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Carlos Gonzales
03-02-2009, 11:27 PM
Here's an earful....lol:rolleyes:

Just curious what your opinion is about the pressure washing industry in general?

Off the top of your head observations!!

Keep it clean and keep it tight ~ :yes:

Scott Millen
03-03-2009, 12:14 AM
This industry has become a home for me, and I started in it at a time when I wasn't sure I'd ever earn another penny again.

Even so, it is just a business to be in, not a lifestyle. I enjoy it, but i don't know if I would enter it, knowing what I do now.

I think it will go the unenviable route of lawn services if we aren't careful to care for our industry.

If i could give the newest guys one word of advice, it would be this: Examine your numbers, decide whether you can make a significant living on those numbers, and get out if the answer is anything but, "Assuredly so."

I say this because I think a number of people are hanging in by their teeth, without a realistic hope of making it. There is no dishonor in trying a business out, and exiting before it gets too bad. That is what you should do if your business is untenable.

There are a million different businesses to own, and many must be easier, or a better fit. It is a mystery why people don't just move on when the signs tell them to.

You haven't failed if you change systems, and if there is no market, you may have to change industries.

I'm not saying that you should give up business ownership, or run from a hard market. I'm saying that you wouldn't try to sell PWing services on a deserted island, you would be in business trying to stay alive. Nobody would call you a quitter then, right?

Well, somewhere between a desert island and downtown Metropolis, USA falls your area. The question isn't, "Can I hang on and scrape by?" The question should be, "Will this area support me in the manner to which I would like to become accustomed?"

I'm not ever going to suggest that anybody just quit the business, far from it, I want you all to join the UAMCC and make a great empire of your business, if you can.

I just think that too many of the new guys calling me are jumping at the chance to spend too much to enter markets that will yield low returns. or worse, entering markets that they only hope exist. This is equivalent to buying a home you can't afford, hoping that you can.

We need to make good business decisions before we commit our fortunes to any endeavor. Without numbers and facts on hand to support your business plan, you are just another person with an opinion.

My opinion on the industry is that we can all make nice livings, and more, if we work together to maintain our profession. But we need a strong dose of realism: We have to be businessmen and women, not dreamers.

John Tornabene
03-03-2009, 12:15 AM
Business across the Country in general is going to be tough in 09. As for Pressure Washing in the Residential Market you may see an upswing because its one of the Most cost effective ways for a Homeowner to Beautify and protect there most important investment which is there HOME.

As for Commercial I see it as a tougher sell when so many Commercial Companies will be scrutinizing there own spending habits.

Did I answer that Question Correctly or are you asking what our Opinion is about Pressure Washing as far as importance in our society??

Carlos Gonzales
03-03-2009, 12:41 AM
This industry has become a home for me, and I started in it at a time when I wasn't sure I'd ever earn another penny again.

Even so, it is just a business to be in, not a lifestyle. I enjoy it, but i don't know if I would enter it, knowing what I do now.

I think it will go the unenviable route of lawn services if we aren't careful to care for our industry.

If i could give the newest guys one word of advice, it would be this: Examine your numbers, decide whether you can make a significant living on those numbers, and get out if the answer is anything but, "Assuredly so."

I say this because I think a number of people are hanging in by their teeth, without a realistic hope of making it. There is no dishonor in trying a business out, and exiting before it gets too bad. That is what you should do if your business is untenable.

There are a million different businesses to own, and many must be easier, or a better fit. It is a mystery why people don't just move on when the signs tell them to.

You haven't failed if you change systems, and if there is no market, you may have to change industries.

I'm not saying that you should give up business ownership, or run from a hard market. I'm saying that you wouldn't try to sell PWing services on a deserted island, you would be in business trying to stay alive. Nobody would call you a quitter then, right?

Well, somewhere between a desert island and downtown Metropolis, USA falls your area. The question isn't, "Can I hang on and scrape by?" The question should be, "Will this area support me in the manner to which I would like to become accustomed?"

I'm not ever going to suggest that anybody just quit the business, far from it, I want you all to join the UAMCC and make a great empire of your business, if you can.

I just think that too many of the new guys calling me are jumping at the chance to spend too much to enter markets that will yield low returns. or worse, entering markets that they only hope exist. This is equivalent to buying a home you can't afford, hoping that you can.

