There’s more than one way to reach your destination or to cook a particular dish. The same thing can be said about setting up a business organization—there is definitely no tried-and-tested method to start one and to ensure that it stays successful year after year. The greatest businessmen of our time have relied on equal parts luck and strategy in order to get to where they are today. As an entrepreneur in the making, you are faced with a lot of decisions to make before you can even open your doors to your first customer.
Let’s begin with choosing the framework for your dream car wash company. Some people want to start from scratch and to build their business from the ground up. On the other hand, others want to test the waters first with an existing car wash franchise. Either way, you need to stick to one before you can move on to the next step in your enterprise-making.
At this point, you now have to select the right marketing approach to adopt. Business guru Michael Porter came up with three generic types of marketing strategies in the 1980s, but his observations and models are still very much in use today.
These strategies focus on different objectives, but they are based on the same two aspects of the competitive market environment. The first is the competitive advantage, where you have to identify what sets your car wash services apart from the ones that are already available. The second is the competitive scope of the market, where you decide if you’re going for a wide market or just a small section of it.
Michael Porter’s model is not the only way that you could look at the various types of marketing strategies. You can also categorize strategies based on focus and objective, such as product strategies, management strategies or branding strategies. A good grasp of each strategy will help you decide which one best suits your proposed car wash business structure as well as evaluate your car wash marketing plan.
These are the three strategies as suggested by Michael Porter:
1. Cost leadership: you can be the best car wash company in the market if you are able to deliver services at the lowest possible cost and still see a profit. By maintaining low operational costs, you can keep your prices at reasonably competitive rates and attract more customers along the way. However, it goes without saying that you still need to find ways to add more than just monetary value for your services so that your clients will stay loyal to you.
2. Differentiation: are you the only car wash facility in the area that offers mobile detailing services? That’s definitely a huge marketing advantage for you, one that you should exploit and play up every chance you get. This is a distinct competitive advantage that really makes you stand out in the crowd. When you’re different, you can justify slightly higher prices for your services, and still your customers will come pouring in. What’s more, it would be as if you have no real competition because you’re the only car wash company that offers these services, so your customers will definitely turn to you.
3. Focus or niche strategy: with this marketing strategy, the two previous ones are applied to a narrowly-defined market segment. For this strategy to work, you have to decide on attracting a very particular type of customer so that you can tailor your approach accordingly. Are you eyeing to provide services for stay-at-home moms in the suburbs or busy young professionals with a limited budget? Paint a picture of your ideal customer, find out his needs and wants, and then craft your marketing strategy based on your research.
At the end of the day, the importance of an effective marketing strategy in a car wash business is that you can choose one type of marketing strategy and you stick to it until you’ve seen the results you want, or unless the business begins to show signs of certain failure. Mixing and matching strategies together confuses you and stretches your resources to the breaking point. You can check out the DetailXPerts franchise page to know whether our particular type of marketing strategy is something that you can work with and grow with.
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