How to Start a $150K/Month Pressure Washing Business

  • Brandon Boushy by Brandon Boushy
  • 7 days ago
  • Blog
  • 0
Joshua Brown of Brown's Pressure Washing standing in front of his truck bed power washing setup introducing UpFlip’s guide to starting a pressure washing business

Do you want to go where you’ve never gone?

You’ll have to change what you’ve always done.

Joshua Brown grew up going to soup kitchens. He eventually dropped out of high school, started selling drugs, and got in a car wreck. The wreck led him to realize this:

Life is a gift, and what you do with it is your response to being given a gift.

He went into the ministry, but after years as a preacher, decided:

I’m tired of creating someone else’s kingdom.

So he googled “top 5 businesses to start with $5,000,” and that’s how he started Brown’s Pressure Washing. He will show you how to start a pressure washing business that grows from $5K invested to $225K, then $445K, then $780K, then nearly $1M in revenue in its first four years. Today, he’s at $2M in annual revenue for his pressuring washing business.

It wasn’t without struggle. He made a ton of mistakes.

I would run out of gas, not have chemicals, and didn’t know what an O-ring was.

To help you avoid those mistakes, we’ve partnered with Josh to create an exclusive pressure washing business course that will provide you with everything you need to know to start a successful pressure washing company. 

How much does it cost to start a pressure washing business?

Brown’s Pressure Washing owner holding equipment in front of a large colonial home with an overlay that shows excerpts from his exclusive UpFlip course

You can start a pressure washing business with as much or as little as you want. As you earn, invest in yourself. Josh explained:

Your equipment will determine how much you can make. … Start with the best equipment you can afford and build from there.

Josh’s initial investment was as follows:

I bought a boat trailer for $300 and converted it into a pressure washing trailer, a $3,500 pressure washer, chemicals, hoses, [and a] hose reel, chemical tank, and water tank. All in, it was around $5,000.

YouTube player

Want to know more? Go check out our free pressure washing business course.

What equipment do I need to start a pressure washing business?

You’ll need the right equipment to start a successful pressure washing business. Josh says when you’re just starting, you’ll need a:

  • Pressure washing trailer
  • Pressure washer
  • Bumper tank
  • Chemical tank
  • Water tank
  • Wand

He says that though the equipment can cost around $15K, it can earn you $200K per year.

You could spend less on pressure washing equipment, but the money you save might slow your business growth. Lower pressure systems mean you can’t take as many customers. A lower-quality pressure washer might also break down more frequently.

You might also consider a pressure washing equipment rig that can go in the back of a truck. Josh told us:

A pressure washing skid costs $22K but saves even more time, is safer than a trailer, and will make you look like the most professional pressure washer in town.

You’ll probably want equipment insurance to protect against loss due to theft, damage, or malfunction of your pressure washing equipment.

Learn more in our blog about Brown’s pressure washing trailer setup.

How much to charge for pressure washing services

Brown’s Pressure Washing employee wearing a backward ball cap using a power washer to clean a large column

Brown’s focus is on pressure washing homes and businesses. His best pressure washing contract is with Top Golf, at $60K annually.

Josh explained that his crew can clean four homes daily with a pressure washing trailer or skid and charge $300 for each job. His primary pressure washing services are:

  • House wash
  • Roof wash
  • Concrete cleaning and sealing
  • Gutter cleaning
  • Window cleaning
  • Commercial building cleaning

They use a unique technique called a softwash. Softwash systems differ from regular pressure washing services because they use less pressure, which makes them less likely to damage a customer’s property.

Pressure washing marketing strategies that work

Josh explained how to market a pressure washing business.

He discusses the following types of pressure washing advertising:

  • A website
  • Business cards
  • Door hangers
  • Google advertising
  • Professional-looking videos
  • Television ads
  • Hiring a professional marketer

A website

First, Brown invested in a massive website for the pressure washing company. Check out the website here. Then go check out our cleaning business website examples for insights into what customers look for when seeking a pressure washer.

Business cards

UpFlip’s best places to get cheap business cards article on a laptop

Business cards are inexpensive marketing tools that can help you connect with partners and customers. Check out our blog about inexpensive business cards, make your own, and leave them everywhere you go.

Door hangers

Door hangers or flyers are also good business expenses. A power washing company can leave them at neighbors’ houses or send them in the mail after you pressure wash a property.

