how to start a power washing business

How To Start A Pressure Washing Business in 2022

Elena Hudgens
By Elena Hudgens 21 Min Read

Starting a pressure washing business can be an excellent decision. It doesn’t require lengthy learning or certification. The upfront entry costs for gear, payroll, and equipment are relatively low. The operational costs of running this kind of business are also standard, making it easier to turn a profit quickly. 

However, the demand for pressure washing services is always high, so companies will generate an income if managed properly! It is a fantastic option for someone looking to start their own business or get a side hustle going. 

The startup cost of this type of business is relatively low, making it an affordable choice for many entrepreneurs. The pressure washing business is also known as the power washing business.

Source: istock

Additionally, the profit margins are good, so you won’t have to worry about making a lot of money on your pressure washing venture! If you’re ready to say goodbye to your 9-to-5 and start working as yourself, working as a self-employed power washer may well be the perfect fit. 

With high profits margins and low startup costs-both factors necessary for success in this type of business! 

Opening up a pressure washing business could be one successful path into entrepreneurship. This complete guide about how to start a pressure washing business will help you get started.

What are the opening costs of a pressure washing business?

How to start a pressure washing business and the cost of creating it are two essential questions. The startup up cost for leasing the pressure washing equipment and transportation is usually a small fee, such as $10 per month. 

The main startup cost is typical to rent the pressure washing equipment and vehicle, which can be a van with advertising of the company painted on it to attract more customers when it’s in operation.

The primary expenses for starting your business include:

  • Lease for pressure washing equipment and water tanks 
  • Alternately, you could buy pressure washers to start your business. These pressure washers can range from a few hundred dollars to over $15,000. Consider which type of pressure washer you need for your business. 
  • Lease for a commercial van fitted with the pressure washing equipment – $450 per month. 
  • Gasoline and vehicle maintenance 
  • Advertising (flyers and business cards).

To start a business, you will need good credit and a down payment of $10,000. You can generate more than $2,000 per month by working in paid jobs to pay back the borrowed money and set up the business so it runs smoothly.

How much can a pressure washing business make?

Pressure washers make a median salary of $13.25 per hour, according to PayScale. Self-employed pressure washers can set their rates and may be able to make more per hour than professionals who work for someone else.

Commercial pressure washing technicians and fleet washers have the opportunity to win lucrative contracts with businesses, offering the possibility of greater revenue security. 

On a per-project rate, pressure washers may make $100 to $300 for cleaning a residence and $80 to $200 for cleaning a driveway. Commercial building cleaning may cost more and result in higher earnings, generally determined by the size and difficulty of the job (with more challenging work earning more money). 

Why Pressure Washing Business?

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To know how to start a pressure washing business, you must also know the target market of the pressure washing business. There are different types of customers that pressure washing businesses can seek. 

Homeowners, government agencies (which need pressure washing services for roads and other government buildings/structures), vehicle owners, and commercial property owners are all potential targets for the business. 

Pressure washing businesses should look into their target market to see what type of customers they could work with to offer good service at a fair price. 

Besides looking for customers from the general public, it is recommendable to get long-term contracts from commercial operations to have stability in your business. Contractors who maintain properties owned by multiple people or clean fleets of vehicles regularly would be ideal candidates for this kind of contract.

Here are some questions which help you determine your target client:

  • Are they homeowners?
  • Do they own a commercial facility or a business?
  • What is their annual income?
  • Where do they(potential clients) live?
  • Where do they spend their time online?
  • What does your client do for a living?
  • What does your market research tell you about my target client?
  • Is there a gap in service that your business can fill?

Why Starting a Pressure Washing Business is Worth it?

The global pressure washer market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 3.4 from 2019 to 2025. This growth can be attributed to the increasing need for high-quality and reliable pressure washers worldwide.

 With your service, you can target residential markets, homeowners, and commercial establishments or specialize in cleaning the exterior of buildings or driveways, decks, and patios. 

Offering chimney and window cleaning services is another option you have available! The good news is that once you develop a great working relationship with your clients- they’re likely to contact you every time they need cleaning services! 

Consequently, establishing customer loyalty becomes easy; making money with the pressure washing business won’t be difficult at all. To know more about how to start a pressure washing business? Read this article carefully.

Pros and Cons of Pressure Washing Business

Source: istock

To know how to start a pressure washing business, you must also know the pros and cons of the pressure washing business.

