Are you interested in starting a pressure washing business? If YES, here is a complete guide to starting a pressure washing business with NO money and no experience.
Okay, so we have provided you an in-depth sample pressure washing business plan template. We also took it further by analyzing and drafting a sample pressure washing marketing plan backed up by actionable guerrilla marketing ideas for pressure washing companies. In this article, we will be considering all the requirements for starting a pressure washing business. So put on your entrepreneurial hat and let’s proceed.
Table of Content
- What Does It Take to Start a Pressure Washing Business?
- Starting a Pressure Washing Business – Market Feasibility and Research
- Starting a Pressure Washing Business – Legal Matter
- Writing a Business Plan for Your Pressure Washing Business
- Detailed Cost Analysis for Starting a Pressure Washing Business
- Starting a Pressure Washing Business – Technical & Manpower Details
- Starting a Pressure Washing Business – The Marketing Plan
- Tips for Running a Pressure Washing Business Successfully
What Does It Take to Start a Pressure Washing Business?
First of all, you would need to have had an experience in operating the pressure wash; this is not only to help you with cleaning surfaces well but also to gather experience as to not damage the surrounding area. You can first check online for videos that might help you learn how to operate a pressure wash, lend that of your friend or close neighbor who has one, or work with a pressure washing company that will not be your direct competitor when you start out.
In starting this business, you would need experience or a professional training. Some states might require that you obtain a contractor’s license as well as prove your educational and experience claims. Apart from getting training from working with other pressure washing companies, you could also take the route of getting a certificate from continuing or trade schools.
Starting a Pressure Washing Business – A Complete Guide
- Pressure Washing Industry Overview
There is a boom in the remodeling industry which strongly indicates that most people are not only staying in their houses longer, but are also beginning to take pride in where they live. According to a research carried out by the Metro study Residential Remodeling Index and Forecast, it was predicted that the total number of remodeling projects in the United State of America will by 2015 reach pre-recession levels with an estimated number of 12 million projects yearly.
- Interesting Statistics About the Pressure Washing Business
The pressure washing industry is typically done mostly on workdays and during working hours, which means most pressure washing business owners in this industry get to spend more time with their families or engage in other hobbies as they would love during the weekends. The pressure washing industry is categorized under the cleaning industry, and as at May 2015, there were nearly a million people working in the cleaning industry in the United States of America.
The commercial cleaning industry which includes power washing, as well as cleaning services for windows, gutters, driveways, swimming pools, and ventilation ducts, is worth an average of $78 billion with revenues expected to hit $175 billion within the next three years. Also, an average cleaning specialist working full-time in the industry earns an average of $10.73 per hour in the United States. Also, the industry employs over 1.7 million people in the United States of America.
Even though most entrepreneurs can start off with a portable gas powered pressure washer, a national survey has shown that people prefer to research on the larger systems that are usually mounted on a pickup truck, trailer or van, and which include self contained heavy duty pressure washers with highly rated industrial pumps that contain large water storage tanks, hose reels, and professional gears.
The commercial and residential pressure washing business is a multimillion dollar industry. The larger companies usually have in-house personnel to handle jobs but pay more, and so most usually hire independent professional contractors, as it helps keep overheads down. This shows that the pressure washing business industry is limitless.
The industry rate for such jobs is usually charged by the hour at the minimum. Average price rate usually varies depending on the location; however, almost anywhere in the United States rates are at $60 per hour.
Also, relevant in this industry are cleaning products used, especially as good cleaning products bring out the best in a job. Pressure washers know that having the best gear and getting the best cleaning products from suppliers, not only put a stamp on how professional they are, but also results in customer referrals which is necessary for the healthy bottom line of any company.
Starting a Pressure Washing Business – Market Feasibility and Research
- Demographics and Psychographics
The composition of the demography and psychographic of those who use the services of a pressure washing service includes home owners, facility management, store owners, hospices, religious homes, hotels and motels, warehouses, retail locations, lounges, educational facilities, medical facilities, bars as well as real estate persons are all those that require the services offered by the pressure washing business.
Retired seniors who are living in their house, but regularly require their roofs, gutters, and surfaces cleaned, middle aged busy people who do not have the experience or time to pressure wash the needed areas of their homes themselves.
List of Niche Ideas within the Pressure Washing Industry
The niches within the industry are numerous especially for those who have carried out a thorough research. Even though the end result to all the niches is still the same – keeping surfaces and places clean, there are additional but related services an entrepreneur can offer.
