12 of the Best Growth & Tax Tips for Pressure Washing Businesses
Build a More Scalable & Profitable Business
Performance Financial CPA Tax & Accounting is a tax & accounting firm for Pressure Washing businesses. We serve as an outsourced accounting firm for small businesses, where we do the bookkeeping, business tax return preparation, and payroll. But, we're much more than that!
We serve as an outsourced accountant, working throughout the year to:
- Reduce taxes
- Keep pristine financials so you can scale
- Avoid IRS problems & keep you compliant
- Mitigate risks
- Help you scale
- Handle everything so you can focus
We've partnered with Youtuber, Agency Owner & Business Specialist Rob Satrom of Feedbackwrench, to bring you some of the most valuable advice possible for building a more profitable and scalable pressure washing business.
We are Performance Financial and we know how to help pressure washing businesses create a more profitable and scalable operation by serving as their outsourced accountants. If you're wondering how to start a pressure washing business, we're going to give you a guide that will end up being super helpful.
These tips are pulled together from our relationships with some of the best minds in pressure washing available.
We're not going to talk about the best commercial pressure washer for your business and we're not even going to hit on all the talk inside the art of the pressure washing business service; we're going to talk to you about how to build something that's super profitable and scalable, from firsthand experience.
Practical steps on how to start a pressure washing business
We want to provide you with tips that will actually help you build momentum and start from nothing, or even help you break through any barriers that you have within your pressure washing business.
Without further ado, here are 12 helpful tips when starting a pressure washing business.
12 Tax & Growth Hacks:
Hack #1 - Start Small & Build Credibility on Google
Our first pressure washing tip is to get started and build credibility.
How do you build credibility? By doing pressure washing and building up a list of customers that are satisfied with the job that you've done.
We're going to talk about this in a little bit, but showing off pictures of homes, before and after images and showcasing happy customers will help you build credibility and close more customers as you start to increase your marketing efforts within the pressure washing business.
Start with small steps of execution
People have a tendency of overcomplicating their pressure washing business start-up.
Find friends and family who will hire you to pressure wash for free or for cheap, and then work hard to get them to provide a review on Google.
Every great business startup that succeeds focuses on finding customers, satisfying their needs, and then capturing that successful transaction on their website, Google My Business and other platforms where potential customers will interact with you.
In order to start your pressure washing business properly, go around and pressure wash things for cheap or free and build up a ton of satisfied customers.
Focus on getting Google reviews from these customers
You'll find that the success of your pressure washing business will be tied to your ability to get Google reviews as well as Facebook reviews.
Nothing helps your business grow more than tons of Google reviews and Facebook reviews.
When you look at the future costs of advertising through Google Home Services, Google ads, Facebook or other platforms, you'll soon see that showing off lots of satisfied customers is the key to closing business.
If you want to get started, start washing and get Google reviews from those that you help and progressively increase your pricing.
Hack #2 - Capture and Showcase Before & After in Your Local Neighborhoods
Pressure washing is a localized business
If you build out local content, you can rank in local search engines.
If people see photos of their neighborhood & town, they'll know you're a local provider.
Taking photos is a simple but vital part of marketing.
We need solid photos and evidence that you do work in these locations.
Work hard at taking photos of your before and after, as well as the homes and neighborhoods that you're in.
Photos of clients & their houses are a major tool of showing you’re credible.
We will use these images in:
- Social media posts
- Google My Business Posts
- Location Landing Pages
- Blog Posts
- Bing Places & Others
While you’re building credibility and getting reviews, you MUST capture those jobs through photography.
We're going to build up your local SEO, and it all starts with location based photos.
Photos to Focus On Taking:
- Photo of the house from the street to show the "Type of Client"
- Before & After photos of the job
- Photos of the City & Location
- Photos of you, your team and others in front of the house
- Photos of the truck in front of the house
We want every location to have a branded, strong photo with location data in it.
