Exterior cleaning is a business that can run by an individual or be built into a multi-vehicle, multi-employee company producing hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue per year.
There are a few options when starting an exterior cleaning business. You can clean every exterior surface or you can specialize in specific surfaces, such as roof cleaning, deck cleaning or concrete cleaning to name a few. You can also expand your cleaning business to offer other related home services, for instance if you had a deck cleaning company you could offer water sealing and deck staining as an additional stream of revenue. If you specialized in roof cleaning, you could offer roof ventilation systems or chimney repair as additional services. Window cleaning, gutter cleaning, painting or any number of additional home services can be added.
The Wash Safe products are unique and they are “green” or “Eco-safe” and very effective. Your new business should be centered on the Wash Safe products because the products are the difference maker. The service that you provide will be decided upon your skills. I believe that focusing on one specific cleaning service is more effective than marketing yourself as a “clean all” maintenance man. You can offer all of the cleaning services but homeowners like to hire a professional in a specific field. Choose a cleaning service to offer that you could see yourself or your company providing those services 80% of the time. For example, do not specialize in roof cleaning if you don’t like heights, maybe a deck restoration company or a concrete cleaning and sealing business would more suit a person afraid of heights.
In our second year of developing our cleaning products we decided to start a cleaning service so that we could test our roof cleaning products effectiveness in the field. The first season we hired one guy and a helper on a part-time basis. The main man did the estimates and sales and he did the cleaning with the helper. That first season they did about $60,000 in business that was part-time approximately 30 hours per week. Being in the Northeast it was only 8 months of work out of the year. As the owner of the business I was just happy that my products were being tested and improved where needed but the amount of money they pulled in caught my eye. Keep in mind we only offered roof cleaning this season.
The following season we added a second crew of two, one lead guy and a helper and got them their own truck. We also started offering our customers deck cleaning and other exterior cleaning services while we were at the home estimating the roof. That season we brought in just about $150,000, in only 8 months which is $18,750 per month, about $4,600 per week.
The following season, the third year with a service division, we grew again. This time, the salesman just sold the jobs; he didn’t physically clean any longer so we replaced him on the work crew and added a “paint” truck. I decided to add the paint truck because every deck that we cleaned the season before asked us if we could recommend a good painter to apply a coat of stain or water sealer to their deck. Not only did they want their deck stained but when we cleaned the body of the homes the customer asked if we could paint the house also. Sometimes it was just the trim, other times a door or two but almost every time after cleaning the customer usually asked about painting services. We started out with two painters but within a month for up to four. That season we did $305,000 in service.
We no longer clean as that business was sold. We made great money but it took too much of my time away from my company’s goal of formulating and manufacturing green cleaning products. I learned a lot in those three years in the cleaning business. I learned how effective our products were because we cleaned exclusively with them, I learned “how to” clean so that I can explain it to my customers and I learned how much money you can make in the cleaning business.
We did it, so you can do it. I know firsthand that you can be successful in this business. We were not just another pressure washing company, we were a pressure washing company offering eco-safe cleaning services with a unique cleaning product that nobody else had. I never knew the fear a home owner has of an exterior pressure washing company until we started selling jobs. It seemed every potential customer had a horror story of damaged property ranging from dead plants to altering the color of their home. That’s why I say, the Wash Safe products are the “difference maker” in this business. The Wash Safe products overcome all of the home owner’s fear of damage.
I could have expanded this business further, I could have expanded outside of our area with new crews, I could have added another salesman and another crew here but that wasn’t my business plan. I am a manufacturing company but what’s your plan? Do you want to make $1 million in the cleaning business? It’s possible, I know that for a fact but that takes a special person who has experience running a big company with multiple employees. What’s the matter with making $60,000 a year by yourself or $100,000 with a helper? It’s up to you, you choose the services you want to offer, you decide how big you want to grow your company, you decide how much you want to make.
It’s all here on the Wash Safe website, the tools, the products, the know-how and the market is virtually untapped. Maybe you just graduated from college, maybe you are looking for work, maybe you are looking for a career change, maybe you want to start a family business and work with your sons or daughters or maybe the service business that you’ve been running just isn’t producing revenue like it used to. Whatever the case is, you have come to the right place.
(Article thanks to John Redihan, President, Wash Safe Inc., USA)
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