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Starting a carwash: Marketing a new business

A list of five marketing tips to increase business and generate community attention for new carwashes, shops and their owners.


As the new owner or operator of a small business, pushing your operation to be the best it can be is your most important duty. While financial profit is of huge importance, pride in your business can further drive results and customer service, and this pride should be contagious. Owners, managers and employees should stand ready to share successes and positive examples with both regular visitors and potential customers.

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Successful marketing endeavors that attract new customers and keep existing customers loyal are massively important. Further, boosts of morale and positivity provided by effective marketing campaigns make success even more important. For new carwash owners, we have put together a list of five marketing tips to increase business and generate community attention.

Tip 1: Choose fun signage with a local influence

The importance of strong signage cannot be overstated. In areas with high traffic counts, colorful signs and clear messaging can be the difference between more business than a site can handle and deserted bays or tunnels. Many washes choose local themes or landmarks to mimic in logos and on signs. For instance, curling waves and colorful seashells are common carwash imagery in beach areas.


Tip 2: Schedule a live radio broadcast

Though this is the Internet age, hosting a live radio broadcast is a surprisingly effective marketing option. Known DJs talk to their dedicated audiences and repeatedly invite thousands of listeners to visit your carwash. Often these broadcasts can be scheduled for grand openings, anniversary celebrations or even upcoming sports events.

Tip 3: Include concierge service

For older generations not as obsessed with speedy results and multitasking, washes can add hands-on services centered on quality, not quantity. These services can be promoted through marketing and are offerings that can help set a wash apart from any nearby competition.


Tip 4: Invite a food truck

Making connections with other small businesses in your community can pay large dividends. Inviting a food truck to your site can boost your reputation with young drivers and local “foodies.” The wide selection of foods available from food trucks in most metropolitan areas ensures a new experience for visitors every time a new truck arrives.

Tip 5: Develop a loyalty program

Offering customers a loyalty program is now a best practice for all car care businesses. These can be facilitated with either updated technology or a simple punch card system. At this point, using these programs to market your business and encourage repeat business is practically required to ensure a successful operation.


Read PC&D's September cover feature for 44 more marketing tips to boost your carwash business.

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