You’ve scoured local demographic data, you’ve scouted for the ideal location and you’ve drafted an initial business plan. You’re ready to begin construction planning for your new car wash.

Unless you’re a veteran car wash owner, you’re bound to make mistakes during the car wash construction planning process. It’s simply part of being an entrepreneur. Taking the time to learn from other experienced car wash owners can, however, dramatically cut back on the number of mistakes you make, increasing your chances of running a successful car wash business.

At Tommy Car Wash Systems, we’ve been helping new entrepreneurs with the car wash construction planning and building process for forty years, and in that time, we’ve learned which mistakes can be most fatal to an upstart car wash business. We’ve narrowed some of our experiences down into our top 5 tips for new car wash construction planning below.

5 Tips for New Car Wash Construction Planning

1) Tour as many successful car wash sites as possible.

Running a successful car wash business is a fine science, and no one gets it right the first time. The most successful car wash sites are most often products of years of testing and improvements. By visiting car wash sites with a proven track record of success, you can scope out common key elements which make certain car washes stand out and become moneymakers. Learn from the experience of other car wash entrepreneurs!

2) Do things right the first time.

Focusing on quality in every aspect of your new car wash business planning is crucial for repeat business and long term success. Customers appreciate quality, and will keep returning to car washes they’ve had positive experiences with. Cutting corners, scrimping on wash quality and car wash facility appeal can give customers a negative first impression, drastically reducing your chances of success. Make sure peripherals like landscaping, equipment technology and customer experience are the best you can provide.

3) Don’t underestimate the importance of hiring a great architect.

Your car wash building’s success depends largely on its aesthetic appeal, and a well designed building is crucial to the car wash planning process. The right architect – one experienced in designing successful car washes – should be able to provide samples of successful, eye-catching car wash designs, and should be willing to create a plan customized to your car wash’s unique market and location.

4) Moderation is key.

If you build your car wash too big, your revenue won’t be able to cover your costs. If you build too small, you’ll be missing out on business. Be very thorough in your research, and plan a car wash site which precisely meets the ideal car wash volume for your location’s demographic.

5) Market your car wash consistently.

A successful car wash business plan includes a comprehensive, long-term marketing strategy. Your car wash will only turn a profit if it’s operating at a high volume, and marketing is key to maintaining a steady flow of car wash customers. If your marketing budget is tight, be inventive; explore online marketing opportunities, social media and cross-promotional opportunities with other local businesses. Remember: marketing is what turns good car washes into great car washes.

Originally published at