The 2024 Cleaning Industry Leaders Review: Sunbell Carpet Cleaning

Sunbell

Ronnie Schweitzer is the owner of Sunbell Carpet Cleaning in Oklahoma City. Sunbell’s journey in the carpet cleaning industry dates back to 1989, but Schweitzer’s involvement in the industry began in 1982 when he worked for Deluxe Carpet Cleaning. He said, “I gained valuable experience and met great people there. However, I eventually decided to start my own business, leading to the establishment of Sunbell Carpet Cleaning.”

Sunbell began with a two-person crew, generating leads through telemarketing with 12 telemarketers working in shifts. “We aimed to run 25 weekly jobs per crew, translating to around five jobs daily,” Schweitzer explained. “Considering the challenges of telemarketing and occasional cancellations, we usually had about 20 daily jobs.”

Over the years, Sunbell expanded and grew, reaching up to 17 crews between Oklahoma City and its Lawton, Oklahoma, office, about 90 miles away. Lawton was a relatively untapped market for carpet cleaning services, especially for the dry foam scrubbing process.

Around 2002, Schweitzer decided to scale down due to personal reasons and the need to focus more on family. This transition led to a more minor operation with just one crew, allowing him to maintain a better work-life balance. “I experimented with various crew sizes but eventually settled on a more minor team. Dealing with employees became challenging as finding dedicated workers became increasingly difficult,” Schweitzer explained.

In 2006 or 2007, Sunbell Carpet Cleaning ventured into tile and grout cleaning after a successful experience with cleaning for the Oklahoma Air National Guard. “We washed approximately 75,000 square feet of tile and grout in 12 days, gaining valuable expertise,” he said.

Subsequently, he expanded Sunbell’s services to include air duct and dryer vent cleaning, a venture that has continued for over 16 years. “While I consider my business relatively small compared to some corporations, I take pride in its high praise and recognition in the Oklahoma City market,” Schweitzer shared. “We’ve been nominated as one of the top five companies in the Reader’s Choice Award for 13 consecutive years and have won the award three times, surpassing bigger competitors.”

One of his fundamental principles in business is to refrain from competing on price. Instead, he focuses on selling the reliability of his services and the reputation Sunbell has built over the years. Schweitzer finds word-of-mouth referrals and excellent customer service more effective than heavy discounts. “I even have a referral program for homeowners,” he explained, “offering them discounts for referring our services to others.”

What advice does Schweitzer have for the industry? “I’ve always adhered to three fundamental sales principles from Zig Ziglar: Sell yourself or your business, sell your product or service, and sell your price. However, you only need to excel at two to succeed. I excel at marketing my business and services while avoiding price-based advertising.

“I also emphasize the importance of customer follow-up and maintaining a positive attitude. Smiling, even during phone conversations, can make a significant difference. Additionally, I use fliers to promote our services in our neighborhoods.”

How does Schweitzer feel about his journey in the carpet cleaning industry? “It has been filled with ups and downs, but I’m content with the size and success of my business. I believe in staying adaptable, trying new things when necessary, and not fixing what isn’t broken. Ultimately, dedication, excellent customer service, and a commitment to delivering quality work have been the keys to our continued success.”

Watch the full interview here:

Cleanfax Staff

Cleanfax provides cleaning and restoration professionals with information designed to help them manage and grow their businesses.

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