How to Start a Pressure Washing Business in 10 Smart Steps (Updated)

Nowadays, most of the people are willing to pay a premium for reliable and efficient pressure washing services. A recent study conducted by Entrepreneur, considers pressure-washing business as one of the most sought after cleaning service. You can pursue pressure-washing jobs as either part-time or full-time. Pressure washing business is quite lucrative – you can make a decent income by working part-time as well.

Starting a pressure washing business is great plan. Why? All you need is passion, ability to network and the right attitude to thrive in the business. You don’t need any certification or special skills to get started.

Eager to get started? Take a quick glance at the below article to learn all you need to start a successful pressure washing service.

So who actually can do this business?

Power Washing Business is the right fit for those who really enjoy cleaning and are comfortable with using jet washing equipments. Also, having a pleasant personality is a huge plus in this business as it helps to attract many clients.

A huge benefit of this business is that you can expand the business quickly. One can start their business in a local area and then slowly expand the business to provide similar type of services in the areas surrounding. If you are lucky enough, and you get good reviews then you can also get franchise opportunities. This will help to expand your business from local to a regional market. Sky is the limit for the right candidate.

Step-by-step procedure for starting Pressure Washing Business


How to start pressure washing business

Infographics: Step-by-step instructions to help you start the pressure washing business

Step1: Learn the in-and-out of the business

Go through YouTube videos and learn about the in-and-out of the industry, and learn what chemicals are suitable for different surfaces. You can join forums and FB groups and reach out to professionals. Many will be happy to help you.

Now, you have made your fundamentals clear. What next? Get a pressure washer and try cleaning your home. It will not take particularly a long time to learn how to use it, practicing it for a day or two is more than enough to understand how much pressure is required to clean effectively.

Once you gain confidence, reach out to your friends and neighbors and offer them your service. You may also team up with other professionals who are already successful, and work with them – either free or charge them basic rates.

Don’t have enough money to purchase new equipment? No worry, you can still rent a pressure washer for a cost below $100 for a day. The estimated profit per day (If you clean 3 houses per day ranges between $450 to $600).

Networking is the key to success. Connect with any of the following reputable organizations and you can learn the tips and tricks to get that polished finishing.

  • Power Washers of North America (PWNA)
  • Pressure Washing Resource Association (PWRA)
  • United Association of Mobile Contract Cleaners (UAMCC)

Once you have the experience you need, you can start your business with renting some pressure washer equipment to get some on duty experience. Having a professional training is a huge bonus in this business. Apart from that, some states also ask you to get yourself a contractor’s license along with the proof of the education and relevant experience.


Step 2: Business plan

Do you have a business plan?


Pressure Washing Business Plan

How to draft a pressure washing business plan

Every business needs a plan and so does pressure washing business. You need a systematic and logical plan to move forward too. Create a business plan that lays down all the details about the resources you have, services you can provide, the cost you will charge, etc. The more detailed plan you have, the better and easier it will be for you.

Are you too lazy to create a pressure washing business plan? Note that chances of ending up in loss are higher without a clear-cut plan. Pressure washing can be a simple act of cleaning, but you need a comprehensive plan to succeed in its business. If you do not have a plan yet, I recommend you create one instantly! Brainstorm couple of pressure washing business ideas – this will help to define your service.

A basic pressure washing business plan should include the following details

  • An attractive business name
  • Primary services you can provide
  • Places where you can have majority of customers
  • Main objective of your business
  • A logical financial summary
  • A working business model
  • Marketing strategies to expand your business


Step3: Define your target customers

Who should be Your Target Customers?

target customer

How to attract target customers

Before we go any further, let us define this – who are your target customers? Think about this for a moment – How can you sell your services without knowing your customers?

Generally and obviously, the most valuable customers are the residential owners with high income. Scoring even two to three well paying customers can make an evident difference in your pressure washing business income.

Your second target should be the construction sites as they require pressure-washing services upon the completion. Another good source is the homeowners selling their property, they tend to keep the exteriors of the property on sale very clean.

Also, you’d be right to consider owners with high end cars or local motor rental services who require regular power washing support to keep their engines clean and safe from dust. Pressure cleaning business can be very rewarding if one knows where to find the right customer.


