How many things can we do to market our pressure washing business?

Ron Musgraves

Staff member
How many things can we do to market our pressure washing business?

1. yellow page adds
2. cold calling
3. personnel selling
4. faxing
5. mass mailing
6. free demos
7. giving a customer a free service in hopes he will use you for regular maintenance
8. video demos
9. photo demos
10. brochure
11. mailers {value pack, penny saver, news paper, ect}
12. free building washes
13. cash for referrals
14. thank you cards
15. Trade Shows
16. radio, tv
17. signs on trucks
Add to the list, how many different crazy things you have tried?
18. three feet rule. (give anyone a card within three feet)
19. Group Presentations
Ron Marshal Phoenix AZ
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Ron Musgraves

Staff member
Maybe someone out there is doing something we've never done, something that's more effective then all of these. Come on Jon, Scott, mike, Dan, Dan’s & all the other veterans. I challenge you guys to think of something your doing and post it. Is this a board of inf. & wisdom. Maybe your all afraid to share, I know that's not true. Marketing is the single most important thing in a small business. We love to perfect. Service, quality and professionalism are very important. If you don't market the stupid thing there's no use for any of the other stuff. We have thousands of posts on pressure washing problems, pricing and who makes the best equipment. The marketing board has only talked about cd's, yellow pages, no real techniques on selling our service. Laurie G has a post asking about marketing techniques used in the residential market; this is a market I have struggled in. I run one or two rigs’s a day on houses. I have tried a lot of things that I shared in that post. I know that if there is some member out there that could offer advice, it would be fantastic. If you’re afraid to share you’re so called secrets then don't. I will help anyone in the business, even my competitors. As a whole the standards are down. I help my competitors realize that doing work for nothing is wrong and educate them that they are worth more. I would hold a seminar and answer any questions they might have. I believe that through education you can turn those weekend warriors into decent pressure washing people. This will only better the market for everyone. Those afraid of their competitors wont post. Some will make excuses & others will remain silent. Those who really understand about education will realize that I'm right. A young guy named Adam joined the board today. He is a competitor of mine, I wish him luck. I told him about this board & encouraged him to join. I believe he has gained wisdom reading the post. I wish I could post more often than I do. I'm not trying to offend anyone, just trying to light a fire under some of those so-called vets to reach down and really offer something with substance.

Just striving to perfect my business.

Ron Marshal Phoenix AZ
When promoting your business realize that MOST customers try to ACT like they know what's going on. The fact is YOU are the pro! They are not. You MUST eliminate the fear that you are going to scew them.
Many people are afraid to ask for references, insurance information, and any certifications you may have.
A few of the things I do are:
1) On my computer I make a list of PER SQUARE FOOT prices. EXAMPLES:

8 cents a Square foot. We use a 30 inch Del*co Alto w/out chemical.

10 to 12 cents a Square foot (Depending on Nature of Stain). We use a 30 inch Del*co Alto w/chemical to eliminate leaf stains, pine straw stains, rust, and about 80% of any oil stains.


Basic Wash 95 cents per Sq. Ft.- With Mild Chemical Solution.
(for this boards reference - MILD CHEMICAL - is a little dish soap in a chemical bucket)

Econo-Strip & Seal $1,25 Per Sq. Ft.- Premium strippng chemical & the Econo-seal (a 2 - 3 year sealer).

Premium Strip & Seal ($1.85 per square foot) This includes a double wash on all surfaces when needed. Complimented with a satin finish sealer that gives your deck that beautiful furniture look.

***** This is the type of information that I put into Microsoft word. I also spend some time to make the heading look like a pro-letterhead.
I then staple my business card OVER the letter head - this way when the pull or lift the card - it looks like a top notch company presentation.
When I sit down with them I offer them my insurance companies phone #, and I show them 3 written references, and my certification from Wolma*n. Then I show them 4 pictures. Each on was laminated at Office Depot. I put a before photo back to back with an after photo of the same job - then get it laminated. I give them (to look at)one or two of each type of work that they may need done. It is a VERY Good suggestive sales technique.


I you look like a fool - they will see you as a fool.
All you have to do is look presentable - and sound like you know what you are doing.

Fake it 'till you make it!

Good Luck!

Cleaning America - One Job At A Time!

Our URL:

David Saulque

<b>PWN TEAM - Hood Moderator</b><br<b><font color=
Oh what a word "Marketing", to those who are young they see it as a "Key", to those who have sold under multi disciplines they see it as experience. Marketing your company says what you are, not what you can do. I have learned several selling points over the years.