Some of the areas of specialization in this industry include; general maintenance, construction clean-up, carpet care, window washing, store front cleaning, aerospace cleaning, fleet washing, graffiti removal, kitchen exhaust, wood restoration, automobile detailing, commercial awnings, gutters, driveways, entrance ways, and concrete cleaning. Any small scale entrepreneur can offer one or two of these services according to his convenience, but large companies will be able to offer more niches for their wide variety of customers.
The Level of Competition in the Pressure Washing Industry
This might not be an expensive business to start up but it could be difficult if you have no experience at all. The level of competition in the pressure washing business industry is one that deals with price and professionalism. When starting out, you might be tempted to lower your prices to gain customers, while this might gain you some customers it will affect you in the long run, as you won’t be able to make much while your competitors with few customers continue to grow.
In going into this field, pick one or two niches, maintain a high level of professionalism, and fix your rate to the average one. You might not be able to compete with larger pressure washing businesses, but this does not mean that you cannot compete with businesses that are o the same scale as you even though you might be a new entrant into the business. So, while the level of competition might be a bit stiff, you can still stand out if you want to.
List Of Well – Known Brands in the Pressure Washing Industry
In any business, brands that are well known are those that have been consistent with their services and other aspects of the business. Every brand did not become one in a day; it is usually due to years of gaining customers trust and having excellent customer retention attributes. Below are some of the well-known brands in the pressure washing business in the United States of America:
- Mr. Busy II Pressure Washing
- Affordable Softwash Solutions
- Evolved Pressure Washing
- Ultimate Washer
- American Pressure Washing Services
- Kingwood Pressure Washing
- Perfect Power Wash
- Thunder Wash
- Clean Savannah
Even though the pressure washing business industry might be a multimillion dollar one, it is not recession proof. During the down turn of the economy, less people demanded the services of pressure washers, and instead just carried out light cleaning or rented the equipment and carried out the task themselves.
However, the case seems to be changing as the surge in employment means more people are getting jobs, which leads to an increase in the per capita disposable income. This has led to more people engaging the services of pressure washing businesses as opposed to carrying out the task on their own or leaving the house like that.
This is the reason why it is important that new entrants always conduct a thorough research before venturing in, as the information might save them from throwing away money at a venture that might not be in their favor due to the economy.
Entrepreneurs looking to get their gear and equipment should endeavor to go for those that are of high quality especially as most of the equipment is a one-time purchase. This might increase overhead initially but will be beneficial to the business in the long run as there will be less chances of the equipment developing a fault compared to getting a fairly used one that might cost more – due to repairs – in the long run.
Is the Pressure Washing Business Worth Starting from Scratch or is Buying a Franchise Better?
This business can be comfortably started from the scratch. The investment needed for this business is not as high as compared to other businesses especially once the equipment and gear needed to start the business have been gotten. Also, if you are operating in a small neighborhood, you will likely succeed easily when starting off from the scratch as your professionalism will ensure people patronize your services.
The larger companies in this industry usually offer franchises to start ups that do not want to bother about getting customers, or developing strategies for the business. This means that you are spared from start up mistakes, and are allowed to concentrate on carrying out the job.
Possible Threats and Challenges You Will Face When Starting a Pressure Washing Business
Every business usually comes with threats and challenges that come to test the business acumen of an entrepreneur. It is how you handle the challenges your business faces is what will determine if your business succeeds or fails. Some likely challenges could be bad weather, economic downturn, competition within the same region. The truth is there is nothing you can do about challenges, but if you have your strategies mapped out, they will help during your challenging period.
Starting a Pressure Washing Business – Legal Matter
- Best legal entity to use for this Pressure Washing Business
Starting a pressure washing business has its own legal considerations just like any other business, which includes choosing the proper legal entity for your business. There are majorly four legal entities that can be considered such as sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability companies, and corporations.
However, while you could operate your pressure washing business as a sole proprietorship or partnership, you should be aware that these two forms of legal entities will not protect you from personal liability.
The pressure washing business is the type that operates in the homes and offices of people either during their presence or absence, and a little incident could lead to injury to someone close by or damage to the property of your client in which case your legal entity protects you.
This does not mean though that you cannot start up as a sole proprietor, most people usually do and then change their legal entities to that which suits their business as they grow.
Catchy Business Name ideas Suitable for a Pressure Washing Business
- Sharp Wash Solutions
- Power Cleaner Services
- Roofs Cleaning
- Gutters and Concrete
- Bob Power Wash
- The Pressure Washer
The Best Insurance Policy Needed for a Pressure Washing Business
Insurance is necessary in this kind of business due to the risk associated with the business. Injury can occur as the job is being done, either to you, your employees or your client. Also there might be an inadvertent damage to your client’s property in the course of carrying out your business.
