Pressure Wash for Profit

Pressure Washing for Profit

Pressure washing for profit can be lucrative, but you must understand your costs before you can determine how much to charge. Charge too much and you will have a hard time finding customers; charge too little and you will have plenty of business but nothing in your pocket.

A common strategic error made by start-up owner-operators is to underbid the competition. The rationale is: offer a low price in the beginning to attract new business. After all, some work is better than no work. Right? Unfortunately what history has demonstrated time and again is that this mistake costs the business owner business in the long run - because eventually the owner-operator has to adjust his pricing higher, usually much higher, and as a result he typically then loses most, if not all, of his initial clients, clients that were accustomed to paying the lower rates.

Starting and building a profitable business starts with hitting the right balance for setting how much to charge as an hourly rate. The key to doing this is methodically taking business-related variables into consideration.

In the beginning it may seem that charging $35/hour is making good money. However, what causes many new pressure wash contractors to eventually fail is they do not grasp the reality that not all of that $35/hour is going into their pocket.

So, if the $35/hour isn’t going directly into your pocket, where is it going? As a business owner you need to be keenly aware of the “costs of doing business” because this is the invisible hole where most of the money goes.

Let’s sit down and take a hard look at the costs involved in pressure washing for profit. This will guide us to setting realistic and sustainable hourly rates.

The readily identified factors include the cost of supplies, transportation, rental space for the business, and a payment on the loan we took out for our new equipment and vehicle. If we add these monthly bills up we should have a good idea of what our expenses are; and once we know what our expenses are then we know how much we need to charge.

Oops, as it turns out, though, these are not the only costs of doing business, and not by a long shot. What may not be immediately apparent to a new business owner is the amount of time spent on the business that will not be billed directly to customers. As the owner-operator of a power washing business you have to make phone calls to set appointments, you have to take time to visit homes and meet clients, and you have to take time to work up quotes. You even need to take into account the time necessary to load and unload supplies at job sites. All this essentially unpaid time needs to be folded into the equation when it comes to determining how much our hourly billing rate needs to be to turn a profit.

A good starting point begins with a breakdown of the monthly costs listed above divided over the number of hours for which you will actually be able to charge your customers. As an owner-operator you could spend eighty hours per week working on your business, but you might only have 30 paid hours of work per week for 50 weeks in a year. These are the hours that you spend on jobsites performing cleaning services.

So, we multiply 30 hours per week times 50 weeks per year to get 1,500 billable hours per year. Then we divide 1,500 by 12 to get an average of 125 billable hours per month. Let’s start adding up the bills and what we will need to charge per working hour to cover monthly expenses.

  • Advertising and marketing costs of $600 per month.  Divide that by 125 to get $4.80 an hour.

  • Phone and internet services of $150 per month. Divide that by 125 to get $1.20 per hour.

  • If you are renting shop or office space at $900 a month, that requires another $7.20 per hour.

  • Cleaning supplies of $400 is equal to roughly $3.33 an hour.

  • One equipment or vehicle loan of $400 is equal to $3.33 per hour.

  • Vehicle  insurance of $125 is equal to $1.00 per hour.

  • General liability insurance of $75 is equal to $0.60 per hour.

  • Gasoline costs for vehicles of $500 per month are equal to $4.17 per hour.

  • The cost to run equipment can vary, but if you are including maintenance and fuel $10 per hour is a good estimate.


These major and minor costs have already added up to almost $36 per hour and you haven’t even paid yourself yet - or made any money to put back into the business or pay taxes!

Let’s start to calculate what our 30-hours of workable time should be billed at if we want to start pressure washing for profit. If you would like to make a salary of $60,000 a year, and have money to put back into the business, and keep current on your taxes then you should break that desired salary down to a weekly amount. So, based on 50 weeks worked per year and 30-hours work per week $60,000 is roughly $40 an hour. ($60,000/50 weeks = $1,200/week. $1,200/week / 30/hrs/week = $40/hour.) Then plan for $20,000 to cover business growth and taxes, which equals about $13.30 an hour. We already know that the costs mentioned above have added up to $36 per hour, so add these together for a total of roughly $90 an hour ($36 + $40 + $13.30 = $89.30).

