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7 Strategies for Growing a Pressure Washing Business

How to Grow a Pressure Washing Business
Lauren Ward
Lauren WardUpdated March 10, 2023
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Editor’s note: Lantern by SoFi seeks to provide content that is objective, independent and accurate. Writers are separate from our business operation and do not receive direct compensation from advertisers or partners. Read more about our Editorial Guidelines and How We Make Money.
If you're thinking about starting your own pressure washing company, you may be onto a good business idea. Compared to other types of small business ventures, you don’t need a lot of equipment or capital to start a local pressure washing business. Plus, profit margins are relatively high. However, success certainly isn’t guaranteed. And like starting any type of small business, launching a pressure washing business takes time, money, and hard work. Read on for a closer look at what’s involved in starting — and growing — your own pressure washing business.

Tips for Starting a Pressure Washing Business

If you’re looking to start a pressure washing business from scratch, here are some tips that can help you get up and running.
  • Polish your skills. Pressure washing may seem easy, but to do an excellent job (and avoid mishaps) you’ll need plenty of practice. To level up your skills, consider working for another pressure washing company, watching online videos done by professionals, or taking a local class.
  • Write a business plan. The foundation for any new business is a well-thought-out business plan. Your business plan should map out the scope of services you will offer, your pricing, your business budget, how you will finance your business, and how you will market your business.
  • Set up your small business. To create a new business, you’ll need to choose a name and a legal business structure, register your business (unless you choose a sole proprietorship), and seek out all the necessary licenses, permits, and insurance. Contact your city’s licensing office or county clerk’s office to find out the exact requirements for your area.
  • Open a business bank account. This will keep your business finances separate from your personal finances and make it easier to prepare your taxes at the end of the year. You might also want to apply for a business credit card so you don’t have to use your personal card for business expenses.
  • Purchase all the equipment you’ll need. For starters, you’ll need a pressure washer, pumps, nozzles, engines, chemicals, and surface cleaners. You’ll also need a truck or van to haul your equipment. This can get costly so you may want to consider buying used or renting some of your equipment

How to Grow a Pressure Washing Business

Once you’ve set up your business, have all the necessary equipment, and maybe a few customers, it’s time to think about how to get the word out and grow your pressure washing business. Here are some strategies to try.

1. Create a Website

While you can have a business without a website, having even a basic website will make your business appear more professional. It also makes it easy for customers to find you, learn about your business, and contact you for an estimate. You can create your own site using a service like Squarespace or Wix. Or, you might want to hire a pro to design a site for you. You can often find affordable website designers on freelance websites like Fiverr and Upwork.

2. Design a Logo

Having an attractive, professionally designed logo for your business helps build trust and brand recognition. You can hire a logo company or simply a freelance graphic designer to come up with a great-looking logo for your pressure washing company. Once you have a logo, you can use it on your website, social media accounts, business cards, and any printed materials you create.

3. Advertise on Your Company Vehicle

The vehicle you drive can actually be one of your best marketing assets. When you’re parked in front of a customer's home, anyone who drives or walks by will see your company’s name. They’ll also see that one of their neighbors has hired you, which helps build trust. If you don’t want to invest in a full car wrap, consider getting a simple magnetic sign of your logo that you can attach to your truck or van.

4. Create a Company Tee

A customized tee with your company’s name and logo is an easy, low-cost way to advertise your business. If you work with a team, you can give everyone a tee to wear on the job. This will make your business look more professional and help build brand awareness.

5. Spread the Word on Social Media 

Consider setting up social media accounts for your company and posting to them regularly. For example, you might upload before-and-after photos or time-lapse videos to showcase the great work that you do. You can also use your social media accounts to promote special discounts and packages you’re currently offering.

6. Get Lawn Signs and Flyers

Ask customers you have a good relationship with if they would mind putting a lawn sign in their front yards. You might even offer a discount on the work in exchange for putting up your sign. Also consider printing up flyers or door hangers to distribute to other homes in the neighborhood. Be sure to include your website URL (or a QR code for your site), as well as your phone number.

7. Utilize Direct Mail

While designing and printing a direct mail postcard comes with costs, it can pay off by bringing in new customers, especially if you do your mailing just before your peak season. Consider including an attention-getting graphic and an easy-to-read, attractive offer so people will be tempted to read, rather than toss, your mailer.

Tips for Funding Your Power Washing Business

There are several ways to raise the funds you’ll need to start or grow your power washing business. Here are some options to consider. 

Out of Pocket

Compared to other types of small businesses, the cost of starting a pressure washing business is relatively low. You may be able to get your company up and running for around $10,000, and possibly much less if you already own some of the equipment. You may find that you have enough money in savings to cover your startup expenses, or that you want to wait until you’ve saved enough to cover your costs out of pocket.

Small Business Term Loan

With a short- or long-term small business loan, you get a lump sum of money up front and then repay it (plus interest) over time. Banks typically only offer term loans to businesses that have been established for two years or more. However, alternative online lenders tend to be more flexible and will often work with newer businesses. Rates for online loans tend to be higher than bank loans, though.Depending on the lender and the size of the loan, you may need to secure it with some of your personal assets and sign a personal guarantee

Small Business Grants

There are a variety of government, nonprofit, and private entities that offer small business grants. You may be able to qualify for a grant if your business meets certain requirements (such as being a woman-, minority-, or veteran-owned business), or you will be doing business in an underserved community. Unlike loans, grants do not need to be paid back. However, competition for this type of funding tends to be stiff.

Business Line of Credit

If you’re looking for flexible, short-term financing, a business line of credit may be a viable option. Similar to a credit card, it allows you to withdraw funds as needed up to a predetermined amount and only pay interest on the money you withdraw. Once you repay the funds you’ve borrowed, you can continue to draw on the line. 

Equipment Financing

Equipment financing is a loan for purchasing machinery and equipment essential to running your business. With an equipment loan, the lender will typically provide most or all of the money needed to purchase the equipment. You then repay the loan (plus interest) in regular installments over the term of the loan. Equipment loans can be easier to qualify for than other types of business loans because the equipment serves as collateral, meaning the lender can take possession of the equipment and sell it should you default on your loan payments.

The Takeaway

A pressure washing business has a relatively low barrier to entry. However, just like starting any small business, it will take planning, patience, and paperwork to get your company up and running. If you’re just starting out, you’ll need to write a business plan, choose a business structure, and acquire all of the necessary permits and insurance coverage. If you don’t have enough cash in the bank to bootstrap your business, you may also want to apply for financing.If you’re curious about what type of small business loan your power washing business might qualify for, Lantern by SoFi can help. With our online debt financing marketplace, you can search for small business loans without scouring the web and checking multiple sites. With one short application, you’ll be matched with loan offers that meet your company’s needs and qualifications.

Frequently Asked Questions

How profitable is a pressure washing business?
How do I get customers for a pressure washing business?
Is pressure washing in high demand?
Photo credit: iStock/welcomia

About the Author

Lauren Ward

Lauren Ward

Lauren Ward is a personal finance expert with nearly a decade of experience writing online content. Her work has appeared on websites such as MSN, Time, and Bankrate. Lauren writes on a variety of personal finance topics for SoFi, including credit and banking.
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