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How to start a pressure washing business: A Step-by-step Guide

How To Start A Pressure Washing Business?

Pressure washing is considered a low-cost, low-risk operation that anybody can get into and succeed in. Unfortunately, it isn’t always the case. Before starting a pressure washing business, look into what it takes to be successful. And how much time it will require you and if pressure washing is suitable for your skillset. 

A few questions to ask yourself before starting a pressure washing business:

  • Will pressure washing help me achieve the lifestyle I want to live?
  • What happens if you despise pressure cleaning at the end?
  • Doesn’t it make sense to know before purchasing equipment?
  • Isn’t there some coverage required for this?
  • What is the minimal amount of equipment needed to get up and run?
  • How do you attract consumers to start using your services?

These queries have been thoroughly researched, and the solutions presented in this article are for your benefit. Hopefully, it will assist you in determining whether or not establishing a pressure washing company is right for you and provide you with the first steps to take.

How To Start A Pressure Washing Business

Now I am sure you are wondering how to start a pressure washing business. The first step is to get some basic business knowledge.

Be a pro

To become a pro at power washing, you should learn the ropes before starting your own business. It allows you to gain experience and hone your skills without accidentally damaging other surfaces or injuring yourself! 

Not only that, but if there’s something about it that doesn’t interest/excite you much, then why would anyone hire someone who’s not passionate?

Learn how to powerwash

There are courses and guides on youtube.com (and a How-to section on this site) that you can watch all day long, but the best way for students is by practicing by themselves. 

Borrowing from friends or renting out pressure washers at Home Depot for one week will give them time to practice using it daily: cleaning driveways, fences, house siding, cars/boats/mowers, etc. Doing so won’t make them experts just yet but gives them some foundation for future learning of more skillsets with proper guidance and instruction.

How to make money from the pressure washing business?

How to make money from the pressure washing business

It’s lovely to make a lot of money, but if your spending is more significant than your earnings, the firm loses money. Therefore, it would be best to determine whether or not your power washer business can generate margin and how quickly. Here’s what you do to figure it out.

Cash Out (Expenses)

There are several reasons why so many startup firms are software/digital companies: they require less initial money. However, to begin a service-based firm like power cleaning, you’ll need extra cash.

The four essential upfront expenditures are:

  1. You will need the following tools and equipment to complete this task: a pressure washersurface cleaner, nozzles, chemicals, and a trailer for transportation.
  2. Costs: Insurance fee, business licenses, and contractor licensing.
  3. The cost of acquiring your first few clients (ads, brochures, and flyers)
  4. The cost of your vehicle to carry clients around (truck, van, etc.)

Cash In (Revenues)

What kind of profit margin should you aim for? For example, should I sell the service by the hour or quote flat rates?

You can make money by providing pressure cleaning services to clients. However, your pricing for your services should be high enough to allow you to earn a profit and low enough to compete with other service providers.

These are just a few suggestions to get you started, but they’re certainly not the only options available. As a rule of thumb, use these minimal starting prices as a guide:

  • Invest in some pressure washing equipment; it’ll set you back around $1,500.
  • The shipping cost is roughly $5,000, such as a used van or truck.
  • Upfront and monthly fees for insurance, permits, and licenses: $500 plus $60 each month (both vary by state)
  • You can attract your first 50 paying customers for just $250 in flyers and printing for a small investment.

The total upfront cost is estimated to be around $7,250.

Make it Legal. The Permits, Licenses, and Insurance Needed for a Pressure Washer Business

If you hurt property or harm someone on the job, make sure you have the appropriate licenses, permissions, and insurance. Here’s everything you need to know about it.

Register Your Pressure Washing Business

Register Your Pressure Washing Business

If you run your firm as a single proprietorship, you don’t need to register it. However, registering your business will provide you with legal advantages, tax advantages, and personal liability protection, so it’s well worth the effort.

You have five alternatives when picking a business structure:

  • Sole proprietorship
  • Partnership
  • C Corporation
  • S Corporation
  • Limited Liability Company (LLC)

There are several advantages and drawbacks to each choice. That is why you should conduct your study before making any decisions. You may also engage the services of an attorney for legal advice.

Organize all of the legal formalities

To stay on the right side of the law, you must first grasp the legal requirements for operating a pressure washer. They include having the appropriate licenses, permits, and insurance.

To discover the precise requirements for your location, contact your city’s licensing department or county clerk’s office. Here is a list of documents necessary to establish a pressure washing company:

  • Business License — The state requires that you register your firm.
  • Specific Permits — In your area, you’ll need a contractor permit to pressure wash, as well as an environmental permit to ensure that you treat your wastewater correctly.
  • Bond — To acquire a license to run a pressure washing company in your region, you must first pay a bond.
  • Sales Tax Registration — To apply for a tax ID number, go to the IRS website and register your business. To obtain an EIN (Employer Identification Number), visit the IRS website.

