Powerwashing business?

#1
If you had to do it over again and knowing what you know today would you be in the powerwashing business?

For me its a tough question. My answer would be maybe, only because I like this business. But the bottom line in business is money. People here can debate that if they like but for me it comes down to money.

I have friends who have businesses in the following:pools,Landscaping,Chiminey cleaning, etc. and they have something which is what I wish I had for my business; REVOLVING ACCOUNTS. They never have to worry about having enough work to keep there employees busy. This is something I wish I had for my business. I know some of you out there have enough work where this is not a major concern for you but for me it is.

Just recently I was considering on buying a landscaping route in my area because it had numerous accts. which means I can have employees with plenty of work for them and go from there.

In my powerwashing business I'm either extremely busy or not busy enough(Like right now) and I have to tell my workers that there isn't enough work this week for them to do(They both work for me part-time because they also have other jobs-thank God)

I may now lose on of my guys which is to bad because he is good.

The reason why I don't give up on my business is because I am a positive person and I feel like I can get this baby to grow. But I have to be honest here, when I talk to my friends about business they keep telling me to get a business where there is a very good chance for steady acct's where the money is always flowing in so you can have fulltime employees that don't have to worry about not getting enough work.

I plan on doing this business for at least another year but I am defenitely keeping my eyes open for other options or add ons.

So we all know that hindsight is everything and with that being said would you start all over again and do this business?
 
#2
Dang, John, that is a pretty serious question. But you know what?? It is a question I think about all the time. I am doing this because I actually really love doing it. I only do wood restoration, and for whatever reason I really find it fulfilling. After graduating from college, I had thought about getting into the financial field, possibly financial planning. But I decided I was doing that more for the glamour of the job, and not because I really had a passion for it.

I want to discuss the money aspect of this field, because when it comes down to it, that IS what it is all about. John, I am sure there are jobs out there where all of us could make more money, including you. But is more money worth trading for, a)setting your own schedule, b)chillin in the winter, c) no boss, no shave, no tie, no sexual harassment suits??? I'll take pressure washing. You spoke of starting another business in another field. Do you want to do that?? To me, that is what it all comes down to. I can't imagine weedeating all day. That is not nearly as rewarding as stripping a deck that a homeowner called you about because the two guys before you screwed it up, and you walk away the knight in shining armour with referalls in hand.

John, I am going to assume that you are not making the kind of money you would like (i may be totally wrong, but i think all of us usually wish our checks were bigger). If I could make a suggestion, go to the bookstore and read the book, "The millionare next door". I promise it will change the prespective you have on your business. The book is a synopsis of millionares in the country, and what the average one looks like. Basically, he/she is self-made, self-employeed in a very un-glamourous job. They do not have a high salary (less than 100K). Many own mechanic shops, janitorial services or welding businesses. The common denominator is that they are all wise-spenders and live well below their means. The VAST majority do not own foreign luxury vehicles, and very few wear a Rolex. But they all save and invest. This is one of those books that I feel has changed my life, especially the outlook I have on business.

No matter what anyone says John, do what you want. If you have lost the fire for what you do, by all means I say 'get out'. But by all of your posts I read I think you are probably a quality-oriented business owner who will always have a market. Read this book, and I think it will change the way you look at money which will in turn change the way you feel about your business. Best of luck to you, I hope you stick it out because I always enjoy reading your posts, always intelligent and insightful.

Jon Fife
Nashville,TN
 

Dan S

New Member
#3
YES YES YES >>>>>>>>>>
before i started my business i worked 50 to 60 hours every week and only brought home 500 to 580 a week..... always tired and never had enough money> and or time......


with my p/wer business i work only on the week ends (week end warrior) and have the rest of the week to do whatever.....
other then the propane tanks i was doing. what i found with them was to much travel to many hours spending preparing the tanks and always waiting to get paid. so im done with 'em i painted my last tank on friday..........they have appox. 60 to 80 more tanks to do but i assured them that my time is done...
so im back to just working saturdays and some sundays and i love it... my wife dont work and im raising my 4 boys on this business ....... and now we are home schooling our youngest.
for me to not have this business it would be hard to make ends meet....we are very blessed to have the contracts that we do.

i know there is more work out there to do related to this business but i dont advertise at all... i love my freedom i turn work down or make a bid so high that they really need to think about it . sometimes they go for my high bid and >>> darn it now i got to go to work....

only you can answer that question.......... but as for me YES YES YES ... i would do it all over again.........

ps: i have no employees just my 4 son's and 1 wife.....good luck to ya........

pps:i do know this though, if it was"nt for my believe in GOD and my FAITH in tithing ....we would'nt have nothing.............
 
