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How to Start a Mobile Car Wash Business in 14 Steps (In-Depth Guide)

Updated:   February 23, 2024

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Mobile car wash businesses were valued at more than $5 billion in 2022 . With a 10.5% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2023 to 2030, it’s not a bad time to get in on the ground floor.

business plan for mobile car wash

There are more than 56 thousand car wash and auto detailing businesses in the U.S. This is an extremely versatile business. From small side businesses to large fleets of mobile detailers, there are many ways to make this business model work.

Through this guide, we’ll talk about how to start a mobile car wash business. From marketing to customer engagement to registering for an LLC. If you’re interested in the mobile car wash industry, this guide is for you.

1. Conduct Mobile Car Wash Market Research

Running a successful mobile car detailing business takes a strong car detailing business plan. To get the details for that plan, market research is required.

Mobile detailing service market research comes in two stages, primary research and secondary research. Primary research is research you conduct yourself. This might include details gleaned from an online poll with local consumers, or by visiting a competitor service in person.

Secondary market research is research concluded by a third-party service. It might consist of government website statistics or online reviews.

business plan for mobile car wash

Some information you’ll learn from mobile detailing market research includes business trends like:

  • The rise of on-demand booking apps fuels the growth of mobile wash. The typical customer values convenience and is willing to pay a premium for the time savings.
  • While drive-thru washes still dominate, mobile has steadily eaten away at their business.
  • Market research shows the on-demand model resonates well with upper-middle-class consumers who make up the typical customer base.
  • On-demand booking apps like Spiffy are on the rise.

Thorough market research offers important information, including popular services, local market saturation, marketing trends, and more.

2. Analyze the Competition

When starting a mobile car wash business, analyzing your competition is crucial to strategic positioning and finding your niche. Here are some ways to research the competition:

Look for Local Detailing Services

For brick-and-mortar car washes , look at their locations, pricing, and service menus. Drive to the sites and observe foot traffic, peak hours, and customer demographics. Consider downloading apps like Washos to see existing mobile operators’ service areas, pricing, and reviews.

Check Online Business Registries

A competitive analysis of Google My Business profiles can reveal opportunities to rank for relevant searches by optimizing your listing. Study competitor website traffic on SimilarWeb to assess the best strategies for driving visits.

Online Search

Local business review platforms like Yelp are also insightful for reputation monitoring and gauging customer sentiment. You can even politely reach out to customers posting online reviews to learn more about their experience.

The analysis should cover both the current market situation and recent trends. Ask questions like, is the competitive landscape getting more crowded? How are incumbent operators adapting to shifting consumer preferences and new technologies? This will help you build future-proof strategies and stay ahead.

3. Costs to Start a Pressure Washing Business

Starting a new mobile detailing business takes some capital. There are startup and ongoing costs to consider. Here’s a breakdown of expenses you might encounter:

Start-up Costs

Startup costs are the expenses you come across as you first open your business. Common startup costs include:

  • Vehicle Purchase – For a cargo van outfitted as a mobile wash bay, expect to invest $25,000-$35,000. Newer model Ford Transits or Mercedes Sprinters with low mileage are ideal. This will likely be your biggest capital expense.
  • Van Customization – To build out your mobile wash bay, you’ll need a water tank/plumbing, power generator, water heater, pumps, hoses, and wiring. Most vehicle fitters charge $5,000-$15,000 for a fully equipped wash van setup.
  • Equipment – Professional wash equipment like power washers, vacuums, and buggers cost $5,000 to $10,000 for a quality starter package. Look for commercial-grade machines.
  • Detailing Supplies – An initial inventory of soaps, waxes, degreasers, microfiber towels, and brushes may run $2,000 to $3,000. Stock up on essentials.
  • Admin & Licensing – Business formation fees vary but expect $500 to $1,500 for LLC registration, licenses, and basic legal/bookkeeping setup. Specific mobile wash permitting also applies in some markets.
  • Insurance – General liability & commercial auto insurance will be required, usually $150 to $300 monthly for decent coverage. Workers comp is also needed if hiring.
  • Marketing – Building a website, branding, and launching initial promotions can be done for $3,000 to $5,000 if outsourcing. Budget more if developing in-house.
  • Working Capital – Have at least 3 months of operating expenses on hand before launching, approximately $15,000 to $20,000 is recommended. This provides a buffer as you ramp up.

Total start-up costs may run from $55,000 to $90,000.

Ongoing Costs

Ongoing costs are the expenses you encounter throughout the life of your business. This includes any stock replenishment, utilities, legal fees, and more. Here’s an idea of some ongoing costs your mobile detailing business might run into:

Van Payment – Estimate $700 to $900 for a 5-year commercial loan on a $30,000 van.

  • Fuel – With frequent driving, gas can cost $1,000 or more monthly.
  • Insurance – Budget $200 to $300 for liability and commercial auto premiums.
  • Worker Wages – For one employee, allow $3,500 to $4,500 for full-time hourly pay plus any benefits.
  • Supplies – Replenishing detailing materials and equipment upkeep may cost $500-$1,000 monthly.
  • Marketing – Always promote consistently, budget $500 to $1,500 monthly for paid ads, and promotions.
  • Admin & Software – Accounting fees, subscriptions, and other fixed costs often total $500 to $1,000.
  • Maintenance – Expect vehicle repairs and maintenance to average $200 to $400 monthly.

Total ongoing costs for an auto detailing business might reach $7,000 to $10,000.

4. Form a Legal Business Entity

When starting a mobile car wash business, choosing the right legal structure is an important decision. The four main options each have advantages and drawbacks to weigh.

Sole Proprietorship

A sole proprietorship is the simplest as you just operate under your name without formal registration. You assume unlimited personal liability for the business. Any lawsuit or debt collection would expose your house, car, and other assets. Given the physical nature of mobile washing, injury or property damage claims are a risk.

Partnership

Forming a general partnership spreads liability between partners, but still exposes personal assets. Decision-making and profits are divided, requiring strong mutual trust and communication. For a small start-up, this may work, but partnerships can get complicated as you grow. Deadlocks may require dissolving the entity.

Limited Liability Company (LLC)

Many advise forming an LLC for a mobile wash business. It limits owner liability and provides tax flexibility as profits pass through to personal returns. LLCs have minimal paperwork compared to corporations. You gain credibility with customers using an LLC name versus operating as an individual.