1. ABC-Always Be Closing! (Glen Garry Glen Ross)

2. Sell the Sizzle!

3. Make a formal presentation for the customer

4. KISS! - Keep It Simple Stupid

5. Top quality business card, use the back of the card.

6. Don't over sell. When they agree-get on with it.

All of these items should be part of new ideas to sell ones own service. Sometimes one tries so many things that he becomes out of focus, and winds up lost. Do the basics and do them well.




New Member

Very well said David.

Ron, one thing I do and am sure many others do to is to use the Internet, check out Real Estate, then I went to property management and faxed and Emailed them a letter of introduction about my business.

What you need to do is target your area of specility, do you do fleets, houses, hood cleaning etc? I lean towards Restaurants as my primary source, then industrial/commerical businesses such as warehouses, strip malls etc.

Follow what David says, and the KISS part is the most important part to me, remember you make or break a sale within the first few words you speak to the prospective customer. They make their mind up fast, so pay attention. That is my weakness since many times I miss hearing the KEY word from them and keep on with my sales pitch. (draw back to deafness)

I always offer free demo's but that is a given in this line of work from what I see and hear.

Beep beep, the OPC Roadrunner coming through.

Jon Fleischer
Oasis Pressure Cleaning
(909) 792-2247
Fax (909) 792-5633

[This message has been edited by Jon (edited September 24, 2000).]
We have done most all of Ron's list. I would also add a couple more! Radio and TV!

Bottom line is that most all of our pro-active efforts of trying to get new business have failed!!

Word of mouth referrals have given us most all of our large industrial/commercial business. We got the referral because someone liked what they saw. Was it our equipment, finished job, cost, I very seldon know the answer! I do know one thing though our guys do not wear uniforms!

If our customers (industrial or commercial) could do it themselves they would. If the work involves getting up in the air, or into confined spaces, we probably will get a call. For example I got a call last Thursday morning. "This is so&so from XYZ Company, can you clean overhead (pipe racks, etc.)?" Yes, we did some in your plant a few years ago! "When can you come an take a look?" I sent (emailed) the guy an estimate this morning. Chances are they have not called anyone else!

I guess what I'm trying to say is you can do all the marketing in the world but, until your customer has a problem/need to be solved you will never hear from them! Of course this type of business only comes after you have established yourself in the area.

My $.02, Dave Olson

Tidy Powerwash Service, Inc. P.O. Box 781, Catlin, Illinois 61817 Phone 217-427-5557, Fax 217-427-2632 We are a commercial cleaning contractor serving East-Central Illinois and West Central Indiana since 1984.
Most all of my new work comes from referrals and government bids. I like to keep a solid mix so that if the economy goes south forsome reason I can still eat.
I do two things, remind people to tell others about us and ask for people that they know.
I have a customer that I started 5 years ago that I got because I was the only one that had recycle equipment. Since then he has referred at least $75,000 a year in business, and this year it may double. The funny thing is he started out as a once a month wash for $200. I hated it! It would take me four hours to wash. It pays really well now.

Not much to add to Ron's list, other than co-marketing. This is where you find someone that does not like to do your specialty and you do not care for theirs, and you refer to each other. It is something similar to what Ron and I have agreed to do on an informal basis. Neither of us really knows the others customers nor do we care, because we don't do the same type of work.

Scott Stone

Any statement that I make about equipment, processes or your hair color is my own personal opinion. I usually base it on personal experience. If you disagree with me you are free to reply on both the BBS and by e-mail. If I am totally off base please explain why on the BBS so that we may all know why;)
Bus. Phone 480-834-3434
Cell Phone 602-509-9741
Don't forget about networking. Get involved with local organization.

Dan Flynn
Timberland Power Wash
Houston, Texas.
Let's not forget the 3 foot rule (I think that's what it's called) Give your business card to everyone you see.......

Well, I think that rule is a bit extreme, I am selective about who I give it too, but as an example, I was at a gas station a couple weeks ago and a painter pulled up......I gave him my card, five minutes later, the guy walks over and gives me $300 builing cleaning job which we completed last week. He intends to give me more in the future......

The more relationships like that you can develop, the better!

