The details of running a car wash business can have quite a bit of nitty-gritty involved. However, a topic that’s not broached as often is a car wash business being started from scratch.
Should an assessment of the market come before financing? What car wash systems would be ideal? What’s a good way to choose a prime location for your business? Those are all very good questions, and knowing where to start is the best first move.
What are the crucial steps to take when starting a car wash business?
Decide how your car wash business will operate
There are three ways you can operate your car wash business: S-corp, independently, LLC, or as a franchise. Make sure to know when and how you’ll exit the business down the line, if ever.
It’s natural for franchises to be a primary choice because the options are rather attractive. However, there will be a residual to pay.
If you’re looking to get things started on your own, make sure you know exactly who will run the business. When there’s an operator involved, it’s important to ensure that they are invested well in the business. Should you choose to do it independently, there are several costs involved since you won’t have the foresight or knowledge veteran operators do.
It’s crucial to weigh your options very carefully.
Make sure the paperwork is done and complete
Of course, your business license should be established first. Check which county or city department on the local level is responsible for handling business licenses. Make sure to apply and follow through all the way. It’s possible to get this going online, but heading to the office in person will serve you best. That way, you can inquire about any other requirements for opening a business, the insurance type you may need, and the usage codes for local utilities and buildings.
Search for a location
When it comes to your car wash business’s location, your best bet is an area that’s right in the midst of high traffic. That means around 25,000 cars in a day, if not more, with little to no competition nearby. Ideally, there would be no other self-serve car wash or any kind of car wash within a mile of your business.
It’s key to be able to do proper research in terms of your demographics. This should include the surrounding area to make sure if there’s enough of a population that’s possible to support your business. Check on the competition you do have and review them. When you do open, what are the possible actions they will take? Will they be able to suddenly offer free carwashing for a year while you’re still addressing heavy interest?
Starting a car wash business from scratch can be rather daunting. There are some key moves that can be taken on a basic level. Some steps to take initially include deciding how your car wash business will operate, searching for a location, and handling the paperwork.
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