What should you do to scale up your pressure washing services?

When your competition zigs, you need to zag. If there are a ton of uninsured, unregistered lawn care business owners in your area, why not look to expand the list of services you offer. That way you can find more services that have a higher profit potential than simply offering lawn care. That’s what one member of the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum did and he is now looking to grow even further,

One lawn care business owner wrote “I know, I know, I hate it when pressure cleaning businesses want to get into lawn care. Stick with your line of work, while we do ours, haha. But I have had an increase in requests for this service, not a lot, but enough to get me to start thinking about a unit specifically for this.

I do have on contract a once a year commercial job, consisting of cleaning a wall, inside and out, about a mile long. I have done this with simple consumer grade equipment, and (3) 110 gallon tanks of water, a generator, etc, etc.

It takes myself and one employee 3 days to complete. I don’t care about time really because it’s winter and I am slow. Let me rephrase that, the shorter the better on time, more money of course, but not so much an issue right now.

I recently added several mobile homes to the work load this winter. They are quick jobs, 30 to 45 min. each with a going rate for the area between $55, and $75 for the the mobile homes.

What I need is advice on where to go from here. I personally can not justify a $6,000 to $9,000 dollar rig for roughly a $1,200 to $1,600 profit per year. Though I will push the marketing of this service when I get more equipment. Keep in mind the work I explained earlier has all been accomplished with low end consumer equipment for about 5 years.

So, do I go one step up this unit to a high end consumer, low commercial grade piece of equipment? Or should I go all the way and get a belt driven pump, hot water, 2 gun unit, 400 gallon tank, tandem trailer setup?”

A second lawn care business owner said “I think the companies getting into lawn care and doing the service for cost or less are making us all take a look at what other services we can offer. I had to very quickly identify what my customers wanted outside of lawn mowing or I would have been dead in the water today. Since I did and it worked, pressure washing is one of those services I am glad I added.

As for equipment, I like buying things once and operating machinery that will do the job. I also like equipment that is reliable. So that’s why we are running John Deere pressure washers. They have a 389cc B & S engine, 6 pressure washing tips, depending on what we are doing and 3,800 PSI. This allows us to even remove paint from decking if the client wants. We do use the client’s water and of the 80+ jobs we did last year there was only one I backed off from. She was on a well and had a water supply issue. These units I have run around $900.00. But keep in mind they also have a pro / consumer grade model for half that amount.

It’s an excellent service to offer and when the temps are such that you feel like you are going to die mowing, pressure washing is a lot easier to do.”

A third business owner shared “having a water tank will get you more jobs where water just isn’t available. Although at any residential job I run my power washer from the tank but run fill hoses from the owner’s water supply to keep the tank topped up.

If people complain, I remind them that water in my area averages about $4 to $10.00 per 1,000 gallons. I can normally clean a 3,000 sqft house pool deck/screen + average size driveway using less than 300 gallons and except for the concrete, at less than 1,000 psi!
Power washing prices here are very low and lots of low ballers are all over w/out power washing specific insurance or any insurance for that matter. I differentiate myself by selling on my quality and zero damage guarantee.”

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