Other risks could be to your business property such as theft of your equipment or fire. You will need to talk to an insurance agent or broker so as you could be properly guided on the best policies that would suit your business. Also, depending on the local regulations and standards, you might also decide to get bonding for your business.
Below are some of the basic insurance policies that you should consider when starting your own pressure washing business in the United States of America:
- Liability Insurance
- Workers Compensation
- Business Equipment Floater
- Automobile Insurance
- Building Coverage
- Contents Coverage
- Commercial General Liability
- Business Interruption
Does a Pressure Washing Business Need Intellectual Property Protection?
No, this business does not require an intellectual property protection. People in this field just focus on the provision of efficient services however, you could secure an intellectual protection to protect the brand and logo of your business, and however, there should be no urgency as regards this, as it should not be considered a priority.
Is Professional Certification Needed to Start a Pressure Washing Business?
If you are looking to start this business, you would be required if you do not have an experience to get a certification. If you however have an experience through working with a pressure washing business, then you might not consider getting a certification a priority.
This does not mean though that just anyone can decide to start this business, as it is to a large extent a regulated industry especially as you would be handling chemicals. Some states in the United States would require that you get a contractor’s license and that you show proof of experience or education – whichever one you might claim to have.
List of Legal Documents You Need to Run a Pressure Washing Business
Below are some of the legal documents that you would need when starting out your own pressure washing business in the United States of America;
- Certification of Incorporation
- Business Plan
- Business License
- Contract Document
- Sales Tax Registration
- Contractor Permit
- Environmental Permit
- Insurance Policy
Writing a Business Plan for Your Pressure Washing Business
Every business requires a business plan, especially if you are serious about the business and intend to see it grow, compete and make profits. A business plan for your pressure washing business does not have to be largely complicated; it can be very simple document which you prepare so as to ensure that the business hits the ground running once operations begin.
The business plan helps you in drafting out strategies that would be good for your business and focuses on the important subjects that will enable your business grow and become profitable. A business plan is a guide that communicates your vision and mission to all the stakeholders – employees and customers. It is also a plan that not only outlines your path but allows you to measure your success.
Writing a business plan is not just to have a document in place, it is also so that you could draft strategies that will help you focus on your opportunities as well as competition, and force you to think of your business even if you did not initially have the business skills.
The business plan should also be able to provide investors or financial advisors with how serious you are and what you intend to achieve with your company. A business plan that later ensures the business becomes successful is one that is objective, realistic, and factual when presenting the goals of the company.
The key components that should be included in your business plan are executive summary, the nature of your business, its goals and objectives, strategies on how to overcome challenges and threats. It will also answer questions such as who your target market is, why they will use your service, your marketing and sales plan, your pricing strategy, your competition, and its strengths and weaknesses.
Some of the other components that a business plan should include; your management skills, the financial capabilities of your company, your projected financial capabilities, your publicity, where your business will be located, and how you intend to source for capital.
Even though there is no formula for preparing a business plan, most of the components listed above are the essentials that your business plan should have so as to ensure that it is effective. The business plan must be written in a clear manner, and must leave room for corrections as reality might bring about changes in some strategies.
If you feel that writing a business plan is burdensome, you might need to engage the services of a business plan writer to help put your ideas and strategies in shape for your pressure washing machine. If however, you are trying to cut down on cost, you could go online and download a business plan template that you can use to draft out a business plan for your business.
Detailed Cost Analysis for Starting a Pressure Washing Business
According to research and statistics, the cost of starting a pressure washing business is low, with prices of most equipment or gear being fixed or varying slightly depending on the quality. This means you would have no excuse at picking out something that would not last you in your business.
Starting on a small scale means you can have your start-up as low as you want it to be, and then work your way up from there. This is also a business that you can operate from home, as most of your equipment can be stored in your truck, thereby passing up the need to rent a facility. You would only require a facility if the business is going to start off on a large scale which would require that you employ people.
The items below are some of the basic items that would be required to start off your pressure washing business in the United States of America:
- Total Incorporation Fees would cost $1,000
- Liability Insurance, Permits and License budget would cost at least $1,500
- Acquiring a small facility for tools and documents for at least a year would cost $10,000
- Cost of equipping the facility with safety tools, computers, filing cabinets would cost $1,500
- Basic Pressure Washing Gear would cost at least $50,000
- Used Van or Truck would cost at least $8,000
- Printing of flyers would cost $250
- Launching of official website would cost $500
Going by the above report from a detailed research and feasibility study, you will need an average of $75,000 to start a small scale pressure washing business in the United States of America.
