Starting a car wash business is very profitable. The business can be flexibly started on any scale from small to large scale. Globally, there’s very high number of vehicles which require cleaning regularly. This then creates the need for a car wash businesses. On average, 7 out of every 10 car owners take their cars for a car wash once or twice monthly. People are generally leading much busier lives. As such they might not always find the time to wash or clean their cars. That is why more and more people are now more willing to pay for a car wash. Despite whatever the state of the economy might be in, the demand for car wash services will always be high. This article will outline how to start the car wash business, and the car wash business plan – PDF, Word and Excel.
Money is to be made first off from standard car washes. It is common to break it down into packages such as say, silver, gold, and platinum. This means the different packages will have different things a client enjoys. Car washes can also extend to car detailing services. Car detailing involves services such as engine washes, rim cleaning, waxing, polishing, upholstery, leather restoration, headlight restoration, and more. You could also tailor your car wash services based on car type. The general idea is to have a diversified set of car wash services.
A car wash business is a lucrative business, providing income for millions of entrepreneurs, but there are some essential things you need to do before you venture into the business. You have to make a decision on the services you are going to offer, the equipment you will use, the type of car wash, and your target market. These choices will be affected by the amount of capital you have, and the size of your target market. If you do not have a lot of capital, you can always start small and grow your car wash business overtime. You also need to carry out market research (Who are you going to offer the services to? At what price?) and write a car wash business plan before you venture into the business.
You must have an eye out for competition by studying how they run their car wash businesses. Find out the sizes of their customers bases and the segmentation of those customer bases. Also look at how they conduct marketing for their businesses. Review the types of car wash services they offer, their operating hours and their pricing regimes. In doing all these exercises you will note areas you can use to outsmart your competition. Also you need a good car wash business plan.
Location And Premises
Important considerations should be made in choosing a location for a car wash business. Some of the things to consider in choosing a car wash location are population densities, vehicle traffic volumes, presence of other car wash players, the road networks amongst others. The premises must be adequately spacious to accommodate a car park and working area for the car wash processes. The premises should also accommodate your offices, depending on the size of your business. You also require car wash bays or car wash tunnels which is where the cleaning of the cars will occur. Your business plan for car wash should include the costs of purchasing or leasing the premises.
Permits/Licenses, Insurance & Business Bank Account
Permits Or Licenses
You must consult your local municipality. It might vary depending on where you intend to operate your car wash. However, operating licenses for a car wash are usually obtainable from municipality authorities. Even if you feel you are it is not necessary just check with them to be sure. For instance, you might intend to set up a car wash on a piece of land you own or lease. Do not just assume that it will be okay operating without a permit or license. By the time you approach municipality authorities you must have registered your car wash business. If there are any additional regulatory aspects the municipality authorities will guide you accordingly.
Insurance And Business Bank Account
It is folly to think that insurance is only for certain businesses. On the surface, a car wash business might seem like it has low risk factors. However, anything can happen and remember you will be dealing with people’s cars. The best thing you can do for your car wash business is to insure it. There are so many reputable insurance providers you can engage. In fact, engage a number of them so that you can make a comparison and settle for the best.
The importance of insurance usually becomes apparent when something happens. Financially, most business operators make the mistake of mixing business and personal finances. Given the nature of a car wash business it is quite easy to do that. It is smarter to have a separate chest for your car wash business. It will help in making accurate financial evaluations for your car wash business. Plus it will keep your personal finances safe as well.
Equipment for a Car Wash Business
Some of the equipment required are brushes, polishes, towels, buffers, pressurised water dispensers, vapour steamers, buckets and so on. You will also need dryers, vacuum machines, blowing machines, hoovers, a water system, hoses and protective gear (e.g. gum boots, latex gloves, face masks and the like). Additional equipment that might be required are sponges, shade covers, waxes and water repellents. If you choose to settle for the automatic or touch-less approaches you will need high-tech specialized equipment. The business plan for car wash should cater for the costs of purchasing the equipment.
Products and Services
There are 3 broad types of car washes, namely, an automatic car wash, self service car wash, and a manually-run car wash. They are also broadly classified as either fixed car washes or mobile car washes. There are a variety of services which you can offer for your car wash. Those include Wash & Go, Wash & Dry, Mini Valet, Full Valet, Headlight Restoration, Super Wash, Engine Cleaning among others. The services which you intend to offer should be included in your car wash business plan.
Back then car washes used to be few and almost elitist. Times have changed and more car washes keep popping up. You now need to closely study the competitors. For a car wash business, differentiation is non-negotiable. If you are to make it you must find ways you to stand out amongst all car washes in your area. Your competitive edge might come from choosing a strategic location. The beauty of it is that there will always be market gaps. There will always be shortcomings on the part of current car wash businesses. Finding ways to fill in those gaps and shortcomings creates differentiators for your car wash business.
Staff And Management
The number of employees needed obviously depends on your scale of operations. We cannot really mention numbers here as you will have to use to use your own discretion. The general principle is that full-service (this combines hand wash and car detailing plus more) car washes require more hands as opposed to automated car washes such as the conveyor and in-bay ones. For a small car wash business, management can be covered by you and immediate family members where applicable. At the very minimum you require the car wash attendants who will be responsible for washing the cars. They should be properly trained to wash cars, handle client’s vehicles and communicate well with the customers. The car wash business plan should cater for the salaries costs of all your employees. For a big car wash business you will need dedicated accounting & finance staff, operations team, security and managers.