Corporation

Establishing a corporation creates the strongest liability protection but has more legal compliance. You may need director and shareholder meetings, bylaws, and other formalities. The corporate structure better suits larger enterprises.

5. Register Your Business For Taxes

Once you form your mobile car wash LLC, the next key legal step is obtaining an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS . This number functions like a business social security number for tax purposes.

An EIN is required if you hire employees, open a business bank account, or file taxes for your LLC. It only takes a few minutes to get one online. Simply provide basic information about your LLC and choose a responsible party.

Print out the confirmation letter from the IRS for your records. This number allows you to then open a business bank account, apply for licenses, hire workers, and handle all tax paperwork under your LLC’s name.

Along with an EIN, you must register with your state revenue department for sales tax collection. This allows charging and remitting sales tax on services provided in your state. You can complete this process directly through your state government’s website, usually the Department of Revenue or Taxation.

Once approved, you will receive a sales tax permit number allowing you to collect and pay the required sales tax on car wash services. This supports tax compliance. Failure to register can lead to penalties down the road. Both obtaining an EIN and sales permitting involve no fees upfront.

6. Setup Your Accounting

As a mobile car wash owner, meticulous bookkeeping and accounting right from the start is crucial. With customers frequently paying in cash, keeping accurate records avoids headaches at tax time. Investing in tools like accounting software streamlines the process.

business plan for mobile car wash

Accounting Software

Small business services like QuickBooks automate the tracking of income and expenses when connected to your business bank accounts and credit cards. QuickBooks generates reports on profit and loss, accounts receivable, accounts payable, and other key financials. This eliminates the manual recording of transactions.

Hire an Accountant

Setting up the software properly from the outset ensures seamless tax preparation later. An accountant can advise on optimal QuickBooks configuration and chart of accounts based on your business model and needs. This prevents having to rework things down the road.

While programs like QuickBooks simplify bookkeeping, an accountant’s expertise is still extremely valuable for a mobile wash. They can handle payroll, quarterly taxes, inventory, and other complex reporting. Expect to invest $200 to $400 monthly for basic accounting services if handling payroll in-house.

Open a Business Bank Account

Additionally, strictly separating personal and business finances prevents tax issues and accounting headaches. Keeping a dedicated business checking account and credit card simplifies tracking.

Apply for a Business Credit Card

Applying for a small business credit card provides flexibility in covering larger purchases like equipment and inventory orders. Business cards don’t use your credit, so qualification focuses on your LLC financials.

7. Obtain Licenses and Permits

Before taking your first customer, a mobile wash business must have all the required licenses and permits. Check with the U.S. Small Business Administration for federal licenses. You can also use the SBA local search tool to find state and city permit requirements.

One common license needed is a local business license, which allows formal operation in the city or county. For example, in Los Angeles, you would apply for a Business Tax Registration Certificate. Fees are usually under $100 annually. This legitimizes your business activity.

Mobile wash businesses are considered contractors and should carry a state-level contractor’s license. Many states require trade-specific classifications like C-61 D34 for auto detailing. License exams may be involved. Expect fees of $200 to $500 for application, testing and issuance.

Some municipalities have specific mobile wash permitting programs that require registration, testing, and fees. For example, Los Angeles requires a $189 Mobile Car Wash Permit with some operational stipulations. Research any local laws.

8. Get Business Insurance

Operating a mobile wash without proper insurance exposes your business to major financial risk. Just one accident, injury, or lawsuit can bankrupt your company without coverage.

For example, if an employee gets injured on the job without workers’ comp, you bear full liability for their care. Or if faulty equipment damages a $100,000 luxury vehicle, you could owe huge reimbursement without coverage. Even slip and fall claims on wet surfaces may arise.

Additionally, many licenses and permits mandate carrying commercial policies. You also can’t get bonded or use online booking platforms without minimums. Insurance makes your business look legit.

The good news is getting insured is straightforward. Start by researching providers like Progressive or Hiscox that offer customized policies. Outline your operations, van, payroll, projected revenue, and more.

9. Create an Office Space

Securing an office space provides benefits for managing and growing your mobile car wash business. Here are some potential options to consider:

business plan for mobile car wash

Home Office

A home office allows for low overhead starting. Designate a room as your base for phone calls, paperwork, and marketing. Expect costs of just $100 to $200 for basic furnishings and supplies. However, home offices can suffer distractions and feel unprofessional for meetings.

Coworking Office

Coworking spaces like WeWork offer a flexible office solution. For $200 to $500 monthly you get desk space, conference rooms, amenities, and networking. It provides a professional environment for client meetings without the commitment of commercial leasing. However, space is shared and costs add up.

Retail Office

Retail spaces allow customer walk-ins for sales but require careful location selection. Consider a storefront in a busy shopping center near your service area. Rent may run $1,000 to $2,500 monthly. Hire staff for reception and upsell additional services to justify costs. Retail spaces work best once established.

Commercial Office

A small commercial office could make sense as you scale, allowing room for staff and dedicated space. Expect to pay $1,000 to $2,000 monthly for an office adequate for a standard team. This adds legitimacy for bigger clients but represents a larger investment.

10. Source Your Equipment

A mobile wash needs reliable commercial-grade equipment to deliver quality detailing. Here are some options for acquiring the necessary pressure washers, vacuums, generators and van setups:

Buying new from a supplier ensures the latest models and full warranties but is more expensive. Look to manufacturers like Hydra-Flex for van accessories or Kaercher for pro-quality wash gear. Expect to invest $15,000 to $25,000 to outfit your mobile unit. Financing may help spread costs.

Buying used saves substantially on startup costs. Peer-to-peer platforms like Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace are other sources for deals on used pro-grade wash tools from prior business owners. Be sure to inspect condition and maintenance records closely before purchasing.

Renting equipment through a supply company like United Rentals provides flexibility if you are testing ideas before fully committing. However, long-term rental costs add up quickly compared to buying. Not ideal for ongoing operations due to transport logistics.

Leasing can make high-end gear more affordable through predictable monthly payments and built-in maintenance/upgrades. However lengthy contracts and early termination fees reduce flexibility if business needs rapidly change.

11. Establish Your Brand Assets

Crafting a recognizable brand is crucial for standing out in the growing mobile wash industry. From logos to websites, securing professional assets builds credibility.

business plan for mobile car wash

Get a Business Phone Number

Start by acquiring a dedicated business phone line through providers like RingCentral . Choose a customized voicemail message and toll-free number so customers easily reach you. Expect costs around $30 to $50 monthly.

