Steve, welcome to Business Minds. Tell us about how you came to call the Coffs Coast home?
I met my wife, Bianca when we were living on the Gold Coast. Bianca was born and bred in Coffs Harbour, and we used to come down here for the holidays. When we got married and started to have kids, we thought there was no better place than the Coffs Coast to raise a family. That was 12 years ago, so I guess I’m officially a local now!
Your business, Harbour Carpet Cleaning has been around for seven years. What services do you provide customers?
Our main service, as the name suggests, is carpet cleaning. We work with many real estates in Coffs Harbour and surrounding areas doing vacate steam cleans and flea treatments. There are a great deal of renters who care about the property they’re renting and call us each time they move, because they know we do a great job.
We also do a lot of residential cleaning for our clients who are giving the house a spring clean. This might include their carpets, lounges, rugs, dining chairs, mattresses and even the car! Our steam clean doesn’t just clean; it also removes any hidden nasties like germs, viruses or dust mites, which is reassuring for parents or pet owners.
We also do commercial cleans, fabric or carpet protection and leather cleaning. Our drop off rug service has been very popular with rug owners too!
What do you find to be the best marketing channels to use for your business?
The best marketing, as with every business, is word of mouth. We often get calls like,“You cleaned my friend’s house and now we are moving out; can you do ours?”
As a mum and dad business, we don’t have the marketing budget like a big internationally owned franchise does, so word of mouth has been vital for us. We’ve always had the goal of being Coffs Harbour’s go to steam cleaners, and you simply won’t achieve that if you take short cuts. Our customers’ satisfaction is paramount, and happy customers keep food on the table for our family!
What’s the most interesting part of your job?
Definitely the people you meet. I’ve done many jobs for refugee families who have incredible stories about where they’re from, how they wound up here and the differences between the two. The job after that might be a third-generation Coffs local who can tell me every bit of progress the town has made! There’s also all the furry friends I get to meet!
Being in a service-based business, how do you drive customer loyalty?
My main objective is to provide quality workmanship at a reasonable price, be punctual and always communicate with our clients. I constantly put myself in the client’s shoes and think, “What would I want in a carpet cleaner?”
No one wants to wait around all day for a tradie to show up, which is why we always confirm our bookings the day before and show up on time!
As carpet cleaners, we’re conscious of the fact that we’re inside someone’s home and entering their personal space, so building trust is important to us. Being reliable, trustworthy and exceeding our clients’ expectations all drive loyalty and are a big reason why our clients call us time and time again to help them out.
What motivates you about your work?
Client satisfaction and the flexibility of owning our own business are probably what motivates me the most! The positive feedback we continue to get is very rewarding, and it really does motivate you to keep doing all the things which made that client happy.
Owning our own business also means I get to hang out with my kids a lot more. Growing up in Sydney, my dad was out the door before we got up and often getting home as we went to bed, so I always try to start my day once the kids are on the way to school, and I’m usually home again to help run them around for their after-school activities. I love being able to do that.
Living on the beautiful Coffs Coast, what do you enjoy most about this piece of paradise?
Probably the beaches, the weather and the people. The beaches, compared to other parts of the East Coast, are relatively uncrowded and incredibly beautiful. The weather is usually always nice, and the winter is mild compared to Sydney!
Lastly, I enjoy getting to know the Coffs Harbour locals. Coffs has a great, close knit community, and many of our clients have become lifelong friends over the years! Nearly every day we’re reminded that we truly live in the best spot!
Three things you can’t live without …
1. My family. My wife is the definition of super mum, and I simply wouldn’t be able to run Harbour Carpet Cleaning without her help! I also love being a dad. I’m a big kid myself, so I genuinely love hanging out with my three kids.
2. My dog. To be clear, she’s part of the family, but as a dog lover, we couldn’t live without her and we wouldn’t want to raise kids without a dog by our side!
3. The beach. On the weekends, I’ll be searching for waves up north or down at the Jetty with the kids. It’s virtually impossible to be in a bad mood when you’re at the beach!