Active Online Presence
This is mainly the best strategy to spread brand awareness for your car wash business. Set up a website for your car wash business; it can even just be a one-pager. Of course it would be better if you can incorporate online bookings and payments too. The next layer is setting up social media accounts for your car wash business. Have high definition visuals that you use as you regularly post content on those platforms. E-fliers or posters are effective in this respect.
Customer Loyalty Programmes
There are many possible ways in which you can do this. For example, you can say those who refer customers get rewarded. You could also say after say, 5 car washes a customer gets the next one for free. Maybe you can say that someone who has come for at least 30 car washes gets a certain discount for all future car washes. These are just some few examples but the possibilities are endless.
Make The Place Alluring
Not everyone looks for car wash services online. Some can simply ask people around for a nearby car wash. Some can even just look around as they go about their business. Signage at your spot or at strategic spots in the vicinity of your car wash business can capture such people. Make use of posters, banners, or billboards. Make sure they have comprehensive details about your services, prices, and more. Handing out physical fliers and business cards also helps in the visibility aspect.
The demand for car wash services is very huge. The market for car wash services is driven by vehicle purchases and the general increase or decrease in consumer spending. Thus, the more the number of cars in the country the higher the demand for car wash services. There is an increase in new and used motor vehicles on the roads which results in an increase in the demand for car wash services. Increase in consumer income also leads to increase in the demand for car wash services. Potential customers for your car wash include individuals, companies and organisations.
As always you must leverage on the use of the internet and social media for your marketing initiatives. You are encouraged to set up loyalty programs that will motivate your customers to become regular, repeat customers. To buttress that you must keep in touch with your customers regularly through low-cost means such as SMS. It also pays to be thorough and friendly as that will encourage customers to keep returning for more. It is also important to get insured since accidents are most likely to occur in this line of business. Your car wash business plan should include a proper marketing strategy for your business.
Keys To Profitability
Your car wash business must have every possible service clients might need. Someone might need a basic car wash. Someone might want a comprehensive exterior and interior work-up, offer it. Car detailing services are a must-have in order to attract more customers. Plus you will get to enjoy more revenue and profits. Find other, even unrelated services to provide e.g. selling food, drinks, car-related products, and the like. The car wash business is a game of numbers so you must push volumes. Comprehensive services can do the trick. Competitive prices can do the trick. Push volumes!
A car wash business is dynamic and can be easily scaled. It can be started as a standalone business or as an addition to an already existing business e.g. a vehicle repairs workshop. It can even be started by a single individual owning and operating. There are many flexible ways to start.
Pre-Written Car Wash Business Plan (PDF, Word And Excel): Comprehensive Version, Short Funding/Bank Loan Version and Automated Financial Statements
For an in-depth analysis of the car wash business, we encourage you to purchase our well-researched and comprehensive car wash business plan. We introduced the business plans after discovering that many were venturing into the car wash business without enough knowledge and understanding of how to run the business, lack of understanding of the financial side of the business, lack of understanding of : the industry, the risks involved , costs and profitability of the business; which often leads to disastrous losses.
The StartupBiz Global car wash business plan will make it easier for you to launch and run your car wash business successfully, fully knowing what you are going into, and what’s needed to succeed in the business. This is a complete business plan for car wash. It will be easier to plan and budget as you will be aware of all the costs involved in setting up and running the car wash business.
Uses of the Car Wash Business Plan (PDF, Word And Excel)
The car wash business plan can be used for many purposes including:
- Raising capital from investors/friends/relatives
- Applying for a bank loan
- Start-up guide to launch your car wash business
- As a car wash business proposal
- Assessing profitability of the car wash business
- Finding a business partner
- Assessing the initial start-up costs so that you know how much to save
- Manual for current business owners to help in business and strategy formulation
Contents of the Car Wash Business Plan (PDF, Word And Excel)
The business plan for car wash include, but not limited to:
- Marketing Strategy
- Financial Statements (monthly cash flow projections, income statements, cash flow statements, balance sheets, break even analysis, payback period analysis, start-up costs, financial graphs, revenue and expenses, Bank Loan Amortization)
- Industry Analysis
- Market Analysis
- Risk Analysis
- SWOT & PEST Analysis
- Operational Requirements
- Operational Strategy
- Why some people in the car wash business fail, so that you can avoid their mistakes
- Ways to raise capital to start your car wash business
The car wash business plan package consists of 4 files
- Car Wash Business Plan – PDF file (Comprehensive Version – 82 Pages)
- Car Wash Business Plan – Editable Word File (Comprehensive Version – 82 Pages)
- Car Wash Business Plan Funding/Bank Loan Version- Editable Word File (Short version for applying for a loan/funding – 41 pages)
- Car Wash Business Plan Automated Financial Statements – (Editable Excel File)
The business plan can be used in any country and can be easily edited. The financial statements are automated. This implies that you can change eg the cost of detergents, salaries etc, and all the other financial statements will automatically adjust to reflect the change.
Click below to download the Contents Page of the Car Wash Business Plan (PDF)
Get the Car Wash Business Plan (PDF, Word And Excel)
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We wish you the best in your car wash business! Check out our collection of business plans , and more business ideas.