10 Mistakes Car Wash Businesses Make
March 26, 2012
They say that wisdom comes from experience and experience comes from making mistakes. How true. Franchise companies will almost certainly have manuals, training programs and other support documents and services designed to help you avoid making costly mistakes. These mistakes can represent real dollars–and avoiding them can make a big difference in the total investment you need for your new business and ultimately how profitable the business becomes. The challenge is that most new franchisees are trying to learn and execute many new things at once and sometimes make what they feel are logical decisions without remembering or consulting all the advice provided by the franchisor.
Top 10 Car Wash Business Mistakes
- Business Equipment: Some things you may consider when acquiring equipment is shop around to different vendors to find the best price. Another idea is to research aftermarket suppliers to find considerable savings. Lastly, consider different financing options, and this will conserve your capital for other business needs.
- Toxic Pricing: Fresh on the scene car wash business owners makes the mistake of undercutting. There is nothing wrong with pricing yourself cheaper, just try being conservative, maybe 10-20% less than average. The thing you want to avoid is losing money on each car. So it is important to keep in mind your true cost per car.
- Marketing Cost: Most franchisors are pretty good at laying out a marketing plan for you to follow. What you have to anticipate is local market advertising will descend on you as they do all new business owners. You will have to make sure to follow the advise to the letter, and you will avoid one of the costliest areas of misstates for new business owners.
- Excessive Investment: Just like owning any business you want to keep the start up price at a minimum. Some ways you can keep the start up price low is start by not buy expensive items. Such place to get used item or discounted items is off of Craigslist. Spending your money on other unforeseen variables will arise: weather, competition, the economy and your untested sales skills. You want to start small so you can test the waters.
- Careless Customer Service: The most important thing to keep in mind is, you’re selling a service that no one needs.If you want to be a pro, and stay in business for years, never fail to: show up on time, finish on time and listen to and follow every customer request.
- Inventory and Supplies: If you’re looking to franchise with significant inventory investment needs, make sure to ask other franchisees if they have learned any way to save on these costs that they didn’t know initially. This can not only reduce your initial costs, but also raise your margins on an ongoing basis.
- Labor Costs: The largest ongoing expense line for almost all franchise businesses is the cost of labor. One of the most common mistakes made is to hire too many people or to pay too much for the ones you do hire. This is a very easy mistake to make, but it is also the quickest way to change a business from a winner into a loser from the standpoint of profitability. It takes discipline and focus to stick to the plan in terms of labor, but it can make all the difference in the long-term success of your business.
- Testimonial Marketing: One of the most powerful ways to promote and communicate the value of your detail services is by getting other people who think the world of you to say so to others. Package up those testimonials in the form of print, audio or video and use them in all of your communications with new clients.
- Lack of Strategy: As a future business owner it is important not to jump head first into this lifetime investment of owning a car wash. It’s often a good idea to bring in a strategy consultant or business coach to help you and give you an independent, objective view of what is happening. Having a business strategy is the source of long term profits.
- No Headlines in Ads: Believe it or not, your company is not a headline. A headline is the advertisement for the ad itself. You want to use a statement that will get immediate interest and pull in consumers, such as:
- A New Car without the Payments!
- When Was the Last Time You Gave Your Paint a Tune-Up?
- You Car Can be One Detail Away from Perfect
Owning a business is a dream for most people. But to be an entrepreneur takes a lot of work and living on the edge is a must. Instead of starting a business up on your own, it is a great idea to franchise a car wash instead. DetailXPerts a professional car washing and mobile detailing franchise has all the answers you need. The DetailXPerts brand employs the power of steam to clean cars. This saves water and provides a superior clean unmatched by traditional car wash and detail operations. Our franchisees have high customer retention due to a consistently superior result of our steam cleaning process.