Pressure Wash News Winter issue

jvahaly

contents

FEATURES

4 8

The Right

Ingredients:

Be it chimney cleaning or soft

wash, serial entrepreneur David

Jarett has the recipe for success.

100 Other Ways

to Advertise

Your Business:

Think outside the box to draw

attention to your service

12

Get to Know

Section 179 of

the IRS Tax Code:

Don’t leave money

on the table this year

14

Rebuilding Your

Rocket Ship:

Diagnosing and overcoming

small business stall-out

27

It’s a

Family

Affair:

Untangling the

complexities of a

family business

20

Having a Blast

By using around 10 percent of

the water that pressure washing

requires, ice blasting is just starting

to make waves in the industry

DEPARTMENTS

3 Editor’s Letter:

Failure is not necessarily

a negative

18 Industry Dirt:

A look around the cleaning

equipment world for news

and notes of interest

Vol. 2, No. 1, Winter 2020

Pressure Wash News is published 4

times per year and is independently

owned by Jackson Vahaly.

Publisher: Jackson Vahaly

Editor: Drew Ruble

Design: Katy Barrett-Alley

All inquiries should be directed to:

Pressure Wash News, 110 Childs Ln. Franklin, TN 37067 | jacksonv@pressurewashnews.com

Copyright © 2020 2 Dollar Enterprises/Pressure Wash News. All Rights Reserved.

2 | PRESSURE WASH NEWS | VOL. 2, NO. 1 | WINTER 2020


EDITOR’S

NOTE

Failure is not

Necessarily a Negative

Remember the Budweiser commercial

that caused an uproar following the

2016 presidential election?

Not long after President Donald

Trump first introduced his proposed ban

on travelers from seven Muslim-majority

countries, the beer giant unveiled a Super

Bowl ad profiling the difficult journey

that immigrant co-founder Adolphus

Busch made in 1857 from Hamburg,

Germany to St. Louis, Missouri in his

quest to establish the now-famous brand.

In the 60-second commercial, Busch

encounters not just physical difficulty on

his journey to meet Budweiser co-founder

Eberhard Anheuser and discuss the product’s

launch; he also encounters significant

anti-German immigrant hostility

along the way.

While a convincing portrait of

the adversity Busch faced to follow his

dream, the timing of the commercial

arguably created less inspiration than it

did controversy. Calls for a boycott of the

great American beer were fierce among

incensed Trump supporters.

To me, it’s a shame that the commercial’s

message of perseverance got overshadowed

by the politics of the moment.

Because to me, the story serves as a great

lesson for the very “middle America” the

beer commercial targets.

In life, adversity is the norm. Nothing

worth doing ever comes about without

obstacles along the way. But like Busch,

you have to see the adversity you face

in pursuit of your dreams as the fuel to

accelerate the growth you seek.

Start today to view adversity not as a

Winner, winner, chicken dinner: Hail the winners of Flight 2 in the annual CETA/PWNA golf scramble, held this year in Charleston, South Carolina,

location of the joint annual conference held by the two associations. From left to right is Greg Rossmann, midwestern regional manager for Cat Pumps in

Minneapolis, MN; yours truly, Drew Ruble, editor of Pressure Wash News in Franklin, TN; Al Bonifas, owner of All Spray Ltd. Pressure Cleaning

Equipment Pumps and Supplies in Swanton, OH; and Mike Turner, president at Etowah Chemical Sales & Service in Gadsden, AL. Atta boys!

negative but as a means to accelerate

growth. You have to fundamentally

learn and believe that a bump in the

road, a lost sale, a project gone sideways,

is not a catastrophic event but rather

is evidence that you are just that much

closer to dialing in the right solution and

achieving your goal.

That has to be your mindset if you are

going to be successful in business. You’ve

got to flip the script.

When you feel that adversity coming

on, don’t ask ‘why is this happening?’

Instead ask ‘what is this trying to teach

me?’ That’s the mindset you need. You

have to run towards your struggle, not

run away from the conflict.

Here’s a boxing metaphor that’s

helpful when facing adversity. Boxers are

taught to “lean into a punch” instead of

veering away from it because you actually

give your opponent more power by trying

to avert an incoming blow. That’s contrary

to what you might think instinctively; but

the concept equally applies in dealing

with everyday business struggles.

Don’t wish it was easier, wish you were

better. Don’t wish for less problems, wish

for more skill. Don’t wish for less challenges,

wish for more wisdom. Use your

adversity to accelerate your growth.

Drew Ruble

drewruble@gmail.com

VOL. 2, NO. 1 | WINTER 2020 | PRESSURE WASH NEWS | 3


The Right

Ingredients

Be it chimney

cleaning or soft wash,

serial entrepreneur David Jarett

has the recipe for success

BY DREW RUBLE

Ask David Jarett to explain his rapid

success in the soft wash industry and he

might begin by telling you the history of

the famous Italian dish, penna alla vodka.

The first use of vodka in a pasta dish

is attested on 1974, when the famous

Italian actor Ugo Tognazzi published

the cookbook L’Abbuffone, which included

his recipe for pasta all’infuriata (furious

pasta), described as a sort of pasta all’arrabbiata,

made with ½ kg of penne, ½

kg of fresh peeled tomatoes, a shot of

vodka, chili pepper, oil, garlic, and bay

leaves. Vodka is thought to release certain

flavors from the tomato that would

otherwise be inaccessible.

Since then, however, there have been

multiple claims to the invention of the

dish. For instance, according to Pasquale

Bruno Jr., author of The Ultimate Pasta

Cookbook, penne alla vodka was invented

at Dante, a restaurant in Bologna, Italy.

In the 1980s, another recipe based

on penne and vodka, called Penne alla

moscovita (penne on Moscow style),

but made with smoked salmon, cream

and caviar (or variant with cream and

shrimps), became very popular.

Regardless of origin, research in the

U.S. has shown that penne alla vodka

has become, over time, the second most

sought after pasta dish in search engines,

behind only pasta alla Bolognese.

But what does all this have to do with

pressure washing?

THE MAN WITH

THE GOLDEN TOUCH

Jarett launched his Long Island-based

soft wash company, Gulf2Bay Soft Wash,

just two years ago. He now operates four

trucks. In his first season, the company

generated around $300,000 in revenue.

Last year, it generated just shy of

$800,000.

This coming Spring, Jarett expects

the company to grow to become a $1.2-

to-$1.3 million business.

“Soft wash is an industry that was

born and bred in Florida and now it’s

coming up the East Coast,” Jarett said.

“I attribute my success to sales and marketing.

It’s not the actual product itself. I

mean, don’t get me wrong, the product

is an amazing product. People are very

attracted to a non-destructive way of

cleaning, which is how we capitalize on

selling the soft wash.

“But we’ve been able to take the soft

washing and market it correctly up here

in the Northeast. It’s huge because it’s almost

like a restaurant that has a brand

new dish out that nobody has ever heard

of. It’s like penne alla vodka, which was

introduced in the 70s. People in the Italian

world weren’t quite sure what it really

was. But pretty soon everybody had

it and some people started dressing it up

with a little prosciutto or peas in it, some

people started adding a little mozzarella

to it, some people threw in a little Cabernet

to it during the cooking process. So,

they started putting their own spin into

it, which is something I’d like to think

that we’re doing right now in Long Island

with soft wash, even though we’re a

brand new company.”

Novelty or not, Gulf2Bay Soft Wash

hit the ground running. Or perhaps better

stated, flying.

continued ...

4 | PRESSURE WASH NEWS | VOL. 2, NO. 1 | WINTER 2020


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PROFILE OF

DAVID JARRET

“We went zero to 500 miles per

that it’s a numbers game, meaning that

“Gulf-to-Bay is in my backyard.

hour,” Jarett said. “It was literally

seven days a week from the day we

launched.”

Not surprisingly, Gulf2Bay is not

Jarett’s first entrepreneurial rodeo. Several

years ago, he took a small startup

chimney cleaning business and transformed

it into a seven-figure business

employing 43 people. Today his North

if you contact a thousand customers

you’ll get ten, so contact ten thousand

customers and you’ll get a hundred,

that was my program.

“So, it was all about that ‘churn

and burn’ style back there in the boiler

room. But we did it more from a professional

standpoint with a solid product

in chimney and gutter service, not a

My employees don’t go out of state.

And we’ve been able to educate

the consumer up here that this is a

Florida-based industry but we have

different strains of mold, mildew,

and bacteria that we are now experiencing

up here in the Northeast

and through soft wash we are able

to sanitize and clean those surfaces

Not

surprisingly,

Gulf2Bay is

not Jarett’s first

entrepreneurial

rodeo.

