This Is the #1 Way Automatic Car Washes Lose Money (and Nobody Knows About It)

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automatic car wash

Are you having trouble understanding why your automatic car wash is losing money?

If it is, let’s take a look at the most likely reasons why:

Outdated automatic car wash equipment

Outdated equipment is the number one reason that car washes lose money.

Here is why:

  • It is more expensive to maintain

  • It is likely to malfunction or break

  • It gives low-quality car washes (the quality of all equipment wears down over time)

  • It wastes thousands of dollars in water and car wash chemicals

All of these issues will add up to break the bank. The only way to avoid them is to keep your car wash equipment updated.

Let’s take a look at some of the other reasons you may be losing money.

Ignoring current customers

Businesses commonly offer new customers incentives to switch. Everyone, including your current customers notice this.

As Jeff Harden said in a recent article for Inc, “Offering discounts or incentives to land new customers is often necessary, but existing customers can quickly resent the fact their loyalty is not rewarded.”

If while attracting new customers you forget about your current ones, then they will switch to other car washes. Remember that customer loyalty works both ways.

Trying to win price wars

The value in offering competitive prices to your customers is obvious. However, focusing too much on offering the cheapest car wash, causes the following to happen:

  • It becomes harder to make money from each transaction

  • People start perceiving your car wash services as cheap (this puts off customers who want quality washes)

Every price cut you make is a business expense. Having the lowest price in town may yield a temporary boost in customer volume, but this also costs you money.

If, for example, you serve 500 cars per day via a $10 car wash package and you lower it to $5, you lose $2,500 per day; you would have to double your customer volume just to make what you were at $10 per wash. If you do lower your prices, ensure that it is worthwhile for your business.

Pushing customers too hard to use your automatic car wash services

Nobody likes being pushed into a sale. In fact, being overly pushy can cause a customer who is ready to buy to walk away. While you should emphasize the value of your offerings, especially premium upsells, you must A): only make offers that create real value for customers, and B) know when to accept “no.”

Not noticing when you start losing customers

As Harry Kierbow said in a blog post for the Small Biz Club, “Make sure you know the number of customers you’ve lost.” This helps you quickly react to and fix the problems causing people to leave.

Are you doing everything you can to keep your automatic car wash profitable?

Even if your car wash is making money right now, you should still consider upgrading the car wash equipment. At MacNeil Wash Systems, we have helped countless car wash owners upgrade their systems to modern, effective systems. This not only increases their profits but also helps them save on water bills.

Contact us today to find out how we can help you upgrade your car wash equipment.

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