How To Start A Pressure Washing Business (7 Steps)
Are you looking for the next great business idea to sink your teeth into?
Starting a pressure washing business could be the perfect way to make money and help others improve the look of their property.
Getting an old, rusty vehicle or building to look new can be a rewarding experience.
The same is true regarding driveways, patios, and other surfaces that require power washing.
Image credit: https://clearadvantagecleaning.com
In this article, I’ll review the essential steps to starting a pressure washing business and help you get ready to take on your first customers.
Starting A Pressure Washing Business
Let’s now go over the steps you need to take to get your pressure washing business up and running.
Decide If A Pressure-Washing Business Is The Right Fit
As a potential business owner, understanding what’s involved in starting this venture is essential.
With plenty of cleaning services available, pressure washing is just one type of business to consider.
Choose A Business Name
Once you’re ready to start, the next step is deciding on a business name.
Choosing a name that reflects your services and geographic area is a great start.
For example, if you’re offering residential pressure washing services in San Diego, choosing a name like ‘San Diego Quality Pressure Washing’ might be a good choice.
You will use the same name to apply for any environmental permit or zoning permits required by local authorities.
Register Your Business With The State
The proper business structure can help protect your assets and benefit you from taxes.
You can protect yourself from any liabilities or lawsuits by starting an LLC.
An LLC can also protect you from paying double taxes on profits.
Getting an employer identification number (EIN) from the IRS is also helpful if you hire employees for your business.
Get Liability Insurance
With the nature of power washing services, there is always the potential for things to go wrong, which might lead to costly damages or injuries.
From general liability to workers’ compensation, the various small business insurance options can provide peace of mind and protection.
Open A Business Account
Next, you’ll set up a business bank account using your business name.
Whether you want to buy pressure washing equipment to get the job done or need to get water pressure regulation checked, having a business bank account can help keep track of all your expenditures.
Depending on the type of business you legally set up, a bank account is also necessary to keep business separate from personal funds.
Even if it’s not, separating your finances from your business is generally a good idea.
You’ll also get a business credit card that helps to establish your business credit rating and build financial credibility when dealing with vendors and suppliers.
Buy Or Lease Equipment
A successful pressure-washing business depends on the equipment used to do the job.
Knowing the type of pressure washer you need your business to have is essential.
In addition, getting the right accessories, such as adjustable nozzle sprayers, surface cleaners, and pressure gauges, can help maintain consistent results.
Equipment insurance is also something to consider when starting.
Market Your Services
Part of your business expenses will go towards marketing to attract customers.
Whether you’re targeting commercial property or residential homes, potential customers need to know about your business and services.
As a pressure-washing business owner, you must create an effective plan for targeting your market and promoting your services to get bookings.
You must consider the marketing costs associated with each job if you’re looking for high-profit margins within your business.
Finally, it’s time for you to get out into the field and do the job.
As a small business, getting to your first client might be nerve-wracking, but as you get more experience, you’ll gain confidence in your work.
Troubleshoot Problems And Keep Learning
A new business will always face initial hiccups – which is OK!
Learning from other pressure washing businesses and the mistakes they have made can help avoid them altogether or help find quicker solutions if any arise.
Also, doing the best job possible will increase your business’s word-of-mouth.
This allows you to make more money and get more practice.
The combination of all this will get you to become a better pressure washer operator.
Top Reasons To Start A Pressure Washing Business
The following are some top reasons to start a pressure washing business.
Low Startup Costs
Upfront costs include a pressure washer and accessories such as hoses and brushes, as well as various types of insurance and safety gear you can opt for.
These startup costs are generally lower than other businesses requiring a heftier budget.
As a cleaning business, a pressure washing company can scale up quickly by adding extra staff and equipment.
Understanding how pressure-washing businesses find their clients can give you a clue into how to market and grow your business.
Whether doing door-to-door or commercial jobs, pressure washers can work when and how much they want.
Quick Return On Investment
With plenty of homeowners to target, taking advantage of the seasonal nature of power washing can be highly beneficial for business owners.
Customers generally pay as soon as the business provider finishes the job, so there’s no need to wait months for payments or invoices to be processed.
Your own pressure washing business means getting paid as soon as the job is ready.
Steady Source Of Income
Doing pressure washing as a full-time business can provide a steady income stream.
A successful pressure washing business can provide year-round services and generate many repeat customers who rely on reliable power cleaning services.
Here are the main costs involved in starting a pressure-washing business.
Industrial pressure washers vary in price depending on their size, power, and features.
From various nozzles to variable pressure settings, investing in a good quality machine is essential for success.
Depending on the pressure washing jobs you intend to do, it might be wise to get one with adjustable power levels.
Surface Cleaning Supplies
Soaps and surface cleaners are among the main supplies required for any job.
Detergents, degreasers, and solvents are essential for cleaning different surfaces effectively.
As a commercial pressure washer business, protecting yourself is key to staying safe on the job.
Some clothing includes steel-toe boots, gloves, masks or respirators, safety glasses/goggles, and hearing protection.
Moreover, as a pressure washer business, you’ll also need protective clothing that can take on powerful water jets, such as waterproof pants and jackets.
Choosing an Appropriate Legal Structure
One should pay attention to the legal aspect of a pressure washing business since it will impact taxes and other crucial parts of your company.
Here are some of the legal structures you could choose for your business.
A limited liability company helps protect your assets from the debts and liabilities of the business.
By separating the business’s finances from your personal assets, you can remain in control while limiting your risk.
If you want to start quickly, a sole proprietorship can be one of the simplest ways to go about it.
A sole proprietor may find these tasks more straightforward than an LLC in accounting and tax filing.
However, this business structure offers less protection than other legal entities.
