How to Start a Car Wash Business

Updated February 21, 2017

If you want to start your own car wash business, there are a few things to consider. While many people prefer to run their own small business, it takes time, money and patience. What’s more, it’s vital to choose a business that’s in demand. Since many people own a vehicle, and they’re usually concerned with keeping the it clean, car washes are a profitable business venture.

Research how to run a car wash business. Do your homework first. A car wash may seem like a simple idea. However, you’ll need to familiarise yourself with the business side.

Write a detailed business plan. If you plan to apply for bank funds, draft a professional business plan. This shows that you’ve researched how to run and operate a car wash business.

Apply for a bank loan. Getting a bank loan for a new business idea is difficult. Since a large percentage of new businesses fail, banks and credit unions are cautious. They’ll review your business plan and check your credit.

Get a hard-money business loan. If you don’t qualify for a traditional small business loan, use a hard-money lender. These lenders aren’t ruthless loan sharks. They’re usually private investors who specialise in subprime loans. Expect to pay a high finance rate.

Choose the right location for the car wash. Situate your car wash business in a high traffic area, preferably near a busy intersection or shopping centre. This is the best way to ensure a steady flow of customers.

Advertise the car wash business. Once you have financing and the perfect business location, it’s time to advertise the business. Establish a marketing budget and experiment with different types of advertisements (signs, radio, direct mail and television).

Things You'll Need

  • Business plan
  • Small business loan
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About the Author

Valencia Higuera is a freelance writer from Chesapeake, Virginia. She has contributed content to print publications and online publications such as, AOL Travel, and ABC Loan Guide. Higuera primarily works as a personal finance, travel and medical writer. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English/journalism from Old Dominion University.