Design a Logo

Design a logo that instantly communicates your brand identity. Services like Looka provide affordable custom designs based on your vision, industry, and location. Expect to invest $150 to $500 for a polished logo.

Matching brand elements like colors, fonts, and graphic elements make promotions easily identifiable. Apply the logo across business cards, signage, website, and all marketing materials for consistency.

Print Business Cards

Order professional business cards and van signage from VistaPrint . Keep cards on hand for networking, sales visits, and customer follow-up. High-quality signs inspire confidence in new clients.

Register a Domain Name

Secure a domain name that matches your brand for building an online presence. Check availabilities through registrars like NameCheap . Opt for a .com address and avoid obtuse phrases. Expect annual costs of around $15.

Design a Website

Construct a lead-generating website to showcase your services. User-friendly builders like Wix facilitate DIY sites for $10 to $50 monthly. Or hire web developers on Fiverr starting around $500. Prioritize showcasing your work and easy booking.

12. Join Associations and Groups

Joining local groups and associations provides invaluable networking and growth opportunities for mobile wash owners. Here are some ways to connect:

Local Associations

Research associations like the Western Carwash Association offer benefits like insurance, training, vendor discounts, and peer forums. Annual dues start around $300. You’ll gain insider knowledge and relationships.

Attend Meetups

Attending local car wash trade shows and meetups lets you exchange tips with others in your market. Platforms like Meetup list frequent auto-detailer events. The investment of time pays off through new mentorships.

Facebook Groups

Active Facebook groups like Detailing Network and Detailing Business Professionals provide wide support. With over 10,000 members each, you can crowdsource advice and learn from the experience of top operators globally.

13. How to Market a Pressure Washing Business

Implementing an effective marketing strategy is essential for attracting new mobile wash customers and driving growth. Leveraging both digital and traditional channels expands your reach.

Friends and Family

Start by tapping your network and existing client base. Satisfied customers who rave about their positive experiences to friends and neighbors remain a top source of referrals. Consider offering referral rewards like discount codes to incentivize sharing and word-of-mouth promotion.

Digital Marketing

Digital marketing enables targeted, cost-efficient customer acquisition. Some digital marketing methods include:

  • Run Google and Facebook ads focused on homeowners within your target neighborhoods using geo-fencing.
  • Create social media accounts showcasing your services. Post before/after photos and engage followers.
  • Start an email list to send promotions and build relationships with subscribers.
  • Write blog posts with detailing tips and optimize content for local SEO.
  • Post videos on YouTube to boost visibility and expertise.

Traditional Marketing

Traditional marketing offers a tangible advertising resource to mobile car detailing business owners. This is a great opportunity to show local consumers who you are and what you do. Some common traditional marketing methods include:

  • Distribute door hangers and flyers in surrounding communities.
  • Sponsor local events and sports teams with banner ads and vehicle demos.
  • Send direct mail pieces like postcards to targeted demographics.
  • Run radio spot ads on local stations.
  • Rent billboard space on high-traffic roads.

Track engagement across efforts to determine optimal channels. Survey new customers on how they discovered your business. Refine strategies over time based on return on investment (ROI).

14. Focus on the Customer

Providing exceptional customer service is crucial for any service-based business, especially mobile car washing. How you make clients feel sets your business apart and earns referrals.

Some ways to show your mobile car detailing business customers you care include:

  • Follow up: After every wash send a satisfaction survey. Ask for reviews on platforms like Google and Yelp.
  • Standardized training: Train staff on greeting clients warmly, explaining services clearly, and avoiding messy oversights like curb rash.
  • Take accountability: Take accountability for any issues and correct them quickly. Follow detailed checklists to ensure consistency.
  • Go the extra mile: Pay attention to special instructions and preferred wash settings. Remembering clients’ names, vehicles, and cleaning preferences makes them feel valued.

Mobile washes live or die by reviews and repeat business. Consistently delivering 5-star experiences will spread reputation and referrals rapidly. Customer service drives growth.

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Start a Mobile Car Wash Business for $250 [6 Easy Steps]

Love the satisfaction of taking a dirty, worn-out looking car and transforming it into a sparkling and pristine looking set of wheels?

Then starting a mobile car wash may be the perfect business for you.  The best part of this is that you can buy all of the equipment you need to get started (including a pressure washer) for less than $250!  

This article will provide a step-by step guide to start your mobile car wash business, including (i) a detailed equipment list, (ii) how to set up your mobile car wash business, (iii) how to figure out how much to charge, (iv) how to get customers, and (v) a summary of miscellaneous things you need to take care of like insurance, licenses, and permits.   

A description of each of the 6 steps is below. You can skip ahead to any one of them by clicking on the appropriate link below (the full equipment list for your mobile car wash with prices and product links is in Step 3 ).

  • Step 1: Set Up Your Mobile Car Wash Business
  • Step 2: Create a Mobile Car Wash Business Plan
  • Step 3: Get Your Mobile Car Wash Equipment
  • Step 4: Market Your Mobile Car Wash Services
  • Step 5: Learn How to Wash Cars Like a Pro
  • Step 6: Get the Right Licenses, Permits and Insurance

It’s a lot to cover so let’s get into it! 

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click on a link and complete a transaction, I may make a small commission at no extra cost to you. 

The information contained in this post is for informational purposes only.  It is not a recommendation to buy or invest, and it is not financial, investment, legal, or tax advice.  You should seek the advice of a qualified professional before making any investment or other decisions relating to the topics covered by this article.

Step 1: Set Up Your Mobile Car Wash Business  

If you want your mobile car wash to be more than just a glorified hobby, you need to actually set up the business.  This includes selecting your name and logo, establishing your website, and setting up your business entity.  

Name and Logo  

The first thing you want to do is select a name and logo that you like. 

Having trouble figuring out a name?  Try Shopify’s business name generator .  It’s free.   

As for a logo, I have zero artistic ability and limited tech skills, so I like a simple and easy to use option.   

One solid option is to go on Fiverr and hire someone to create your logo.  There are tons of people who do this, and I have seen pricing as low as $5.  For that price, you can probably try a bunch of folks and pick the logo that suits you best.   

Or you can go with  Looka .  They are an AI-powered platform that will provide you a professional looking logo at reasonable prices.  You can choose from hundreds of logo designs (based on guidelines and preferences you select) before settling on one you like.  You can also customize to your heart’s content.  Check them out here .

