No matter how poorly the economy has been for the past 10 years, the majority of us rely on our vehicles to run our lives – personal, professional and business-wise. In 2009, the US Bureau of Transit Statistics put the numbers at 246 million. From a car wash angle, that is a lot of cars that need to be washed on a monthly basis, and even more if on a bi-weekly basis.
The Car Wash Industry Today
According to November 2012 car wash industry statistics released by market research group IBISWorld, the car wash and auto detailing industry is valued at about $6.1 billion; is represented by close to 13,000 businesses, and, its 50 largest players carry just 15 per cent of the market. This translates into nuggets of opportunities for prospective small business owners.
The car wash industry did not sail through our recent economic crises unscathed but it is definitely coming back stronger for many reasons. For the next 5 years, consumers’ disposable income is slated to rise and as a result, their discretionary spending on items like car washing and detailing are very likely to increase.
As far as new car purchases are concerned, while there is a drop in the sales of large vehicles, their small to medium sized cousins are posting upbeat positive numbers.
For car wash and auto detailing business with an environmental friendly edge, the future looks even brighter. With the public’s greater awareness of: the importance of conserving water, the need for proper wastewater management and the unseen yet harmful effects of chemical detergents, they will opt less for residential car washing as it uses up to two thirds or even more water than the professional service providers.
What Makes It Lucrative
The outlook looks conducive for this type of business but more important is what makes it lucrative at the bottom line.
Let’s suppose you charge $180 for each detailing job that comes your way and you do a conservative 5 cars each week. In total, that will be $900 or $46,800. Now factor in some value added services such as minor repairs; swirl, mold or stain removal; tire dressing, carpet shampoo etc for say, 1 of those 5 vehicles, for an all-in price of $400. The numbers will now ring in at $58,240 in gross revenue. Not bad at all for working on just 5 vehicles each week.
The stars are currently well-aligned for this industry’s progressive climb and the more established your business and quality of services are, the larger the volume of business you will attract and the easier it becomes to grow and capitalize on this hard-to-miss lucrative opportunity.
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