American Chimney and Gutter Corp.

services seven states.

He built his enormous chimney

cleaning business on a staple of the

marketing industry -- cold calling.

“I decided to really, really invest into

cold calling, specifically telemarketing,

and having a little bit of prior knowledge

at call centers specific to the stock

and bond era back in the 90s and early

2000s in Manhattan, known as a boiler

room, that helped,” he said. “Knowing

that boiler room atmosphere and hitting

the phones hard and heavy, and

knowing that the results will pan out,

scam like they do with blue chip stocks

in pump-and-dump style.”

Not surprisingly, Jarett envisioned

using the same approach to expand his

new soft wash venture.

“I had such great success with

the chimney industry that I thought

I would be able to use the auto dialer

in the same context,” he said. “But,

to date, I’ve still never even gotten to

that point because I haven’t needed to.

The soft wash business has been so successful

and grown so rapidly on its own

that I haven’t even used my chimney

business footprint.”

correctly; but more importantly, not

just treating the surface with pressure

cleaning where it comes back

the following year, but to do it once

effectively. We explain that it is like

with a weed. When you pull out the

weed with the root system, it doesn’t

come back. That’s the whole concept.

So, I haven’t even gotten to

that point of telemarketing yet.”

Several years ago,

he took a small

startup chimney

cleaning business

and transformed it

into a seven-figure

business employing

43 people.

Today his North

American Chimney

and Gutter Corp.

services seven states.

6 | PRESSURE WASH NEWS | VOL. 2, NO. 1 | WINTER 2020


PROFILE OF

DAVID JARRET

THE FUTURE

IS SO BRIGHT

What’s next on the horizon for Jarett?

His father lives in Naples, so one

day he says he would like to relocate to

warmer weather and open the “gulf ” office.

But he knows down in Florida that

running a soft wash operation is a completely

different beast.

“Up here, you’re not competing

against everybody you can imagine,” he

said. “Soft wash down there is prevalent,

everybody knows what it is, and the pricing

is a fraction of what it is up here.”

As a unique product on Long Island,

Jarett says he might get $0.35 a square

foot, whereas in areas like Florida, operators

might be getting seven or eight

cents a square foot.

“Plus, you’re competing against five

or six guys for the same job there,” he

said.

Which isn’t to say that competition

isn’t growing in his Long Island market.

“I probably saw 20 new startups just

this year,” he said. “Now soft wash is

starting to become more and more popular

-- and that’s just a year later. I can’t

even imagine what it’s going to be like

next year.

“But I don’t look at the other companies

as competition. I have a great

product to offer. More importantly, I

have built a solid brand that is already

established. I can point to hundreds of

reviews on my website and they’re all five

stars across the board.”

Jarett has also been recently approached

by a couple of potential capital

partners who have been investing in

other cleaning companies across the U.S.

“They came out in May 2019 because

they had heard about me,” Jarett

said. “They called me up out of the blue

and said they knew I was doing some

pretty good things in the industry and

wanted to come and take a look.

“They ended up spending three days

here and said it was a tremendous market

and a tremendous business plan behind

it. So, they in turn asked me if I’d

be interested in expanding with them.

“I said if you are really interested in

getting something going, I’m not looking

for investors on Long Island, but what

I would be interested in and willing to

do is kick open the door in upstate New

York and Connecticut. So that’s on the

drawing board. Right now, we’re going

back and forth on a plan, we’ve worked

out a budget, worked out some demographics,

and now we’re trying to look

for some space commercial space. That’s

next in line.”

Such money lenders are always on

the look-out for a rock-solid operator

with a successful track record to invest

in. Or someone who has created, in food

parlance, the next penne alla vodka. No

wonder they have Jarett in their sights.

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• Personal phone or written correspondence as requested to

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This is your Industry CETA is working for.

Help support it by becoming

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Not a CETA Member, but want to be?

Contact the CETA Office today at 800-441-0111, or visit ceta.org for a Member Application!

www.ceta.org | 800-441-0111 | info@ceta.org

VOL. 2, NO. 1 | WINTER 2020 | PRESSURE WASH NEWS | 7


Other Ways

to Advertise

100 Your Business

Think outside the box to draw attention to your service

1. Back-of-the-receipt ad $$

2. Sponsor a little league

team $$

3. Place a mini billboard ad in

a local ball park, ice skating/

hockey rink $$$

4. Diner placemat ad $$

5. Sponsor a local news

segment or weather report

$$$

6. Post a deal in a Valpak/local

coupon booklet $$

7. Sponsor a local event/fair or

have a booth $$1/2

8. Theatre/concert playbill ad $$

9. Place a float in a

local parade $$

10. Car window decal ad $$

11. Ad on a city bus $$$

12. Mail out postcards $$

13. Radio spot $$$

14. Send press releases to local

newspapers/TV stations $

15. Sponsor a local show $$$

$ = Free or Cheap

$$ = Won’t break the bank, worth a try

$$$ = Somewhat pricey

$$$$ = Expensive

16. Participate in local charity

event and hand out freebies

featuring company name $$

17. Set up a Facebook

company page $

18. Donate a service package to

a charity event auction $$$

19. Have family, friends and

employees wear company

t-shirts $$

20. Sponsor a golf hole at the

local golf course $$

21. Place ad on golf scorecard $$

22. Place billboard at AA

baseball field $$

23. Advertise on your local NPR

station during a service

industry talk show $$$

24. Host a city-wide “Who

Has the Dirtiest House

Competition” $$

25. Make coasters with your

company information and

hand out to local bars $$

26. Advertise in college

newspapers $$

continued ...

BY DEBRA GORGOS

For those of you looking to attract

new customers (and who isn’t doing

that???), here are 100 different ways to

advertise your business.

The ideas range from free (Facebook

page, Yelp profile) to crazy expensive

(rent a banner-carrying airplane!).

We also offer up tips on how to retain

already-serviced customers. But, be

careful, because for every Geico Gecko

there’s a Quiznos Spongmonkey, so

make sure to talk your ideas out with

a well-rounded panel of people and

check over everything again and again

for grammatical errors and wording

that could cost you millions (see sidebar

titled “Millions almost lost…”).

Here we go!

HOW DO FACEBOOK

ADS WORK?

According to the 2016 WordStream

article, Does Facebook Advertising Work?,

Facebook is one of the most viable and

reliable forms of advertising.

“Facebook is also still crushing it in

terms of user engagement,” the article

states. “According to data from Pew Research

Center, 70% of U.S. Facebook

users access the site daily, of which 43%

do so multiple times per day. In addition,

82% of the highly coveted 18-29

year-old demographic are among the

most actively engaged Facebook users.”

And, according to Facebook, “When

you run a Facebook Ad, you choose the

audiences that see it by location, age,

interests and more. With Facebook Ads,

you choose the type of people you want

to reach and we deliver your ads to them.

This makes your ads more relevant for

the people who see them and brings you

real results.”

BILLBOARDS ARE

STILL EFFECTIVE

Even though this form of marketing

has been around for over 100

years, they are still an effective way to

advertise.

According to an Arbitron case study:

✔ About two-thirds of travelers have

seen a billboard advertisement in

the past month and more than

4 out of 10 have viewed a digital

billboard.

✔ More than 8 out of 10 billboard

viewers, “make a point to look at

the advertising message at least

some of the time; nearly half look

at the billboard ad each time or

almost each time they noticed one.”

Along with billboards, it seems

continued ...

