How Billy Davidson Grew His Paint Stripping And Pressure Washing BusinessSep 30, 2020
The YouTube video is an interview of Billy Davidson by Jason Geiman on the use of pressure in power washing. Billy Davidson, a self-employed American has a business offering power wash services to businesses and at times domestic households on offer. The business was started in the early 1990s, in an age of little access to information on power washing and power washing equipment, access to power washing machinery and equipment. This business was founded on Billy Davidson’s history of carry out odd lawn and yard work as a teenager, offering lawn mowing services with simple lawnmowers pulled with string, scrubbing porches and backyard decks. Having grown in a power family, Billy Davidson exudes an image of an individual born and grown out of every adversity, entrepreneurship, and resourcefulness finding new opportunities to earn a living in the neighbourhood from simple and odd jobs. It was while performing odd jobs scrubbing the occasional porch and deck that Billy Davidson thought of the power wash. He explored various home and industrial equipment magazines on power wash, finding 2-3-gallon power wash machines, very expensive and out of his reach. The business first gained customers by giving out on average 100 business cards a week, persistent in marketing the business and building relationships. This also entailed marketing the business with small business sized advertisements in the Yellow Pages, and later paying for half page advertisements to broadcast and market the business. They also used 15 second spots radio advertisements with local radio stations promoting the business. He persisted marketing the pressure power washing business with viral marketing despite the rejection from various businesses and individuals. Slowly with a team of 19-year-old employees, Billy Davidson was able to start-off and slowly build their customer base and business. One defining feature and a learning lesson for Billy Davidson during these early years of the business was the fact that customers saying ‘No’ often meant poor salesmanship, the inability for the business man to effectively communicate and sell their services as essentials that can solve a problem and meet a need for the customer. At first, they were told 40-Nos to 1-Yes, not giving up in marketing and asking for business from clients. One response to one business card or one post out of the hundreds and thousands posted can be the turning point for nay business. Billy Davidson reports making $900,000 from just two ink pen advertisement. Billy Davidson equally noted that in starting any business, one must be ready to start from the bottom. From their experience with the power wash company, was that no large business person or corporation gives out large tenders without first testing the business. They started working on many small and odd jobs, like power washing the drainage and sinks before building a reputation enough to win large work contracts. They equally report that apart from the traditional marketing methods using business card and radio advertisements, and word of mouth referrals from customers, reaching and gaining customers from Google, YouTube, and social media is important. In today’s world, putting the business on such platforms increases exposure, where Google and YouTube promotes business contents by making online content one of the top search results. This prevents the business from slowing down, enabling the business have work in high and low season. One of the things they failed in the business was the focus on too many things at the same time. He combined power washing, with lawn mowing, and chimney sweeping, leading to the loss of a lot of power washing business in the first year. However, when they started solely focusing on the pressure power washing services they were able to improve and increase the services, business volume, and returns. A second factor to consider is the importance of investing in the maintenance of the power wash equipment, to prevent breakdown during a power wash session. Billy Davidson advices anyone starting the power wash business to learn the business, learn the equipment, learn the cleaning soaps, to prepare one as they present to the customer. Equally understand the mental work is tougher than the physical work. Thirdly, understand marketing apart from advertisements like flyers, on social media and YouTube, use signage on vehicles, simple yard signs, and personal protective equipment. The simple signs with power wash name and phone number are easy and simple for customers driving past to see and understand. Put up as many signs as possible, based on local rules and regulations, and well-spaced in a wide area to reach as many people as possible. Another factor to consider in the business is in building the sales pitch, be truthful and professional, maintain a respectful customer relationship consider each individual has a different personality. Additionally, for start-up businesses it is important to start with simple and cheap equipment rather than expensive equipment. Billy Davidson emphasises on the importance of marketing, finding customers, and providing services, where the start-up spends more on the marketing and advertisements activities and less on very expensive equipment. Once the business has picked in terms of customers and revenue, then the business can upgrade equipment. Additionally, it is important to get government listing of the business, which can easily be done with assistance from the local library and counsel to assist in the complicated listing process. This is important since without listing, a business cannot obtain a government tender or job, which is important for professionals since they are well paying jobs. Lastly, Billy Davidson speaks of finding opportunities in the market, from solving problems of people. They point to the example of obtaining business from property managers after helping a lady property manager clean out a dumpster site that was accruing a fine of $250 from the local government. Billy Davidson equally speaks of financial management, first paying workers and paying bills before paying the owner of the business to keep the business going. Overall, while the video interview explores the business of pressure power washing, it provides insights into key success factors of starting and building a business, the key factors to consider, especially in marketing to make a self-employment successfully.