From Side Job to Small-Business Entrepreneur
Brayson Doward is the owner of Customary Professionals, a pressure-washing business based in Valdosta, Georgia. Customary Professionals offers commercial and residential cleaning services in the Georgia and north Florida markets.
A trucker for 14 years, Doward came into the industry via a side job power washing. “I worked my way into [power washing] from a trucking career,” he said. “I was a jack-of-all-trades initially, before I started doing research and realized I needed to ‘niche down’ and focus my effort and attention.”
Although relatively new to power washing as a small business entrepreneur — Doward started in 2018 full-time — his business offers window cleaning, sanitizing dumpster, and rubbish areas, soft wash for business and home needs, roof cleaning, gutter cleaning and brightening, as well as surface rejuvenation among his services.
“My advice to others considering running their own business is to make sure you can generate income to meet your primary needs,” Doward said. “I made sure I landed a few commercial contracts before I made the plunge to go full-time.”
Also, be mindful of your expenses and stick to the essentials at first, Doward advised. “Sometimes that means asking yourself if you have enough gas to put in the pressure washer. Know your numbers! You want to be able to eat a sandwich and pay the rent.”
“I made sure I landed a few commercial contracts before I made the plunge to go full-time.” — Brayson Doward, owner of Customary Professionals
Doward found networking to be his biggest lead generator. “Maids don’t do windows, but I do!” he added. “I looked for opportunities to subcontract and found it with residential house cleaning services.”
Despite the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic, Doward powered through. He attributes his family as his primary motivation for success. “I’m a father of nine children! I tell people that [with the request to] please send me referrals!”
Power Through! Pro Tip
Find a good mentor, Doward said. Dan Galvin, EnviroSpec’s CEO and owner, was Doward’s first mentor. “I walked into EnviroSpec, and Dan was there for me. Any questions I had, he had the answers. Because of him, I fell in love with the whole concept of a power-washing business.”
Doward started going to conventions and met others in the business like Ron Musgraves, owner of Pro Power Wash, who gave him advice. Doward encourages others to attend as many trade events as time and budget will allow — such as the upcoming POWERCLEAN 2021 in New Orleans Sept. 8-11.
“My tip is to invest in the best equipment. I paid $1,100 for my first EnviroSpec pressure washer, and it’s well paid for itself,” Doward said.