Professional Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning Service in OKC | Citro’s Carpet Cops
Of course, we are more than just a Professional Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning Service. We also clean Tile and Grout (and all other kinds of hard surface flooring), Area Rugs (on-site or in the shop), Mattresses, and of course, we do Water Restoration/Flood Damage Remediation.
0ver 30 years Experience in the Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning Industry
Hello, my name is Jeff Citro Sr. Owner of Citro’s Carpet Cops. For the rest of this page, I am going to tell you how I came to own a Professional Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning Service.
I got out of the Army in 1987, and after a few jobs, I got a job as a Barback at The Safari Bar in Omaha, Nebraska. I enjoyed working there and made enough money to survive. But I needed a job with a better opportunity for advancement. So, I wasn’t going to pass on a good opportunity if one came up.
Then one of my co-workers approached me with what looked to be a good opportunity. His name was Dan Weaver. Dan had a friend who had purchased a Chem-Dry Profesional Carpet Cleaning franchise. Dan said his friend Don Mangimeli was a successful businessman who had a Merry Maids franchise. He sold that franchise and bought 3 Chem-Dry Professional Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning Franchises, one in Omaha, Hawaii, and the Virgin Islands. He went on to explain the job and pay structure. Everything sounded good to me, so I agreed to meet Don.
I met with Don Mangimeli to talk about the carpet cleaning job
Speaking with Don, convinced me I could make a good living as a Professional Carpet Cleaner. So I went to work for him. I work there for about six months, and in that time I learn a lot. First, I learned I was not thrilled with the method of carpet cleaning we used. Back then, Chem-Dry strictly used the Bonnet Cleaning method for cleaning carpets. Bonnet cleaning does work well on commercial carpet but not on the residential carpet. Because with the Bonnet method, everything has to be just right, or it will not work. The difficulty in getting it “just right” is probably why Chem-Dry has switched to Hot Water Extraction as its primary carpet cleaning method. However, they call it “Hot Carbonated Extraction.” When they made the big switch to Hot Water Extraction, the company basically said “OOPS we were wrong for the past 20 years or so.
My Biggest Lesson
The biggest lesson I learned was how to treat people. Although it’s more accurate to say, I learned how NOT to treat people from Don Mangimeli.
You see, when I went to work for Don Mangimeli, I knew he had just started the business, but he made me believe he was flush with cash, so I wasn’t worried. I worked there for six months, and sure there was some work but definitely not enough to keep the business afloat. However, I knew he had two other Chem-Dry carpet cleaning franchises, one in Hawaii and the other in the Virgin Islands. The other two were making money, and my understanding was he would take some of that money and put it toward the Omaha Franchise. That is not what happened
Since my pay was a percentage of the work with up to a $200 a week draw, if there was no work, I could rely on the draw, or so I thought. However, instead of paying me the $200, Don would ask if $50 would “get me by” I’d say no I need to buy food and pay rent and stuff, $50 isn’t enough. I said that several times, but he only gave me the $50. That happened every payday.
He even had me purchase a truck to carry the carpet cleaning equipment
I had purchased a truck to transport the equipment because he did not have one. Regarding the truck, our deal was: I pay for the truck, and he pays the insurance; only he never paid the insurance. As a matter of fact, as far as pay goes, I was paid a gross of $1,148.00 over the course of six months which is bad enough, but $600 was from one week, and that week he made me “payback” the draw money so that week was a very small check. Yea, he was a horrible employer. I wised up and left. He went out of business shortly after that.
A Better Carpet Cleaning
My next Carpet Cleaning Job was with A Better Carpet Cleaning based out of Council Bluffs, Ia. Dave King was the owner there. Dave had his business running for a few years when I got there. I worked there for about nine months and learned a few things while I was there too. As far as the amount of work, there was no problem with that. Dave had me booked full from 8 am to midnight (and sometime later) six days a week. Sunday was supposed to be my day off, but Dave would schedule a job for himself and then call me and tell me I had to do it. TONS and TONS of work. I was making $1,000 to $1,200 a week every week. Sure, I had to work a hundred hours a week (literally), but I finally had some money coming in.
Unfortunately, Dave had a gambling problem. Dave liked to go to Vegas and gamble it all away. Soon my paychecks started to bounce along with all the other checks Dave was writing. Then the FBI got involved because apparently Dave was not allowed to have a checking account per a previous deal for writing bad checks. So, from Dave, I learned to not spend all the money, and everyone needs a day off.
