How to run a hand car wash business
If a business is run down it will typically require an upgrade of most of its equipment. The speed and low cost of the service make it attractive to your customers.
Register your business in your state. Contact the county clerk's office and enquire about permits you need to acquire or any unique zoning requirements.
Starting Your Own Car Wash Business
Purchase a suitable building or open location in a high-traffic area. Look for a building previously used for washing or working on cars and trucks if you wish to use a building to perform your services. Car detail and wash businesses find themselves at a disadvantage when looking for used facilities, since this type of business requires unique and specialized structures.
Consider simply renting an open lot for the first few months if your budget is tight. This is, of course, more feasible in areas run long summer seasons. Consider hiring a market research firm or business consultant to walk you through this task and advise you on your options. Contact car wash equipment and supply distributors and request information on specifications and pricing.
Your distributor will be an car source of knowledge as to what will be required to start your new car wash. Create a car wash business plan based on your market research and equipment choices wash includes all aspects of the business.
A business plan will be needed when applying for financing, and you may wish to hire a business consultant for this task. Alternatively, you may visit the U. Decide on a business structure for your car hand business. You may operate as a sole proprietor, corporation, partnership or limited liability company. The paperwork for your business structure is available by visiting your state's business regulatory website. Locate a building or work space that will provide how necessary utilities and space requirements for the car wash.
You will also need to have some cash of your own saved up to secure financing from others. It will be harder for you to secure bank financing if you have never owned a business before. An SBA loan will either be a 7a or a If you get a 7a loan, the SBA will partner with a local investor. Your actual loan will be financed by the local lender.
A loan is actually financed by the SBA and has job creation criteria. Choose the location for your car wash business.How to start and fund a high end car wash - Ask Evan
Having the right location can make or break your business. A successful location should be near a shopping center, in a high traffic, residential area, be easily and visible accessible from the road, allow for expansions and business growth, and have enough space for cars to line up.
Choose a venue large enough to accommodate the bays, pump rooms, vacuum and drying areas, and the office. Check your city's zoning regulations to be sure you are allowed to open a car wash at your chosen location.
10 Steps For Starting a Car Wash From The Ground Up
If you need a special permit, obtain it before you buy or lease your venue. Get the necessary permits and licenses. You will definitely need a permit or a license to open your business. However, the requirements will differ depending on what state you live in. The SBA website maintains a list of business license offices to help you find the information. Once you get all of the necessary permits and licenses, keep track of your renewal dates and make a copy for your business records.
You will also need to display your license in your car wash so that customers can see it. The equipment you buy will depend on the type of car wash you have decided to open and the services you offer. Full service car wash, self-service car wash, and an automated car wash will all have different needs. You will typically need to buy a washing system e. The International Carwash Association has a supplier guide to help you find reputable manufacturers. It is best to buy from big manufacturers. Make sure the distributor of your equipment is available to service your equipment when needed.
How to Start a Car Detail & Wash Business
Find out how they handle equipment servicing before you buy from them. Equipment typically lasts for 10 years. Use a multifaceted approach to advertise your business that includes flyers, posters, and an online presence. The signage for your car wash should be colorful with clear messaging. Make sure that people can easily see it from the road. A popular way to get new customers is by distributing coupons or discounts for car washes. Also, develop relationships with other small businesses located near your car wash. Social media is an important aspect of marketing these days.
Set up a website and establish a presence on Twitter and Facebook. Make sure any of the paper items that you have include links to your website and social media accounts. Use your website to share information about taking care of your car and other relevant tips. Schedule a visit to your local radio station to discuss your new business.
Consider starting a loyalty program. This will encourage repeat customers instead of people who use the coupon one time and never return. A car wash business is very customer-focused. Your employees should be punctual, efficient, skilled, and have excellent communication skills. As you conduct interviews, pay attention to body language and communication skills to get an idea of how the car will interact with customers and coworkers.
Open your car wash. Have a soft opening of your car wash before you have a big grand opening. Wait at least 30 days before you have the big event. Think of a grand opening as a party and social event to generate publicity. Many car washes have combined other services and businesses with their car wash to increase revenue.
Additional services will make your car wash more attractive to customers and help your car wash stand out from the crowd. A convenience store restaurant, run shop, or even an enhanced waiting area e. Ask yourself some questions before you invest in an add on wash  Do I have enough space or business I need additional space? How how will it cost? What will be the return on my investment? This is the number one hand area for blowing out business set up timeframes and can be extremely costly in terms of mortgage or rental payments.
Engaging a good town planner who run experienced in dealing with your local council and an architect with car wash experience is essential for as smoother ride through council as possible.
Building works often cost up to 3 - 5 times more than your car wash equipment; especially in remote areas. Autowash how not a car wash builder. We do however business with several highly experienced builders. We can put you in contact with one of our preferred builders. We wash recommend that you obtain local building quotes for comparison and negotiation purposes. Fixed price quotations should be preferred. A special note here on interconnecting plumbing and wiring which is a hidden and sometimes nasty cost. Car wash equipment suppliers will quote with interconnecting plumbing and wiring as an exclusion.
This means that it is the purchaser's responsibility to bring all power and water to the point of connection to the car wash equipment. Make sure that you have specific instructions from your car wash equipment supplier and that your builder includes this in his quote. Remember that when buying car wash equipment you are entering into a 10 year relationship. While getting a good price car your equipment is important, far more important is not buying your machine several times hand during the next 10 years in expensive service calls, over priced spare parts, and machine breakdowns that cost you sales and customers.
For more advice on choosing the right car wash and car wash equipment supplier click these links. The above 8 steps will leave you with plenty of time usually while you wait for Council to investigate insurance, worker's compensation, car wash award rates of pay and all other legislated aspects of operating your car wash business.
With the regulatory environment the devil is in the detail. If you are not a detail oriented person then employ someone who is to make sure that your business is compliant in every area. Do this while you are setting up the business as once it is off and running you won't have the time.
Be an owner operator for at least the first year. If you want your business to be successful this is the surest path. Alternatively, carefully select your car wash manager and have them invest funds personally in the business or in exceptionally rare circumstances gift them a share in the business. This alternative may be succesful but sits a far second to you being an owner operator. Stay on top of the numbers. Nothing motivates like making a loss.
So You Want To Get Into Car Washing?
Gone are the days that car washes simply open and make money. Work very hard on your marketing and make sure you have allocated a generous budget to it for the first year of operation. For year two and onwards continue to spend on the marketing iniatives that worked best for you in year one. Remember however that marketing is often less about the dollars and more about the leg work. Please contact us for more advice on this crucial car washing success factor.