If you’re interested in starting a business, one of the types of business you might be thinking about starting is a pressure washing business. Doing so in 2021 is certainly not a bad idea, but you shouldn’t hold any misconceptions about how challenging this will be. Lots of people consider starting a pressure washing business because they think it’ll be relatively easy and a good way to make money quickly. Learning how to start a pressure washing business, certainly can be very profitable, but you shouldn’t underestimate the challenge involved.
You’ve come to the right place if you’ve been under the impression that starting a successful pressure washing business in 2020 is easy. There are lots of things you need to learn about and understand before you go any further because diving in with your eyes closed doesn’t end well for most businesses. It’s not easy to succeed but it’s certainly easy to fail if you don’t prepare and plan properly before launching the business.
There’s a lot more to creating a successful pressure washing business than many people might think. It certainly won’t be an easy ride and there are many challenges you’ll experience along the way, but that’s not to say it’s a bad idea to start your pressure washing business. What really matters is that you understand the business and how to succeed without making mistakes that lots of others have already made.
We’re going to cover all of the most important issues when it comes to starting your pressure washing business this year. We’ll discuss why it’s important to know how to pressure wash to a professional standard, how to make sure your business is profitable, what you need to know about the legal stuff, buying your pressure washing equipment and how to reach customers. So, read on now to find out what you need to know about starting a pressure washing business.
You Should Start by Learning How to Pressure Wash Professionally
If you’re going to run a successful pressure washing business in 2019, you obviously first need to learn how to pressure wash to a professional level. That might sound like the most obvious thing in the world, and it sort of is. But you’d be surprised by how many people dive in expecting to find success without really knowing what they’re doing.
Why Learning is Important
It’s important to know why learning to pressure wash is important because if you don’t really commit in the learning process, you probably won’t go through with it. There are two main reasons why it’s so important to learn how to pressure wash professionally, aside from the fact that this is going to be your livelihood going forward!
First of all, you need to know how to carry out the pressure washing process in a way that’s safe and careful. Pressure washing is powerful and you can very easily do damage to the things in the area around the location by accident if you don’t know what you’re doing. Plants and things like that will be destroyed if you take the wrong approach. Individuals have hurt themselves very badly using the wrong pressure washing tips, and had to go to the ER because of the pressure hitting their skin.
Learning how to do this work properly is also important because it lets you familiarize yourself with the process and understand what it’s all about. This means you can decide whether this is something that you want to do from day to day and build a Lean & Mean business around.
How to Learn the Process of Professional Pressure Washing
There are many ways to learn how to use pressure washing equipment. The best way to start is to buy or borrow a pressure washer and start using it on your own property. This will give you the scope to learn and make mistakes without there being any real consequences if that does happen.
You can also teach yourself by following guides online. There are instructional text-based guides out there, but the best way to learn the basics is to follow video guides on sites like Youtube and take things from there. You can build on your abilities over time and follow as many guides as you can find. It won’t make you an expert overnight but you’ll slowly get better.
If you know anyone who does this work professionally, you could also ask them to teach you the basics one to one. This is useful because hands-on experience is also the best form of learning when it comes to something practical like this. If that’s an option for you, make the most of it.
Gain Some Practical Experience
Once you’ve learned the basics and have some experience of using a pressure washer, you might want to contact a local company and see if they’re looking for anyone to help out. They’ll usually be more than happy to give you some part-time work and this gives you the chance to learn more about what professional pressure washing is about.
This professional experience can then be carried forward to when you’re looking to start your own pressure washing business. You’ll learn what it’s like to work in a professional environment and understand the challenges and difficulties that come with doing this kind of work in a professional setting.
While you’re doing this work and getting some professional experience, you should take the time to ask questions and learn from the people around you. They’ve likely been doing this kind of work for a long time, so make the most of the opportunity to learn from them and their professional experience. It could be very valuable to you.
Does Your Business Have a Chance of Being Profitable?
The ultimate aim of starting a business is to make it profitable. If you can’t do that, the business won’t endure for very long anyway. You need to find a way to make your business profitable as early on as you possibly can. Going into this without a proper strategy to achieve profitability is a big mistake and here are some things you need to know about turning a profit with your pressure washing business.
Pressure Washing Business Expenditure
You definitely need a little capital to start a pressure washing business. Unfortunately for you, pressure washing isn’t the kind of business idea that can be started with no money. You’ll need some money to pay for the equipment needed to carry out this kind of work and there’s no getting around that fact.
