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Take Your Power Washing Company To The Next Level Manual

Pressure washing training, business training, systems and methods
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Taking A Pressure Washing Business To The Next Level

Profitability comes from a number of sources, it starts with proper pricing – not asking for so much that you don’t get the job and not leaving any amount of extra money on the table when you do get a job. It continues by owning the ideal tools for any job and matching the power of those tools to the exact job. Underpowered equipment wastes your money, for example.

Another case in point is that using lousy cleaners or skipping the use of cleaners at all often costs more when you factor in labor. Finally, it rests on your labor force, the training they have, the equipment you have for them to use, the expectations you place on them, the techniques they use, and how well you monitor their performance.

Once you put all the pieces of the puzzle together, you begin to run efficiently.  That's when you learn to keep a closer eye on your profit margins, the level of training you provide to your employees, the quality of the equipment you provide, the maintenance on your equipment, and your Return On Investment For everything you do.  Because ultimately, the thriving success or the complete failure of your business is on you, the business owner.

One of the hardest problems a business owner faces is determining how much to charge per hour so that his hourly target provides enough money to cover overhead and expenses, a decent living for the owner, and enough profit to make a return on the money it took to establish that business. Most company owners just work as hard as possible, and whether they make a profit or don’t comes down to the same odds as rolling dice. There is a much better way.

To start, every company owner should calculate and evaluate his company’s costs and efficiency in order to determine his target earnings per hour. What is your hourly target for revenues? One thing is for sure – we can’t figure that out for you. No two businesses are alike in this figure. All we can do is help you think about how to figure out your ideal target.

Using a formula to calculate your company’s Break Even point will go a long way in helping you establish a good hourly earnings target amount. It will give you a strong edge when bidding jobs.
The Break-Even point is a calculated level of operations where revenues equal all of your expenses. At this amount of sales, theoretically there is no profit and no loss. You are at your “Break Even” point. Sales after this point start delivering profit to your bottom line at a predictable rate.

Pressure Washing Equipment Efficiency

Getting back to the topic of pricing, we stated that pricing has remained relatively stable over the last decade or two. We will go into calculating bid prices in a little while, but for now we need to spend a few more minutes on pricing theory. If a job goes for $200, and your hourly target is $100, then you MUST find a way to get that job done in 2 hours or less! Now we enter the world of equipment efficiency.

How do you determine the efficiency of your equipment? No one tackles a topic like this because the answer is subjective. We can talk generalities, but we can only use those points to give you an idea, not an answer.

When you consider the equipment end of cleaning efficiency, there are a lot of variables to consider - such as the amount of soil and the type of soil, the GPM of the machine, which nozzle you are using, the PSI of the machine, etc. It makes a difference if the operator is an employee or a business owner, as you also might guess.

Let’s start by talking about small equipment and work our way up to large equipment. The changes are all comparable and relative. I will give you my opinion of production rates with an 11 – 13 HP pressure washer used by an employee, since that is the largest size where someone might be tempted to use a wand instead of a surface cleaner. Please keep in mind that these numbers are “guess-timates” based on the productivity I observed with my own crews over several years. If anybody is keeping score, most of the equipment that produced these results averaged at around 3.5 GPM.

Cleaning with wand alone, cold water: 600 (500-700 sq ft per hour) - You tend to do a lot of “re-washing” & rinsing with this method
Cleaning with wand alone, hot water: 700 (600-800 sq ft per hour)
Cleaning with wand and concrete cleaner, cold water: 750 (650-850 sq ft per hour)
Cleaning with wand and concrete cleaner, hot water: 850 (750-950 sq ft per hour)
Cleaning with surface cleaner alone, cold water: 800 (700-900 sq ft per hour) - A lot of rinsing when you don’t use a cleaner
Cleaning with surface cleaner alone, hot water: 1000 (900-1100 sq ft per hour)
Cleaning with surface cleaner and concrete cleaner, cold water: 1000 (900-1100 sq ft per hour)
Cleaning with surface cleaner and concrete cleaner, hot water: 1150 (1000-1300 sq ft per hour)

A 5.5 GPM unit would produce 57% faster results and an 8 GPM unit would more than double the speed achieved with the 3.5 GPM – assuming the equipment was ‘optimized’ (set up with a larger surface cleaner with 3 or 4 arms, etc.). The difference that hot water, concrete cleaner, more GPM, and a surface cleaner make can really add up. Each upgrade affects the speed dramatically. The overall increase in productivity can be huge when you take every factor into account.

To learn more about taking your pressure washing business to the next level, sign up for our two day pressure washing training class, or at the very least, but this manual!

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