The Worst Advice We’ve Ever Heard About Starting a Car Wash Business



When breaking into the car wash industry, you will get all sorts of advice on what you should do to succeed. But it may not be all good advice

Here is some awful advice that you should ignore:

“The lowest price wins”

Why is Apple the world’s largest company? They built up their brand, then found a balance between product quality and price. In this case, there are plenty of cheaper alternatives, but the value that they have created for their products in the minds of consumers wins the day.

The car wash industry is no different. Trying to beat the prices of your competitors won’t drum up any reasonable amount of business, and it forces you to sell substantially more washes just to break even. Instead of trying to be the cheapest car wash in town, focus on providing a quality service that your customers will value and set a price according to this.

“Only work with friends and family”

Only employing family and friends sounds like a great idea. In reality, however, it can be a nightmare. Here are a few problems that doing this could cause:

  • Strained personal relationships when business relationships don’t work out
  • Incompetency
  • People using your relationship to do less work

As Nellie Akalp of Mashable said in an article on Mashable, you must “focus on the specific expertise and skill sets the company needs, rather than trying to piece together how Jill, Sally and Joe will fit into the new business.”

“Leveraging is the key to success”

“Leveraging,” which means to borrow money, is a great sounding buzzword, but doing too much of it will land you in hot water. One infamous event wherein over-leveraging resulted in a catastrophic failure was the housing market collapse of 2007 that eventually led to the global Great Recession. In this case, investors and homebuyers were borrowing money that they couldn’t afford to pay back. When borrowers started to default en masse, the entities that this debt was holding up – like the huge liability management company AIG Insurance and the housing market itself – collapsed.

If you decide to leverage as much money as you can simply because you don’t have to pay up front, then you can, as Mike Michalowicz of Provendus Group said in a recent article written for American Express, “kick the can down the road rather than doing the hard work of solving your problems.” However, you will eventually run out of road and your car wash will end up like AIG; unlike them, the government will not bail you out when this happens.

Ready to Start a Car Wash Business on the Right Foot?

If you’re considering starting a car wash business, don’t let bad business advice get to you. You should only seek advice from professionals who have been in the industry for years. For over 30 years, MacNeil Wash Systems has provided superior car wash equipment to the tunnel car wash industry, automotive dealers, fleet and rental markets. Today, MacNeil equipment is more affordable than ever. Put us to the test.

Take a look at our quality car wash systems, car wash equipment, and get a quote to take the first step towards owning a profitable car wash business.

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