8 | PRESSURE WASH NEWS | VOL. 2, NO. 1 | WINTER 2020


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100 OTHER WAYS

TO ADVERTISE

27. Advertise in alternative

newspapers $$

28. Hang up flyers on bulletin

boards and lobby areas at

places like grocery stores

and auto repair shops that

allow it $

29. Verizon Wireless has a

rewards program where you

use your points for local

businesses $$$

30. “Cart-vertising”

(place ad in a grocery

store shopping cart) $$$

31. Place an ad on a

park bench $$$

32. Host a show on your local

Public Access TV channel $

33. Advertise at a local stock

car racecourse $$$

34. Host a YouTube Channel $

35. Give out matchbooks

with your company name

to cigar lounges $$

36. Place a car wrap on

your own car $$$

37. Place an ad on a movie

screen which shows ads

before the movie starts $$

38. Hand out giveaways after

each job that others will

ee: (Umbrellas, calendars,

hats, shirts, bags, coolers,

beach towels) $$$

39. Sponsor a bowling league $$

40. Give customers a 10%

discount if they refer a

new customer $$$

41. Give a free service on the

customer’s birthday $$-$$$

42. Leave behind a branded

car air freshener with

your company info $$

43. Drop off business pamphlets/

business cards at business

park lobbies $

44. Post advice/answer

questions/comment on

local blogs and include a

flashy business card in your

signature $

45. Advertise in a weekly

newspaper $$

46. Send out a newsletter to

customers $

47. Buy an ad in high school

yearbooks or at football

fields $$

48. AAA magazine ad $$$

49. Cable station ads

on the music stations

50. Hire an enthusiastic sign

holder to stand at busy

intersection $$

51. Hire a person to dress

up as a mascot $$$

52. Church program ad $$

53. host a popular food

truck on your property $

54. Groupon $$$

55. LivingSocial $$$

56. Set up your LinkedIn

business profile $

57. Google Adwords $$$

58. YouTube ad $$$

59. Set up your Yelp profile $

60. Start an Instagram account

and showcase top jobs $

61. Airplane banner ad $$$$

62. Entertainment

book coupon $$$

63. Nighttime logo project similar

to the Batman signal $$$$

64. Join your local chamber

of commerce $

as if modern billboards and smaller

forms of messaging are also being noticed.

According to the Arbitron study,

“Three-quarters of total U.S. adults

have noticed advertising on static billboards,

digital billboards, sides of public

buses, bus shelters, taxi cabs, commuter

rails, subways or any street level advertising

such as kiosks or newspaper stands

in the past month; viewership among

travelers is 84%.”

MILLIONS ALMOST

LOST DUE TO

MARKETING GIMMICK

In 1999, Casa Sanchez, a Mexican

food chain in and throughout San Francisco,

almost lost millions of dollars after

it launched a “get a tattoo of our logo

and get free food for life” campaign.

Co-owner Martha Sanchez told the

San Francisco Chronicle that she didn’t

think anyone would go through with

it. But then, as people starting coming

in baring tattoos of their logo, Sanchez

took out a calculator and soon realized

that if 40 people were given a free $8

lunch every day for the next 50 years, it

would cost them $5.8 million.

The restaurant chain then quickly

changed the deal and capped it off at

10 people. The promotion was re-introduced

in 2010, but it was tweaked so that

the restaurant only gave away one free

meal per day to someone who dons the

tattoo, and only if it was a certain size

and the person was interviewed carefully

and approved by Martha herself.

PUT A MASK

ON THAT MASCOT!

Mascots have been around since the

mid-1800s, according to the International

University Sports Federation.

Taken from the French word, “mascotte,”

which means lucky charm, the

United States started incorporating

mascots into their sporting arena.

As for some of the worst mascots

of all time, not including ones from

the Olympics which brought us such

doozies as Wenlock and Mandeville

(London 2012) and Neve and Gliz (Turin

2006), the mute Burger King man

seems to be included in most lists founds

on the Internet. Why? Because he is just

plain creepy.

In fact, according to a Time magazine

article titled, Top 10 Creepiest

Product Mascots, “It took Burger King

seven years to realize people found its

creepy, plastic-faced King mascot unappetizing.

The royal representative

has starred in the fast-food company’s

commercials since 2004, doing

things like stalking people outside their

homes and scaring young women.”

What’s the lesson here? If you’re

going to design a mascot, make sure

it talks, doesn’t sneak into peoples’

homes, and doesn’t scare people.

As for the best and most recognizable

mascots, Ranker, in an article

titled “The Most Memorable Advertising

Mascots of All Time,” listed the

following as top five mascots:

✔ Tony the Tiger

✔ The Pillsbury Doughboy

✔ The Energizer Bunny

✔ Mr. Clean

✔ The Geico Gecko

WHAT’S THE DEAL

WITH GROUPON AND

LIVINGSOCIAL?

Consumers sure do love Groupon

and LivingSocial, which attract millions

of users every day. But for business

owners, it is another story.

The problem is that while the dealof-the-day

websites offer up a great

deal to customers on a well-designed

platform, the business owners end up

taking a huge hit. With markdowns

generally in the 50 percent range,

Groupon and LivingSocial also get a

slice of the pie, leaving business owners

with little profit.

10 | PRESSURE WASH NEWS | VOL. 2, NO. 1 | WINTER 2020


100 OTHER WAYS

TO ADVERTISE

But, if they play their cards right,

they can hopefully turn the deal into a

regular customer-merchant relationship.

Some of the pros of using Groupon

and LivingSocial are that the sites are

visited by millions of people daily—

that means a business, looking to be noticed,

will get noticed along with a link

to a website, a phone number, and a

nice description of the business and the

services offered. Also, there is little to

do after a deal is posted, besides being

aware of how to scan a voucher and

track any of the fine print in the offer.

Both Groupon and LivingSocial

offer businesses access to a Merchant

Center, an online management program

which tracks redemptions and

buyer demographics, and allows access

to all customer comments.

As for the cons, some buyers view

businesses on Groupon and Living-

Social as ones that are “hurting” and

also some users are one-time customers

hopping from business to business with

coupons in hand. Also, such deals can

hurt your reputation with your loyal

and regular customers.

HELLO, FRIENDS!

Social media is still going strong

and from Facebook to Twitter to Instagram

to Snapchat, it seems as if people

still like sharing their lives, their reviews

and their daily errands with others.

On a global scale, according to their

respective websites, 1.65 billion users are

on Facebook, over 500 million are on

Instagram, and more than 310 million

are using Twitter on a monthly basis.

As for businesses, Forbes recently

announced that 50 million businesses

had Facebook profiles, and more than

2.5 billion comments are made on business

Facebook pages each month. Those

comments, good and bad, can be used to

a business’s benefit. Whether it is thanking

a user’s patronage, apologizing for

an error, or simply using the feedback as

a chance to tweak and/or keep certain

businesses practices, it’s all helpful.

A Business News Daily story once stated,

“Social media networks are fantastic

resources for businesses of all sizes looking

to promote their brands online. The

platforms themselves are free to use, and

they also have paid advertising options

specifically for brands that want to reach

even more new audiences.”

Also, people are still “checking into”

places on Facebook or tweeting about

a visit. These check-ins and tweets can

help to gain new customers who trust

those people and value their opinions.

But take note, you have to set up your

Facebook profile so that customers can

check in.

To do this, Facebook lists the following

steps:

✔ Make sure “Local Businesses” is

chosen for your page’s category

✔ Click About below your page’s

cover photo

✔ Click Page Info in the left column

✔ Click to edit and add your address

and click Save Changes

✔ A map will then appear in the Address

section Click to edit it again

and below the map, click to check

the box next to Show map and

check-ins on the Page

✔ Click Save Changes

SECRETS TO A GOOD

NEWSPAPER AD

It is commonsense that a good

ad has to have good grammar and a

phone number, website, and address

listed. But, what else does it need?

Here are some suggestions:

✔ write an attention-grabbing

headline

✔ promote a great deal

✔ use a clean and readable font

✔ do not make it too wordy and keep

your message simple and understandable

65. Host a fun block party

with a bounce house and

free food $$$$

66. Taxicab ad $$$

67. Join a welcome wagon

committee and put

pamphlet and business

card in welcome package $

68. Set up over-the-top

holiday decorations $$$$

69. Attend Networking events $

70. Set up your Google

business/Google Maps

profile $

71. Offer free consultations $$$

72. Look into Schema.org n/a

73. Place your business in

the Yellow pages $$$

74. Sponsor a local racecar

driver $$$$

75. Attend local auto shows and

other leisure events $$

76. Try a SCAN ad

77. Form a team and participate

in a bike-a-thon or walka-thon

and wear company

shirts and hats $$$

78. Set up a scholarship for a

student who works for you

or an employee’s child

and your company will be

announced at the school’s

scholarship award ceremony

and in the program $$$

79. Ask popular local bloggers to

talk about your business $

80. Offer up free advice on

Google+ and Yahoo and

on message boards where

people are asking pressure

wash-specific questions $

81. Set up your social media

presence and claim your

name on knowem.com $

82. Do a link exchange with

complementary businesses $

83. Have your business listed

as a POI in GPS (try

mapreporter.navteq.com) $$$

84. Become an expert source

for journalists using HARO

(Help A Reporter Out) $

85. PPC – Pay-per-click

(PPC) advertising $$$

86. Set up inflatable dancers on

your property or properties

where and while you are

working $$$

87. Mobile apps ad $$$

88. Set up a website (make sure

it is mobile optimized) $

89. Set up a Twitter profile $

90. Start a blog $

91. Establish an email list which

automatically sends out

reminders, holiday greetings,

birthday discounts…etc. $

92. List your business on Yahoo

Local and Bing Local $

93. Rent a billboard $$$$

94. Set up a Google+ profile $

95. Place a Facebook ad $$$

96. Give out free services to

local veterans, firefighters,

etc. $$$

97. Hot air balloon $$$$

98. Be on the show

Competition Ready $$

99. Adopt a highway $$$

100. Establish your business

on Foursquare and

Facebook Check-In $

VOL. 2, NO. 1 | WINTER 2020 | PRESSURE WASH NEWS | 11


Get to Know

Section 179

Don’t leave money on the table this year.

