How much income should I expect in my first year?

Hi My name is John Somers and I have started a new pressure washing business with my partner Shannon Hoops. The name of our company is Aqua Clean Pro Pressure Washing and we are located in Lincolnton, NC.

I got into this business after loosing my job in the banking industry in March of 2014. I was in banking for seven years and the bank decided to eliminate my entire department. I was simply looking for a way to make ends meet until I found another job. By surprise the PW business took off with me simply running a few small classified adds in a couple local papers and by creating a Facebook page.

Now I am at a fork in the road as to go back into banking or try and make a career out of pressure washing??? I just attended the PWRA convention in Nashville and met a lot of great people whom have already help me a ton with various questions.

[FONT=Arial Black][SIZE=5]So Here’s what I really need to know… Is it realistic to make $100,000 the first year.[/SIZE][/FONT]

If I went back into banking I would earn around $80K PLUS per year working about 60 hours per week. I’m married, have two kids and must provide a living for our family. My wife is a teacher and makes around $40K per year and I am covered on her insurance. My business partner and I are both hard workers and are dedicated to making this happen. Our goal is to both work together for the rest of 2014 and through the Summer of 2015. At that point we hope to add another truck and split off doubling our production.

I have made the investment in (2) 8 gal per minute PW at 3000 PSI, (2) surface cleaner and a Fatboy roof cleaner all from Bob at Pressuretek so we have the correct equipment and are staying busy with little to no marketing. We are working with Anya to create a website and purchased ResponsiBid from Curt at the convention in Nashville.

What should I do and what might I REALISTICALLY make my first year?

Sell the equipment to your partner and go back to the bank. Or, get rid of the partner. No good can come from it. 100k split down the middle is 50K minus all the cost of running a business and you made $35k divided by 2080 hours and you made $16 an hour, but you really worked more than 40 hours a week so maybe $12 an hour. Be a banker.

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sounds like you’re off to a great start!! What you dont have is skill and experience which lead to higher quality and shorter time on site and more jobs per day/week/month/year. On top of that, you have a more than a few competitors in your state, both skilled and hacks, beating on the same doors trying to get the same dollar from the same customers.

Is it possible to gross 100k in the first year, maybe. Is it probable, no. And after expenses (gas, advertising, insurance, maintenance on equipment and vehicles, replacing parts, etc…) you will be splitting the net with your partner. So if you did gross 100k you would net 10-20k each, maybe.

Hi John,

It will be twice as hard and take twice as long to get to where you think you are going.

But the beauty of it all?

You can lie down at the end of the journey without second guessing what might have been.

You already know what comes with the bank gig.

You looking for soft or adventure?

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Do not let the bank job go (guaranteed income).

It’s way too early in the game to gamble with the needs of your family.

I have a full-time career and run my business on my days off.

Having the income from my career and the extra (very good) part-time income from the business is stellar.

You say you want to make $100K right?

Well your already at $80K with the bank.

Making another $25K to $35K or more on a part-time basis on your days off is VERY realistic and probable (with the right system in place).

Im looking at my business as a very nice supplemental income and a great retirement gig when the time comes.

Just focus on building the business every year and you should be golden.

Just my 2 cents…


Thanks for the feedback…We’ve been generating $1,500 - $2,000 per week in sales with our largest week being over $3,500 with little to no marketing and experience. It looked like this was an awesome opportunity but not so sure from the feedback.

Any additional advise is greatly appreciated.:confused:

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Most guys don’t care BUT i’m gonna say it anyway - While doing this (having a real job and PWing on the side) you are taking money away from the guys who do this full time as their ONLY form of income to feed their families

Hey John, here’s the thing. I’m not sure you’re asking the right question. You’re asking if it’s possible without stating what you’re willing to do to get to that mark.
In my opinion, you can make whatever you want to make. It’s more about what are you willing to do to get there. Are you willing to put yourself out there, boost your advertisements, cold call, network, keep longer hours than ideal, etc…
My feeling is that everywhere I go, everything is dirty. The potential is limitless in regards to work flow. What are your limits to achieve the $100,000 goal? Money? Time? Desire? Not stepping outside your comfort zone?