We need to make good business decisions before we commit our fortunes to any endeavor. Without numbers and facts on hand to support your business plan, you are just another person with an opinion.

My opinion on the industry is that we can all make nice livings, and more, if we work together to maintain our profession. But we need a strong dose of realism: We have to be businessmen and women, not dreamers.

Scott..great points all the way around. I share and reflect the same sentiments you type above.

I like your comment about pressure washing being a business vs. a lifestyle. Sometimes that message is not heard enough these days.

I also encourage any business owner ~ big or small ~ to give the UAMCC a careful and fair consideration. Nothing would be more of a tragedy if one would not evaluate the "merits" of what the UAMCC has brought and will continue to bring to the table for contractors to utilize.

Our industry has been in a disarray for many years. Pockets of energy over the years has offered some hope but that hope has been short lived. False promises and empty wishes governed the national stage. The veterans know when I speak of the days when our industry was littered with "How comes?" and "Why's?". These questions still remain today but it is my conviction that there is a solid current of optimism that flows steadily with these very same questions.

The UAMCC WILL NOT be the only answer for the industry. However the contractor or I should say contractors that utilize their business power to empower the UAMCC will be the surge of progress that this industry has waited for!

The secret to our industry does not lie within the foundation of any organization or activity...the secret lies within those that build on it and execute it for the betterment of all.

I am confident that 2009 will be the year of significant change in the pressure washing industry. It has already began. This change is swinging and will continue to swing in the direction of progress and deliberate advances to improve the pressure washing industry on the national stage. New leaders are surfacing and seasoned veterans are dusting off their book of knowledge in which they are saying, "the time has finally come."

Leadership into 2009 will be ever so critical and mandated. I am bias to the UAMCC because I have first hand experience and knowledge of how this association was built....piece by piece...principal by principal. The UAMCC is poised to be a great battleship...indeed it is people!!! The key will be how the crew on this battleship navigates it through the industry!!

Jeff Wible
03-03-2009, 05:53 AM
I've always thought that considering it's so easy to get into this business, and many, many get into it every year, it will probably never get to be known as anything but a fast money business and not a serious line of work. For those who do it on a different level (higher), it is unfortunate.
I've been doing it since 1996 and at least turned it into something real in my work "zone". I do it in a professional manor and look professional when I get to a job, and that what this service is missing as a whole. I think trying to change the "worlds" perception of these services will be futile. Changing your own markets' mind is possible though. As long as the guy down the street can buy a washer at Lowes and there's water available, it will be infested with knuckleheads.

Jeff

Mike Schoeben
03-03-2009, 11:10 AM
I think that this industry will not be taken seriously by the general public until the CWA is enforced on a nationwide level. Unfortunately this doesn't appear to happening anytime soon. This is the only way I can see the weekend warrior being taken out of the equation. Until that happens, I'm afraid that we won't truly be recognized as an "industry". This year will see a dramatic increase of new pressure washing contractors simply because of the downturn in construction. These guys know how to use tools, and its EZ to throw a pressure washer in the back of your truck and make a few bucks. Since the prez extended unemployment benefits to 18 months, many of these folks will be looking for side work. If I was going to start a business this year, it certainly wouldn't be pressure washing. There are too many other business ventures that would be easier to start on a tight budget. I see handyman type businesses as the real boom this year, and many of them will offer pressure washing as a service.


As for Pressure Washing in the Residential Market you may see an upswing because its one of the Most cost effective ways for a Homeowner to Beautify and protect there most important investment which is there HOME.

As for Commercial I see it as a tougher sell when so many Commercial Companies will be scrutinizing there own spending habits.John, I think just the opposite. Residential customers will have a lot more people vying for their dollars, and many know someone who's hurting personally and want to help them out. I think residential work will fall off dramatically, and commercial will hold steady for a while longer. Its harder for newcomers to the "industry", to break into commercial work than residential.

The best way to hold on in this economy is to reaffirm your commitment to quality and service to your current and past clients. Let them know that although economic times are tough, your level of service will remain steady. Hold on to what you've got.