Utilize Section 179 of the IRS Tax Code

to help maximize your profitability.

It’s easier than you may think.

BY BRYAN CROCKETT

As a successful small business owner,

you are already familiar with one of the

fundamental truths of all business success:

cash flow is the lifeblood of your

business.

As your cash flow increases, your

business has a greater chance of weathering

periods of economic uncertainty

and strategic challenges.

While there are numerous methods

you implement every day to help you

increase your cash flow, one path that

sometimes is under-utilized is that of reducing

your taxable income.

Knowing that small to medium business

owners play a key role in our economy,

the IRS created Section 179 of the

U.S. Tax Code. Section 179 gives businesses

like yours a tool to decrease your

taxable income, which in turn increases

your cash flow.

SO, WHAT IS SECTION 179?

Section 179 is a provision in the tax

code that business owners can take advantage

of to reduce their businesses taxable

income.

Under the rules of IRS Code Section

179, a business can write off up to 100%

of its equipment and vehicle purchases

in the year of acquisition rather than depreciate

the new assets over its useful life.

So, for example, if a business purchased

$50,000 of business equipment

in a certain year, and if that business depreciated

the equipment using a straight

line method over five years, that business

would deduct $10,000 from their taxable

income each year, for five years. However,

under Section 179, that business

could depreciate the entire $50,000 in

the year of purchase, thereby greatly accelerating

the tax deduction.

The bottom line is, Section 179 is an

effective tool in reducing your business’

taxable income, which translates into increased

cash flow.

HOW DO YOU MAXIMIZE

SECTION 179?

One of the key elements of Section

179 – and one of its most powerful features

– is that it allows you to take this

full depreciate regardless of whether you

paid cash for your equipment, or if you

financed the equipment.

This creates a very interesting advantage

when you combine Section 179 with

appropriately-structured financing: you

can deduct the full amount of the equipment

and/or vehicles this year without

paying the full amount this year.

Many business owners who take advantage

of this powerful combination

find that the amount they saved in taxes

actually exceeds their finance payments,

making this a very effective tool to increase

your business’ cash flow.

ARE THERE ANY

RESTRICTIONS?

The equipment purchased must be

used at least 50% for business purposes

and must be purchased and placed into

service in the year of the deduction.

For most taxpayers, that would mean

that December 31 is a key date for tax

planning. In addition, the amount that

can be deducted from your taxable income

is limited to $1 million.

Finally – and we can’t stress this

enough – partner with your tax professional

and your business accountant to

take full advantage of section 179 for your

specific business needs and applications.

The combination of you, an experienced

tax professional, and a skilled business accountant

make an excellent team.

DON’T DELAY.

Because of the stipulations of Section

179 discussed in this article, we have seen

situations where people wait too long to

start planning for their deductions, and

lose out on the chance to take advantage

of this powerful tool.

Before the year closes, now is the time

to take advantage of the Section 179 deduction.

Maximize your cash flow by

claiming your full deductions, and put

that money directly back into your business.

As long as your purchases qualify

for the Section 179 deductions, taking

advantage of this incredible tax code

should be one of the easiest decisions

you make this year.

After all, maximizing profitability is

not a one-answer solution.

Editor’s Note: Crockett is national account manager for Aztec Financial, which specializes in financing options, Equipment Credit Line programs, and other benefits

of financing for pressure washers, as well as tax write-offs specific to the industry.

12 | PRESSURE WASH NEWS | VOL. 2, NO. 1 | WINTER 2020


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Rebuilding

Your

Rocket

Ship

Diagnosing & overcoming

small business stall-out

BY DREW RUBLE

While starting a pressure wash business

is relatively easy, maintaining sustained,

manageable growth is not.

One of the most difficult transitions

to make is going from a so-called “stage

one” company to a “stage two” company

(often defined as surpassing seven figures

in revenue).

But even if your business isn’t quite at

those levels yet, growth at any stage can

sometimes stall out. Symptoms might

include that a company’s sales growth

slows to less than 1% per year for two

years or more, declines for two years or

more, or “ping-pongs” back and forth

for several years.

What causes it? And how to you overcome

stall?

THE DOCTOR IS IN

According to small business consultant

Chuck Violand, who specializes in

helping owners of restoration and cleaning

companies build profitable businesses,

you’re going to have to be willing

to look honestly at your business – and

yourself -- if you wish to overcome stall.

Stated bluntly, Violand says many

times stall occurs because the owner of

the company “has lost the competitive

edge that helped get the company off the

ground and running in the first place,

or because they are still performing job

functions of owners of smaller companies

and not adapting to the growing

needs of their businesses.”

When most pressure wash entrepreneurs

started their business, they were

probably a solo operator or maybe had

one or two people working for them.

They had almost maniacal control of

their employees and of their business

assets. They were adequately qualified

to run the business. And frankly, if they

weren’t making money early in the life

cycle of their business then they perhaps

had no business being a small business

owner in the first place.

Their competitive edge in the marketplace

as a small operator like this was

likely that they offered “high service and

low rates,” according to Violand. And

who provided that high service and low

wages? You did!

“You would do any job, anywhere, any

site, anytime, just pay me,” Violand said.

You were what Violand calls a heroic

manager. All decisions went through

you. And you liked that. But eventually

you realized that you were not going to

grow your business operating that way.

FROM HERO TO ZERO

So, you branched out and expanded.

Now, as the business grew even more, it

began to stretch out and pick up speed.

Your business assets and employee base

each grew, but it’s quite likely that your

overall profitability went down both as a

whole number and as a percentage as the

business.

Whereas when you were doing a

continued ...

Editor’s note: Violand founded Violand Management Associates in 1987. As an author and popular keynote speaker, he is a respected authority on entrepreneurial small businesses, having

spent 32 years as both a business consultant and executive coach. Violand is a regular contributor to trade journals and newsletters, and is the author of the popular weekly leadership

series Monday Morning Notes. Violand led classes on small business success at the 2019 conference of the Pressure Washers of North America (PWNA) annual conference in Charleston,

South Carolina. This article was pulled from Violand’s comments made during a session at that conference.

14 | PRESSURE WASH NEWS | VOL. 2, NO. 1 | WINTER 2020


REBUILDING

YOUR

ROCKET SHIP

quarter of a million dollars in revenue

possibly even your comfort zone.

self as the owner so that you consistently

that uncomfortable energy to overcome

and you were doing most of the work

“Your guts feel the same way you felt

become more competent and confident?’

second stage stall.

yourself you had a monstrous bottom

when you were a kid riding a bike down

According to Violand, there is a

So how do you do it? How do we now

line, now, even though the business has

a hill and you’re going faster than you’ve

direct correlation between a failure to

grow ourselves and get out of our com-

grown exponentially, you may have

ever gone and you realize you could get

grow as a business owner and a business

fort zone in a manner that will enable us

found that your personal income hasn’t

hurt. It’s the same thing with our busi-

stalling. As just one example, consider

to fight back against stage two stall?

changed. (Ideally, your time has changed,

nesses. You’re feeling out of control.”

that when your employees -- who look

First, we have to identify the bad hab-

since now you’re not the one responsible

But somewhere along the line, nor-

to you for leadership and management

its CEOs develop that leads to a lack of

for everything. You’ve essentially given

mally between $500,000 and $1 million

-- see you ‘falling behind the curve,’ it

personal growth and dooms a business to

up a little bit of margin for the privilege

in revenue, the business begins to stall.

doesn’t take long for them to read the

second stage stall. Then we need to rem-

of having people help you and having a

Why? And what do you need to do to

handwriting on the wall and decide that

edy whichever of these CEO attributes

business that is sustainable without you

re-start your rocket ship? What’s missing

your place of business is likely a dead

must be corrected in order for our busi-

end for them, professionally speaking.

ness to thrive again under our executive

Violand says we prefer to think that our

leadership.

