Recessions/Economic Downturns

What is the outlook for pressure washing in a recession? How did those of you in business at the time fair during 2008-10? What can we do to better prepare our businesses for economic downturns?

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Around where I’m located, I get a lot of work from hoa’s sending out notices to homeowners. Recession ain’t gonna stop these hoa management companies from fining home owners. I live in an upper middle class to upper class area, so I would imagine it would be a much different outcome for more rural areas.

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Make yourself more valuable in your market. If things get really bad I’ll wash the house for free if they want to deck done for $400+. :joy:


Would you mind expanding on this a bit more? What would this look like in practice?

I was thinking about this too. Looks like were heading into a light(hopefully light) recession here. I live in south Texas, and here we dont get hit as hard as the rest of country because we have a very diverse market and occupational field. But Oil is down, the market took a dip. And I know a lot of familys here are in the oil field, or live off market dividends and investments. All of a sudden those familys dont have expendable income to spend on House washing, even if the HOA does get on them, there more likley to do it them selves, or hire the $79 teenager with an electric washer to blast their home.

I believe Pressure washing business are almost directly affected by the economy because we are hired by the people. the community. if the people are having hard times(less money) it would seem so would we. They are not willing to spend as much, if at all on “un-necessary” expenses, or look for cheaper options.

Just think what you do when when your money flow drops. You save more, cut back dining out/entertainment, penny pinch. food/shelter becomes more priority.

Just my thoughts.

My thought as well. I live in NW Ohio. My customer base is overwhelmingly elderly. Do retired people/people on social security usually fare well during a recession?

I can’t comment on social security I have no idea how that works. For example my grandmother lives on that, and the investments she has in the bank( cd’s etc) I remember back in 2010( or 08? around then) her cd’s went from paying her like 2k a month to $200 a month. the FED lowerd interest rates, which helps some people who owe money on homes, can refinance and get lower rates etc, but hurts people with invested money living on interest.

My customer base is also usually 70% 55+. It just depends. keep an eye on the fed, the market, different people benefit from different changes in the market depending on how they have their money placed. the over all picture I think is, unless the world come crashing down, our businesses should be “OK” we may swing with the market here and there, but so do all the other businesses. The key is to have a buffer, money saved, and keep your options open. dont ever invest ALL your time and ALL your money into 1 single thing. its risky. it may work, it may not.

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Frankly, the upper middle class still need to look good to their peers, and if WC is anything like PW, there will still be a ‘need’ for those services. I don’t think my WC business slowed down one bit during the last recession.

317,000 jobs added this last month…don’t see a recession anytime soon.

Build your business off of HOA s and scrap the bottom of the pond sucker customer.


In our area housing has fallen way off but Amazon is building several new huge warehouses. Department stores are barely hanging on.

Math: If a recession makes it so you can reasonably make more money by getting a job and washing “part time” due to demand, well… buckle in and clock in.

If you feel like a recession is going to hurt business start applying for union laborer jobs now. Good pay and hired by the government enough that you’ll have work and enough money hopefully to keep up with your marketing. There’s no union for pressure washing so there’s no conflict of interest.

Have 10 different plans. If the wind won’t serve, take to the oars. But never stop marketing.


I’ll follow up on this comment tomorrow. Got plans tonight.

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To answer you question, yes it will affect it some, depending on your mix of business and your client base. Just be prepared and don’t go crazy buying stuff that you really don’t need just because business has been good past few years. Try to keep your fixed overhead relatively low. Keep looking to expand your client base and mix.

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From the most recent industry reports we should expect to see 12% growth in our industry this year.

One thing that is going to help us is the fact that the new generation does nothing on their own. They don’t know how to change a tire, hang a mini-blind, or fix a leaky toilet. They are stuck calling “Dad” for help. When it comes to washing a house, or a roof, they are going to call a professional. Auto detailing business will also increase in business.

These people want office jobs, desk jobs, so our industry will become less dependent on the economy when people aren’t DIYing it.

Just my opinion from research and the most recent reports I could find.


Aaron… I think JROD sweaters are silly…

But this content is fantastic. I hope you stick around to educate folks with information like this which is a lot more helpful than a nozzle sweater. Build trust and add more content like that and I’ll buy a nozzle sweater just to send to @Innocentbystander


If you do I’ll send you a lance cone to go around your turbo nozzle.