How did some of you get into business??

DunRite

New member
I would love to hear how some of you guys got into business- what made you decide to go on your own??

We are all business owners here who have taken the risks associated with going at it on your own. It takes a leap of faith and internal fortitude to withstand the roller coaster of operating your own business

For myself- ive been in the contracting business most of my life in one form or another- laborer to production manager to sales manager from small companies to big companies doing 10 mill a year. Learned a lot along the way- what to do and more importantly what not to do

finally decided a few years back to make the leap and never looked back-Its been a continuing learning process

This forum is filled with many successful contractors-the knowledge shared here is invaluable
 

814jeffw

Active member
Hey Mike, I just posted on this topic in another thread,..but I was off topic,..I was just relaying to the original poster that I didn't know I was gonna be in the PW business neither. I will post it here as well as it's more suited to your topic.

When I got into business in 1996 it was also not expected,..I went to look at a guys truck he had for sale,...funny thing is,..about halfway there of the 40 minute ride,...I changed my mind on the truck and turned around,...but thought,..well I did tell him I was coming,....so I turned BACK around,Ha,Ha,..and I didn't buy the truck,..but he had an old Wash-On-Wheels PW sitting there and I asked him what it was,...and here I am,..with that same trailer,..many changes,..replaced the engine and pumps many times, had it extended to accommodate new ideas, have my complete roof rig on it.

I sometimes wonder,..what I'd be doing if I hadn't turned around? If nothing else it's a good lesson on what being respectful can result in,...I could have just been disrespectful and let the guy waiting for me while I ever showed up,..but I did the respectful thing,..and it made a HUGE difference in my life. You just never know.

Jeff
 

Ralph Q

New member
I was cutting lawns in Randolph New Jersey, and I kept seeing this guy with a power washer, cleaning decks. This was in 1996. I finally got to talking to him, and he said he was making a fortune cleaning and sealing decks, from NY to the Poconos . That got the ball rolling. I started my own power washing company, focusing on deck clean and seal. Did over 800 decks in 6.5 years, along with house washes, pool decks, fences, and some concrete(with wand back then). I also added gutter cleaning to the mix and had 220 regular customers. I decided to call it quits in 2003 due to the effects the sealer was having on my lungs. That and competition was really getting ridiculous. I started out being one of the first ones power washing and sealing(besides painters) to everybody doing it, including all the landscapers. Went back to landscaping and then decided to move down here to Florida. Now it's been 2 years. I went from 4 gpms, to 4.6 gpms, to 5.5 gpms to 10 gpms, within two years. Getting ready to change my company name and focus on driveway cleaning, with a few employees. New website, trucks , equipment...the whole shabang.
 

flanbo

New member
I was a remodeling contractor up in Nj. Then June 6 2005 I was in a motorcycle accident lost my right leg and bad nerve damage to my arm. So in 2008 I restarted my business invested a lot of my saving only to have the economy crap on me. Lost $500k in already signed contracts. Let my employees go and just couldn't sell work. So October 15 2010 walked out of a bankruptcy court happy. Four days later we became Floridians . I did pay my supply houes and sub contractors every penny thou while crapping on the banks face.��
Lived off disability for a couple years till my wife's MS actually put her on disability last February . So its time to kick some ass selling PW services. I've kind of gone full circle back to my 1st real job which was cleaning carpets for professional carpet systems.
I see a very good future with the amount of exterior cleaning needed down here between the surface mold and lizard crap..
Hoping my sales skills haven't tarnished to much.

This forum has really been a huge confidence boost

Thanks everyone, Joe Flanagan
732 393-2934
 

danwagner

Member
Mine's pretty boring.
Showed up at the store for work on a Monday and the manager informed me the boss had fired me. No explanation given, none requested from me. I worked a little for a few friends cleaning carpets, buffing floors, replacing mats, cleaning drug store windows. I thought I could try starting my own window cleaning business and that's what I did. Started at the north end of Main St. and never looked back.
 

"Red"

Graphic Designer
After 25+ years in the corporate IT field I finally got sick and tired of all the corporate politics. I retired and started looking for something I could do where I was in control of my destiny (if there is such a thing). Years later I was out pressure washing my driveway (approx 2000 sqft) which took me nearly a full day (wanding) and wondered if there was an easier/faster way to clean my driveway. That's when I found PWI. I read for weeks and learned a lot and then it dawned on me that pressure washing could be that "be my own boss" job that I'd been looking for. I took some of my savings and bought enough equipment to get started and continued learning from this forum as well as many others and the Facebook groups. I've met and talked with several other pressure washers in my area and learned even more.

Once I got up and going (sort of) I started looking for a way to market my services. I've got experience in designing ads from back when I worked for a national aviation magazine, so I figured how hard could it be. I designed my first postcard and started going through neighborhoods sticking them in the door jams. Why I didn't think of door hangers first is beyond me. Anyhoo, that didn't bring any business in and I couldn't figure out why. Turned out that every Tom, Dick and Harry in my area does pressure washing on the side (big eye opener for me). From teenagers looking to make a few bucks, to college kids looking to pay for books and retirees looking for a little extra income I was stuck having to deal with these guys. It took me over a year to actually find someone that was doing it the way I wanted to... making good money and doing it the right way.

I started helping guys here with graphic design over a year ago and to my surprise that has been paying the bills more than pressure washing. I haven't decided yet if I will pursue the graphic design full time and let the pressure washing go to the "low ballers" yet, but it does weigh on my mind a lot.
 
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