First Real Day Pounding The Pavement - Lessons Learned

Ok, wow. I had no idea how educational the simple act of wandering through a neighborhood with a bag of flyers could be. I spent about 2 hours hanging door flyers in a fairly well to do neighborhood today, and boy did I learn a lot!

First thing I learned was that I have competition in that area! While I was out, I spotted a couple guys from a lawn care company whose truck specifically mentioned pressure washing, although they weren’t doing that at the moment. Additionally, I spotted a second company at different house that billed themselves as “the 911 of property damage”. Their rigs didn’t mention PW, although they seemed likely to be able to that, among other things. Also, I had a conversation with a nice elderly lady who wished me luck with my business, but that she was lucky to have a son who owns a professional PW unit, and he does her driveway for her. This brings me to the second thing I learned…

Some of the competition hasn’t got the first clue what they’re doing. After that lady told me about her son, I glanced over at her driveway. It looked like she had hosted an all-weekend remote control car drag race. I noticed a few other driveways with similar quality work, although most were just unwashed of course.

Finally, I learned that some people are upset by door flyers because if someone is gone on vacation, it’s a sign that the house is empty if a flyer stays there for days. I have to say I find that somewhat hard to argue with, but my advertising budget is low, and I have to get the word out. The guy who talked to me suggested I put the notices under welcome mats or something, I suppose that could work except that not everyone has those. Also this same guy said he “wasn’t sure if it was legal”, and even told me himself that he had talked to the police about it before and that they couldn’t do anything. The conversation was perfectly civil on both sides, but I could tell he was less than excited about my presence. He held on to my ad though, and he was last house in my route anyway. I mean I get that it’s annoying, but if you’re serious about starting a business, you have to tell people about it ¯_(ツ)_/¯

Anyway, just wanted to share with you guys how it went, and even though I’m fully prepared for the possibility that I may not get any calls from this run, and any I do get could just be angry people telling me where I can shove my flyers, it was an incredibly valuable experience that I intend to repeat often. Great exercise too, I’m gonna sleep good tonight I have a feeling.


Good training. Keep at it.

UPDATE - I got a sale! I was advertising driveway cleanings with a deadline of Sunday to get a free porch and front walkway included, got a text from someone earlier in the evening, and gave him a call. I upsold the sidewalk, curb, and drainage channel as well for a total of $159, and, the best part of all, the guy said if I did a good job he would have me do his office too!

I’m definitely gonna continue the marketing push since it’s only the beginning, but such early results are encouraging to say the least. Getting my foot in the door will be huge, and I’m really excited for the potential references and social proof of my work. Woo!


Just continue to do it…ya gotta start somehow and it works.

I just LOVE a happy ending.

If you’re doing surface cleaning, I hope you’ve invested in a good surface cleaner. If you haven’t yet, I recommend the Hammerhead for bang for the buck, but the Whisper Wash Classic has a lot of fans.


Thanks! I’m actually planning on getting a surface cleaner today or tomorrow.

When hanging door hangers, I’ve starting writing rough quotes on the back. I also target houses. If they keep their yard up and could use a wash, I hang one. If they dont keep their yard maintained I dont think they will have me wash their house. Im not wasting money on houses that I dont think will result in work. Sundays are good days to hang for me because more people are out and about in the neighbor hoods. I’ll walk up and ask if they mind talking for a second. Some say they mind and I just keep walking.


That’s not a bad idea. So far I’ve been sticking to mid-day, my reasoning being that I don’t want people to feel obligated to talk to me or like I’m bugging them. I figure flyers when they aren’t home is good middle ground - pretty hard to miss, but also easy to dismiss/throw away if you so choose.

I dont mind applying a little pressure. Sometimes its all thats needed to secure the job. Generally if they listen to me and there is a need, I can make the sale.

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Hah, “apply a little pressure”… but seriously, I do see what you mean. There’s a mobile park in my neighborhood advertising several units for sale with a phone number, I’m going to give them a ring to see if they’d be interested in a package deal for multiple units.

Good lessons there for you. Good to know it is paying off already.
I am planning to do exactly the same as soon when my unit arrives. I will be bringing the chronicles of my experience here on this forum.
I am just setting up. Never washed before. My market will be in Lagos Nigeria! And, yes i have not yet seen a PW truck yet in my many years of living here. I am just hoping the venture will be worth it.

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Awesome, I hope you’re successful as well! So you’ve purchased your unit already? I’m starting with a rental at least for now, but I’m hoping I won’t have to do that for long. I did buy a surface cleaner yesterday though, it’s not the one I really wanted to get, but the store I got it from (Lowe’s) only had that one physically in stock and I need one by Saturday. They have quite a generous return policy though, so I may just use my little Briggs and Stratton SC for a little bit and then return it and order a better SC.

That B&S surface cleaner is a toy. NONETHELESS, you MUST have the machine to power a real SC. Others will know better than me, but I don’t think you can really power a true SC with less than 4GPM. I, too started with a toy SC, and spent all my money earned on new equipment. My Hammerhead is a strong weapon in my arsenal.


And, just exactly WHERE is the integrity in doing this?

Is this the way that you are going to run your business?

Are you going to try to run your business on welfare?

This is a $50 piece of equipment, for crying out loud…have some integrity and don’t return it for a refund after having used it in your business. If it fails, that is different, but don’t take advantage of their policy just because you can.


I love this forum. The people who stick around want this industry to improve. I’m glad people get called out, when there’s something that needs called out, and the people that get called out think “dang, this was a knucklehead move” and improve.

Good luck finding that in many of the other PW forums. Has the UAMCC completely folded yet? I heard they imploded a few months ago. That’s for a different post I suppose.


I suppose that’s a fair point. If it makes you feel any better, I still have it and don’t really plan to return it, although I think I should point out that Lowe’s is free to alter their return policy in any way they please; the signs inside even say that you can return stuff you aren’t satisfied with, not only in the case of a malfunction. I, for one, think this is an awesome way to take care of your customers, and it’s one reason I often pick Lowe’s over HD. To date I have never actually returned anything to Lowe’s for any reason, but it gives me a lot of peace of mind to know I can if I need to. Capitalism works both ways, they’re getting a more loyal long term customer by having a generous return policy, and I get peace of mind when I purchase stuff from them, neither party is obligated to engage in business with the other if they feel slighted :slight_smile:

Out of curiosity, in your two hours, how many flyers did you get out? Did you get any additional sales off the first round of flyers? Have you hit the same houses up again for round two yet?

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Honestly I lost count, probably like 120ish though. I have not distributed to any of the same houses so far.

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