Mike Hughes
Souderton, PA
I have used most if not all the above. But one thing
that we all need to do is appear professional. From the time that you first appear before the potential client your vehicle be it car or truck should be clean and lettered to identify who you are. When you do actually get into see a client your clothing should reflect how your work will be done. Clean and neat, fresh shaven for males, combed hair neatly trimmed,even your shoes should be clean. Remember you are selling yourself more than you are selling the service. It is you they are dealing with not your machines. Monagrammed shirts or jackets are a reality invest in yourself.
In the past I have explained to customers that I will have a waiting list and their name will be added to it
for work to be completed. Let them know you are busy
with work and that there are reasons for this. Your
work warrants waiting for a complete and professional
job to be accomplished.
Pricing can be overcome in this manner as well since you should stress that you use only premium products and use them exclusively.

OUCH!!!!! this post was made in sept. 20oo
and i just now went to it. goes to show ya im really not into advertising.
Ron i have been in the p/wer business for appox. 6.1/2 years and i only advertised once. i ran a add in our local news paper and only got one call.
this was the body of my add.
pressure washing
i went on to say the things i clean trks.,decks,eq,boats,rv's, TOILETS ,(just kidding )
and the only call i got was some lady called to ask if i still had any boats for sale&gt;&lt;&gt;&lt;&gt;&lt;&gt;&lt;&gt;

i hand out a few bus. cards, ink pen's
but other than that i have been so-so busy from word of mouth.
i tell my wife that if i did advertise i would'nt be home much and that i would have to hire some help.
i dont want to hire .. and i want to be home alot to spend time w/kids ..which im sure you and everybody else does.
im still running into client's that never even knew there was a p/wer business around. and i can probably name at least 4 of my competitor's. that really advertise.and i get there work.because of dif. reason's. i dont under bid them .if any thing my bid's are always higher.i keep a low profile , but yet my phone rings with new client's all the time.
so as far as your challenge . i dont know if i could compete.
sorry this took so long to reply. i need to scoll down more often. have a great day/night
I did some direct mailers, got a few jobs...then just rode the wave of referals and happy customers.
Kept me busy and I was happy....but in the meantime I had filled out all the paperwork for the phonebook...thought I may get a job or two from it.

So, while I was occupied and doing well from my mailers and referals....oneday the phonebook arrived, I looked, I liked my ad and smiled..

within 2 weeks I had enough calls from the phonebook to book a few weeks ahead at a time...about a month after it came out I had too much business and was actually turning stuff down to be able to see the wife and kid.

A good problem to have I I'm adding 2 more trucks and 3 employees and am already booked for the next 3 months solid.

So I guess occasionally advertising can work...

AHR Tidewater, Inc.
Va Beach, VA 23456
(757) 368-5495

Ron Musgraves

Staff member
Share your ad because I must be doing something wrong. If you can’t copy it on the bb e-mail to me please.

Ron Marshal Phoenix AZ
I saw your ad and it looks great also it helps being first in the phone book. I was thinking about an ad but wasnt sure of the return. All of our work is referals and my kids passing out flyers (I have 6 kids). If you ever get in a tight spot again we should meet and maybe I can help you.

FeeMac. Inc.
John & Fiona McCasland
Virginia Beach, VA.
As far as the phonebook, first does I am in 5 different areas of the book as well.

Val-Pak is doing ok for me...but just a bit more than paying for itself this winter. (advertising Val-Pak commercial only)

Looking forward to their results this spring since I will be in both commercial and residential.
I am also trying Moneyclip magazine for the first time this month...will post the results...much cheaper than Val-Pak but we'll see how the results are.

I've not had much luck with flyers but have only tried them a few times.

AHR Tidewater, Inc.
Va Beach, VA 23456
(757) 368-5495
Hey Ron,
You mentioned the word free twice on your list...thats two times too many!!!

J.R WOOD POWER WASHING*1-800-782-9919
J&B SNOW PLOW*1-973-328-6650


Larry L.

PWN TEAM - Moderator Emeritus
<FONT face="Comic Sans MS"><FONT COLOR="DarkGreen">I cann't add I'm just like Dan,I don't know if I can compete.

David Saulque,I think they missed it again.How long have you been looking at the customer.

Dan,quit hiding whats my line
.Matter fact I'm trying my best as to be one of them there weekend warrior or one of them there 1 1/2 hafters you hear so much about.Dang phone anyway and you couldn't run fast enuff to give me a cell phone,,I love my free time.</FONT c></FONT f>

When answering Post If It Sounds As tho I'm Holding A Match To Ya "Fear Not" Its Only Lit On One End.I'm No Doctor The Pill I Subscride Is For Me Only.They May Make You Jump Up and Down Or Crawl All Over The Ground.Will Try To Help Sail Your Ship Even Tho Rocket Fuel Is The Tip.
When In Doubt,,,Think It

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