Tony Szabo
03-03-2009, 11:32 AM
Here's an earful....lol:rolleyes:

Just curious what your opinion is about the pressure washing industry in general?

Off the top of your head observations!!

Keep it clean and keep it tight ~ :yes:

Good post Carlos,
I can only offer a opinion from the last 18 years.
Back in the early 90's I knew very little about pressure washing services and knew nobody that was in the business. I seen a service that nobody else was offering. That's one reason why we started, but when you needed help there was none, or I knew no where to find the help.

To this date of 2009 the education awareness of just about every aspect in the pressure washing industry is here somewhere. Back in the 90's it was hard to find any help at all, but it was there with the older suppliers and equipment sales. I just did not have the network abilities to find them or knew who they were. We started out with re-built car wash equipment on a flat bed truck from my past employer so they had no service plan or help.
We found and heard hype about a organization that was all Pressure Washing related, I was excited. Then there was so much uncertainty about the organization I was on the fence line of what to do.
It was by far the best decision to attend a convention and meet people that did and sold products that was related to our business. It changed my life and business direction.

Now, there are Round table Events all over the United States and some conventions. All I can say if you are in the business for the long haul and are serious and want to grow and stay abreast of industry trade You Need To ATTEND THESE EVENTS.
Take advantage of these Events. If you get into this business and just sit around with the "open sign" on and awaiting for the phone to ring you will have tough times ahead. These bulletin boards are great ways to find information and people also, but if this is your only way to educate yourself its not the best way!

Here is where all of you guys that have under five years in the business need to benefit from, is the education to be offered in our industry. You guys are the lucky ones to have the help. I'm still going to shows, conventions and round tables and still learning every time I go.

One of these guys that helped me along the way, when I was just about ready to call it quits with servicing decks because of the coating failures is Pete Marentay and Chris Detter. They were teaching a wood class at a convention and showed me the light at the end of the tunnel. I listened to their advise and have made sound decisions ever since. Since that convention in 1992 my relationship with Pete Marentay has grown to be one of the strongest assets a business owner can have. (because I attended a show)

The moral of the story is that you need to attend events to make a positive impact on your business and life. Lurking around on the web will not yield you the best results.

Matt Bryan
03-03-2009, 11:56 AM
Aside from the flatworkers:Smiley-2190:, I think you guys are OK:twokisses:

Jeff LeCours
03-03-2009, 01:20 PM
I think its a great industry. I do hope some day most people will see it as a true trade

I know doesnt matter if its resi or commercial a hard working person can build a nice business. A lot has to do with location but in most areas of the country if you are hard working and determned you can build a biz that will support you to certain degrees

It has a lot to do with the person and what they want. I do think many of the weekend warriors hurt the industry but full timers can make good money and then you have the companies that have several of even dozens and hundreds of employees

Myself I started very small knowing really nothing, with no formal business training and I have through just plain hard work established a nice business that supports my family. Other than this ecoomy i know I can grow it even more

I love PWing and glad I found this industry

Ken Fenner
03-03-2009, 01:51 PM
I think the industry is about to make a step to the next plateau. Many of the guys like Ron and all the other old-timers (meant with respect) had to learn things by trial and error. Guys like Tony Szabo from the early times are a testament to business savvy by the meer fact that they are still in business and have grown. There seems to be a new breed of guys entering the industry with more business savvy. I think the timing of an organization (whether it be the UAMCC or other) is right on point. One of the remaining hurdles is showing the public that there is a huge dividing gap between a guy with a pressure washer and a company that performs the service professionally. There is some writing on the wall that this trade can go the way of cuthroat painting.That writing may have been there for years but it seems more prominent now. I'm involved with an org because I don't want to see that happen.