If you want to start a medium scale pressure washing business in the United States, you would need nothing less than $150,000. And if your intention is to start a large scale pressure washing business in the United States of America, then you should look towards raising well over $300,000.
- Financing Your Pressure Washing Business
Financing one’s business comfortably is the dream of any entrepreneur, because finance is needed to bring a business idea to reality and keep it running till the business starts to pay itself back. Raising finance is therefore an important part of any business activity either a start-up or a going concern. Every entrepreneur faces this at every point in time, and so there is no running away from it.
This is why the business plan is very important. Apart from just having a business plan, you would need to know your plan in and out, because the knowledge will guide how you approach an investor or even which investor to approach.
Your business plan also has to look professional and written clearly for any investor to understand. Your plan has to include your personal financial statements, how long the loan will be needed for, how you plan to repay back, and what collaterals you intend to pledge.
The several options that are available when it comes to raising finance for your pressure washing business include:
- Applying for loan from the necessary bank
- Raising money from investors and lending facilities
- Raising money from personal savings or credit cards
- Raising money from family and friends
Choosing a Suitable Location for Pressure Washing Business
Just like having the necessary finances for your business, so is also choosing the right location. Having your business located in the wrong place can mar your business and make it a failed venture. Before starting out, ensure you carry out your research to know what type of customers you are looking towards getting. This will then determine where your business will be located, since you will have to be close to your customers for easy access and convenience for both you and your customers.
If your target customers are residences, then your business would do well to be located in suburbs where there are a lot of home owners. If your target market is offices and official areas, then you would do to locate your business in a busy part of town with high traffic so that people are easily reminded of your business when they pass. Also, locating close to your target market means that you can get to your customers on time, when they require your services.
Most pressure business owners starting on a small scale usually operate from home for a while, and you can start this way, if you intend to save up some money first before renting a facility. You could clear a space and store some of your equipment, chemicals, and documents in your garage, and this should serve you well till the business grows and can no longer be contained in a garage.
However, if you have the funds or are aiming to start on a medium or large scale level, then renting a facility in the areas mentioned after you have carried out your research will be a wonderful idea for you.
Starting a Pressure Washing Business – Technical & Manpower Details
The equipment is a necessary part of your pressure washing business, even though you can get some of the equipment as fairly used, it will be better for your business in the long run, if you get a new equipment of the highest quality.
As the purchase of the equipment will be only a one time affair, then you should get only the best. New and high quality equipment will save you some expenses that a fairly used one will acquire for your business in the long run. Ensure you visit your local hardware stores for tips on the best brands or order directly from the manufacturer.
Below are some of the equipment that would be needed to fully ensure that your pressure washing business goes operational:
- Electric motor or gas engine
- Truck or van
- Low pressure water hoses
- 50 feet high pressure hoses
- Tips (0, 15, 25 and 40 degree, and a chemical tip)
- Turbo nozzle
- Surface cleaner
- Water inlet
- Chemicals and soaps
- Sewer jetters
- Dual lance
- Telescoping wands
- Pumps, heaters and sprayers
- Hydrostatic line testers
If you intend starting on a small scale with your target areas confined to just your immediate environs, and also have a working phone, then you can comfortably operate from home. However, I you intend starting on a medium or large scale, then you should lease a facility so as to be able to employ people as well as cater to your numerous clients.
The number of people that would be required to run a pressure washing business varies depending in the scale of the business. As mentioned earlier, one person can effectively run this business. However, if you intend to go on a scale that would need to employ people, then you would need to employ, Manager, Cashier, Marketing Executives, Pressure Machine Operators, Truck Driver, and Client Service Executive. This would be about 7 to 10 employees.
The Service Delivery Process in Pressure Washing Business
The production process involved in pressure washing business is dependant on what kind of job you are doing, and if you will be required to use hot water or cold water pressure wash. The processes range from cleaning surfaces to roofs, and gutters, windows and any other such places that would require the use of a pressure wash.
Other processes include; general maintenance, construction clean-up, carpet care, window washing, store front cleaning, aerospace cleaning, fleet washing, graffiti removal, kitchen exhaust, wood restoration, automobile detailing, commercial awnings, gutters, driveways, entrance ways, and concrete cleaning.