#4
I would do it again as well. I think what Jon Fife said has a lot of merit. I have a tone of dreams and good intentions with a quarter of effort I should be putting in. I know I make a bigger effort than the next guy. But not as big of an effort as I should or could.

I live pretty well and really don't have much security at all. Sure I have money in the bank and some in a mattress collecting zero interest. That makes a lot of sense. Sometime I find myself wishing I was busier and wonder why I'm not. Like John said one minute you have to much work and other times not enough. There are two things I would like to do better.

1) I really am a procrastinator, not to the point of destruction. But a last minute guy. I have thoughts and a desire to be a lot further a long, and feel guilty about it often. But I don't do much about it until I have too. Funny thing though. When I'm up against a wall I produce results.

I wish I did that all the time. If you want more or need more. You have to make it happen. That takes effort. You can stay busy all the time if you really want too. You need to face the truth. Look at what your doing and compare it to what you need to do.

Regardless the business you choose the instructions are the same. Funny I have the answer to this very question, and don't take my own advise. It takes about half of my own advise to accomplish about 75 percent. I do well with about 25 percent of my own advise.

Remember a post a while back I made, about going to at least one commercial place a day to ask for business. Commercial business can be pretty regular. It will bring you the consistency you are looking for. Well here are the results of what I said in that post. I think that was about a month ago.

Grand total of commercial places I went to and ask for business. ZERO, see what I mean. Then a subject comes up like this and inspires me again. One of these times it will stick. I even convinced myself when my 1st child is born, I will do what I know I should do to become more focused, productive and secure.

What will be my excuse after that? Why is it so easy to do what's wrong and hard to do what's right? Got me! If you did 10 percent more than you do now you wouldn't be asking this question. I really want to make the commitment to do more. The problem with most, is if you're honest with yourself you just don't put in the effort. I know I can do it. Because I do it very easily when I really have too.

My wife works and like I said we do pretty well. The problem with most. The more you make the more you spend. We are not out of control that's for sure. But we can be easily doing much better, if I changed 3 things. Spend less, give more of an effort and invest instead of think about investing.

My wife works 55 hours a week. She makes 550 a week cash as a nanny. I work half of that and make 1000 plus in my new location. It's what you put in and that's the bottom line. She works 55 hours a week because she has too. You would be doing the same with a regular job.

Commit to yourself to work a full 40 hour work week and things will change. When you are not cleaning you should be calling and knocking on doors. Make a honest effort to do that and you will be bitching you need a break from the work. If you had too or were forced too. You would do it.

Hey some people won't. But the average person will.

2) I really need to start investing in my future. I think and think, but never do. I am going to get the book Fife talked about. Also for those who hate to read or find it boring. Go to www.audible.com they have books you can download and listen to on your computer or in your car. Like books on tape, but digital. Good prices too. I never used their service but think it's a good idea.

I guess what I am saying. Take a honest look at yourself and make the necessary changes to achieve what you need or are looking for. If I took my own advice I would really being doing well. Sometimes we become complacent and comfortable and don't react until the last minute.

The key is to make the effort of urgency before you have to. Maintain it and you will be fine.

Good luck to everyone and to you John. The answer is within regardless of your choice of business.
 
#5
Do I ever think about getting oput of the BIZ?? All of the time. I also know what the price would have to be to make me want to jump ship permanently. Does my wife ever dream about me getting out of the business? More often than me.
Recurring work is not a problem. I can tell you with about a 95% certainty how much I am going to gross next week, and next moth. I also know what the minimum that I am going to gross next year is. It all depends on the accounts, and establishing recurring business. Residential is not where it is at for recurring business. It could take you years to build up a loyal clientele.

If you are dead set on residences, here are some tips, from a guy that does not do them.
1. Plan on mailers at least once a month. Every former customer should get something at least twice a year. Once at the start of the season, and once in the middle of the season.
2. Find good stuff to do in your off time. Some commercial, some industrial, etc. should help you to tide yourself over.
3. Diversify. In the winter their is always snow work to do in the snow belt states. There is also other stuf to do along the same line, I am sure someone from a snow area can give you a better idea what that could be.
4. Hit doors, make phone calls, visit past customers, etc. Make sure that no one forgets your name so that you are the first one they think of when they need work done.
5. Be willing to do unusual projects. You would be amazed how many people are scared of doing something new so they pass. What is weird is that the projects are usually easy and command high bucks.