Google Advertising

Josh explained his experience with digital advertising in the pressure washing industry. It didn’t start off great.

I wasted money trying advertising like [Nextdoor], Angie’s, Facebook, and Google.

But eventually, he found a strategy for Google advertising that leads to a good return on investment.

Invest your money during the warm times, then ramp down your ads during the summer. … We spend $6 per pressure wash customer on Google and make about $80 per dollar spent.

He still uses Google to market his pressure washing company but avoids most other digital advertisements. He advises dedicating about 75% of your advertising budget to Google and the rest to the following two options.

Professional-looking videos

Camera on a tripod shooting video of a power washer working outside

Another trick to jumpstarting a pressure washing company is to create videos. Find beautiful homes that need pressure washing services to clean them, and share videos of the process.

Make sure your video is well-lit, properly framed, and edited smoothly. It will make you look more professional than other local businesses in the pressure washing industry.

This leads to another way Josh makes his pressure washing business successful.

Television ads

Develop a relationship with a news network, like Brown’s Pressure Washing did when they were a new business.

Once we hit a million [in revenue per year], I started advertising in the news, Monday Night Football, and college sports. Without this relationship [with Fox 17], things would not be the same.

As a small business owner, this may sound like an expensive strategy compared to online advertising, but it gets your business in front of more potential customers in your target market.

Hiring a professional marketer

Don’t be afraid to hire someone who understands effective marketing strategies. Power washing services can save a lot of money by outsourcing the advertising.

I was spending $9K to $10K in Google Ads, which got cut to $3K monthly when I hired a professional marketer.

You should talk to other successful pressure washing companies to find out who they hire for their marketing services.

How to get pressure washing jobs

Brown’s Pressure Washing owner posing in front of his truck bed setup

My goal was to win every house. I would give away too much.

Josh’s pressure washing business venture has a remarkable 73% closing rate. Josh had us talk to his sales manager, Brady Ridings, about booking power-washing jobs because:

An investor contacted me. I told him, ‘I don’t need an investor, I need a salesperson.’ That’s how I met Brady, who sold $1M his first year. His biggest challenge was fixing my mistakes.

Brady shared one of his secrets for securing jobs:

You have to be likable. We use the 3Cs: Constant Clear Communication.

And Josh shared one of his secrets for getting return customers. It’s simple:

Rinse the plants after cleaning the roof.

How to grow a pressure washing business

Growing your business doesn’t have to be complicated. Josh told us:

I want to go far with a great group of people. My goal is to get a 5-star review on every job. I tell customers that.

The company takes it seriously, too. It’s probably why existing customers are so willing to help them get more customers.

We request reviews from every customer and pay the employee a bonus if they succeed. 40% of customers give a 5-star review.

Here are some of their strategies:

  • Be honest
  • Build a great team
  • Use software
  • Spend time outside your business
  • Offer franchising opportunities
  • Hang Christmas lights during the winter

Let’s elaborate on each of these.

Be honest

Honesty is always the best policy—even when you make a mistake.

Don’t try to hide your mistakes. I accidentally broke a vent cover and told the husband. Then I found a ladder and repaired it. He asked me to meet his wife, a property manager. We hit it off, and she opened up all kinds of doors and introduced me to the who’s who of Nashville.

Build a great team

Photo of the Brown’s Pressure Washing team on a laptop with wooden blocks that spell the word "TEAM" situated in front of it

A great team is the key to any business becoming successful. Josh spends a lot of time finding good people to surround himself with in his business.

Brady was the first salesperson, and he leads the sales team. Meanwhile, Josiah is in charge of operations. Both of them are part owners, and Josiah told us he was offered ownership stakes in exchange for a five-year commitment to the business.

Josh explained how he pays the team:

We use pay-for-performance. The pressure washing business performs better because it effectively makes the employees owners of their responsibility.

You’ll have to check out the course to learn more.

One of his favorite ways of rewarding employees is to provide them with educational opportunities.

Provide your employees with an education that no one can take away.

Use software

An upstart pressure washing company will need some software. Brown’s uses CompanyCam to document before and after photos and videos.

CompanyCam also integrates with Housecall Pro, their customer relationship management software (and my number one pick for best client management software), to save all the photos and videos with other contact details.

Spend time outside your business

Selfie of the Brown’s Pressure Washing team with the Titans mascot during a team-building outing

This one should be easy: Be a true part of the community you’re in.

