According to the 2012 Business Employment Dynamics data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, around 66% of businesses with employees last at least 2 years and about 50% reach the 5-year mark. The Small Business Administration (SBA) regards the car wash industry as a good investment because compared to general small businesses and franchises because its failure rate is significantly lower (by 22.4 and 42.2 percent lower, respectively). In as much as there are many reasons why businesses fail, there are also certain steps to take to ensure that your business will be geared towards success from the beginning.
Before starting any business, you need to determine its direction and the goals you aim to reach. The business plan serves as your roadmap – a framework that contains your decisions, projections, and analyses. It will also help gauge how your business is doing as you go along. It should cover all details of your car wash – from finances, revenue projections, permits, manpower, insurance, equipment to the marketing strategy. Research about your target market and their spending behavior so that your business plan is based on actual market information.
Conduct a thorough computation of the funds you’ll need. Plan out your finances accordingly, considering the amount of start-up capital (own money or through a loan), operating costs, taxes, contingency fund, etc. Hiring a financial advisor helps you get a professional perspective on your investment and how your business can adapt to the changing market conditions.
Make the effort to make a good, lasting impression on your customers and potential business partners. Create your brand and carry it in different areas of your business – website, phone hotline, company logo, staff uniforms, signage, branding on company vehicles, and many others. Professional establishment and staff give customers an impression that they are dealing with a larger, more established company.
The location determines how visible your business will be to your target market. Choose a location with high traffic flow, high population density, and close to your target market and other businesses. The more people are aware that your car wash exists, the more chances
You should match your employees to the right jobs according to their skills, abilities, and attitude. Your managers should be skilled in running a car detailing business, organized and able to handle difficult situations. Hire someone to manage your accounting. Being a service provider, all the personnel are expected to have people skills that would help them communicate and connect with customers better. Training should be continuously given to employees to enhance their skills. Creating a warm and engaging work environment helps keep hard working staffs happy and make them stay with the company longer.
The type of car wash that you’ll build determines many aspects of the business such as the equipment needed, the size and location of the establishment, the number of employees needed, and general operating costs and procedures. Some car wash types like hand washing services require less initial capital but need more manpower.
Do not price your services too low as this will make your revenue suffer. Keep in mind that in detailing, customers expect results and they are willing to pay for it. Giving out discounts and deals to customers are fine once in a while, like in loyalty programs. But be wary of bad customers who are taking advantage of these promos and don’t return.
Securing a trusted and reliable supplier is the least costly way of maintaining the good condition of your car wash equipment. The supplier should install your equipment properly, bearing in mind safety and security protocols. Preventive maintenance and repair of damaged equipment should be done on a regular basis.
Your business profit depends on how well you market your services. Building a loyal customer base entails getting your brand out to your target market and gaining their trust. You can go the traditional route of handing flyers and leaflets, print ads and signs. Make the most of the current technologies like online marketing through ads and social media.
You can hire the best people there are, but nothing beats having a close eye on your business yourself. Being physically present allows you to see how the business operations go, what needs improvement and troubleshoot problems. You will have first-hand encounters with your customers which will make them feel valued.
Visiting a well-established auto detailing service like DetailXperts will help you understand what things are needed to run your own car wash business. Contact us now and we’ll have a detailing expert guide you through your options including starting a car wash franchise.