Pros

  • Low startup cost

By starting your own business, you could save a lot of money. You will only need to buy supplies and equipment required for the startup phase and then upgrade as needed. With sites like Facebook, Marketplace, or Craigslist, you can find products at meager prices still in good condition.

  • High Demand with Low Competition

While everyone likes the results of pressure washing, not everyone has the time or capacity to do it themselves. The job of pressure washing is always in high demand, and there is a shallow potential for someone to take on this challenge.

  • High-Profit margins

Your equipment will be your most considerable recurring expense – you’ll only have to pay for it once you’re able to make a profit on it. Plus, if you eventually decide to hire out the work, there won’t be any other costs associated with using the homeowners’ water supply.

Cons

  • Manual Labour

Manual labor is involved in pressure washing. You’ll be scaling ladders and moving around to hit all the spots. There’s also the running of equipment and cleaning that needs to take place.

  • Seasonality

Seasonality is an essential aspect of pressure washing. If people live in a place where it gets colder during the winter months, they will find that this isn’t an all-year-round business. Most people are doing home cleanup and improvement projects in the spring and summer – these are prime times for customers!.

  • One-time job

Most jobs in the pressure washing business are one-time gigs. And yes, while one job can lead to others in your neighborhood, generating recurring revenue is more complicated. You’ll constantly be on the hunt for new clients. 

Steps To Starting  A Pressure Washing Business

To know how to start a pressure washing business, follow these essential steps:

Source: istock

Step 1: Learn how to pressure wash like a pro

It would help if you always were careful when pressure washing. The water pressure is strong enough to clean any surface debris, which also means one wrong blast from your washer’s jets can break your customer’s car window.

To avoid this, you need skills, experience, and knowledge about the business you’re starting up. There are plenty of online courses or on-the-job experiences to help with this! Practice regularly to up your pressure washing skills and improve them so that you’ll be able to handle a more difficult job in the future! 

After all, no one wants their home broken into because they didn’t practice properly once again. If you’re looking to buy a pressure washer and spray down a driveway, this is not the best solution.

Without damaging the surrounding area (like plants or surfaces), pressure washing can effectively test different surface types. Additionally, you can watch tutorials on YouTube on how to do it safely. Remember that practice makes perfect-or close to it- so it’s important to invest plenty of time in learning these skills!.

Step 2: Write a business plan

A business plan is a critical document when starting up a new business. It will help you outline your strategy and examine all essential elements of starting your own business- from product conception to financials. 

A business plan will help you map out the specifics of your pressure washing business and discover unknowns, allowing you to maximize opportunities and eliminate bottlenecks. A good Business Plan should include:

Your Ideal Customer — Who are your ideal customers? Where do they live? Homeowners or renters? Craft a perfect customer and market your services to this demographic. 

Value Proposition — Why would locals hire you and not your competition? It could be tricky to nail down a value proposition. You could start by asking customers the reason why they might choose you? Focus on their response and try to improve it tenfold. 

Revenue Streams — How many pressure washing services do you offer? Do you cover commercial, equipment, or mobile washing, construction sites, interior surface cleaning, or exterior concrete washing? A large variety of service offerings will keep you protected.

Step 3: Set up your pressure washing business

It takes a lot of dedication and proper licensing to start a pressure washing company. Depending on your location, the permits you need may vary. You can contact your local licensing office or county clerk to find out more information about this process. Let’s discuss each step in more detail.

1. Choose a name for your business: To give your business a name and buy a domain name that matches, you’ll need to choose the right one. You can find a list of good titles for your business here. The domain name will become your web address, so make sure it’s relevant to your business name.

2. Register your business: Registering your business is essential to start and run your pressure washing business. It will give you access to many legal benefits, such as tax breaks and personal liability protection.

When selecting a business structure, you have four options: 

  • Sole proprietorship – This option is for individuals who own their businesses without any help from others 
  • Partnership – This option is for two or more people who share in the profits. 
  • C Corporation – This type of company has many advantages over partnerships. C Corporations include limited liability (the owners can waive liability), corporate Governance (the board of directors oversees how the company functions), and an exemption from federal taxes.
  • S Corporation
  • Limited Liability Company

3. Get a business license: You first need a business license to get your pressure washing company off the ground. Business License is something that most small business owners will not have to worry about. For some, it’s as easy as acquiring a state-sanctioned small business license. 

