Cheap, fast, clean — Zheng and Khader’s power washing venture



Saphe Khader (10) power washes the garage of a residential property. Before power washing properties as a job, Khader power washed his own house to keep it sharp.

Youheng Zheng (9) rinses the door of a residential property. Zheng’s power washing cleaned the house of any dirt that dimmed the house’s appearance.

Soak, scrub, rinse and repeat. While some students wait tables or babysit, Saphe Khader (10) and Youheng Zheng (9) power wash residential and commercial properties in the greater Memphis area for some extra cash.

In November of 2022, Zheng continued a summer-long search for a side job that would still allow him to give proper dedication to his studies. While many entrepreneurs start off their businesses by purchasing supplies and acquiring a customer base afterwards, Zheng took the non-traditional route.

“Fun fact, so when I started the business, I just directly started advertising without having the pressure washer because one of the business principles I’ve learned is that getting customers is the hardest part,” Zheng said. “Worst case scenario [is] we have to go out and rent a pressure washer and do the job. Profits would take a hit, but you still have a happy customer, you still have some money, and everything will work out in the end.”

Khader already owned the supplies Zheng needed for his business, and so the two struck up a deal. The pair decided to be co-founders and split up the business’s managerial tasks.

“I had a safe; I had a pressure washer,” Khader said. “I already had [a pressure washer], because I used it on my own house, and I saw [Zheng] advertising for pressure washers, so I told him, ‘You can use my pressure washer, and so we join together, and we use you for advertising.’”

While Khader joined Zheng in his entrepreneur venture through Zheng’s advertising, they both realized they needed to expand their advertisement to attract more customers. They began by posting a Craigslist ad, which resulted in no additional customers. Consequently, they formulated and adopted a variety of advertising means to maximize potential.

“Unfortunately, [the Craigslist ad] did not work, so we switched up our business strategy,” Zheng said.  “We decided to print the flyers and those flyers landed us a customer. We also did word of mouth and that landed us a customer.”

In addition, Zheng and Khader recruited their friends’ help to help pave the way for their business’s success. James Wang (10) created the business’s logo and Allen Guo (10) now handles the business’s advertising and social media.

“[S]o, we got someone, one of our friends, to make us a logo, and then we used that logo to make business cards,” Khader said. “And we started passing those out.”

The pair created the business’s easy-to-remember name, “Cheap, Fast, Clean,” to specifically target people who wish to receive a professional-quality power washing job at an affordable price. Zheng and Khader take great pride in the professional quality of their work.

“Clean,” Zheng said. “We clean people’s properties … you cannot see a distinction between our pressure washing and a professional company’s, because we basically use the same equipment and the same pressure … we do things fast. Saphe and I always care about speed. Everything we do, while guaranteeing quality of course, is done with speed. And cheap, if you compare our prices to any other price on the market for professional pressure washing, we are less than half of what they [charge], and we give you the same service.”

The duo’s job and school schedules have not conflicted much because their business is relatively new; however, they still accomplish daily managerial tasks such as checking power washing supplies, distributing their business cards and more.

“So everyday actually, I go home, and I make sure the pressure washer is working,” Khader said. “Because what happens is if it sits for a long time, the oil kind of settles at the bottom, and it can leak and it can actually break the machine.”

Zheng and Khader designate White Station as their largest support group. Spartan students spread the word of their business and help them brainstorm ideas to improve. In turn, Zheng and Khader offer discounts to them.

“Our friends and the overall school community,” Zheng said. “The Spartan community overall is welcoming and they embrace our business.”

A good relationship between co-founders is a must for a business to succeed, and Zheng and Khader have achieved this as they teach and build up on each others’ skills for their business to prosper.

“[S]aphe has been a very reliable back-end supplier,” Zheng said. “He’s been always bringing a working pressure washer; he’s been bringing the gas link; he’s just a good co-founder and employee overall.”

In the future, the co-founders plan to consistently improve the quality of their work and expand the number of properties serviced. Owning this business allows them to set their own pace to achieve this, keeping stress levels low now and in the future. While the pair do not know how long they will continue to have their business up and running, their principles will remain the same throughout the business’s operation.

“One of our principles is that the customer always comes first, and Saphe and I, and the other employees, we are determined to help our customers,” Zheng said. “[O]ur first job, we actually were pressure washing and helping clean up until it was completely pitch black outside. It’s just because, you know, we really care about our customers, and they’re our first priority, and we will try to do as much as we can for them.”