To have a checking account per a previous deal for writing bad checks. So, from Dave, I learned to not spend all the money, and everyone needs a day off.
FBG Service Corporation
As a result of the FBI arresting Dave, I left A better Carpet Cleaning (big surprise, right?), It was wintertime, and in Nebraska carpet cleaning pretty much stops in the Winter So, there were no jobs available. Except with a large corporation. So for the next few weeks, I worked at FBG Corporation.
January 3, 1993
I stopped carpet cleaning except for a few small jobs until January 3, 1993, when I decided I was going to start my own Professional Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning Company. So I bought a portable carpet cleaning machine and set up shop at my house. As a result, Citro’s Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning Service was born. After about a year, I got an office space. However, that was very short-lived because I got in a car accident and was unable to clean carpet for a few months. Since I had just started, I was not in a position to hire someone to do the work. Which meant shuttering the Professional Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning Business for a bit.
Jerry’s Floor Fashions wants to add Profesional Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning to their business
In August of 1994, I got a call from my accountant saying he knew a guy who had a carpet store that wants to add carpet cleaning to his business. At the time, I felt like I could do the work again. So I got the information and called the owner Jerry Gentry. It was between me and another guy. They went with the other guy because he had no experience, and their feeling was they could train him on how they want to do it. Which is great if you know what you are doing, but if you don’t, then it is just the blind leading the blind. Sometime later, I got a call from Jerry; the other guy did not work out.
After some pay negotiations, I went to work there. Before I worked there, they had done 14 jobs in 6 months. I quickly got the business up and running. In the first month, we did 50+ jobs. As part of my pay, Jerry was supposed to pay me a $10,000 bonus once I got the business going good. I did my part, but he refused to pay. So I left, and within a year he was out of business.
Nothing is going to stop me now
In April 0f 1996, I decided enough was enough; I am going to start my own Professional Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning Company again. Not having any money didn’t stop me. But, I started as cheaply as I could. Using stuff we already had and buying used stuff where I could. Again I started out working out of my house, and again after a year, I got an office space, although it was much smaller than before and way cheaper. I was there for about ten years when due to family circumstances, I decided I needed to operate out of my house. So I moved the office to my house again. Everything was going ok for a while, but I realized If I wanted to stay in business I needed to hire people and that meant and office space.
Citro’s Carpet Cops gets a permanent home
Along comes the spring of 2012. I took a good look at my business and my health. As far as a carpet and upholstery cleaning service goes, I had a pretty good one. However, if I wanted to keep it going, I would need to hired people to do the work.
My knees were giving out and, if I didn’t hire someone, I would not be able to get the work done. Hiring people meant getting an office space, but do I buy a space or rent one?
I tried renting a space first, and I found one I liked. The Moore business Park had space available that faces I-35, high exposure, so I took it. After some negotiating, we had a deal and then nothing, no calls or anything for about a month. So here I am thinking they were busy getting the little bit of remodeling done I requested. I called to check-in they said “oh we forgot about you” and gave the spot to someone else. I called them on it, and they admitted they did not forget, but the other guy has a better deal. They went on to say they had another spot open. I declined and decided I would buy a place instead.
2401 N Janeway Ave Becomes World Headquarters for Citro’s Carpet Cops a Professional Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning Company
Immediately I started looking for a place to call home. I found a good one on about a half-acre of land with a 2700 sq ft building that has 1,000 sq ft of office space and 1700 sq ft of shop/warehouse. It took me six months to close on the property and a whole lot more money in closing fees than I wanted to pay but, I go it done.
So why have I told you all of this? Sure I wanted to fill in this page for Search Engine Optimization. However, the main reason is this: Owning and running a Professional Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning Company is not easy. Most people who start a Carpet Cleaning Company go out of business quickly. If you noticed the Professional Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning Companies, I mentioned I went to work for pretty much went out of business shortly after I left them.
The reason I want you to know that is choosing a Professional Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning Company that really knows what it’s doing is very difficult
More difficult than you may think. If you call around looking for a low price and don’t ask some questions about the company and how they conduct business there is a good chance you are not going to get the quality of work you want.
Last Updated 11/13/2019