Opening a carwash is one of those accessible sorts of businesses where the prospect seems pretty easy to grasp. Ultimately, you need a good location, soap and water and a few people to get the job done. On the one hand, this is absolutely true. It is an “easy” business idea and one which most people you talk to will get the idea of. On the other hand, it presents a myriad of challenges and problems that any other company would in addition to a few ones unique to it alone.
These problems demand solutions and, whilst it may be easy to start a carwash business, it’s not going to be easy to make a success out of it or guarantee its survival beyond its opening weeks. What is for sure is that you need to make a business plan in order to give yourself the best possible shot at success. Making a business plan, even for a business as seemingly simple as this one, isn’t easy. So, with that said, let’s take a look at how to go about putting it all together.
Know the area
This can mean two things. The first is that in order to start any company, you have to do your research on the field that you want to get into. This means understanding things like the pricing details for this sort of carwash and knowing what the methods and techniques are for carwashes that survive and that make money versus what goes wrong for those that are forced to fold.
Doing market research will be a lengthy process but one that pays dividends and is a vital part of the business plan. Knowing the area also refers to the requirement that you know the area physically — i.e. where you want to put your carwash. What sort of people drive through that area? What kind of prices suit the socioeconomic demographic of the area? Is there any competition from a rival carwash nearby? These questions demand answers and will be absolutely crucial as you start choosing your location for your new carwash.
Document the whole process
Every idea, every collaboration, every conversation, everything that is a part of the process of starting your business needs to be factored into the business plan. By recording everything — even the things you consider unimportant — you don’t leave yourself open to the risk of losing information that turns out to be valuable. It will also help when you start looking for investors. Your business plan needs to reflect your business in a complete and detailed sense so that investors can feel comfortable investing by really understanding your plan and what you have to offer.
Work out what makes you special
When starting most types of businesses, it’s always important that you know what it is that you bring to the table compared to the myriad of other options available to the consumer. As someone who wants to open a carwash, this is a particularly important and difficult question. There are plenty of carwashes out there.
A customer who wants his or her car washed will never really struggle to find somewhere that will do an expert job at it. The other challenge is that the act of washing a car is not a specialist act. There aren’t too many degrees to which the service can differ from others.
If the car comes out looking sparkling clean, then the job’s done. There’s speed, of course, and that will be important, but in general, carwashing is a pretty level playing field. That means that to put yourself ahead of the pack — to pick what is special about your carwash ahead of others — will take careful planning and creativity.
You could, perhaps, offer a service that emphasizes company-customer relations, including a decked-out waiting area and emphasizing your employee politeness. You could offer an interior cleaning service in addition to the exterior, so that you put yourself ahead of other types of carwashes. You could try to charm them with the rustic and boutique charm of a hand carwash which, while it might take longer, has a certain appeal of its own to show. You have to pick a direction and/or an aesthetic to keep yourself ahead of what others are doing and to justify your existence as another carwash. This will be an important part of the business planning stage and will make up a valuable portion of your pitch to investors.
Prepare the pitch
Speaking of pitches, it’s time to think about that. In addition to including reasons why your carwash is particularly valuable and really is a great opportunity for investment, you also want to be looking for ways to persuade investors that you have a really thorough understanding of what it takes to start a company. The pitch needs to be highly organized, detailed but not overly dense and presented with a fluid understanding of your own product. It’s all about trust, which means that you not only have to convince the investors of your good prospects, but you have to convince yourself first. Making the pitch will be a lot easier when you truly believe the words coming out of your mouth.
Develop a team
Doing a business plan and embarking on a business development project completely solo is impractical and foolish. You have to ensure that you have the depth of support around you so that, if you get worn down, which you most likely will, there are people to shoulder the burden. Choose people you trust and people who know the company’s plan.
It’s not easy starting any sort of a business. Starting a carwash business is no exception. It’s a real challenge and something that you will need to devote yourself to unflinchingly. Planning will always be vital and could be the difference between success and failure.
Chloe Bennet is a business writer at Essay Writing Service portal.