-- the payoff for trade-off you made.)

At this stage of the business, “bullets

are flying,” Violand says. You’re moving

so fast that you’re really just trying

to keep the business running and in motion.

A lot of times, you don’t even realize

what’s going on behind the scenes at

your own company.

“People are now performing jobs in

your company that you have little idea

how to do yourself,” Violand says. “The

company has outgrown you and has

probably also outgrown your skillset and

People are now

performing jobs

in your company

that you have

little idea how

to do yourself ...

The company has

outgrown you and

has probably

also outgrown

your skillset

Chuck Violand

that will get you to the next level?

IT’S ABOUT YOU!

Violand says if you are going to continue

to grow your business from this critical

juncture, you are going to have to face the

fact that you too must continue to grow

and mature personally and professionally.

According to Violand, it won’t be

enough that you know how to define the

outcomes for your business, or that you

know how to develop a team. The question

becomes ‘do you know how to grow your-

best employees go elsewhere because of

money when in fact it is often because

they see greater opportunity (and/or stability)

elsewhere.

Simply stated, you need to progress

and improve yourself as your business

expands and grows. However, the

thought of having to improve yourself

in an effort to grow your company may

make some business owners feel suddenly

uncomfortable. They are used to seeing

themselves as that original heroic manager

and would much prefer to explain

business stall as operational in nature or

the fault of employees or market forces.

Feeling uncomfortable about personal

change is normal. It’s also not the end

of the world.

Violand says to think about when

you first launched your company. Were

you comfortable then? Of course not!

You were uncomfortable! And, lest you

forget, you must have also been uncomfortable

doing whatever it was you were

doing before launching your business

-- otherwise you wouldn’t have become

an entrepreneur in the first place. It’s the

very reason you decided to take the small

business plunge! Back then you were

willing to accept the risk of going in to

business for yourself when you weighed

that against your discomfort level. Violand

says you now have to re-channel

THE FOUR

EXECUTIVE SINS

Violand has identified four phenomenon

that can occur to executives and which

result in stage two stall for their businesses.

All, he says, are self-inflicted. They are:

loss of focus; checking out; arrested professional

growth; and swollen ego.

What follows is an explanation of each

presented largely in Violand’s own words.

LOSS OF FOCUS

What’s really going on inside of your

head when a business is experiencing

rapid growth? It is hard to stay focused

when there’s so much going on. You’re

mainly trying to keep everything together

and keep the wheels on the wagon. With

so much going on, it becomes harder and

harder to maintain a focus on one thing,

so loss of focus happens organically.

Running a business is exhausting

both physically and mentally. You have

to recognize this and recognize when

that becomes a cause for loss of focus

leading to Stage 2 stall. An example

would be misalignment of staff. So much

is going on and it is moving so fast that

you fail to see that you don’t have people

doing what they should be doing, or too

many people doing one job. Such a lack

16 | PRESSURE WASH NEWS | VOL. 2, NO. 1 | WINTER 2020


REBUILDING

YOUR

ROCKET SHIP

of clear direction causes stall.

demanded of them.

deliver results, when push comes to shove,

fected, everyone around you knows bet-

How do you fix it? If you’re struggling

We respond by beginning to engage

it’s easy for us to back away from making

ter. We put our companies and ourselves

with feeling pulled in so many mental di-

in inconsequential activities, those we’re

the tough calls that need to be made when

at great risk when making decisions that

rections or feeling no sense of direction,

either familiar with or comfortable doing

our expectations aren’t met. Instead,

are distorted by our egos rather than

stop what you are doing and write down

but that have little impact on the perfor-

we’re tempted by, and oftentimes accept,

based on informed data.

your plan (or go back and re-visit it if

mance of our companies. We take on

mediocre performance because the alter-

Too many times, business owners still

you’ve already written it). Write it down!

these activities either because we don’t

native is more undesirable than the lack

go through the motions of asking peo-

Then start to communicate it on a reg-

know what we’re supposed to be doing

of performance: we’d have to re-engage

ple for their opinions; but everyone has

ular basis. Be like a parrot in your busi-

with our time, or because we don’t want

with our companies.

learned to recognize this for what it real-

ness. Don’t pontificate, communicate

through your actions. Live your plan.

So, for instance, if you say in your

business plan that you want to shrink

accounts receivable from 60 days down

to 45 but then continue to take on customers

whom you know (and your employees

know) are not going to pay on

time, well, you might be keeping the guys

busy, but you are acting out of alignment

with your plan and what you are trying

to achieve with your business. It’s time

to make a tough call. That’s living your

plan. Have regular accountability meetings

with your people, go over the plan

(again), and let them see the progress

that both they are making and you are

making to realize it.

CHECKING OUT

Checking out is what happens when a

business owner mentally disengages from

his business. It is one of the surest ways

to experience stall or decline in a company.

So, if we know this to be the case,

why do so many entrepreneurs put their

companies and their own futures at risk

by checking out?

Sometimes, as our businesses grow,

we aren’t sure what we’re supposed to be

doing. We were fine when our companies

were smaller and our time was spent

on jobs we understood or were trained

to perform. However, as our companies

grow, it’s not uncommon for them to

outgrow the owner/CEO’s comfort zone

to the point where many mentally check

out of the responsibilities and decisions

to do the things we know we should.

Sometimes we check out because

we get bored. Many entrepreneurs are,

by nature, high-energy, easily-distracted

people who are constantly searching for

the next thing to keep their adrenalin

rush going. It’s easy for the excitement

of their new venture to wear off and for

them to become bored, which leads to

an overwhelming urge to find something

new that rekindles their passion.

Finally, we check out when we “go

Hollywood,” referring to our pursuit of

the trappings of success rather than success

itself.

Lee Iacocca, former chairman of

Chrysler Corporation, accomplished

what many consider to be one of the

greatest turnarounds in business history

when he led Chrysler back from the

brink of bankruptcy in 1979.

Iacocca graced the cover of Time

magazine not once but twice, then pitched

margarine, and was even considered as

a candidate for President of the United

States. You may remember that it didn’t

take long before we were once again reading

about Chrysler’s financial woes, which

led Dr. Dieter Zetsche, one of Iacocca’s

successors, to later remark, “Every time

we get successful, we get stupid.”

When we check out of our companies,

we weaken our decision-making mechanisms

and our willingness to confront the

tough issues that present themselves every

day in our businesses. While we may assign

responsibilities to others within our

companies to perform certain tasks and to

ARRESTED

PROFESSIONAL GROWTH

As was stated earlier, if we don’t work

to stay on top of our game, there’s always

someone faster, better, cheaper, or just

plain hungrier who’s eager to take our

place. It should come as no surprise that

failing to continue personal development

as leaders can cause a business to stall.

When things are going well in our

companies, it’s easy to convince ourselves

that we have all the answers and

don’t need to continue growing as leaders.

Rather than exploring new ideas,

investigating promising markets for our

services, or driving more efficient ways to

deliver our services, we play the mental

equivalent of computer solitaire.

We keep playing the same game over

and over and settle for an occasional

win. When this happens, it doesn’t take

long for competitors, market changes,

or technological advances to catch up

and send our companies into stall. But

arrested professional growth is avoidable.

Surrounding ourselves with competent

people who are motivated and capable

of challenging us is a great first step.

SWOLLEN EGO

Making decisions while under the

influence of a swollen ego is like getting

behind the wheel of a car when you’re

drunk: your reasoning is clouded.

While you may have convinced yourself

that your decisions aren’t being af-

ly is: a thinly veiled attempt to have them

nod their approval as they rubber-stamp

the decisions we’ve already made.

How can you break free of a swollen

ego and regain proper perspective on

yourself and your business? Try serving

on a local board filled with other accomplished

people that is doing good work

in your community. You’ll soon learn

you’re not the only cock of the walk and

get your ego in check.

Or perhaps good medicine would be

working in a soup kitchen this weekend.

Volunteer in an effort to ground yourself.

PARTING THOUGHTS

As Violand says, feeling like you have

to increase your top-line to be successful

is a “Wall Street myth.” You don’t have

to be big to be successful. You define

that yourself. It’s a choice.

That said, if you are vying to grow

your business into a stage 2 business,

the key is to improve yourself. And that

starts with recognizing the four executive

symptoms that lead to stall.

“Just surviving is not a strategic

plan,” Violand summed up. “You were

the first hire. You hired yourself. And so,

as we grow the business, you are still the

one that must grow to fulfill the three

primary duties of the CEO – namely to

chart the course, build a team, and track

performance.”

