Start a car cleaning business and make handsome profits!

. 6 min read
Start a car cleaning business and make handsome profits!

Are you looking to start your own business, and are looking for some great small business ideas? Well, you are bang on! In this article, we shall take you through a business with which you must be familiar-a car cleaning business.

Most people have busy lives, and cleaning their cars is the last thing on their priority list.  So, car cleaning is a service that is always in demand. Globally, the car washing business is a multi-billion dollar industry, and starting such a business is a great way of self-employment.

Unlike a general car wash, a car cleaning business offers thorough cleaning of the car, both inside and outside. You can offer vacuum cleaning ,hand dry with every wash, polishing and waxing-anything that the client wants. It is considered as a safe investment, because there will always be a need for clean cars.

Is Car Cleaning Business Profitable?

Car washing as a business can be profitable for a hardworking entrepreneur. Right location, good marketing, and excellent service, will help you to draw a large number of customers. The labour and  start-up costs are relatively low and the regulations are minimal. However, as in most small businesses, trust and credibility are the most important criteria for success in this venture.

How to start a car cleaning business?

In this article, we will take you through the following steps for starting a car cleaning business:

1. Plan your business

Opening a car washing business requires a lot of research. A proper business plan is very essential to find out the costs of starting a car cleaning business. The first step is to find a name for your business, and get that name registered.

It is important for any new businessman to remember that once you start making profits, you have to reinvest a part into your business. It might mean paying back the loan that you have taken to buy the equipment, for instance.

Your clients can be the public, or you can target local businesses like cab rental services or car dealers. This will be reflected in your business model, which you will incorporate in the plan.

It is very important to show a professional image, so you should get for yourself and your team, a nice uniform with your company logo on it. You can take professional help in designing the logo and your signboard-it should be something interesting, so that the people will remember.

You can also franchise a car wash and use a proven model, buying your supplies from a nominated supplier. You will get a lot of help like advertising, technical support, etc.

2. Do Market Research

It is important to do market research on car cleaning in your area before you start your business. Find out who are going to be your clients, and the competition in your area. You should know the services that your competitors are providing, and their packages. The more you understand the competition, the better you can make your own services.

Training written on cloud shaped paper

3. Get proper training

Cars are often the second or third largest investment that a person makes. Since it is a costly item, you should get proper training, before you start handling it.  You can gain some hands-on experience by working in other car cleaning shops, before you start on your own.

Try to gain knowledge about cleaning plastic, leather, vinyl and chrome. This will help you to prevent damage to your customer’s cars.

4. Location

The site that you choose for your business must have electricity and water supply connections. If you have to lease a site, see that it is  affordable. It would be a good idea to find a location near a wealthy neighbourhood, because economically well-off people tend to use car wash more often. The price that you will charge for your services, will also depend to some extent on your location.

5. Equipment

You will need the following equipment to start a car cleaning business:

  • A pressure washer
  • A vacuum cleaner with extension cords for power.
  • A generator so that you won’t have to depend on the electrical supply.
  • A water tank.
  • Heavy-duty Hose connected to a water supply
  • Buckets
  • Pump sprayer
  • An overhead sprinkling system
  • Cleaning chemicals, windshield wiper fluid and soap
  • Microfiber towels, applicator pads to apply wax, squeegee for the windows
  • Foaming and mechanical brushes, leather cleaning and upholstery brushes.
  • A container to carry your products and tools
  • A dryer

The basic element in a car wash is the tunnel, inside which workers apply soap on the car, wash it, and rinse it.

6. Costs

Apart from the equipment, your monthly running costs will include the following:

  • Rent
  • Power and water
  • Replenishment of cleaning supplies
  • Salaries of staff.
  • Marketing expenses

You can finance your car wash through bank loans, or get investors on board.

7. Hiring Staff

Since this is a technical trade, you will need qualified manpower. Apart from experience and skills, you should also see that your staff are courteous.

8. Services

You have to first include basic services, and then include more and more additional ones, as your business grows. The basic services include exterior cleaning like washing, restoring the car’s finish, cleaning the tires, windows, mirrors and wheels.

The interior cleaning involves vacuum cleaning the windows, dusting, cleaning all the plastic and rubber mouldings, leather seats, carpets,  and upholstery. You can deodorise the interiors and add fragrances as well. At the end, you can add a spray , or a coat of wax to enhance the gloss of the vehicle.

Other details can include stain removal from the upholstery, paint correction services, etc.

If  you want to generate more clients and grow your car cleaning business, you have to go beyond giving just a simple car wash. This calls for innovative marketing tactics. One of the easiest things to do is to make business cards or flyers which you can distribute to potential customers.

Due to the pandemic, people spend a lot of time online, and research before taking a decision, be it a product or a service. To promote your business, you can create a web page or advertise through your social media accounts like  Facebook or Snapchat page. You can also open a YouTube channel and give some tutorials on car cleaning. Online listing of your business on GoogleMyBusiness, is an important digital marketing tactic. Here, you can provide all your information like service timings, address, and also reviews from satisfied customers.

You can offer some free amenities like compressed air for tyres. Remember, that there is nothing better than a satisfied customer, and word-of-mouth can propel your business to new heights.

10. Be innovative

We will give you some tips to stand out from the competition. One of the first things that you can do is to make a list of all the work that has been done on the vehicle, and the products that were used to perform the work. This is a personalised touch that is usually very appreciated by your customers.

Another tip is to use a deodoriser inside the car, after the cleaning is complete. Our sense of smell is one of the most used ones, and customers will associate that smell with a job well done.

You can tell your customers to leave a comment on social media about your services. A positive comment on Facebook or Snapchat can go a long way to make your service popular.

11. Earn some extra bucks!

Apart from offering cleaning services, you can also sell products like air fresheners, leather cleaning solutions, etc. If your customers have to wait in the lounge, while you clean their cars, you can sell beverages like coffee or tea. All these will add to your income.

Mobile car wash business

If  you are looking at business ideas from home, with low investment, then a mobile car wash business might be the right one for you. A mobile car cleaning business is a very practical service, because the client won’t have to take the trouble of coming to your place with his car. You can go over to the client’s home, clean his car, and leave it like brand new!

For this, you will need a van or a truck. The overheads will be very low, and once your business picks up, you can open a shop somewhere.

animated characters cleaning cars on dark green background

If you love cars and also wish to see a smile on people’s faces, then a car cleaning business is the right one for you. Since the number of cars are increasing day by day, there will always be a demand for cleaning them. Though it involves a lot of hard work and perseverance, your efforts will eventually pay off.

Also read:

1) How much does it cost you to start and run a YouTube Channel?
2) How to Start a Flower Shop Business in India?
3) How to start a Branded Clothing Store Business in India? Your A-to-Z Guide
4) Top 10 Things Every Business Owner Should Know & Do.