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Increasing Your Car Washes Earning Potential

Increasing your car washes earning potential & retaining customers. 

These are 2 things that should be high on your agenda as a car wash owner.  Increasing your car washes earning potential means maximising the ROI of every square metre of your car wash site. If you’re washing 60+ cars, per day, regularly in your current Laserwash 360 (or other automatic car wash) or you run a self-serve only set up, you’re going to want to do your homework after reading this post.

Car washing is changing. Customers are demanding a faster, more efficient service. The offer is starting to evolve.

Owners are being pushed to think about

WASHING MORE CARS, FASTER. But how?

 

Additional Automatics = Fast Cleaning + Happy Customers + Fast ROI

The trend of 2, even 3 autos on a site is increasing at pace. A car wash business with 2-3 touch-less automatics in Australia is becoming the norm, removing customer frustrations at having to wait in lines. We’re seeing increased turnover by approximately 30-40% almost immediately with the addition of an extra Laserwash 360+. Experienced owners know they’re leaving themselves exposed to the competition by not adapting their offer to suit the needs of the consumer.

Are you maximising your sites potential?

First things first, you need to know your numbers. Above we mentioned the 60+ sweet spot that indicates a car wash is potentially ready for an investment into an additional auto car wash. We generally see an increase in approximately 30-40% turnover within months for sites who add a second auto. During busy periods, these sites have the potential to wash 200 cars with ease.

Do you know what is your dollar turnover in your self serve bays on average, every hour? This is an ideal starting point to assessing whether an investment into a second Laserwash 360+ could work for you. Even if you were charging above the industry average of $2 per minute for the services in your self serve bays, with lost time (customers making selections etc) you’re potentially going to be generating around $100 per hour.

A premium Laserwash clean, sold at a conservative wash price of $15 per hour, at an average of 12 cars per hour would potentially generate $180 per hour. Now you need to consider, is there potential to increase the income of your self serve bays – generally the answer is no. Not significantly enough to rival the turnover of the Laserwash automatic car wash.

Reinvesting into your business creates growth. Removing the customer frustration of waiting in line creates repeat loyal customers who value your offer. Something important to acknowledge is the fact that sure, you know the numbers currently being washed in your automatic but you have no way of knowing how many customers you LOSE each day to drive offs. Not everyone has the time or inclination to wait in line.

The initial outlay of a new automatic car wash needs to be a calculated financial decision but when you’re investing in the most reliable, premium touchless wash option on the market today, the Laserwash 360+, we know most customers are getting an ROI easily within 12-18 months. This investment strategy is also a way to ensure that you keep out any potential competitors in your area. Trust me, when people drive past your car wash & there is always a long queue, the first thing people are thinking is, that car wash is always busy, that’s a good business to get into. Don’t leave your business exposed.

Want to run the numbers with us?

We know exactly what turns a car wash business into a success & it’s actually fairly simple formula. That’s why so many car wash owners trust Carwash World.

Shoot us an email: sales@carwashworld.com.au

Call us: 0433 233 733

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Car Wash Retrofit Case Study

Car Wash Retrofit Case Study

In this car wash retrofit case study we cover how one regional car wash was able to retrofit to a PDQ Vehicle Wash LaserWash 360 Plus for immediate growth.

Car Wash Retrofit Case Study

Originally installed was an aging Water Wizard, in bay automatic, that was not producing a quality clean. It was clear this site was not fulfilling it’s potential with the current equipment. It was retrofitted with a LaserWash 360 Plus with dryers, high side blasters & OverGlow. In addition, the substandard chemical that was previously used was replaced for the far superior Blendco soaps (which we recommend to all of our customers). This vastly improved the clean, the customer experience & the perception within the local community.

As part of this car wash retrofit, adjustments were also made to the wash packages, menu-board signage, self serve bays & pump room which are detailed below.