The costs you’ll need to consider when starting your pressure washing business include equipment like the pressure washer, surface cleaner, chemicals, vehicle trailer and nozzles. You’ll also need to make sure that you have the right insurance to cover your new business, which will cost money too. And this is not something you can avoid.
There are also things like advertising costs, which are essential because you’ll need to work hard to get those first few customers. It’s tough to do that when your business is new and no one knows about it so your advertising costs might be relatively significant. The costs of other permits and licenses have to be factored in too.
Choosing Your Price Point
Now we’ve covered the money that you’ll have to spend, we need to talk about the money coming into your new business. Of course, at the most basic level, you’ll make money by carrying out pressure washing services for customers and they’ll pay you for those services. How much you receive will depend on how much you charge and how many customers you’re able to serve.
Being able to attract people to your business and turn them into customers is one of the first things that you’ll have to get right because you won’t get too long to make it happen before things get tough. Good advertising and promotional material will definitely help you out, as well as positive referrals from your first few customers.
You definitely need to think carefully about the amount of money you charge for your services as well. The price point should be competitive, without you underselling your services. If you price them too low, it might attract customers but you’ll struggle to bring in the amount of money that you need to in order to keep the business ticking over.
Profitability and Your Business Plan
Of course, this is all about making sure that your pressure washing business turns out to be profitable. The amount of money you make minus the amount of money you spend will result in your profit. And a big part of your business’s ability to be profitable is having a strong business plan that you prepared in advance.
As part of your business plan, you should outline the initial costs you’ll have to cover. This will allow you to get an idea of how much money you’ll need to make to cover those costs, as well as planning your initial startup expenditure, which you’ll need to have financing for at the earliest possible opportunity.
Having a strong plan will take you a long way and help you to achieve the things you want to early on. Making it up as you go along is never an advisable strategy, so don’t be tempted to take that approach. Your business plan should also outline the challenges you expect to face and how you plan on confronting them.
I would advise on having a rough draft but just getting started building your pressure washing business right away. I say get more jobs and figure out the rest later. Don’t let yourself stall in the details, and keep a focus that if you aren’t pressure washing something today then you aren’t progressing. If you keep this mentality, you will stay moving forward and avoid paralysis by analysis which stalls people into stagnation.
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Permits, Licenses and Insurance: How to Run Your Pressure Washing Business Legally
There are all kinds of nasty situations that can arise if you don’t take the time to ensure you have the correct permits, licenses and insurance for your pressure washing business. You don’t want to land yourself in hot water just because you don’t understand the rules or what’s required from this kind of business. It’s never a good idea to cut corners.
Vital Documents You’ll Need
The licenses and documents your business needs will depend on the state your business is operating in. States have different rules but there are some documents you can expect to need before your business can legally operate. You should start by registering your business with your state, which is when you’ll get your business license.
You may also need to pay a bond before you can get access to your business license. You will also need to go through sales tax registration and maybe get a contractor permit if your state demands it. Some states will require you to have an environmental permit as well. This is necessary because you’ll be working with water.
It’s always best to check with authorities at the state level because as we already stated, it is necessary to ensure you have all the correct documents. And if you start providing services to paying customers without having these documents in place, you will fall foul of the law and land yourself in real trouble.
Types of Insurance Policies
It’s also necessary to have all of the right insurance policies in place and this is something that can’t be overlooked. There are three different types of insurance policies that pressure washing businesses should have in place. These are liability insurance, workers compensation and equipment insurance.
Liability insurance is there to protect your business in the event of you causing any damage while carrying out your work. For example, something might get broken as you pressure wash on a job. Workers compensation covers you for injuries sustained to yourself or other members of staff while working. And equipment insurance covers the value of your equipment if it gets lost or stolen.
It’s important to talk to insurance brokers and get as many quotes as possible before deciding which insurance policies you should choose. On the one hand, you need to make sure that you have the right level of cover, but you also don’t want to spend any more money than you need to on insurance because you’ll want to keep costs down.
Ps: Keep pressure washing insurance in mind, but don’t let it keep you from starting. MOVE!
Voluntary Pressure Washing Associations
Pressure washing associations act like industry unions. You get support and advice from these associations if you choose to make your new business a member of one. You obviously don’t have to do this if you don’t want to, but most businesses do want to become members and there are various reasons why that’s the case.
