BUSINESS FEATURE Austin Steam It Carpet-cleaning business has experienced 15 years of customer-driven growth I n 2007, Mike Padilla said he had a bad experience while having his carpet professionally cleaned. After talking about it with his
BY CARSON GANONG
includes carpet, tile, air duct and upholstery cleaning. “My customers drove this business into all the dierent things we do,” Padilla said. As the list of services at Steam It has grown, Padilla said so, too, has the business itself. What was originally a solo endeavor that Padilla managed out of his pickup truck is now a business with seven employees and a eet of ve vans. The COVID-19 pandemic stalled
friends and family, Padilla said he decided he could do it better, and shortly thereafter Austin Steam It was born. When he rst started Steam It in 2007 with just a pickup truck, a trailer and a few classes on carpet cleaning, Padilla said he was not sure it would work out. “I was thinking, ‘I’ll start my own
Austin Steam It has a total of ve vans that provide several dierent cleaning services.
COURTESY STEAM IT
“MOST OF MY REGULAR CUSTOMERS DON’T EVEN SCHEDULE ONLINE; THEY JUST TEXT ME. IN 15 YEARS, YOU MAKE A LOT OF FRIENDS.” MIKE PADILLA, OWNER OF STEAM IT
The ProChem Legend is one piece of equipment used to clean carpets. COURTESY STEAM IT
business, serve my community and I’m young enough that if it fails, I’ll be OK,’” Padilla said. The onset of the 2008 recession
growth some- what, forcing the business to scale back from
As a general guideline, Padilla recommends professional cleaning every: HOW OFTEN TO CLEAN PROFESSIONALLY
12 employees, but Padilla said his experience dealing with the recession prepared him to face pandemic-related challenges. Padilla said after 15 years, his favor- ite part of running Steam It has been getting to know his regular customers as well as growing his clientele. Steam It serves customers across a large area of Central Texas. The bulk of his clients are in Travis and Williamson counties, but Padilla said the growth has not stopped him from developing and maintaining those relationships. “Most of my regular customers don’t even schedule online; they just text me,” Padilla said. “In 15 years, you make a lot of friends.”
less than a year after Padilla started his business further shook his con- dence, but Steam It ended up gaining traction in spite of the challenges. “Actually, it worked out really well. My rst year was great,” Padilla said. Initially Steam It only oered carpet cleaning, and Padilla said he had no plans to do anything else. However, Padilla’s regular cus- tomers began to ask if he could clean their tile as well, so he learned to clean tile. Over time, the requests contin- ued to build, Padilla continued to accommodate them, and today the range of services at Steam It
STEAM IT PRICE $110 for 3 rooms $0.45 per sq. ft. $179 per HVAC unit
FREQUENCY 6-12 months
Mike Padilla founded Austin Steam It in 2007.
CARSON GANONGCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER
Austin Steam It 4701 Priem Lane, Ste. C3, Pugerville 512-202-3808 https://austinsteamit.com
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