Starting a pressure washing business can be very profitable. With proper planning, execution and hard work, you can enjoy great success. Below you will learn the keys to launching a successful pressure washing business.
Importantly, a critical step in starting a pressure washing business is to complete your business plan. To help you out, you should download Growthink’s Ultimate Business Plan Template here.
Follow these 14 steps to start a pressure washing business:
- Choose the Name for Your Pressure Washing Business
- Develop Your Pressure Washing Business Plan
- Choose the Legal Structure for Your Pressure Washing Business
- Secure Startup Funding for Your Pressure Washing Business (If Needed)
- Secure a Lease for Your Location
- Register Your Pressure Washing Business with the IRS
- Open a Business Bank Account
- Get a Business Credit Card
- Get the Required Business Licenses and Permits
- Get Business Insurance for Your Pressure Washing Business
- Buy or Lease the Right Pressure Washing Business Equipment
- Develop Your Pressure Washing Business Marketing Materials
- Purchase and Setup the Software Needed to Run Your Pressure Washing Business
- Open for Business
1. Choose the Name for Your Pressure Washing Business
The first step to starting a pressure washing business is to choose your business’ name.
This is a very important choice since your company name is your brand and will last for the lifetime of your business. Ideally you choose a name that is meaningful and memorable. Here are some tips for choosing a name for your pressure washing business:
- Make sure the name is available. Check your desired name against trademark databases and your state’s list of registered business names to see if it’s available. Also check to see if a suitable domain name is available.
- Keep it simple. The best names are usually ones that are easy to remember, pronounce and spell.
- Think about marketing. Come up with a name that reflects the desired brand and/or focus of your pressure washing business.
2. Develop Your Pressure Washing Business Plan
One of the most important steps in starting a pressure washing business is to develop your business plan. The process of creating your plan ensures that you fully understand your market and your business strategy. The plan also provides you with a roadmap to follow and if needed, to present to funding sources to raise capital for your business.
Your business plan should include the following sections:
- Executive Summary – this section should summarize your entire business plan so readers can quickly understand the key details of your pressure washing business.
- Company Overview – this section tells the reader about the history of your pressure washing business and what type of pressure washing business you operate. For example, are you a mobile pressure washing business, a commercial pressure washing business, or a residential pressure washing business.
- Industry Analysis – here you will document key information about the pressure washing business industry. Conduct market research and document how big the industry is and what trends are affecting it.
- Customer Analysis – in this section, you will document who your ideal or target customers are and their demographics. For example, how old are they? Where do they live? What do they find important when purchasing services like the ones you will offer?
- Competitive Analysis – here you will document the key direct and indirect competitors you will face and how you will build competitive advantage.
- Marketing Plan – your marketing plan should address the 4Ps: Product, Price, Promotions and Place.
- Product: Determine and document what products/services you will offer
- Prices: Document the prices of your products/services
- Place: Where will your business be located and how will that location help you increase sales?
- Promotions: What promotional methods will you use to attract customers to your pressure washing business? For example, you might decide to use pay-per-click advertising, public relations, search engine optimization and/or social media marketing.
- Operations Plan – here you will determine the key processes you will need to run your day-to-day operations. You will also determine your staffing needs. Finally, in this section of your plan, you will create a projected growth timeline showing the milestones you hope to achieve in the coming years.
- Management Team – this section details the background of your company’s management team.
- Financial Plan – finally, the financial plan answers questions including the following:
- What startup costs will you incur?
- How will your pressure washing business make money?
- What are your projected sales and expenses for the next five years?
- Do you need to raise funding to launch your business?
3. Choose the Legal Structure for Your Pressure Washing Business
Next you need to choose a legal structure for your pressure washing business and register it and your business name with the Secretary of State in each state where you operate your business.
Below are the five most common legal structures:
1) Sole proprietorship
A sole proprietorship is a business entity in which the owner of the pressure washing business and the business are the same legal person. The owner of a sole proprietorship is responsible for all debts and obligations of the business. There are no formalities required to establish a sole proprietorship, and it is easy to set up and operate. The main advantage of a sole proprietorship is that it is simple and inexpensive to establish. The main disadvantage is that the owner is liable for all debts and obligations of the business.
A partnership is a legal structure that is popular among small businesses. It is an agreement between two or more people who want to start a pressure washing business together. The partners share in the profits and losses of the business.
The advantages of a partnership are that it is easy to set up, and the partners share in the profits and losses of the business. The disadvantages of a partnership are that the partners are jointly liable for the debts of the business, and disagreements between partners can be difficult to resolve.
