How To Start A Pressure Washing Business: The Complete Guide

pressure washing business

Interested in starting a pressure washing business? You’ve come to the right place.

In this article, you’ll learn how to prepare, organize, and operate a pressure washing business of your very own.

How To Start A Pressure Washing Business: Preparation

Man working for a pressure washing business

1) Research The Industry

The first step in starting a pressure washing business is to research the industry where you live and the surrounding area.

Read articles online. Talk to other pressure washing business owners. Visit a Better Business Bureau or Chamber of Commerce near you.

As you conduct your research, ask plenty of questions about the ins and outs of the industry, including:

  • Is there a need for this type of business in the area?
  • Are there enough customers to support a new business?
  • What standards are necessary?
  • How long does it take to pressure wash a house, driveway, or other surface?
  • What type of equipment will you need?
  • What type of training will you need?

Armed with this knowledge, you’ll be better able to proceed with the preparation, organization, and operation of your business.

2) Try It For Yourself

One of the nice things about starting a pressure washing business is that you can try it for yourself before you commit your time, energy, and money to starting a full-blown company.

Rent or borrow a pressure washer and test it on your own property. Or, offer to pressure wash your friend’s driveway or house in exchange for using their equipment for a few days.

As you do, take note of:

  • How easy it is to use the equipment
  • How long it takes to finish certain jobs
  • How much of a toll pressure washing takes on your body
  • What equipment you might add to make the job easier

It can also be a valuable experience to use the pressure washer every day for a week — this is where volunteering to spray your neighbor’s house or driveway comes in handy — to see if you can handle it both mentally and physically.

You might find that the pressure washing business isn’t for you after all. And that’s okay. It’s just a good thing to know before you dedicate your time and money into organizing and operating the company.

3) Decide On A Specialty

man pressure washing side of his house

Once you’ve researched the industry and tried a few projects for yourself, decide on a specialty for your pressure washing business.

You can choose from:

  • Commercial
  • Industrial
  • Residential

Within those broad categories lie other specialties, including:

  • Restoration
  • Paint removal
  • General maintenance
  • Windows
  • Roofs
  • Gutters
  • Drains
  • Pipes
  • Sewage lines

These latter categories — along with the commercial and industrial niches — may require more specialized (and expensive) equipment.

Unless you know for sure that you want to focus on these sub-categories, consider starting with residential power washing (houses, roofs, driveways, vehicles).

Once your power washing business gets going, you can always expand into other services.

4) Create A Name For Your Business

Finding the perfect name for your pressure washing business can be one of the most difficult parts of the entire process.

Coming up with something that you like, something that is simple, and something that is both descriptive and memorable may take more time than you think.

That’s why we recommend that you start brainstorming names from day one. Write down all your ideas and give yourself plenty of time to think about your favorites.

Do your best to settle on a name for your pressure washing business before moving on to the organization process (discussed later in this article).

If you start registering with local, state, and federal organizations, purchasing insurance, and opening bank accounts while your name is still in flux, it becomes much more difficult — and expensive — to make a change.

How To Start A Pressure Washing Business: Organization

pressure washing deck

5) Register Your Business

With the preparation phase of the process out of the way, it’s now time to organize your power washing business. The first step in doing that is to decide on the type of business you’re going to operate.

Options include:

  • Sole Proprietorship
  • Doing Business As (DBA)
  • Limited Liability Partnership
  • S-Corp
  • C-Cop

After that, you can register the business with the federal government for a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) and with state and local organizations for any licenses and permits.

6) Purchase Pressure Washing Business Insurance

Many first-time business owners don’t think that insurance is important when they’re just starting out. But, what if, in the process of power washing a driveway, the spray kicks up a rock that shatters a window?

You — the business owner — will be responsible for reimbursing the homeowner for the damage. If your business doesn’t have enough to cover it, you may have to pay the homeowner with your personal assets.

With power washing business insurance, you pay a yearly rate that will cover any damages up to a certain dollar amount.

Such coverage can protect your business from having to empty its bank account — and possibly close its doors — because of an accident on the job.

7) Investigate Task Management Software

App for pressure washing business

As you set up your power washing business, take the time to investigate task management software and how it can help you succeed.

Whether you do the work yourself or you hire employees, tools like Inch can help you keep track of essential details such as:

  • Customer names
  • Appointment times
  • Appointment locations
  • Tasks to be done
  • Necessary supplies
  • Who’s doing the work

Technologies like Inch that streamline workflow and keep everyone headed in the right direction will allow you (and your team) to get as much done in a day as possible.

8) Open A Business Checking Account

Opening a separate checking account for your power washing business — as opposed to using your personal account — will make recordkeeping, payroll, and taxes much easier down the line.

Depending on the bank you use and the type of account you choose, this step may not cost you anything but time and a bit of paperwork.

When you take care of this step early on in the process, you won’t have to spend hours at the end of the year separating personal expenses and income from business expenses and income.

How To Start A Pressure Washing Business: Operation

pressure washing machine

9) Purchase Equipment

Power washers can range from a few hundred dollars for a simple unit all the way up to tens of thousands of dollars for tank and trailer packages.

When purchasing equipment for your new power washing business, keep it as simple as possible at first.

Purchase equipment and supplies that will get the job done but won’t break the bank in the process. You can always upgrade later on when your business gets going.

10) Set Your Rate

When setting up the rate you’ll charge in your business, don’t just settle on an hourly rate that you — the one doing the work — would like to be paid.

Factor in other variables, such as:

  • Time
  • Taxes
  • Insurance
  • Supplies
  • Equipment repair and maintenance
  • Overhead
  • Profit/markup

Every job will be different, but if you’ve gone through the calculations beforehand, you’ll be better prepared to charge customers at a rate that will cover costs, pay you a salary, and allow the business to be profitable.

11) Advertise Your Pressure Washing Business

You may have to spend a bit up front to advertise your pressure washing business, but there are also many free and inexpensive ways to get your name out there.

  • Ask your friends and family to spread the word
  • Post flyers on local bulletin boards
  • Start a Facebook page
  • Build a website
  • Conduct a mass mail campaign
  • Volunteer to do some free work in exchange for posting a yard sign

Get creative with your advertising to reach as many potential customers as possible.

12) Do A Good Job

And last, but certainly not least, one of the best things you can do when starting a power washing business is to do a good job for each and every customer who hires you.

If you give them quality service, they’ll stick with you for the long haul and help your business succeed.

Organize Your Business With Inch

Organize Your Pressure Washing Business With Inch

Regardless of the services you offer in your pressure washing business, organization is the foundation of your success.

Keeping track of customer names, appointment times, locations, specific tasks for each job, necessary supplies, and other details can feel like a full-time job all on its own if you try to do it by yourself.

The Inch software can help.

Inch is a suite of task and workforce management tools that can simplify every aspect of the way your pressure washing business operates.

With Inch, you (and your team, if you have employees) can perform a wide variety of tasks from any smartphone, tablet, laptop, or desktop, including:

  • Working from a shared task list
  • Getting clarity on work that needs to be done
  • Receiving voice-assisted reminder notifications
  • Clocking in and out of tasks at different locations
  • Tracking time-on-task, as well as total time, worked
  • Accessing task checklists
  • Communicating with each other

The Inch app makes it easier than ever to coordinate and optimize, not just your own activities, but the activities of your team and your entire pressure washing business.

So, whether you’re a one-person operation, a 10-person operation, or a 100+-person operation, Inch can help you stay organized and on the road to success.

For more free resources to help you manage your business better, organize and schedule your team, and track and calculate labor costs, visit today.

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