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11 Pitfalls to Avoid When Starting a Pressure Washing Business

11 Pitfalls to Avoid When Starting a Pressure Washing Business

Starting a pressure washing business can be an exciting venture, but there are some common pitfalls to avoid if you want to be successful. One of the most important tactics is having a well-defined strategy tailored to your business goals. Starting any new business requires a lot of planning and preparation, so make sure you’re on top of all the details before starting a pressure washing business!

What are the big pitfalls to avoid when starting a pressure-washing business?

Starting a pressure washing business requires setting job rates, financial planning, considering sales processes, and crafting a solid marketing plan for success. Considering the costs and safety risks of working with high-pressure washing machines is also essential. Increase your chances of business success by starting out with all the information you need. 

Financial Planning

Many people spend all their extra income on nice personal things or even new equipment when they get that first big paycheck. Being disciplined and wise in using the company’s profits is important. The business will grow when you reinvest the profit back into the business. Don’t buy big equipment first just because you can; wait until you have clients requiring specialized equipment to start investing in it. 

Setting Job Rates

Research your local market and competition so that you have a better understanding of pricing models and target customers. You must price your services right. Prices vary across the board – ranging from a low $192 to an impressive high of $401! When considering whether or not to go big with pricing, ask yourself: would higher prices mean more effort on your part? You may want to “secret shop” other local pressure washers instead and see how competitive their rates are before making any final decisions. When setting rates, be sure if it’s per project or charged by the hour, as this will depend largely on how long each job takes – so practice makes perfect here!

PRO TIP: when setting your rates, consider all of your costs. For example, fuel, maintenance costs, chemical costs, marketing, insurance, repayment of any loans, salaries (pay yourself too,) travel time to and from the site, overhead, etc.  Each job must pay its share to keep your company afloat.  We suggest working with a company like ResponsiBid to get this right!

Strong Marketing

Develop a strong business plan. A well-crafted business plan is essential for any business growth, especially for a power washing business. Your business plan should outline your goals, target market, competition, marketing strategy, and financial projections. It will also help to potentially secure funding and attract investors.

Slow Sales Process

Pressure washing isn’t a luxurious indulgence and can be a costly investment for your customers! It’s important to financially prepare for a longer decision time from your leads when business may slow down. A good tip to ensure the best ROI for your clients is to create opportunities for meaningful sales discussions and processes that can help ease them slowly through their buying journey.

Invest in Quality Equipment

The right equipment for the job is also essential, as many pressure-washing projects require specialized machinery or supplies. Power washing equipment is an essential investment for your business’s success. Invest in high-quality, reliable equipment that will meet your client’s needs and stand up to the wear and tear of daily use. Ensure your equipment is “earning its keep” – don’t buy equipment for the sake of having it. Buy what you need for the jobs you are currently booking. Ensure you have the proper safety equipment and are adequately trained on how to use your equipment.

PRO TIP: Save money in the long run by investing in good gear! Contractor-grade equipment is designed to stand up to continual use (1000 hours plus of runtime a year), whereas “big box” residential equipment is meant for light use (30-50) hours a year.

Inconsistent Income

Starting a pressure washing business offers self-employment freedom, but that can come with an inconsistent schedule and income. A good way to prepare for this is to set personal and business boundaries to ensure you’re budgeting correctly for whatever assignments come your way. Make sure you give yourself enough financial wiggle room – this makes money management much smoother sailing!

Motivated Team Members

Is your pressure-washing team on point? Keeping employees inspired and motivated is key. Keep morale high with appealing incentives, a great work environment, and plenty of positive reinforcement!

Work Stress 

For those in this line of work, it can be a thrilling journey – yet one that comes with high stakes. Every transaction is a significant financial decision for your clients. There can be some stressful moments along the way investing time into the sales process after a long work day. Set aside time every day, even an hour or two, to manage your sales pipeline and follow up with current and potential clients. Asking for referrals is a great way to grow your pressure-washing business when starting out! 

Equipment Costs and Replacement

No one likes unexpected surprises, especially when it comes to pricey repairs! Over time, your equipment can show signs of wear and tear, but with some prevention knowledge, you can save yourself from expensive bills. Keep an eye on warning signals so your investments will stay in top shape for years.

PRO TIP: Budget into the cost of every job maintenance and replacement of your equipment.  This way, when it is time to purchase new rigs or add a rig, you have that cash on hand.

Dangerous Work Environments

Whether it’s slippery surfaces, high-powered water streams, or carbon monoxide inhalation running a pressure washing business comes with risks. Keep your team safe by preparing for hazards and equipping them with the training required to handle every situation. After all, a strong team is the most important part of success!  PRO TIP:  Offer safety training annually as well as for new hires.  Document this training and work with your Insurance provider; you might get a discount on premiums.  PowerWashAcademy.com can help you with safety training.

Key Takeaways:

  • Setting job rates, financial planning, and having a strong marketing plan are essential for starting a pressure-washing business. 
  • Being safety-informed about the associated costs and risks of working with high-pressure washing machines in potentially unfavorable conditions is important. 
  • Develop a strong business plan. A well-crafted business plan is essential for any business growth.
  • The right equipment for the job is also essential, as many pressure-washing projects require specialized machinery or supplies. 
  • The business will grow when you reinvest the profit back into the business. Creating a solid financial plan for your business can promote discipline and growth. 
  • Over time, your equipment can start showing signs of wear and tear, but with some prevention knowledge, you can save yourself from expensive bills. 
  • Whether it’s slippery surfaces, high-powered water streams, or carbon monoxide inhalation running a pressure washing business comes with risks.
  • A strong team will eventually enable you to take a step back from the labor-intensive parts of the business and focus on growth. 

Grow Your Business With PowerWash.com

Starting a pressure washing business can be a thrilling endeavor. Still, like in many businesses, there are inevitable common missteps that you should aim to avoid if you want to lay the foundation for success. It’s important to consider setting job rates, making thoughtful financial decisions, crafting solid marketing plans, and being aware of the slow sales process. Investing in good-quality equipment can help retain customers, and keeping your team’s motivation and morale high is essential. At PowerWash.com, we’re passionate about helping you access everything you need to run a successful pressure washing business – from tips to equipment; we got you covered!  Click the link and get started today!

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