Note : You want to make sure your name and logo are original to you and are not going to infringe someone else’s intellectual property. If you are unsure, you can check the USPTO’s trademark search tool as a starting point.

Set Up Your Mobile Car Wash Website (For Free)  

When it comes to your website, it does not have to be incredibly fancy or cost a lot of money to set up. There are a lot of resources available to help you with this.  

In fact, Google allows you to build your first business website for free .  

If you want to convince people who visit your site to use your services, take some good “before and after” pictures and post them on the website, Also try to collect great testimonials from your customers and post them on your website (get their permission of course). Finally, you can offer them a “satisfaction guaranteed” promise in case they are still on the fence.

It is also important to get your new mobile car wash business on Google. You can do this by listing it on Google My Business. This way, people who are searching for mobile car wash services in your area can find you. 

If you want to learn more about how to do this, check out this tutorial from Google . 

Set Up Your Business Entity  

If your business is going to be a corporation, LLC, or some other business entity, you should establish that as well.  Setting up a business entity can give you a range of benefits, including liability protection. You can hire a lawyer to help you, or you can use many of the online resources that can help you set up your business entity. 

I like Northwest because they can get you up and running quickly and easily.  They are also one of the most affordable options that I was able to find that still offered great customer service ($39 as of the date of this article).

According to their website, they are the only national registered agent service that lets you use their office address so you don’t have to use your own. That’s a killer privacy advantage.

Definitely worth checking out.

business plan for mobile car wash

You should consult with your accountant and lawyer before taking this step, so you understand the tax and legal consequences of setting up this type of organization for your business. 

Step 2: Create a Mobile Car Wash Business Plan  

A business plan is essentially a roadmap for your business.  

It organizes your thoughts relating to your mobile car wash business into an actionable plan. Some things to include in your business plan are budgeting, identifying your target market and competition, pricing strategy, marketing strategy, and growth projections. 

Don’t stress too much about getting it perfect. I would use it more as an organizational tool at this point. 

Another benefit of having a business plan is that it can help you raise money from banks and investors (If your mobile car wash business takes off and you want to grow it, you may need to get some financing). These folks will want to see a professional-looking business plan as part of their lending or investing process.   

Don’t know how to get started? The Small Business Administration has a great tool to help you write your business plan.

Step 3: Get Your Mobile Car Wash Equipment  

Alright, this is what you have been waiting for. As you can imagine, getting the right equipment for your mobile car wash business is essential. 

Some requirements .

If you are going to run a mobile car wash business , I am assuming you have access to a car or similar mode of transportation which you can use to get your equipment to your customer’s location.   

When you are starting out, you should probably start by servicing clients who have access to electricity and water (so that you can use your pressure washer and shopvac), but as you grow, you can invest in a water tank and a mini generator to handle every car wash request that comes your way.

These two items can get expensive, but once you have them you can expand your services to customers who have their cars parked at work, etc.

Equipment List For Mobile Car Wash Business

So, with that out of the way, let’s get into the equipment list.  

You can buy all the equipment and supplies you need to start your mobile car wash for under $250 . The key is to get a good deal on the pressure washer and shopvac, which are the two most expensive items.  But you can get both for a combined price of around $125-$135.  The rest of the items you should be able to buy for under $100.  Add all of that up and you will find that you can buy all of your equipment for under $250. 

Note : I provide price ranges for all of the items below (and a product link for each type of item). The ranges reflect prices I found looking at various retailers, but the actual price for the item in the product link may change from time to time (although it should stay pretty close to the range I provided).   

So without further ado, here’s the full equipment list for your mobile car wash business.

  • Pressure washer . This is the most expensive item on the list, but if you hunt around you can find one for around $100).  
  • Shopvac .  This is a dry/wet vacuum and is used to clean interiors, including carpets after shampooing. You can buy an affordable one for between $25-$35. 
  • Water hose – you need this is to connect the pressure washer to the water source. You can get a 50 foot hose for around $10. 
  • Microfiber mitts. You use these mitts to clean the car after dunking them in a bucket of water with car shampoo.  The mitts need to be microfiber to prevent scratching the car’s paint.  They range between $8-$10 for a pack of two. 
  • Microfiber towels . These are used to dry the car after you have washed it.  Again, needs to be microfiber to prevent scratches.  These are around $10 per pack. 
  • Microfiber waffle weave towels. These are for drying the larger areas of the car.  They run about $10 each. 
  • Brushes ( wheel brush and  fender brush ).  These are between $5-$8 each. 
  • Applicator pads . These can be found for under $2. 
  • Buckets (at least 3).   These run for around $2-$3 each. 
  • Cleaners. 
  • Car shampoo. (Around $6) 
  • Bug and tar remover. (Around $5) 
  • Tire cleaner . (Approx. $5-$6) 
  • Glass cleaner . (Around $3-$4)  
  • Interior cleaner . (Around $5) 
  • Carpet shampoo . ( About $5) 
  • Tire shine . This costs around $5.  Don’t ignore this one. It’s actually necessary – it puts a nice shine on the tires which completes the look of the fully washed car and leaves your customers feeling like they got a professional hand wash. 
  • Wax (this is also about $5) 
  • Extension Cord. Depends on how long you want it, but you can get a 25 ft. one for about $10
  • Step Ladder . To clean and dry roofs of tall vehicles like SUVs and trucks).  You can get one for between $15-$20.
  • Clay Bar . You may not be offering clay bar services off the bat, but if you do, you will need this.  It’s around $10.

Optional Items

As mentioned before, you can invest in a portable generator (for places that don’t have access to an electrical outlet) and a water tank (for locations without a water source). A higher end portable generator can run you over $1,000, but I found one that may be suitable for someone starting in this business for much less.

Water tanks that are pressurized and mounted onto pickups, for example, can be quite expensive. Not really in scope for someone looking to spend $250 to get their mobile car wash business off the ground. But if you want to learn about some budget hacks to set one up, check out this article by carwashcountry .

If you want to avoid the hassles involved with needing a water source, you may want to check out this tutorial on waterless car washing .

business plan for mobile car wash

Step 4: Market Your Mobile Car Wash Services  

When you are just starting your mobile car wash business, you may want to hone your skills with family and friends.  If you do an excellent job, they will often be willing to give you word of mouth advertising.  Continue to do a great job for people and the word will continue to spread.   

