And this is how a $99 guy is born

Just saw this post on my Facebook feed. Couldn’t stop laughing for 5 minutes…

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Oh heck, I own a pressure washer. Yet I only use it to clean out the horse trailers I pull, & once in a while at the barn I work for. I refuse to do pressure washing for hire. I don’t have enough time to spare. I use it to make my primary job easier when I need it. I’m only here to learn about pressure washers, & techniques & ways to clean dirty things.

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Ugh, this is embarrassing. Haha

I bet you 100 bucks that 5 people already message him and in a week he will be on this site asking questions about how to fix the lines that magically appeared on his neighbors house

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I don’t think this is about you then. This is about a guy going and getting a couple hundred dollar machine and then requesting to do services for others as a professional. In that case, the individual does not really know what they are doing, don’t have the proper tools, knowledge, experience, or working as a legit business.

Most of us on this board have invested tens of thousands of dollars into our equipment, chemicals, insurance, taxes, etc, etc, etc. It is disturbing on many levels to see this. First, this guy will most likely do more damage then good, both to surfaces he works on and to the industry as a result. When I am busting my hump every day to grow my business, operate at a profitable level and a guy like this just pops up out of nowhere, not a legit business with a license, pay taxes, etc. and takes food off my table while also leaving a wake of carnage in their path, I do not take kindly to that.

How would you like it, if in whatever business you are in, someone just shows up, lowball pricing, taking away YOUR customers, doing a crappy job that you know will only hurt your industry thus yourself?

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I’m not concerned about $99 guy, I get irritated when I ask about PW and the homeowner says, “oh my husband does that already”, and clearly it was not done right, or not at all.

It gets worse because all I can say is “ok, no problem” as over the years I’ve learned not to challenge his work, tends to deflate their ego and cause problems.

Did a house yesterday, super nice people…but he did his back patio with a wand and mentioned it took him three hours. He was proud of his work, tiger stripes and all.:flushed:

He was however absolutely fascinated with my surface cleaner. I gently suggested he get a B&S 14" homeowner version next time he wants to surface clean. :ok_hand:

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A recent customer of mine mentioned, after I finished washing their 8000 square foot driveway, that their husnand used to wash it but is now getting too old to do it again.

I was thinking “what, you mean because he doesn’t have enough years left to actually finish it?!” To their credit, they did finally hire a professional…

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Ok I laughed at that one.

Maybe someone should contact that guy and direct him to the web site. Everyone has to start somewhere. I got started with a 2.3 gallon cold water unit. I actually still have it in the shop. Of course its busted but it always reminds me of where I came from.

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Well, good luck to him.

I don’t compete with them…seems that a lot of the yard guys in my area do that kind of thing, also. If folks make comments about my quotes being high, I readily tell them they can get a yard guy to do the work for them…and keep moving.

I probably lose business doing it, but I emphasize when talking to prospective customers that I am not trying to sell them anything…I am telling them what I can do for them…IF they would like for me to do to the work. For the most part, if they mention they are getting their yard guy to give them a quote, also…I pretty much just blow them off and leave. I am not competing with their yard guy…but I understand them getting a quote from the guy that has been doing their lawn…he is a known commodity and I am not.

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Here’s my two cents…I started pressure washing becuase it was part of a contract we won for cleaning new homes with builders in our area. Luckily I had several months lead time as they are all new neighborhoods going in. To see what I was getting in to I started watching YouTube videos and one of the guys (Rob Anderson) recommended this forum. I read a ton of posts, and continue to do so, to ensure that I do the best job possible in the most efficient manner. I also offer PW for our residential home cleaning customers.
I am part time at this and probably will remain so for the forseeable future. I am a retired pilot from the USAF, have a Masters Degree in Safety and Health, and I am working on my MBA. I try to be a professional in all that I do…educating myself in whatever I am doing and maintaining high standards of service and performance.

My point is that just because I offer PW as an “add-on” service to our home cleaning business does not make me a “hack” or less professional. I price each job for what I believe my time is worth ($60 to $100 per hour) depending on the difficulty and the relationship we have with the customer.

A few of the responses I see on this forum tend to promote the idea or imply that only people building a full-time business are “professionals”.

I thank everyone who helps out the “part-timers” and steers us in the right direction. And yes, I still wish I would have read a bit more and bought a different machine :stuck_out_tongue:

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I agree that you can be a PT PWer and be professional. Is it typical? Probably not. Several of the regular posters on here are part-timersand show their professionalism.

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Holy moly, that’s awesome. I was USAF but essentially backed you guys up operating in the Gulf, 92-96.

So TDC…top dead center?

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“Professional” to me is about mindset and integrity, not about how many hours you put into the business. I’m willing to bet at least 90% of the fulltimers here have a similar outlook.

There were some old-school posters like JCinNJ who felt that anyone power washing on a part time basis was stealing food directly off his table… but that attitude seems pretty rare among the current commentariat. And coincidentally, I hear JC’s out of the business now…

That’s what I think of every time I see his username. But if I had to guess, I’d say it probably stands for “Thomas D. Collett”

I love it when names have a double meaning like that. When my mom first started cleaning houses, her business name was TLC, for Tammy L____ Cleaning. And then it became Thorough L____ Cleaning when my dad quit his job to join her fulltime.

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Agree 100% (and much more succinct)…mindset and integrity! And you’re very close…TDC is my Family members…Thomas (son) Daniel (son) Carolina (wife)

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My comments were not in regards to if someone is full-time or part-time, has add-on pw services.

It is the hack job of buying a $300 machine and marketing yourself as a professional business. Go get a license, pay taxes, learn your trade, etc. if this is what you want to do. There is plenty of work for us all.

It does make it difficult from my insurance agent to customers having to explain that I do not leave a wake of damage just because some hack job does. It also undermines the industry by lowering pricing when these guys start doing what they are doing - if I didn’t have insurance, truck payment, equipment payments, taxes, etc to pay, then yes, I could do your driveway for $50, but to have a legit business means I have real cost.

You really want to know where it is bad - lawn service. Around here advertising $25 a cut…No money in that what so ever. Why? Every guy with a 1980 truck and about $500 in equipment is out there driving the market down. My buddy is CEO of a large landscape company in Houston and he says forget about maintenance. Too many $25 guys to even try and make that work. They focus on major commercial construction installs and large company service contracts.

BINGO.

I am in a poor area…my hourly rate is a lot less than most guys on this forum…I will not work for less than $100 per hour and I average about $115. It takes 50% of the money that I take in to cover my expenses…and I ain’t working for less than $50 per hour net.

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If I put 40 hours a week into my job at the road department and 70-80 hours a week into my Power Washing Buisness what does that make me. My awnser is tired.

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I have almost always figured that even though I have a pressure washer, I’m not in that business. I also have a airless paint sprayer, yet I ain’t a painter. I have picked up certain equipment that will make my life a little easier from time to time. I consider it an investment in my life… I just view it as I will not have to rent/ borrow that equipment to repaint my house, or the barn at work. Just wanting to make my life a little easier & maybe cheaper…

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If that guy takes a way your coustomer, He shouldn’t be your coustomer in the first place.

I think a little differently, I don’t mind these guys… they weed out them selfs… They also make you look better…

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