Register your business here


You’ll also need insurance coverage. Typically, every pressure washing firm requires the following three types of insurance:

  • Equipment insurance: If you have a damaged vehicle, your policy will cover the costs of repairing or replacing it. If they are stolen, your insurance will cover repairs or a replacement.
  • Liability insurance: This insurance covers the cost of any damage that may be caused by pressure cleaning.
  • Workers’ compensation: To cover injury for you or your staff if they are at work.

When making insurance-related decisions, you may get customized reports and recommendations from insurance agents.

Join The Voluntary Pressure Washing Associations

  • United Association of Mobile Contract Cleaners (UAMCC)
  • The Pressure Washing Resource Association (PWRA) is a group of businesses that have developed stringent washing restrictions.
  • Power Washing North America (PWNA)

Why Should You Spend More On Your Pressure Cleaning Equipment Than Going Cheap?

  • It Gets The Job Done In A timely and efficient manner.
  • It’s a zero-cost method for promoting your company.
  • It increases your trust and authority.
  • Over the long term, you’ll save money.

What Does It Take To Land Customers For Your Pressure Washing Company?

Getting new consumers is all about capturing their attention, then piquing their interest and desire to pay for your goods or service. Let’s assume you’re distributing brochures door-to-door; here’s what you should put on them:

  • Make a headline with your offer.
  • Use a fact to get the attention of those you’re interested in.
  • Make them feel left out to generate desire.
  • If you give potential customers a deadline for making your offer, you’ll be more likely to get action.

That’s all there is to it. Of course, you’ll want to vary your offers and flyer content to get the most out of this strategy, but that’s the basic idea. Give your customers a reason to phone right away and book your service immediately by framing it as an expiration bargain.

How Do You Price Power Washing?

How Do You Price Power Washing

As a business owner, you may be overwhelmed by the number of pressure washing services you can provide.

With that in mind, it’s preferable to start specializing in a few services and then build upon your service offerings as your company grows and your abilities improve.

The costs you may charge for your services will vary depending on the location you plan to serve with your power washing business.

However, regardless of where you live, you should aim to make at least $50 per hour gross.

You can earn a lot more money if you start your own power washing company, but only if profitable. Unless you have a lot of equipment and experience, the operating/overhead costs of running a power washing firm will leave you working for less than minimum wage.

Pressure Washing Equipment Maintenance

You should create a preventative maintenance schedule for your equipment that includes regular oil changes, seal inspections, and general well-being checks to keep downtime to a minimum and customer happiness as high as possible.

At the very least, you should expect to change the oil in your pressure washer engine every 100 working hours. The same may be said for your pump’s lubricant.

You should also check your wands, surface spinners, nozzles, and hoses for wear regularly. On the plus side, you should be able to save up enough money to purchase a spare piece of equipment that is more vulnerable to wear and tear.

When you run into an unexpected equipment failure, having backup nozzles, hoses, and wands with you to each job can save you a lot of time.

Preventative maintenance for your truck, assuming you’ll be towing your pressure washer, will also be essential. Regular fluid changes and inspections may ensure that the equipment you rely on continues to work when you need it most.

Marketing Strategy

Many new pressure washing business owners approach lead generating from a more sales-oriented point of view. Still, strategic inbound marketing is frequently a far more effective strategy to expand their company over time.

Before you begin your pressure washing business, you should plan and budget for a marketing strategy with short-term and long-term goals and benchmarks. Whether you hire a marketing agency or do it yourself will be determined by your availability for a time as well as your willingness to delegate responsibilities.

The most cost-effective alternative is to do it yourself if you are tech-savvy and feel comfortable using Google Advertisements or Social Media Platforms.

Starting your own power washing business may be a highly gratifying and lucrative way to begin working as an entrepreneur.

Taking the time to pre-plan your approach before you begin is the most effective approach to guarantee you can continue doing it long term.

Final Thoughts on How To Start A Pressure Washing Business

In our previous blog post, we explained how pressure washing insurance works. We’ll look at overcoming those issues, give some more information, and answer any questions you may have in this last part of How To Start A Pressure Washing Business.

I hope this article has been enjoyable and educational for you, as well as insightful.

If you’re considering starting a pressure washing business, we hope we’ve provided you with all the necessary information to get started. Remember, always consult with a professional insurance agent to get the best advice for your specific business.

If you have any questions or additional comments, please feel free to leave them in the comment section below. We love hearing from our readers and always enjoy hearing your feedback.

And, of course, if this article proved to be beneficial in any way, please feel free to share it with your friends and family.

Recommended Book on “Start and Operate a Successful Pressure Washing Business”

Last update on 2024-07-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Picture of Z Hashan

Z Hashan

I’m Z Hashan, an entrepreneur, but more importantly (well, to me at least), a tool head. I’m passionate about all sorts of machines and how they work – it’s in my blood.

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