Car Wash

07 Jan. 21

So You Want to Open a Car Wash?

Here are some key tips you should follow!

Location, Location, Location.

Yes, the familiar expression applies to all areas of real estate – residential, commercial, business, and car washes, of course! Drive around your target areas, pay attention to traffic patterns, surrounding businesses. See a licensed experienced real state professional. Is there competition in the area? Sure, look around on Crexi and LoopNet, but definitely speak with a Realtor FIRST.

Check out your Competitors

Go for a few rides – and see what’s out there. What if they improve their car wash after you open your carwash. Do they have debt, and can they cut prices to outcompete you (with interest payments) in the short term? Do they have a base of loyal customers for over 20 years? do your research.

Do the Paperwork, Homework

Find out which local city or county agency handles business licenses. Then, request an application from them, as well as local utility usage codes, tax rates, and insurance requirements. 

Each city and municipality has their own set of rules. Make sure you speak with professionals and understand everything. You should also get information on sewers for your waste water, utility rates, and water rates, obviously. You may want to consider greener alternatives and a hydro route water conservation system as proactive measures. Water rates have increased 70% nationally across the last decade. (And they’re certainly not going to get lower.

You will Need a Taxpayer Identification Number

You will also need a Taxpayer Identification Number, and you will need to research the US Patent and Trademark Office’s search tool to make certain your brand doesn’t already exist. This way you can register for it.

Planning and Approval Process

Set an appointment with the city planner. Show them a rendering of your idea and try to get verbal approval of the design, that, or a list of issues you may need to address. If you have approval, you can set up a formal meeting to present your plans and have them voted on at a city council meeting. Good luck to you! 

Can you deal with the water rates?

Water is quite expensive, and rates continue to rise. And let’s face it, you’re in a business that’s heavily involved with water. There are many ways to save on your monthly water bill – like the Hydro Route Smart Valve. If you are a retail, commercial, or business owner, or director of an institution or hospital, you should look into alternative ways to save money on your water bill.

Research other Carwashes

Do your fieldwork! What makes certain businesses more successful than others? They have studied their potential competitors and several models first. There are automatic carwashes, partially automatic, express, detailing, and others. 

Prepare a Business Plan

Your car wash should be focused on both the short term and the long term operations. Consult with professionals. And remember – the better your plan looks, the better it will look to investors or the bank.

Operations Decisions

Will you run an independent car wash, a franchise, LLC, or S-Corp? Each model has its own benefits and drawbacks. “Franchises offer support at the cost of the residual. Solo operations offer total freedom, but deprive you of Brand Awareness, says Tommy of Tommy Car Wash Systems.

Further Reading:

Tommy Car Wash Systems

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