money and so they just get it cause they can......the opposite is in fact true...most guys are not busy enough....and really dont have the cash....so they charge it...finance it...or opt to spend whatever profit they might have in order to make the new purchase that will "put them over the top".....and yet does it work....most the time NO....how many of you have bought some $3,000 machine and 6 - 9 months later are selling it for $1500...You go month to month pay your living expenses...just getting by and the minute you start to get ahead you go "invest" it in another must have machine......numbers on paper are great but they never seem to pan out that way.....It really does not matter how many vans you have...or how busy you are...you how much you gross....in the end we all got into business so we could make money for ourselves to live on and spend on ourselves not the just spend on "building" the business.......Just recently a couple Heavens Best companies were brought up....and it could be anyone not just heavens best....but for 20+ years the one company has used a 175 the same as they always have...no new toys...no must have machines...no spending profits on experiments.....Running a business like this you can after a few years have a very set idea of costs of running your business without all the additional surprises or expenditures that are just not needed....and start spending the money on YOU ....

now i get that my situation is different than the full time cleaner who is trying to capture every single dollar he possibly can...especially if he isnt totally booked.....but IMO the answer will always be forget new machines...learn to market.... I am only part time...i do not make a killing...i do not gross that much at all...3k to 4k a month during the busy season with an occasional spike here and there........but i have cut my operation down to the very bare minimum....no pads to buy for years...no parts...no new toys needed....just chems ...thats it.....i am done falling for the gotta have this and that....I could have bought a Trinity last year...instead i took the fam on a nice vacation.....i spend every dime of that monthly carpet cleaning money on nothing but fun stuff..Beer Carpet cleaning has been great for me....i actually enjoy it in some weird way...it is almost like a hobby for me...and makes me some extra coin....But even full time...The VLM system can be a nice little money maker even if only doing carpets and upholstery and maybe some tile and grout....but it takes some really GOOD marketing....no need for all the other stuff.....and no need to replace things every 3 years etc etc....expenses low and profits high....no need for brand new vans, wraps, etc (sorry coby ) think of the crazy write off you get on a 5k van for 5 years with all those miles written off........i have to remind myself all the time to Just get my Pride and EGO out of the way...quit trying to compete with other carpet cleaners in the dog and pony show.....and just worry about me and my goal and what i need to accomplish.....

Its not a matter of what it costs...its a matter of can you REALLY afford it....and is it REALLY needed....and if your family is the one sacrificing cause you need the NEW MUST HAVE MACHINE...then is it worth the cost....and if you have to convince them it is....then you probably dont need it!!
I'm just trying to hack my way to glory.

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#17
Great thread, great posts and replies guys.

One of the things I stress when I am facilitator of a local entrepreneurship roundtable for start-up / early phase business / and business owner wannabees is for them to really do some soul searching and ask, "What do I want out of this business? What do I want the business to become."

From that you than can make solid plans based on your wants / needs. Unless you do that, you don't know what you want to achieve so how can you achieve it.

Joel very clearly has done this task and the results guides his thinking about his business. Each of you does the same. Define clearly what you want, what will make you happy in and with your business (ultimately with yourself).

If it is to do it part time and make $X or to become a mega business and make $XXXXXX it is up to you to figure out how best (strategies, tactics, strategic plan, marketing plan, policies, manuals, etc.) to accomplish your personal goals - what equipment, marketing, staffing, etc. If it works don't let anyone put down your efforts, just smile.

That's the great thing about being in your own business - the only one you have to satisfy is you (and perhaps your spouse) - one of the biggest problems I see with when I coach owners of small businesses is many don't really know what they want, they haven't done the first step so they easily get frustrated because they are not happy with their business... but they haven't figured out what will make them happy which is a scenario for frustration, anger, and other issues.

Larry Galler
The Small Business Greatness Coach
Subscribe to receive my weekly newspaper column by email every Sunday at http://www.oneyeartogreatness.com
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#18
great posts all, tx to everyone for the opinions & experiences!
Currently retired from HWE; VLM only. Commercial Only...well except for the occasional resi job every few weeks.

