Starting a car wash business is certainly a lucrative business opportunity. The car wash industry is billions of dollars in value and is still growing, expected to reach $41 billion in 2025 from today’s market size value of $35.34 billion.
You can either open a car wash business completely on your own or franchise an existing car wash in your area. Nevertheless, to be successful and especially if you want to secure financing for your car wash business, you’ll need a suitable car wash business plan that covers all aspects of your project.
Here, we will discuss how you can create a business plan for a car wash business.
Step-by-Step: Car Wash Business Plan
Step 1: Defining Your Idea
Present your business idea in full including:
- What type of car wash is it (self-service, automatic, touchless, etc.)
- How big the site will be
- Where it is going to be located
- Your target customers
- The expected investment volume
Step 2: Your Personal Information
If you are going to send the business plan to others (i.e. to secure an investment), then you should include information about you:
- Applicable personal information (full name, birth date, marital status, profession, the town you live in)
- Educational information
- Applicable vocational training
- Career history
- Your partner’s information (if any)
- Explain what makes you suitable for running this car wash business
Step 3: Details About Your Plan
This section should include:
- The planned legal structure of the company (LLC, corporation, sole proprietorship)
- Organizational structure
- Personnel planning (your responsibilities, your partner’s responsibilities), list your management personnels if applicable
- List the product and type of service you’ll offer at your car wash
Step 4: Market Analysis
In this section, you should explain (to yourself for planning purposes, or to others for financing purposes) why your car wash business has the potential of growing your customer base. This should include an analysis of whether the market in your area is not saturated.
Step 5: Competitive Analysis
Describe key competitors in your area, and analyze why your car wash business can still be successful despite this competition.
Step 6: Location Analysis
For a car wash business, location is the most important factor that can make or break the business. Analyze and then describe in great detail why the location of your choice is ideal and why it will help you in attracting more customers.
Step 7: Marketing Plan
Describe plans on how you will market and advertise the car wash business. You should include both short-term promotional strategies and your long-term plans to achieve growth.
Step 8: Pricing Strategy
Describe the details of your pricing strategy after you’ve weighed how your competitors (as discussed above) price theirs. If you are planning to provide different types of services, you should detail the pricing for each.
Estimate the annual net sales expected in the first year of operation and the annual turnover for the next years. Analyze how much % of revenue is spent on marketing, supplies, equipment, and others.
A few things to keep in mind when planning your pricing strategy:
- Obvious, but make sure you can make a profit at your planned price
- You can offer discounts and coupons in the initial stages of operation to help promote your business
- You don’t always need to be cheaper than your competitors. If you have more value to offer, don’t be afraid to charge more.
Step 9: Financial Planning
Estimate the initial investment costs and each aspect, including:
- Cost of renting or purchasing the property
- Overall start-up costs, including:
- Preparation costs (training, consulting, market surveys, etc. )
- Permits and licenses required
- Taxes/fees/duties, registration costs, and others
- One-off startup costs:
- Business acquisition/licensing fee (if any)
- Marketing/advertising for the opening
- Takeover of address
- Launching event
- Car washing equipment
- Mobile car wash and detailing software like fieldd
- Installation costs
- Office equipment
- Tools (i.e. vacuum cleaners)
- Supplies costs (wax, detergent, etc.)
- Ongoing marketing budget
Calculate the total sum of start-up and investment costs.
Step 10: Liquidity Plan
This step is necessary if you are going to use the business plan for financing purposes. What is your liquidity planning? What will you spend out of your pocket? Will you always remain solvent?
Define how the monthly costs are going to affect disbursements and detail the liquidity payment planning per month for the first year and the next.
Step 11: Profit Analysis
Analyze the profit and loss projection for the first three years of operations. This should include income, expenses, the result of operations, net income, net loss, earnings (before taxes), and depreciation costs.
Step 12: Executive Summary
A professional business plan should be opened with an executive summary as the first section. However, typically it is the last to be written since it’s a summary of all the other things we’ve covered above.
The executive summary should be around one or two pages in length and include:
- A condensed description of your business idea
- Your unique value proposition, listing unique benefits and features of your car wash business
- Target audience demographics
- Key persons in your management team
- Estimated start date
- Statement about your equity
- The estimated budget needed to start the project
While creating your car wash business plan might seem like a daunting task at first, especially if this is your first time starting a business, it will definitely help in ensuring your car wash business’s success. Not only the business plan can help you in securing financing for the business, but it can also act as your road map in achieving growth and success.