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6 Ways to Make Your Car Wash Stand Out

6 ways to stand out against your competition

As any industry grows, more players come to the game. This can seem daunting but it’s also an opportunity to focus on how you can create a better offer & show why you’re better. You all know that quality, well-maintained equipment & premium chemicals are a must, so this list talks about some more unique ways of standing out.

1. Above & beyond…

Deliver extraordinary customer service. It’s not enough to have an attendant on site. They need to actively go up & interact with your customers, show them exactly how to get the best out of the equipment & learn the regular’s names. Finish off by thanking them for visiting the car wash.

Above & Beyond
Kind gestures...

2. Kind gestures…

Hand out cold waters on those hot summer days. It’s hot on the forecourt & a cold water will never go unappreciated.

3. For the love of kids…

Lollipops for kids & treats for dogs. It goes without saying that people love their kids & their animals. If you show them some love, you create loyalty for life.

4. Feedback…

Address customer pain points. Seek feedback & take action on criticism. Don’t assume it works well – ask the people who pay to use your facilities.

5. Socialise…

Be social in every way. Get active in your local community, help raise funds for charities & show up on social media. Share local events, lost dog posts & celebrate your customers.

6. Make them smile…

Surprise & delight customers. Hand out free fragrance trees, wet towels or hold a sausage sizzle on the weekend.

Carwash World Difference, we're just a phone call away

Time to Titrate

The warmer conditions are here & these environmental changes often require alterations to your chemicals. We recommend you titrate monthly to ensure superior chemical delivery.

Get your Titration Test Kit from Prowash here >>

Titration

What We’ve Been Up To…

Car Buffs at Raymond Terrace waved goodbye to their aging M5
to make way for a LaserWash™ 360 Plus
Splash N Dash in Merimbula removed their LaserWash 4000 to
upgrade to the LaserWash™ 360 Plus

Want to know more about what the LaserWash can do for you & your car wash business?
Watch videos of it in action, see it’s ROI generating features & optional extras.

Don’t forget the fundamentals of Car Washing

Click here to check out our Simple Social Media Tips for car washes
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Effective Car Wash Menu Board Signage

Effective Car Wash Menu Board Signage – it matters!

You’ve financed, planned & built your car wash. But how much energy have you dedicated to your car wash signage, in particular your car wash menu board signage? Believe me, this deserves your time & attention. The menu board at your car wash is critical to get right. Think of it as a 24 hour sales person. The menu needs to quickly & simply convey both the value & price of your offer to your customers.

Your car wash menu board signage firstly should:
  • Be appealing
  • Be clear & simple
  • Align with your brand
  • Communicate the value & difference between the different wash packages
  • Include any usage terms & conditions
But that’s not all – there’s some little details that will make all the difference & I really encourage you to speak to your designer to incorporate the following points into the artwork:
  • Aim to only have 3 wash packages, or less – research shows more than 3 creates customer confusion over the options
  • Your top wash (the most expensive) should always be first on display – top or top left, the same way we read. The text should be larger than the other options on your board.
  • The top wash package should also be highlighted in a contrasting colour to draw the eyes attention to it & increase conversions of this wash package.
  • As a rule, if people are in a rush or feeling pressured to make a decision they will opt for the most noticeable.
  • If you have a wash club or loyalty programme, advertise it somewhere on the board showing the potential savings for regular washers.
  • Avoid any pointless information – your customer is concerned about what they are getting & what it will cost them, nothing more.
  • No clutter. Avoid excess images & colours.
Below are some examples of some menu boards that could be improved & why:

 

 

Here’s an example of effective car wash menu board signage that we recommend for our Carwash World customers that follow the tips above:

I cannot stress enough, owning a car wash is owning a retail store. You need to make this process as simple to understand as possible while explaining the service & the value the customer can expect to receive for their money spent. Simplify the process! We always suggest no more than 3 wash packages & don’t go overboard on pointless details that your average Joe customer won’t understand. If you’re not sure how your car wash stacks up as far as ease of use & offer goes, invite 10 acquaintances who don’t use your wash to try it out. Ask them to fill out a 10 question survey & give feedback on how they found everything. Chances are, there are things you thought were pretty straight forward that are confusing for your customers.

‘Discovery exists not in seeking new lands but in seeing with fresh eyes.’

I have pdf versions of these suggested menu board templates that I can supply to Carwash World customers – just shoot me an email sarah@carwashworld.com.au

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What are the Set Up Costs for a New Car Wash Business?

