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View Full Version : Did you find Power Washing or did IT Find You?



Carlos Gonzales
02-14-2009, 08:51 PM
How did you all get into the business?

Did you stumble into it?

Lets hear the stories of how you got into this wonderful industry!!!!

Any Regrets?

Scott Davis
02-14-2009, 09:13 PM
My dad was talking about starting a side business to supplement his income. His name is Rick, and I had heard about roof cleaning somehow, and mentioned he should start Ricks Roof Restoration. He told me that was stupid and nobody would ever pay to have their roof cleaned. So about 6 months later I was going broke and decided to do it myself, and like a good little hack went out and passed out flyers w/out any experience.

Once I started getting calls I told the customers I was booked up for 2 weeks, and that, 1. made me look busy and 2. gave me 2 weeks to buy equipment and practice on some friends roofs, and it blossomed from there.

However, I would have been out of business 3-4 months in if I hadnt found these boards. Roofs were taking me 8-9 hours for 2000sqft houses and I was getting burned out very quickly. I owe a debt of gratitude to alot of people on these boards, too many to name specifically.

No regrets. Most things people regret I see as lessons learned, that I wouldnt have learned if it hadnt happened.

Andrew McBride
02-14-2009, 11:36 PM
not sure how it happen to this day but love it:yes:

Tim Fields
02-14-2009, 11:47 PM
All of the above, plus a dose of Divine Intervention. Like most really good things that have happened to me in this life. I stumbled into it, backwards. Have you ever been somewhere, not knowing how you ended up there, but it just feels right? That's where I am, right here, right now. Come on Spring Thaw!

Florin Nutu
02-15-2009, 01:54 AM
Fourteen years ago, I was sixteen years old. I was up at night and a infomercial for a seminar to how to start your own business coming to my area was on. During the infomercial it would show a guy that claimed that outfit helped him start his pressure washing biz. Itshowed him in a BMW and pressure washing with his white shorts and polo on. He was bragging about his income. Ever since then I had starting a pressure wash biz in the back of my mind. I always knew I would start a biz of my own. Its in my blood. All my family members own their own businesses. Well about 4 years ago I decided to research it more. I found the BBSs and I was hooked. I went and found work and borrowed my jobs 2.7 gm and got the work done with that. I put all profits into a pot until I was able to afford a full pw rig that I got used from a rental place. Every year since it has grown exponentialy and am loving every minute of it.:clap:

Terry Miller
02-15-2009, 10:08 AM
Carlos,
Thank you for the oppourtunity to share. We as a painting business have developed our business over 8 years. Growing from a one man shop, to a twelve person then back to five person shop. Hiring, testing, educating, the whole gambit. From 24/7 to 8 hr. days, being paid for extra time and accumulating benefits and bonuses. Insurance, taxes, benefits, equipment, you name it, it was addressed. It became our life. Being a painter, we have to pressure wash substrates. Clean the siding and maybe a drive or two. We always pressure washed and did OK? At least we thought so. As we got busier, built our business to be come well known and profitable. The PWing was still OK. Three years ago, I started a six month search on PWing. Read everything, talked to everyone and found what PWers do. PWing became a serious part of our business. I spoke with folks who did PWing, sold equipment, etc. The first year, our PWing business became 8% of our total business. Last year it became 15% and this year will be 25% of our total business sales. That my friends is large, for us. We have invested thousands of dollars, hours of training and did what we had to do to be recognised as a real PWing company. Today, We will stand up to any company that does PWing and do as good or better job as any one of them. Being asked to participate in the UAMCC TT, was a highlight of our PWing business. Being able to share our business experience and knowledge is worth it's weight in GOLD! Working with the TT we shared ideas and information to help others become better business people. We all have something to share.
I guess I'm off track, but the good sensation I feel when I speak to someone about our business is priceless. Knowing we do the right thing and helping others is a wonderful feeling. Being part of such an awsome industry cannot be explained in words. I Thank you all for sharing with us, the PW industry, the best equipment and products to make us better. That is how we got into the PWing as a serious business. Thank you.

Eric Flynn
02-15-2009, 10:58 AM
Several years ago Eric took a job at Nations Rent, an equipment rental company. Working there, he was able to occasionally bring home the equipment and practice with it. Eventually he started bringing home pressure washers and cleaning our house, deck, and fence with them. As customers started coming in the store asking to rent a pressure washer, Eric would try to help them understand how to use it. Eventually most of them just asked him to come to their home and do it for them.
This went on for a few years and we never thought anything of it. Eric was just happy to help them out.

A while back, we attended a family members wedding were Eric and my cousin's husband Harvey started talking about Harvey's business. Harvey owns Wingate Hydro Systems, a pressure washing and roof cleaning business. Harvey kept telling Eric that there was money to be made and with his experience, he could do it! So Eric gets super pumped but me...I was skeptical. "Power Washing?", I said. "Um, that does not sound like a profitable starter business". I have always been an entrepreneur at heart so I decided that we could at least give it a try.

We did some further research and found the all of the BBS and forums. I was blown away! We just THOUGHT Eric had a little bit of experience...! One week later, we began purchasing our equipment, researching chemicals, and practicing techniques. I went crazy cleaning out the extra room in the house for the office, creating our marketing materials, researching forums, listing us in online directories, researching forums and.... did I mention researching forums?? LOL.

In 2008, we landed our biggest job yet. An 11 building apartment complex with 3 stories, and 67 breezeways. It took us 1 week to complete the job just before their inspection. The health official pulled Wayne, one of our guys, to the side and asked to take a pic of the surface cleaner. The official told Wayne that in his 5 years of inspecting the place, it had never been so clean. Needless to say, the complex passed with flying colors and we officially knew that well, this was going to work!