Location GeoCaching In Photos Helps with SEO
Each photo you take with a phone will tag the latitude and longitude in the photo, and when we use those geo data photos on the website, on your Google Business Profile and others, it will make it easier to show up for those locations.
In point 4 we talk about location and city pages, and geo-tagged photos are really important to use in those pages SO THAT Google, Bing, LinkedIn and Facebook know you're actually in those cities.
It all starts with strong photos.
Hack #3 - Build a Great Brand, Website & Online Footprint
You must charge more for your services!
When you start, it’s about building credibility, but you must shift quickly to become a more premium brand. Low bid pressure washers go out of business. When a pressure washer prices their services properly, they can thrive. One key to becoming a higher bid pressure washer is to look the part.
To attract higher contracts, you’ll want to have a high capacity brand & website.
Sure, it helps to have a sweet pickup truck that communicates a high caliber business, but let’s be honest, most of the value of a great truck wrap is validating your brand, and using it in digital marketing.
We’d argue that your website, brand and online presence, along with your credibility factors, are more important than a fancy truck and a wrap. Drop more money on your website & marketing than your truck.
In a perfect world, you’ll have a sweet truck that looks epic and you’ll have a great website and online presence.
But if we could encourage you, please work on nailing your branding, website & online presence, since your website and profiles are what will show up in THOUSANDS of people’s hands over time.
Your website doesn't need to be too fancy, it just needs to look high-caliber, convey your value proposition, show that you're credible and trustworthy and do the work of selling without you.
What does a fantastic pressure washer website look like?
You can learn more at FeedbackWrench here, but we will summarize what we think goes into building a high converting website.
- A - it looks nice, is built from mobile, has an authentic feel to it and has strong branding.
- B - it has customer-focused, clear, value-focused messaging throughout the entire website.
- C - it showcases your customer testimonials, reviews and projects you've done.
- D - it positions you as an authority to local neighborhoods and as an entrepreneur.
Any amount of selling that you would do on the phone or in person, should be done on your website through messaging, imagery and video communication.
Make your website into a selling machine
Everything should be communicated clearly and succinctly on your website. Pressure washers have to run efficiently and they can't spend time messing around. One of the best things you can do is to have a high converting and beautiful website as well as integrating it with a pressure washer software like Jobber, Housecall Pro, or Service Titan.
We don't recommend using the built-in websites on any of these services, we think you should work with a company like Feedbackwrench.
YouTube, Facebook and Tik-Tok for pressure washers
Besides your website, you will want to ensure that you set up all of the social media profiles and then find a way to periodically post on all of them.
We will talk about what seems to be the most effective social media marketing for pressure washers in a later article, but setting up the profiles does more than just interact with people using the apps.
Setting up social media helps with Search Engine Optimization.
One of our top goals is to show up when people are looking for house washing services or pressure washing services, and the challenge of people starting a pressure washing business is that Google, Bing and Yahoo put them in the proverbial sandbox when they first get started.
Startups get stuck in the Google sandbox, where their website will not rank in organic search results for the first year or so.
By setting up the social media profiles, not only will you be able to reach people using the social media applications, you'll also be able to implement remarketing advertising and it will help you with branded searches.
Branded searches and social media profiles
A branded search is when somebody actually looks up your business name.
“Performance Financial” would be a branded search for us.
Imagine somebody sees your fancy new F-150 with your amazing new graphics all over it, and when they search your name, they come across an anemic link to a website.
When somebody actually searches your business and makes a branded search, you want all of your profiles to show up so that they simply cannot miss it.
You want your website, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tik-Tok and YouTube channel to fill the entire page with your own stuff.
Too many pressure washing businesses work super hard to advertise on various formats but then neglect enhancing their own search engine result page around their branded terms.
In conclusion, you'll want to open up each of these profiles, and then ensure that you have a couple of core pieces on each of them.
Minimum requirements for setting up social media for pressure washing companies
- Fill out the information completely.