Sustained personal growth, it turns out,

is actually the fuel your business runs on.

VOL. 2, NO. 1 | WINTER 2020 | PRESSURE WASH NEWS | 17


INDUSTRY

DIRT

A look around the cleaning equipment

world for news and notes of interest

Send your company news and press releases to drewruble@gmail.com

New website unveiled

by Kleen-Rite

CETA/PWNA co-conference

set for Nevada in 2020

Columbia, PA-based Kleen-Rite Corp.

announced the launch of its improved

e-commerce website in December 2019.

The property, kleen-ritecorp.com, includes

new and redesigned features to

optimize the user experience, save time

shopping, and place orders quickly.

Web pages will load faster than before

on all devices.

“Our customers want shopping to

be quick and easy,” stated Kleen-Rite

vice president Keith Lutz. “The new

site will have industry leading speed

and be easier than ever to use. Whether

you’re at your desk or on your phone,

we want the customer experience to be

exceptional.”

Customers can now log in to their

accounts on phones using a thumbprint

or facial recognition. Once logged in,

it’s easy to create a “favorites” list of

products, and move some or all products

into the shopping cart with a click

of a button once ready to buy.

Adding personal information, order

notes, and PO #s into the shopping

cart is easier than before for a streamlined

checkout process. The improved

“order summary” section comprehensively

breaks down costs before buying.

Be sure to sign up for the new

Kleen-Rite Rewards Club to earn rewards

points on every purchase, and

redeem points for Kleen Kash discounts

and free shipping offers.

Again in 2020, the Cleaning

Equipment Trade Association

(CETA) and the Power

Washers of North America

(PWNA) will co-locate their

annual meeting.

In 2020, the co-location

will happen October 22-25

in “the biggest little city in

America,” Reno, Nevada.

The 2020 event will represent

the third straight year the two organizations

will co-locate their annual meetings.

Both CETA and PWNA share a

common goal of promoting the industry,

and moving it forward. Co-located

shows allow members of both associations

greater networking opportunities

and business opportunities. Bringing

together manufacturers, distributors,

and contractors at a single venue has

proven to be an incredible catalyst for

advancing the entire industry.

PowerClean 2020 will feature the

industry’s leading exhibitors, equipment

training, seminars, networking,

and fun. While both associations will

remain independent and have events on

their own, CETA and PWNA feel that

these two great associations can combine

efforts to work towards a common

goal: Two Teams. One Vision. Advancing

the industry forward.

Hydra-Flex Announces New Line of Jetting Nozzles

Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN-based Hydra-Flex,

Inc., manufacturer of innovative

fluid handling equipment, announced

the worldwide release of a new

line of nozzles designed specifically for

jetting applications – the Reaper Rotating

Jetting Nozzle, in the fall of 2019.

With its improved impingement and

stream quality, these nozzles allow the

operator to complete the job, on average,

two times faster than with competitor

nozzles.

Designed for durability, these

heavy-duty nozzles are constructed with

stainless steel housings and tungsten carbide

wear nozzle tips and seats to withstand

harsh environments and provide

longer life than ceramic nozzles.

The Reaper’s rotating front jet is a

zero-degree, straight water stream that

blasts at up to 4000 PSI while rotating

at an optimal speed to form a 24 or

30-degree cone of coverage. Optimized

stream quality results in greater impingement,

allowing you to use one tool for

various applications (cutting, cleaning,

removal, etc.). Reaper’s four rear jets

create a 20-degree angle for maximum

thrusting power.

“We are very excited to bring our rotating

nozzle technology to the jetting industry,”

stated Mike Tonies, director of

industrial sales at Hydra-Flex. “A great

deal of time and energy was put into

working with contractors

to understand how

to design an innovative

tool to improve their

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2019 Fast 50, named a Top Inventor by

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in Class and Best New Product Design in

the Minnesota Manufacturing Awards.

18 | PRESSURE WASH NEWS | VOL. 2, NO. 1 | WINTER 2020


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Having

a Blast

By using around 10 percent of the

water that pressure washing requires,

ice blasting is just starting to make

waves in the industry

BY DREW RUBLE

Ice blasting is a method of industrial cleaning that uses a

continuous supply of compressed air to convey and accelerate

suspended ice particles to high speeds.

The ice particles are ejected from a nozzle toward the surface

to be cleaned. The ice particles impact the contaminant

covering the surface, breaking it apart and knocking it off.

Ice blasting uses significantly less water than pressure

washing (around 10% of the water).

It is also often used in areas where water is scarce, since it

requires much less water than pressure washing.

LEADING THE CHARGE

The Coulson Group is a family

owned and operated group of companies

that began in 1960 with forestry,

eventually expanding into aviation and

lumber manufacturing in the late 80s.

In 2012, the Coulson IceBlast team

began revolutionizing ice blasting technology.

In 2017 the Coulson Ice Blast

team came out with the IceStorm90, an

innovative portable wet ice blasting machine.

The IceStorm90 utilizes no environmentally

harmful abrasives, as well as

using no expensive blasting media such

as dry ice and sand.

Coulson Ice Blast is currently the

only company to manufacture ice blasting

equipment.

HOW IT WORKS

Ice cubes, made with any standard

ice cube machine or purchased in bags,

can be loaded into the IceStorm90. The

machine has a crusher mechanism inside

it, which crushes these ice cubes into

smaller ice particles, suitable for blasting

(the particles are around the size of a

grain of rice).

The ice particles drop into a rotary

airlock, which transfers them into a

high pressure air-stream. The ice particles

become suspended in the air-stream

and are conveyed through a blast hose

towards a nozzle. The air accelerates

through the nozzle and the suspended

ice particles are accelerated along with

it. The ice particles are then ejected out

the end of the nozzle towards the surface

to be cleaned.

The operator holds onto the nozzle

and controls whether the machine is

blasting or not by operating a trigger.

Like all blasting equipment, the IceStorm90

requires a continuous supply of

compressed air from a compressor.

The IceStorm90’s operating pressure

range is from 80-200 PSI. It can blast at

0-5 pounds of ice per minute.

Using a solid particle instead of a liquid

particle creates more collision force,

which gives the operator the ability to

clean with less energy. Essentially, a solid

particle has more mass, so the collision

that is created is higher in power, allowing

an operator to clean more.

Chris Wyatt, writing for the Daimer

Industries blog, once wrote about four

advantages of ice blasting over water.

First, the operator doesn’t have to

wait for electrical parts and generators to

dry out before using them again.

Next, removing radioactive and other

contaminated materials does not require

large containers to remove contaminated

water.

Third, mold and mildew removal is

more complete because there is no moisture

left behind.

And last, the machine also works underwater

-- ice particles are solid -- so

operators (divers) can actually clean barnacles

without taking a boat out of the

water. As a result, cleaning boat hulls is

20 | PRESSURE WASH NEWS | VOL. 2, NO. 1 | WINTER 2020


quicker and also more complete because

ice blasting discourages algae, sea slime

and mussels from reattaching.

Wyatt concluded, “From food service

cleaning to industrial equipment maintenance,

there are many different types of

machines and tools used to tackle these

tough tasks. Water blasting, steam cleaning

and sand blasting are all good ways

both commercial and industrial companies

use to clean their property and

equipment. These days, however, there’s

an even better way to get the job done.

Using a dry ice blasting machine works

better in many instances, does so more

safely than other types of machines and

costs less to operate.”

THE HISTORY

The first ice blasting patent was filed

in 1952, as a “means and methods for

cleaning and polishing automobiles” (US

patent 2699403).

In 1959, Unilever filed a patent for using

ice blasting to remove meat from bone.

The first company to attempt to

commercialize ice blasting technology

was Universal Ice Blast Inc., established

in the early 1990s based on a grant from

the Navy, who were interested in using

the technology to clean inside ship engine

rooms and other such enclosed

spaces on marine vessels.

The machines created by Universal

Ice Blast made ice continuously. When

a supply of water and electricity where

connected into the machine, a cold drum

would rotate continuously through a

bath of water. A thin sheet of ice would

form on the drum before hitting a blade,

which would shatter the ice sheet into

small flakes. These flakes would then be

sucked up into a fast-moving air-stream

and ejected out of a nozzle.

The machines made by Universal Ice

Blast used a “two-hose” system. Twohose

blasting systems use separate hoses

for air and for the ice. The air hose

is pressurized and ends in a converging-diverging

nozzle. The air accelerates

through the nozzle and reaches supersonic

speeds.

