Entering into the realm of business ownership is like any other sector of corporate America. A pressure washing side hustle will face significant challenges and liabilities but also has the potential to create a lucrative enterprise that can be a proud achievement. Creating a market strategy is of the utmost importance to anyone considering opening this type of venture.
You will need to do more than decide on what services to offer but pricing, the equipment and cleaning products to use, whether to hire employees or go it alone and how to mitigate inherent risks in your industry.
If this sounds like a lot of decision-making, it is. But, with a solid business plan, you can run your pressure washing business confidently. Read on to learn about your top five considerations when starting your new company.
Form Your Business and Get Licensed
First things first, when establishing a business, obtaining the necessary licensing and forming your company are top of the list. What regulatory and professional licensing you’ll need depends on your work state and locality. For example, your local municipality may require specialized permits to operate a power washing business in its jurisdiction, so do your research.
When forming your business, you have several options to choose from, including:
- Sole Proprietorship
- Limited Liability Company (LLC)
All of these structures have advantages and disadvantages. For example, as a sole proprietor, you don’t have to file any official registration paperwork with your state. This can be a significant cost saving when first starting up, however, you’re 100% personally liable when things go wrong. If a customer files a damage claim against you in court, your business and personal assets are at risk.
Choosing which is best for you depends on your goals for your pressure washing company. Definitely take time to explore these formations and speak with a financial advisor to determine which is best.
Having Employees or Running Solo
Having an extra pair or two of hands around can be extremely handy when you own a pressure washing biz. But, hiring employees also adds risk to your venture. If you decide you want to hire a helper or two or expand your service capabilities, plan ahead.
- What type of qualifications do you want your team to have?
- What training will you provide?
- How much additional equipment will you need to purchase?
- What happens if someone gets hurt or causes damage to a customer’s property?
All of these questions need processes in place before you bring employees into your business. You also need to continue assessing your action plans and adjust regularly. Remember, businesses continuously evolve, and so should your management strategy.
Invest in Quality Pressure Washing Equipment from the Start
After completing any licensing requirements and business planning objectives, you can expect significant investment in equipment and supplies. You may plan to start off with cheaper equipment and upgrade later to better models once revenue is more consistent. However, you’ll probably spend more on repairing or replacing low-end pressure washing equipment, and cheap cleaning agents may not give your clients the best results.
When you open for business, use solid performing tools and reliable washing solutions. Not only will you save money because the job gets done faster and yields the best service results, but customers will immediately develop a positive opinion of your company. This can help you grow your client base faster because you’ll earn positive reviews early on.
Knowing Your Risks and Insuring Against Them
Outside of general liability insurance requirements that most residential and commercial customers will require to even bid on their pressure washing contracts, there are additional coverages to consider. Fact is, there are a variety of risks your company will face in everyday business, and general policy coverage won’t be enough.
For example, if your employee illegally makes a u-turn and causes an accident, you need commercial auto insurance to pay for the damages caused to the other vehicles involved. In some cases, the cost of related medical bills and property damage to the other autos could easily surpass a hundred thousand.
Below is a list of policies that many pressure washing companies rely on to protect their employees, customers, and finances:
This insurance coverage protects your business against third-party claims involving bodily injury, property damage, and false advertising suits.
Whether you have a fleet of pressure washing service vehicles or one lone work truck, your personal car insurance won’t cover accident claims for work-related incidents. However, commercial policies are designed to cover damages caused to your vehicle and the business equipment being transported.
Your employees are one of your most valuable assets. Unfortunately, you are liable if they get hurt on the job or sick while handling the cleaning chemicals in a pressure washing machine. This insurance covers related costs to their care and loss of income and defends you against accusations of negligence if they sue.
There are times when things beyond your control can directly interfere with your ability to conduct business. For example, when your pressure washing services get interrupted by events like tornado damage or a fire destroys your facility and equipment, this coverage replaces the lost income you would have earned otherwise.
Professional Liability (E & O)
Pressure washing is a professional service that can cause serious damage when mistakes get made. Unfortunately, general liability coverage doesn’t apply to professional errors and omissions like inadequate work performance, false advertising, or negligence on your part. However, professional liability policies do and cover the cost of your legal defense and settlements.
Suppose a wind storm takes the roof off your workplace or a hurricane shatters windows and sweeps away storage trailers with your equipment inside. Commercial property coverage can save the day. Whether it’s smoke, vandalism, fire, or mother nature’s fury causing damage, these policies can cover repairs and help you get back into business quickly.
Business Owner’s Policy (BOP)
Consider a Business Owner’s Policy to save money on multiple insurance policies bundled into a single package deal. Usually, insurers will combine general liability, commercial property, and business interruption coverages altogether but often customize these packages with other insurance options you might require.
Owning a pressure washing business is a great way to earn revenue and create a lasting career. While starting up requires significant capital investment, the long-term payoff is more than worth it. Protecting your financial interests, employees, and customers should be a top priority. If you feel pressure washing insurance cost is an issue, just think about how much more you stand to lose if your business isn’t covered when things go wrong.