How To Start A Power Washing Business – Starting a power washing business can be a great option for a new business owner or individual looking for a side job.
Not only are the costs of starting a pressure washer business relatively low compared to many other business options, the profit margins are good and the job is relatively easy to master.
How To Start A Power Washing Business
If you’re ready to say goodbye to your 9 to 5 and start working for yourself, becoming a self-employed pressure washer could be a great way to do that.
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Before you take the plunge and buy your first pressure washer, think carefully about what it takes to succeed as a new pressure washer business and thrive as a self-employed person.
As with most small businesses, it takes a lot more to get a power washing business off the ground than just buying equipment and selling jobs.
While starting a business comes with a whole new set of challenges and frustrations, the feeling of being your own boss, creating jobs in your local economy, and the freedom to decide what your work week will look like can change life.
While it might seem obvious that you should learn how to start a pressure washer business before starting a pressure washer business, it’s amazing how many people dive into this industry with virtually no knowledge of how to deliver the services they intend to sell.
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While learning to pressure wash is much less difficult than many skilled trades, there is definitely a learning curve associated with becoming a professional.
As with learning most things these days, YouTube becomes your best friend when you learn powerwashing techniques.
There are numerous videos available that explain everything from equipment selection to equipment maintenance techniques. Check out how many you can find.
Once you’re familiar with the process, it’s time to pick up a wand and put your newfound knowledge to work.
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If you have the money to buy equipment when you’re just starting out, the best way to learn how to wash with a pressure washer is to buy a pressure washer and start using it.
If you are a homeowner, you should start your learning journey by pressure washing things around the house.
It’s usually very easy to get other people to let you practice on their property in exchange for free powerwashing.
Ask your apartment manager if you can wash some common areas for them for free. You can also ask some friends who own homes to practice electric washing at home.
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If you intend to practice on someone else’s property, make sure the person doing the work is okay with the potential damage.
As a new pressure washer, the chances of damaging someone’s concrete, damaging their siding, or stripping some paint off a surface are pretty high.
As long as the owner or property manager agrees, offering your services for free is a great way to gain pressure washing experience and build a list of potential future clients.
If you can’t afford a pressure washer or can’t find a place to practice, consider working for another pressure washer for a while.
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Not only will this help you learn the techniques needed to start your own pressure washer business, but it will also help you earn some money that you can use to buy your own equipment when you’re ready.
To keep things ethical, it’s best to be honest with the owner of a business you work for about your plans to one day start your own business.
If the owner is okay with this, working for another pressure washer company is a great way to learn the ins and outs of the pressure washer industry.
If not, keep trying. While you have to look beyond your immediate environment, the turnover in this industry is so high that you will eventually be hired on a team.
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Just like in the business world, the importance of planning in the pressure washer industry cannot be understated.
From deciding what pressure washer services to offer to your approach to pricing and developing your competitive advantage, a good strategy can easily be the difference between success and failure as a business owner.
The best way to do this is usually to write a business plan that outlines your operating strategy from start to finish.
If you are unsure how to plan your strategy for your new pressure washer business, contact your local Small Business Administration.
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Also known as the SBA, this government organization has the sole purpose of helping aspiring entrepreneurs achieve their dreams of starting a business.
The SBA offers free business consulting, business plan writing assistance, financial assistance, and much more. If you haven’t connected to your local chapter yet, you should do so ASAP!
Depending on the state where you plan to start your power washing business, you may need to obtain a permit from a regulatory body to do so legally.
From general business licenses required by many states, counties, and municipalities, to more specific crop-washing licenses required by states like California, it’s important to make sure you have all the ducks lined up before you start selling power wash jobs.
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Many states regulate the pressure washers and cleaners used to do this job. Because these chemicals often pose a public health risk, most government agencies require pressure washers to keep wastewater out of public sewers and waterways at all costs.
With that in mind, it might make sense to invest in a wastewater recovery system upfront when purchasing your pressure washer. While these systems can be expensive, they can save you a lot of money in the long run by helping you avoid costly fines for non-compliance.
Depending on your state, city and county, you may need a separate license or permit from your local wastewater treatment plant or similar agency. Requirements vary greatly by country and may change from time to time, so make sure you stay up to date.
For more information on pressure washer licensing requirements in your area, it’s best to contact your local government agency.
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The number of pressure washer service options available to you as a business owner can be overwhelming.
With that in mind, it’s best to focus on specializing in a few services first and expand your service offering as you grow your business and improve your skills.
Depending on the area you plan to serve with your pressure washer business, the prices you can charge for your services may differ from the estimates in the table below.
Regardless of where you live, however, you should always shoot to earn a minimum of $50 per hour gross.
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Anything less and the operational/overhead costs of running a powerful laundry business will have you working for less than minimum wage.
While these tables should be a good guideline for pricing the services you decide to offer, it’s important to keep track of the cost of materials and labor for each job and adjust the price accordingly.
When calculating your average hourly profit, you should also consider the other overhead costs of your power washing business, including but not limited to:
As much as we wish the opposite were true, it is not possible to run a successful pressure washer business with a broken pressure washer.
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Unfortunately for a new power washer contractor, the equipment needed to get the job done tends to require a significant amount of maintenance to keep working.
To avoid unnecessary downtime and maximize customer satisfaction, establish a preventative maintenance program for your equipment that includes regular oil changes, seal inspections, and general health checks for your equipment.
You should schedule at least every 100 hours of operation to change the oil in your pressure washer engine. The same goes for pump oil.
You should also regularly inspect wands, surface spinners, nozzles and hoses for wear. Ideally, you should save enough money to purchase a backup version of the equipment that is more prone to wear.
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Carrying spare tips, hoses and wands with you on every job can save a lot of time when faced with the inevitable equipment failure.
Assuming you’ll be using a truck to tow your pressure washer, you’ll also want to schedule preventative maintenance for it. Regular fluid changes and inspections can ensure your equipment doesn’t let you down when you need it most.
Unless you plan to operate as a sole proprietorship for the life of your pressure washer business, it’s important to take some time to think about how you will approach hiring and management in the future.
By planning in advance where you will find employees and how you will train and manage your team, you can avoid major headaches when the