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Starting a Carwash

Turning site potential into reality

See property for what it is and is not.


Rich DiPaolo is the Associate Publisher – Editorial of Professional Carwashing & Detailing magazine.

Since there are so many risks associated with opening a new business, there are a multitude of articles, research data and consultants that can help — including this month’s cover story on finding land for a new carwash business. While the leading factors will vary regarding a new business’ level of success or failure, oftentimes issues can be traced back to site selection and complacency on the owner’s part in completing his or her due diligence.

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Part of this due diligence includes knowing what to do, such as finding a site with good visibility, getting to know the community (potential customers) and other local businesses, not settling for an average site for a low price point, researching the competition, understanding the zoning and permit requirements and so on.

Arguably, the number one consideration for a carwash is knowing the current as well as the future needs of the business, which helps to make other critical design decisions much easier. Especially for newcomers to our industry, this is the most difficult variable to gauge.


This month’s cover story helps break down some of the components needed to effectively assess the current needs of a new carwash business and potential future needs.

While knowing the future needs of a business is hard to predict, giving a new carwash room to grow will help make decisions in the years ahead easier. And, just as I did for this month’s article, there is no better place to start than by contacting seasoned pros who have experience leading projects and advising professional carwash companies in this space.


Starting off on the right foot with wise site selection decisions and strategies will set a new carwash up for success in the short-term and over the long haul. These initial business decisions will have widespread impacts, such as on the company’s reputation, its brand and, most importantly, its profits.

We hope you enjoy this month’s issue as we begin another year covering the carwash industry. Hopefully we’ll see you at the 2019 carwash events.

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