Six Steps to Start a Pressure Washing Business in Atlanta
Metro Atlanta is home to more than 5.7 million residents, according to U.S. Census estimates. That’s a lot of homeowners and commercial property. And it’s also a lot of potential customers for a new business owner to consider.
At Georgia Chemical Equipment Company, in business for more than 42 years, we provide a wide variety of cleaning and pressure washer products. If you’re just beginning a pressure washing career in metro Atlanta, we would like to help you.
We’re your trusted supplier of pressure washers, accessories, chemicals, and detergents. We also provide consulting and service on most any brand of pressure washer in the market.
As part of a strong partnership, we’ve helped many new owners like you get started in the business. Here are six steps we recommend for all new pressure washer businesses in Atlanta.
Establish Your Business
This is the first big hurdle. Where to start? You’ll need to cover all the following bases, not necessarily in lock step order.
- Create a business plan. You don’t have to go it alone. Get free help from the Small Business Association or Score Atlanta.
- Decide upon a business structure.
- Secure business financing.
- Obtain a commercial permit.
- Make sure you’re licensed, bonded, and insured for your safety and the safety of your customers.
- Get quotes on different types of insurance for your business.
- Pick a name. Do some market research to see what’s already out there and to determine what name might be best for you.
- Design a logo.
- Launch a website. It doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive, but it does need to have responsive design, include basic information about your business, and include clear contact information.
- Purchase transportation, if needed.
- Hire and train employees, if desired. If you’re a one-man band, you can skip this step. And who knows? In the future, your business may grow and you’ll need to hire additional help.
Get the Training and Education You Need
Professional organizations are a great place to start. We recommend connecting with the following reputable three groups:
- Power Washers of North America (PWNA)
- Pressure Washing Resource Association (PWRA)
- United Association of Mobile Contract Cleaners (UAMCC)
Georgia Chemical is a proud member of all three organizations. We will continue partnering with them to offer local training opportunities.
Once you’re confident with the education you’ve received, rent some pressure washing equipment from us for hands-on experience. Ask our team, with over 75 years of collective service experience, any question you like. We hope to soon offer on-site training as well as instructional videos to help you learn even more.
Offer Free Services
As a new business owner, one of the most important advantages you can have is positive word of mouth and referrals. Start with your family, friends, previous co-workers, church friends, and service groups. Explain your credentials, share your goals, and tell them you’re willing to pressure wash for free in exchange for a rating or review.
The sky’s the limit when it comes to endorsements. From old school to digital, here are just a few ways your (free) customers might recommend your business:
- Write a letter of thanks to you. You can hang this in your office or show it to potential customers.
- Rate you on Yelp.com in Atlanta.
- Like your company’s Facebook page.
- Offer a testimonial to include on your webpage.
- Tweet about what makes you unique (i.e. Company XYZ was the friendliest business I’ve ever dealt with in Atlanta).
- Review your business on Kudzu.
- Send an email to the Atlanta Better Business Bureau.
- Take a picture of your completed pressure washing work, tag it, and post it on Instagram or pin it on Pinterest.
Purchase Your Pressure Washing Equipment
As a new business owner, it’s hard to know exactly what equipment and tools you’ll need. Count on the experienced professionals at Georgia Chemical to help you every step of the way—from your first project to the eventual growth of your company.
Get started by checking out the many different varieties of pressure washers on our site, including cold water models and hot water pressure washing equipment. We’ll answer your questions about the pros and cons of each type of equipment and which models are best for your specific applications.
From gauges to guns and hoses to pumps, we offer an enormous variety of pressure washer parts and accessories for all your cleaning needs. Sometimes the right tool makes all the difference in a project. Make sure you’re prepared for all eventualities.
Finally, you need to consider transportation. How will you store and haul your equipment? Will a truck get the job done? Or will you need a trailer? If you plan to run a larger scale operation, what type of a fleet do you need to succeed?
Promote Your Business
You’ve set up your company and received the training and tools you need to be successful. Now is the time to promote your business. Where to start?
- Customers. Who is your ideal customer? Do you wish to focus on commercial spaces, private residences, manufacturers, trucking companies, or some other area? Start with one niche and grow from there.
- Pricing. Don’t be tempted to offer the lowest price. Your time and skills are valuable. Building a quality reputation is far more important than being known as the cheapest company. Do some research. Find out what your competitors charge for similar work. Then determine your own price sheet. Know what you need to earn to run your business profitably. Don't just work for work sake or you will be out of business before you know it.
- Advertising and marketing. Consider which promotional channels make the most sense for your business. Start small with business cards, brochures, and some print advertising. Assess the results and recalibrate. You then might try email marketing and Facebook ads, among other approaches.
- Website. As we discussed earlier, having a website is a necessity in today’s digital world. You can set up a simple WordPress site on your own or hire a person or agency to create something a bit grander.
- Social Media. Where to begin? You’ll be busy getting your business off the ground, so unless you have someone to help you, it’s probably best to start small with one or two social media channels. Create a solid business Facebook page, set up a Twitter account, add a company page on LinkedIn, post a video of your work on YouTube, share pictures of your project sites and equipment on Instagram, and/or pin helpful advice for pressure washers and home owners on Pinterest. For more information, check out this short primer on social media for small business.
As in any industry, trends and training change with market demand. Pressure washing is no different. You must maintain both your equipment and your credentialing.
Pressure washing equipment is a big investment. Learn to properly care for it and it will last you for many years to come. Your best source for information will be your peers in the industry and organizations that we listed above. You can perform routine pressure washer maintenance and Georgia Chemical can help with larger repairs.
One of the best methods we recommend is setting up an Excel spreadsheet to track your equipment use, repairs, and maintenance. This document, like a medical record, is a quick way to see performance over time. It can also inform your future buying decisions.
Like your equipment, you too need to maintain your knowledge. We suggest that you pursue ongoing education, attend events and conventions, subscribe to industry publications, read online blogs like eClean magazine and Cleaner Times, and become involved in online forums and social media platforms. In other words, never stop learning or asking questions.
We hope you’ve found this guide helpful as you begin your new business. At Georgia Chemical Equipment Company, we look forward to becoming your trusted partner and we wish you every success. Contact us today and tell us how we can help you succeed.