Carpet Cleaning Rochester NY
Carpet Cleaner Rochester NY

The tools I use or have on the van ... in order from most used, to least used:  Dyson ; 19" Cimex ; Multi-Sprayer ; Orbot ; Oreck-Orbiter ; Hoover-Conquest ; Cyclo Polisher ; DryPod ; 20" Whittaker Trio.
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#19
I would rather OP a nasty then use a 175, BUT if you add a good CRB with that 175 , then you can do just as well if not better then OP alone. And I dare say as fast or faster. Te real preference on a nasty is a TM.

, you don't have to drop 3OOO bucks to have great VLM results.

As for equipment, I would rather have something and not need it, then to need it and not have it. Get your basic everyday set up then add extra gear as you build and grow . But do it with this in mind...

Here is what I consider to be every VLM cleaners Ideal, Orbot, or trinity, ($3000 to $4000,) and we all want that Cimex right? another (3000,) we all would love that brush and clean right? (2500)

We all would like to have a porty to use when needed right? (2000, ) or you might be that guy who dreams of a Steamin Demon, ($3500)

We'r looking at around 10,000 for the dream set up

If you have all these tools you would have the dream VLM set up!! But with all that money spent on attaining the dream, you still can't do anything more then a $700 rotary, and that $300 ebay Host.

Then with that $9000 you didn't spend, , you got your self a TM, Something that can truly make your life easier , allow you to take on work that you would not have other wise. , or landed you that $20,000 PM account that requires a TM.

even if you prefer to VLM, you know you got that TM if you want it.

Just my view, don't get made at me. lol
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#20
Nobody is mad at you, lol.

Also, I don't disagree with the high costs of some VLM tools.

But your argument is based on a cleaner buying all the VLM equipment new....And the TM used.

It's not an apples to apples comparison.

A Sapphire Scientific Rage, the most entry level 'big brand' TM, is about $14,500.00 out the door with reels, shelf, hoses, install and fuel tap. This still does not include your fresh tank, wand, stair tool, upholstery tool or 175 machine. So figure another $2,000.00 for this.

Of course, what is a TM cleaner nowadays without a rotary extraction tool? Trex, RV360i, RX20 or Hoss? Add another $2,500.00 to the budget as well.

And most TM cleaners are encapping cgd nowadays. 5,000 sq. ft. with a 175? Or 5,000 sq. ft. with a Cimex, Trinity or Orbot (or any OP really)? Add that to the list.

You then have to add maintenance to the list, unless you don't care if your van smells like a fishing boat or even looks like one. Plus things will break for sure.

And what about your vehicle? I mean, you could use a small van, but you'll stress it. Cleaners using VLM and porties with commercial mini vans and 1/2 tons won't make an easy transition. This is also a financial factor.

NOTE:

Granted, you could go with a smaller builder and save on the TM costs. However, your post sale support is limited unless you live near the builder. I think this is an important factor if you are not mechanically inclined.

(08-25-2013, 02:40 PM)Andy Mc Wrote: I would rather OP a nasty then use a 175, BUT if you add a good CRB with that 175 , then you can do just as well if not better then OP alone. And I dare say as fast or faster. Te real preference on a nasty is a TM.

, you don't have to drop 3OOO bucks to have great VLM results.

As for equipment, I would rather have something and not need it, then to need it and not have it. Get your basic everyday set up then add extra gear as you build and grow . But do it with this in mind...

Here is what I consider to be every VLM cleaners Ideal, Orbot, or trinity, ($3000 to $4000,) and we all want that Cimex right? another (3000,) we all would love that brush and clean right? (2500)

We all would like to have a porty to use when needed right? (2000, ) or you might be that guy who dreams of a Steamin Demon, ($3500)

We'r looking at around 10,000 for the dream set up

If you have all these tools you would have the dream VLM set up!! But with all that money spent on attaining the dream, you still can't do anything more then a $700 rotary, and that $300 ebay Host.

Then with that $9000 you didn't spend, , you got your self a TM, Something that can truly make your life easier , allow you to take on work that you would not have other wise. , or landed you that $20,000 PM account that requires a TM.

even if you prefer to VLM, you know you got that TM if you want it.

Just my view, don't get made at me. lol
I'm just trying to hack my way to glory.

Get Encapsulation Pads & More!

1 X's Orbot, Windsor & Sanitare Vacs, Multisprayer, Oreck Orbitor, Stepson, BrushEncap (TM4) CRB  
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