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Marketing Strategies for New Car Wash Businesses

Marketing Strategies for New Car Wash Businesses

People spend a lot of time & money setting up their new Car Wash site but don’t always spend equal time thinking about the marketing strategies for their new car wash businesses.

It’s really important not to forget that at the SAME time you’re building the physical foundations for your site that you should also be starting to market your car wash to the public. There’s quite a lot of info in this post that both new & existing operators should find beneficial. Buckle in – it’s worth your time to read this in full!

new-car-wash-business-australia

Pre-Opening – Build

This is a critical time to start letting the public know that a new offer is coming their way. Get potential customers excited about what you’re building – let them know EXACTLY what is happening on your block of land as you’re starting construction. Tell them how your business is going to benefit them.

Action Points:

Put banners up during the build process (see below for content ideas).

Approach local communities, clubs & businesses. Spread the word about the upcoming car wash. Give out some free washes to generate community excitement.

Create a discounted foundation wash club membership offer  – if applicable.

Start a Facebook page – share progress images, explain your offer & convey services.

Laserman – this is an option for CWW customers where available. You really can’t miss him!

laserwash-360-plus-laserman-carwash-worldBanner Ideas:

New Car Wash Opening Soon!

Laserwash Car Wash Coming Soon!

No time to wash your car? Car Wash Coming Soon

Advertise EXACTLY what your offer is: Touchless Automatic Car Wash – Self Serve Bays – Dog Wash COMING SOON!

Clean your dirty car here soon – Opening November!

(I can supply images & logos to all Carwash World customers to help with this).

Advertising Options

This all depends on your area & your demographic but you may wish to look at the following options to incorporate them into the marketing strategies for your car wash business.

However you choose to target people there’s one main thing to consider. You need to have a compelling offer. A compelling offer has a CTA (call to action) – get people excited to try your car wash. Your offer will depend on your entry system but discounted foundation wash club memberships & free wash days for the first days you are open work very well.

Car Wash Marketing Tips

Also ensure you explain to customers why you’re better & different. Talk about your Automatic car wash. People would like to know it’s a touchfree Laserwash, has no friction & is safe for car paint. Explain the types of waxes or chemicals you use, tell them how you protect environment using recycled water.

Action Points:

Print medium – potentially a flyer drop or brochures to hand out. Leave on cars in car parks etc, leave with local businesses & groups.

Radio advertising – advertise free wash days if applicable (see below) or a $10 introductory pricing offer.

Social Media – this is an inexpensive way of promoting your new business as well garnering interest in your upcoming offer. Start your Facebook page – Coming Soon. Advertise what your offer will be, talk about soaps, waxes, why washing at a car wash is better for the environment (see ACWA’s driveway to waterway initiative to encourage customers to think more about where chemicals go).

Grand Opening

We recommend a minimum of 2 days FREE washing. This is your opportunity to test the equipment – gets as many cars through as possible. It’s crucial for new owners to get a feel for equipment, adjust chemical delivery & train staff. It gives us & you the opportunity to work together to tune the equipment making sure we’re producing the highest quality clean. CWW keeps a technician on site for 2 days to work through this with you.

Actions Points:

Ensure the staff on these 2 days are approaching people pulling into the self serve bays & encouraging them to try the new automatic car wash for free instead.

Ongoing Promotion

Once you’ve been open for a while you’ll get a feel for how the business is tracking. You’ll want to then think about driving sales during your slower periods. For example, if Tuesday afternoons are quiet, run a promo.  Some suggestions are ladies day, pensioner day or if your name starts with a letter of the alphabet, get free vacuums with any Laserwash purchase.

Action Points:

Create Seasonal & Event Calendars – set up a marketing calendar that focuses on seasonal events such as Mothers Day, Easter, Fathers Day & then make sure you document local events such as fairs or car rallies that could encourage ways to promote your car wash.

Car Wash Marketing Ideas

Partake in community events & fundraisers – sponsor a local sporting team. Show that you’re active within the community – this gets buy in from the locals & in turn they help advertise/support your business.

Digital Advertising

Create a simple website – even a single page website for google ranking. Advertise your services, location & contact details.

Social Media – Facebook is the most critical SM platform. You can boost posts & promote your business directly to a very refined target audience. For example, you can promote only to people who live within a particular kilometre radius of your business, who have an interest in new cars & are between the ages of 25-65.

Set up a Google Business Listing – this is CRUCIAL. This is where your business shows up on the right hand side of a google search page. People can also leave reviews here & whilst some reviews could be negative, you need to see it as an opportunity to get better.

Sign up to free local business directories – this helps with Google ranking & helps customers find you.

