Are you thinking about starting a business on your own? In this case, a car wash can be the right choice. There are cars everywhere, cars that need to be periodically cleaned. Yes, there are indeed other car wash businesses on the market, but there’s still plenty of room for more. People don’t like to wait too much, so a new car wash means faster car cleaning services.
Also, you can separate your drudgery from the rest by doing things differently, offering top-notch services at compatible prices, offering discounts for loyal customers, and others. So, here are seven steps that will help you open a car wash from ground zero.
1. Find the best business model that works for you
When it comes to car washes, you can opt for a mobile unit or the self-service option. Each of them has a set of advantages and disadvantages. The mobile unit gives you the chance to offer personalized services and grant the right amount of attention to each customer. Starting and operating a mobile car wash generates lower costs, and the profits can be considerably higher. As you grow, this model allows you to add more services to your initial package.
And it gives you the chance to clean an entire fleet of vehicles, which can be a headache to transport for a regular car washing unit. However, the disadvantages are rather costly upscaling and compete against larger companies that invested in more expensive equipment. Also, you need to go to the client to get paid.
The self-service option allows you to take care of the business in a more passive manner. Mostly you will be preoccupied with the maintenance of your machines and making sure there are sufficient soap and coins for their operation. This option can bring a lot of money is a rather short period, and marketing is not that important. Also, traffic is more significant in the case of this type of car washes. But the downsides are the costs generated by finding a suitable location, renting or buying it, and purchasing the necessary equipment. Maintenance and operational costs can also get quite high. There are a lot of excellent car washing opportunities available on the market; you can find them here. But, before you consider purchasing one, keep in mind the things mentioned above.
2. Take care of the legal and organizational chapters
Once you’ve made up your mind about the business you want to start, it’s time to make it legal. You will have to register the company and obtain all the permits necessary for its functioning. If this part is too tricky for you, talking to a lawyer can bring some light into it.
Also, if you opted for a self-service car wash, you will have to find a location and built the unit, if the case. For this, you may need the help of a real estate agent and an architect. However, if there is a building that may be suitable for your job, finding a contractor that can do the necessary modifications could get your problem solved. Just make sure the changes won’t come against the local regulations.
3. Invest in adequate equipment
A car wash cannot operate without proper equipment. What kind of stuff will you have to purchase? It is the kind of machines and devices that will allow your work to become operational. Try not to waste your money on all types of equipment right from the start. Once you start making a profit, you’ll be able to invest more in your business. High-pressure spray guns and nozzles, air compressors, water tanks, a professional vacuum cleaner for the car’s interior, towels, and soaps are among the essential pieces of equipment. Ideally, you should research to see what it means to start and operate the kind of car wash you want to have.
4. Come up with a good marketing strategy
Every type of labor requires a good marketing strategy. You need people to know about your car wash as soon as it is open and ready for business. Without customers, you won’t be able to make a profit. So, make sure you come up with an attractive logo and brand your business.
People will remember a brand and logo that suits the business and is capable of standing out. Also, make sure to create a website and work profile on social media. These days, if you’re not present online, it’s like you don’t exist. In many cases, social media accounts do most of the advertising and marketing for a business, so don’t skip this part.
Typing business cards and flyers can also help. Have someone spread leaflets in busy areas of the city. This method may seem old, but it works in spreading the word. And if your budget allows, use billboards and yard signs to signalize the presence of your car wash. Make them look professional and attractive.
5. How will you officially launch your business?
You will need a plan that will help with the launch of your drudgery. If everything is in place, you need to get the official launch of the industry-ready. Make sure to create a campaign around this event on social media, well before it will happen. That will get people excited and interested in the services you are about to offer.
6. Create a business plan meant to work for your car wash
It would be best if you created a business plan for your business as well. Set goals and expectations, but be realistic about it. It is better to achieve smaller goals than not to accomplish a bigger purpose. If you didn’t manage to reach the set goals, if they are realistic, start asking questions about what happened. What could have been done better? Keep yourself accountable and track the evolution of your business better to notice what doesn’t work.
7. Come up with a plan for downtime periods
When getting a business-ready, especially when construction and renovations are involved, things don’t always work according to plan. Certain events may lead to delays that will keep your business from getting out on the market and will eat more of your budget. So, even if you don’t like it, start planning for the worst-case scenario. Plan for those cases in which your business won’t run because of a particular reason. Come up with a backup plan and make sure you have an emergency budget to cover unforeseen situations.