Determining how much to charge is a lot of work, but this up-front effort will enable you to have a clear picture of what your financial benchmarks are and how to evaluate your true profitability and sustainability.

Can I start a business with a cheap pressure washer, and then save up for a professional pressure washer?

The answer is no, you cannot start a business with a cheap pressure washer and upgrade later. Power washers built for home owners will seldom be built using high grade components. The typical life expectancy of a consumer type power washer will be less than 50 hours of use, many less than that! I know that sounds like a very short time for something that you would pay that much money for, but remember the average home owner will take 10 years to put 50 hours on a power washer where a professional may do that in 3 or 4 days. What we in the industry refer to as homeowner units most generally cost far less than those made for use by a professional! As you can see a power washer that is manufactured for use by the average home owner will not last long being used as a professional will need to, so the professional unit will be made of parts that are far superior in quality.

Consumer Pressure Washer

The theory behind cleaning with a power washer is to remove dirt and stains from a surface in a cost efficient manner. If you want to compare the cleaning power of two machines, you can multiply the GPM and PSI to determine cleaning efficiency. Most consumer power washers are only capable of 3.5 GPM or less. They also tend to have low pressure output. If you choose a power washer that is capable of 3500 PSI you can lower that pressure by installing a larger spray tip. If you lower the pressure you will be able to wash many surfaces that can't stand up to the higher pressure yet still clean the surface in a cost efficient manner. A home owner doesn't need to be concerned with the time factor, but time is money for power washing professionals. Labor is often the most expensive part of a pressure washing job.

If you are going to start a mobile power washing business you should make sure you start off right. One of the first things you should do is draw up a business plan. Doing the research for this plan will give you an idea of what it will cost you to start this business. Determine what you plan to clean, and what kind of equipment you will need to clean it properly. If you can't afford to start off on the right foot then wait until you can. You will need money for equipment, chemicals, insurance, advertising, transportation, uniforms and many other things. It is important that you make the correct decisions at this stage of your business planning. Don't set yourself up for failure from the beginning! Seek advice and training learn all you can and be prepared. Contact our Technical Advisors at 1-800-433-2113

Add on Pressure Washing Service

Add On and Clean Up with Pressure Power Washing


SUMMARY: This article presents a general overview of how adding pressure washing as an additional service can increase business and improve your bottom line. Lists of equipment needed to get started in this profitable industry are also included.

Why add pressure washing?


If you are in the commercial, industrial, or residential cleaning industry – janitorial, carpet, window, or general cleaning and maintenance – adding pressure washing as an additional service can have tremendous benefits. With pressure power washing as part of your regular service, you will increase what you can offer existing customers, expand your client base, and greatly increase your profit margin. The ROI for including pressure washing can be realized in your next quarter's revenue, and long-term growth potential is tremendous.

Companies that have added power washing to their range of services have reported significant growth. These businesses are finding that pressure washing can bring in as much money in one month as some of their annual contracts provide from their core services.

Diversify and grow your business


Expansion into the power washing business is an easy transition, with your primary accounts providing a built in clientele. Experience has shown that once clients realize that pressure washing is available, they are inclined to request that service as well. Whether it is cleaning gutters or parking lots, graffiti removal, vent and duct cleaning, or a wide range of other operations, almost all industrial, institutional, commercial, and residential customers can benefit from power pressure washing services.

Getting Started


In order to expand your services to include power washing, you need expert guidance. The power washing professionals at Powerwash.com can help you decide on the options that are best suited for inclusion with your regular line of business. From there, you will receive expert advice regarding selecting the right equipment, materials, and training. Powerwash.com will even help you develop a business plan to help in this expansion.

