Brand new to the business

Hows it going, I resently got a hold of Troy Bilt washer, with 3000 psi, 2.8 gpm. I am starting to make business cards and flyers. I am having some trouble coming up with formulas for charging. By hour by square foot? What is best? Another thing is, I dont have a water tank, should I put it on the flyers and cards that I will need to be using their water? Any other tips or advice would be greatly appreciated, the more I learn the better, thank you.

I would hold off on cards and flyers until you got some equipment, training and figured out how you are going to charge. Post your mission statement and business plan.


Agree with iBS. You’ve got a lot of research to do still and after doing so, you’ll probably change your game plan. For starters, your machine won’t pull from a tank of water. As far as pricing, most here can’t help you worh that because what would take you all day with your machine, would take most of us an hour.

You really need to spend a few hours a day for a couple weeks READING through this forum before you start anything. Because the 9 minutes you’ve spent so far just isn’t gonna cut it.


alright good to know, any idea where I should start? Basic concepts?

Alright, so dont jump right into it. I am gonna get to know the machine while doing family, friends, and neighborhood driveways. And I plan on purchasing a surface cleaner soon. Any suggestions on what I should be researching?

When I started out, I practiced on family and friends for free. I did end up making some pretty bad mistakes and learned but if I had to do it all over again I would have invested in taking a course or two and/or working with a pressure washing company for a few months to learn the business. Pressure/Power washing is pretty risky if you dont know what you are doing and you can easily ruin a lot of stuff.

Here’s my $0.02:

  1. Set up a entity and get insured.

  2. Write up a business plan and include what services to offer (soft wash, high pressure, decks, etc) and just pick a pricing that you can live with. As you do more work you will figure out what to charge based on you area, overhead, time it takes to complete a job, etc. I started too high, went too low, then found a happy spot that I liked and was competitive with other guys in my area.

  3. Get educated on what you will be doing! Take a class, do research, whatever you have to do to get to the point that you are confident in what you will be selling.

  4. Make a website, cards, flyers, etc. I use for website, Homeadvisor, and Facebook alot.

This is what I would do. Im sure a lot of old vets here will have stuff to add as well.

Good luck on you busines.


Thank you very much, very helpful info

What are some of the mistakes that you made?

I cut deep gouges in the wood siding on my brother’s house. There was no warning. It happened so fast.

I pulled the pressure hose around the machine and it sat on the hot muffler. That is an expensive mistake.

I didn’t know about technique when pressure washing decks so I butchered my first one and left all kinds of lines.

I once applied too much pressure to a piece of siding a shredded it.

I used to pressure wash houses which took 5 or 6 hrs per house. I had no clue that soft wash options existed. That changed everything for me as I was loosing money by wasting so much time. Plus I was not actually killing algae or mold spores with a solution to prevent a comeback in near future.

I once sprayed down a guy’s brand new Z car with over spray cuz it was pretty windy. He was not very happy but he did get a free car wash…lol. Seriously, watch your over spray!

I once nearly ruined a white front porch from sliding my black hoses up and down it leaving black streaks. Thankfully a little Goo Gone got it all off but I was sure I was in for it.

Thankfully thats a bout it. I may be lucky, I dunno

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I once made a mistake but turned or I was mistaken :slight_smile:


ive only been solo for a short time but ive done loads of research and still research,
just my two cents but some things to have to make your business a business after getting proper licensing/insurance:

-a belt driven machine that can pump out at least 4 gallons per minute, psi doesnt have to be crazy high. many new to the business thing pressure is everything but its not. proper soap application is key 90 percent of the time.
-at least 150 foot of pressure washer hose

  • enough water hose to reach a customers spigot ( i carry 200 feet)
    -a small buffer tank —if you stay with only 4gpm you can even use a 35 gallon tank, if you go bigger than 4gpm get a bigger tank. Some dont even use buffer tanks because water flow is good in their area. my area, im lucky if i can pull 3gpm with my machine, so the small tank keeps my machine well fed.
  • a downstream set up (a small hose coming off the hose that is between your machine and your pressure washer hose able to siphon so you can pull chemical from even a five gallon bucket for now).
    -with the downstream set up, the downstream nozzle kit for your wand (at is simple and easy to use. I can soap and rinse a 2.5 story house from the ground with this awesome piece with my 4gpm machine.
    -fittings to put this together! and yellow gas tape to put on threads, ive had good results with it as opposed to regular teflon tape. ( youtube has some great tutorials on how to get plumbing done)
  • a surface cleaner, appropriate to whatever machine you get. the specs are easy to figure out.
    -hose reels for above mentioned hoses are a huge help, I just got some this year. zero regrets spending the money on them.
    -research, like they said, an hr or two a day, just educating yourself. “downstreaming” " “sh” “vegetation” “overspray” are a few. like a basic housewash mix for some is 2 gallons of bleach, a few oz of some kind of industrial soap like elemonator, and 3 gallons of water mixed up in your five gallon bucket. sometimes you might have to go heavier on the bleach if the situation calls for it.

read read read…

hope this is even a little helpful


Very good info. If you were doing stucco would you go straight bleach and a little soap?

straight as in from a pump sprayer? or while downstreaming?


If its green algae then down streaming straight may work but if its black, down streaming wont work. you will need a roof mix

Like with a pump sprayer

That might take a while if its a really dirty stucco house. You can use an xjet, pump up, 12V, AODD, gas pump, booster pump, anything that can shoot dedicated mixes.

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