Pressure washing is an excellent business to start if you have some extra cash. Many entrepreneurs may find that creating a pressure washing business is a good idea because of the high profit margins, minimal startup costs, and the simplicity of pressure washing. We’ll break down the most crucial information you’ll need to know about how to start a pressure washing business in this article.
Although it may seem like an easy job and not labor-heavy as other side hustles, pressure washing isn’t as straightforward as it appears. However, starting a pressure washing business can be a rewarding side hustle that turns into a full-fledged business. Here are some tips on how to create a successful pressure washing business.
Now, How to Start A Pressure Washing Business:
Learn The Basics Of Pressure Washing
Even though it is a pretty basic concept, many inexperienced pressure washers might make some mistakes. Before you start pressure washing, you’ll need to conduct some research. Before you go all-in on your business, be sure your services are of excellent caliber. Consider hiring a pressure washer to practice with if you don’t already have one. You may consider renting one for the day to give you plenty of opportunities to hone your talents, or perhaps enroll in some technical-vocational skill courses if you have plenty of time and money to invest with.
Besides learning more about pressure washing, you must also learn the business fundamentals and the financial side of how to start a pressure washing business.
Setting Up Your Business Entity & Legal
Of course, a business would not be considered an official one without understanding and obtaining the correct papers and legalities. Before you begin pursuing your pressure washing business, you must first start to plan how you will structure your business entity.
In short, there are four main types of businesses: sole proprietorships, limited liability companies (LLC), partnerships, and corporations. Most service based businesses tend to go with the LLC, because the business entity separates your personal finances from the business. This is advantageous in the event you are sued, because they can’t go after your personal assets and net worth.
Setting up your business entity usually involves an application with your state, but if you are outside of the US, it may be done through your township. Check with local laws in your area for more details.
The next thing you should do at this point is get a contract. This doesn’t have to be done by a lawyer, especially in the beginning. Contracts are meant to express the intent, scope, and financials of the project. As long as the basics of the contract are in place, then it should be sufficient to understand and defend the intent of the contract in court. Nonetheless, have a lawyer write a contract as soon as you can afford to.
One last thing you should do is secure basic business insurance. Ultimately, I would recommend getting a solid business insurance plan. However, in the beginning it wouldn’t hurt to just get one million dollars of basic coverage. You can find many companies offering insurance online for as little as $20-$25 per month (just make sure their address is within your country).
Because we are talking about how to start a pressure washing business for as little as $1,000, I am going to assume you have the money and are not looking for financing. So, I’m not going to get too deep into the financials here.
Nonetheless, I will say that you should plan for 3 specific types of expenses.
- Setting up your LLC
- Buying your first equipment
- Marketing and ads
We’ll cover these a bit more through the rest of this article.
Getting the Right Equipment
Depending on what you have for cash, you may choose to go with a lower-end pressure washer, such as the yellow one pictured here. However, if you can afford it, I would recommend getting a decent quality pressure washer. Despite green initiatives, gas is still the most economical, fast, and self-sufficient system out there (unless you want to rent a generator when your client tells you they can’t give you a power source).
So, just about any big-box home improvement store will have a pressure washer you can use. You can even purchase one on Amazon. I would recommend at least 3000psi, but 4000psi is better. You should be able to find a decent-quality pressure washer for around $400. Once. you add a few hoses, this purchase exhausts about half of your budget. Fortunately, that is all the supplies you absolutely need to have to get started.
You may need a second hose, but you can always look for a smaller project that doesn’t require the reach of a second hose. Then use the funds from that first job to expand you capabilities add to your supplies as needed.
Marketing & Ads
There are a lot of routes you can take with your marketing, but there are some basics you should get out of the way.
It may seem daunting, but get a logo done for as little as $5 on Fiverr (seriously). Most designers can complete the project in 24-48 hours.
Pro tip: Make sure you have a good idea of what you want (don’t stress over it). Search for other pressure washing businesses in other cities outside of your target market. Once you find something, send that to the designer to help them get it closer to done on the first draft.
Once you have your logo, get business cards. It may seem simple, but if you have 1000 business cards, you can always canvas your area and ask to leave them in places that have multiple local area business cards. It’s also customary to give to prospects and clients, so people have an easy way to reach you. If you pay your Fiverr designer a little more, they might be able to add that in with your logo design service. You can easily get cards printed at Print Vista or even Staples.