All Clean Power Washing Solutions, LLC

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Tough decision John. I did the two job gig for 16yrs before I retired from my other job. The last 7yrs with my other job I cracked over a 100k/yr PW because I had employees.

My advice would be to go back to banking and do Powerwashing as a 2nd job. 80k after taxes is around 60k(+ or -) take home. Since you have a partner with your Powerwashing business your going to have to make 200k-300k(depending on your setup) to clear 60k for yourself.

If your really confident then give yourself a couple of years with your partner and do the Powerwashing “peddle to the medal” and see how you do.

Tough decision-- best of luck!

He said the bank job is 60 hrs a week (Consistently working 60 hours a week sounds like a death trap) there would be no time to run a business with that job.

Running a business is just like everything else in life. You get out of it what you put into it. If you are worth 100k a year then you will get there (It will probably take a couple years). Its going to require tons of effort though and you can’t just clock out and stop thinking about the business like you do working at a bank.

Where do I start…


Not that it’s anyone’s business, but I started this business a little over 4 years ago to supplement lost income when my wife lost her job.

This was right at the time of having twin babies and closing a new home.

My part-time business and income was used to continue feeding my family and provide a roof over their head.

My business has grown over the years and I plan to continue in that direction.

If you haven’t realized, we live in NJ.

You know as well as I do it’s expensive and difficult (especially with a family).

Sorry we are going off topic here, but you struck a little nerve Jim. LOL.

It’s all good.


I’ve owned two business in the past and by no means am I afraid of hard work. I actually get obsessed with work and most times don’t know how to separate work from family. I really enjoy the challenge of owning my own business but just have no ideal of exactly what realistic income expectations are.

My projects were $100,000 in sales putting 20% back into the company for operating cost then splitting $40 between my partner and I the first year. I just have no ideal if that’s realistic or not…I’m sure a lot of you are hard workers and I don’t want anyone to take this the wrong way but I can hold my own and work like crazy. I’m not looking for a 8:00 to 5:00 job, I’m looking for a career.

I completely respect the people who are in this business as their Full-Time job. I’m not trying to be a P/T guy just deciding if I put all my eggs into the basket can BOTH my partner and I make $100,000 realistically withing the next two or three years???

Thanks for all the comments…

Try making a living when your only income in from PWing and some guy who has a real job and is doing this on the side comes along and says his family is more important than your family - that will strike a nerve!!

We’ve had 4 casinos close this year which is hitting the local economy harder than ever before. I know exactly how hard it is to make a living here and how much harder its going to get because PWing is my ONLY income. Thousands of employees out of work, unknown number of support businesses loosing work or going out of business = a lot of lost customers for all service related businesses. The “S” has “HTF” down here and my nerves are shot!!!

I have no problem helping anyone in my shoes but not someone who has a real job to go to every week, 12 months a year.

That sounds pretty tough Jim, I hope things turn around up there.

All Clean Power Washing Solutions, LLC

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By no means did I plan on stepping on anyone’s toes. I was just trying to get some more information and possible expectations from folks who have been in the business. I too have lost my job, I don’t have any offers on table to get back into banking so I’m just exploring options and trying to provide for my family like everyone else.

Thanks for all the your comments!

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my intent was not to offend anyone, I just needed to blow off some steam

I would seriously consider ditching the partner, partnerships are very very rare that work out well in the long run. You guys could be each others network and help each other, and still be on great terms.

in a couple of years both of you could easily be doing 100k with the right focus and plan, and very important the right market, make sure it can support the business you wish to grow.

[MENTION=11035]AquaClean[/MENTION] … I say go for it … You seem to have the drive, determination, etc to make it happen … I will say this the numbers you are pulling without advertising is not typical. My only suggestion is to get the other truck rig going next year and split with each of you having a helper with 2 machines going on each trailer… You will not be able to met your hourly goal of $125 and up/hour each with both owners on the same truck

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Thanks for the feedback…Currently we are running two PW’s on one trailer. Our goal to to work together and learn together until next Spring/ Summer then split as you said and have two teams running.

Hope’s and Dream’s at this point.

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If you intend to grow a business, I would suggest that no more than fifty percent of the revenue be used for wages and profit.

Prove me wrong. I’ve not seen it done in a while.

In the early years, we spent $.25 of every dollar we received on customer acquisition.