From Small Start To Growing Family Business – Interview with Owner of HH Pro Wash, Brian Tompkins

by | Jun 3, 2024 | Pressure washing service

  1. Kindly give our readers an introduction to your business.
    H.H. Pro Wash is a family owned and operated business located in Elkhart, IN. We are starting our seventh year in business, we service Elkhart, Goshen, Mishawaka, Granger, Soth Bend, Syracuse, North Webster, Bristol and Middlebury Indiana and Niles, Edwardsburg and Union Michigan. Our focus is exterior power washing/soft washing, exterior siding, concrete, brick, roofs windows and Christmas Lights starting in October. I am a High School teacher and run jobs from 4-8pm while my other crew works 9-5. H H Pro Wash cleaned over 230 homes last year, 28 Christmas light installations and hundreds of handyman jobs.
  2. Kindly give us a brief description about yourself.
    I am a Ball State Graduate with a master’s in education from Mary Grove college. I have taught middle school and high school students for over twenty years and started my entrepreneurial business many years ago doing construction in the summers and ran a lawn care business with up to 14 employees during our busy times. I sold that business to spend more time with my family. My faith and family come first in my life. I wanted a new challenge, something small I could grow over time with my kids. My daughter Cate currently works full time for me. She started after graduating from Olivet Nazarene College. My son Trevor is currently at Ball State and works on breaks over the summer.
  3. What inspired you to start a new business venture? How did the idea for your business come about?
    H H Pro wash started from my own need. I built my own house in 2004. My daughter Cate’s graduation party was scheduled for June and my white gutters looked terrible. Common mildew build up on most white gutters over time. I was going to figure out how to clean the gutters or install new gutter. After some research I was able to figure out how to clean the gutter faces. During Cate’s graduation party I was talking to friends and family about the gutters and booked two jobs that night. That is how the business started. I have always worked side jobs. I wanted a side hustle that I could leave school, work a few hours and get paid. This business is perfect for a teacher and it’s easier to teach someone to spray water than teach someone construction remolding.
  4. What three pieces of advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?

1 Avoid debt as much as possible,
2 Educate yourself fully before taking on new jobs, and
3 know when to hire help in the areas of the business you are weak at.

  1. What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
    1 Be comfortable talking with customers,
    2 Listen more and talk less when engaged with customers and
    3 know when to hire help in areas you are weak.
  2. How many hours do you work a day on average?
    That’s funny, my day normaly starts at 7 am, students walk in at 8:20 the school day ends at 3:20 and I am at my first job by 4:00. I’ll normally do one or two power washing a night and get home by 7/8:00. So, 12-13 hours a day.
  3. To what do you most attribute your success?
    My parents taught me hard work always pays off. So I would say being willing to work hard and taking pride in my work. My customers are giving me their hard-earned money to make their biggest investment look good. It’s my job to stay as long as it take to make that happen and not take a penny until they are happy.
  4. How do you go about marketing your business? What has been your most successful form of marketing?
    I have used Facebook, yard signs and door hangers. I have always had a website so people can see my work and answer questions.
  5. Where did your organizations funding/capital come from and how did you go about getting it?
    I paid for everything with the business in cash. I bought what I could afford at the time and used the money I earned to upgrade my equipment as I went. I now have great equipment and no debt. My first H H Pro Wash truck I still use everyday. It’s a 2014 F150 with 215,000 miles on it. The engine blew up last year and I paid cash for the replacement engine because it has a beautiful full advertising wrap on it.
  6. What is the best way to achieve long-term success?
    Grow the business debt free, hire help when the business demands it and plug in people to do parts of the business you need help with when you can afford to do so.
  7. Where you see yourself and your business in 5 – 10 years?
    Five to ten years I see myself retired from teaching and working full time for H H Pro Wash. I could see adding a third truck/crew and I can do more of the estimating. But I will always be part of the wash crew. I love the work and seeing the customers faces after cleaning the house.
  8. Excluding yours, what company or business do you admire the most?
    I admire any small business that is out there working hard and doing good work. People that have put in the time to learn the business they are in and doing quality work for their customers.

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