Terry Miller
03-03-2009, 02:41 PM
I believe no matter what it is, it is. Whether we pressure wash, paint, build houses, etc., the industry is only as strong as it's supporters. There are some very good contractors who do well in the PW industry. However There are too many poor contractors. Poor as in their support of the industry. They take constantly and give nothing back. The guy's who offer to actually help others, are often times seen as leaders. A large number do not lead, but share ideas and information. They are worth their weight in GOLD. The PWing industry needs some good blood added. It needs people who are for real. They offer good ideas and share them & with everyone. There not the people selling their ideas and trying to grow their businesses at the cost of others. In the painting business I see this happening. We had great leader for years. For some reason they grasp the idea, they can make more money selling their ideas to others. They no longer offer help and ideas, unless it has a price tag. I no longer deal with these folks or promote them. They forgot where they came from. Just an idea, call five contractors who post on any PWing sites and ask them to help solve a problem you might have. Check to see how long it takes till money comes into the call. Our industry as PWer's needs to grow and do it quickly. If we don't get enough support for the leaders soon, there won't be any followers? The UAMCC is such a program. I have been involved for awhile and see the outcome being positive, providing the help and assistance continues to follow. If we want the PWing industry to be looked at as a real benefit for businesses and HO, we better start promoting it as that. A benefit and Value to our customer. We should be proud to tell anyone, anytime what we do for a living. Would you want your children do what you do? If not, I'd look for something else to do soon. If so, the PWing industry needs you. Positive action is good. Just my opinion.

Henry Bockman
03-03-2009, 03:02 PM
Terry I understand the feelings behind this post and there are many people in this industry that love helping out other guys, I include myself in that list. However, with BBS's and the internet a lot of the information is out there already. Some months I spend 20+ hours a week talking to other contractors that ask me questions, want help bidding a job, have a problem with their machine. When I was on the BOD of an org it was closer to 35 hours a week.

Once again, I love helping other guys out and that's why I personally do it but in this day and age this causes burn out. A lot of times guys call me and ask me advice on what products to use for cleaning stuff, how much should I charge. If you don't know what to charge your in the wrong business! If you don't know how to do something, WHY ARE YOU BIDDING IT? If something is beyond your capability, refer it to someone that can do it and get a kickback for the job. I get a lot of calls from guys that want to sub me out on it for a 30% cut so they can work with my crews and learn how to do something while they make 70% of the job. I don't think so.

I'll post more later, about this so I can think about my reply but honestly, I love helping guys out but at the same time, it gets very frustrating when all I do is give, give give... and explain the same concepts over and over again. It's a waste of my time when I could be spending time with my family or making money.

CWheeler
03-03-2009, 04:08 PM
I have been in business for ten years now and truly enjoy what i do. I think it is hard to compete with the weekend warriors, hacks, lowballers etc... but through hard work and determination you can create a professional image for your company no matter what the profession. I am excited to see what UAMCC can do for us as a whole. I also believe that involvement of professionals across the nation in this org or others will help advance the industry as a whole. On that note, i don't have a whole lot to offer but am willing to do whatever i can to help out. There is a handful of people on the boards that have been selfless in providing info to "newbies" to help in advancing the industry, with people like this around I believe we can make it happen. I am still young and plan on doing this for awhile so maybe someday I can offer the help that others have so graciously offer here.

topcoat
03-03-2009, 04:18 PM
As a paint contractor, I am very impressed with how generally together the pressure washing industry is. As a group of individuals, the level of professionalism is quite high, I think. Collectively as an organization, it seems that there are alot of people who work very well together and understand the power of networking. This is in strong contrast with what I observe in the paint industry, which is riddled some of the same problems that the pw industry has, only on a larger scale. The difference is how each individual reacts to it, and more importantly, the direction they take together to effect change.

You guys have to be on your toes because it takes volume to make your machine work - wow thats a pretty cool pun if you think about it - and this is reflected in the measures you guys take to always be trying to build a better business. Its been refreshing for me to be here, and as I have said, it is very helpful to me in integrating a better washing service into my paint company.

plainpainter
03-03-2009, 04:46 PM
I'll be the first to admit that I jumped ship two years ago from painting to pressure washing, thinking it would be easier money. And in many ways it was - it's allowed me to 'hang on' a few more years. It has given me a chance to take a deep breath and analyze my numbers and really focus on finding what profit margin there is in this industry - if any. I think because of it's relative 'newness' - that there is an oppurtunity to make a few bucks while the getting is good for the owner/operator. But I think eventually - in about 5 years - the market will become 'efficient' - perhaps not as cut throat as painting - but even with the efforts of the UAMCC, things are definitely going to change.