Car Wash World Retrofit Laserwash 360 Plus

WORK UNDERTAKEN:

  • Retrofitted Water Wizard to a LaserWash 360 Plus (inclusions dryer, high side blasters & OverGlow).
  • Entry system changed to a Hamilton – meaning the site can use RFID & wash club packages.
  • Increased the price of the wash packages & reduced it down to only 3 choices from 4.
  • New signage for the wash packages with the top wash taking up the majority of the space on the board & highlighted in yellow. Consequently the percentage of sales of the top wash is now a huge 84% after these changes.
  • In both the automatic & self serve bays introduced Blendco chemicals replacing the cheaper generic brand. Creating a far superior wash result & over time actually reducing cost per wash.
  • Added Splatterwax with Carnauba to the self serve bays & a general upgrade of equipment.
  • The addition of tap & go payments to self serve bays.
  • Major fine tune of faulty pumps & plant equipment which was compromising the integrity of the wash finish & increasing overheads.
  • Improved lighting & security for after hours cleaning.

car wash retrofit laserwash 360 plus

THE RESULTS:

  • Increase of 100%+ on numbers of cars through the automatic wash. Increase on ROI with the introduction of dryers, OverGlow & high side blasters adding both an actual dollar & consumer perceived value to the wash package.
  • Average dollar in the self serve bays increased from $5 to $7 on average per car. (Amendment – since going to print, self serve is now $8)
  • Blendco chemicals providing a much more thorough & consistent wash result & reduced the amount of chemicals required to clean a vehicle leading to lower cost per wash.
  • Positive user feedback was received as opposed to complaints. The wash acquired many new regular customers as well as gaining back some previously unhappy customers.
  • Maintenance overheads were lowered significantly by replacing an aging machine.

Is not spending money on upgrading costing you customers? This is question you’ll need to ask. Sooner or later there will come a time where you need to  assess if your car wash is living up to it’s revenue potential based on offer, catchment, demographics etc. As shown above, making an investment into your car washing equipment can help grow your business & lessen some of the stress that unreliable equipment puts on operators.

If you’d like to talk about how to achieve these sorts of results at your own car wash follow this link: www.carwashworld.com.au/help

 

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10 Car Wash Business Commandments

Is your car wash business delivering on our Top 10 Car Wash Business Commandments?

Owning a car wash can be a lot of work. Staying on top of employees, marketing, social media and ensuring your equipment is delivering the best possible wash to name just a few responsibilities.

In the interest of not complicating things, we’ve put together a list of 10 Car Wash Business Commandments that you should be trying to focus on to ensure that your customers are satisfied and you’re profitable.

It really doesn’t matter whether you’re running a single in bay automatic or a 40 foot tunnel – these non-negotiables stay the same.

  1. Focus on offering both value and speed – customers who use automatic car washes are looking to have their car sufficiently cleaned in the shortest amount of time possible.
  2. Keeping your site super clean and well maintained – just because it’s a facility to clean your car doesn’t mean it should look dirty. In fact, it should look as clean as possible to show how much pride you take in your car wash. This means no chipped paint, no broken equipment and certainly no build up of dirt, sludge or mould.                                 
  3. Clear signage, great lighting & quality cameras – communicate your offer, value & promotions with clear, concise signage. Great lighting is a wonderful marketing tool & also makes your customers feel safe. Quality cameras are also a must.                                                                                                                                                                                                                         
  4. Ensure equipment is simple to use for customers – yes, YOU use the equipment every day but your visitors do not. If something is confusing or intimidating (ie hard to access wash bays, triggers on hoses that get stuck) chances are people won’t come back.
  5. Don’t have too many wash options to chose from – customers want choice but not too many. Research shows that too many options leads people to feel overwhelm. We suggest no more than 3 options for your automatic car wash – ditch the cheap, budget wash & watch your profits grow.                                                                                                                                                 
  6. Maintaining & servicing your equipment – you have spent a considerable amount of money on equipment so you must service regularly to avoid unnecessary breakdowns or repairs. Downtime = Loss.
  7. Making sure your chemical delivery is on point – especially important for a touchless car wash but also relevant to any car wash. Running test washes & making tweaks to chemicals regularly is a must.
  8. Creating relationships with customers – building & maintaining a relationship with customers is imperative for repeat business. Utilise your attendants & their customer service skills as well as social media to communicate how much you value their business.
  9. Invested staff – your employees need to have synergy with your brand & offer. They need to hold the businesses values front of mind. It’s important that they have been trained to have a broad knowledge of the equipment & the product delivery.
  10. Strong offers & promotions – keep things fresh & inviting by creating deals your customers will get excited about & to entice new customers. Discount codes, giveaways on Facebook & Unlimited Wash Clubs are all excellent ways to add more value.

