With people’s lives as busy as they are and with cars and vehicles such an expensive commodity, anything that can help the individual save time whilst simultaneously looking after one of their most prized assets is going to be a winner. This is why car washes have become increasingly popular over recent years and are certainly an extremely lucrative market opportunity if the merchant gets it right from the start. With years of experience on the car wash market, we at PSD Codax know first-hand that apart from the need for a good head for business, key to the success of any new car wash is going to be its location. It is therefore paramount that any new entrepreneur considers carefully the potentialities and pitfalls of all available locations before opting for a particular one.
You may have already thought about publicity options for advertising your new business: local newspapers, fliers, posters, social media, special offers. But have you thought about the physical visibility of your premises? Car washes that are located off the beaten track in back street locations are not going to be in the regular field of vison of passing motorists. A well signed, tidy and efficient looking car wash on a busy transport route will always catch the eye of anyone passing by. Heavy and slow traffic flow will give the discerning motorist the opportunity to look at what your car wash offers each time they pass your premises. And if what they see is appealing and is likely to save them time, they will invariably pull in from the traffic queue to sample your offer.
Consider too the accessibility of your premises: a tight turn into your car wash will deter motorists from popping in whilst a wider entrance will be much more appealing and a far easier “stop off” for new customers.
For so many different reasons, cars are key these days to the successful day to day functioning of our lives: commuting, school runs, shopping, appointments, leisure activities. When we become “car-less”, our lives are turned upside down: how do we get to work, who gets the children to school, what about that early hospital appointment? This is where the security of your car wash premises is of utmost importance. A location on a country road may be cheaper in terms of overheads but can expose you to unsavoury custom. A back street location has less visibility and without excellent security systems can make you a prime target for vandalism. Any prospective client will not only want you to do an excellent job of washing and valeting their vehicle but will also need to feel confident their valuable asset is in very safe hands.
This is of course a “no brainer”: whatever location you choose, its cost implications have got to be financially viable for your new business venture to succeed. Alongside setting up costs you will need to factor in the ongoing costs that go with your premises and location. Equipment will need to be serviced and replaced, local councils and health and safety jurisdictions will hold you to account at every turn. And then there will be ground rent, council tax, corporation tax and general overheads such as energy costs and wages to allow for each month. A large forecourt might seem an extremely attractive option but will you be able to afford it both short and long term? Smaller, well marketed premises will come at a cheaper cost but may well have a higher profitability margin.
Think carefully when choosing your location about the clientele you are looking to attract. All sorts of factors in terms of demographics can contribute to the success or other of your car wash in this respect. Age and income of the local population are prime aspects to consider: an elderly population will have little use for a car wash; neither will a location with cheap premises but a high deprivation index. Do you want to attract local businesses to use your car wash? Can you offer fleet options? If so, look to locating your car wash within easy reach of larger businesses whilst leaving it accessible to individual motorists too.
Look at what is already located close to any prospective premises. Is there another car wash within a one mile radius? Are they more easily accessible? Can they charge lower costs because they have lower overheads? If so, think again about the location.
Retail parks may well seem attractive as a car wash site because of the amount of traffic going through on a daily basis and their one-stop capacity to tick all customer boxes. But many retail parks have petrol forecourts in situ, most of which offer a self-serve car wash facility. Undoubtedly, you will be able to offer a better finish but can you offer it a price competitive enough to draw new customers?
You’ve carefully selected your location to attract a steady flow of customers. Can you be sure to offer them the seamless customer experience that will bring them back time and again and will prompt them to recommend your services to others?
Learn More with PSD Codax
Having weighed up all your options and finally decided on your location, you’re well on your way to starting up your new business. Now all you need is top quality equipment to ensure you always deliver services of the highest calibre. As experts over many years in the field of car wash access technology and plenty of experience within our talented team, this is where we at PSD Codax are here to help. For an informal chat and specialist advice on how we and our products can help you set up a state of the art car wash business, please contact us today.