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Pressure Wash Contractors – Is it Really About the Money?
As with any trade, a contractor entering the pressure washing industry has one primary goal in mind. This is to make money and LOTS of it.
This is probably the only common denominator that most pressure washing contractors give as a reason to join the ranks as a professional power washing contractor. Obviously there is nothing wrong with making money from your business; that’s why you’re in business, right? A contractor’s success is often measured by prescribed benchmarks that are passed down from one generation to the next. One of them is how much money do you make? The formula has always been that money equals success. The other is whether you are busy or not? If a contractor is busy, then the old cliche is that he must be successful because he is busy. And if a contractor is busy 7 days a week from sunrise to sunset, he’s obviously making a lot of money ~ right?
The rat race of success?
Imagine having a 5-year business plan that produces such a surge in growth for your business that the rest of your life is put on hold in order to accommodate the abundant growth you experience year after year? Influx of sales calls should be answered within 24 hours preferably. Once answered, budgets must be scheduled. Don’t forget to take the time to proofread your marketing brochures/postcards in between answering all the sales calls and estimates you just scheduled. Time on the phone with your dealer is a must to keep chemicals/soaps in stock. Phone time with your dealer also gives you an opportunity to ask technical questions about the “clunk noise” you hear in your rig when it’s running. For some of you, if your platform goes down, you are out of business for at least the next 24-48 hours.
Fellow contractors also need their time on the phone with you so they can “lend your ear” for advice and suggestions. Set aside some time at night to keep your company’s web presence at the forefront of your customer base and to answer emails from customers who chose not to call you during the day. Training any new employee will take up a good portion of a workday, so plan accordingly. If you’re a one-man operation, you’ll obviously need to fine-tune your wash schedule to have time to actually perform the work that was booked from those aforementioned sales calls. In the past, you could make bank deposits every Friday, but today it seems you can’t get to the bank until after closing because you literally have a thousand other priorities with the success of your business.
In between this fast pace of operation, you might manage to get on the phone with your significant other to let them know that you won’t be able to make it to your son’s little league game or your daughter’s dance recital as planned. had promised You offer a heartfelt and sincere apology not only to your partner, but more importantly to your child, who is obviously upset that you won’t be around again. You had every intention of doing it this time when you left for work that morning, but luckily a customer frantically called at the last minute saying that the stain you applied yesterday wasn’t the right color! Before you hang out with your wife, you say you’re not going to have dinner at home either. Has this been your routine lately? Are the demands of your business and the priorities associated with it overshadowing the very reason you are in the pressure washing business in the first place?
What is your system?
Business growth and the effort required to manage that growth can be an enjoyable experience as a pressure washing business owner. As your business grows externally, i.e. sales, marketing, increasing contracts, you need to ensure that your internal business infrastructure, i.e. employees, managers and sales team, is also growing by complement this external growth. It is highly recommended that your business plan not only talk about “systems”, but most importantly, understand the action on your part to place the right people in your business so that the written “systems” can convert -se in “systems” of reality. . As business owners, we often overlook the infrastructure part of our business plan by turning our attention only to how to make our phone ring. When this happens, we find ourselves running our business in what is commonly known as “recovery mode.” This means that regardless of the time of day, you are behind or in “recovery mode” because your “systems” are still dormant. Along with just being behind every day, we also unconsciously run a very high risk of missing out on the joys of spending quality time with our family and loved ones, as described in the example above. Does that sound like you?
Who is responsible?
There is good news and today you have the power as your business owner to stop this cycle of insanity and take control of your business instead of letting your business control you. The first step to regaining control of your business is that you must come to the understanding and belief that steady business growth is not necessarily the only indicator of success. As a pressure washer contractor with a family, you owe it to your partner and children to make sure the growth of your business doesn’t constantly overshadow the simple things in life that everyone in your household needs and they want
As business owners, we have the luxury and ability to “cut back” our time in the field in order to use the time to give our family the attention they deserve. Because? Because you are the owner and the BOSS. It’s right; YOU SEE the features of the day-to-day operations and how the rhythm of your day’s operation will be. If your “systems” action plan only went as far as written on a piece of paper, you run a high risk of burning yourself out very quickly. Coupled with this along with the mental pressure from your partner’s peers that you haven’t spent quality time with your family in the last 4-6 months, it’s plausible that one day you’ll wake up and realize that you’re not enjoying who you are . doing, that is, pressure washing.
Instead of starting your pressure washing season with the sole purpose of making as much money as you can, it might be feasible to approach your pressure washing season with the mindset that your business and family will keep a “balance” throughout the year? Oh, the joy of seeing a young boy’s face light up when he sees both parents sitting in the stands to watch their little league game in the middle of the afternoon; Or the smile from ear to ear when a little daughter jumps happily into your arms because you came to pick her up at school. Establishing the right “systems” in your pressure washing business takes time and ultimately some trial and error. It’s okay if you don’t get it right after several tries, but keep it in mind and trust that you will get there. Managing your company’s growth may even mean not growing temporarily until you find the right people who have the skill set your company needs to take it to the next plateau.
Time To Reflect
If you find yourself in the middle of the pressure washing gauntlet today, take a moment and reflect on what is really important in your life on your terms. Wondering 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 from working for someone else? If so, where is that freedom today? Take stock of how your partner and children may view your time away from the family today. If making money at any cost is what drives you, congratulations on your success. If you’re looking for that “balance” between pressure washing and family, remember that you have the power to take control of your days. One of the rewards of being a business owner is that you have the ability to keep any schedule you want.
I personally know a pressure washing contractor located in Kentucky who has built a pretty decent pressure washing business. One of the keys to his success is that he manages his business verses letting his business manage him. It’s not uncommon for him to ride his Harley in the afternoon or take his beautiful family to a local restaurant for an early dinner one day. This is a great example of how a pressure washing contractor has taken advantage of why they are in business in the first place; this is enjoying life. I don’t know how much money he makes a year, but I’m guessing he, along with other pressure washer contractors who have mastered this work-family “balance,” is probably one of the richest guys in the industry and has very little. if it has to do with the size of your bank account.
Let’s go out to dinner
So while your phone keeps ringing and you’re trying to be superman to all your customers at once, stop and ask yourself, “is it all about the money or not?” If so, continue your journey and you should be applauded for your sacrifice. If not, I’m sure I’d be a superman, at least for that night, to your family when they show up at your house unannounced to tell them you’re taking them out for dinner!
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