Residential Business Plan input

Hey everyone. Name is Ryan, and a co-worker of mine and I are currently in the planning phase of bringing a residential siding/roof/flatwork pressure washing business online. Just wanted to post our current plan and equipment list to get some input from you experienced guys on what we are missing / shouldn’t buy/ should buy etc. Marketing side, we plan to utilize a facebook page and wordpress site, craigslist ads, print a couple thousand door hangers and roll through subdivisions, and just general word of mouth. We also plan to form a LLC when we decide to pull the trigger so all purchases can be taxed appropriately and we can get insurance to cover our asses.

We are young guys who are skilled with computers, so building the digital side of the business is not my main concern. What I don’t have in depth knowledge of is equipment. So here is our current list with best known examples online (Where we buy them may differ when it comes time to purchase)

I already own a truck, V8 F150, and I also own a two leaf blowers, a stihl chainsaw, two weed eaters, and other tools that we plan on carrying with us to offer additional services if needed. Also plan on adding a ladder rack to the truck and getting a 25+ ft extendable ladder. The trailer in that document is just an example of what we are looking for/budgeting. There are a lot of local trailer options for me (near Raleigh NC) but that was just the best example we could find online if a tandem axle full sized wheel trailer. I didn’t include plumping materials (PVC pipe, ball valves, etc) because I figure that will come later once we have the equipment and start figuring out the best trailer layout. Also an unloader valve is necessary correct? It’s what bypasses water back to your buffer tank when your not using your gun?

Cleaning supplies I plan on using standard 10% or 12.5% SH that hopefully I can source locally, in addition to the other recommend cleaning agents (roof snot, green wash, elemonator, etc). Still researching cleaning supplies and proper technique, but any input or suggested basic supplies to always keep on hand would be greatly appreciated. I mix buffers for my job on a daily basis, so understanding how to mix appropriate concentrate levels etc is clear. The only questions I have are is a 55 gallon tank of pre mixed house/roof solution enough to clean several say 2000 sq ft houses or will that only cover 1 or 2? I am not sure of the total volumes needed to clean your avg sized home/roof. Do you basically mix up your solution for the day based on what jobs you have, and then go? Or do you do a job, remix a new batch, go to next job etc? I’ve seen a lot of stuff about guys dumping their buffer tanks when done with a job so you aren’t towing thousands of lbs of water, but just a little confused on transporting/mixing house and roof mixes.

Another thing I am having a little problem fully understanding is downstreaming your cleaning agents. I understand it’s a T’d connection downstream of the pump that is piped in to your cleaning agent to prevent cleaning agent going through your pump. My question is, does the force of the pump running create the suction needed to draw up the cleaning agent? You do NOT need a pump in order to get the cleaning agent primed up the line correct? Also, with a downstreaming set up, you do NOT dilute your cleaning agent mixes? So say in my 55 gallon tanks, I would basically mix up 30+ gallons of my soap solution that is not diluted, then when it gets injected downstream it dilutes itself with the water through the pump?

So yea, I think that about covers where we currently stand. We are still several weeks out from potentially pulling the trigger on this as we want to be fully researched as much as we can before we go dropping 8000$ on equipment. If there is any BIG ticket items I am missing (like 300$+), please help me identify them. If it’s smaller items that you find make your life/job easier (Under 300$) I’d love to hear your recommendations. We would like to get a ProPortioner in the future, but that is under the “Buy with profits” plan. Thanks for any and all input and happy washing!

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You would be best served to go spend an afternoon at MVP services off of Triangle Blvd by the airport. Tell Diego William sent you.

Oo, will do! Thank you sir.

After you do what William said… and only after, reconsider doing this…

Figure out the 3 or 4 things you want to be a specialist at, but don’t be a generalist. People like experts and professionals. Jack Ofalltrades is the guy whose not really great at anything, but will do anything for a buck.

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Then call here and schedule time to sit down with an advisor to craft an actual business plan. It’s free. What you got there looks like an idea list not a business plan.

I was thinking more along the lines of selling it as a “help me do my job better” type deal. Like if limbs on a tree near a house are causing moisture build up, or weeds growing up siding that need to be removed etc. Waste of time?

