2. The Different Steps of How to Start A Car Wash Business?
1. Write a business plan
No matter what type of business you plan to open, you need to start with a business plan before launching your operations. Opening a car wash business is no exception to this rule.
Your business plan should outline your aspirations for your business, the results of your market research, a detailed plan of your marketing strategy upon opening the business, financial projections on the costs involved, and unforeseen expenses to be covered.
It should also indicate the expected financial performance and profitability potential over the next three years. Your business plan will be required to apply for financing from a financial institution.
It will be required by any bank or investor you approach to help finance your business. No investor will fund a project that does not have a clear and precise roadmap of its activities. Here is a detailed description of what the essential points of your car business plan should include.
Market research has three main objectives:
- Ensure there is a demand or need for a car wash in the area where you want to set up your business.
- Develop an appropriate business plan to meet this demand.
- Help you collect the necessary information that will give you an overview of the sales potential.
The findings of your market research will help you understand the needs of your potential customers and ensure that the location or area you have chosen has enough traffic.
Location is everything if you want to successfully start a car wash business. You need to know how often people visit a car wash, how many car washes there are in the area, and what type of car wash is preferred by most customers.
See related How To Find a Good Business Location
The market research should also give you an idea of the demographics of the people surrounding your future business location.
Here are some questions you can ask yourself to establish your study market better:
- On average, how many times do customers visit a car wash per week?
- Who prefers which type of car wash: full-service, touchless car wash, self-service car wash, pressure washer?
- What is the average budget per customer?
- How many car washes are there in the area?
- What services do they offer, and how much do they earn?
Develop a marketing plan for a car wash
Once you’ve completed your market research, you need to think about the marketing strategy you will implement to attract customers. The first thing to do is to look at your competitors’ communication and marketing approaches to attract and retain customers, whether it’s a jiggle ad on local radio stations or posting car wash discounts on social networks.
Learning more about other people’s strategies allows you to adopt better strategies to promote your carwash. While having a great location is the most critical first step, you’ll still need to find a way to turn potential customers into regulars.
You can also offer personalized services to your customers. Paid Ads, advertising in your local newspaper, creating a website and loyalty cards or developing offers, and creating Instagram and TikTok promotional accounts are great ways to do this.
The staffing and equipment needs of a car wash
The choice of staff and equipment will depend on the type of car washes you choose. Also, selecting the type of car wash shouldn’t be done on a whim. Base your decision on the results of your market research.
For example, if you are opening a self-service car wash or an in-bay touchless automatic car wash, you will not need enough staff to run the business. However, you will have to invest in the necessary equipment and renovations.
On the other hand, if you open a car wash that only offers hand washing like a full-service car wash, you won’t have to spend a large amount of money on equipment, but rather on employees. You’ll need to hire many employees to provide fast service to customers.
Estimated start-up cost
As an entrepreneur who wants to know how to start a car wash business, the financial aspect is important. You can’t start a business without knowing the start-up costs. Here’s an estimate of the starting costs of a car wash.
- Hand Car Washing: $1000-5000
- Self- service car wash: $200,000-500,000
- Automatic car wash: $500,000 and more depending on the size of the business
- Touchless Washing: $1,000,000+
The costs of opening a car wash depend on the type of car wash you want to open. However, there are certain unavoidable expenses, such as water and electricity. To limit the expenses, it is advisable to collect the water by capturing it and passing it through a filtration system to clean it before reusing it. This will help conserve water use and cut back on your water bills. As for the automatic car washes, they consume a whole lot of electricity.