You’ll get more support in instances when something goes wrong and you need professional advice. Your lack of experience will make that support all the more important when you’re just starting out. It’s definitely something you should think about, even if you don’t see yourself needing their help anytime soon.
There are three pressure washing associations in America: United Association of Mobile Contract Cleaners (UAMCC), Power Washers of North America (PWNA) and Pressure Washing Research Association (PWRA). Learn about each of these and see which one you want to join. Of course, there’s nothing stopping you from joining them all.
I think if you want to take a deep dive into the pressure washing world of organizations then thats great, they’re there to take your money and put you in a “credible” organization with other credible pressure washing people but personally, I wouldn’t wait for them to start cranking out pressure washing jobs.
Should You Invest Heavily in Your Equipment or Go Cheap?
The short answer to that question is yes. If you don’t go out of your way to invest in your new business from the start, you’ll struggle to find success and win customers. Remember, it’s an investment, which means you should see a return on the cash you spend as long as you spend it on the right things. Find out more about the importance of this below.
People Judge You by the Vehicle and Equipment They See
It might sound unfair, but appearances matter in the world of business and that’s just as true in the world of power washing as in any other business niche. People will look at your vehicle and the equipment you use to get the job done and they’ll form opinions based on what they say. It’s human nature to form opinions in that way.
It’s one reason why you should invest in new and impressive equipment. You want people to like what they see when they see your vehicle coming. If you have an old vehicle that looks like it’s seen better days, you’ll probably find it a lot harder to win over customers and persuade them to use your services.
Good first impressions will be important for your pressure washing business early on because it’s already hard to find customers when your business is new. It’ll be that little bit easier for you to win people over if they see that you have the right equipment in place.
Reversal: While having the newest and best is nice, if you’re like me when I first started you didn’t have the money to get the newest and best pressure washing equipment so you have to rent and or use a home depot style washer; which is fine. Just go with what you have, hold to your word and make sure the customer is happy before you leave.
Good Equipment Can Help You Work Quicker
As well as helping you win customers, the best equipment will also help to provide a better service to customers once they decide to hire you. You will have equipment that can do the job to the highest of standards and that’s got to be a good thing. It makes your job easier and the outcomes for customers better too.
Perhaps equally importantly, you’ll be able to get each job done quicker. This makes your business more efficient overall, allowing you to get more jobs done each day. And, of course, when your business is more efficient and getting more jobs done each day and each week, you’ll also make more money.
Businesses with modern and efficient equipment work faster and work better. That should be enough of a reason for you to buy new equipment and to really invest in it, rather than looking for cheap or used options instead. That equipment will pay for itself in no time at all.
Some equipment that you will need:
- A quality pressure washer – shitty site, great customer service.
- A Down Stream Injector for spraying your solution
- A Surface Cleaner for cleaning concrete and driveways
You’ll Save Money Over the Long-Term
You’ll also be able to save money over time when you buy good equipment that you know you can rely on. It’ll last much longer than cheaper or second hand equipment, and that means your upfront costs will be higher but your long-term costs will be lower because you won’t have to replace your equipment quite as quickly.
It can be tough to spend big now, but it’s worth doing if you can avoid having to spend more on your equipment over the coming months and years. As long as you buy equipment you know you can rely on and that’s considered the best in the industry, you will be able to rely on it for a long time to come.
That money that would otherwise have been spent on pressure washing equipment will instead be spent on other things that matter. This will help you to advance your business faster and achieve the things you want to achieve.
You Can Market Your Business with Your Vehicle
You shouldn’t forget that your vehicle can advertise your business, and that’s true in more ways than one. For a start, your business’s vehicle can look great and modern, showing customers that your business is also impressive and modern. Those are the kinds of businesses that customers generally want to hire.
But that’s not the only example of how a good vehicle can benefit your business. If you choose a modern vehicle with a nice paint job, you can also add your business’s branding and contact details do it. It will effectively become a moving advert for your business that people in the local area will get used to seeing.
Any tool your business has access to in terms of marketing and advertising should be exploited to the max. Marketing a new business can be expensive at the best of times, and this represents an affordable and relatively effective way of doing it, so make the most of it.
Give Your Business Authority
Having authority will help your business show the world that you’re serious about what you’re doing. There’s nothing more important than people taking you seriously because if your business isn’t taken seriously, you will have no real hope of finding success in a competitive sector. Having the authority that comes with a great vehicle could make a big difference.