Need to know info – the set up costs for a new car wash business

cost-of-setting-up-a-new-car-wash-site

Love the idea of a car wash but have no idea of the set up costs for a new car wash business? To be honest there is certainly no fixed, one-size-fits-all, dollar figure for this type of thing. There are so many variable factors depending on what sort of car wash you want to set up. We will cover some very broad numbers to get your head around the finances.

Setting up a brand new car wash business from the ground up is probably more expensive than most people anticipate & it can be a fairly lengthy process. A typical site of one Automatic In Bay Car Wash & 3 Self Serve bays will cost anywhere around the $700,000 mark to build & approximately $350,000-400,000 in equipment costs.

These numbers include everything from building & construction, plumbing, wiring, installation, soaps, softeners & more. Basically everything you would need to trade from opening day.*

The costs above might sound a little confronting to those who have little knowledge of the industry. So where do all these costs come from?

Construction, Council Regulations & DA’s

Cost-to-set-up-new-car-wash

Construction costs are your biggest overhead in the set up costs for a new car wash business. It’s just not as simple as hooking up to the water supply & washing cars. Check what’s in your DA & engage a designer who specialises in designing car wash sites, as their knowledge will be invaluable during the process. We recommend Tracey from TMC Design Group. Tracey has been designing car washes since 2004. She has a clear understanding of what makes a successful wash site & how to avoid lengthy delays & building variations.

You need to manage your design & construction right from the start. Building costs & council requirements can blow your figures out if you’re not dealing with people with actual industry experience. Car washes require underground pits to deal with the water requirements from local authorities. All of the contaminated run off & sludge has to be collected & disposed off so as not to pollute the stormwater drains. Whatever you do, seek advice from industry professionals. We’re happy to give you some guidance & advice – you can contact us here.

We also have some tips below on how to reduce costs when setting up your new car wash business.

How long does the process take?

As a rule this process should take around 12 months IF you have a motivated architect. Your design must have accounted for all council stipulations & your builder needs to be reliable. Over the years we’ve seen set ups completed as quick as 6 months. Others have spanned out to the 2 year mark. If you use someone who is well versed in car wash design the process will be much shorter than going in blind.

So is a car wash business profitable?

Yes of course (we even own our own car wash sites so we know this for a fact). A well-designed site with high quality equipment, in a good location is, in our opinion, going to be successful. Since Carwash World started in 2005 & we are witnessing steady growth for all of our customers.

IBISWorld reported that the Australian carwash industry is now forecast to be worth approximately $585 million by 2020. Between 2010-2015 the industry saw 2.5% growth. In the IBISWorld, report, the article stated within the carwash market, automatics account for 46.5 percent, & self serves for 37.6 percent with the remainder hand washing. Environmental concerns & higher density living is making services such as car washing much more popular. Car owners love the convenience of a drive in, drive out option.

How can I save money in the set up for a new car wash business?
  • Take over an existing car wash. This is an excellent way to avoid all of the build & set up costs. You’re simply buying the business at market value with an aim to grow it. You can then retrofit with new & updated equipment without the need to spend on construction.

Car-wash-self-serve-retrofit

  • Don’t over engineer the build – we see a lot of wasted money spent needlessly on elaborate designs when a simple construction would suffice.
  • Get quotes for a fixed price build.
  • Know your council & DA requirements or have someone on your team that does. We cannot stress enough the importance of an educated team assisting you in this process. A great example is a designer who misses the fact that some councils require doors on automatic car washes – this alone would add between $15,000-30,000 to your budget.
  • Shop around on things like LED lights & alarm systems etc. But BEWARE, cheaper is not always better. As we know when it comes to car washing equipment, opting for the cheapest option can cost you more down the track. We encourage you to speak to other car wash owners about what works for them.
  • Something that is not an immediate saving but certainly a long term one is adding Recycled Water to your car wash site. The initial expense will save you from purchasing 200 litres of fresh water every time a car goes through the automatic. It will also enable you to continue to trade if we encounter water restrictions again.

Car Wash Water Recycle System

  • There’s also loads of other cost saving options we know of, like putting your automatic on a frame instead of being load bearing, opting for prefabricated items such as sewer pits & using lucabond panels instead of tiles on self serves bays.

For further advice on a car wash business your planning or for more tips on how not to over-capitalise we welcome you to contact us here.

 

*this can vary depending on your individual site requirements