You can also become a bit more deliberate with your marketing to grow your business.  Some of these options cost a bit of money, so you may want to hold off until you have turned a profit and saved some funds from your business. 

For online marketing, you can do the following:  

  • Set up a Google My Business, so that people looking for car wash services can find you. You want to encourage people to leave good reviews there for you if they like your work. Research has found a strong relationship between the number of online reviews a business and the revenue that it generates.  
  • Get a great website that draws traffic to your business (you can hire an SEO expert to help you do this) 
  • Get on  Yelp for business  and let your customers find you.  They are an extremely well-known brand, and many people look there when searching for local businesses.  Want to learn more?  Check them out below: 

business plan for mobile car wash

  • In addition to advertising on  Yelp , you can buy online ads from other online and social media outlets (Facebook, etc.)  

If you want to go old school, you can also advertise in your local newspapers, circulars, or through direct mail, etc. 

Finally, you may want to do some “boots on the ground” marketing.  Walk around your neighborhood and leave flyers.   Talk to folks and see if they would be willing to give your services a try.   Visit local car dealerships and other businesses that may need their fleet of cars washed on a regular basis.

Ultimately, you want to experiment with various marketing strategies – you may be surprised at what works best. 

How much should I charge for my mobile car wash services?  

You should charge what the market in you area can support. In my area (which is fairly high cost of living area), I see mobile car washes that cover exterior and interior wash and detailing running between $150-$200.   

I checked Cleveland Ohio to check out prices in a more affordably priced region and found that they have basic interior and exterior washing and detailing for around $120.

Bottom line : Take a look at what other mobile car wash services in your area are charging (a simple Google search for “mobile car wash near me” should pull up your competitors).  

Try to price near the level of your competition (or even undercut their prices since you are the new kid on the block).  You may need to experiment with different pricing to find the sweet spot. 

Step 5: Learn How to Wash Cars Like a Pro  

If you haven’t washed cars before, you can certainly get some experience by working for an established car detailer to see how the pros in your area do it.  If there aren’t any that are hiring, you can teach yourself.   

There are  plenty  of YouTube tutorials on how to wash and detail cars.  Just type in a search for “how to wash a car like a pro” and that should get you started. 

You want to invest the time to learn as much as you can about the proper way to wash a car. The last thing you want to do is damage someone’s car because you did not know what you were doing.

Step 6:  Mobile Car Wash Licenses, Permits and Insurance  

This step is about getting your legal and risk issues squared away. 

First, you should get insurance for your mobile car wash business. You will want to look into the following: 

  • Garagekeepers liability insurance (covers a customer’s vehicle when you are working on it). If you want to insure your car wash equipment as well, you can often get that included.
  • Workers compensation insurance for your employees (unnecessary if you are operating alone) 

Now this are not an exhaustive list of insurance coverages you may want and I am not an insurance expert, so you should consult a qualified insurance agent to find out all of the available coverages for your mobile car wash business.   

In addition to getting the right insurance coverages, you will need to check with your state and local municipalities to see what type of permits and licenses you need to operate your business.  A good place to start is your local county clerk’s office. You may also want to check with your state’s department of industrial relations to learn more about rules that may apply to your car wash business.

In many cases, you will need to get a general business license (which is usually not too expensive or difficult to obtain), but there may be other more specific permits or licenses required, depending on where you live and the scope of activities you plan to engage in.  

For example, you may need a specific mobile car wash license, depending on the services you provide. And there may be car wash regulations that specify where you can wash cars, where you can discharge water, and what chemicals you can and cannot use. Source .

In particular, you may want to look into water reclamation and whether that applies in your area. Here’s a helpful article on the topic if you are interested in learning more.

If you need help navigating all of this, you should hire a qualified lawyer to guide you through the process. 

Conclusion 

So, there you have it: 6 simple steps to start your mobile car wash business for under $250. 

If you are interested in exploring how to start a car wash in a physical location, check out my article on how to start an automatic car wash business for passive income .

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5 Cornerstones of a Profitable Business Plan for a Mobile Auto Detailing and Car Wash

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June 8, 2023

5 Essential Components of a Successful Business Plan for a Mobile Auto Detailing and Car Wash

You want to start a mobile car detailing business. After all, the time is ripe as people are concerned about keeping their vehicles clean and eliminating dirt, germs, viruses and the like from the interior and exterior of their cars, trucks, boats and any other type of transportation that they may have. However, you don't have the money needed on hand to start your business. Where do you get it: a bank loan, investors or something else?

Wherever you choose to solicit funds for your business idea, you'll need a business plan to help you get the money you need to start your mobile detailing business. Your car detailing business plan should convince bank or credit union executives, along with any potential investors, that your business will be viable, and most importantly, profitable. Writing a business plan takes time as you need to do your homework on how much equipment and vehicles will cost, your market and location, types of services offered, cash flow needed and the like. Here's how you can get started.

business plan for mobile car wash

Key Takeaways:

  • A strong business plan is essential for a successful mobile auto detailing business, including market research, competitor analysis, and financial projections.
  • Choose new or used cargo van for easy equipment transportation, and invest in versatile   detailing equipment, tools and supplies .
  • Market your services through online media, social media, and traditional advertising, offering unique packages and services like paint restoration , ceramic coating, and engine detailing .

Table of Contents (Show)

Table of Contents (Hide)

Introduction

  • Creating a Business Plan
  • Purchasing Vehicles and Equipment
  • General Business Plan Information
  • Marketing Your Mobile Car Detailing Business
  • Industry Information
  • Other Considerations
  • Bonus: FREE Business plan for Mobile Detailing business

‍1. Creating a Business Plan is an important Step in Establishing Your New Business

Writing a sound business plan can be a key indicator of future success. Use it as a foundational document to help you grow and thrive and update it occasionally to incorporate new ideas and opportunities. When writing your business plan, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Don't be long-winded, as long plans are less likely to be used as intended
  • Let your passion come alive in the document
  • Know and address your audience
  • Provide supporting documentation and reference data like appendices, customer personas and product demonstrations
  • You can never do enough research
  • Clearly demonstrate why your business is different from the auto detailer down the street
  • Be objective when doing research
  • Avoid jargon and language that customers won't understand
  • Don't be afraid to change it when the industry changes

2. Purchasing Vehicles and Equipment to Start a Car Wash Business

The biggest outlay of money you will have will be the vehicle or vehicles you need to transport your automotive detailing equipment, accessories along with yourself and any employees working for you.

