How to Start a Pressure Washing Business

Last Updated on April 7, 2021

How to Start a Pressure Washing Business

You may think starting a pressure washing business is as easy as it gets. All you need is a pressure washer and a truck and you’re good to go, right?

Wrong.

Like starting any business, it takes a little more than that. You have to know the ins and outs of how to start a pressure washing business before you invest even a dollar to make sure that it’s right for you.

In this guide, we’ll show you everything you need to know to get a pressure washing business up and running.

Is Pressure Washing a Good Business?

start your own pressure washing business

First, let’s talk about the market. Is it smart to start your own pressure washing business? Is there any money in it?

There definitely can be good money in the business, if you market it right. Just like any business, you need a niche and you need to be good at what you do. Those are the two key factors. It’s best if you niche down rather than trying to market to the entire world or even your entire city. Figure out where you do your best work and market to that audience. 

When you niche down, you can provide great service to the people you serve rather than trying to spread yourself thin. You also set yourself apart from the competition when you have a ‘specialty.’ 

Then of course, you need to be good at pressure washing. You want your customers to recommend you to their friends and family so you keep growing. That’s how you run a good pressure washing business. 

What are the Startup Costs for a Pressure Washing Business?

Like any business, you could start a pressure washing business with a little money or a lot. It depends on what you want to get out of it.

You can find low-cost equipment or even rent equipment if you have little capital to start or you can buy the best of the best. A pressure washer, for example, can cost anywhere from $1,000 – $6,000 depending on the quality. Then you’ll need various other hoses, nozzles, and cleaning products that may cost around $1,000 total.

Next, you’ll need to determine how you’ll get around. Do you have a truck or do you need to buy one? This adds to the costs considerably. If you need a truck, will you pay cash or finance it? Either way, you need to work the expense into your budget. 

Finally, you’ll need a business license, insurance, and bonding, which the costs vary by state. On average, expect around another $1,000 to follow the rules of how to set up your pressure washing business the right way. Always check your state guidelines to make sure you have everything they require to run your own pressure washing business. 

How Can I Start a Pressure Washing Business with No Money?

start a pressure washing business

You may not be able to start a pressure washing business with ‘no money’ but it can be done for a little money.

If you’re just running a little side business, you can rent the equipment you need when a job comes up and use your existing car or truck to get around. Just make sure you don’t skimp on the business license or insurance – always check your state guidelines to make sure you’re properly covered or you run the risk of legal issues and/or liabilities if something happens. 

If you’re running a gig full-time, you may want to find a way to finance the equipment and truck or borrow from friends or family to get your business up and running. 

Is Starting a Pressure Washing Business Profitable?

As you learn how to start a power washing business, you’ll learn more about the fees you can charge. That’s where the profit is at, but the actual fees you charge depend on your area. Check out your competitors – what do they charge? Do their fees seem in line with what you hoped to charge and what would make your business profitable?

Here is a breakdown of monthly costs divided over the number of hours for which you will be able to charge the customer. Example provided by the team at Ultimatewasher

On average, you can charge $80 – $350 per job depending on the complexity and your target location. For example, power washing a driveway will earn you a lot less than power washing an entire house. You must set your prices according to how much time it will take and the materials you need to do the job. 

Like any business, a pressure washing business can be as profitable as you make it if you market it right, price your services competitively, and provide great customer service. While you’re providing power washing services, clients are often willing to pay more for great customer service. 

The Struggles You May Face Starting a Pressure Washing Business

As you learn how to start a pressure washing business, you’ll see that there are some hurdles every business owner needs to get over. It’s not always easy, but knowing what you may come up against helps.

Here are some common struggles:

  • Pricing your services competitively enough that you beat the competition
  • Learning how to manage your time so you can provide great customer service
  • Choosing the right equipment that will last and be a good investment for your business
  • Marketing your business so that you stand out from the competition
  • Affording proper vehicles that not only transport your equipment, but advertise for your business
  • Keeping up with the administrative work along with the physical labor of providing pressure washing services
  • Making your budget work

How to Succeed in the Pressure Washing Business

As you learn the ropes and discover how to start a pressure washing business, you’ll see how easy it is to succeed at a business that you can run as a side gig or a full-time business. The key is to have a business plan, talk with your financial advisor, and work with your lawyer to make sure you cover all your bases.

The key is in proper marketing, delivering excellent customer service, and providing the services you promise so that your customers refer you to others.

Tip: This article is next in the series of How-To. If you are interested in other business ideas, please check out the previous articles.

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