In this, the 4th installment of “Out In The Field With…”, we meet Danny Strickland, another real VLM Carpet Cleaning PRO from the great state of Florida.
[VLM Central E-zine]: Danny, how long have you been a Carpet Cleaner?
[Danny]: Since July, 1986.
[VLM]: Are you a native of Florida?
[Danny]: Yes, and am proud to say I’m a native. I was born in Miami, some place you don’t think of someone being from and being a native.
[VLM]: What is it like cleaning in Florida in the Summer time?
[Danny]: I sweat more before 9:00AM than most people do all day. I freeze bottles of water and let them thaw out during the day. It’s a great way to ensure having a cold drink throughout the day.
[VLM]: What first attracted you to the carpet cleaning business?
[Danny]: MONEY! I needed a job after I left the military. I met a man who ran a family (carpet cleaning) operation. He paid good wages for me to join his “bucket brigade” (what we called the two 5 gallon buckets that held clean and soiled water from our portable machines). But, now it’s the satisfaction of knowing my clients trust me with their homes and businesses.
[VLM]: What carpet cleaning systems do you currently use?
[Danny]: Here’s my list:
#1. Absorbent Pad
#2. Rotary Bonnet
#4. and soon to add a Cimex for “Dry Crystal” cleaning.
[VLM]: What about upholstery cleaning?
[Danny]: I clean a lot of upholstery. It seems I am about the only cleaner in my area who really enjoys cleaning it. Lots of other cleaners here do it, but they say they really don’t like too. It’s very profitable if priced so you can take the time to do it right.
[VLM]: What additional services does your company offer?
[Danny]: I mainly stick to carpet and upholstery cleaning, but for the one PM I work for, I also do odor restoration. I also mix in some water restoration, mainly emergency
extraction for my clients, then I call in another company to do the drying and
monitoring, as I am not equipped to handle that part.
[VLM]: Which would you say is your main market, residential or commercial?
[Danny]: I would say 60/40, residential to commercial, but I am working to change that
to 80 – residential/20 – commercial. I have always enjoyed designing and implementing
[VLM]: Why did you choose the VLM carpet cleaning system you are currently using?
[Danny]: To separate myself from my compition. Most of the cleaners, who work for the
class of clientelle I work for, use TM HWE. I also like the ROI (return on investment) I
get with a VLM system. Not burning fuel while I clean certainly helps my bottom line.
[VLM]: What cleaning agents do you currently use and why?
[Danny]: I’d be happy to answer that question, but then I’d have to kill you! LOL.
Actually my two main products are Abstraction VLM and Procyon. I can use both for VLM
[VLM]: What was your most embarrassing moment on the job?
[Danny]: I was on a night job at our local airport. I went to the restroom and the button
on my pants busted! And this was one of the only nights I wasn’t wearing… a belt. LOL.
I had to hold my pants up and go home and change, and return to finish the job. Wearing a belt of course! LOL.
[VLM]: What was your proudest moment on the job?
[Danny]: Giving my service away to some people down on their luck. I thank God for my
talent, and if I can serve others through this talent, may He get the glory.
[VLM]: What would you say has been your most effective marketing tool?
[Danny]: Quality work and a good attitude. The customer deserves both and they will
recommend you if you have both, but if your missing one, they don’t cheer quite as
[VLM]: What advice would you like to give those just starting out in this business?
[Danny]: READ, READ, READ! Education is so important, and there are many good
articals in trade mags and on the BB’s, and not just about cleaning. Carpet cleaners need to know the financial importance of business. If I had it to do over again, Chuck
Violand’s business planning work shop would be my first investment. And, get to know other cleaners in your area. I am fortunate to have other cleaners I can depend on to help me when needed, and I do the same for them.
[VLM]: Any final thoughts?
[Danny]: Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all else will be added unto you. God – Family – then Work. It has put me where I am today.
[VLM]: Thanks, Danny!
[Danny]: My pleasure!