4. Get insurance: Make sure that you and your employees are protected from property damage that may happen while working. In addition, injuries to self or other employees and equipment damage are all potential dangers of working. Every pressure washing business usually requires three types of insurance:

  • Liability insurance to cover damage caused when pressure cleaning.
  • Equipment insurance to cover damage or if any equipment gets stolen.
  • Workers’ compensation to cover injuries to you or your employees caused while on the job.

Step 4: Buy or rent your pressure washing equipment

Source: istock

You’ll need the right equipment for your pressure washing job. A high-end pressure washer is the best option, but you can find one for sale at most home improvement stores. In addition, if local stores don’t carry them, you can usually buy them online. 

The ideal way to get started is by renting pressure washing equipment; however, you will need to purchase your own in the long run!

Here is the equipment you’ll need:

  • High-powered pressure washer
  • High-pressure and low-pressure hoses
  • Angled tips
  • Nozzles
  • Surface cleaners
  • Water inlets
  • X-jet
  • Sewer jetters
  • Dual lance
  • Reels
  • Vehicle (van or truck)
  • Soaps and chemicals

Step 5: Set your prices

After understanding how to start a pressure washing business, setting your pricing structure becomes crucial for running a successful business. Running a successful pressure washing business means you need to research what you can charge for your service. Operating a pressure washing company can be expensive. 

You may have overhead costs like employees, equipment, insurance, and so on. If your rate is lower than $50/hour, your operating costs will eat into your money. The average homeowner spends around $185 to $380 for a pressure wash.

Some standard pricing includes:

Residential Services

  • Brick Walls and Siding – $.15/sq. Ft.
  • Flat Surfaces – $.25/sq. Ft.
  • Concrete Cleaning – $.10/sq. Ft.

Apartment Services

  • Exterior Concrete – $.10/sq. Ft.
  • Pool Cleaning – $.20/sq. Ft.
  • Stairs, Sidewalls, and Breezeways – $.15/sq. Ft.

Commercial Services

  • Concrete Cleaning – $.15/sq. Ft.
  • Roof Cleaning – $.30/sq. Ft.
  • Interior Cleaning – $.25/sq. Ft.

Step 6: Market your business

Source: istock

After completing all the above steps and securing excellent knowledge about starting a pressure washing business, it’s time to market your business to attract more customers. It would help if you had a social media presence to succeed in pressure washing. It’s an excellent way for you to connect with prospects and customers, as well as promote your business! 

However, it can be daunting at first. There are free tools that can automate this process- like Buffer- so you will continue catering to local clients and remain within your municipality. 

  1. Create a website: Creating a website for your pressure washing business effectively attracts clients and establishes your credibility. You can create a professional website using free Wix templates or hire a web developer to make one for you.
  2. Local SEO: SEO is the process of improving your website’s ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs). You can achieve great SEO through various methods, including content creation, website optimization, strategic social media management, and more.
  3. Online reviews: Online reviews are a great way to collect positive feedback from happy customers. Once you finish a job, ask your customers to leave online reviews. Reviews will help ensure that your work is considered excellent and enjoyed by others!.
  4. Focus on offline marketing: Online marketing is the way to go today, but it doesn’t mean you can’t reach out to local people offline. You can start by getting the word out there and asking your friends, family, acquaintances, colleagues—and anyone who listens—about your pressure washing business. 

Ask them for references and recommendations! You can also distribute flyers or opt for door-to-door advertising. What may work and get you another client in the meantime is always a good thing!

Final Thoughts

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Hopefully, this guide on “how to start a pressure washing business” has taught you everything you need to start and manage a successful pressure washing business. Creating a pressure washing business can be an excellent option for someone looking to get their feet wet in the entrepreneurship world. Not only is the startup cost relatively low, but profits are also good, and work is relatively easy to master. 

Depending on your goals and plan, a pressure washing business can be profitable. You’ll need to have clear goals, a dream, excellent service, and creative approaches in place if you want to make this kind of business work for you. 

So, if you’re thinking about starting a pressure washing business, this article can give you some tips and advice on how to do it the right way. We’ve also mentioned some of the common pitfalls for new business owners so that you can avoid them in your journey to becoming a successful pressure washer.

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Posted by Elena Hudgens
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Elena Hudgens is an entrepreneur with 10+ years of experience. She started her journey by building her own e-commerce website on Shopify and turned her $1000 savings to millions in just 2 years. Soon she started different ventures in which she failed and succeeded. And now, she's on a mission to help other entrepreneurs with her life and business lessons.
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