Bright Exterior Cleaning

6 Things to Know About Starting Pressure Washing Businesses

Sometimes I get the question, “How would I start my own pressure washing business?”

Typically, this comes after a homeowner who has had experience working with a pressure washing business or they have even bought their very own pressure washer and they’re looking to supplement some income.

It’s a fair question, but just like any business, there is a lot more behind the scenes than what might meet the eye.

While we are not discouraging starting your own pressure washing business, there are things you should know before just starting a pressure washing/power washing business of your own!

What to Know About Pressure Washing Businesses

1. It’s not that easy

Typically before starting any business, you must have a plan and a clear road map to your goals and understanding when you will break even and afterward profit.

Figuring out how much it will cost and the upfront investment to make the business kick-off and the on-going costs followed thereafter, you then have to:

  • Identify who are your potential clients?
  • Will you target commercial clients or individual customers, or a bit of both?
  • How are you going to advertise your business?
  • How are you going to organize your business
  • What about communication and website marketing?
  • What are you going to call your business?

As you can see, a lot of planning, investment, patience, and time goes into starting a business, and that isn’t always easy. Not to mention, this is before you even do a single pressure washing job!

2. Insurance is involved, and liability.

To start a business, especially a pressure washing business, have to be insured.

While you might be wondering why, there are times when you might pressure wash and damage a home accidentally.

If ladders are involved, someone on the job gets injured. You also want to be insured in the rare case you might get sued and in order for you to not be personally liable.

When personally liable, assets can be seized or payments can come out of your pocket to compensate for the reasoning behind you getting sued.

Also, to be a legit pressure washing business, you must register your business as an LLC, S-corp, C-corp, DBA, etc. Obtain the proper licensing and permits to work as a pressure washer.

These are things clients will ask for and want to see!

3. Background knowledge is a must. 

PSI, chemicals, set times – you name it – a lot goes in to pressure washing, contrary to what many might think!

Pressure washing companies don’t just come blast dirt and leave, there is plenty of background knowledge that is needed

Things like knowing about pressure washers, knowing which nozzle is best suited for the job at hand, the ideal pressure to use to remove the dirt and grime off the surface you are cleaning.

Chemicals are not something to play with either. Knowing which chemical or cleaning detergent you need in order to clean the surface properly and if you need to dilute it or not is VITAL.

Lastly, how much should you charge your clients?

Should you charge hourly or per square foot? Lastly, and maybe most importantly, the maintenance of your pressure washer. Without it, you technically don’t have an operating business since the core of it is your pressure washer. 

4. Expenses are involved

Like any business, with pressure washing there are expenses at hand t start.

If you plan on hiring a few extra hands, you have to consider payroll/labor costs, the maintenance, lease, or purchase of the pressure washing machine is one of the few big expenses you’ll come across.

Transportation to move the commercial-grade pressure washing machine from HQ to wherever your client is located isn’t cheap either. The cost to lease a van/truck if you do not have a proper vehicle already can add up.

If you plan to spend money on advertising on a monthly basis. The insurance will also be an expense. Registering for your proper licensing and permits to be allowed to pressure wash in your state. Pay for accounting to keep tabs on your revenues and expenses.

Lastly, and maybe the most annoying expense of them all, taxes. Accountants and detailed notes are a must for business ownership!

5. Marketing and landing clients.

Your marketing plan and efforts will be vital to obtain your clients.

Figure out your best marketing platform, we can go the traditional route and include an ad on the newspaper, perhaps a 30-second jingle/segment on the radio, or shoot a commercial and air it on TV.

Usually pricier, but if you have the sufficient funds, and don’t like the alternatives, then this is a good avenue.

The more up to date, inexpensive, and modern way to utilize advertising is having a social media presence. Run ads on the social media platform, running ads on Google, creating a site and a blog along with it, collect emails/phone numbers who inquire about pressure washing. 

6. Effort and time

Starting a new business is almost like taking care of a newborn, you spend hours taking care of it and will keep you up at night.

When you first begin the business and have little to no money, its as if you are the writer, director, actor, and camera person in a film.

Terrible analogies aside, it takes a lot of effort to take care of your business, you will be in charge of marketing, making appointments for clients, actually doing the pressure washing yourself, and so forth. Taking a good chunk of your time at first, but once you break even, slowly start having a good stream of income flowing, and scale your business into something bigger.

You can start hiring people and slowly start taking those tasks off your plate and focus on managing your employees and other projects. 

Instead, Call a Pressure Washing Company

The best way to comprehend the ins and outs of any business or industry… is by contacting a business in that same industry and inquire about their humble beginnings.

It’s doubtful most will tell you how they price, but they may give you some tips on how to start!

How they manage to scale to what they are today, some good tips and advice to keep in mind when going into the pressure washing business, and how to thrive in the business.

A final word on pressure washing businesses:

We are not saying that the pressure washing business is not a great business venture to go into, but instead, it is not as simple as just owning a pressure washer.

Case in point, many don’t know that you actually NEVER pressure wash siding or roofs!

Also, most severely underestimate the costs to get started. Like any business you build, it will take a lot of time and effort in order for it to breakeven.

Unfortunately, many start and stop within the first 12 months of existence. That being said, if you’re serious about really starting your own pressure washing business, be sure to really educate and do research in regards to the pressure washing industry in order to give the best service for your clients. 

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