This week, we're taking a look at a short article written by Ed York in the July/August 1973 issue of Tips N Chat. Yes, this article is 45 years old. However, the underlying message of being the best you can possibly be at what you do is just as relevant today as it was back then. Enjoy!
"Profit is Not a Dirty Word"
With the prices of everything but "carpet cleaning" rising each day, we should take a sound thought of why. Every time the price goes up, the one doing so advises they are justified because costs to them have also been increased. The American public accepts this, even though they gripe about it. Carpet cleaners on the other hand are scared to suggest this to their prospective customer. They also have had price increases. They have advanced in knowledge. Their services are needed more today than ever before. The customer, while paying more for other items, is also making more money than ever before. Why are the carpet cleaners afraid? It's not because of what the customer might say, but what their competition might bid. Let's make sure the one we are afraid of is the competition.
If the "other" bidder is untrained; operates with TOYS or inferior equipment; uses few, if any, laboratory tested and proven chemicals; carries no bond or insurance; doesn't have the facilities or resources to back up his workmanship, then they are not your competitor. They are offering a different service than you are. If your customer asked you to sell them a horse, surely you would distinguish between a plow horse and a registered Quarter horse. Both may be called "horse", but they are not the same things.
Let's start making a difference in what type of SERVICE we are offering. Is it a hit and miss appearance cleaning, or a DEEP cleaning job with detailed spotting? Food for thought... If you were charging 10 cents per square foot in 1967 for shampooing, then you would have to charge 13 cents today, just to break EVEN with the cost of living index. 15 cents per square foot would necessitate 19.5 cents to break even. Someone has to reverse the price-cutting trend. If you are a professional, then it must be you. There will always be someone around that can cut your price. They should be cheaper than you because they are offering a cheaper service. Let them fight over the old, badly soiled carpet belonging to the person who has neglected to even properly take care of it. Lift your sights to the person with the quality carpet who wants PROFESSIONAL care and is willing to pay a fair price for it. I guarantee there is less competition at the top. Lots of folks are trying to be the cheapest, but very few are striving to be the highest. We are, in our area, and strange as it may seem, we do the most business.
Bill Braeunert, our new Vapor-Vac dealer in Northern Milwaukee is using the motto "You walk on our reputation".