Scott
 
#6
These bb's are fun if you like to pick people's brains which I like to do. I appreciate any and all responses I get when I post a thought such as this.

So I would like to say to all GOODBYE. I'm retiring from the powerwashing industry...in 25yrs.(lol) to many bills to pay)

Alot of us in this field and others have different situations where they have to make there business work for them the only way that will be to there liking and conveniences such as Dan S. For him the way he operates his business he is able to live the life that he likes where he can spend a good quality of time with his love ones. Thats great. And me not being a religious man I still have to say to him God Bless.

As for Dan F. His wife works which helps him financially even though he is doing good for himself. The question here of course would his wife go back to work after the baby is born. That was my dilema a few years back when my first daughter was born my wife left a very good job and thats what got me into this business in the first place. As far as everything else Dan f. stated in his post I could'nt agree more. We all wish that we could keep our cylinders firing all the time instead of the 25% or so that they do.

Jon Fife your points are well taken. Thanks for the imput.

As for myself I have a second career which pays well so I have no complaints there. But my passion lies in the powerwashing industry like you guys. The story with me is that I am working almost all the time. And just turning 40 I feel exhausted slot more as of late which I will hopefully turn into a good thing thats why I posted this thread.

In the residential field like I stated earlier I am either to busy(Which is good) or not busy enough which is now. ANd because of this my 2 guys aren't getting enough work from me. SO being exhausted because of the way I work I realize that I may have to re work my business where I have workers doing more of the physical end and I'll do more of the managing end. To do this I have to have my operation busy all the time which to me is great. As long as I am not continuosly doing the physical labor.

That my friends is what my buddies do in there businesses that are succesfull. And because of that there business have grown immensly. So this is where I stand.

As far as leaving or losing my work ethic neither is going to happen. But I will keep my eyes and ears open to ways I can re-tool my operation.

Luckally I am going to Jamaca next month where I will be like this guy in the hammock and when I get back hopefully off to the PWNA. [tie] Sorry for the long post. Back into the shadows I go.
 

debi

New Member
#7
I guess I'm one of the lucky ones. I dont have a family to support, I have a great parttime job to fall back on when I dont have power washing. I was ready to give up awhile back, but things are picking up. I will winterize the equipment in Oct. and when April gets here, it looks like I have work lined up. If business grows like it has been, I may have to break down and hire help.

I would like to take some time this winter to travel around and meet/work with some of the power washers I have met since joining this bb.

I am having a party Oct 7 for all the people that helped me get started, and some of my customers, y'all welcome to come.!!!!
 

Larry L.

PWN TEAM - Moderator Emeritus
#8
<b><font color=green>Dan I got tickled when I readed your post as I've always said you can be as big as you want to be.Its the crossroads thing that gets me as to what do I do now,lol.
Lately I said I was thinking of hiring a helper as to take back what I give away when most are hallowering "I give":cann't make it".Then as you I get to thinking WHY I'm doing ok without all the problems helpers and more bussiess brings as to working all time.I can easily build back to where and more then what I was if I REALLY wanted to just like most of you IF YOU wanted TO.
You'll have to break both my legs before I hallower I cann't walk but I'll crawl around and get what I want IF I want it bad enough.It takes planning as to stay busy 7 days a week as to work some of all the trades if need be but also think you should pay your dues as to learning,cleaning is easy,its knowing how to clean the what ever as to look clean,be clean,hidden area's.I do not have to do a walk around before I roll my hose up as in knowing its clean,which a walk around after done is a wise thing to do in learning where hidden area's are at.
Whats bad is when you done it long enough and see something that needs alittle more cleaning on the job your doing,you say to yourself na thats good enough atleast it better than what so so is doing,,,thats bad thinking.Powerwashing has made me lazy man because "'I don't want to"" gets in my way to many times.I'm always turning different work down and taking what I WANT to do which I can do most all of it.I've had a house to wash for about a month now and don't know when I'll jump up and do it,hope he gets someones else as I've ask him to.SEE what I'm saying""WANT TO""if you want it its out here like I've always said.

AND:
To want to you'll have to give the other job up as to being a fultime specail breed of powerwasher as to getting what you want,THAT is IF YOU WANT IT.You WANT bleed to deaht by doing so that is IF you WANT it.Its like Dan said if he wanted more he knows how but hey he's doing ok as doing what he wants to do nobody is holding a gun on him telling he cann't.

Then I get to thinking is this business for MEN........

