Tried to start a pressure washing company, ended up starting a software company

Hey all. I’m not selling anything yet, but here’s the story. About a year and a half ago, I started looking into starting a pressure washing business. While I was figuring everything out, I was researching to find software that did a specific thing. I couldn’t find it, so, being a software engineer myself, I made it. I’ve spent about a year building this thing (in addition to my 9-5, mortgage, wife, 2 kids under 3 etc lol) and I’m at the point where I’d like to get some feedback and maybe some actual users to test it. It effectively automates upselling, but in a particular way and has unique features that (as far as I’ve seen) don’t currently exist (well; other than what i built). Like I said, I’m not selling, not even setup to take payments yet, but if you’re interested, it’s fully operational and I’d love to hear some feedback. I’m happy to share it for free, so long as in return, you do everything you can to be a pain in my butt. Please tell me if there are any issues, if you think it could be better in some way, if it should include a magic button that does some amazing thing, all of that. But as it stands, it works, and if it does what I think it will, it should increase your revenue (hopefully dramatically; but that remains to be seen lol). Anyways, please feel free to reach out anytime if you want to see it, or if you have any questions. I’ve spent a lot of time building this, and I’m pretty proud of it, but don’t let that stop you from tearing it to shreds. I’m ready for criticism, bring it on haha.

How similar is it to apps/software like Quote IQ

Not at all, completely different thing.

Please elaborate.

As @DisplacedTexan said… you’re going to need to elaborate. If it’s a “completely different thing” then quote iq I’m not sure how relevant it could be for business. Automated upselling sounds cool, but what does that even mean? How does it function? Unique features?.. again sweet, but what are they? Your post has a lot of words yet says nothing.

Well, I was asked a question " How similar is it to apps/software like Quote IQ; and answered appropriately. I’m not quite ready yet to fully “release it”. I’m sure you can understand why I’m a bit worried about publishing my idea, as I’ve poured a considerable amount of time into the development of the idea and the software, it’s a new thing that doesn’t quite exist (at least not that I’ve seen), and I’m weary of copycats. I’m more than happy to share it, but at this point I’d rather do that a bit more privately. I can set up a zoom if anybody’s interested, and walk you through how it works, and set you up with an account. It’s fully operational, so if it works, the upsell money will be real; you just won’t be paying me (well; you’ll be paying me in feedback; just not money).

As always, I’m curious… but with so many software systems out there, I’d be shocked if there is something completely new to the game. We’ve toyed with building our own CRM (have someone working on something on an existing platform now), but in the end it pretty much always winds up being tweaks on a system that is out there. Right now we use a whole suite of programs for doing things, because each one does one facet of the process better than all the others (hence why we always think about something new), we’ve even tried a few other alternatives, but none of them seem to deliver value beyond what we use now. I always say ResponsiBid is head and shoulders above the others on upselling and the psychology of quoting/sales, but then throughout history there’s always “that one guy” who comes up with something no one ever conceived of.

I totally get it. And as an engineer, just building a CRM is a fairly massive undertaking, and software (at least properly developed) is incredibly expensive to finance. Responsibid is the only one I’d use. Their “competitor”, came out with something that looks like it was outsourced to either high school students, or to fiverrr (neither of which are appropriate for production software). The psychological principal it employs is similar to that of responsibid, but I have my issues with their way of accomplishing the task. It’s cumbersome for users, it’s inefficient, and it only targets the percentage of your customers who are willing to go through the whole song and dance (mine applies the same psychology to every single residential customer). I’m sure it varies by market, but in mine, I’ve spoken with a many people; none of which are keen on writing up their own quote when they were exposed to ResponsiBid. Obviously, people do, but I’d love feedback on the percentage of customers who actually do follow through, and how many get halfway through and quit, or who only select a few services instead of all of them because they don’t want to have to fill out a form for 20 mins.

Valuable ideas are always copied, especially in the current era, where it only takes a few hours or days for someone else to introduce a similar product to the market. Without any additional details beyond the vague concept of “automating upselling,” which, frankly, is the easiest part of this job, I wouldn’t really be interested in wasting time pursuing this (and judging by the lack of responses I’m guessing others feel the same). So, for one last time… can you elaborate on what your app actually does and how it does it?

