If the picture above gives you a deep internal sense of satisfaction, you may have a future in pressure washing. Pressure washing is essentially washing away dirt and grime with high-pressure water. Simple enough. Thing is, it’s also a great business model. While you may not need to pressure wash a house every month, at least once a year is within reason. So, it is a sustainable business model, and depending on the weather conditions in your area, more than once a year is possible. And it’s an easy sell! Just show some before and after pics, throw up a price tag, maybe offer a group discount for streets/neighbourhoods and you’ve got a sale. Plenty of diverse ways to market too.
Low cost to start up, not overly physical work. If you can walk and carry a pressure washer on your back and wave the wand around, you are good to go. $100 a day is within your reach, and possibly even more.
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Pro’s & Con’s
Easy to get started, low cost
Involves selling your services
Relatively low level of labour required
You do still have to do the work (or outsource)
Recurring revenue is possible, if you do a good job, check in with your client in 6 – 12 months
Not likely to sell a subscription service due to how often people need your services
Possible to grow and hire employees to expand
Difficult to reach the million-dollar mark
If you are just looking for $100 a day, you don’t have to work many hours (1 – 3 hours per day)
First of all, I want you to understand that doing a good job and doing the job is different. Any schlep can hook in a power washer and get decent results. But you, being a pro and charging for your services need to deliver professional results. The kind of results home owners boast to their neighbours about, give you referrals for and call you for another service in 6 – 12 months. Not only that, there are risks to it. Certain power washers are capable of damaging car or concrete. They may leave a mark or it might be difficult to hit certain angles. So, to avoid causing potentially permanent damage you need to learn to do an excellent job first.
And then practice a few rounds of friends and family’s property/cars.
If no one you know has a pressure washer, you can usually rent one from your local hardware store or trade
If you can do a decent job, the owner is happy with the results and you enjoy the work, can see yourself doing it for several hours a day, then it is time to buy the tools for the job
You can usually get by with a pressure washing kit that costs less than $200 from your hardware store at first
As your business grows, you will want to invest in better equipment, the sky is the limit here, especially if you get into commercial cleaning
Ready? Time to advertise!
Aside from asking for referrals from friends and family
Start by drawing up a simple one page or half page ad you can print at home, if you can’t print at home, then most office supply stores will have printers available for cents per page, not bad!
Check the link below to Kopywriting Kourse for a great article on designing a killer flyer for Pressure Washing businesses.
Colour printing is good too because you will want to highlight certain phrases or points as well as a coloured before and after picture (something that makes you go WOW!)
Letter bomb your local neighbourhood, assuming 10c per page printed, aim for 1000 pages for $100 and start walking and dropping them in the letterboxes.
For a bonus, if you don’t get many calls, follow up by door-knocking where you’ve letter dropped a week ago.
Better yet, if you can see clear areas where your services can make a significant difference, point it out and possibly even offer to do one area for free. Try and stick to somewhere small so as not to waste your time, like a short set of steps
If possible, offer a group discount where multiple people buy in a neighbourhood, the more that buy the bigger the discount. That way you can knock off a bunch of jobs in a short amount of time, saving you a lot of time and money. Worth it!
Time to scale?
Start advertising in your local papers, or paying for large scale letter bombs. You’d be amazed at how cheaply these can be done. You can hit a few thousand houses for a few hundred dollars, depending on where you are. And that usually includes a great looking glossy printed flyer (your design)
When you are getting more jobs than you can handle, you can either choose to hire an employee, a contractor or to supply the leads to a different company (for a % of the price).
Also advertise in the usual local sites, such as Craigslist and Gumtree, these are also often worth paying for advertising
Same goes for Facebook, though it can be hard to make the ROI work on this. It is possible to target within a 1km radius of an area. So, you could run an ad campaign along the lines of:
Live in “Suburb”? We are coming to your area! And are offering special discounts only to residents of “Suburb” Act now to lock this in before “X Date!”
And, of course, an excellent before and after photo
$100 A Day Math
You should be able to charge at minimum $30 an hour. And in nicer areas, you can hit $80 an hour. In which case, you would “estimate” jobs and give a quote on how long you think it would take. If you estimate it will only take 1 hour to complete, then you will simply quote your hourly rate. If it takes longer, then you know to quote more accurately next time.
Your other choice is to charge per project, based on what they need to have cleaned. So, on your flyer/quote form, you might have check boxes with prices listed next to each type of job. E.g. $20 Driveway, $30 Fence (back and front), $40 whole of house walls cleaned, etc. And have the client choose what they want, then just add it up.
Along these lines then, we will use $30 an hour as a minimum. Thus, you’d need to work 3 and a bit hours per day.
If you earn $80 an hour, then you only need to work 1 hour and a bit to hit $100 a day. Very nice.
Obviously, you are not always going to have jobs every day. It may change with the season (especially if it snows in your area… good luck!) So, you need to work when jobs are available. If you can work a full 8-hour day, then do it! Then you can relax on the days you don’t have new jobs knowing you have already earned enough.
Scalability – Can It Become a Million Dollar Business?
Yes. Not if you are working on your own. It is possible to hit 6 figures working for yourself and by yourself if your marketing is top notch. Not easy though.
To hit the million-dollar mark, you really need to have an excellent combination of employees, marketing, up-sells/cross-sells, etc. Or to specialise in bigger, more profitable niches, such as industrial and commercial, or hazardous waste. Not easy to get into, and requiring a bigger investment (such as industrial size pressure washing vehicles).
Some ideas for cross-sells and up-sells are below in Connected Ideas.