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Finding the perfect carwash buyer

The time has finally come. You have worked hard to turn your carwash into an attractive and profitable business, and now you are planning your exit strategy. You have a plan in place, and now the next step is to find a buyer for your carwash. 

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However, you do not want to simply sell your business to the highest bidder. Instead, you want to find the perfect buyer. Matching the right buyer to your carwash can be a tough process. However, if you consider the steps found in this article before committing to a buyer, you will set yourself up for a successful sale of the business.

Related: 5 steps to take to prepare to sell your carwash

Know how the buyer is paying

When vetting a potential buyer, nothing is more important than understanding how he or she is going to pay for your business. In other words, how is that person going to fund the deal? Will he or she pay cash, take out a loan — such as an SBA — or roll over a 401k?

 Make sure the buyer is transparent with you and makes every step of the process as easy as possible. Do not be afraid to ask tough questions and require documentation that proves the buyer has the funds to purchase your carwash business. 

It’s important to do your homework as well as make sure disclosure is done properly on both sides with all questionnaires and financial forms readily available to be answered.

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Every step to finding the right buyer is important, but ensuring that your buyer is financially sound is at the top of the priority list.

Avoid hands-off owners

Many businesses do just fine when they are sold to a new owner who wants to let the business run itself, but a prospective carwash buyer should not be an absentee owner — at least not in the beginning. A carwash is a service-related business, and any potential buyer should be front and center conducting the same high level of service that your customers have come to expect.

Someone with experience running a successful carwash would be the ideal buyer; however, experience running a carwash should not be a deal-breaker, provided the buyer has the necessary management experience. 

A buyer with a seasoned history of management experience running a business with 10 to 15 employees should merit serious consideration from you if the offer is right.

The buyer should also be local. A local buyer will be more in tune with customer and community needs and understand what makes the area you do business in unique.

You spent years building this business up, so it makes sense you would want to find an owner that is synergetic with the way you do business. Your carwash is your baby, so make sure you sell it to someone who will nurture it and help it grow.

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Hire some help

You can advertise that your business is for sale and reach out to all the connections you have in the industry, but sometimes you need a bit of help finding the perfect buyer. A business broker can help you find the right buyer for your company. 

A broker serves as an intermediary between you and your buyer, helps you properly value the business and keeps your sale confidential. The International Business Brokers Association can help you find the right broker in your area.

After considering these critical factors, you should be well on your way to a successful sale of the business.  


Brian Bond, CBB, is the principal of Strategic Business Brokers Group, a brokerage firm in Scottsdale, Arizona, that has helped carwash companies sell their businesses across Arizona. Brian Bond has been named “Broker Of The Year” by the Arizona Business Broker Association.

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