And you’re totally free not to pursue it. I did, however, put a considerable amount of time into this, and I my decade as a professional software engineer (including for other startups) tells me this is the best way to proceed for this product, at this phase of development. I’m offering up software, for free, that is currently generating a meaningful amount of revenue for my 2 beta testers (yes; I know that’s a small number, that’s why I’m here). If you’re interested in trying it, I’m happy to set up a zoom call, set you up with an account, and walk you through how it works so you can see how much it makes for you.

Simple solution, we don’t enable self-quoting or scheduling. We do it the (semi) old-fashioned way of selling over the phone, but we then deliver them a package of bundle options for their service. The primary package is exactly wha they called on (and/or showed interest in during the call), but then they are given all of our other services as options to package together if they would like to save. We omit things that they clearly already said no to with a simple check of the “disable” box, send them the link, and let the follow-up sequences serve as a secondary way of multiple “touches” in addition to a normal follow-up phone call schedule until they choose their options and “sign” their quote.

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Yeah; but that’s waaaaaay more complicated than it has to be, and involves more time than it needs to, and it’s not as effective as what my software delivers. My response would be, try it, see if it works for you. If it doesn’t, oh well. You’ve wasted half an hour on a zoom call. But if it does, you stand to gain a lot of money. What’s the big risk? I totally understand the hesitancy, and as a prior small business owner myself, I understand how many garbage sales calls from customer service reps from scuzzy companies you probably get. That’s why I’m taking this route instead. I don’t need your credit cards, I don’t need anything, just the willingness to try something new that could lead to an increase in revenue.

This is a lot of words to effectively say nothing.

Please, elaborate. Tell us how it works. Similarities with other systems. Differences. You know–stuff that helps us gain an understanding. All this smoke and mirrors stuff is BS. Forget the zoom call. Film your schtick and post it to YouTube then post the link here so everyone can watch it at their leisure.

This is becoming snake oily and that’s mega frowned upon around here.


Totally understand, and maybe this forum isn’t the best place at this phase of development for this product (this is my first saas product for the pressure washing industry). I’m getting a strong indication that I’m probably not going to find the businesses that I’m interested in testing this product here anyways. I had a meeting with a local wash company (12 trucks) this morning, and they picked it up. So obviously that, and my decent success rate with cold calling, is going to be my best option moving forward.

The only thing I don’t understand is, I’m giving this away for FREE. I’m not asking for any payment, no credit card info, nothing. Use it or not, never contact me again if you don’t like it, there’s no way for me to charge you for anything. If I’m a snake oil salesman, I’m obviously a pretty bad one. Oh well. Thanks for all of your responses, and hope y’all have a great day!

This forum is filled with knowledgable, busy, professional pressure washers… you aren’t going to find a larger group of people that have seen it all in the industry anywhere but here. If thats your target market, then this is the place to gain traction. The disconnect is that all I can gather from what you’ve said so far is: You have a family, worked as a software developer for a decade, failed at running a pressure washing business, and have designed an app that has taken you years to help our industry. Surely you aren’t this secretive when cold calling or during zoom… give us your elevator speech for what this product actually does? As the saying goes, nothing in life is free… nobody trusts someone who is giving something away for free regardless of what it is.

I’m up for a consultation, nothing to lose except a little bit of my time, which this time of year I have some extra of :rofl::rofl:

Oh quite contraire, good sir. This is the perfect place to get the word out on something like you have created. However, this place is no stranger to folks swinging through to sell some newfangled gizmo that doesn’t do what they claim it does. I’m not saying that’s what or who you are whatsoever. All I’m saying is you’ve piqued our interest and we want to know more. You haven’t really divulged anything at all. I understand being reserved on what you give out. That’s normal and to be expected. My suggestion is to do like I mentioned above. Film a video with your Zoom call schtick and post it on YouTube and then post the link to said video here. A) It’s way more efficient for us (in line with your entire goal of making life easier for us contractors) and B) it’s light-years more efficient for you. Last I checked this forum has around 14,000 members. That’s a lot of Zoom calls. OR simply one YouTube video to set the hook and then we come crawling to you to get signed up.

I use Markate. It works great. It’s not perfect by any means but it suits my needs pretty well.

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Whats the specific thing?

just trying to help this conversation not being a smart ■■■

Right. He just needs to set the video to private, so only people with a direct link will be able to access it.

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That’s why you make the big bucks…