People like to see that the businesses they’re buying from are of a high standard and have the best equipment. People won’t take your business as seriously if it looks like you’re skimping on equipment and have bought a cheap vehicle. People rightly expect more than that from the businesses they hire.
Whether we like it or not, people do take things like this seriously and it can even have an impact on whether customers choose to use your company or one of your rivals. That’s why you can’t afford to lack the authority that your existing competitors might already enjoy.
How to Reach Customers and Find Success
The only sure-fire way to be successful in business is to sell to customers, and that’s certainly no different in the pressure washing industry. There are so many ways to appeal to customers and ensure you’re constantly busy enough to make money and turn a profit. That’s not to say it’s going to be easy, but here are some of the best ways to reach customers and find success.
Reveal Appealing Facts
If you can make people see why your services are worth paying for, they’ll be more likely to hand over their money and that’s clearly what you want to achieve. That’s why it makes sense to reveal appealing facts about your services and what they can do for customers. It’s the best way to win people over.
For example, you can talk about how pressure washing services can improve the appearance and even the overall value of your home. Curb appeal is worth a lot these days, and if people can see for themselves the tangible impact your pressure washing services will bring to their home, they’ll be more willing to pay for what you do.
Just make sure that you’re honest with your facts. Don’t inflate things and promise outcomes that aren’t possible because that kind of thing always comes back to bite you in the end and that’s not what you want. The true facts are worth enough alone.
Let Them Know Why They Won’t Want to Miss Out
You should also talk about why they shouldn’t want to miss out. If you can tell them that you’ve already produced great results for other people on their street, they’ll be able to see what you’re capable of and maybe be more interested in paying for your services. And no one wants to miss out on something good.
People really will be more willing to hire you if they feel like they’ll be missing out not to. If their neighbors have all already made use of the services you offer, they won’t want their home to stand out for all the wrong reasons in comparison to their neighbours’ properties. So don’t be afraid to use that fact to your advantage.
You don’t have to be forceful with it, but just make it clear that you can help their home compete with the others in the area and in their street. It’s a little nudge that can really sway a customer when they’re still unsure of whether to pay for your services or not.
Be Clear About the Value You’re Offering
By emphasizing the offer that you’re putting forward to your customers, they’ll be able to see that they’re getting something that represents value for their money. Let’s face it; everyone wants to feel like they’re getting a great deal when they hire a company to carry out services for them and your customers will feel the same way.
It’s in your best interests to put forward an offer that really is unbeatable and appealing. When your company is new, sometimes you have to offer a great offer that people can’t ignore. This draws people in and gets them using your services. That way, they’ll be more likely to recommend you to their friends.
Of course, you won’t be able to keep those unbeatable offers in place forever, but it’s about getting those first customers who can help your business grow. But when you are offering great deals, don’t be afraid to be loud and clear about them.
Add Some Urgency to Your Offer
A good way to persuade people to hire you now and not later is to add some urgency to the offer that you’re putting forward. That can be done by telling customers that the offer will only be available for a specific and limited amount of time. This makes people want to act and hire you right away.
People hate the idea of missing out on a great deal, so if you do have a great deal, be clear about when that deal will come to an end and how long customers have to act before they simply miss out. There’s nothing wrong with this tactic because it works and it’s honest.
Businesses can’t afford to keep unbeatable deals available forever and customers understand that. Therefore, they won’t be upset about you only offering these great deals for a limited amount of time, so go ahead and make the most of this tactic.
Present Your Business Well
Finally, you need to present your business well and show the world that you’re serious about what you do. If people don’t look at you and see a professional and serious business, they probably won’t be very eager to use your services and hand their money over to you.
The way in which you present your business does have an impact. We’ve already mentioned why a professional-looking vehicle and equipment will make a difference in how people see your business and whether or not they want to hire it. The same is true for the various other ways in you present your business to the world.
Think about how the things you do and the actions you take will impact the ways in which people see your business and judge it. All of those little things will have an impact, even if it doesn’t seem to be the case to begin with.
Finding your path to success in the world of pressure washing is something you’ll have to navigate yourself. Each business approaches things differently, but the tips, information and advice above will help you to get the most important things right and avoid the pitfalls that often cause new pressure washing businesses to fail. So, all that’s left to do is to take action and get your business off the ground.