As the country's leading manufacturer and distributor of mobile power pressure washers, Powerwash.com is prepared to help you in every way when it comes to adding power washing services and increasing your profits.

Below is a series of charts that outlines some of the basic equipment you will need to add mobile pressure washing services to your current business.

If you decide to expand, the first piece of equipment you will need is the pressure washer unit. These come in hot or cold water units, and with different psi and gpm. The best way to determine what type of unit you will need is to consider:

  • The surface you will be cleaning

  • Where you will be using the equipment

  • How frequently you will be using it


Once these factors have been determined, the next step is to contact a vendor to discuss all the different options. The pressure washing professionals at Powerwash.com can guide you through the multitude of available equipment, and help you find what suits your needs and budget.

Hot Water High Pressure Washer Specifications and Average Cost


A good, workhorse, hot water high pressure washing system will have the following specifications:

  • 16 to 20 hp

  • 4 to 6 gpm

  • 3,000 to 3,500 psi

  • Water heating capability of 200ºF

  • Price Range: $4,000 to $8,000


Cold Water High Pressure Washer Specifications


A cold water high pressure washer will have the following specifications:

  • 13 hp

  • 4 gpm

  • 3,000 to 3500 psi

  • Price Range: $2,000 to $3,000


A viable alternative to purchasing the equipment is leasing. Powerwash Store has a number of programs available at exceptional rates. Contact us for details at 1-800-433-2113.

Whether you buy or lease a pressure washing unit, wands, nozzles, and other fundamental equipment are included. One important thing to remember: A cold water pressure washer can only be used for cold water applications; it does not have the capability to use hot water unless specifically designed for hot water. Hot water pressure washers can function in either capacity by turning the heater (burner) on or off.

For more information, contact Powerwash.com.

Related Articles

How to Choose Pressure Washing Equipment
Starting a Pressure Washing Business – A Guide to Start-up Costs
Mobile Power Pressure Washing: Tips, Techniques, and Chemical Usage Guide

 

Basic Equipment Charts


Please refer to our catalogue or contact our customer service representatives at 1-800-433-2113 for up-to-date pricing and details.

Click on one of the titles to be taken directly to that chart.



House Washing
Exterior Wood Care {Decks & Fences}
Fleet Truck Washing
Flat Work
Kitchen Grease Exhaust Cleaning
Awning Cleaning
Safety Equipment

 

House Washing








































































































































































QTY ITEM POWERWASH.COM PRODUCT LISTING
1 Hot High Pressure Washer (for oil and grease removal on driveways) RK-40C, RK-42, or
RK-43C
2 High Pressure Hose reels HR-46, HR-65, or HR-200
2 Heavy Duty Hose Reel Hook-up Kit HRH-HP or HRH-GH
1 Pressure hose – 150 ft. R-1-150-BL
1 Heavy-duty garden hose – 100 ft. CRV-120
2 Spray Wands W-15-79"and W-15-48"
1 Telescoping Wand EW-18' or EW-24'
Spray Tips (Assortment) QCF-2508, QCF-2510, QCF-6540
1 Zero Degree Rotating Nozzle ROTOMAX-3
1 Long Range Chemical Injection Nozzle X-Jet-M5
Brushes WBR-DLX
1 Telescoping Brush Handles AEH-12 or AEH-18
1 Electric Chemical Pump DECKS 12 or DECKS 115
Spray Wax W-200-05
Detergent R-109-100, V-505-50, and DNB-1430-50
Chemicals OA-50
Clear Plastic Sheeting (2 mil) POLY2MIL
Training Material DVD-301, DVD-505, #1,100 Training pkg.