3) Limited Liability Company (LLC)
A Limited liability company, or LLC, is a type of business entity that provides limited liability to its owners. This means that the owners of an LLC are not personally responsible for the debts and liabilities of the business. The advantages of an LLC for a pressure washing business include flexibility in management, pass-through taxation (avoids double taxation as explained below), and limited personal liability. The disadvantages of an LLC include lack of availability in some states and self-employment taxes.
4) C Corporation
A C Corporation is a business entity that is separate from its owners. It has its own tax ID and can have shareholders. The main advantage of a C Corporation for a pressure washing business is that it offers limited liability to its owners. This means that the owners are not personally responsible for the debts and liabilities of the business. The disadvantage is that C Corporations are subject to double taxation. This means that the corporation pays taxes on its profits, and the shareholders also pay taxes on their dividends.
5) S Corporation
An S Corporation is a type of corporation that provides its owners with limited liability protection and allows them to pass their business income through to their personal income tax returns, thus avoiding double taxation. There are several limitations on S Corporations including the number of shareholders they can have among others.
Once you register your pressure washing business, your state will send you your official “Articles of Incorporation.” You will need this among other documentation when establishing your banking account (see below). We recommend that you consult an attorney in determining which legal structure is best suited for your company.
4. Secure Startup Funding for Your Pressure Washing Business (If Needed)
In developing your pressure washing business plan, you might have determined that you need to raise funding to launch your business.
If so, the main sources of funding for a pressure washing business to consider are personal savings, family and friends, credit card financing, bank loans, crowdfunding and angel investors. Angel investors are individuals who provide capital to early-stage businesses. Angel investors typically will invest in a pressure washing business that they believe has high potential for growth.
5. Secure a Lease for Your Location
When looking for a location for your pressure washing company, you’ll want to find an area that is highly trafficked and visible. The best locations are those with a lot of foot traffic, as this will help you to drum up business. You’ll also want to make sure that the location you choose has ample parking, as you’ll need to be able to park your truck and trailer.
A secure location is key to ensure that your vehicles and equipment are safe from theft and damage. The size of the location that you choose will depend on how big of a truck and trailer that you have.
6. Register Your Pressure Washing Business with the IRS
Next, you need to register your business with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) which will result in the IRS issuing you an Employer Identification Number (EIN).
Most banks will require you to have an EIN in order to open up an account. In addition, in order to hire employees, you will need an EIN since that is how the IRS tracks your payroll tax payments.
Note that if you are a sole proprietor without employees, you generally do not need to get an EIN. Rather, you would use your social security number (instead of your EIN) as your taxpayer identification number.
7. Open a Business Bank Account
It is important to establish a bank account in your pressure washing business’ name. This process is fairly simple and involves the following steps:
- Identify and contact the bank you want to use
- Gather and present the required documents (generally include your company’s Articles of Incorporation, driver’s license or passport, and proof of address)
- Complete the bank’s application form and provide all relevant information
- Meet with a banker to discuss your business needs and establish a relationship with them
8. Get a Business Credit Card
You should get a business credit card for your pressure washing business to help you separate personal and business expenses.
You can either apply for a business credit card through your bank or apply for one through a credit card company.
When you’re applying for a business credit card, you’ll need to provide some information about your business. This includes the name of your business, the address of your business, and the type of business you’re running. You’ll also need to provide some information about yourself, including your name, Social Security number, and date of birth.
Once you’ve been approved for a business credit card, you’ll be able to use it to make purchases for your business. You can also use it to build your credit history which could be very important in securing loans and getting credit lines for your business in the future.
9. Get the Required Business Licenses and Permits
The licenses and permits necessary to start a pressure washing business may vary from state to state. However, in general, you will likely need a business license, as well as a license to operate a pressure washing business. You may also need a permit to operate a power washer. To find out what licenses and permits are required in your city or state, contact your local licensing agency or chamber of commerce.
10. Get Business Insurance for Your Pressure Washing Business
Below are the main types of insurance to consider for your business:
- General liability insurance: This covers accidents and injuries that occur on your property. It also covers damages caused by your employees or products.
- Auto insurance: If a vehicle is used in your business, this type of insurance will cover if a vehicle is damaged or stolen.
- Workers’ compensation insurance: If you have employees, this type of policy works with your general liability policy to protect against workplace injuries and accidents. It also covers medical expenses and lost wages.
- Commercial property insurance: This covers damage to your property caused by fire, theft, or vandalism.
- Business interruption insurance: This covers lost income and expenses if your business is forced to close due to a covered event.
- Professional liability insurance: This protects your business against claims of professional negligence.
Find an insurance agent, tell them about your business and its needs, and they will recommend policies that fit those needs.