- Add core commercial keywords to the descriptions.
- Create a video sales letter that communicates who you are and what you do and pin it to the top.
- Show off 10 to 15 projects that look like the type of projects you want to do in the future.
- Take any Google reviews you have and make a graphic showing their photo and quote so that your reviews are on each platform.
If you want to actually make good money and build a profitable pressure washing business, you have to invest in a more premium online presence so that it's easier to charge higher rates and you can stop the rat race most pressure washing start ups end up in.
Attract premium rates with a premium website and digital footprint.
Hack #4 - Rank in Every Suburb & City
If you build your website just right, you can drive organic traffic from most of the suburbs and surrounding cities in your region.
Let's Talk About How to Dominate Your Region
Local search engine optimization is one of the most important things you can work on for your pressure washing business.
The most important thing you can do is get Google reviews, then you need to find ways to communicate to users and search engines that you do business in every major suburb and city within a 40-mile region.
One major way you can do this is by building a clean, yet hyper-optimized location landing page system within your website.
Website SEO drives Google Business rankings
Your website and general search engine optimization signals for the website, feed your Google My Business prominence ratings. Your site and links throughout the internet are going to play a major role in what cities your Google business profile lines up ranking in.
Add 20 locations to your google business locations.
Don't add too far of a range, just make sure that every major suburb and city is added within your Google business profile.
After you add those locations to your Google business profile, you should start creating hyper-optimized location pages on your website that will communicate you're doing business in those regions.
You can work with a Content writer or Search Engine Optimization team to develop this content, but after you've developed these core location pages, you will want to start blogging and networking amongst other websites in order to enhance those location pages, with votes of confidence through backlinks.
Backlinks and interlinking
Every page on your website should never be more than about two clicks away because of how you interlink.
Interlinking means linking to other content on your site within a piece of content.
Interlinking seems to dramatically enhance a website's overall search engine ranking ability as well as help users get to other useful content that might be just what they need to hear, in order to choose you.
It may sound a bit ridiculous because most pressure washing companies neglect this, but great content on your website and back links to your own website, can help transform your pressure washing business into the most dominant in your region.
If you want to rank in every city, work on developing location pages as well as localized content on your website.
Hack #5 - Use “while we’re here” single trip discounts
Whenever you're driving around, you're losing money.
When you get your current customers to get you referrals, that's some of the best marketing ever.
The best marketing you can do is to get your current customers to get their neighbors for a same day job in exchange for a discount.
The job must be same day and it must be in the neighborhood or close.
"While we're here" discounts are better than any type of marketing because it creates efficiency and entices your customers to think of others that might want your services.
Imagine you went to a neighborhood and upon driving in, every single person saw your pickup truck and came to you and said they will have you wash their house as well, while you're there.
If you can eliminate trips and kill two birds with one stone, you will always come out ahead.
You should get into the habit of doing what Sealcoat businesses have been doing for a long time; offer discounts to your closed customers, if they can generate a referral for the exact same day, in the exact same neighborhood.
House washing is a perfect service to offer "while we're here" referral bonuses.
If you're wondering how to sell more house washing, one of the keys has been to start encouraging your customers to approach their neighbors and offering them a discount if they generate another job on the exact same day.
Besides encouraging your customers on the phone and in person, you can even create sub landing pages people can use to refer customers before their job.
Be sure that you stick closely to the “while we're here” messaging, because the goal here is to eliminate trips and driving, which are a waste in so many ways.
Trust us when we tell you that you can create massive momentum by encouraging your connected customers to reach out to their neighbors, so that they can save money themselves.
Every location is different, and every job is a bit unique, but getting a two or three for one adds monumental efficiency which is like magic for pressure washers. Give it a shot and if you can get just 10% of your customers to do this, it's one of the best marketing expenses you can invest in because they'll start to think like this over the long haul.