ADDITIONAL MATERIALS


Ladders
Wire Brush
Claw Hammer
Screw Drivers
Pliers
Pipe Wrenches
Flexible Wand
PTFE Tape TF-TAPE
Masking Tape (1" and 2")
Duct Tape
Caulking Gun
Caulking (variety of types)
Putty Knife and other Scrapers

Exterior Wood Care {Decks & Fences}





































































































































QTY ITEM POWERWASH.COM PRODUCT LISTING
1 Cold Water Pressure Washer 4040HG, 4035HG
2 Hose Reels HR-65 or HR-200
2 Hose Reel Hook-up Kits HRH-HP and HRH-GH
1 Non-Marking Pressure Hose – 150ft. R-1-150-BL
1 Heavy-Duty Garden Hose – 110ft. CRV-120
1 Electrical Chemical Pump DECKS 12 or DECKS 115
1 Dual Lance Wand ST-54-49
2 Extension Wands W-15-79 and W-15-48
Spray Tip Assortment QCF-2508 and QCF-2510
Deck and Siding Restorer DSR-49-08
Deck and Siding Restorer and Stripper DSR-50-05
Oxalic Acid OA-50
Detergent R-109-0100
Clear Plastic Sheeting (2mil) POlY2MIl

ADDITIONAL MATERIALS


Claw Hammer
Crow or Pry Bar
Screw Drivers
Orbital Sander (rental)
Extension Cords
Drop Cloths
Masking Tape (1" and 2")
Paint Brush
Airless Paint Sprayer
Ladders

Fleet Truck Washing


























































































QTY ITEM NEEDED POWERWASH.COM PRODUCT LISTING
1 Trailer Mounted Hot High Pressure Washer w/water tank. RK-43C-2A
Brushes WBR-14 and WBR-10
Brush Handles WBH-5 and WBH-8
Stack Brushes SBR-9000
Spray Tips Assortment QCF-2508,QCF-4008,QCF-2510 & QCF-4010
Portable Vinyl Wash Pits and
Ground Covers
TFTP-2075
Portable Dams and Drain Covers PD-620, PD-610, and DC-4.6
1 Recycle System Recycle-16
1 Wash Pit Sump Pump wpsp-8
1 Vacu-boom VB-20
Oil absorbent Booms, Pillows, and Pads D-6002, D-6003, and D-6008
Degreasers R-109-0100, DNB-1430-50
Truck Wash Detergent V-505-50
Spray Wax W-200-05
Foam Booster R-1420
Training Material DVD-504, DVD-301

Flat Work






































































QTY ITEM NEEDED POWERWASH.COM PRODUCT LISTING
1 Trailer Mounted Hot High Pressure Washer w/water tank. RK-43C-2A
Surface Cleaner CC8324D
1 Turbo Nozzle ST-457-55
1 Electrical Chemical Pump CP-2000
1 Pump-up Sprayer CIDS-2235
Portable Dams and Drain Blockers PD-620, PD-610 and DC-4.6
1 Vacu-boom VB-20
1 Vacuum Sludge Filter System VSF-55
1 Sump Pump WPSP-8
Concrete Stain Remover OA-50
Degreaser R-109-0100, DNB-1430-50
Training Material DVD-301, DVD-105

Kitchen Grease Exhaust Cleaning


















































































































































QTY ITEM NEEDED POWERWASH.COM PRODUCT LISTING
1 Enclosed Trailer Mounted High Pressure Washer RK-43C-2A-ET
1 Cold Water Pressure Washer w/180ºF Hot Water capability D-2015E
Zero Degree Rotating Nozzles ROTOMAX-3
Low Pressure Spray tips VJ-6520
Rotary Duct Spinners RDS-21-6F
Spring Clamps SPC-SET
Clear Poly Sheeting (2mil) POLY2MIL
Scrub Pads and Holders LSPK-136
1 Wet/Dry Vacuum with Sump Pump VSF-55
1 Chemical Pump CIDS-2235
Portable Dams PD-610
1 Foot Valve FV-3008
Oriental Detergent OD-100-05
Degreaser V-501-50 or V-502-50
Foamer AF-20 or MEAN-5
Foam Booster R-1420
Duct Access Doors (as needed)
Appropriate Safety Equipment