Step4: Estimated Cost

What is the Estimated Cost for starting pressure washing business?

cost estimationI know what you are thinking now – how much pressure washing business will cost you. The most important cost that you need to cover to start the business are as below:

  • Leasing the pressure washing equipment
  • Mode of transportation through which you will take the equipment to the client’s workplace

Here, the recommended transportation is a van with the advertisement of the services you are providing. This way you can attract more customers and promote your business while the van is in operation.

Below mentioned is the basic list of expenses:

  • Lease amount for power washing machine or the amount you can invest to buy a good working jet washing machine
  • Water tanks
  • Lease amount required for a commercial van along with power washing equipment
  • Cost for gasoline
  • Vehicle maintenance cost
  • Cost for promoting your business through flyers, business cards and other channels.

You can expect a few thousand dollars to help you with your down payments. It is better to have enough credit so that you can easily make the lease payments for the first six months of your business.

An estimated cost of around $10,000 can be considered as a good start for your business so that you don’t face any financial problems while searching for customers in the beginning.

Apart from all that, if your state requires you to apply for a local business permit, state tax registration and a contracting license, then you can expect a few more hundred dollars to get the job done. Remember, these are to be included only if your state requires you to get all of the above mentioned in order to start your business.

Step 5 : How much should I charge for the service?

Most of the newbies tend to offer the lowest price in the beginning and once they start getting good reviews and customers, they increase the price. This is a good strategy, however not the best. Your starting customers will still want to pay you the lower price as you started working them with that and this will bring down the profit.

You need to understand that your skills and time are very valuable. Lower prices do attract customers but then it will slow down your growth. Your main objective should be to become a successful and reputable businessperson, not offering the cheapest services in the market.

To determine what pressure washing business price to charge, it is better to do some research first. Find out what other reputable companies charge for similar services. Then decide on a price that can help you grow your business and still gives you a profitable income to survive. If you are not sustainable enough, you will be out of the competition before you even realize it.


Step 6: Business Documents and Labor Safety Requirements



Business Document for pressure washingQuestion: how will I get all the relevant document to get  started? You will have to contact your city’s licensing office or the county clerk’s office to find out the list of documents you will need to establish you business. The document requirement varies from state to state and hence it is always better to do a personal check.



The documents you would need may include the following

  • Business License
  • Bond
  • Sales Tax Registration
  • Contractor Permit
  • Environmental Permit

Compiling all your business documents may take a while. Therefore, it is better to start applying for the documents beforehand. The faster you can have your documents, the sooner you can start your business.

Apart from the business documents, the other forte where you have to focus is Labor Safety Requirements. It is very important that you meet all the guidelines prepared by Occupational Safety and Health Administration requirements. So let’s take closer look at the most important safety regulations you need to follow

  • Identification of appropriate hazard
  • Injury reports, if any
  • Taking proper safety measures during the operation of dangerous equipments like pressure washer machine, etc.

A word of caution, neglecting potential safety measures is bound to create a bad impression on your business. You might even end up getting a local complaint, which is obviously not good for your business. On the other hand, taking proper safety measures will help to position you as a professional and help to increase your business revenue.


Step 7: Licensing

It is obvious that you will need an occupational license to start your pressure washing business.

Now comes the million-dollar question:

How can I get an occupational license? Generally, you can get your occupational license from your county or city courthouse. Also, there are a few countries that practice reciprocity with the neighboring countries.

Reciprocity? Yes, you guessed it right. If you have an occupational license in the country then you don’t actually need to get a new one in the country attached to the border.

Coming back to the point, there are different types of licenses that you can choose from. For instance, you can use your own name for your business services like Robin Logan Pressure Washing Services. Well, doing this also gives you a benefit, you don’t have to ask for a fictitious name from the state. In case a different name is chosen as your business name, you will have to file for a fictitious name with the state.

Other type of licensing options includes a sole proprietorship of the business, or a partnership with some other services or a limited liability agency. You may consider consulting an accountant to know about the details of each type of licensing before you decide which one is right for your business.


Step 8: Liability Insurance

Liability Insurance

Not only in a jet washing business, but also in any business having liability insurance is very important. Home owners can ask if you are properly insured and licensed. Moreover, if you desire to work for high-end customers such as homeowners associations, commercial accounts and property managers, you will have to provide a copy of your insurance and license before you start any work.