Imagine pre-scheduled, repeat, group washing on the same day.
Besides just hitting up entire neighborhoods in order to eliminate trips and driving, you can also get people to pre-schedule their annual cleanings together.
We've watched Sealcoat Companies, as well as Lawn Care companies experience immeasurable benefits by doing this and we highly recommend you train your team to integrate this language and strategy.
Hack #6 - Convert to an S-Corp & Save Taxes Big Time
Your business will become stagnant if you overpay in taxes.
Pressure washing businesses already suffer from low margins, and taxes are a bottom line expense that can genuinely kill momentum.
One of the best ways to save large amounts of tax is to utilize an S-Corp.
Here at Performance Financial, we will help you setup & run an S-Corp while providing pro-active, tax reduction planning.
Remember you owe taxes on your net profits, and that represents tons of time, energy, and resources that it took to generate revenue in order to create those profits.
We help pressure washing companies mitigate their taxes through ongoing, proactive tax reduction planning, but one of the major tax reduction strategies for a pressure washing company is to convert to an S corporation from being a sole proprietorship.
When you set up an s-corp, you will probably be able to dramatically mitigate your Social Security and Medicare taxes.
Check out our s-corp page here, but we would just want you to know that if you're making more than about $40,000 in net profits, it probably makes sense to file a 2553 and convert yourself to an s-corp.
The best business entity for new pressure washing businesses.
Whatever you do, don't become an s-corp until you have consistent income that's higher than about 40,000.
New pressure washing companies should not become S-corps right away, because there is a cost to maintaining them and the tax benefits will not offset the additional work your business will have to do until about the $40,000 net mark.
We will help you understand how much you might save if you implement an S corporation for your pressure washing business, and then we will help you manage the tension between the IRS rules of reasonable salary and distribution.
If you're making $100,000, you're probably going to save between $5,000 and $8,000 in self-employment taxes every year, if we Implement a sound S-Corporation strategy.
S-Corps can provide major payroll tax reduction and it's built for small businesses like pressure washers.
We will do an s-corp analysis for your business
If you book a consultation https://www.performancefinancialllc.com/contact with us, we will examine your tax return and then help you understand whether or not an S-Corp is right for your business, and also help you create a tax reduction plan that will help you keep more of your hard-earned money.
Hack #7 - Utilize a Small Business Retirement Plan
You can write off up to $61,000 into a retirement account. (with rules and contingencies)
SEP IRA's, and Solo-401k's are Perfect for pressure washing companies.
The IRS gives businesses huge write-offs when they contribute to Employee Retirement plans.
One of the core ways the government tries to ease the strain on Social Security benefits and retirement is by encouraging businesses to provide retirement benefits.
Employer vs. Employee Contributions
An employer's contribution to a 401k plan, SEP IRA, simple IRA or defined contribution plan ends up being a direct write-off from the company into a retirement account for the employee.
Small businesses get the same opportunities for these massive tax write-offs.
Employee Companies vs. No Employees
If you do not have any W2 employees, we recommend checking out an individual 401K from a company like Vanguard or Schwab.
Solo 401k from Vanguard or Schwab are AMAZING Tax Reduction Tools.
You'll be able to have the Corporation make an employer contribution into a retirement account and that contribution is not subject to Social Security taxes, Medicare taxes or state and federal income tax, until you withdraw the money when you retire.
Employer contributions essentially avoid a 15.3% Social Security and Medicare tax.
You can contribute from the business into these accounts according to the employer contribution rules. In short, 25% of S-Corp salary or 25% of Sole Proprietorship net profits, not to exceed an annual limit of approximately $50,000.
Limits on retirement contributions change each year and we can help you understand what’s right for you.
Net Profit 100,000
$40,000 S-Corp Salary (IS subject to 15.3% SE Tax)
$60,000 Distribution (Is NOT subject to 15.3% SE TAX)
S-Corp Estimated Savings - $9,000 A YEAR
25% Solo 401k EMPLOYER contribution - $10,000
Savings from Contribution - $1,530.
