Car cleaning

Starting Your Car Wash & Auto-detailing Business

Your working part-time as a handyman and gardener. You’ve been working for one of the families in your neighbourhood for several years now. They were on vacation in Cairns, and they asked you if you could look after their house while they’re away. You were going to get paid handsomely for two weeks, so you agreed. They had asked you to tend to the garden and make sure that the house is adequately secured. They specifically mentioned having the garage door remote checked since it has been giving them problems lately. There’s a shop that can repair or change the existing units entirely, but you want to check if you can do something first.

While tinkering with the device, you can’t help but admire the BMW and the Benz parked inside. You’ve detailed these cars before. You suddenly get an idea of starting your own business: a car wash and auto detailing service. You know people who you can hire. You might have enough capital. But what does it take to start a business like this?

The Car Wash and Auto-detailing Industry

The number of businesses is nearly 65,500 powering an average annual growth rate of 3.9% from 2013 – 2018. The revenue generated for 2018 was a hefty $12 billion. It is also estimated that about 90% of businesses are operated by small entrepreneurs rather than owned by big companies.

You might be on to something here, as these data are good indicators for you to start your business.

What It Entails

Car detailingFinding a prime location would be one of the critical things you need to figure out. Make sure that your site would be easily accessible by your customers. Here are other areas that you need to consider before starting your business:

  • Train and be a pro. Customers in your neighbourhood might not be picky, but others would like the service of a pro. You need to get the proper training. There are methods that you need to about, for example, applying cleaning materials. Look for a training institute that can equip you with the proper knowledge.
  • Money and Tools. You would likely start with a manual-operation if you didn’t afford the fully automated ones. This allows you more interaction with your customers, and they will feel a more personalised service. You would need the cleaning implements, chemicals, pressure washers and tanks, vacuum cleaner, and a host of other tools, including hoses and ladders. For these, you might need something between $3,000 to upwards of $10,000.
  • Focus on the details. There’s a reason why “detail” is part of the name of the business. You can’t leave traces of Armour All or other chemicals in the seams of leather seats. You must do a thorough and professional job at cleaning the cars you’re servicing.
  • Marketing savvy. Some will come. But that won’t be enough to sustain your business for years to come. You need to put the word out that you’re in business. Be aggressive but creative in your marketing efforts. You don’t need to spend much. Creating a social media presence is free. When you have more resources, consider building a website and paying for online ads to reach out to potential customers.

This discussion assumes that you will be leasing out space. An option for you is to do the mobile car wash model. The same pointers will apply. Determine which model is best for you

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