11. Buy or Lease the Right Pressure Washing Business Equipment
To start a pressure washing business, you’ll need to purchase pressure washing equipment. You can find pressure washers in a variety of price ranges, so be sure to do your research and find the one that’s right for you. In some cases, you may be able to rent a pressure washer from your local equipment supply company. This is an option if you don’t want to make a long-term commitment by buying one.
Other equipment that you will need are supplies and accessories such as soap/cleaners, extension cords, water hose connectors and safety gear.
12. Develop Your Pressure Washing Business Marketing Materials
Marketing materials will be required to attract and retain customers to your own pressure washing business.
The key marketing materials you will need are as follows:
- Logo: Spend some time developing a good logo for your pressure washing business. Your logo will be printed on company stationery, business cards, marketing materials and so forth. The right logo can increase customer trust and awareness of your brand.
- Website: Likewise, a professional pressure washing business website provides potential customers with information about the services you offer, your company’s history, and contact information. Importantly, remember that the look and feel of your website will affect how customers perceive you.
- Social Media Accounts: establish social media accounts in your company’s name. Accounts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and/or other social media networks will help customers and others find and interact with your pressure washing business.
13. Purchase and Setup the Software Needed to Run Your Pressure Washing Business
There are a few software programs that you will need in order to run a pressure or power washing business. The first is a customer management system, which will help you keep track of your customers’ contact information, as well as their orders and payments. You will also need a financial management system, which will help you keep track of your expenses and profits. Finally, you will need a marketing automation system, which will help you automate your marketing tasks, such as email marketing and social media marketing.
14. Open for Business
You are now ready to open your pressure washing business. If you followed the steps above, you should be in a great position to build a successful business. Below are answers to frequently asked questions that might further help you.
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Pressure Washing Business FAQs
Is it hard to start a pressure washing business?
It is a relatively easy business to start, but this will vary depending on your skills, experience, and resources. However, if you follow the steps above, you should be able to start your pressure washing business without too much difficulty.
How can I start a pressure washing business with no experience?
Here are a few ways to start a pressure washing business with no experience.
- Start by researching the industry. There are many online resources that can provide you with information on how to start a pressure washing business.
- Join an industry association. This will give you access to valuable resources and networking opportunities.
- Attend trade shows and other events in the industry. This will help you learn about the latest trends and technologies in the pressure washing industry.
- Contact local businesses and ask if they would be interested in having their property pressure washed. This is a great way to get started in the business and build your client base.
- Take advantage of government incentives to start a small business, such as the SBA 504 loan program. These loans provide financing at lower interest rates and can be used to purchase pressure washing equipment and supplies for your business.
Is a pressure washing business a good idea and/or a good investment?
A pressure washing business can be a great idea if you have the right skills and are able to market yourself effectively.
Here are just a few of the benefits of starting a pressure washing business:
- It's relatively simple to start up.
- You can usually start up for relatively little money.
- You can set your own hours and work when you want.
- There is a high demand for pressure washing services.
What type of pressure washing business is most profitable?
The most profitable type of pressure washing business is one that offers services to businesses rather than residential customers. This is because businesses are typically more willing to pay for high-quality services, and they have more regular cleaning needs. Residential customers may only need their driveway or deck cleaned once a year, while businesses may need their parking lot or building facade washed every week.
How much does it cost to start a pressure washing business?
The cost of starting a pressure washing business varies depending on the size and type of business you want to start. Most of this initial investment is for equipment and supplies.
What are the ongoing expenses for a pressure washing business?
There are a few ongoing expenses that are associated with starting and running a pressure washing business. One of the main expenses is the cost of marketing and advertising your business. You'll also need to invest in equipment and supplies, such as pressure washers, detergents, and hoses. Finally, you'll need to factor in the cost of liability insurance and any other licenses or permits that may be required for your area.
How does a pressure washing business make money?
A pressure washing business makes money by charging customers for its services. It typically charges by the hour, and the price varies depending on the size of the area that needs to be cleaned. A pressure washing business can also make money by selling detergents, sealants, and other products to its customers.
Is owning a pressure washing business profitable?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the profitability of a pressure washing business will vary depending on a number of factors, such as the size and location of the business, the type of services offered, and the pricing strategy employed. However, there is certainly potential for profit in the pressure washing industry, and with a little research and planning, you can set up a successful business that provides quality services to your customers.
Why do pressure washing businesses fail?
Fluctuating income, the high cost of equipment and lack of knowledge are the top three reasons pressure washing businesses fail. To increase your chances of success, start by choosing a niche market to focus on, investing in quality equipment and educating yourself on the best techniques to run your pressure washing business.