6 Tips for Starting a Successful Car Wash Business

A car wash is quite the lucrative business, and with good reason. The US Census Bureau reports that people spend around $5.8 billion each year in car wash enterprises. Also, every day, approximately 8 million cars are washed. Encouragingly, small businesses own and operate around 90% of car washes. This means there is room for new ventures in the sector.

If you want to start a car wash business, read on to learn six tips for starting a successful car wash.

1. Have a Business Plan/Blueprint

Although most car wash owners use their own funds to launch their businesses, they still need a business plan. A business plan is essential if you will need investors or venture capital. If you don’t need a business plan, create a business blueprint to guide you on the road ahead. It should include:

  • The services your car wash will offer and its target audience
  • How the business will operate on a day-to-day basis
  • Your responsibilities and those of others on your team
  • Cost of operating the car wash for the first year
  • How you will cover expenses in the first year — through sales or another source

2. Do the Paperwork

Like any other business, you should have the required paperwork for your carwash. This includes applying for licenses and permits as well as meeting insurance, tax, and other legal requirements. Remember that different states and counties have different rules on starting and operating businesses. Therefore, familiarize yourself with the laws and regulations in your area.

3. Find a Strategic Location

Any successful business should be strategically located for easy access by customers. Before choosing a location, consider the area’s population, street types, car counts, and competition. An ideal location should be visible and accessible from the road, have adequate space for cars, and allow for expansion. It can be near shopping centers, public facilities, eateries, mechanic shops, and residential areas.

4. Research Car Washes

If you are new to the car wash business, tour numerous car washes to see what makes them stand out. Explore different washes, ranging from automatic washes, express, detailing, and other types of washes to learn their operations, pricing, marketing, services, staffing policies, demographics, and customer management. All these things will give you valuable insights on how to run your car wash.

5. Acquire the Necessary Equipment

You must purchase the necessary equipment to start working. The equipment you will buy depends on the services you will provide. Will your car wash be self-service, full wash, or automated?

Typically, you will need a washing system (self-service equipment, pressure washer, conveyor, or mobile wash system), chemicals (cleaning solutions, pre-soaks, wax), vacuums, pumps, dryers, brushes, billing system, and water systems.

6. Market Your New Business

You may have the best car wash in the neighborhood, offering the best service and using the latest technologies, but it is useless if no one knows it exists. If you want many customers lining up to get their cars cleaned at your business, you must put in effort.

Invest in marketing to create awareness of your business’ existence. Employ different channels to market your business, such as print, local web, radio, word-of-mouth, brochures, and social media campaigns.

There is a growing demand for car wash services, and people are spending billions of dollars annually to get their vehicles washed. You can tap into these dollars by starting a car wash business. A car wash can be fun and profitable as long as you have a strategic location, good marketing, excellent service, and top-notch equipment.

Use the tips outlined above to start a successful and profitable car wash business and draw the millions of people who need their vehicles cleaned. When you’re ready to buy equipment, contact Advance Car Wash Solutions for high-quality car wash equipment and installation.