The Number One Fatal Mistake That Costs Pressure Washing Businesses Thousands

pressure washing Jan 08, 2024
pressure washing

Imagine closing half as many jobs but doubling your profits because your bids actually reflect your true value. This is possible if you avoid the number one mistake that so many pressure washing business owners make - underbidding jobs.

In this article, we'll uncover the reasons behind underbidding, the consequences it causes, and how to fix it once and for all. Master this aspect of pricing and your revenue will climb enormously.


Why Pressure Washing Businesses Underbid Jobs

There are several key reasons why service-based businesses like those in pressure washing underbid jobs:

Bidding Lower Than Competitors to Win Bids

Many businesses call around to see what competitors charge, then lower their prices to undercut them. The issue? Those competitors likely don't know their real costs and are not pricing profitably either. Just because they charge low rates doesn't mean you should too.

Not Knowing True Costs

All too often, pressure washing business think all they need is a pressure washer and some chemicals. They fail to account for all the additional hidden costs like insurance, payroll taxes, equipment maintenance, etc. You must know your precise costs before pricing.

Taking Whatever Price the Customer Wants to Pay

It's tempting to just accept the price a customer suggests if you lack jobs. But cheap customers lead to more headaches and callbacks down the road - they ultimately cost you rather than make you money.

Falsely Believing Lower Prices Equal More Sales

While lower prices can result in more volume, this volume won't be profitable. And you'll burn yourself out fulfilling all this unprofitable work. Optimize for quality leads instead.

Consequences of Underbidding Jobs

Underbidding jobs produces several negative consequences:

  • You get the worst, most price-sensitive problem customers
  • No idea if you're even charging above costs
  • Insufficient cash flow to sustain and reinvest in your business
  • Much more work, little money, and eventual burnout

Additionally, you lose out on jobs you could have won at higher prices. Underbidding leaves tons of money on the table in exchange for headaches and non-ideal customers.

How to Fix Underbidding in Your Pressure Washing Business

The first step is shifting your mindset - move from quantity to quality customers. Then implement these tactics:

  • Know Your Numbers: Calculate precise costs so you know the bare minimum to charge
  • Establish Minimum Profitable Bids: Don't leave your shop for less than your minimum
  • Use Packages & Upsells: Quote full packages instead of just house washing
  • Communicate Premium Value: Show why you deserve those high price points
  • Price Confidently: If you don't value your work, why would customers?

Getting paid fairly aligns with delivering premium services. Back up your bids with proof like 5-star online reviews.

Stop competing on price - customers hire professionals they trust and see value in. Sell value, not price.

Q: Why do pressure washing companies typically underbid on jobs?

A: Main reasons include wanting to undercut competitors' prices, not knowing true business costs, accepting whatever price the customer suggests, and thinking lower prices means more sales.

Q: What happens when you underbid jobs?

A: Consequences like getting the worst/cheapest customers, insufficient cash flow, having to work much harder for less money, and eventual burnout.

Q: How much money is a pressure washing business leaving on the table by underbidding?

A: Potentially thousands of dollars per year by closing half as many jobs but doubling profits with properly priced bids.

Q: What’s the first step to fixing underbidding issues?

A: Shifting mindset from quantity to quality - focus on premium customers over sheer volume.

Q: How can pressure washing businesses know what to charge?

A: By calculating their precise costs to establish minimum profitable bid thresholds.

Q: Should I just charge less than my competitors?

A: No - your competitors likely don't know costs either. Price based on your numbers, not theirs.

Q: What's a good pricing strategy?

A: Packages & upsells. Quote a full suite of services instead of just a basic house wash.

Q: How do I justify higher pricing to customers?

A: Show value - premium service, 5-star reviews, faster completion times, better results, etc.

Q: Is it fine if I lose some jobs from higher pricing?

A: Yes, you want to filter out the price-sensitive bottom feeders anyway.

Q: How much can increasing prices impact revenue?

A: Enormously - the blog shares an example of 15% higher pricing resulting in 9% more revenue.