The demand for professional and quality rug cleaning has increased and it’s a very specliased and profitable service to offer – if done correctly. Jena Dyco invited some the leading world rug cleaning experts to share their invaluable expertise to give the Australian rug cleaning community an opportunity to learn, network and share ideas about rug cleaning. Keith Watts reports.
Melbourne-based registered training organisation (RTO) Jena Dyco held a two day Rug Cleaning Conference on 17 and 18 April 2015 at the Novotel Hotel, St. Kilda. The first of its kind in Australia, the conference was attended by 60 delegates including trade exhibitors and three international visitors; Lisa Wagner, The Rug Chick, (US); Mark Kennedy from Levels of Success (US); and Dr Agnes Zsednai from The WoolSafe Organisation (UK).
In her opening address Jena Dyco’s director, Jenny Boymal, said she was delighted to see the readiness, enthusiasm and eagerness from attendees. “This event is about you making money out of rugs,” she stated. “I encourage you all to network, ask questions and get the most out of this conference. Rug cleaning offers you exciting opportunities to develop your business and reach towards new avenues and referrals that you can’t get with carpet cleaning.”
The first presentation was delivered by Wagner who runs the most sought-after rug care website in the US and is seen as an expert in her field. She has helped hundreds of businesses grow and become profitable and she offered delegates a number of tips on how to present themselves in a challenging market – especially when the cleaning may cost more than the rug is actually worth.
“The most common question we get asked is how much is it going to cost to clean a cheap rug that’s not antique or Persian? Never judge a person or the rug,” she said. “The first response is most important. Be personal, be helpful, and be resourceful. Find out what type of rug it is – its size, its condition, its history. Explain what needs to be done and the price. People will pay more to care for the rug if they trust the rug cleaning company. Take time to build a relationship and trust with your customer and charge what you’re worth.”
The Rug Badger’s Dusty Roberts conducted a lively interactive presentation called Selling on your hands and knees by video link from Canada. Boymal handled the white board as many ideas were thrown into the melting pot. Roberts encouraged delegates to brainstorm ideas of what they could charge for services over and above cleaning such as storage, pick up and delivery, repairs, moth treatment, rug shaving, installing non-slip backing, etc.
Although not about rug cleaning, director of a Brisbane-based rug manufacturer, Richard Auchter, gave a fascinating insight into rug market trends. “Australia generally follows trends from the US by 18 months in terms of colour and styles,” he commented. “The main trend now is towards less shaggy style rugs and less bright colours with more textured patterns.” Quality is also spiraling up, according to Auchter.
Attendees had time to network and talk with keynote speakers during lunch breaks and the atmosphere was kept interactive with door prizes given out throughout the day. Boymal gave thanks to the event sponsors; MasterBlend (Bennett Direct), Pressure Pro, Carpet Cleaners Warehouse, Whyte Specialised Equipment, Oates, MicroSeal, WoolSafe, Restoration Express and Specialised Cleaning & Restoration Industry Association (SCRIA).