If you’re not interacting with people and having fun, you miss the opportunity to build relationships and grow the business.

Josiah built a relationship in the community that led to a major new initiative.

Josiah had an idea and didn’t want me to squash it. He offered to clean a ramp at a house, but the lady said no, her husband had died. He decided to give her the cleaning for free. He felt so good that he wanted to do it for every widow.

I squashed it but told him just because we couldn’t do it for everyone doesn’t mean we can’t give away one per week. Now, it’s a significant part of our marketing.

Offer franchising opportunities

Success is more likely if you have a great team. Consider expanding your team by offering franchising opportunities.

We don’t make it easy to get a franchise, but if we choose to work with you, we’re behind you.

Hang Christmas lights during the winter

Pressure washers face seasonal fluctuations, making paying business expenses and keeping good employees harder.

The winter doesn’t stop Josh and his team, though. They decided to add Christmas installation to their list of offerings.

Turns out that hanging Christmas lights can be profitable.

We get paid $1,500 to $2,000 for the Christmas light jobs. The first year is 15% to 20% margins. The following 3 to 4 years are 50% profit margins.

The BORING aspects of starting a pressure washing business

Overwhelmed business owner resting his head in his hand while sitting at his desk in front of a laptop

These are the areas of starting a business that nobody wants to talk about, but they’re essential.

You’ll need to do the following things when you start a power washing business:

  • Write a business plan
  • Choose a business name
  • Get an employer identification number (EIN)
  • Choose a business structure
  • Get a business license
  • Open a business bank account
  • Get pressure washing insurance

Write a business plan

Like any business, pressure washing companies benefit from having a business plan.

Many people approach the business idea with low start-up costs. This causes a scenario where you must be more cautious when starting a pressure washing business. Otherwise, you’ll run out of money.

Your pressure washing business plan should include:

  • Your goals
  • Your services
  • Competitors and how you’ll differentiate
  • Your marketing materials and strategies
  • Current business finances or projections

Most importantly, you’ll want to consider overcoming any funding shortfall when starting a pressure washing business.

Learn more in our post about business planning.

Choose a business name

UpFlip’s how to come up with a business name article on a laptop

Small business owners need to consider a business name carefully. You want something memorable that makes the service you provide clear. It will help with word-of-mouth advertising as your business grows.

You’ll need the business name to form a legal structure, create your website, open business accounts, and create a logo.

Get an employer identification number (EIN)

You’ll need an EIN as a power washer because they are necessary for accounting and tax filing when you hire employees or choose a business structure that offers personal asset protection.

Just go to the IRS website to get your EIN.

Choose a business structure

Next, you’ll need to choose from the different kinds of business structures. You can start for cheap as a sole proprietorship, but if you damage any property on a pressure washing job, you can be held personally liable and could lose your personal assets.

Other business structures, like a limited liability company or a corporation, are more conducive to the cleaning process because they separate your personal assets from those of your business.

Check out our business structure explainer to learn more.

Get your business licenses

Screenshot of UpFlip’s how to open a business bank account blog in the background and a man holding a clipboard with business license paperwork in the foreground

Business license requirements vary based on your location. Make sure to research what is required of surface cleaners in your location.

Learn more about business licenses in our three-step guide.

Open a business bank account

Pressure washers need a business bank account. It helps separate your personal and business expenses. Plus, it will help you prepare for a business credit card and business loan. Check out our write-up on business banking to learn more.

Get business insurance

You’ll need a variety of pressure washing insurance policies when you become your own boss. At a minimum, you’ll need general liability insurance and commercial auto insurance. 

Many business owners prefer a business owner policy. These policies combine many of the most common insurance policies and save money compared to buying each individually.

Go to Simply Business to find the cheapest rates from 16 of the largest business insurance companies.

Start your own pressure washing business with the exclusive UpFlip course

It’s a lot of work to start your own pressure washing company. That’s why we partnered with Josh and his team at Brown’s Pressure Washing to create our pressure washing business course.

Take the free course to learn even more of the secrets and strategies that built Brown’s into a $1.8M money-making machine.

Take the free pressure washing course now

We hope you’ve found Josh’s strategies helpful to start or grow your pressure washing business. The team at Brown’s are great people, and you’ll love the course!

What’s stopping you from starting your own pressure washing business? Take the next step!

Join The Discussion

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Compare listings