That's why I am ignoring all the blue collar remarks about just 'pound the pavement' 'just go and work' - because in the same manner that the unexamined life isn't worth living. I too believe the unexamined business model will eventually come crashing once the market becomes more efficient. That said - and perhaps guys will disagree with me - but unless you jump on the 'volume' bandwagon and plan on going big in the next 5-10 years - you might as well start looking for an exit strategy now.

My area at present does not support a 'Volume' model - but it didn't support a 'Volume' model either in the landscaping trades back in the early 80's - that's since changed. Landscape crews are now either guys that drive around with 50k worth of equipment all day long billing $30/man-hours, bringing home 15k salaries - or they are moguls of their industry with 20+ plus crews servicing entire zip codes. That's what it's going to be like in pressure washing in 10+ years.

Scott Davis
03-03-2009, 05:20 PM
My area at present does not support a 'Volume' model - but it didn't support a 'Volume' model either in the landscaping trades back in the early 80's - that's since changed. Landscape crews are now either guys that drive around with 50k worth of equipment all day long billing $30/man-hours, bringing home 15k salaries - or they are moguls of their industry with 20+ plus crews servicing entire zip codes. That's what it's going to be like in pressure washing in 10+ years.

+1:yes:

ABC pest pool and lawn is the big one in the Houston area. All 3 of those services are very saturated w/ hacks, but they have managed to build a huuuge company based on those services. Their success, of course, has to do with their marketing. Everyone knows their jingle, because its on our TVs and radio 50 times a day. They are who I have my crosshairs on.

plainpainter
03-03-2009, 05:36 PM
I've seen the 'light' Scott - I think any business can be made succesful as long as there is organization, business profit model, marketing, and good management. In fact I am starting to wonder why more trades haven't gone big? Like these handymen? That's a puke owner/operator trade that will enslave you into 60 hour work weeks for the prize of a 30k salary at the end of the year. But I can definitely see a Business go big with hundreds of 'handymen' providing services everywhere with a huge marketing budget - I am surprised it doesn't already exist actually.

I think gutter cleaning is pretty much nearly that way. Companies like Certa pro try and dominate the painting market - but for some reason never manage it? I suspect lousy management. There is that guy based in Chicago who installs rugs and flooring - Empire I believe?

I think Pressure washing is the trade to get into now, with the caveat that you want to be big, big, and more big in 5-10 years. High priced low volume owner/operators like me will be duking it out for the next 5 years with the lowballers - and then it's be big or get the h#ll out of the way.

Scott Davis
03-03-2009, 05:44 PM
www.MrHandyman.com (http://www.MrHandyman.com) This is a fairly large company. I see their trucks ALL over Houston. They just something alot of people already did, gave it a catchy name and business plan, good management and marketing, and boom, grew like crazy. And they are not cheap. I had a friend use them for some drywall repair, and it ran them like $1100 for a few hours work. But there not much risk with them either. You know they are backed by a large company, they are fully insured and have a great reputation. Even if they dont do work as good as an individual might, they are a safe company to do business with.

plainpainter
03-03-2009, 06:11 PM
www.MrHandyman.com (http://www.MrHandyman.com) This is a fairly large company. I see their trucks ALL over Houston. They just something alot of people already did, gave it a catchy name and business plan, good management and marketing, and boom, grew like crazy. And they are not cheap. I had a friend use them for some drywall repair, and it ran them like $1100 for a few hours work. But there not much risk with them either. You know they are backed by a large company, they are fully insured and have a great reputation. Even if they dont do work as good as an individual might, they are a safe company to do business with.

Scott - I think you hit the nail squarely on the head. This is the exact model for succesful business in America. And despite the plethora of opinions out there as to what a succesful business model is - opinions are like bellybuttons - everyone has one. But doesn't mean they're all noteworthy.

I think pressure washing is the next business where the independent owner/operator can step in at the ground floor - before this business goes big - and ride it to the top. If guys and gals have no intentions of going big in the next 5-10 years - then this business will leave you behind one day - leaving bottom feeders to fight over the 'scraps'.

