As an ambitious entrepreneur, you are always thinking of new ways to generate income while being your own boss. But while there is a myriad of new business ideas to explore, it's important to remember that some of the tried-and-tested business models are still as profitable as ever. An example that perfectly illustrates this point is the pressure washing business.
As is the case with any business, starting a pressure washing business requires implementing a well-developed and thorough strategy, which is precisely what this article will focus on. Keep reading as we delve into the steps you should take to build a successful pressure washing business.
Developing a Plan for Your Pressure Washing Business
If you don't have any experience in the pressure washing business, the first thing you need to do is develop a baseline understanding of how this type of business operates. Here are some key points that you should familiarize yourself with before starting your own pressure washing business:
- The difference between power washing and pressure washing: The main difference is water temperature. Pressure cleaning relies on high-pressure equipment and cool-temperature water, whereas a power washer uses hot water.
- The basics of pressure washers: If you're going to work with pressure washing equipment, it's essential that you're aware of the different parts and functions of the washers. Generally speaking, a pressure washer consists of a motor, pump, pressure hose, gun, inlet, and nozzle. Water enters through the inlet and then flows through the motor-activated pump before entering the pressure hose. Upon release, the pressurized water flows toward the trigger gun.
- Core pressure washing services: Figuring out the cleaning services you want to offer is a crucial part of your planning. Narrowing your offerings down to a particular sector is highly advisable, as taking on too much work is not recommended when you're just starting out. The main core services you should focus on are residential, commercial, and industrial pressure washing.
- Scope of services and pricing: After determining the core services you want to offer, the next step is to define the scope of your operations. There are two options available to you when it comes to the scope of your services. You can do it all or focus on specific tasks, such as paint removal, window cleaning, and general maintenance. You'll want to consider what you'll charge for your services. According to Thumbtack, professional pressure washers charge around $65 an hour. It's a good idea to see what competitors in your local area are charging before finalizing your pricing.
Now that you have a plan in mind, it's time to take action. In the next sections, we'll detail the process of starting a pressure washing business.
Taking Your First Business Steps
Getting into the pressure washing industry is fairly simple. More importantly, this is one of the few profitable ventures that doesn't require a lot of money for startup costs. Below is a detailed breakdown of the steps you should follow to build a successful pressure washing business.
Develop a Business Plan
A business plan is a document that covers every aspect of an existing business or a new business opportunity. Putting your plan to paper is not only an effective way to clearly outline and organize your strategy but it is also a required portion of a loan application. In any event, here's what your business plan should consist of:
- Executive summary: This part of the business plan should be concise and serve as a summation of every section of the document. Some things to be mentioned here include your business name, the type of pressure washing services you plan to offer, your target market, and your projected profits for the next three years.
- Company summary: This section focuses on details pertaining to the company. This includes the company owner, the reason the business is being set up, financing sources, and a list of the startup costs.
- Business strategy: In this section, outline how you plan to acquire new customers and provide a breakdown of the strategies you're looking to implement to generate revenue.
- Market analysis: This part of the business plan should give a detailed overview of the pressure washing industry as a whole. Some relevant data to add here include the size of the industry, the trends that are shaping the current market, and the future outlook of the industry.
- Financial plan: The success of your pressure washing company depends in great part on your ability to conduct accurate financial analysis. The main points to cover in this section are expenses incurred on inventory, rent, equipment costs, wages, projected profit margins, break-even analysis, and estimated profit and loss, among many other variables.
Form Your Business and Get the Appropriate Licenses
Operating within regulations is imperative if you want to avoid legal trouble. First, you're going to need to form a legal entity and open a business bank account. The legal structures to choose from include a sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company (LLC), or corporation. The LLC is the go-to option for many entrepreneurs who want a simple creation procedure and personal asset protection.
Next, you should check your state's requirements to see if there are any additional licenses or business permits you need to get. In most jurisdictions, you need to obtain the following documents:
- Business license
- Sales tax registration
- Contractor permit
- Environmental permit
Purchase Pressure Washing Equipment
Naturally, the type of equipment you get will depend on the type of service you're offering. For example, pressure washing machines that are geared toward industrial cleaning are generally more powerful and use more water than machines for residential use. If you're targeting homeowners as a start, a washer with a force of 3,000 PSI or greater should do the job.
After purchasing a good pressure washer and a few other accessories, you're going to need a vehicle to get to the job site. Start with a small van and graduate to a larger truck once your business grows to a decent size.
Get Business Insurance
You will have to get different types of insurance before beginning operations. This will allow you to cover a wide range of risks associated with running a pressure washing business. To ensure you're getting a good rate, it's advisable to explore different plans from multiple providers. Below is a brief look at the types of insurance that business owners should get:
- Liability insurance: This insures against any damage caused while using the pressure washer.
- Equipment insurance: This covers you in case your pressure washing equipment is damaged or stolen.
- Workers compensation: This insurance offers wage replacement and medical benefits to you and your employees in case of injuries sustained at work.
Market Your Services
Once you've set up your own business and acquired the right equipment, the next step is to get proactive and find customers. One of the most effective ways to reach a target audience is to leverage social media to market yourself and your services.
Facebook, in particular, is very suited to the needs of small business owners. You can market your business in your area by posting in local groups, and you have the option of using the platform's boost feature to advertise directly to your target demographic.
An important thing to keep in mind is that your social media profiles are a reflection of your business. To that end, your profile on your chosen social media platform should exude an air of professionalism and imprint a good first impression on potential clients. Make sure to include all information about your business in your profile, link to your website, and provide a phone number. Also, use a custom logo or header image and respond to inquiries in a timely manner.
Once Your Business Is Up and Running
When your business is up and running, you will need to implement an operational framework to help you manage day-to-day tasks and optimize customer communication. Here are some points to consider:
- Invoice system: As a small business owner, you're going to need a simple invoice system that allows you to monitor and automate invoicing tasks. Skynova's invoice template is a perfect example of an invoicing solution that does all the heavy lifting on your behalf. By simply filling out a template, you can generate professional-looking invoices to print or email directly to customers.
- Estimate automation: Sending multiple estimates a day can get tedious very quickly. To simplify the process, use Skynova's estimate template to help win customers and land jobs more quickly.
- Client retention: The nature of the pressure washing business makes it conducive to repeat customers. Still, you can't expect to get repeat business without effort. Incentivize your customers by offering special offers, such as discounted rates.
Manage Your Pressure Washing Business With Skynova
Though it's not the most complex business, managing a pressure washing business does come with its challenges. As a small business owner, you can't afford to get lost in the minutiae of day-to-day operations. Skynova's accounting software can handle many aspects of your business finances and afford you the luxury of focusing on your core activity. See how Skynova's other software products and business templates can help your pressure washing business succeed.