Sorry so long, but can you tell that I love this business?!:yes:

So, I guess that it was a little of both- We found PW and PW found us too!

Scott Davis
02-15-2009, 11:13 AM
Cool to hear y'all story! Celeste and I actually had lunch w/ Harvey a while back and discussed him coming to work for us, or using him as a sub for roof cleaning while I am over seas. Real nice guy!

I had been trying to get that apartment complex you guys cleaned to clean their roof, but then Ike came along and destroyed it, so Im pretty sure they replaced it.


Several years ago Eric took a job at Nations Rent, an equipment rental company. Working there, he was able to occasionally bring home the equipment and practice with it. Eventually he started bringing home pressure washers and cleaning our house, deck, and fence with them. As customers started coming in the store asking to rent a pressure washer, Eric would try to help them understand how to use it. Eventually most of them just asked him to come to their home and do it for them.
This went on for a few years and we never thought anything of it. Eric was just happy to help them out.

A while back, we attended a family members wedding were Eric and my cousin's husband Harvey started talking about Harvey's business. Harvey owns Wingate Hydro Systems, a pressure washing and roof cleaning business. Harvey kept telling Eric that there was money to be made and with his experience, he could do it! So Eric gets super pumped but me...I was skeptical. "Power Washing?", I said. "Um, that does not sound like a profitable starter business". I have always been an entrepreneur at heart so I decided that we could at least give it a try.

We did some further research and found the all of the BBS and forums. I was blown away! We just THOUGHT Eric had a little bit of experience...! One week later, we began purchasing our equipment, researching chemicals, and practicing techniques. I went crazy cleaning out the extra room in the house for the office, creating our marketing materials, researching forums, listing us in online directories, researching forums and.... did I mention researching forums?? LOL.

In 2008, we landed our biggest job yet. An 11 building apartment complex with 3 stories, and 67 breezeways. It took us 1 week to complete the job just before their inspection. The health official pulled Wayne, one of our guys, to the side and asked to take a pic of the surface cleaner. The official told Wayne that in his 5 years of inspecting the place, it had never been so clean. Needless to say, the complex passed with flying colors and we officially knew that well, this was going to work!

Sorry so long, but can you tell that I love this business?!:yes:

So, I guess that it was a little of both- We found PW and PW found us too!

Eric Flynn
02-15-2009, 11:32 AM
Cool to hear y'all story! Celeste and I actually had lunch w/ Harvey a while back and discussed him coming to work for us, or using him as a sub for roof cleaning while I am over seas. Real nice guy!

I had been trying to get that apartment complex you guys cleaned to clean their roof, but then Ike came along and destroyed it, so Im pretty sure they replaced it.

Thanks Scott!
Harvey told us he talked to you. How cool....small world. His wife is my cousin Anita. We all grew up together and are very close. Just found out yesterday Anita is having a boy!!! :)

Yeah, the roofs at JC are dirty.... we thought about you the other day while talking about it, lol. It did suffer some damage but I dont think they replaced them yet. Since we dont do roofs yet (and I have no clue) are you able to clean a roof that has missing shingles?

~Jen

John Tornabene
02-15-2009, 11:45 AM
Kathy was pregnant and she wanted to stay home from her fulltime job and at that time I was working on the side for a pool company who lent me there Powerwasher one day. The rest is history for me. This will be my 14th year Powerwashing and also having another "Fulltime" job..Can you spell BURNOUT:)

Scott Davis
02-15-2009, 11:52 AM
Thanks Scott!
Harvey told us he talked to you. How cool....small world. His wife is my cousin Anita. We all grew up together and are very close. Just found out yesterday Anita is having a boy!!! :)

Yeah, the roofs at JC are dirty.... we thought about you the other day while talking about it, lol. It did suffer some damage but I dont think they replaced them yet. Since we dont do roofs yet (and I have no clue) are you able to clean a roof that has missing shingles?

~Jen

Absolutely, and we'll even replace the shingles that are missing before we clean it. (for an extra fee of course. lol)

Scott Davis
02-15-2009, 11:53 AM
No but I can spell f-a-t b-a-n-k a-c-c-o-u-n-t

Ken Fenner
02-15-2009, 12:14 PM
First got "involved" in this industry nearly 20 years ago. I put involved in quotes because the reality was I washed hoods for a company part time while college. As things often turn out in life, I cam full circle and met with that company owner 8 years ago at a restaurant. I was working as a regional sales trainer for an XYZ stereo retailer. He told me his business was stagnant and asked if I would be interested in coming aboard. I hadn't even thought about the term pressure washing in a decade. I joined him as a weekend salesmen. It progressed from there and when he took ill, I opened PressurePros. The rest is history.

plainpainter
02-15-2009, 03:23 PM
Was house painting since high school days in the late 80's. Then worked more professionaly by the mid 90's where upon working for myself, a friend, and a mentor - and several other contractors - was introduced to pressure washing first as prep. Prior we only scraped - if mildew was bad, I remember cleaning with a bucket of water and a sponge sometimes.

Got back in '04 again after my professional career in Software and IT fizzled out. Got involved in online painting forums - saw these subforums for pressure washing and remember seeing sites for pwna and finally happened upon the grime scene and discovered this whole sub culture of guys that only pressure washed - which seemed like a real foreign idea to me at the time. After some time seeing some real dazzling images of deck restorations that made the work I was involved in the past look amateurish - and seeing the profit model some guys talked of - made alot more sense than just seeking painting work alone.

And now I remember the delco price list was the real early 'lure' that got me more involved in pricing deck work and seeking web based forums in the first place.