For transportation, you'll need either a cargo van, minivan or a pickup truck. A cargo van is your best choice as these vehicles are manufactured for hauling equipment and supplies. Using a pickup truck can be tricky, as getting the necessary steam cleaning equipment into the flatbed can be tricky. You'll also have to buy a hardtop or a locking tarp to keep your equipment safe when not in use.

Cargo vans or minivans are more accessible, especially when you use a device like the Fortador Cargo Slider, which helps slide your heavy equipment easily in and out of your van. Minivans must also undergo a conversion, either as a DIY project or have professionals convert it for you, adding to the expense.

Mobile Auto Detailing Business Van

2.1 Selecting Your Small Business Work Vehicle

Many new businesses want to save as much money as possible in the initial stages, which is a good idea for an upstart as you'll need money for marketing and advertising. Consider buying a used van that is only several years old, as you can often save $10,000 off the purchase price.

The Ford Transit, Ram ProMaster and Mercedes-Benz Metris are the most popular and widely available cargo vans used to haul mobile car wash cleaning equipment and supplies. New Ford and Ram vans start at about $26,000, while the Mercedes-Benz is much pricier, starting at $34,000. A less expensive new alternative is the Nissan NV200, with a base price of about $24,000. However, you should note that the Nissan van is much smaller. If you are going the used route, try to find vans only a few years old with 40,000 miles or less so the vehicle will still be reliable.

A sound vehicle will also set the stage for the long-term branding of your company via graphics on the side of the van.

2.2 Budgeting for Equipment and Supplies

Car Steam Cleaner for moile auto detailing

The next biggest outlay for your mobile car wash business will be steam cleaning equipment . Consider purchasing a machine with multiple functions like the Fortador PRO Max or PRO Max Deluxe, starting at $10,999. A machine with multiple functions and hoses saves money in the long run. The Pro Plus has both a steaming function and a shampooing/extraction function, along with three hoses to allow use by multiple operators. A less expensive option is the Fortador PRO and PRO Deluxe, starting at $7,499. Upstart small businesses may also consider the Fortador Volt Electra, starting at $7,350.

Other products to consider include the Fortador Cargo Slider at $2,250 or at a discounted $1,750 when purchased with a steamer. Adding a Kevlar Coating kit that will help protect car exteriors and interior seats, carpets and hard surfaces will give your mobile detailing business another service to offer. New business owners should also budget for a starter set of detailing shampoos and other chemicals.

If you ask for funding as part of your car detailing business plan, knowing your exact needs at the startup time is crucial to help investors understand how you intend to make money, and more importantly, where profits will come from and how you intend to pay it back. Don't forget to include the price of insurance, both for your vehicle and for general liability, as well as for health insurance and benefits for employees.

Check our recommended equipment for mobile detailing list

2.1. What equipment is needed for a mobile car wash?

  • Auto Detailing minivan, Car Wash trailer or pick up truck to carry
  • Auto detailing steamer
  • Power source like generator or powerbank
  • Dry vacuum for prelimenary cleaning
  • Light source
  • Set of brushes
  • Set of microfibers towels for glass, interior, exterior, wheels and engine, coating and waxing
  • Set of detailing chemicals with spray bottles
  • Extencion power cords
  • Polishers for offering paint correction service
  • Air compressor
Learn more about microfiber towels you will need to detail your car

3. General Business Plan Information

All business plans must have certain information that will convince investors that your mobile detailing business is worthy of support. You'll need to include your goals, direction and future planning and should include market research competitor analysis, financial documentation, an overview of your marketing strategy and the cost of licenses and permits. Essential components include:

  • An executive summary that briefly introduces your business and its purpose
  • Company description along with a wider description of the mobile detailing industry
  • Market analysis and opportunity, describing how you will differentiate your business
  • Analysis of your mobile detail competitors
  • Operations, development and management personnel
  • Your marketing plan
  • Financial history and projections

3.1 Profitability of Mobile Car Washing

All business plans require that you show that your intended company will serve a need in your area of operation. Owners can do this by showing how they will fulfill services that consumers need or maybe even don't know they need. One way that you can do this is by coming up with services that no one else provides. If you know of direct competitors in the area, you can counteract their services by packaging them differently.

3.2 Demonstrating Mobile Detailing Profitability

Before starting your new business, you need to organize the types of service you will offer. Create special offers and packages that will make sense to customers. For instance, you may want to offer different packages for customers with cars, recreational vehicles, motorcycles and boats. Developing a professional service program will give your customers an easy way to understand your services, but it is also an essential element of your car detailing business plan.

You can offer exterior and interior services as separate packages, or as full-service detail, or express detail packages. Things to think about include specifying a price range for different size vehicles and extra charges that will apply when a vehicle is extremely dirty. Some services can also be priced separately as add-ons.

3.3 Building Your Menu

Performing market research to determine what competitors in your service area are doing will also help you build your services menu and its pricing. By pricing your packages correctly, you will remain competitive in your market. When you offer services that competitors do not, you give new customers another reason to engage your services while also offering the potential for greater profitability.

Higher-level services like paint restoration, Fortador ceramic coating and stone chip removal are excellent add-on services. Give your audience options for taking care of their vehicles. Bundle services into packages that make sense and offer a la carte services for something specific.

3.3.1. Exterior Detailing

Include the following with descriptions:

  • Exterior detailed wash, nothing that you use a steam cleaner and why you use this method
  • Paint correction and shine restoration, which lets customers consider if their vehicle looks faded
  • Wax services with an express spray or by hand or machine for a long-lasting shine
  • Paint sealant as an alternative to wax to protect the vehicle's exterior
  • Engine wash and detail with a steamer to remove grease and grime
  • Tire and wheel wash and polish to remove brake dust and other build-up
  • Headlight wash to remove insects and dirt
  • Headlight detailing to remove clouding from headlight lenses
  • Running board detailing to remove soil from shoes and the road

Offering Ceramic Coating for Paint Protection

ceramic coating is essential for moile auto detailing

Vehicles fresh from the manufacturer are prime candidates for professional ceramic coating. New paint is an ideal surface for adherence of ceramic coating. Also, your detailers will have less prep work to do. Offering Fortador's Ceramic coating to maintain that fresh factory look is a great selling point for new car buyers. Ceramic coating will also restore the paint of older vehicles to like-new condition. Sell customers on it by noting its protective benefits like:

  • Ultraviolet rays, which cause oxidation and fading
  • Dust and dirt
  • Insect guts
  • Road chemicals
  • Flying debris, such as stones and other hazards

Offering Engine Detailing via Steam Cleaning

Get a step ahead of your competitors by offering engine detailing , as many vehicle owners don't think of cleaning engine components. Keeping the engine clean can maintain a high level of vehicle performance, not to mention increasing fuel performance and overall longevity. Dirt, oil and grease build-up to affect functionality. These substances also work together to hide problems like leaks. Cleaning engine components allows your customers to look for hidden problems, thus saving them money in the long run. Clean engines work in conjunction with overall detailing to give cars overall higher resale value.