An S corporation is similar to an LLC in terms of protection and tax filing benefits, but it offers more complex ownership options for multiple owners.
A C Corporation is the most commonly used legal structure among larger businesses and corporations due to its ability to attract venture capital funding.
This structure has no restrictions on who can own shares and how much they can own.
However, taxes are higher than other structures like LLCs or sole proprietorships.
Developing Safety Protocols
Safety is a big priority for any business, especially one that involves pressure washing.
Whether you want to run the business yourself or get others to help with the operation, you should implement some essential safety protocols.
Ensure You (And Other Employees) Are Well Trained
As entrepreneurs, it’s our job to ensure that anyone representing the company knows how to operate safely and efficiently when handling high-pressure water jets and other equipment.
In the pressure cleaning business, adequate training is essential, as even tiny mistakes can lead to costly workers’ compensation claims.
Provide Safety Gear And Clothing To Employees
Protecting your staff is a must, so ensure they have access to proper protective clothing, gloves, eyewear, and footwear when cleaning.
Educate Customers On Proper Safety Procedures
Education can be an essential aspect of your business plan that helps set you apart from other pressure washing companies.
You can even start a blog as part of your website to educate potential customers about the risks associated with high-pressure water jets.
Becoming a high authority business in the pressure washing services industry means taking safety seriously.
Regularly Inspect Equipment For Any Damages
Running a pressure washing business means having the right equipment to do the job effectively and safely.
That is why it’s essential to regularly inspect all your equipment for any damages that could affect its performance or safety.
You should also look for faulty connections, leaks, broken hoses, worn-out seals, or any other signs of damage.
If you find any equipment issues, fix them immediately before using them.
Otherwise, you risk causing injury or property damage during operations.
Pressure Washing Associations
Joining an association provides various business benefits, such as staying up-to-date with the latest industry trends, access to a vast network of business owners, and more.
You can even find resources related to safety protocols and other aspects of pressure washing that you can use in your operations.
Consider joining one or more of three leading voluntary associations in the pressure-washing industry:
- PWNA (Power Washers of North America).
- UAMCC (United Association of Mobile Contract Cleaners),
- PWRA (Pressuring Washing Resource Association),
These associations provide resources, training, and support to those in the pressure-washing industry.
Clients are the heartbeat of any successful business, and pressure washing is no different.
Here are some ideas that can help you acquire more clients.
Participate In Local Community Events
Getting out there and engaging with your local community is a great way to attract potential customers.
Attend festivals, fairs, or other events where your target market might hang out.
Have flyers about your business you can distribute, and be sure to have a way to collect contact information of anyone interested in your services.
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing can be a great way to reach potential clients.
Pictures of jobs well done can be a great visual to share on your business’s Instagram or Facebook page.
Using a proven template to help create content around your offer and sterling testimonials can effectively engage potential customers.
Networking With Related Local Businesses
Finding complimentary businesses that can refer their clients to you is a smart strategy for building your customer base.
Consider who might benefit from pressure washing services, such as real estate agents, pest control companies, pool cleaners, etc., and reach out to make an introduction.
Cold-Calling Potential Customers
Cold calling is the practice of making unsolicited calls to potential customers.
Making a great first impression here is critical.
You must know the plans you offer based on the square foot of one’s property and be able to give quick estimates.
In addition, it helps to provide competitive pricing.
When calling people, respect their time and always be polite.
Offer incentives such as discounts or special offers for first-time customers.
Creating An Online Presence
While going to driveways and knocking on doors can help build your client base, creating an online presence is also key to getting more attention from potential customers.
An online business page is a great way to showcase your skills and services, photos of your work, customer reviews, and contact information.
Creating your website is another excellent way to let potential customers know what you offer and how they can get in touch with you.
Also, remember to ask for customer reviews on sites like Yelp, Google, and Facebook.
Creating A Referral Program For Existing Customers
Encourage current customers to refer their friends and family by creating a referral program.
By doing so, they receive rewards if someone mentions their name when signing up for services.
How To Start A Pressure Washing Business – FAQ
Does Pressure Washing Use Hot Water?
Pressure washing can use both hot and cold water.
Hot water is generally better at removing stubborn dirt and grime, but it also requires more energy to produce the higher temperatures needed for effective cleaning.
Cold water may be less effective in some cases, but it is usually the preferred choice due to its lower cost and environmental impact.
What Type Of Equipment Do I Need For Pressure Washing?
From a water tank on your truck to hoses to nozzles and brushes, you may need much different equipment for pressure washing.
The type of job you’re doing will determine the exact tools you’ll need, but some everyday items include a pressure washer machine, a hose reel with the hose, extension lances or wands, nozzles, and brushes.
Depending on the task, you may also need additional accessories, such as detergents and degreasers.
Does Pressure Washing Damage Surfaces?
If done correctly, pressure washing should not cause any damage to surfaces.
Use the appropriate amount of water pressure suitable for the surface material required to clean it and avoid any potential damage from high water pressure.
Additionally, avoid standing too close or using a nozzle that is too powerful for the job to ensure no damage occurs.
When starting a power washing business, one must take many essential steps to ensure success.
There is a lot to consider, from finding the right equipment and ensuring you have proper licensing and insurance to marketing your business and setting up a payment system.
However, with careful planning and dedication, a pressure wash business can be a rewarding experience that allows you to build your own successful business.
By creating an effective plan of action and taking advantage of all the resources available, you can make a thriving pressure-washing company that will give you long-term success in this industry.
Further reading on AdamEnfroy.com: There are tons of low-cost business ideas with huge potential upsides to consider if pressure washing isn’t the right fit for you.
If time is limited, check out these underrated side hustles that are easier to manage alongside a full-time job.