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How to Start A Car Wash – Advice from Car Wash Business Experts

So you want to start a car wash business. Owning a car wash can be a profitable endeavor and a fun career, but only if you take all the steps necessary to make your car wash as successful as possible from the start. As car wash business experts, we have seen it all. We have consulted from start to finish on car wash construction and also have come in late in the game when a new owner bought an existing car wash. Based on our over 35 years of experience in the car wash business, here are our tips on how to start a car wash with success.

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Perform a Site Assessment

Before selecting your location for a car wash, you need to visualize every aspect of the space and how your car wash fill fit there. The location is one of the biggest factors to success and it takes careful planning to get the most out of your site assessment. During your site assessment, look at:

  • The location itself. Your car wash should be easily accessible and in a good neighborhood. It should also have great visibility from a main road, making signage important.
  • Competition. Are there any other car washes in the area? How close are they to your business? While healthy competition is good, having competitors down the road from you can lead to failure due to their longevity in the market.
  • Access to car wash. Not only should you look at how easy it is to turn into your car wash from each traffic direction, but you should also see if cars will be able to easily navigate on location through the car wash. You need space to line cars up to get them out of traffic, wide turning radius for larger three quarter ton and one ton trucks, and plenty of space for vacuums and other amenities.
  • Understand city zoning and utility codes. The city can be a bear to work with. Mistakes during this process are extremely costly to your car wash business even before you open! Understand the codes and get professional guidance to avoid issues when building a car wash.

Decide on the Type of Car Wash

During your site assessments, you will want to figure out the type of car wash you want to build. This will make a difference in the space you need, the type of equipment, the chemicals to buy, the type of marketing you will need, and much more. When figuring out how to start a car wash, it is important to remember that some car wash types are more profitable than others. Likewise, some types may require less maintenance and staffing. Balancing costs and requirements for each type of car wash will allow you to choose one that fits your business plan.

Prepare Your Finances and Investment

The biggest thing you need to answer when asking yourself how to start a car wash is finances. The upfront investment is important since you have to pay for car wash construction, car wash equipment, and car wash chemicals to get your business up and running. During this stage, you will want to talk to car wash business consultants who will be able to provide pricing and navigation on how much it will cost to get your car wash built.

Finalize Your Car Wash Business Plan

In your car wash business plan, you will need to combine all the elements of your research and planning, from the site assessment to the investment required. This will include a specific plan from start to finish to get the wash up and running as well as long term business goals to make it successful. Building a car wash blind without a business plan can present major problems down the road and will inhibit success.

Have More Questions on How to Start a Car Wash? Contact NuLook!