Terry Miller
03-03-2009, 06:23 PM
Henry,
Great comments. I totally agree. I treat everything the same. If will help as needed. However, I will give you the tools for your needs, explain the right way to do the job and set you free. Even in my own family, I always made my children work for what they received. Today is no different. I did not mean tell anyone how much to charge. There is no answer I could give which would be correct. However I would show them how to figure how much to charge. Again, thank you for the great comments.
Topcoat, Being a painting contractor also, I grew my business with networking. We joined the PDCA 11 years ago and grew every year since. The networking goes on today. The info is amazing and every meeting we attend, we learn something. I believe the painting industry as a whole is a huge asset to our business. We test products for several companys and our comments are respected in various painting magazines yearly. Not because we are the smartest painters, because we share our ideas and help others, for free! LOL I've been paid back many times over with any help we ever gave out. This is where the UAMCC comes in. By Contractors for Contractors. Thank you.

Henry Bockman
03-03-2009, 06:25 PM
Okay I'm back after taking a break... I've had people calling me all week asking me the same questions over and over again and I got a bit fed up with it. Don't misunderstand, if you really need help or have a question I'd be happy to talk to anyone. BUT, don't keep asking me the same questions about the same jobs!!!!!!!!!! Geez, no one listens these days. They ask questions and never pay attention to the answer or write it down, just call back 5 minutes later and ask again. Use the search feature on the BBS, if you can't find the answer, then call me.

I think our industry is in it's teenage years and I agree with John T to some extent, 2009 is going to be tough for a lot of guys but I think he's dead wrong on the residential market doing well this year!

I see home owners cutting back and doing their own deck cleaning, using information they find on the net and BBS's like these. I see them letting the "look" of their homes go a bit so they can hang on to their money. I see a lot of guys that have been in the PW biz for a while downsize or close all together because of large overheads. I see LOTS of new guys coming in with lower prices, less overhead and what they learn on BBS's to get started up. I see wood restoration slowly tapering off as new composite materials are developed and home owners learn to do for themselves. (This may take 10 years)

I think the commercial and industrial PW markets will slow down but for those that positioned themselves properly last year, will do very well. I see a big change over in the industry over the next three years but, I think there is some good news. Everything that people delay cleaning will keep getting dirty, when things turn around those companies that are still around and can market themselves well will really "clean up" Pardon the pun!

It's going to take time for things to turn around but when they do, things will really pick up! Until then, diversify, diversify diversify! Add on services, market your company and hang on to your customers! If you can do that, and keep your overhead down you should be just fine.

topcoat
03-03-2009, 06:40 PM
Henry,
Topcoat, Being a painting contractor also, I grew my business with networking. We joined the PDCA 11 years ago and grew every year since. The networking goes on today. The info is amazing and every meeting we attend, we learn something. I believe the painting industry as a whole is a huge asset to our business. We test products for several companys and our comments are respected in various painting magazines yearly. Not because we are the smartest painters, because we share our ideas and help others, for free! LOL I've been paid back many times over with any help we ever gave out. This is where the UAMCC comes in. By Contractors for Contractors. Thank you.

Terry

I have grown my business through networking as well, just a different path than yours. You must be in an area with a really strong local chapter. I am a member, and support it as an org, however I have not found my local chapter to have the constituency so far to be as valuable a resource as you describe. Like you, we pursue other avenues as well, manufacturers, dealers, magazines, etc. We do network with other paint contractors who arent even in the PDCA, but are more like minded in approach and type of work. There are opportunities, but we have to be very proactive in finding them. I foresee the UAMCC setting the bar a little higher as an industry org.

topcoat
03-03-2009, 07:45 PM
Scott - I think you hit the nail squarely on the head. This is the exact model for succesful business in America. And despite the plethora of opinions out there as to what a succesful business model is - opinions are like bellybuttons - everyone has one. But doesn't mean they're all noteworthy.

I think pressure washing is the next business where the independent owner/operator can step in at the ground floor - before this business goes big - and ride it to the top. If guys and gals have no intentions of going big in the next 5-10 years - then this business will leave you behind one day - leaving bottom feeders to fight over the 'scraps'.

Dan

Call me a dreamer, but I believe there will always be a place for custom services. No big megabusiness is going to take that away. Who are these big mega businesses going to get to do the work? You, me, Ron Musgraves, Fenner? Doubtful. The one man bandit lowballers? Doubtful. The good employees that none of us can seem to find? Doubtful. There will always be room for good honest service oriented businesses. As you have been noting on this and other forums, its really a matter of finding the right clientele and the right amount of work for the size you are comfortable operating at. There are companies 5 times my size right in my own market that none of my customers would allow through the gate. And there are many more customers like mine. I intend to find every single one of them.