Training Materials - Ackland/Powerwash.com 5-day Kitchen Grease Exhaust Cleaning School



ADDITIONAL MATERIALS


Scrapers
Squeegee
1 Mop and Bucket
1 35 gal. plastic trash can
1 2" bulkhead fitting for plastic trash can
Step Ladder
Drop Cloths
1 3' x 5' x 3/4" plywood



Awning Cleaning

































































QTY ITEM NEEDED POWERWASH.COM PRODUCT LISTING
1 Cold Water Pressure Washer 4040HG
1 Large Spray Tip QCF-6540
1 10" Deluxe Wash Brush WBR-DLX
1 Aluminum Extension Brush Handle AEH-618
1 Electrical Chemical Pump DECKS-12
Portable Dams and Drain Blockers PD-610, PD-620, and DC-4.6
1 Sump Pump WPSP-8
Fabric Awning Cleaner AC-12-01
Vinyl Awning Cleaner RP-1020-01
Training Materials DVD-509
Step Ladder

Safety Equipment













































QTY ITEM NEEDED POWERWASH.COM PRODCUCT LISTING
1 Double coated PVC/Nylon Suit PRS-[SIZE]
1 pr 17" Rubber Pull-on Over-the shoe-boots BOOT-[SIZE]
1 Hard Hat HH-11
1 Hard Hat Visor HH-11-VIS-ASY
1 pr Soft Frame Goggles 4T526
1 pr Gauntlet style Rubber Gloves GAUNLET
1 Black Rubber/Cotton Apron APR-10

Starting a Window Cleaning Business

By: Bobby Wells. 

This manual will provide you with helpful information on the following:

SCHEDULING SERVICES
SUPPLIES AND EQUIPMENT
CHEMICALS
TOOLS
A CLEANING SYSTEM THAT WORKS
ESTIMATES FOR FEES AND SERVICES
PRICING GUIDELINES
SALES AND MARKETING


Starting a window cleaning business can be highly profitable. With low overhead and a seemingly unlimited potential client base, you can turn a minimal investment – as much as a bucket, squeegee, sponge, towels, and cleaner cost, and turn it into a business with open-ended earning potential. IF IT HAS WINDOWS OR GLASS, IT IS A POTENTIAL CUSTOMER.

With regards to licensing of a business enterprise or any other legal, accounting or tax matters, the publisher and author strongly suggest that the reader seek, when necessary, the services of appropriate licensed professionals and comply with the local licensing requirements of the community in which the reader resides, or conducts business.

SCHEDULING SERVICES


The following scheduling times will help you track customers, and keep a cleaning schedule that produces return business, which creates your customer base.

Weekly: Windows are cleaned every seven days. The accounts you need to target for these types of cleanings should be:

  • Retail Stores

  • Restaurants

  • Fitness Centers

  • Video Stores

  • Businesses in a downtown area

  • Any business with significant customer traffic


Bi-monthly: This term is a misnomer, serving more as a sales tool, as these windows are cleaned every other week rather than twice a month. In most months, windows receive two cleanings, but occasionally there will be months where windows will have three cleanings. This is a good cycle for all the above businesses, especially those looking to save money.

Monthly: Windows are cleaned once a month. Client for these are: hotels, motels, small office buildings, and houses.

Quarterly: Every three months (four times a year)

Bi-annually: Twice-a-year. Three story buildings, apartment complexes, county courthouses, and such can be cleaned on a quarterly or bi-annual basis.

Annually: Once a year.

Quarterly, Bi-annual, and Annual accounts form the core of residential work. Houses should be cleaned a least bi-annually, but three times a year is best. The more time that elapses between cleanings, the greater the dirt and crud buildup is and more work has to be done.