Sure like most I've thought about getting out of the trade even started to at one point but its not becuase I CANN't find the bussiness to go along with it,,,Its because of..""WANT TO"" or is it """I don't WANT to"" or is it""powerwasher lazest"""
 

Jon

New Member
#9
Clean County,

Short and sweet, NO, and being the opportunist I am for the right price I would sell it all tomorrow and go into something else.

Would I look back, nope I would keep on walking forward into a new venture.

I seldom ever regret what I do once it is done and over with.
 
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#10
Good Question John,

I am dealing with that now. My wife would like to stay home and I would like for her to stay home. But that would be a big big adjustment. Also my wife is a nanny and the family she works for just notified us that my wife won't have a job to go back too.

That's a long story, plus I am starting over here in Texas and I don't make near what I did in IL. yet. So who knows what the future holds. I just might have to step it up regardless.
 
#11
one thing that i have found and Dan Flynn said most of it.......there is so much work out there but you gots to go and get it ....sometimes it comes after you but if you want to>> really want to stay busy hit the streets/phone/computer..

i cant believe the amount of people i run into that has no idea that there is a p/washing business ..... the bottom line how much work do ya need ? how much $ are you spending? are you within your budget?

i know as for me i got cought up in alot of i WANNA THAT AND THIS ... next thing i know we got all kinds of bills... we are paying them but WHY.. did i really need half the stuff i bought NAAA.. but i got it anyways now i got to either pay fer 'em or sell 'em ... or WORK HARDER ..... believe it or not i would rather sell 'em then to be strapped... then when the time is right buy it with cash or when things get 'BETTER"....

OR BETTER YET BUY ONE THING PAY IT OFF THEN BUY ANOTHER!!

this probably had nothing to do with the question at hand but maybe it will be a wake up call to some......
 
#12
Dan F,

If this isn't too personal and you don't mind my asking, why did you move to Houston?? It sounds like you were doing well in IL, so I am assuming it did not have to do with work?? Again if the reason is something you don't want to post, I can't hardly blame you. I was just curious, because i've been to chicago, and the food is a heck of a lot better there than Texas

Jon Fife
Nashville,TN
 
T

Target P/W

Guest
#13
If my opinion counts for anything, I would definitely re-start my business even if I'm only one year into it, for one reason.
It is the simple fact that I can make a good dollar and still see my daughter for a respectable time each day. I am not gunning for the dollars quite yet (this first year has been fumbling through automotive customers to wanting and learning wood restoration, to dumping some automotive clients to free up time to do residential sales and service).
But on the same side of the coin, I can sit back from the rat race and contemplate any other careers or trades that I may want to venture into without the pressure of working 12 hour days in a cubicle (been there), while turning the same, or less money anyways.
So for me it's a win win.
I recall opening up and knowing that my first year would be a learning curve and I am prepared to anti-freeze my gear and pull a nine to fiver until the thaw, thus giving me the winter to hone in anew on my new market with focus and renewed vigor.
I have been up and down with steady work but like I said this is my alpha year and it can ONLY get better. I may get involved in a new business one day, but I assure you, I will never get rid of my gear.
I believe a sales side line that can directly tie me into a one to one with potential customers may be in order at some point but for now, I will continue learning and seeing what new developments come to this wonderfully diverse line of work.

Good luck everybody and God bless!.

Regards,
Chris.
 
#14
Jon F,

It was a opportunity that came up and everything fell into place. It revolved around the job my wife won't have after the baby is born. We didn't have to go but something was pulling us to go for it. So we went for it. New challenge too. Well I guess I'm in for that challenge now! It's not that bad and I just have to step up and fill the void.

We made our decision to make the move anticipating the worst. But obviously didn't expect it so soon. The positive thing is we are finally going to have a baby. Which might be happening because of the peace and quiet. It's just more relaxing here. We looked at the area we live in to see if we would like it and if there was a market for my business. So here we are.

Thanks for the support. I am sure we will be fine. Here is a picture of Mommy and baby. She will kill me if she finds out. So keep this under your hat.
 

Attachments

#15
John,

Well my friend. I gotta tell ya....I feel your pain. Although this is a great money making business it does have it's pitfalls. Most of them you mentioned. Now I haven't read the other replies you have gotten but...

...I am looking for a good man with some experience. Maybe you can come down here to here to PA and we can get something going together. Two heads are better than one.
 
#19
14 years in and so glad I've found guys like Doug and Ron to show me how it should be done. Wish I'd met the 14 years ago.

Sent from my SM-G930R4 using Tapatalk
 

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