3.3.2. Interior Detailing

Cleaning the interior will provide owners with a better overall feeling when riding in their vehicles. Deep cleaning through detailing can transform the interior of a car, making it smell good once again in addition to making it clean. You can also add Kevlar services for the interior packages in your mobile car detailing business. Include the following on your list of interior services as you build your mobile auto detailing business plan:

  • Thorough vacuuming of upholstery, carpets, mats, vinyl protectors and cargo areas to remove loose debris
  • Seat cleaning with a steamer , shampoo and other materials
  • Console cleaning
  • Cell phone holder, cleaned by hand or with a steamer
  • Door panel detailing, with the opportunity to offer protective coating
  • Clean and protect dashboards from UV rays
  • Remove and clean car mats with a steamer or a shampooer/extractor, depending on the material

4. Marketing Your Mobile Car Detailing Business

Marketing strategies are an essential part of your new business plan. Among the elements you will want to use are online media through your company web page, social media and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. Frequent online postings should be part of your business plan, along with traditional media that includes flyers and mailings to advertise your business locally. Don't forget to include the little details like the cost of business cards and other handouts that you may want to give to prospective customers. Note that some customers, particularly those who are older, need to have something physical in their hands to decide on whether or not to use your detailing service. Brochures and flyers are also a great tool to leave at auto dealerships, repair shops and the like to entice people to contact you to learn more about your detailing packages

5. Including Industry Information

Anyone writing a mobile car detailing business plan should note that the car wash industry has recently increased significantly because of environmental and public health issues. Make sure that you include the latest industry information on your location. One of the most important considerations to note is that mobile car washes provide customers with flexibility and convenience, which is all-important in today's world. The mobile car wash detailing industry is also an easy one to enter, which will be of particular interest to banks and investors. It also needs one of the lowest amounts of capital for a startup business. The more you show that you will have a high chance of success, the more favorably your auto detailing business plan will be received.

6. Other Considerations to Start a Car Wash Business

Don't forget to include all the mundane information like who owns the business, management, the number of technicians needed and what everyone's duties will be. While these details may seem boring, no auto detailing business plan is complete without them.

Most importantly, use your car detailing business plan, as it's not a document to stuff in a drawer once you have funding. Keep your business plan close at hand and refer to it when you need to make decisions about your company's long-term future.

business plan for mobile car wash

If you want to start your auto detailing business and streamline all invoicing, scheduling and field mamangement, try to implement Jobber platform into your business flow from day 1. It allows you to schedule appointments, manage customer information, and send invoices, all in one place. The platform is user-friendly, with a mobile app that makes it easy to manage your business on-the-go. With real-time reporting, you can track your performance and make data-driven decisions to increase efficiency and profitability.

7. Bonus FREE Business Plan for Mobile Auto Detailing

About the authors.

With over 25 years in the industry, I bring extensive sales expertise in heavy equipment across diverse sectors. Pioneered the first CAD/CAM school in CIS countries. Proud owner of Miami's premier auto detailing hub, Totaal Steam Detailing, hailed as the finest in Miami-Dade by Google.
Wesley: From Maui to Arizona grad. Now a Phoenix consultant, 7 years in finance, linking businesses to tailored solutions. Enjoys family, sports, arts.

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How to Write a Business Plan for a Car Wash: Complete Guide

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  • February 16, 2023

business plan for mobile car wash

👇 Check all our resources on car wash businesses 👇

Whether you’re looking to raise funding from private investors or to get a loan from a bank (like a SBA loan) to open a new car wash , you will need to prepare a solid business plan.

In this article we go through, step-by-step, all the different sections you need in your car wash business plan. Use this template to create a complete, clear and solid business plan that get you funded.

1. Executive Summary

The executive summary of a business plan gives a sneak peek of the information about your business plan to lenders and/or investors .

Though the executive summary is the first and the most important section, it should normally be the last section you write because it will have the summary of different sections included in the entire business plan below.

Why do you need a business plan for your car wash?

The purpose of a business plan is to secure funding through one of the following channels:

  • Obtain bank financing or secure a loan from other lenders (such as a SBA loan )
  • Obtain private investments from investment funds, angel investors, etc.
  • Obtain a public or a private grant

How to write an executive summary for your car wash?

Provide a precise and high-level summary of every section that you have included in the business plan. The information and the data you include in this segment should grab the attention of potential investors and lenders immediately. Ensure that the executive summary doesn’t exceed 2 pages in total.

The executive summary usually consists of the 5 main paragraphs:

  • Business overview : introduce your car wash company: what is your business model (hand wash vs. automated car wash ; franchise vs. independent business), how many car wash bays will you operate, how many employees will you have, where will the car wash be located, etc.
  • Market overview : briefly analyze the car wash industry in your service radius (area), your competitors and target customers (average income, demographic distribution, etc.). One important question you must answer here is how big is your target market is . Also outline the specific problems in your service area that you intend to solve and how you differ vs. competition
  • Management & people : introduce the management team and their industry experience. Mention your business partner(s), if any. Also give here an overview of the different teams, roles and their reporting lines
  • Financial plan : how much profit and revenue do you expect in the next 5 years? When will you reach the break-even point and start making profits? Also include here a small chart with your key financials (revenue, net profit )
  • Funding ask : what loan/investment/grant are you seeking? How much do you need? How long will this last? How will you spend the money?

business plan for mobile car wash

2. Business Overview

The Business Overview segment of your car wash business plan will introduce your company and try to answer some important questions that potential investors and lenders may have. Here is a sample list of questions that you must try to address in the company overview section:

  • Why are you opening a car wash service?
  • Where is your shop located? Why did you choose that location?
  • What services will your offer?
  • What will be your pricing strategy?
  • What will be your operating hours?
  • Who is your target audience?
  • How many car wash bays will you operate?
  • What will be the legal structure of your company?

a) History of the Project

Any business must have three components:

  • Passion & experience of the business owner
  • The rationale behind you starting this business today

Passion & Experience

You must be passionate about the business and demonstrate the same to the potential lenders and/or investors through the business plan.