If possible, avoid taking on an annual cleaning account. As stated before, windows get quite dirty in a year, and you may not be able to price a job that is profitable and still attractive to the client. When speaking with a potential client point out why more frequent cleaning is better and less expensive in the end.

Try to develop a schedule that incorporates as many of the cleaning routines as possible. In addition to creating a full and balanced schedule, you reduce boredom by rotating through different clients. Also allow a day every week to ten days to make sales calls.

SUPPLIES AND EQUIPMENT


CHEMICALS


This is probably one of the most important areas in this manual. Choose your chemicals carefully, and be precise with your measurements.

CAUTION: Read the mixing directions carefully. If choose chemicals and do not understand how they work and how they are supposed to be mixed, you will probably get unfavorable results.

Some cleaning chemicals are known to cause bleed back or create a film if not used properly. Since glass is porous, simply using the squeegee may not be enough. Understand all instructions from the manufacturer.

Stick to environmentally safe chemicals whenever possible. Besides being safe to use, it is an excellent selling point. In addition, applications requiring the use of acids and other harsh chemicals, can cause physical damage of the proper precautions are not followed, and may require additional equipment.

One of the best and least expensive cleaning products is ordinary kitchen soap, especially a product that says it prevents spotting. Always put the water in the bucket first, and then add the soap. If you add water to soap, you get a bunch of wasted suds.

Soap helps the water adhere to the glass, increasing its crud dissolving capabilities and helping the work go faster.

Late Spring, Summer, and early Fall - In a five-gallon bucket of water, add three big squirts of the soap.

Late Fall, Winter, Early Spring – At this time of year, you may need something to keep the water from freezing, depending on where you live. Windshield washer fluids that contain methyl alcohol work quite well, and will keep your liquid from freezing in temperatures down to forty below, depending on the ratio.

TOOLS


To get started in the window cleaning business, you will need the following:

  • Scrubbers - assorted sizes 18" for beginners

  • Squeegees - assorted sizes 6", 10", 18"

  • Buckets - your pref. Something with a lid

  • Poles - 6' wooden 12' telescopic 24' telescopic

  • Ladders - assorted heights 12' , 24' , 32'

  • Huck towels - these are lint free towels ( BUY used )

  • Scrub pads - white only. Use caution. They are excellent for tough to remove stains, but can also scratch glass..

  • Razor blade scrapers


You will also need belts, squeegee holders, bucket on a belt, and other items that you will discover as your business expands.

A good utility belt is indispensible. It will hold all your squeegee, towels, scrubbers bucket on a belt, and scraper.

There are many window cleaning supply companies throughout the country offering good prices and service. Check your Yellow Pages, or go on-line to find them.

A CLEANING SYSTEM THAT WORKS


This window cleaning system is the most important thing you need to learn from this manual. You need to take your time to learn this technique. Practice prefect makes performance perfect. You will be slow at this for a short time but as you practice, your speed will increase.

First you need to find a good window to learn on. Find a business with windows that are about 4 feet wide and 4 feet high. Approach the business owner or managerand tell them you are starting a window cleaning company. Ask the owner if you can practice on their windows, adding that their windows will be cleaned free of charge. A good business practice is to always clean the windows of you training site for free as long as you are in business. It is good karma.

The only tools you will need are a scrubber, squeegee, bucket, towels, soap, and water.

STEP-BY-STEP

The steps to this system are for right-handed workers. Lefties need to reverse the procedures. As you progress in the business, learn to use both hands – it will speed things up, and prevent fatigue.

STEP 1: Face the glass, dip the scrubber into the cleaning solution, place it on the glass, and cover entire surface with the solution.

STEP 2: Pick up the squeegee and hold it out in front of you so that it forms the letter 'T' in your hand. Take the right side of the blade and put it in the top left corner of window, rotating your wrist counter-clockwise to achieve this position. You need to rotate your wrist counter clockwise to achieve this.

