This Business of Carwashing

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As a visitor to our website there is a high likelihood you are already profiting from a carwash investment or considering such a venture. For those readers who are not already connected with the industry we suggest that you seriously consider this worth-while endeavor. Either as a primary business or as an adjunct to another similar business such as a gas station, convenience store, quick lube shop, or an auto repair shop, car washing can be quite a profitable enterprise.

Generally speaking, it is a cash business with no receivables or collection problems to be concerned with. Depending on the type of equipment and cleaning services provided, carwashes are operable with a minimal or even nonexistent labor force. That means few management problems such as tax withholding, OSHA requirements, weekend shift coverage, absentee issues, and demands for higher wages.

Due to car washing being a service-based business, the owner need not have to worry about having salesmen on the road. There is no "product" to be delivered to customers, no raw materials to stock, no product liability to worry owners, and no inventory to finance (barring a small supply of cleaning agents and few replacement parts). Also, the owner of a new wash system wouldn't have to concern himself with delivery route headaches, freight costs, fleet management, gasoline prices, or postage rates, because the cleaning equipment is delivered to the business site.

On the other hand, car washing is a capital-intense business. You would need to be able to provide land, bricks, mortar, and equipment to build with. It could be expensive for most to dive right in to. But don't let that scare anyone off. There are equipment and building packages available from many manufacturers at surprisingly low prices. Also, distributors and their manufacturers either know how to raise financing, or they will work with you to put together a convincing presentation to raise the money you need.

Many millionaires exist in North America today because they saw the potential of the car washing industry. It's a service that virtually every consumer and business requires at least once a month. Your market is boundless. Almost every family has one or more cars, and almost every business owns a vehicle of some kind. The volume of your carwash is limited only by the number of cars in your market area and your ability to convince their owners to clean them on a regular basis. Owning a wash system, as stated above, could be a profitable enterprise, but we don't want to mislead you. Depending on the type of carwash, it can require some management skills and business savvy. The art of washing cars has become much more sophisticated in recent years with the introduction of enhanced cleaning agents and materials and the use of computerized controls in many systems.

Above all, success in car washing depends upon you, the entrepreneur. If you approach it as a serious business and a valuable service to be provided to the community, you should experience a great deal of success. Like any business, the quantity of customers you service will depend upon the quality of service you provide.

Where to build your self-service car wash?

Research is essential in selecting a site for your self-service car wash. Be objective and realistic in your approach. Locate in a growing area. Use the site analysis surveys and the income projections to make an educated decision about the total return on investment for a particular location.

Professional Wash Systems, factory authorized Distributor, can also help you with this process to determine the proper location.

1. Use maps to determine the best location.
2. Determine your site specifications and economics.
3. Evaluate growth and population estimates.
4. Assess the visibility and accessibility of your proposed site.
5. Study the competition within your primary trade area.
6. Determine the absorption rate of self-service car wash bays within the specific area of your car wash site.
7. Prepare a written summary.

General Metropolitan Area
City and Neighborhood
Population Distribution
Access Improvement
Site Topography
Physical problems
Zoning problems
Preliminary Plot plan
Adjacent zoning and land uses
Utility availability and requirements
Ingress and Egress
Weather considerations
Business compatibility
Summary Data:
Include all cumulative Data and Maps
Building and Equipment Costs
Income Pro-Forma
Research Materials
Bank Presentation
Growth & Population:
U.S. Census Information
State, County, City Planning & Zoning Boards
Municipal Officials
Regional Councils of Government
Chambers of Commerce
Utility Companies
Traffic & Automobiles:
State & County Highway Departments
Department of Motor Vehicles
AAA Auto Club
Future Competition:
Local Planning & Zoning Boards
Equipment Distributors & Manufacturers
Car Wash Trade Associations
Real Estate and Business Journals
Economic Base & Trade Area Data:
Population Growth Trends and Projections
New Employment Sources
Community Development Programs
Population Estimates
Latest Demographics
Existing and Future Composition
Future Development
Automobile Estimates (DMV)
Natural and man made barriers
Existing and Future
Market voids
Services, Equipment and Pricing considerations
Unusually strong or unique competitors
Access Data:
Existing Arterial Patterns
Proposed and new Arterials
Improvements and existing Arterials
Generative, shared and subsistent Business
Special access and visibility considerations (site)
Barriers to access (site)
Traffic Flow
Transit Routes

NOTE: These sources of information are intended for use as guidelines ONLY and a beginning to your research. Professional Wash assumes no liability for damages resulting from the use of this information.

Professional Wash Systems
3664 Hwy 67 North
Poplar Bluff, MO 63901
877-785-3808 :: Fax 573-785-1196 :: Login
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