Power washing becoming a popular added service line for paint pros
Adding complementary service lines is always a great way to grow any type of business, as long as the added service doesn’t distract from or impede your primary service. Power washing is one service line addition that is helping more and more painting professionals expand and market their businesses. Here, three of those pros tell us how they use the service to market and to increase revenue.
ANSWERING TO DEMAND
For Jorge Campos, franchise owner of Five Star Painting of El Paso, the idea to offer power washing services came during a training seminar for Five Star franchisees about two years ago. A fellow franchisee was mulling the idea for his own market, so Campos went home and did some of his own research.
“We started finding real demand in this particular market for just power washing,” he said. El Paso dust storms can make home exteriors look very dirty, he explained, and sometimes homeowners just want someone to freshen up their home with a wash.
Campos also gets commercial power washing jobs as well. “Today, I get about two or three requests a month. This is not a huge revenue stream, but it opens the door for potential future painting customers,” he added. “It helps us start the conversation.”
In the future, Campos wants to use power washing as a tool to help stay in contact with customers.
“We offer a two-year warranty and I’m thinking of giving a free power wash after a year. It could allow us to get back in front of the customer; maybe they’ll need interior painting or something else,” he added.
Monty Byars, owner of Byars Painting & Drywall Finishing, in Rives, TN, had been power washing for years, but about a year ago he started promoting it as a service on his Facebook Business page. He invested in the BE Whirl-A-Way Surface Cleaner, a flat surface cleaner that takes care of driveways and sidewalks in less time than a pressure washer. “It’s the best money I’ve ever spent,” he said.
With the tool, he now promotes driveway, sidewalk and fence washing services on his Facebook page. So far, he has received a few jobs, but said the coming year appears to be ripe for more of them. In order to offer the service, he invested an extra $600, between the Whirl-A-Way and some accessories.
“Most of the time, what I get is, ‘I didn’t know you guys even did that,’” he said. “It’s really been nothing but beneficial for me.”
ITS OWN ANIMAL
Christian Militello, owner of Militello Painting & Powerwashing, in Ambler, PA, has always offered power washing services to his customers, but added soft washing—an approach that uses lower pressure than a standard power wash—as a service line about five years ago.
The move required some training, too. His crews had been power washing for two decades, but he felt they could refine their technique and provide better service to customers. So, he enrolled in Jack and Kyle Kramer’s Power Washing seminar, in PA. The father-son team are known power washing experts and are also owners of A Brilliant Solution, LLC, a NJ-based commercial and residential cleaning company.
“There’s a lot of chemistry in power washing. It’s knowing chemicals and what’s mixed and not mixed, organic compounds … the science that goes into this is serious stuff,” Militello said.
With the added expertise, he began promoting soft- and low-pressure washing services. Today, the service has become popular for homes and roofs. He also gets requests for power washing concrete as well as graffiti, and even rust removal. In total, washing services make up about 10% of his company’s revenue.
The added service also keeps crews busy when painting work slows down and allows the people he employs to do different types of jobs. With growth in the power washing side of his company, Militello, however, admits to one down side.
“On the reverse side of it, there’s more work to be done. We’re wondering whether to split these two companies up now because the operations are different and should be handled as such,” he added.
To read more on making power washing a business add-on, read Ask a Pro in the April issue of inPAINT: inpaintmag.com