Will do, thanks!

I’ve bookmarked this. After you check off your first task ask again for an explanation. The short answer is not a waste of time to notice and point it out like an expert, but a waste of your time to execute.

Will do. about to hop in the car and head to MVP services. Guy on the phone there was very helpful.

Instead of spending $1600 for a softwash setup, i would put together your own for $500, and use the savings to upgrade your pressure washer to 5.5 GPM. 8 GPM would be even better.

All of your questions can be answered more thoroughly with google searches.

Yes to both unloader questions.

Pump pulls the chems up without needing another pump to prime. You dilute bleach with water so that when the downstream dilutes it further, the appropriate strength is hitting the house. If you want it as strong as you can get it, you dont dilute the bleach, and just let the downstream dilute it. If you want it stronger than that, you have to use a direct application method, like a 12V.

You dont need to start out with a 55 gallon drum for house mix, if you are downstreaming. Most people use 5-15 gallon containers. Typical house takes 3-5 gallons. Roofs can take 40-50+ gallons of mix, generally.

Most people mix up their batches before they head out, but some dont… just depends on how you are setup, and how you want to do it. You will figure out what works best for you after a few jobs.

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I don’t do much residential in Wake county, or anywhere really, so I’m not saying this to ddiscourage you but, you can’t swing a dead cat in Raleigh without hitting a washing contractor. Mvp will only sell you what you need and are honest guys. Pay attention to their advice

I will say thanks for doing alot of research prior to making this post you have done your homework on alot of key areas.

As far as your lawn equipment goes keep the blowers and leave the rest at home build a relationship with a local lawn care company that only does lawns. Pass the work to him if ever asked about it and hopefully he does the same for you.

Get a belt drive machine for your pressure washer.

For your hoses my opinion is get 2 100ft sections of hose instead of a 200ft

Make your batch of mix the morning of your route and carry extra with you.

Downstreaming: quit listening to him after 30 seconds but its straight forward

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We would be targeting the Chapel Hill Apex Holly Springs area. Possibly Durham to. That was going to be one of my questions to the MVP guys is how saturated the businesses in the area. I have good work ethic and and work hard but if the business is just horribly saturated then it might not be worth the investment and risk

Yea MVP was great. Learned a ton in a short amount of time. If I can convince my partner to be on board with a higher initial investment, I think getting a trailer with an 8 gpm machine from them makes the most sense. It would cover any current and future needs for a LONG time. Pretty much until we moved up to commercial jobs. Gotta keep researching and learning proper cleaning techniques/ chemical mixing etc, but I’m liking this a lot.

Nailed it. That’s what I was going to say after he did what William said and started a real business plan. You’re not an arborist or a lawn maintenance guy. You’re an exterior cleaning contractor, pressure washing contractor, whatever they call them in your area. Get good at that.

Here’s another free tip since I saw the guy again today. There’s a guy locally driving a beautiful brand new chevy 2500 HD with the crew cab and a shiny new Tommy gate. I can only imagine what kind of bells and whistles he paid for. In the back he has a beautiful brand new pressure washing skid, tank, and a brand new hot box. Doesn’t look like it’s ever even been fired up. He named his company UFC. Can’t tell what it stands for because that logo is tiny, but the UFC’s are huge.

Unless that guy has been around and just upgraded, I’m imagining he’s in debt up to his eyeballs AND picked a name that will never show up in SEO under pressure washing. Don’t be that guy. Marketing, SEO, and sales are far more crucial than cool gear. Spend good money on being seen. Rent stuff, buy used, start small.

If you wanna be that guy, move to Kansas City and buy a Toyota truck so at least I’ll wanna buy it next year when you can’t feed yourself or afford fuel to put in it.

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Yea shooting for sub 10k$ start up cost. That’s a fairly low risk investment split two ways. Factor in operating cost and we definitely have some clear plans of what we need to achieve to be profitable.

You will save a lot of money and headaches if you write your business partner a check for $20k, let him kick you in the yayas, tell him you knew it wouldn’t work and you hope you never see him again. Get it all over with up front instead of dragging it out for a year. Then take your $5k to MVP and get to work.


This is killing me… :joy:

not a fan of partners?