It is okay to have a general liability policy of around $300,000, but you can go for a minimum of $500,000 policy. This increase in coverage will not affect your monthly premium by a great number, just around $10 to $20. Also, it is important to know that your coverage will totally depend on the type of work you are going to do. For example, if you are planning to work for high end clients like expensive house owners or commercial property owners, then you can opt for a $500,000 policy or even greater.

Apart from all this, if you are planning to hire additional workers to help you out, then you might need to purchase worker’s compensation. Like for instance, not all insurance companies will cover roof cleaning (as it is a risky and difficult task) and in these cases, you might need to go through some additional work. Go through the laws in your state and note down your requirements. You can easily get this information from the state website or any business attorney.


Step 9: Equipment You Need

Having suitable equipment that you can handle well is a major plus in this business. Good equipment means, good working skills and better reviews, leading to increased clients and recommendations. While everyone dreams of having perfect equipment for the job, buying one is not very simple.

It is always recommended to buy your equipments locally, this in turn helps you to develop your business and you can get more customer referrals. Coming back to what you need, it is recommended that you buy a 4000 psi pressure washer. You can buy any of these from a pressure washing supply store or easily order it from Amazon. If you have a tight budget, you can also consider buying used ones from Craigslist.

To run your pressure washing business, you need to invest in a couple of other equipment as well. Let us take a look at the list of other equipment you will need

  • Two pressure hoses each 100-feet long, having a total of 200 feet will cover the most of the working distance. Also, this will give you the advantage of keeping your pressure washer in your van or maybe a utility trailer
  • One pressure-washing gun, also known as a Wand
  • Different type of tips that usually come along with the jet washing machine. You can find black, white, green, red and yellow tip. All of these, except black can be used for pressure washing and rinsing, but black is the one used for applying chemicals.
  • One 24-inch long surface cleaner to clean driveways, sidewalks and pool decks. A surface cleaner needs at least a 4000 psi pressure in order to work smoothly
  • One 4×8 or 5×8 utility trailer if you have the intention of cleaning roofs as well
  • If you have enough space in your trailer, then get a 125-gallon portable water tank for chemicals.
  • Also, if you want to clean with chlorine, you will need a roof cleaning kit
  • Finally, you will need a 24-foot extension ladder and one 10 or 12 foot stepladder. In case of extension ladders, also consider buying a bracket for it to keep it safe when up against any gutter

Carefully plan the equipment you need. Jot down the list of equipment that actually comes handy while working.


Step 10: Marketing and Advertising

Marketing and advertising

Marketing and advertising bring customers and hence are a very important aspect of any business. These days you can find many different ways in which you can advertise your business, but one of the most inexpensive ways that is effective till date is using quarter page flyers. You can put your name, contact, the range of services you provide and their prices. Keeping the prices in is an effective way to attract customers as they can have a brief idea of how much the total work is about to cost.

Giving away a quick 100 to 200 flyers in a driveway is a great way to promote your business. If you are lucky, you might get a call from a client asking for your service by the end of the day and sometimes it can even take months to get a call. All in all, flyers are very effective and cost very less to promote your business.

If flyers are too much work for you, then try promoting your business through Craigslist. You can make the most of the Craigslist only by keeping your ads up to date. If you do not do so, your ad will be sent to the last pages as there are many people who post their ads regularly. So keep in mind to keep renewing or updating your advertisement.

Similarly, you can sign up on Yellow Pages too and ask your customers to post reviews there. Other people can see the reviews and this will help increase your client number greatly. Other options of promoting your business include giving away discount coupons, offers and networking with other similar services.

Lastly, if possible create your own business website. Having a business website can boost your client numbers compared to other marketing and advertising scheme. Customers will see you as a professional and not a desperate guy seeking for a job. You do not need a very fancy high-end website, just make sure that it is responsive, have all the basic information included and your contact information. You can also consider hiring an SEO expert to make sure that your business is ranking well in the local circle. Online marketing is the way to go.

Final Thoughts

Opening a power washing business is great. You don’t need years of experience and can start the work right away. As with all other ventures, it is important to have an effective strategy that will help to grow the business.

Carefully plan all the necessary details of your business, do not leave any stone unturned and provide the most professional service you can. Customers love friendly and easygoing workers and hence, having a good personality is a huge bonus in this line of work. Be fair and be careful, get all your legal documentation and avoid breaking any safety and environmental regulations. Once you’ve cracked it and everything goes well, you might be able to expand your business to a great extent.



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