How To Start Your Own Pressure Washing Business – Starting a power washing business can be a great opportunity for a new entrepreneur or someone who wants to hustle in one direction.
Compared to many other business options, the start-up costs of a pressure washing business are not only low, but the profit margins are good and the work is relatively easy to master.
How To Start Your Own Pressure Washing Business
If you’re ready to say goodbye to your 9 to 5 and start working for yourself, working as a self-employed electrician might be a good way to do it.
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Before you buy your first power washer, you should carefully consider what it takes to run a successful new power washer business and thrive as a sole proprietor.
Like most small businesses, getting a power washing business off the ground requires more than buying equipment and selling jobs.
Although starting a business comes with new challenges and disappointments, the feeling of being your own boss, creating jobs in your local economy and having the freedom to decide what your work week looks like can be life-changing.
It may seem like a no-brainer to learn how to power wash before starting a pressure washing business, but it’s surprising how many people enter the industry without a practical knowledge of how to deliver the services they intend to sell.
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Pressure washing is harder to learn than most skilled trades, and there is definitely a learning curve that comes with becoming a professional.
As with learning so many things these days, YouTube is your best friend when learning to power wash.
There are countless videos that explain everything from choosing equipment to maintaining machinery and equipment. Watch as much as you can.
Once you’re familiar with the process, it’s time to pick up the baton and put your newfound knowledge into action.
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If you have the money to buy equipment while you work, the best way to learn how to power wash is to buy and use a pressure washer.
If you are a home owner, your learning journey should start by cleaning things around your home.
It is usually very easy to let other people exercise on their property for free power washing.
Ask your apartment’s property manager if you can wash some common areas for them for free. Alternatively, you can ask some of your friends who have a home to practice power washing at home.
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If you’re going to practice on someone else’s property, you need to make sure the person you’re working with doesn’t get hurt.
As a new pressure washer, there is a very high chance that someone will damage their concrete, damage their siding, or remove some paint from the surface.
If the property owner or manager agrees, offering your services for free is a great way to gain pressure washing experience and build a list of potential customers.
If you can’t afford a power washer or can’t find a place to practice, you may want to work at another power washer business for a while.
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Not only will this help you learn the techniques needed to start your own pressure washing business, but it will also help you earn some money that you can use to purchase your own equipment when you’re ready.
To stay ethical, it’s best to be honest with the business owner you work with about your intentions to one day start your own business.
If the owner agrees, working for another power washing company is a great way to learn the ins and outs of the pressure washing industry.
If they don’t, try it. Even if you have to look outside the immediate area, there is enough turnover in the industry that you will eventually be hired as staff.
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As in the corporate world, the importance of planning in the power washing industry cannot be overstated.
From deciding which pressure washing services to offer to setting pricing and developing your competitive advantage, a good strategy can easily mean the difference between success and failure as an entrepreneur.
The best way to approach this is usually to write a business plan that outlines your operating strategy from start to finish.
If you’re not sure how to plan your new pressure washing business strategy, you can contact your local Small Business Administration.
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Also known as the SBA, this government organization exists solely to help entrepreneurs achieve their dreams of starting a business.
The SBA offers free business advice, help writing business plans, financing and more. If you haven’t contacted your local chapter yet, you should do so soon!
Depending on the state in which you want to start your power washing business, you may be legally required to obtain a license from a regulatory body to do so.
From general business licenses required by most states, counties and municipalities to more power washing required by states like California, it’s important to make sure you have all your ducks in a row before you start selling power washing jobs.
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Many states regulate pressure washers and cleaning products used for this purpose. Because these chemicals often pose a threat to public health, many control boards require electrical devices to dispose of waste from public drains and waterways at all costs.
With this in mind, it makes sense to invest in a wastewater recovery system when purchasing your power washer. These systems can be expensive, but they can help you avoid costly non-compliance fines and save you a lot of money in the long run.
Depending on your state, city or county, you may need a separate permit or permit from your local wastewater utility or similar agency. Requirements vary by language and may change from time to time, so make sure you’re up to date.
For more information on licensing requirements for pressure washers in your area, it’s best to check with your local governing body.
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As a business owner, the number of pressure washing service options available to you can be overwhelming.
With that in mind, it’s best to focus on specializing in a few services first and add your service offerings to grow your business and improve your skills.
Depending on the area you intend to serve with your power washing business, the prices you charge for your services may differ from the prices in the table below.
However, regardless of where you live, you should always make at least $50/hour roughly.
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Any overhead and operating/overhead costs of running a power washing business will earn you less than minimum wage.
These tables should serve as a good guide for pricing the services you decide to offer, but it’s important to calculate your material costs and labor hours for each job and adjust your prices accordingly.
When calculating your average hourly earnings, you should also consider other overhead costs in your power washing business, including:
As much as we wish it was the other way around, you can’t run a successful laundry business with a broken washer.
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Unfortunately for the new power washing business owner, the equipment needed to get the job done requires maintenance to keep it running.
To avoid unnecessary downtime and keep customer satisfaction as high as possible, you should establish a preventive maintenance schedule that includes regular oil changes, seal inspections, and general condition checks on your equipment.
At a minimum, you should plan to change the oil in your pressure washer every 100 hours of operation. The same goes for your pump oil.
You should regularly check your rod, top spinners, tips and hoses for wear and tear. Ideally, you should save enough money to buy a backup version of equipment that is more prone to wear and tear.
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Carrying extra nozzles, hoses and wands with you on every job can save you tons of money when you inevitably have an equipment breakdown.
If you think you’ll be using a truck to tow your pressure washer, you’ll want to schedule preventative maintenance for it as well. Regular fluid changes and inspections help make sure your equipment doesn’t fail when you need it most.
If you don’t plan to be self-employed for life in your pressure washing business, it’s important to take some time to think about how you approach hiring and management.
Planning ahead where you will find employees and how you will train and manage your team will help you avoid major headaches.