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How Much to Charge Pressure Washing Work per Hour: Determining True Value of Your Pressure Wash Business
Pressure Washing Business

You work hard, and you deserve to get paid what you’re worth – but, what is that? Determining the true value of your pressure washing business can be difficult, especially if you’re new to the business, or if you have switched from offering residential services to commercial ones.

It’s important to set your pressure washing business’ rate correctly right away. Otherwise you risk either turning off potential customers with a higher-than-average fee, or being stuck making far less than you should for months, or even years down the line.

Finding the right balance between charging what you need to, to make a profit, and not charging so much that you fail to bring in new customers, can be tricky.

How do you figure out what to charge your customers by the hour for your cleaning service? Begin by looking at the true cost of running your pressure washing business. Of course you know that you’ll have to make enough to pay for these basic business needs:

  • Supplies
  • Transportation
  • Office space
  • Vehicle payments / Insurance
  • Advertising / Marketing
  • Telephone Service

But, have you considered these other important factors when determining your hourly rate?

  • Insurances (health, disability, dental, eye, accident, etc.)
  • Professional fees and certifications
  • Vacation, Holiday, Sick time
  • Benefits
  • Employee / Employer Taxes
  • Retirement Savings
  • The time it will take to get the job done right

You may have thought that charging $50 an hour for your services was good money, until you factored in all of these expenses. Now, you’re left wondering if it’s nearly enough to keep your pressure washing business afloat.

Begin assessing your expenses by listing your monthly costs (all of your costs), and dividing each amount into the number of hours you will be able to actually charge customers. Remember, just because you work 40 hours every week, doesn’t mean that you can bill customers for 40 hours – you may only be billing clients for 30.

For instance, your expense list may include:

  • One vehicle loan of $400 (this equals $3.33 per hour using a 30 hour billing week)
  • Car insurance for $125 ($1.04 per hour)
  • Cleaning supplies for $400 ($3.33 per hour)
  • Phone and internet services equaling $150.00 per month ($1.25 an hour)
  • Gasoline costs of $500 ($4.17 per hour)
  • Advertising and marketing fees of $600 ($5.00 per hour)
  • Maintenance and equipment repair ($10 per hour is a good estimate)
  • Office space for $900 ($9 per hour)

Using these figures, you would need to charge at least $37.12 per hour just to break even. You still haven’t managed to pay yourself, or put anything back into your pressure washing business.

The next step to figuring out your hourly wage is to determine how much you need to be paid as a salary, and divide that amount by 40 hours per week. So, if you want to make $60,000 a year, you’ll need to tack on another $29 per hour to your hourly cost.

Now, that means that you need to charge your pressure washing business customers $66.12 per hour, right? Wrong! You still haven’t added anything for expansion, emergencies, or even Uncle Sam’s cut. Plus, it’s important to remember that you’re working 40 hours a week, but only charging your customers for 30 hours a week, so you need to boost that $66 an hour to about $105-$115 to cover all of your costs, and make enough to live on.

Charging your pressure washing business customers more than $100 an hour might seem like a lot at first, but once you realize the true cost of business, you’ll soon realize that it’s a real bargain – for both you and your customers!


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