Now that you have decided that this
business is for you it's time to make a plan. If you have many
thousands of dollars, or plan on borrowing money, you will need a
detailed business plan. However, if your budget is limited then
make a simple plan. Whichever way you go, you need a plan! A
plan does not need to be strictly followed but is a guide to
success. Here are some basic point to consider for your plan:
- How much can I afford to spend to get
It's important to have a starting budget. As I said in the
lead you can get started for $1,500.00, or even less. But, if
you have more it might make sense to spend it on your start-up.
- How many hours per day can I work to achieve the
results I want?
The old saying proves true here
"Don't quit your day job!" Most people get started
while they are still working another job. If this is the case
for you then it's important to decide how much time you can, or
want, to spend on your new business. Obviously, the more time
you have the faster the start-up. Don't forget to include
non-paying time in your calculations. While bookkeeping, door
knocking and equipment maintenance are necessary, it's time that
does not pay the bills.
- What kind of work do I want to do?
With a limited budget you can't buy
everything your going to need for a full fledged pressure washing
business. For example, if your going to concentrate on driveways,
patios and parking lots you might consider a flat surface cleaner
and not need the ladders and long wands if you chose store fronts
and buildings. If you choose homes then the list might include
window brushes. Choosing a specialty in the beginning will
help you concentrate your equipment and marketing funds. Of
course you will always run into jobs requiring more equipment that
what you have. Rather than turning these jobs down look to
rental shops to help you out. You will soon find which items
you need and save for them. It's always a good idea to
put a percentage of you earnings away for future purchases.
- Where are the best areas to get this work?
Look around! Although it's a competitive
business, there's potential work everywhere. It's a dirty
world - clean it up. If you decide that flat surface cleaning
is beginning specialty then look around you own neighborhood.
See a dirty parking lot, fast food drive-through, driveway or
wall? Go ask the owner/manager if you can clean it. All
they can say is no! If they say no make a record and plan on
visiting them in the future. It's a matter of being in the
right place at the right time.
- What advertising can I afford?
You will need to do some advertising to
get your word out. It can be a simple as a few hundred
business cards you can make on your home computer or an elaborate
color brochure. Web pages are cheap. For fifteen or
twenty dollars you can register your name and have it hosted for
less than $10 a month. The cheapest form of advertising is
your shoes. Put 'em on a go knocking on doors.
- What equipment do I need to get started?
It's important to get the right equipment
for the job. As stated earlier, a limited budget will limit
the equipment you start with, which limits the kind of jobs you can
take on. With that in mind look at the essentials, then expand
as needed or as budget permits.
- Do you know what you are doing?
Pressure Washing isn't rocket
science. Most homeowners have pressure washed at one time or
another, whether it be a rental unit or a plug-in residential unit
from a big box store. You need to be aware that pressure
washers can be very powerful. Even a little homeowner unit can
do damage to soft surfaces, such as wood decks and fences.
Speaking of soft surfaces, your feet, even in shoes, and hands, even
in gloves are a soft surface. More than a few hundred PSI can
cause serious injury so follow all the safety instructions that
comes with your equipment. It's there for a reason. If
you not interested in following basic safety then find another
business because it's not worth going blind or dying for.
Don't believe it? Look