As the air becomes supersonic, its

pressure drops drastically, creating a suction

effect. This acts to suck the ice up

through a second hose, which is connected

into the air-stream after the converging-diverging

nozzle.

The ice is sucked up through the

hose and merges with the supersonic airstream,

which acts to accelerate it. The

mixture of ice and air is then ejected out

of the end of the nozzle.

Two-hose systems cannot accelerate

the ice particles to very high speeds

since the ice is not in contact with the

fast-moving air for very long and the suction

system results in large losses in air

velocity. In comparison, “one-hose” systems,

where the blast media is combined

with the air before the converging-diverging

nozzle, tends to be much more

powerful and reliable.

Enter Coulson.

Universal Ice Blast was purchased in

2012 by the Coulson Group of Companies.

Coulson wanted tech to clean

its airplanes but then started working to

reduce size of machines to make them

commercially viable even at the individual

commercial cleaning level.

In 2015, the company was rebranded

as Coulson Ice Blast. Coulson Ice

Blast redesigned the technology, focusing

around the more powerful and reliable

one-hose system. The IceStorm90 was

the first one-hose ice blasting machine.

The IceStorm90 is significantly more

compact than previous ice blasting machines.

The one-hose system also makes

it very reliable and much more powerful.

Ice cubes can be pre-made and brought

to the worksite, or they can be produced

continuously by ice cube machines.

Coulson now sells the IceStorm90 and

the IceStorm90+. The IceStorm90+ is capable

of blasting with either ice or dry ice.

TO PRESSURE

WASHING AND BEYOND…

This last factoid is important, and,

possibly, transformative.

Wyatt well describes how a dry ice

machine works on the same principle as

a sandblaster. However, instead of shooting

sand particles out of a nozzle with

pressurized air, the ice blaster forces tiny

dry ice pellets out under pressure instead.

When these particles of dry ice hit the

surface they are cleaning, they cause the

top layer of coating to shrink, which creates

cracks in the surface layer. The pellets

then come in contact with the warmer

surface below and absorb the heat. This

heat absorption causes the pellets of dry

ice to turn back into carbon dioxide gas,

which expands, causing the outer coating

to loosen and break free.

As Wyatt says, ice blasting, then, is

a great sand blaster alternative because

it is non-abrasive. Because the dry ice

particles turn back into a gas instantaneously

upon impact, the cleaning method

causes no damage to the hard surface

being blasted.

This fact alone makes ice blasting

machines usable for more industrial and

commercial cleaning applications than

just sand blasting. In many cases where

sand blasting or ice blasting could be

used, ice blasting could in fact provide a

better result faster.

TURNING THE TIDE

A lot of research and development

has been put into this new technology to

enable it to possibly knock down some

big, established industries. Only time will

tell how successful that push might be.

Skepticism in matters of innovation

like these are certainly understandable

and often even sensible. However, in cases

such as these, oftentimes, human nature

is to tend to be resistant to change when

in fact there is no reason to be. Or, at the

least, greater investigation is required.

People often talk about a lack innovation

in the pressure wash industry. If

nothing else, Coulson is certainly pushing

the envelope with their new technology.

The water consumption issue alone

– perhaps the greatest threat to the industry

in general – merits and full and

complete look by the industry.

VOL. 2, NO. 1 | WINTER 2020 | PRESSURE WASH NEWS | 21


It’s I a

Family

Affair

Untangling the complexities

of a family business

BY DREW RUBLE

Marriage isn’t easy. Neither is raising

kids. And we all know entrepreneurship

isn’t a simple task.

Combining the three is most certainly

not easy, but it often works out quite

well. Pressure Wash News recently sat

down with four prominent families operating

in the pressure wash industry to

glean some advice for our readers about

how to navigate their own family business

pitfalls.

22 | PRESSURE WASH NEWS | VOL. 2, NO. 1 | WINTER 2020


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IT’S A

FAMILY

AFFAIR

Here were our participants:

✔ Vickie Eubanks, co-owner with

husband Ty and sons Connor

and Tanner of South Shore

Building Services in Commerce,

CA;

✔ Erik Wasel of Averus Fire

Services (which specializes in

kitchen exhaust hood cleaning

business) in Gurnee, IL. Wasel

operates the business with his

with wife, June, daughter Meagan

Bunch, son-in-law Daniel

Bunch, and son Ryan Wasel;

✔ Marie Reinsel, co-owner with

husband, Andy, of A2Z Pressure

Washing in Bellevue, OH;

✔ and AC Lockyer, who owns Soft-

Wash Systems in Sanford, FL with

his wife Karen and son, AJ.

VICKIE EUBANKS

“We are celebrating our 40-year anniversary

in business. We are in the range

of $5 to $10 million. We always thought

we would sell our business one day; but

our sons, Conner and Tanner, went to

school, graduated with their business

degrees, and, to our surprise, both really

wanted to come in to the company. We

changed our whole strategy from selling

to succession planning.

“For the last four years, we’ve been

very deliberate about succession planning.

We hired a coach to help us figure

it out, and read a lot of books while our

sons were learning the trade. For three

summers in college, both of them did the

actual field work. Since they graduated,

they have since been learning everything

Ty and Vickie Eubanks, with son, Connor, owners (with their other son, Tanner, not pictured) of South

Shore Building Services in Commerce, CA

from HR to the accounting side of the

business to managing our crews, safety

training, and customer service and sales.

“My husband Ty and I have very diverse

skills and interests. What has been

great is that I kind of have my part to

do in the business and my husband does

his part. He focuses on operations while

I do marketing. That’s my baby. Never

the two shall meet. That’s when we work

our best.

“We actually have two offices. Two

separate buildings. We in marketing and

client service are actually in one building

and they in operations are in another

building. But on the finances of the company,

we work together through strategic

planning. We’ve always worked together

on that piece.

“Now that there’s four of us, we are

truly a family business right now. One of

the benefits I see is it’s great to share our

values and actually they have become

even more clear and well-communicated

to our customers and employees since

our sons joined the business.

“We’re in the Los Angeles market. It’s

very competitive, and very corporate. We

do only commercial work. Previously, we

didn’t want to project our company as a

‘mom and pop’ shop; so, we have marketed

differently throughout the years. A

lot of people didn’t even know we were

married! Once we became a certain size,

then we felt more comfortable with us

being a husband-and-wife team because

we already had established a corporate

image. But now that we’ve got both the

boys along with us, we are marketing

ourselves as a family-owned business to

these big companies like CB Richard Ellis

and they are eating it up! They love

working with a family business! So, we’re

really proud of working together as a

family and it turns out our customers

love it too. They love that they are working

with the owner’s son on something.

Conner just closed the Getty Museum,

which is three guys full time every day of

the year. That’s a big project!

“Here are a couple things that keep

our family moving forward and focused.

One is that we all pick a business book

to read each month or maybe every two

months and we’re all reading the same

business book together. That’s really

helped us get cohesive on ideas for the

company. I suggest Profit First and Traction

for starters. Then we get together

once a month and we discuss the book

and some of the ideas in it. That’s where

we kind of do our strategic planning.

So once a month it’s a family meeting,

a business meeting, but it’s more about

the values of the company and not so

much about what’s going on day-to-day

in the business. It’s built around reading

a book. I think it just sets you in a positive

mindset, a creative mindset.

continued ...

VOL. 2, NO. 1 | WINTER 2020 | PRESSURE WASH NEWS | 25


IT’S A

FAMILY

AFFAIR

“It doesn’t have to exclusively be

family doing this. You can or should be

doing the same thing with your managers.

Have a book club, read the book,

and get together and talk about it.

“Then once a month, the four of

us always have our financial meeting

together. Ty and I could do it ourselves

but, number one, the boys need

to learn the financials of the company,

and, number two, the meetings are

important to make better decisions

in the areas they are responsible for

based upon the financials of the company.

So together we do our financial

meeting monthly.

“Then, once a year, we do strategy

planning where we actually go somewhere,

stay in a hotel, and we do strategy

planning for the five-year-plan and then

we get down to next year. We will include

our financial goals for the next year but

also select maybe five major priorities

and goals that we want to accomplish

next year. Things like updating your

handbook or hiring new people. Things

that the company needs to accomplish in

the next year. All this keep us on track

and keeps us in sync to move the company

forward.”

ERIK WASEL

“We started in 2012. I had big projects

immediately that had to be successful.

So, my thought was to lean on people

you know and trust in a grassroots situation.

So that’s where the family aspect

came in.