STEP 3: Push the squeegee into corner and, rotating your wrist clockwise, drag the squeegee across the top edge of window, keeping the right side of blade ahead of the left side of blade.

STEP 4: Keep rotating your wrist and run the squeegee into right corner of window.

STEP 5: Pull down on the squeegee and rotate into the "T" position.

If you look at the glass there will be a dry area and a wet area.

STEP 6: You now need to change direction of your squeegee. Keep the left side of squeegee about an inch or two above the wet line, and rotate the squeegee so the right side is now on the bottom with this pass.

STEP 7: Run the left side of squeegee into the bottom left corner of window, rotating your wrist so the squeegee is at a 90-degree angle with bottom window frame. Drag it across to the right corner of window. Watch your knuckles as frame edges can really hurt!

STEP 8: Use a huck towel around the edges (remember it is lint-free). Place one finger in it and wipe, making sure a dry part of the towel is the only thing that touches the glass. Do Not wipe the glass with big motions - you will smear the glass and have to start over.

This cleaning technique is for all glass that you can reach by hand.

Pole Work

This is an area where you can make good money because so many window cleaners will not take the time to learn to how to do pole work effectively. As you become more skilled, you can do pole work as high as 40 feet and not have to leave the ground. You can buy a wooden pole at your local hardware store. Make sure your squeegee handle fits properly and snugly on the pole and does not spin on it.

Again, find a window to clean. This time make sure it is a 6x6 sheet of glass. Scrub with solution, making sure not to hit the top frame of the window with the solution, it will drip down glass after you are finished.

Stroke one: Put the squeegee on a pole. Using the "T" position, place the squeegee in the top left corner of window and pull straight down. NOTE: set the angle of the left side of the squeegee blade to be lower than the right. This will cause the solution to defy gravity and run back towards the wet area.

Stroke two: Wet Edge - Repeat same stroke, letting the left side of the blade extend into the dry area a couple of inches. This will keep the solution from streaking the glass.

Repeat the strokes to finish the glass.

Always work from the sheet of glass that is farthest left and work towards the right-hand sheet. This way moves quickly and helps build up speed. Lefthanders need to reverse the process.

Precautions

Cleaning windows in direct sunlight is extremely difficult, particularly since chemicals will burn onto the glass. This does not damage the glass; it just makes the job harder than it has to be. When in doubt, dilute your solution more than normal. This usually helps.

Clean up your job site. Let people know you were there because of the quality of your work, not the mess you left behind.

No matter what size of glass you are cleaning, these two styles will work. Make it a habit to clean the same window the same way every time.

ESTIMATES FOR FEES AND SERVICES


The following section is a general pricing. When setting your pricing policies, take into account the area where you live. Ask around to find out what others charge. When you give an estimate or price, keep the following in mind.

Free estimates: Always give free estimates. It may seem like a waste at the time, but you will get more contracts with free estimates than by charging for them. In fact, if you charge for an estimate, you may not get the opportunity to submit one.

Do not bargain. Either get the price you are asking or do not take the job. By bidding too low, you may drive down the market in your area, hurting both your fellow window washers and yourself. This does not mean you cannot offer rates that reflect long-term commitments or larger jobs, but do not let pricing be your means of getting work – let the quality of your work and your professionalism generate business.

PRICING GUIDELINES


Commercial accounts: Storefronts - 1 to 2 dollars per sheet of glass

New construction - 3 to 5 dollars per sheet

Residential: Ranch houses, approx. 15 double-hung windows, $25.00 to $30.00

Bi-levels - $ 50.00 to $55.00
Small two story - $65.00
Large two story - $75.00 to $95.00


Three-story buildings: Retirement centers, courthouses, etc. Your prices can have a wide swing on these projects. The best guideline is to consider the lowest price you would accept to do the job and double it for your bid.