TOTAL S-Corp Savings - 10,530
Future value of that if done monthly for 30 years:
8% Compounding interest.
30 years: $1,307,044
In other words, your S-Corp, along with a small business retirement plan contribution can help you build non-related wealth and diversify your Investments a little bit.
Let Wall Street and big business earn you money as well.
Admittedly, we are a little bit cynical of the classic 401k and retirement plan conundrum people find themselves in, but the tax efficiencies are simply too good to pass by.
Not only that, it's good to have Wal-Mart and McDonald's on your side trying to earn you some money.
It's important to diversify outside of your business and build up real estate and stock portfolios, so that you can have multiple forms of income someday.
Hack #8 - Buy Trucks & Equipment to Grow & Save Taxes
The equipment you buy for 100% business use, can often be written off quickly over a single year or multiple years using depreciation, bonus depreciation or other things.
Tax Code Benefits for Buying Equipment
- Bonus Depreciation
- Section 179
- Regular Depreciation
We will help you manage the timing of big purchases of supplies, equipment and Machinery.
Whether you're getting new house washing equipment, a new pickup truck, a trailer, or something else, it's important to make those purchases at the appropriate time so that it can maximize your tax savings.
Having a proactive, tax reduction focused accountant like ourselves means that you will be able to make wise decisions and utilize things like Section 179, bonus depreciation, or even just regular depreciation to offset the profits.
We always work with our clients throughout the year to make strategic changes to hit their goals and build a more profitable and scalable business.
If you want to scale, you need equipment.
You should use your equipment to off-set taxes, and we’ll help you do that.
Hack #9 - Scale by Utilizing Jobber & Establish SOP’s
Productivity, efficiency and simplification is king in the pressure washing business!
- Client reminders
- Email campaigns
- Job costing
- Employee tracking
All these things are valuable to the pressure washing business, and they should all be integrated.
Efficiency and productivity, along with charging proper margins, are the key to having a successful pressure washing business.
One of the most important things you will find is that using a system like Jobber will make your life a breeze.
Benefits of Jobber:
- Scheduling & Dispatch made easy
- Run everything from their app
- One Click, Single Entry from quote to job to invoice
- Invoicing made easy
- Slick followup & reminders for customers
Seriously, Jobber, Housecall Pro or Service Titan Pro are one of the best investments you can make as a pressure washer.
We will also help you integrate Jobber with our accounting system, and help you monitor productivity and overall profitability.
No more messing around - we’ll build you an integrated system that will make your life super easy.
We specialize in helping pressure washing companies implement sound accounting and bookkeeping, and then we integrate it with Jobber, Service Titan, Housecall Pro or other Home Services software.
Too many pressure washing companies skimp on this but end up killing their productivity and efficiency by screwing around with everything around invoicing, proactive communication, customer surveys, vehicle routing, and even just text messaging.
We will help you set up an optimized Jobber and then make your life a breeze.
This entire article might sound like we think pressure washing entrepreneurs need to spend huge dollars on a million different things, and that's simply not the case.
If you want profitability and you want to be able to scale to a nice size, so that you don't end up doing everything yourself, you're going to also need to establish systems and processes that are repeatable.
You won't be able to easily integrate new talent if everything is up in your head.
If you use a CRM built for pressure washers and actually utilize it, you'll be able to establish standard operating procedures.
The more you invest in documenting processes and simplifying the work-life of everybody on your team with integrated services, the more productive you can be, and you'll be able to fit in even more excellent high margin work throughout the day.
If you want a profitable business you better implement a system like Jobber.
Hack #10 - Create Content for Other Pressure Washers for SEO
To rank in google, you need good content that actually gets consumed.
You also need to attract backlinks from other relevant places, which serve as a “vote of confidence” in the eyes of search engines.