“My daughter, Meagan, worked for

me part-time at the time doing scheduling

and other things. Then, slowly,

my wife came into the business on HR

and marketing. We went from $300,000

to $1.5 million in six months. That’s a

big jump in a very short period. Pretty

quickly we had a dozen trucks on the

road.

Erik and June Wasel with daughter, Meagan Bunch, son-in-law Daniel Bunch (black shirt), and son, Ryan

Wasel (red shirt) of Averus Fire Services in Gurnee, IL

“I like working with family members

and people I can trust. To me, if you

hire an employee, they’re like a renter.

They are not putting in the same effort

as someone who’s got ownership in the

business like family does.

“So now I have my daughter working

for me full-time. She’s the anchor.

She’s the key employee for me. My wife

is now 24/7. My son does all our purchasing

and procurement. And my sonin-law

is now my scheduling supervisor,

who manages a bunch of people in the

office. We went full in on the family style

business! In truth, I tend to be harder on

them because you also don’t have to worry

about the labor laws! (laughs in jest)

“I have 48 other employees. I’ve got

some non-family members who I trust in

key positions that I know have my back.

I find that priceless. When you have a

family business and employ non-family

members, you have to keep the example

set pretty even with how you handle

non-family and family members. I sometimes

struggle with that but it is a key to

running a successful family business. You

have to be ready and willing to discipline

your family employee equally.

“Having worked in the corporate

world myself, I know a lot of employees

don’t like to work for family-owned businesses

because they feel like they have

no opportunity for advancement. As a

result, I kind of go out of my way with

people that I really see talent in, supervisor-level

people, to make them feel like

family. They get the same kind of opportunities,

promotions, and perks that the

key family members have. Because I’ve

personally been that guy who seemed

like I was passed over for a great opportunity

because the boss’ son had come up

for it. Keep that in mind with your staff

so they don’t feel left out just because

they’re not family.

“If my wife wants to talk to me about

the business on the bed pillow, no, I’m

ready to get some sleep. I’ve had an 18-

hour day.

“I actually argue more with my

daughter, who is the office manager.

And, a lot of times, at a certain point,

we’re like ‘let’s stick a pin in it and we will

come back to it.’

“I’m in the field and they’re in the

office, so we actually do get a lot of

separation from each other. Believe it

or not, we all also vacation together, so

we’re actually a lot closer than you might

think. My kids will tell you that most of

continued ...

26 | PRESSURE WASH NEWS | VOL. 2, NO. 1 | WINTER 2020


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IT’S A

FAMILY

AFFAIR

their friends don’t do anything with

their parents at their ages now. But

we vacation together, and even when

we’re at home, we spend a lot of time

together. It’s actually kept us a much

tighter unit. It’s much better than

when I was still working in the corporate

world where I was on the west

coast all the time.”

MARIE REINSEL

“This was a second career for me.

We started this business in 2012. It is

a trick to work together. I was a CFO

in my previous job. I was in charge all

the time. So, working with my husband

was hard. I think the first time

he told me to stop talking to him like

he was one of my employees, that was

eye-opening.

“The first couple years were rough.

He comes in my lanes or sandboxes.

He tends to come in my lane a lot! I’m

not out in the field, so I’m seldom in his

lane. I do all the finance, so he comes in

my lane all the time. I used to take way

more offense to it because I know my

job and I know how to do my job and

previously I wasn’t questioned so much,

particularly on a day-to-day basis. So,

it’s taken a lot for me to learn how to

have those conversations.

“I know some families who run small

businesses have issues. They fight all the

time and can’t have a conversation. To

deal with that, we kind of state upfront

that we are either in ‘husband-wife

mode’ or in ‘business mode.’ Because we

find that when you’re at the dinner table

or when you’re doing laundry or when

Marie and Andy Reinsel, owners A2Z Pressure Washing in Bellevue, OH

you’re lying in bed and one of us brings and my mother will tell you that they

up the business, that tends to clash. He’s never fought. They kept it in. As husband

like ‘are you kidding me?’ Instead, get and wife, we fight a little differently than

your kids out of the house, get in business we fight as business partners. If he and I

mode, and have a scheduled meeting, an disagree on business, you can’t take that

employee meeting, to talk business. home, that’s just a business decision. I’m

“I can transition very quickly from head of finance, he’s the head of sales

husband-wife mode to business mode. and running the business, and you’ve got

My husband doesn’t transition as fast as to agree to disagree sometimes. But that’s

I do. If he’s in husband mode and I bring got to stay in the ‘nine-to-five.’ Not that

up business, the conversation generally anyone in the pressure wash business is

doesn’t go very well. And if he’s in business

mode and I’m in wife mode, same “You can be a family-owned business;

working nine-to-five.

kind of butting heads. But if I say ‘let’s but you cannot run like a family-owned

sit down, I’ve got an hour’s worth of stuff business. You have to run like a corporate

business. You can have that as your

we need to talk about,’ and we schedule

it, we seldom fight when we’re both in advertising hook and certainly people

business mode.

like working with the owner’s son, etc.;

“I remember before Andy and I got but you damn well better be run like a

married, my grandmother told me ‘learn corporate business because when you’re

how to fight.’ My parents got divorced running big accounts, clients expect you

to act like it.

“In a family business, you have to be

really honest too. I’ve seen a couple businesses

where the son is the operations

guy and he’s just not very good at it. If

you were in another business, you would

fire your son. It’s hard if you are the

owner or partners because you have to

be honest with yourself. If your kid is not

the right fit then you’ve got to re-assess

and hire for the right fit for the business

-- not because it’s your son.

“That’s also when you started losing

good employees. When your employees

are telling you that your son is an idiot

and you’re still keeping your son there,

well, that’s when you need to take a step

back and make sure you get the right

person in that job.”

continued ...

28 | PRESSURE WASH NEWS | VOL. 2, NO. 1 | WINTER 2020


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IT’S A

FAMILY

AFFAIR

AC LOCKYER

“Businesses don’t ruin families and

families don’t run businesses. Don’t

use that as a crutch. When people misbehave,

people misbehave.

“Secondly, as a family business,

don’t fall into the pitfall of creating

jobs just to create jobs for family

members. Every job description on

your org chart should be a position

that would exist whether it was a family

member filling it or not. So, if you

fire your brother-in-law or your son or

daughter, it’s a real position, because

you really do have to replace them.

Everybody working in the business

should have purpose. We shouldn’t

just be filling a business with job descriptions

to accommodate family.

“Live by that premise. Then if you

get a chance to bless a friend or a family

member with a good job, I think it’s an

honor. I think it’s an extra jewel in your

crown and I think it’s an honorable thing

to do.

“We recently hired our pastor of 29

years. You want to talk about hiring family!

“Know that you’re not just doing

business with people; you’re doing life

with people.

“We’ve been in business since 1991.

My wife, Karen, was my first assistant

tech. Three months later, she was telling

me how the bleach smell was making

her sick. Well, it wasn’t the bleach, she

had morning sickness. So, she wasn’t assistant

tech for much longer. After that,

she’s always handled the money. And I’ve

always been the marketing guy.

“Our son, AJ, just finished college in

AC Lockyer with wife Karen and son, AJ, of SoftWash Systems in Sanford, FL

May 2019. I had a rough business relationship

with my dad. But I’ve had a

lot of leadership coaching and training

through the years and I learned how to

take ownership of my own actions and

reactions to people. That allowed me to

look at my son and say to him ‘if you

want to come into the business, honestly,

we could really use you.’ He’s got a business

and marketing degree and I’m trying

to pull myself out of the day-to-day

business more and more and become essentially

the ‘vision’ officer. I really need

someone to take over the marketing, take

over the trade shows, and all the travel.

So, it’s a blessing.

THE TAKEAWAY

A lot of family-owned businesses fail

because family members can’t get along

(or don’t learn to get along).

A lot of couples think about going in

to this business together but aren’t sure

if they are a good mix to make it work.

Being successful as a family business

often requires re-negotiating your relationship

as a couple or a parent/child.

In the end, the experts we talked to

felt strongly that despite the hurdles,

operating a family business can actually

lead to stronger family bonds, as well as

better bottom lines.

They also affirmed that family businesses

most often drive families together,

not apart.

Operated the right way, they say

running a family business can be a great

experience and the most fulfilling of professional

endeavors.

Editor’s note: this article is comprised of

comments made during a session at the 2019

conference of the Pressure Washers of North

America (PWNA) annual conference in

Charleston, South Carolina.

continued ...

30 | PRESSURE WASH NEWS | VOL. 2, NO. 1 | WINTER 2020


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