Terry Miller
03-03-2009, 08:31 PM
Terry

I have grown my business through networking as well, just a different path than yours. You must be in an area with a really strong local chapter. I am a member, and support it as an org, however I have not found my local chapter to have the constituency so far to be as valuable a resource as you describe. Like you, we pursue other avenues as well, manufacturers, dealers, magazines, etc. We do network with other paint contractors who arent even in the PDCA, but are more like minded in approach and type of work. There are opportunities, but we have to be very proactive in finding them. I foresee the UAMCC setting the bar a little higher as an industry org.
Very True. Thank you.

topcoat
03-03-2009, 08:34 PM
Very True. Thank you.

And thank you.

Scott Davis
03-03-2009, 09:14 PM
Dan

Call me a dreamer, but I believe there will always be a place for custom services. No big megabusiness is going to take that away. Who are these big mega businesses going to get to do the work? You, me, Ron Musgraves, Fenner? Doubtful. The one man bandit lowballers? Doubtful. The good employees that none of us can seem to find? Doubtful. There will always be room for good honest service oriented businesses. As you have been noting on this and other forums, its really a matter of finding the right clientele and the right amount of work for the size you are comfortable operating at. There are companies 5 times my size right in my own market that none of my customers would allow through the gate. And there are many more customers like mine. I intend to find every single one of them.

While I don't disagree with you, I am ultimately in this business for the $$ not because I love washing, I hate washing. I love business. Mr Handyman is looking at $75million in sales this year, and was formed in 2000. True they are a franchise, but why cant we franchise?

Ken Fenner
03-03-2009, 09:23 PM
Scott, I started PressurePros with the intention of franchising. I looked into the SEC laws and explored the avenue. Its expensive and you need a fairly high amount of liquid capital to do it right. It can definitely be done though.

Scott Davis
03-03-2009, 09:37 PM
Scott, I started PressurePros with the intention of franchising. I looked into the SEC laws and explored the avenue. Its expensive and you need a fairly high amount of liquid capital to do it right. It can definitely be done though.

Have you considered VC's or AI's to raise the capital needed?

Ken Fenner
03-03-2009, 09:53 PM
I honestly don't know if I have it in me at this stage of my life, Scott. My target income is $500K per year. Not an easy target but not buy a yacht and sail the world at age 45 goal either. I have gotten to the point where money is balanced against having a life. I do love business but I don't want to be married to it for the rest of my life. I am leaning towards smaller, self managed businesses and internet models to build a nice residual income stream. I would rather own ten modestly earning businesses than have one mega biz that makes $500K. Thats why I like franchises. They run themselves.

Scott Davis
03-03-2009, 10:06 PM
My ideal situation would be to build this up, franchise it and then sell the whole kit and kaboodle to a larger corporation and use that money to start new businesses. Serial entrepreneurship if you will. Or buy up similar businesses around the country and just rebrand them under our company name/model.


In regards to your statement above, I am the opposite. i would rather have 1 well run mega biz that makes $500k rather than 10 small ones giving me a headache, and having to deal with different business models. Seems like you'd be scattered and wouldnt master any of them....

Ken Fenner
03-03-2009, 10:16 PM
Scott, it all depends on the business. I own two franchises and I spend about an hour per week in each of them. They are so systemized and the managers in them so loyal and dependable that I just don't have to micromanage either one. The same rules apply as they do in other business. You are as strong as your systems and your employees. You have a young company so I certainly can relate to your thoughts on this. You are going to find that as you grow, the issues that require your time multiply exponentially. I can buy ten franchises tommorow (if I had the capital) that earn $50K for the owner. To build a $3 million dollar gross per year business (especially a service oriented one) can take 15+ years with a ton of growing pains in between.

James Foley
03-03-2009, 10:20 PM
I've always had a simple philosophy in my service Biz ..... Can I find 200 hundred people to spend 1000 dollars or 400 people to spend 500 and target them. I just got confirmation on 7k from 2 people . I have narrowed my targets to a very specific type person not effected by the economy.