No matter how busy you are in business, if you simply ensure you focus on the 10 Car Wash Business Commandments above you’ll have yourself a popular car wash that the locals love to visit.

 

 

 

 

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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

 

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Why the PDQ Laserwash 360 Plus is dominating the touchless car wash market in Australia.

It’s no secret that the PDQ Laserwash 360 Plus holds an exceptional reputation within the car washing community. Why is it dominating the touchless car wash market?

laserwash-360-plus

The Laserwash 360 Plus signage alone proves a distinctive selling point to customers for car wash owners. You’ll see the Laserwash signage being directly imitated by competitors trying to pass their machines off as the same thing.

With over 350+ PDQ Manufacturing Automatic Car Washes in Australia alone, there’s no surprise it’s the touchless car wash of choice.

For Carwash World, as a supplier of premium car washing equipment, the Laserwash 360 models are our biggest seller. The machine’s reputation & benefits helps sell itself before a customer even reaches us. A lot of people have already done their due diligence & know it’s the equipment they want at their car wash.

Regardless of the Laserwash 360 Plus’ reputation & popularity, it’s still important for you to know exactly what the capabilities & limitations of any machine are. You want to ensure that you’re purchasing the right equipment to best service your needs & customers. You’ll need weigh up your thoughts on touchless versus friction equipment. Then if touchless is your preference you need to compare all models available in the marketplace today.

Here’s a comparison of a Laserwash 360 Plus with a run-of-the-mill friction model to start to get us started.

Contactless

The fact that the equipment & the parts make zero contact with vehicles is a major reassurance for yourself & your customers alike. The Laserwash 360 Plus’ design eliminates the concern for damage altogether, in comparison to a friction system that cleans using direct contact on the car for the majority of the wash cycle.

Organic Matter & Contaminants

Baked on bugs, dried bird pooh & lime dust are a test for any touchless on the market due to the lack of friction, (ironically also it’s biggest selling point). Very stubborn contaminants simply will not be as easily removed from a customer’s car without the use of friction. Even though those same customers are adamant they want a touchless wash! This is where consumer education & a great attendant make all the difference to your business. Simply guide customers on what to do in a self serve bay to loosen & remove these contaminants before using the touchless. Ensure customers know how to get an optimal clean of their vehicle depending on what’s on their exterior.

Less maintenance

The Laserwash 360 Plus has less moving parts, a wide-open wash bay & no contact with a vehicle. It’s sleek, innovative & friction-free design means you experience less wear & tear on the machine. Regular scheduled servicing & replacement of consumables ensures this machine is a tried & trusted work horse. Carwash World suggests servicing your equipment every 6 months & for some high-volume sites, every 3 months.

Chemical Monitoring

Being touchless, you’re relying on ensuring you have the optimum chemical delivery running alongside your high-pressure water at all times. This requires regular monitoring & titration testing to provide superior cleans. Friction washes can be a bit more set & forget in this area as the brushes do more of the work when it comes to dirt removal.

Downtime

Less moving parts & no contact add even further benefits over & above the minimal maintenance discussed above. The Laserwash 360 Plus machines overhead design has been refined & simplified further than other touchless designs. It incorporates an aircraft grade anodized aluminium bridge & main rails. Constructed of non-corrosive materials such as stainless & aluminium, with the welded manifolds replacing assemblies of fittings reducing leak points. Furthermore each design feature has been incorporated to decrease overheads & increase your ROI.

Consumer Perception for Vehicle Safety

Whether warranted or not, friction/brush car washes still have a reputation with customers for doing damage to paintwork. Brush technology has indeed come a long way. From hard plastics to now soft neoprene brushes, truth is these brushes still come into direct contact with a vehicle. If the brushes are not clean & maintained regularly, the likelihood of surface damage to paint is high. We see this often in some of the cheap & cheerful petrol station washes that don’t have dedicated staff regularly maintaining equipment to a high standard. A quick scroll of Google reviews of an array of different car wash businesses quickly highlights customer’s positive perception of touchless car washing & in particular the Laserwash, as a reliable & safe car washing option.

