For any business to thrive in today’s uncertain times, first and foremost you have to be seen and experienced as good at what you do. Nowhere is this more true than in the car wash business where your very location makes you supremely visible to anyone passing, and activity on your forecourt bears immediate witness to whether your business is successful or not. It’s a bit like a pub or restaurant car park: if it’s full over lunchtimes or evenings, then it’s obviously popular with its customers. If the car park is empty, then something is wrong.
So how do you get your name out there and attract increasing numbers to your car wash? Well, apart from having a busy, fully functioning and tidy forecourt with workers visibly on task, key as in any business is to develop strategic local partnerships mutually beneficial to all parties.
To give you some pointers as to how to get started, we’ve pulled together some tips below.
Tips for Developing Partnerships for Car Wash Businesses
- Are you close to a local car sales room or car hire firm?
If so, get in touch. Tell them about your business, the quality of your equipment and the products you use. Offer a promotional discount to trial your car wash, then investigate with them a package that means you get their business whilst simultaneously supporting and promoting theirs. It could be a poster or billboard on each site advertising the other, or it could be as simple as placing business cards in the foyer for clients to pick up whilst waiting for their car to be washed, serviced or prepared for pick up.
- Look at larger businesses in the locality.
They may well have fleets of cars which need looking after. Some drivers of fleet cars can be unreliable at washing and valeting their cars – and this doesn’t always make for a good first impression when they turn up to an important business meeting. If you can get your foot in that door, you have a great business opportunity at your fingertips. Do a good job and you’ll have established an excellent means of promoting your business, not just through this new partnership but also through word of mouth recommendations from happy employees who can take pride in driving their bright and shiny fleet vehicle with little or no effort having been invested on their part.
- Are there any local car clubs in the vicinity?
Car club members take great pride in the upkeep and appearance of their prized possessions but if they get to know about your wash and the quality of the products you use, you might find you’ve discovered a new market. Owners of prestige, vintage vehicles may well be very wary of electronically operated washes, custom brushes and the potential “damage” they may cause to original paintwork and fixtures. They may however be very impressed by any high-quality hand wash and valeting that you can offer. Get it right and your name will soon get round to other members. And being able to say you are endorsed by a particular car club for the service you provide will be excellent promotional material for your business.
- Have you thought about local schools and how building a strategic partnership here could be of mutual benefit?
Arrange to visit your local head teacher and discuss how this could work. Perhaps you could offer to supply a full team kit for a boys’ or girls’ team sporting your logo? Maybe you could offer a promotional discount to parents and staff through some sort of flyer to get your name out there and new clients through your door? Schools have such a responsible role to play not just in terms of educating, looking after and developing our children in to fully rounded individuals, but also in the community as a whole. Have you the time to offer to be on the school’s Board of Governors? If so, that puts you a cut above others and shows a real investment in your local community. Be sure though to take this on board with integrity – this is a far greater step than solely promoting your business.
- Consider running a sponsored car wash for a local charity.
There are two ways of doing this: either charge as per normal and donate all proceeds to the charity of choice or allow customers to donate an amount of their choice. The charity is obviously of your choosing but have a look at charities running in the area: local hospices and homeless charities do such a fantastic job and are always pushed financially to deliver what they do. They are also charities where people are prepared to dig deep to support – and if they get a car wash out of it, well that’s great for them too! Get your event promoted on local radio: you may even find your local station will be so impressed by the event that they’ll ask to come and host a show from your premises. So make sure it’s looking at its best with tea and coffee on tap, a tidy seating area, clean and respectable toilet facilities and friendly staff to meet and greet them!
- Have a look at whether there are any bakeries or butchers close at hand.
Clients appreciate a comfortable sitting area with a quality coffee or cup of tea whilst they are waiting. If you are able to strike up a partnership with a local baker or butcher however, this can take your offer to a whole new level. A fridge with freshly made sandwiches or pies will fill a hole for a client en route to an important business meeting and will save them time from grabbing a bite to eat elsewhere. Wrappings will advertise where the products are from and a board outside stating that you’re offering fresh sandwiches and pies from your local baker/butcher is sure to draw additional custom.
Learn More with PSD Codax
We hope the above has given you some ideas as to how to develop local strategic partnerships and how mutually beneficial they can be. At PSD Codax, we have years of experience in the field of the car wash business and have seen car washes set up many unique and varied strategic partnerships in that time.
For an informal chat on how we can help you build your business, please get in touch today.