Complaint Handling

The greatest asset your car wash can have is superior customer service. Every customer is an opportunity to grow your business. How you deal with issues or problems is critical. Always look at things from a customer’s perspective. If it’s confusing, difficult to use or just not up to standard – fix it right away. Reply to reviews & complaints with empathy, offer to fix the issue as best you can & assure the customer you want a positive outcome for them.

Actions Points:

Train your staff. Every customer should be acknowledged. This is simple retail, yet is often forgotten by businesses. Your staff should have a desire to ensure your customers know how to use the equipment & are getting a quality clean.

Respond to reviews & complaints immediately. Often unhappy people are placated instantly when you offer them a solution.

Have your out of hours contact phone number clearly posted on site. Sometimes things go wrong, often when the attendants are not working. Don’t make it hard for customers to contact you about an issue.

If social media is all rather new to you – here is an older blog post that has some tips for car wash owners:

https://carwashworld.com.au/managing-social-media-for-your-car-wash/

If you have any other questions – feel free to Contact Me: sarah@carwashworld.com.au

 

 

 

 

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Managing Social Media for your Car Wash

Managing Social Media for your Car Wash

managing social media for your car wash

Where are you supposed to fit in time for managing social media for your car wash? You’re a busy car wash owner . You don’t have lots of time and small business is stressful enough, I get it. However, you simply can’t ignore that the digital age is forever changing the way we communicate with our customers and how they give us feedback regarding our products and services.

At this point, your eyes might be glazing over as you think  ‘Sarah I don’t want to learn anything new’ to which I say ‘a comfort zone is a beautiful place but nothing ever grows there’. I know you want your business to grow. I’ve put together a cheat sheet for car wash owners to start you on your way to managing social media at your wash site in as little as 20 mins per week. Now in this post I am only going to talk about Facebook as I feel it’s the most relevant platform to start with for a Car Wash business.

Social Media for Car Washes

Regularly take photos & videos

This really should take minimal effort. You (or your attendants) should have a pretty major emphasis on customer service. That means actively greeting and helping customers at your wash so make sure your phone is in your pocket. A quick before and after wash photos, videos of the equipment in action or how-to-use tutorial, pics of full wash bays, gleaming paintwork and wet dogs are all great content for your page whilst being an opportunity to interact with your customers.

Run competitions & promotions

Stay front of mind with your regular customers by running season promos and giveaways for seasonal events. Think Easter egg giveways, vouchers for Christmas or give back to the community by donating a portion of each wash back to a local charity.

Apps to make the whole process easier

Today’s phones take amazing pictures and the beauty is, even if the photo is a little sub par you can edit it easily using software already on your phone. So snap away and edit later. An average photo can become an impressive shot by adjusting the light and colour or simply throw a filter over the top of it.

Then you can take your image to the next level and add text over top to advertise your offer. There is a lot of mobile phone apps to add a text overlay, I personally prefer to Canva or Picmonkey on my desktop. I  just find it easier to manage social media on a bigger screen but you do you.

Canva is great because it has predesigned themes so if you struggle to make your marketing material look pretty, it’s all done for you. Simply select the template, upload the image you want in the background, change the text and save. Canva has loads of different pre-designed themes; everything from A4 flyers, gift certificates, Facebook ads and more.

Here’s a great little tutorial on how to create a graphic in Canva to explain it better than I can.

Picmonkey is also a big favourite for me. Similar concept to Canva with templates or design your own options. I find Picmonkey better for making photo collages and designs that I want to create from scratch.

For both of these websites you can upload and store logos/images into their library and adjust the colours of the text to match the colour of your logo and business branding. You really can create something unique and professional for your business.

Here’s a Picmonkey tutorial for you to learn a little more on the amazing things it does.

Other ideas for managing social media for your car wash

Don’t think it needs to be all about clean cars. Just know your community and be relevant to them. Don’t ever underestimate the power of a cute animal video or funny quote – people love them. Share information on local events to keep your followers up to day with what is going on in their neighbourhood.

Did you know?

Flicking through your phone and see a post you think would be good to share at a later date? Save it to share later. Here’s what the SAVE button looks like – you find it in the drop down menu when you click in these 3 dots below:

Plan in out
Put aside 20 minutes per week and aim for just 2 posts per week. Don’t overwhelm yourself with any more than that when you’re starting out. You can schedule posts in advance by selecting the SCHEDULE from the right drop down menu on the PUBLISH button. This allows you to select a time and date that suits you to display the post to your followers.

I hope this gives you some clarity on managing social media for your car wash business. If you have any questions, you’re welcome to contact me to discuss!