There will always be a Niche or Niche's within an industry for specialization and for Reputation. I don't advertise but for some Spring and Fall Home improvement Ad's. Now I am back into it because of competition and I got killed last year by the Economy. I was caught off guard last year with gas prices and Wall ST and it's effect on the people I deal with for my work! Web is getting done and I'm going to get some of those Business cards people hand out. LOL

I disagree with Henry about Composites. Deck builders are starting to use PT lumber more as a choice again. Over the last 6 years Composites killed PT because of the CCA problem but it's making a comeback( I am refered by some builders) and have seen a spike in new PT. Price is also a factor it's cheaper. Do it yourself'ers may choose composites more due to the Maint. issues and people will forego having their decks done this years. I think you will see a lot of Cash deals going on to reduce price !

I think the industry will be a challenge this year but as a whole if you are Specialized in niche markets and have a Reputation. It will be very good going foreword . Just keep the clients you start with !

Henry Bockman
03-03-2009, 11:55 PM
Hey Jim you may have a point about the PT decks, I know 4 or 5 deck builders in my area and they say everyones switching over to composites but that's just 5 companies in the DC area. People around here tend to think differently. I'm also a bit out of touch with wood restoration since I'm thinking about phasing it out of my operation, I just haven't come to a definite decision on it yet.

I do think residential markets are going to seriously shrink this year. There will still be work out there but not nearly as much as last year. So far I know of 15 companies in my area that have closed, others have cut employees back and cut overhead in other ways as well.

Andrew McBride
03-04-2009, 12:58 AM
Henry still having meeting on 14

Ron Musgraves
03-04-2009, 01:09 AM
Dan

Call me a dreamer, but I believe there will always be a place for custom services. No big megabusiness is going to take that away. Who are these big mega businesses going to get to do the work? You, me, Ron Musgraves, Fenner? Doubtful. The one man bandit lowballers? Doubtful. The good employees that none of us can seem to find? Doubtful. There will always be room for good honest service oriented businesses. As you have been noting on this and other forums, its really a matter of finding the right clientele and the right amount of work for the size you are comfortable operating at. There are companies 5 times my size right in my own market that none of my customers would allow through the gate. And there are many more customers like mine. I intend to find every single one of them.


I think I like you Scott, independant contractors. I like itttt

Henry Bockman
03-04-2009, 09:49 AM
Yes the meeting is still on the 14th. I'll send out an email later this week about it but I don't want to hi-jack this thread.

AJ, what do you see happening in the PW industry over the next three years? Or how is the PW market doing in your area right now?

topcoat
03-04-2009, 07:34 PM
I think I like you Scott, independant contractors. I like itttt

As long as we have a service that people want/need, and can deliver it at a high level, we will be there.

The mega model for residential and commercial services won't be happening if for no other reason than the challenge of finding the workers to do the work. Its not like retail where the big boxes crushed the local hardware stores.

Ron Musgraves
06-15-2012, 03:20 PM
Big Mike how are you
I think that this industry will not be taken seriously by the general public until the CWA is enforced on a nationwide level. Unfortunately this doesn't appear to happening anytime soon. This is the only way I can see the weekend warrior being taken out of the equation. Until that happens, I'm afraid that we won't truly be recognized as an "industry". This year will see a dramatic increase of new pressure washing contractors simply because of the downturn in construction. These guys know how to use tools, and its EZ to throw a pressure washer in the back of your truck and make a few bucks. Since the prez extended unemployment benefits to 18 months, many of these folks will be looking for side work. If I was going to start a business this year, it certainly wouldn't be pressure washing. There are too many other business ventures that would be easier to start on a tight budget. I see handyman type businesses as the real boom this year, and many of them will offer pressure washing as a service.

John, I think just the opposite. Residential customers will have a lot more people vying for their dollars, and many know someone who's hurting personally and want to help them out. I think residential work will fall off dramatically, and commercial will hold steady for a while longer. Its harder for newcomers to the "industry", to break into commercial work than residential.

The best way to hold on in this economy is to reaffirm your commitment to quality and service to your current and past clients. Let them know that although economic times are tough, your level of service will remain steady. Hold on to what you've got.