Home Insurance How to start your own car wash business and be your own boss!

How to start your own car wash business and be your own boss!

by Ragini Salampure
How to start your own car wash business and be your own boss!

If you are passionate about cars and have a knack for transformation with sturdy hands, then perhaps a career as a professional car detailer may be right down your alley. With more and more cars being used on the roads daily in Australia, combined with the fact that the weather can flip 180 from hot to cold, rainy to dry, season to season, having your car cared for has never been so paramount. With an uptrend towards larger cars being purchased eg. dual cab Utes for commercial reasons most likely and a huge uptick in SUV’s, more and more Australian families are spending extra family time travelling. For those looking to start, it may be worth looking into becoming a mobile operations like Schmicko Melbourne, or for those looking for an easier start, a bricks and mortar car wash and detailing center may be the way to go. At least with your own place, you can build it up the way you want it to be, do not have to worry or must consider whether there will be shade and irrespective of the weather, you can build a shelter to build a weatherproof business as this is often a concern for mobile operations.

If this sounds like you, then check out our mini-car wash guide below.

How to start in the car wash and car care industry?

  1. Look for any nearby car wash businesses for sale
  2. Set up a meeting with the seller to learn more about the business
  3. Check the cost of the equipment, per square foot rent, hours of operation
  4. Go to your local zoning department to get all of your permits in order
  5. Get a building permit and an electrical contractor with experience in car washing businesses
  6. Make sure that you have enough funds available to buy everything that you need for your business
  7. Be sure that you have enough money left over for any repairs or upgrades needed after you close on the purchase

Important notes:

Always consider prominent car wash and car care brands to your repertoire, always be testing. If you ask any professional car detailer, they would have a great range of goods and automotive products from upholstery cleaners, shampoos to tyre dressings. Find what suits your style the best as they all tend to vary in results and methodology, especially when it comes to paint correction, using different compounds, cutting polishes and foam pads, will get you different results at different paces. A good start is to visit your local auto shop and source a combination of car care goods and try them all out yourself. Always good to note that different cars will react differently too, as some fabrics are different for the interior and the paintwork itself can be considered ‘soft’ or ‘hard’, which shows how forgiving the paintwork can be when corrected with a machine buffer.

When it comes to your prices and packages, find what works the best for you. Some customers will just want the interior, exterior or both at times and it is worth keeping a large variety, the more the better to suit your customer’s preference better. When it comes to price, going high may sound good, but most often will affect your volume of bookings, typically a cheaper price will get your more volume and a higher chance of filling out your days, it is crucial to focus on completing your days. Whereas offering a high price, may grant you a slightly better margin, it may lead to lesser bookings and may lead to more harm than benefit. For example, you could have your price $30 higher than you want, but that may deter a customer away from your booking to somewhere else cheaper, which means that you could have lost a whole entire booking for the sake of $30.

Please do consider getting car insurance, you may not realize it now, but you will be hoping you had it when you come across an unexpected accident. Protect yourself and your business from these events as they can be very costly if not addressed.

Nonetheless, a career in car detailing is a promising one and perfect for car lovers and weekend warriors, it takes practice and elbow grease. You typically do not need a qualification, but a knack for detail coupled with experience and the supplies/equipment.

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