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Heaven's Best Carpet Cleaning

MONTANA

(Left to right) Donald and Steve Loessberg of Heaven's Best Carpet Cleaning. Donald was running a sheetrocking business in 1998 when his brother, Jim, presented him with the idea to run a franchise.
Source: Donald Loessberg
(Left to right) Donald and Steve Loessberg of Heaven's Best Carpet Cleaning. Donald was running a sheetrocking business in 1998 when his brother, Jim, presented him with the idea to run a franchise.
Description: Low-moisture carpet cleaning
Owners: Donald and Steve Loessberg
Years in business: 18
No. of franchises owned: 2
Start-up costs: $28,900 to $39,000, depending on equipment package
Franchisor fees: $200 per month
2015 revenue, 2016 projection: $145,000; $160,000
2016 projected annual growth rate: 10%

Donald Loessberg was running a sheetrocking business in Bozeman, Montana, back in 1998 when his brother Jim, a financial broker, presented him with an idea. One of Jim's clients was selling a Heaven's Best Carpet Cleaning franchise. The business, with franchises across the country, specializes in low-moisture carpet cleaning that dries quicker than steam cleaning — usually in one to two hours. Jim liked the business and felt that there was a lot of room to grow the company by extending its hours to include some nights and weekends. He would buy it if Donald would run it.

"I had my sheetrock business for 16 years, and I thought it was time for a change, anyway," Donald recalled. "Physically, it was just getting too tough to do it every day." A third brother, Steve, was brought in to handle scheduling and customer calls in addition to the carpet cleaning. About 10 years ago Donald and Steve bought the business from Jim. They recently purchased a third van and are looking to hire their first employee.

Additional franchisee resources

The brothers say they run the business with a commonsense work ethic. "Be polite and helpful on the phone when talking to a potential customer, show up on time, and if it looks like you're going to be running late, call the customer in plenty of time to make adjustments," Donald said. "Don't cut corners just to stay on schedule. If something needs more attention, then give it. Obviously, the end result of your work is important to the customer, but they will also know how much effort you put in."

The majority of their business is residential, with homeowners getting their carpets cleaned about once a year, Donald said. Prior to the financial crisis in 2008, there were a fair amount of competition, but that number has decreased quite a bit, he added. "We were an established business with a good reputation when the crash happened, so we didn't really feel a hit," Donald said.

Not surprisingly, referrals are their most effective marketing tool. Donald said the parent brand continues to improve existing carpet-cleaning products as well as introduce new ones, and strives to expand the services franchisees can offer, such as air-duct cleaning.

His advice to other potential franchise owners: "Get some idea of how easy the company is to work with. Contact other franchise owners and get their opinion of the company." Donald actually accompanied the previous owner of his franchise on some jobs so he was able to see firsthand what a typical job was like before he signed on. "It was really helpful to see what we were getting into before we bought the business," he said.

"I had my sheetrock business for 16 years, and I thought it was time for a change." -Donald Loessberg

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