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      The Grime Scene Terms Of Service and Forum Rules   08/23/2007

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Advertising the Start-Up

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My business partner and I have decided to start a pressure washing business. We are looking for creative marketing ideas for both residential and commercial clientele. What we are attaining currently is: yard signs for duration of time we are working, business cards, magnets, embroidered polo shirts, fliers, and door hangers. Our plan is to charge a $50 flat rate for most residential flatwork. There are not any localized pressure washing companies where I live (I don't think), and I believe we have a pretty good chance to compete in the market. We hope that the residential jobs will flow in consistently, while we place our focus on retaining commercial contracts with local franchise owners and chains. We are starting off with minimum overhead and just two commercial cold water machines. The primary focus of our marketing for both residential and commercial will be cleaning just the concrete, but also allowing for added work that is within the reach of our equipment and efficiency.

What I am looking for are any creative ideas that anyone has tried in the start-up process in regards to capturing "target" clientele. I'm totally open to any comments and suggestions pertaining to creative ideas or to the business plan synopsis mentioned above.

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What you are proposing is death on a stick for a startup pressure washing company. Unless you are incredibly capitalized, it is going to be very difficult to keep afloat. Upselling on an advertised price of $50 is going to require a salesperson that is very good.

You are on the right path of capturing targeted clientele and there are effective ways to do that. Selling anything based upon price is not one of those ways (at least for where you are in your business).

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Just a couple things to consider....

I would not advertise any prices. A year or two from now someone may have a flier with that price and insist you do their job for that price. It could come back to bite you. If you insist on advertising a price, you need to stipulate a limit on the price. $50 for up to 1000 square feet or something like that. Otherwise you will get the guy with a 1000 foot long extra wide driveway and parking for 10 cars that wants it all done for $50.

Another thing to consider is how it will look to your potential customers when they call you for a great deal and you show up trying to beat them to death with add ons and upgrades to increase the sale. Nothing puts me in a bad mood faster than those guys. That's not to say it isn't important to offer the add ons and upgrades, but at a starting point of $50, you need to be agressive to get the extra sales to make the job worth the effort. Most people don't like agressive sales people.

Once you start to sell based on price, it is very difficult to justify increases in your price. People already have a preconceived idea of what your service is worth because you told them you will work cheap. $50 is cheap by most peoples standards. Once you go down that road, it is almost impossible to start selling based on quality.

Good Luck with the business. Hope it works out well for you.

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What are you going to call your company? Low-Ballers Kind of Clean Pressure Washing. You cannot make any money at that rate. A better thing would be to start by reading all of the posts for flat workers here and on the other boards.

Good luck, at least you are not trying to do hoods.

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i dont do anything for less that $80 (79) . my pricing starts there. outdoor signs, tried that 2 times in 2 years. had them everywhere. no luck. ive got a real nice picture quality out door sign i sometimes put out infron of the yard. i give out a biz card,2. one for them n one to pass along, a magnet for the fridge and a pen! at every estimate even if i dont sell the job. iget 300 pens for just over 100 bucks. there color matched to the company colors and are attractive. the magnets i make myself. you can buy the self adhesive maget from staples or office depot. real inexpensive and the magnets do work!!! just put the biz card on it and done!

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