Starting a car wash company can be very lucrative, but this industry has a few distinct challenges to consider. The municipality that you are building in might have very specific laws regarding where these businesses must be placed and what has to be done with the waste materials. Here are a few tips that will help you get your car wash company up and running in the next few months.
Finding a Location
Getting your car washed is just like any other weekly errand, and that means your future customers are going to want convenience. Even if you have better prices and friendly employees, locals might not drive a few extra blocks if there is a similar car wash that is on their route. You will need to find a location that is visible from a busy street and easy to get to. Once you have picked out a few potential sites, you must then check with a realtor or local zoning board to see which of those locations are properly zoned.
Choosing the Right Business Model
Before you meet with a city planner or discuss financing with a loan officer, you will first need to decide how you would like to structure your car wash company. An express outdoor car wash will require fewer employees and a much smaller loan. If you want to have a deluxe car wash that is structured as an LLC, then you will need completely different insurance, licenses, and certificates.
Meet with the City Planner
The planning and approval process can be lengthy, and you should start filing paperwork as quickly as possible. You will most likely need to meet with a local city planner once you have a preliminary business plan and a rendering of the property. After the concept has been approved, you can then move forward with the official applications to open a business. That initial approval by the city will also make it much easier to get a loan. Loan officers love to see entrepreneurs who are driven, proactive, and well-organized.
Most of your employees are going to hold entry-level jobs, but that doesn’t mean you can hire anyone who turns in an application. Employee turnover is incredibly expensive, and losing a few entry-level employees could actually cost you thousands. Spending a little extra time finding the right employees and checking their references might save you quite a bit of money in the coming years. Once you have a good team, promoting from within is going to build loyalty.
One of the best ways to simplify this process is to write out a comprehensive business plan well before you do anything else. That business plan should contain most of the information you will need in the coming years including financing plans, taxes, local regulations, the state of the competition, and financial projections.
Dixie Somers is a freelance writer and blogger for business, home, and family niches. Dixie lives in Phoenix, Arizona, and is the proud mother of three beautiful girls and wife to a wonderful husband.