Thinking about opening a coin operated car wash and polish business? We tell you what you need to know to get started.
Entrepreneur Advantages in Opening a Coin-Op Car Wash
The car wash industry is a potentially lucrative field, full of first-time entrepreneurs. According to the International Car Wash Association, car washes are a $24 billion per year industry with plenty of opportunities for emerging entrepreneurs to capture their share of profits.
Coin-operated (or self-serve) car washes offer a number of distinct advantages for entrepreneurs. Low labor requirements, limited inventory, no accounts receivables, 24-hour customer access and other features eliminate many of the challenges that frustrate entrepreneurs in other industries.
Nonetheless, a car wash startup still requires sound planning and attention to business fundamentals. For startup business owners, this means making sure your car wash is adequately capitalized, marketed and equipped with a strategy for growth.
Startup Costs for Coin Operated Car Washes
The startup costs associated with new coin-operated car washes vary dramatically, based on factors like size, location and business features. In addition to securing a location in a high traffic area, your car wash will need to be outfitted with custom nozzles, detergent/polish distribution systems, vacuums and other essentials.
Although it's theoretically possible to launch a new self-service car wash on the cheap, most entrepreneurs find that it costs $100k-$250k to launch a thoroughly equipped self-service operation, with additional reserves on hand to carry your business through the first several months or until your car wash builds a sufficient customer base.
Expansion Strategies for Self-Service Car Wash Startups
Expansion should be a primary goal for all car wash entrepreneurs. In fact, startups that are able to accomplish growth most quickly incorporate a blueprint for growth into their initial business plan, allowing them to strategically build their businesses based on targeted outcomes and objectives.
For some coin-operated car washes, an expansion strategy will require the construction of additional bays and/or available services. But for the majority of car washes, expansion means the acquisition of additional sites.
Regardless of the growth strategy you choose, we recommend delaying expansion until your initial operation is generating reliable profits and is capable of covering the costs of expansion. Under no circumstances should you execute an expansion strategy if it requires a level of debt that jeopardizes the entire operation.
How to Create a Winning Coin Operated Car Wash & Polish Company Business Plan
If you've done your homework, you already know that writing a business plan is the most critical thing you can do for your company.
Although it might seem like an unnecessary formality, your coin operated car wash and polish company's business plan is a document that will shape your goals and strategies on a go-forward basis.
Here's something else you should know: Business plans help prevent key startup mistakes. Lacking a solid business plan, many startups find themselves rudderless and incapable of executing consistent decision making processes, while committed business planners rely on their plans to guide all of their decision making and short-term planning efforts.
Long before you open a coin operated car wash and polish business in your area, it's a smart move to see how strong the competition is. Try our link below to generate a list of competitors near you. Complete the form by entering your city, state and zip code to get a list of coin operated car wash and polish businesses that are close by.
How are you going to successfully complete with existing firms? It's important that you never underestimate the competition.
Find Good Remote Business Advice
As part of your due diligence on opening a coin operated car wash and polish business, it's a wise move to talk to somebody who is already in the business. Local competitors are not going to give you the time of day, mind you. What's in it for them?
On the other hand, an individual who has a coin operated car wash and polish business in a different city may be willing to share their entrepreneurial wisdom with you, after they realize you reside far away from them and won't be stealing their local customers. Indeed, many experienced entrepreneurs enjoy offering advice to startup entrepreneurs. In my experience, you may have to call ten business owners in order to find one who is willing to share his wisdom with you.
How would you find a coin operated car wash and polish business owner in another city who you can speak with?
We can help. Follow the link below, try a few city/state combos or zipcodes, and then start calling!
Acquisitions vs. Startups
There is a lot of debate about whether it's better to start a new coin operated car wash and polish business or acquire a coin operated car wash and polish business on the business-for-sale marketplace.
Both ownership strategies have their benefits and drawbacks. For first-time business owners, it makes more sense to buy an existing coin operated car wash and polish business than to attempt to build one from the ground up.
An acquired coin operated car wash and polish business is a known quantity; a startup is less certain because its forecasts depend on estimated outcomes. If you're diligent about finding the right acquisition prospect, you may be able to leverage a business buying strategy to rapidly propel yourself into a position of industry leadership.
Explore Franchising Options
For many entrepreneurs, franchising is an attract alternative to starting a business from ground zero. Franchises are popular because they are based on a business model that works. The nation's leading franchisors know their way around the industry and are now passing their learnings on to the next generation of business leaders. Today's franchises offer a range of opportunities for ambitious startups.
Just click the link below to learn more about car wash opportunities franchise options.
These additional resources regarding getting started as an entrepreneur may be of interest to you.
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