Four-stories and taller: At this point, pricing will depend on how much equipment you have and what you will have to acquire. It may be best to get the contract and sub-contract them to someone who specializes..

These guidelines are for exterior work. If you are bidding on the interior as well, double your price.

Consider your customers. You do not have to ask top dollar from some clients, such as senior citizens. Offer them a spring special or senior citizens’ discount, and they spread the word about your business.

EXAMPLE

You are submitting an estimate to clean the windows of the local shoe store on a weekly basis. The storefront consists of five 4x4 sheets, a door, and 3 8x8 sheets of glass, all at ground level. Since there window display has lots of shoes, you will only want to clean the exterior (climbing over and around stuff costs you time). They have eight sheets of glass that need cleaning on one side, and a door that needs cleaning on both sides. Submit your estimate at $7.00 per sheet. If they think price is too high, offer to clean interior side of door free. Inform them that when they change their display you will clean the interior side of the sheets for the same rate. If they are willing to commit to a six-month or annual contract, you can offer a ten percent discount for that.

SALES AND MARKETING


When you can, look through the sales and marketing advice on this website. There is a lot of good advice to help you develop an effective, inexpensive sales and marketing plan that will help keep your business growing. In addition, the Powerwash.com sales professionals will work with you to help you develop a program tailored to your specific needs. There are a few things universal to all sales methods.

Qualify your customers: Make sure they are timely with their payments and pay the full amount billed. Keep record of every job, and have both parties sign a receipt every time. If you end up in the People’s Court, the first thing the judge will want to see is signed receipts.

Do not quit when you hear NO: Come back another day. There are a number of reasons why they may say no the first couple of times, and none of them may have anything to do with you or having their windows cleaned.

Be fair with people and they will be fair with you. Most people are willing to pay an honest wage for an honest day’s work. If they believe that both parties are benefitting from the business relationship, they will work with you regularly.

Keep appointments and Be on time: This is a service business. All things being equal, those who get customers are those who meet their obligations and do good work. Keep to you agreed upon schedule -your customers will expect you. If you have to make a change, be sure to notify your customer in advance.

Advertising

Your best advertising will be your work and the word of mouth that it will generate. Keep business cards handy to give out to people who ask about your business, and to distribute to surrounding businesses and homes before and after you finish a job.

Advertising in newspapers

The important thing about advertising is it is a good tool for getting your name out. Studies show that an ad has to run three times in order for people to actually see it. Do not expect people to call about your ads, use them as a name awareness tool.

Sample ads:









SPRING FLING
10% OFF
ALL WINDOW CLEANING
EXTERIOR SERVICES ONLY
CALL: 555-4645
OFFER expires XX/XX/XXXX

The Window Cleaning Company is accepting reservations for Springtime Window Cleaning
Free Estimates
Call: 555-4645



WINDOW CLEANING
INTERIOR AND EXTERIOR
FREE SCREEN CLEANING w/every COMPLETE HOUSE CLEANING
CALL: 555-4645
FREE ESTIMATES



Studies show that an ad needs to run at least three times before it generates a response. Small ads like this are relatively inexpensive, and their consistent appearance in a newspaper generates business. If you live in larger metropolitan areas, neighborhood newspapers are excellent advertising resources, and are much less expensive than the larger urban newspapers.

Other means of inexpensive advertising

Among the less expensive, but effective means of advertisement are restaurant placemats and menus, calendars, flyers, bulletin boards, signs, and newsletters. Do not forget business cards. Use the least expensive you can find and leave them everywhere. Another excellent advertising method is to invest in a magnetic sign for your vehicle. Besides the tax breaks that may be available, it generates a tremendous amount of business.

There are countless places to advertise. The best advice is to be selective with how you spend your money, and be patient – give it a chance to work. Most important - Get out and clean glass! This is where you are most visible, and people can see the quality of work you offer. Moreover, because you are visible, always LOOK, ACT, AND BE PROFESSIONAL. This alone is a key to success.

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