Next, you have a couple of options. If you are tech savvy, you can start getting clients by using the Facebook Ads platform. Provided you can do your own ads, I would recommend this option. But if this seems daunting to you, there are other routes.
To get clients without using Facebook, you can always go with the more traditional ad options, such as your local paper (their website), local area fliers, your chamber of commerce, and even sites like NextDoor.com. The ads on smaller platforms like this are less difficult to figure out and get success with.
Most of the strategies above are for getting B2C customers, but if you can land a business relationship (B2B), this should provide repeat business, as long as they (or their clients) need your services in the process of that company’s business. An example of this is a painting company that doesn’t do pressure washing, but needs to clean the sides of houses to prep for applying the paint.
Another site you might consider, for B2B clients, is Zillow.com. You can run ads that target real estate brokers. When selling a house, most owners clean up the property. They could need algae sprayed off the house, renewal of decks, patios, paver stones, and retaining walls. If you establish a good relationship with the real estate agent, this should provide repeat business and referrals for years to come.
Pricing The Services Of Your Business
It can be tough to determine the cost of your pressure washing services. For businesses, such as pressure washing services, pricing methods can be selected through space, time, or service. It is also critical to keep track of your material costs and labor hours and change your pricing accordingly for each work.
Prices may also vary depending on whether or not cleaning chemicals are required, as well as the size of the surface. Many firms also have established costs for specific services, commonly expressed as per square foot or linear foot, per hour, or as a flat rate.
How to Scale Your Pressure Washing Business
Now that we are done with going over the basics of of how to start a pressure washing business, I want to touch on scaling the business.
Let’s face it. Starting a pressure washing business for a thousand bucks is great, but there are some key things that we overlook when we get started. Ultimately, we need to loop back and get these things tidied up.
There are multiple things that we can do, now that we have money coming from the pressure washing clients.
Here is a list of things you might want to consider getting done as soon as you can reasonably do so:
- Hire An Assistant: You will need someone to answer calls, but also to handle some of the other tasks, such as book keeping and perhaps the beginning of your marketing and sales. An assistant gives you powerful leverage toward other aspects of the business.
- Intentionally Land A Few B2B Accounts: Given how lucrative a B2B account can be long term, this is a great thing to task your assistant with. Just know that this may not happen in a week. It could take up to 6 months, depending on the size of the fish (client) you are hunting.
- Learn About the Industry: Don’t try to be an island and figure everything out yourself (A.K.A. “the slow way”). Take advantage of training courses, like this one. You can also learn a lot from groups on social media, such as this Facebook group for people in the industry. There is also a Facebook group called “Pressure Washing Business School,” which is owned by a pressure washing consultant. If you can afford a reputable consultant, you will be lightyears ahead in a much shorter time. If you are going to be a leader in your area, you will probably need the consultant, or at least you will get there faster.
- Setup Your Social Media: There is no reason to not have a social presence, even if you don’t do much with it in the beginning (but you should).
- Begin to Advertise on Google or Facebook: If you can make two dollars for every dollar you spend, you will be successful. Period. However, it isn’t likely that you will need to even spend that much. You can probably make five times what you spend in advertising. It may seem challenging, but it’s so worth it. Hey…you’ve got this!
- Begin Running Multiple Crews: Once you have your marketing dialed in a bit and you have someone trained well enough, you can begin to run two crews. This will allow you to leverage other people’s time to double or triple your number of jobs.
- Ask Happy Customers for Google Reviews: Getting a lot of reviews on Google can seriously impact your SEO, but you will need to setup your “Google My Business” account and profile.
- Consider Asking for Referrals: People want to help people. If you are open with people that you just started your business and need more business, people will often help if they can. It’s worth the ask, then task your assistant with following up on them. Write a script for your assistant, and have her adjust the script to see what is working the best.
Now that you have a roadmap, it should be much easier to get things rolling. Becoming an expert in your field usually requires about 10,000 hours, at least that’s the rule of thumb. While pressure washing is relatively easy, much of your learning curve will probably fall within aspects surrounding how to start a pressure washing business, as well as how to market and grow it.
The great thing about learning to start one successful business is that starting businesses is a skillset. If you can succeed with one, much of the core principles are the same, which makes the next one more about differences in the various industries. As it has been said, the best thing about becoming wealthy is the type of person you have to become to achieve it.
Take the journey, my friend!
Last Edited: October 25th, 2021
Original Post: August 14th, 2021