You should write articles to other pressure washing entrepreneurs.
You should also collaborate and build backlinking relationships with other pressure washers.
99.98% of the pressure washers in your country can be allies, not competitors.
You have more to gain from collaborating than you could potentially lose by helping a competitor with your “sacred knowledge”
Ideas for Content Writing for the Pressure Washing Community:
- Share what you’ve learned.
- Create content focusing on other pressure washers.
- HIghlight your favorite websites, ads, videos
- Roundup Tips from other thinkers
- Roundup examples of good branding
- Roundup examples from other locations/states/regions
The result will be that the cult-like readership from other entrepreneurs will find their way to your website and they’ll actually read your pressure washing content, which will fuel your organic rankings on both regular SERPS and even Google My Business.
When articles get consumed by readers, they rank. When articles about pressure washing rank, your google business profile ranks higher.
There’s a huge benefit when you connect, collaborate and intertwine yourself with other pressure washers.
In order to enhance your business rankings on Google, you'll need to create in-depth content that is relevant to your subject matter.
There are only so many things you can say about how to pressure wash something, but there's a great deal of information you can make around all the complexities of running your own pressure washing business.
We recommend that you create content on your YouTube channel, blog and even social media that is helpful for other people running, starting or growing a pressure washing business.
There are 320 million people in the United States, and you really can only sell to people within a 40-mile region of yourself.
You should write to other pressure washing entrepreneurs because that content will actually get consumed on your website. Most people, when they get to a pressure washing website and see a blog about how to clean concrete, are just going to ignore it and move on. The most engaging and consumed content are usually by niche insiders that really have important questions.
We highly recommend that you build relationships and collaborate with other pressure washers through your website and YouTube channels, because that will help you generate backlinks.
Hack #11 - Create Oddly Satisfying Content for Social & Remarketing
One advantage you have over most businesses is that you can create some really cool and oddly satisfying before and after content.
In fact, if you were to open up a YouTube channel and start focusing on oddly satisfying content and before and after contents, you'll probably build a pretty substantial channel that people will actually watch.
People love to see the payoff of seeing something filthy be transformed into something clean and new looking.
Stick a GoPro on your head, set up a tripod with a camera, or even just get good at taking before and after photos, so that you can share this content everywhere and catch people's eyes.
Will this content necessarily cause you to get a ton of customers? No.
Does oddly satisfying before and after content help? Yes.
If we were you, we would become content creators about pressure washing and make sure that you create time-lapse videos, simple before and after payoff videos, and then share them to YouTube, TikTok and YouTube shorts.
Hack #12 - Diversify Your Lead Gen Platforms
Over time, a business can easily generate pressure washing leads from Google, Facebook, YouTube, Thumbtack, Angies List, and all the other third-party aggregators that exist.
There's no reason why you should get addicted to just one lead source, but we always suggest that you invest into your website and your Google My Business since that has been a consistently good solution over the years.
Angies List, Thumbtack and other third-party aggregators can be good.
The good part of Angie’s List and Thumbtack
If you build up some good customer reviews on these platforms, you can get in front of people really easily.
The irony is that the only reason why they actually get those leads is because they have location landing pages in every neighborhood.
You can get all the benefits that Angie's List has without having to pay an additional fee to them by investing in your own website and Google reviews.
That being said, there's nothing wrong with getting really easy leads from these third-party aggregators so we wouldn't totally neglect them over time.
What's difficult is that the only way your Angie’s List or a Thumbtack profile will generate strong leads is if you have a lot of good reviews. We would suggest that you slowly build up reviews on a couple of other platforms, but 95% of your energy needs to be towards Google reviews and possibly Facebook reviews.
Prioritization for reviews:
- Angie’s List
Your pressure washing business will get more clients if you focus on building out these platforms, uploading lots of photos, and then getting reviews.
We know that most businesses will create the most momentum if they diversify over time, but the key is to invest in your own website and Google Business first.
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