If you know you have done your best, spent as much money as you can without getting the desired results, then maybe it is best to retrace your steps to find out how to increase your car wash profits.
You know you have done your best to increase your car wash profits. You have ensured that all your tools and equipment are kept in their best condition. You have implemented rotation of duties in order to train your employees in all aspects of car washing and detailing. You have created a website and used social media to boost sales with SEO. Everything seemed great when you were still in the process of creating your car wash business plan. But why, oh why, isn’t everything falling into place? Why are you just breaking even instead of raking in the needed cash that would support your loved ones?
If you know you have done your best, spent as much money as you can without getting the desired results, then maybe it is best to retrace your steps to discover the barriers to your success.
Retrospection and assessment can help increase your car wash profits
Most of us create a list of New Year’s resolutions that we believe would help us achieve a better life. Now, picture yourself doing one as you always have. What do you do before you actually list down your to-dos? You take a look back at the previous year, recall conditions and situations that brought out the best or worst in you, analyze where your strengths and weaknesses lie, and from there, create your resolutions.
Similarly, you, as the car wash operator, need to take a look back at how your business has been doing the past few years. Get your records and study them carefully. On what days did you usually reach the highest sales? What steps did you take to drive your car wash profits up? How did you manage your employees? Which suppliers gave you the best deals?
Start your analysis by systematically studying all the aspects of your business, from operations to marketing to human resources. Then take a look at every car wash profitability dos and don’ts you have learned from the research you have done when you were still setting up your business.
For example, as you study the profile of your customers, you realize that most of them live in an area which is far from your current location. Then it might be a good idea to open a branch in that area or go mobile. The first will definitely use up a lot of cash since you will have to erect new buildings, buy new equipment and so on. The latter will cost you just a fraction of that price since all you will need is a vehicle which you can equip with necessary tools and equipment.
Or maybe you realized that your slowest days were Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Analyze the situation. Your regular customers cannot bring their cars to you because they are busy in their schools or offices. If so, why not use innovative car wash sales tactics aimed at housewives, retirees or company drivers? Use Facebook to upload photos and videos of how you detail vehicles and share those with your weekday target audience so they can relate it to their friends and loved ones. Or make Tuesdays Housewives’ Day and give special discounts if those lovely women have their tires and headlights detailed on that day or small gifts for seniors who will avail of interior detailing or air sanitation on Wednesdays. See how a little looking back and analysis can make you think of ways to improve your car wash profit?
Or maybe you noticed that you have a very fast employee turnaround. Check where the issues lie and think of ways to resolve them. For example, if you realized that you have a very lenient hiring process, then it is time to check on each applicant’s references and previous job experiences so that you will learn about his performance (if he was lazy or hardworking) and character (if he was honest or not). You also need to analyze your existing employment practices to check what the problem is. Do you have the right car wash manager who treats your employees humanely? Do you provide your workers with safety gear? Do you pay them well? Do you reward them for giving customers sparklingly clean and showroom shiny cars? Do you send them home during slow days? By analyzing your human resource department, you will be able to think of ways to motivate your employees to help you increase your car wash profits.
How did you market your car wash? Did you rely on word-of-mouth or did you advertise on the local TV or radio station? Or did you ride with the trend and used different ways to boost sales with SEO like blogging and posting on social media sites? Did you use all possible means to reach your target customers? Which worked better? Which helped you build your customer base? Which did not work at all? By analyzing your marketing strategies, you will learn which ones provided you with the best results, allowing you to create a more intensive strategy to boost your car wash profit and which ones you should give up. This way, you can save a lot of cash and consequently, increase your revenue.
Did you strive to learn how to calculate your car wash profits and costs instead of just asking an employee to do that task for you? Can you now understand financial reports like cash flow, income statement, and other similar documents? If you learned, then that is a big plus for you. You will learn which of your basic services are earning and which don’t. Then maybe you can use add-on services to increase profits.
Do you have a record of your supplies and the rate at which those supplies were used? If your supplies are starting to run out and you do not have profits to show, then maybe it is time to rethink your methods. You can train your employees to be more careful when measuring or using auto detailing supplies.
In order to increase profits, you need to look back, analyze the data of a past period (quarter, year, decade) and based on the results, identify your weak spots and improve.
Need some help about starting up or managing a car wash business? Then check out our franchise opportunity page. We have a lot of car wash business advice as well as other valuable information to help you get started.
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