Starting a Pressure Washing Business – The Marketing Plan
- Marketing ideas and strategies for a pressure washing business
Marketing is regarded as an activity that will ensure that a business lives, because the end result is geared towards providing revenue for your company. As a new business start-up you must ensure that you have outlined marketing strategies that will drive your business and must leverage on all the available – both conventional and non-conventional – sources to ensure your business is out there.
It doesn’t matter if you are running a small, medium, or large scale business, marketing will ensure your business becomes visible and stays that way. This is why your financials should set aside a budget that will account for advertising and publicity. The mistake most pressure washing companies have is to set aside money for only overhead and operational cost, and leave their publicity to fate.
Below are available platforms and ideas to market your pressure washing business in the United States of America;
- Ensure that your pressure washing business is advertised in relevant magazines, local newspapers, as well as on Televisions and Radio stations.
- Ensure that your business is heavily promoted on your official website.
- Encourage referrals from your loyal customers
- Ensure that your business is listed in local directories or yellow pages.
- Install bill boards in strategic locations
- Pass out flyers and handbills in target areas, and tag your posters in appropriate places.
- Leverage on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and such others to promote your brand.
- Use the coupon mailing approach
- Attend relevant seminars in the industry so as to engage in networking.
Factors That Will Help You Get the Right Service Pricing for your Pressure Washing business
In starting this business, the truth is you do not have to go beyond the average rate so as not to hurt your business in the long run. This does not mean that you cannot package your business in such a way as to be able to attract more customers for you.
You could offer your customers an incentive that could make your pricing attractive whether it is above the average rate of your competition. Ensure that your customers not only get the value for their money, but are more than satisfied in using your services.
Possible Competitive Strategies for Winning Your Competitors in the Pressure Washing Industry
In every business, there are always competitors whose aim is to cause a price war, and so if you are giving your customers a fair rate, you do not need to e bothered about your competitors except they are giving excellent services to their clients, which might give them an edge over you. You must be able to package your business in such a way that clients cannot resist what you offer them.
Another competitive strategy is in ensuring that clients see your business as the go to authority in your field. This means that you can offer tips to your audience via your social media platform, and also answer general enquiries as well. You are likely to get more clients and even referrals from your audience on the social media.
Another competitive strategy is in offering related cleaning services or advice to your clients.
Possible Ways to Increase Client Retention for your Pressure Washing Business
Customer retention is a must for any business that prides itself as being serious, and one way customers can be retained is if they get excellent and professional services from you all the time. The trick most businesses use is to lower the expectations of their customers, so that when they surpass the expectation, the customer is hooked. This does not mean that the low expectation means you offer a shabby service.
Another way to retain your customers is to always anticipate and meet their needs. The number one reason why customers leave is if they feel the business aren’t meeting the needs they were to meet, and so will go to the business that is likely to meet their needs and satisfy these needs.
Strategies to Boost your Brand Awareness and Create a Corporate identity for your Pressure Washing Business
Creating strategies that will boost the brand and create awareness is very important, as it will help create a corporate identity for your business. Regardless of the scale you are going to start with, boosting the brand is very important, especially as no business no matter the size aims to remain stagnant but to grow either through services or other means.
Below are some of the platforms that you can leverage on to boost your company’s brand as well as advertise your business:
- Make use of social media platforms – Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram – to thoroughly advertise your brand and ensure that people begin to get conscious of your brand.
- Ensure that you advertise your pressure washing business in your local newspapers, local radio and television stations.
- Use your official website to push your brand
- Ensure that you business is listed in online directories, and also offline directories like yellow pages as well.
- Encourage your customers to help spread the word about your business.
- Pass out your business cards and flyers to people constantly.
Creating a Suppliers/Distribution Network for your Pressure Washing Business
Any pressure washing business will always have those who would supply chemicals, soaps, and other needed items, needed for cleaning of the surfaces and other such places that will make the business run efficiently.
Any business that depends on suppliers need to be in a good business relationship with such suppliers, since you would need them to be able to execute jobs and ensure your business runs smoothly. Being in a good business relationship with your suppliers will ensure that you get tips, referrals, and other advices from them that will ensure that your business becomes a success.
Tips for Running a Pressure Washing Business Successfully
In order to successfully run a pressure washing business, you would need to first get the right gear and equipment and also have the skill and experience in handling the equipment. You also would need to have a good sense of running a business. Without these your business might fail before it even starts.
Also, apart from having a good gear that will instill confidence in your clients, you should also be able to show flexibility on some certain requirements from your clients.
Your location matters a lot, as well as your financing and marketing strategies. This is very necessary if you wish to run your business smoothly. Also ensure that from time to time, you update on your skills, so as to be able to add other services, while making you stand out.