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How To Start A Pressure Washing Business: The Easy Way

You don't have to be an expert to start a pressure washing business. All you need is a good plan and a bit of knowledge about how to use pressure washers. Read on to learn more!

Last updated on
August 3, 2022

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How To Start A Pressure Washing Business: The Easy Way

Pressure washing businesses are booming in many parts of the country. But before you jump into this lucrative industry, there are several things you should consider first. We want you to succeed and avoid some common mistakes.

Create a Plan That Works For You

Before you even think about starting a pressure washing business, you must make a plan.  Formal business plans are usually a waste of time. However, you will need to make a few decisions about what you want from your business.  

You’ll need to ask yourself, why are you starting this pressure washing business? Will it be a summer job, a weekend side-hustle, or a full-time job?  Do you want to work solo, have a small crew, or run a multi-truck operation? Keeping the end in mind will help you decide how much work you need to book, what kind of clients you go after, and what equipment you purchase.

Find Customers

If you want to start a pressure washing business, you'll first need to find potential clients. That means finding people who live near you who would benefit from having their property cleaned by your company. An easy way to get your first clients is to let your family and friends know you are starting a washing business.  You can also offer your services on neighborhood social media groups or the Nextdoor app.  If you spend a bit of money on door hangers, you can selectively target neighborhoods where you want to start providing washing services.  The best time to find customers is in late winter or early spring, but you don’t need to wait.  You’ll be able to find new customers year-round; it just may be more difficult. Just remember: if all else fails, take a drive to the areas you want to target and look for dirty sidewalks and driveways!

Price Your Services

One of the more difficult tasks for new business owners is figuring out how to price their services.  If your rate is too low, you’ll go out of business because you can’t pay your bills.  If your price is too high, you’ll struggle to find enough clients. To price your services correctly, you need to know two things.  First, you need to estimate how long it will take to complete the service. Estimating how long things take to complete comes with experience.  Check allows you to record how long each job takes to complete. You can compare that time with how long you thought it would take to improve your estimating skills. Second, you need to know how much to charge per hour.  Check has a great tool to help you set a target hourly rate that ensures your business is profitable. Check Target Hourly Rate Calculator.

Read more in our guide, How To Price Pressure Washing Jobs, where we cover things like the pros and cons of pricing jobs by the square foot, hourly, or by gallons of water used.

Get Organized

Sometimes pressure washing business owners have a reputation for being disorganized, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Software to manage your business has never been easier to use or more affordable. Check offers powerful tools to manage your clients, jobs, scheduling, and finances. Download the app today and start a free trial of Check Pro (no credit card needed). Check Pro helps you organize everything from the beginning. As a Check Pro subscriber you will get your own professionally built website with an online bid request form. From there you can send out line itemized estimates with your logo on them. Once the client accepts the bid you can put them on your jobs calendar. When you mark the job complete the client will automatically receive an invoice and if you’ve connected your bank account, the client can pay you immediately with a credit card payment form. We do all of the heavy administrative lifting for you so you get home at the end of the day, your admin work is already done!

Choose Your Equipment

It’s nearly impossible to tell you exactly what equipment you need to purchase because each business has its own unique needs and requirements.  The simplest way to start is just to buy a pressure washer, throw it in your truck and go.  However, some customers won’t have or want you to use their own water. So you might need to figure out how to bring water with you.  

Also, you’ll have to decide if you will provide just pressure washing or if you will also do soft washing.  Will you just use cold water, or do your clients need you to use hot water? Many equipment shops offer start-up packages that include everything you need.  The packages simplify things, but you need to ask yourself if you really need to buy brand new equipment to start. Many new washers get into debt buying all brand new equipment, only end up unable to make the payments during the slow months. If you watch Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist, you will be able to find good used equipment, and you won’t be stuck with loan payments either. The best time to buy is at the end of the season in late fall, so try to plan accordingly. Here are a couple of quick tips when picking out your equipment: 

  • It’s better to focus on Gallons Per Minute (GPM) instead of Pounds per Square Inch (PSI). 
  • Aim to start with at least 2.5 GPM. 
  • We love pressure washers with Honda GX commercial engines.  They tend to be very reliable.

Offer Great Customer Service

Customers expect excellent customer service. Fortunately, it's not hard to do with the right mindset and great software. Quick and regular communication will help you earn and keep more customers.  In fact, poor communication is one of the main reasons why many pressure washing companies struggle to land good customers. Check will automate most of your client communication.  Check Pro subscribers get a website and bid request form which allows customers to reach out to you.  You can set up professional estimates, which you turn into jobs, and finally, send out invoices.  We send out texts and emails along the way on your behalf to let your clients know the status of their work requests and payment status. You can explore the app for free and see how it would benefit your business.

Get Online

Setting up an online web presence used to be complicated and expensive.  However, there are ways to have a great online presence without paying someone to build and maintain a website for you.  For people to find your business while they search, it's crucial to have a Google business profile.  These only take a few minutes to complete and will help your business appear in client online searches.  Once you have a business profile, you’ll need a way to showcase your work and a method for clients to reach out to you.  Simply sign up for Check Pro, and we’ll get you your own website with a bid request form.  We’ll also add some photos of your best work.  

Going Deeper

This article is just a short introduction to starting a business.  To learn more, you can join our Discord Server to ask questions and participate in conversations about running a successful pressure washing business. Finally, to stay connected with us and be notified of our newest business advice content, subscribe to our CheckU YouTube channel.

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