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Pressure Wash Contractors – Is it Really About the Money?
As with any trade, a contractor in the pressure washing industry has one primary goal. It’s about making money and LOTS of it.
This is probably the one common denominator that most pressure washer contractors give as a reason to join as a professional power washer contractor. Obviously, there is nothing wrong with making money with your business; Is this why you are in business? A contractor’s success is often measured against set benchmarks that are passed down from generation to generation. One of them is how much money do you make? The formula has always been that money equals success. The second is, are you busy or not? When a contractor is busy, the old cliché says that they must be successful because they are busy. And if a contractor is busy 7 days a week from sundown, he’s probably making a lot of money, right?
A race for success?
Imagine having a 5-year business plan that gives your business rapid growth and everything else in your life is on hold to accommodate the abundant growth you experience year after year? Sales calls should preferably be answered within 24 hours. If you answer, you must create estimates. Between answering all those sales calls and those newly scheduled appraisals, don’t forget to take the time to read your marketing ads/postcards. A call to the dealer is required to stock chemicals/soaps. A phone call with your dealer will also give you an opportunity to ask technical questions about the “rattling noise” you hear on the unit when it’s running. For some of you, if your device goes down, you’ll be out of business for at least the next 24-48 hours.
Co-contractors also need time on the phone with you so they can “bend their ear” for advice and suggestions. Set aside time at night to keep your company’s online presence top of mind for your customer base and respond to emails from customers who chose not to call you during the day. Training any new employee takes up a large part of the workday, so plan accordingly. If you’re a one-man business, you’ll obviously need to tweak your laundry schedule to make time for the work booked on the sales calls mentioned earlier. You used to be able to make bank deposits every Friday, but today it seems like you don’t get to the bank until after it’s closed because you literally have a thousand other priorities with the success of your business.
In between this fast pace of action, you may find yourself calling your loved one on the phone to let them know you won’t be able to make it to your sons little league game or your daughters dance again as promised. You apologize sincerely and from the heart, not only to your significant other, but more importantly to your child, who is clearly upset that you are not around again. You were going to do it this time on your way to work in the morning, but luckily the client frantically called at the last minute to say that the stain they put on yesterday wasn’t the right color! Before hanging up on your wife, you mention that you won’t be home for dinner either. Has this been your routine lately? Are the demands of your business and related priorities overshadowing your reason for pressure washing in the first place?
What is your system?
Business growth and the effort required to manage that growth can be a rewarding experience as a pressure washing business owner. As your business grows externally i.e. sales, marketing, increasing number of contracts, you need to ensure that your company’s internal infrastructure i.e. employees, managers, sales force grows to complement this external growth. It is highly recommended that your business plan not only talk about “systems”, but more importantly, that you understand what you are doing in placing the right people in your business, so that the “systems” in writing can become “systems” in reality. . As business owners, we often overlook the infrastructure part of our business plan, focusing on how to make the phone ring. When this happens, we find ourselves running our business in what is called catch-up mode. This means that regardless of the time of day, you’re behind schedule or in what’s called catch-up mode because your “systems” are still dormant. By simply being behind schedule every day, we also subconsciously run the risk of missing out on the joys of spending quality time with our family and loved ones, as described in the example above. Does this sound like you?
Who is responsible?
We have good news and today, as a business owner, you have the power to stop this madness and take control of your business instead of letting your business control you. The first step to regaining control of your business is to come to the understanding and conviction that continuous growth is not necessarily the only measure of success. As a family pressure washer, you owe it to your loved one and children to ensure that the growth of your business doesn’t constantly overshadow the simple things that everyone in your household needs and wants.
As business owners, we have the luxury and ability to cut back on our work hours to give our families the attention they deserve. Why? Because you are the owner and the BOSS. This is correct; YOU call the daily operations and the operational pace of your day. If your systems roadmap got down to writing, you’re at a very high risk of burning yourself out very quickly. Couple that with the mental pressure from your peers that you haven’t spent quality time with your family in the last 4-6 months, chances are you might wake up one day and realize you’re not enjoying who you are. doing i.e. pressure washing.
Instead of starting the pressure washing season with the sole goal of making as much money as possible, how about approaching the pressure washing season with the mindset that your business and family will maintain “balance” throughout the year? Oh the joy of seeing a young boy’s face light up when he sees BOTH parents sitting in the bleachers in the middle of the afternoon watching their little league game; Or a smile from ear to ear when your little daughter happily jumps into your arms because you picked her up from school. Establishing the right “systems” in your pressure washing business takes time and ultimately trial and error. It’s okay if you don’t get it right away after several tries, but be mindful and make sure you get there eventually. Managing business growth may even mean temporarily not growing at all until you find the right people with the skill sets your business needs to take it to the next plateau.
Time to reflect
If you find yourself pressure washing today, take a moment to think about what is truly important in your life. Ask yourself why you became a pressure washing contractor in the first place? Was it because you and your family wanted the freedom you couldn’t get working for someone else? If so, where is that freedom today? Take stock of how your time away from your family might be viewed by your loved ones and your children today. If you are driven by making money at all costs, then congratulations on your success. If you’re looking for that “balance” between pressure washing and family, remember that you have the right to control your days. One of the benefits of being a business owner is that you have the ability to follow any schedule you want.
I personally know a pressure washing contractor in Kentucky who has developed a pretty decent pressure washing business. One of the keys to his success is that he runs his business by letting his business run him. It’s not uncommon for him to take an afternoon out on his Harley or take his beautiful family to a local restaurant for an early dinner. This is a great example of how one pressure washer contractor has taken advantage of why they are in business in the first place; it’s about enjoying life. I don’t know how much money he makes a year, but I think he, along with other pressure washer contractors who have mastered this work/family “balance,” is probably one of the richest men in the business and has very little. if it has to do with the size of his bank account.
Let’s go have dinner
So if your phone keeps ringing and you’re trying to be superhuman to all your clients at once, stop and ask yourself, “is it really all about the money?” If so, continue on your journey and you should be commended for your sacrifice. If not, I’m sure you’ll at least be a superman to your family that night when you show up at the house unannounced and say you’re taking them out for dinner!
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