Ease of Use for Customers

 

Here’s a comparison of a Laserwash 360 Plus’ open, overhead wash bay versus a competitor’s design with ground rails. Any rollover style, friction or not, makes it much more narrow access for customers. These rails often come into contact with a vehicle’s tyres, causing damage to rims. Consequently this type of access can often be intimidating to both nervous, young or elderly drivers. In conclusion, it’s really important in a business where you are selling a service to limit any barriers to purchase. From uncomplicated entry units, simple payment solutions through to how easy it easy to drive into the wash bay.

Whilst this article does discuss the many benefits of touch-free cleaning, there is definitely times where brush washing can & will suit your business better. Car dealerships, fleet & commercial businesses often opt for brush cleaning as it’s more practical for their business model & end goals.

Got questions about anything Car Washing? Contact the team at Carwash World. We’ve got 35+ years car washing experience & we’re here to help.

If you want to check out some of our Recent Work –  click this link.

If you want to see what our customers are saying about us – click this link.

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How to Take Care of Your Car Wash Equipment

How to take care of your Car Wash Equipment

how to take care of your car wash equipment

Do you know how to take care of YOUR car wash equipment? The profitability of your car wash business is determined by how well your car wash equipment and tools are working. Therefore, maintenance is downright essential to keep them functioning for longer. 

Needless to say your car wash tools and equipment are the backbone of your car wash business. Your business achieves customer satisfaction and profitability as long equipment is up and running.

Sadly, elements of car wash equipment are prone to break down and damages, given that they undergo heavy use. You never know when a component ceases to work in the middle of car cleaning, causing inconvenience to both you and your customer. It prompts you to pay a hefty repair bill every now and then and not to mention a huge loss in profits due to downtime.

Therefore, it is essential to take care of your car wash equipment to ensure uninterrupted function and minimal repairs. Simple maintenance tips can keep your car wash equipment functioning for longer. Here’s how…

Clean Your Car Wash Equipment Regularly:

Car cleaning equipment is in constant contact with dirt, grime, hard water and corrosion. It not only affects their functioning, but also shortens their life expectancy over the time. Make sure your attendants are cleaning everything down frequently.

car wash equipment australia

Replace Worn Out or Old Parts:

Even a single worn-down hose can bring your entire car washing machinery to a halt. So it makes sense to replace worn out, damaged or corroded parts of the machinery as soon as possible. A quality part version ensures that you can deliver a better customer experience. Don’t forget if something is hard to use, chances are your customers are not happy.

Regular servicing by car wash professionals:

When you purchase your new car wash equipment you should be allocating funds for regular, scheduled maintenance by the supplier of your equipment. These technicians are well versed in how best to maintain and run these machines and will often be able to identify an issue before it turns into a breakdown.

Treat your new equipment like you would your car. You wouldn’t buy a new car and not have it serviced by a professional so this should be no different.

Give Special Attention to Heavily Used Equipment:

As we have said earlier the most exploited equipment is most likely to be worn out sooner. Therefore, you will have to clean, repair, replace such parts more often. Don’t wait for a hose to split, replace them on a regular roster to ensure they are always in working order.

Educate Your Staff:

how to maintain your car wash equipment

Considering that car washing equipment is overseen by your staff most of the time, it makes sense to educate them about maintenance of the system. Apart from that, make sure to allocate attendants the maintenance duties of each specific piece of equipment. Companies like Prowash Australia offer a Carwashing 101 course that will help site owners get staff up to speed with things such as titration, water softening and much more.

With the help of these maintenance tips, you can keep your car washing equipment in function for longer with minimal breakdowns plus you can avoid expensive repair bills and hassles in the long run.

Hopefully these tips are helpful – feel free to Contact Us with any questions.

 

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Touchless versus Brush Car Washing Equipment

Touchless versus Brush Car Washing Equipment

Trying to research touchless versus brush car washing equipment? How do you choose which equipment is right for your Car Wash business & your customer? Here’s some tips.

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