How To Open a Car Wash Business

Where cars exist, car washes are needed! The car wash business seems to be recession-proof, as people want to keep their cars clean within and without. If you plan to open a car wash business, take the following steps to ensure a great start and continued success.

First, remember that good business practices can be applied to any business.  If you're not sure what makes up a good business practice, consider enrolling in an online business course or two - registration is easy, and the classes are convenient for working people.

Now, choose a great location. Walk or drive around the area and identify spots where traffic is the heaviest. When you identify a list of possible spots, look for a suitable building that is on the main road and provides easy access and good visibility. It might be hard to retrofit an existing business to open a car wash but some, such as a mechanic's garage or gas station, may work well.

Next, determine what services you will provide when you open a car wash business. A do-it-yourself car wash will be outfitted more simply than a fully automated car wash, and will cost significantly less to build. However, prices and profits will be higher with an automated wash. Some of this will be determined by the level of funding you have or can obtain from lenders or investors.

The next step is to take your plan to open a car wash business to the local authorities for approval and licensing.  Since the business will use a great deal of water, work with the local water and sewer department to address these issues.  They may have a discount rate for water that's used in commercial enterprises. The municipality will also require you to be properly insured against loss or damage to vehicles.

Once the plan has been approved, hire the contractors you need to construct the car wash and install the needed equipment. Find a wholesale supply company and purchase accessory equipment like commercial vacuums for customers to use, money-changers and towel dispensers.

The next step is to get the word out into the community that you plan to open a car wash business. Place a large "coming soon" banner on the building.  Submit a press release to local media. Canvass the neighborhoods and business districts, distributing coupons for a discounted car wash. Plan to provide the absolute best customer service you can, treating every person as a VIP. Take online business management classes to learn how to give great service. Give discounts for frequent users, and develop the repeat customers that every business cherishes.

Finally, while others hope for sunshine and warm weather, rejoice when the rain falls and the snow flies!


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