How to Start a Power Washing Business: 5 Easy Steps

Опубликовал Admin
11-12-2022, 13:10
Had enough of the 9-5? Do you want to be your own boss and make your own hours? Do you love to blast dirt and grime off of any surface you can imagine? Then you’ve got what it takes to start your own power washing business. Building a small business from the ground can seem a little daunting, but with a little elbow grease, it’s also a hugely rewarding endeavor that’ll put some cash in your pocket. We’ve put together a comprehensive guide on how to learn to power wash, establish a small business (with things like bank accounts, insurance, and licenses), how to market your power washing business, and what to do next.
  • Learning to power wash
  • Establishing a business
  • Buying equipment
  • Marketing
  • Next steps

Learning to power wash

  1. Practice power washing. Rent a power washer from a home improvement store or borrow one from a friend. Then, practice power washing on your own property like your patio, porch, the side of your home, your vehicle, etc. Get a feel for the work, and decide if it’s something you’d enjoy doing as a profession.
  2. Work for an established power washing business. The best way to learn the ins and outs of a business is to work for someone who already has the know-how. Look up local power washing businesses and apply as an apprentice or entry-level employee.
    • Focus your employment search in the next town or neighborhood, to avoid working for what will eventually be your direct competition.
  3. Research different power washers. Power washing is a skill like any other, and you need to learn to use a power washer and familiarize yourself with the nuances of different washer types, how to wash different surfaces, nozzles and attachments, cleaning solutions, techniques, and proper protection.
    • In general, gas powered power washers are great for tackling fences, grills, and sidewalks. Commercial power washers are better for industrial areas or large vehicles and boats.

Establishing a business

  1. Evaluate the costs of getting started. Starting a business of any sort is rarely cheap, and pressure washing comes with its own equipment costs. Leasing a power washer often takes a down payment of about $2,000 plus monthly payments of about $700. Purchasing equipment outright can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to $15,000, depending on which type of power washer you want. Then, insurance will run you about $300-$1,000 a year.
    • In addition, consider transportation. A commercial van with power washing equipment costs about $450 a month, plus about $250 for gas and maintenance.
    • You also need to consider the costs of marketing, and this can vary greatly depending on how you want to advertise—word of mouth is free, but websites, flyers, business cards, or even TV commercials all need to be factored into your costs.
  2. Register a legal business entity. In order to operate as a business, you’ll need to register as a business in your area as either a sole proprietor, an LLC, or a corporation. Starting an LLC is the preferred choice for this type of budding business, and costs around $50-$80, based on the registration service you use. Of course, you’ll need to think of a name to call your business first!
    • Learn the legalities and register your LLC using a service like ZenBusiness, TailorBRands, or IncFile. Alternatively, register yourself through your local government’s business office to save costs.
  3. Register for taxes. Visit the IRS website (or your local government’s equivalent) to register for an employer identification number and set up a tax account. Starting a small business without registering with the IRS could get you into some legal trouble, so talk with an IRS agent to make sure you have all your bases covered.
    • Taxes on small business vary by state, so also inquire about your local sales taxes and franchise taxes.
  4. Open a business bank account. A bank account made specially for your business is key to protecting your own personal finances. Visit your local bank and ask a representative there about opening a small business account and acquiring a business credit card. Then, be sure to track all your expenses with your business account.
    • “Net 30” accounts help you build credit on a business credit account, and might be a good fit for your venture.
  5. Get the necessary permits and licenses. Most states require a wastewater discharge permit in order to commercially operate power washers. You’ll also need to look into additional business licensing like contractor and environmental permits. Speak with your local county clerk’s office to inquire about everything you’ll need to get a contracting business started in your area.
    • Also be sure your business complies with your area’s labor safety regulations, which can be reviewed at your nearest OSHA office.
  6. Acquire business insurance. Finally, you’ll need insurance in case of an accident. Power washers are industrial tools, and can cause damage to both people and property. Insurance will protect you if something goes awry, though of course with proper training and know-how you’ll avoid the worst. Talk to an insurance agent and ask them about general liability insurance, which is the most common coverage for small businesses.

Buying equipment

  1. Purchase a power washer. Once your business and legal logistics are squared away, it’s time to actually acquire some equipment. As stated above, there are a number of different kinds of pressure washers you can purchase or lease, from small personal washers to industrial, vehicle-mounted washers. Research each type and decide which best suits your vision for your business (and which you can afford!). Rule of thumb: buy the best equipment you can afford; don’t skimp!
    • A gas power washer is a great, balanced power washer for small businesses. They provide ample pressure to clean things like fences or grills. Commercial power washers, on the other hand, will enable you to clean things like driveways, boats, and industrial equipment.
  2. Purchase power washing accessories. You’ll also need to purchase the necessary power washing supplies, like hoses, nozzles, pumps, and cleaning solutions. Not only will these enable you to wash surfaces more thoroughly, but having a variety of them will enable you to wash more types of surfaces.
    • As with the power washer itself, don’t skimp on price when you’re buying the peripherals. Quality matters!
  3. Purchase transportation, accessories, and other business supplies. You’ll need to lease or buy a car or van to get around, and a uniform will stiffen you up and make you look professional. Remember to also buy safety equipment like work gloves and proper eye protection.


  1. Set your prices. Of course, the key to making money is knowing how much to charge. Homeowners tend to spend between $184-$380 dollars for pressure washing services on their home, but look into local competitor businesses to see how much they’re charging, and try to set your prices similarly.
    • Power washing a house is usually priced at $100-$300 dollars, driveways at $80-$200, and decks and patios at $250-$500. In addition, vehicles are often priced around $50-$100, and commercial properties are often charged about $0.25-$1.50 per square foot.
  2. Focus on the local community. You’re not going to be traveling across the country to offer your services, so target your neighborhood and city with flyers and local job boards when you advertise. Also let your neighbors and friends know about your business; word of mouth is especially effective in the local circles.
    • People who know you personally are often more likely to agree to do business with you, so foster and take advantage of your personal connections.
  3. Create a website and social media accounts. People will want a place where they can view your services and rates, as well as get your contact info. A website-building service like SquareSpace or WordPress are good places to start. Social media accounts on Facebook or Twitter are also must-haves in order to connect with potential clients.
    • Include things like your business hours, location, and a personal introduction to give website visitors more information.
  4. Offer deals and packages. Things like sales, promotions, or service packages are good ways to garner customer interest, and then keep customers satisfied and loyal. But keep these conservative; you don’t want to be giving away your labor for free.
    • Also stay in touch with and advertise to your clients after you’ve completed a project for them. Loyal, repeat customers are important for the success of a small business.

Next steps

  1. Get your first client. Once you’re ready to get washing, secure your first client by offering someone close to you a deal, or by reaching out to existing small businesses and asking if they need a cheap power wash. Getting your foot in the door this way is key to getting word of mouth rolling.
  2. Adjust your prices. You may need to price your services low at first in order to break into your local market and compete with established services. But once you’ve developed a strong business, you can gradually begin to raise your costs for things like driveways, houses, and decks to closer to what your competitors are charging.
    • Don’t raise your prices too quickly—customers are attentive to how much they’re being charged and why, and aren’t likely to call you again if your prices suddenly spike.
  3. Grow your business. Once you’re handling multiple clients, you’ll need to hire additional help so you can work multiple projects at once. And you’ll need additional equipment for your employees to use. Use your profits to acquire more equipment and pay your employees competitive wages for your area.
    • Aim to be making about $40-$60 an hour, and $28,000 a dollar a year of net income, which is the average for small businesses.
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