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The Essentials of a Car Wash Business Plan

As an entrepreneur, you have realized the potential that comes with running a car wash. Running a car wash provides a great source of revenue, while providing a great service for many residents in the neighborhood who will return to your business time and time again. The most important thing you need to do before getting started in this industry is to come up with a car wash business plan.

Creating a business plan for your new car wash is important for various reasons. When you are looking to open a new location and are need some capital to start, you can approach a bank or potential investor with your business plan. Having a business plan showcases your knowledge and planning to make the business more successful.

Another reason it is necessary to have a business plan is during discussions with a commercial real estate agent, city planner, or city zoning and planning board. Both can help you with finding the right commercial lot to build your new car wash business and you need to go through them to make your car wash business dream a reality. The city planner or city zoning and planning board will approve your car wash business and the commercial real estate agent will help you find the best spot for your car wash business.

car wash business plan

What to Include In the Car Wash Business Plan

The Executive Summary

The first part to include in your car wash business plan is the Executive Summary (the introduction). There are four things to include in your executive summary:

  1. Description of the Business. This means more than telling people what your logo looks like and what are the colors of your business. A description of the business includes the services you plan to offer, such as exterior car washing, self-serve car wash and/or interior cleaning and detailing. You should also include your mission statement, how you plan to provide excellent customer service and additional specialties of the business.
  2. The Consumer Demographics. This means who you want to have as your target market. You should include information from the most recent census, such as population in the area, the salaries earned of the population and also including car dealerships and local businesses that could use your services.
  3. The Ownership System and the Staff. In this section you should briefly include about your previous business ownership experiences, the style of management of the business, the staff that you want to hire and what is your financial forecast.
  4. Business Objectives. The last thing to include in your executive summary is listing brief objectives of the business. Such objectives would include: “To become the most visited car wash business in the city of ____,” “Maintain a high gross profit margin,” and “Expansion of a new location in the city within the next five years.” Having this will show others that you are confident in your car wash business plan because you want to be successful in this industry.

A Summary of Important Information about the Company

In this section of a car wash business plan, you are providing more detailed information from points one and three from your Executive Summary. Since this is a new location or even a new car wash business you are starting, this should prove to an investor, commercial realtor or city planner that you are prepared to make an impact in this industry. It is highly recommended to include information about the ownership of this business and a financial summary of this start-up business. The start-up summary needs to include every expense that is required when starting up the business as well as the funding needed to start the business. From the cost of each order of soap chemicals used in the car wash to the cost to keep the lights on in the building.

Sales Strategy and Implementation Summary

In this section of your car wash business plan, it is important to include detailed information about the sales you believe you will be earning, (this is also known as a Sales Forecast). This should be broken down by the pricing of each service you are offering and what you plan to earn each month and each year for at least the next three years. It is especially important to have the information in this summary as detailed as possible because your investors and the bank that is helping you with the starting capital will see the return on their investment.


When concluding your car wash business plan, you should repeat the information you have provided through a summary. The conclusion should also include again why you want to get into this industry and how you can be successful with your car wash business.