Also, you must have some experience or training in this type of business. For example, you might have been a senior manager at a car wash in the past and want to build your own today.

The business must try to resolve some issues in its current area of operation. For instance, there may not be any 24×7 car wash facility in the area or maybe there are no full-service car wash facilities nearby and your company will resolve that problem.

business plan for mobile car wash

b) Business Model

Describe the business model that you will adopt in this sub-section. Try and answer some questions like:

  • Will you acquire an existing car wash facility, a franchise? Or will you start your own car wash business from scratch?
  • What type of car wash is it (full-service, automated, self-service, hand wash, etc.)?

For example, here are a few examples of the different types of car wash:

  • Full-service car wash : This vehicle wash is the most thorough. The automobile will have its outside cleaned, the inside of its windows washed, and its inside vacuumed. Customers wait in the waiting area
  • Self-service car wash : There are self-service car washes in practically every town for those who enjoy washing their own vehicle. These car washes allow customers to wash their own vehicle anyway they choose with high-quality solutions and brushes and wands
  • Brushless car wash : The phrase “brushless car wash” is used in the industry to describe vehicle washes that use soft cloth pads as equipment. Because they are gentle on a car’s surface, cloth and more recent synthetic variants of cloth are frequently utilized, and regular brushless car washing greatly reduces the risk of paint oxidation
  • In-bay touchless automatic car wash : This is a reference to the touchless car washes that may frequently be seen at convenience stores and gas stations. When using a touchless in-bay automated car wash, you pull your vehicle into a bay as directed by the LED signs, and the machinery works its way around your vehicle to clean it using carefully formulated detergents and pressurized water streams

business plan for mobile car wash

c) Pricing Strategy

Explain the pricing strategy of all your car wash services in this segment. Essentially, you must provide an estimated price range for specific services.

We strongly recommend you include here a pricing list for the products and services that you will offer. You don’t need to provide precise numbers. Average pricing will do.

Offering a pricing table is important because your pricing strategy will allow investors to tie your pricing strategy with your financial projections .

d) Legal Structure

Finally, your business overview section should specify what is your company’s legal structure.

Is this a corporation or a partnership (LLC)? Who are the investors? How much equity percentage do they own? Is there a Board of Directors? If so, whom? Do they have experience in the industry?

3. Market Overview

A complete understanding of the market where you want to operate is important for the success of your business.

For example, if you want to open a brushless car wash facility, which happens to be the only facility of its kind in the area, it makes sense.

Similarly, if your car wash facility is a self-service facility in an area with a high percentage of white-collar workers and mothers with children (who generally prefer conveyor facilities over self-service facilities), the business will not succeed.

Therefore, you must cover 2 important areas in the market overview section of your business plan,:

  • Market trends : how big is the car wash industry in your area? How fast is the market growing? What are the trends fuelling this growth (or decline)?
  • Competition overview : how many competitors are there? How do they compare vs. your business? How can you differentiate yourself from them?
  • Customer analysis: what is your target audience (customers)? What type of cars do they have? How much do they spend on car wash services per year?

a) Car Wash Industry Status Quo

How big is the car wash industry in the us.

The US car wash industry is estimated at $13 billion in 2021 , and is expected to grow at 3.1% from 2022 to 2030. Factors driving market growth include stringent environmental regulations that restrict residential car washing in some states.

business plan for mobile car wash

How big is the car wash industry in your area?

After the US, assess the size of the car wash industry in your city or area. Focus on the zone where you plan to offer your services.

Naturally, you might not be able to get the data for your specific city or region. Instead, you can estimate the size of your market .

To give you an example, let’s assume you plan to operate in an area where there are already 30 car wash businesses:

As we know, the US car wash industry is worth $13 billion today, and there are about 60,000 car wash businesses across the US. This means the average annual turnover per car wash is around $220,000. Now, we can safely assume that the car wash industry is worth $6.5 million in your area .

How fast is the car wash industry growing in your area?

Growth is an important metric for assessing the status of the car wash industry in your region. 

Here if you don’t find information online or via your research, you can calculate growth using the total number of competitors in your area. 

For example, assuming there were 25 competitors in the region in 2018, and 30 in 2022, the car wash industry growth rate in your area is about 5% per year .

business plan for mobile car wash

What are the current car wash market trends in your area?

It is vital to understand the car wash trends in your target location because it will allow you to come up with effective marketing strategies . 

The best way to perform your research will be to talk with your potential customers. Also, you can study competing car wash facilities to get an idea of the type of customers they receive, the services they provide, etc.

Some common questions you may ask the target audience include:

  • What type of car wash facility do they want?
  • How many vehicles do they have in a family?
  • How frequently do they avail car wash services?

b) Competition overview

Studying your competitors’ business models is vital. You need to understand what makes them successful or why they fail. A clear understanding of their products and services, marketing strategies, etc., will allow you to provide a better service.

If your competitors are offering nearly the same services, then what is their market share and how do they market their products & services to attract new customers?

It is always a good idea to do some research (if necessary, physically visit your competitors without revealing your business intentions) and create a comparative table summarizing their product & service offerings, marketing strategies, target audience, etc.

Car Wash SWOT Analysis

Try to provide a SWOT analysis. It must be crisp and highly focused. SWOT stands for Strength, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats.

Here is a sample that you can use as a reference:

  • Strengths : 5 years of experience in full-service and brushless car wash; eco-friendly and bio-degradable chemicals cycled through water reclamation system’s purification system; a team of highly specialized team with experience in equipment, etc.
  • Weaknesses : Startup costs, no initial reputation / brand image
  • Opportunities : High percentage of resident car owners and located close to businesses with delivery and company cars
  • Threats : Established competitors with large existing customer base and years of operational experience

A clear understanding of your strengths and weakness along with opportunities and threats in the real market can help you to design your marketing strategy. It also helps potential investors to assess the risk and reward profile of your business.

business plan for mobile car wash

c) Customer analysis

This is a section where you should provide a detailed analysis of your target audience. Some important points that you must include in your customer analysis include:

  • Age and gender distribution (you can get local demographic data from census.gov )
  • Number of vehicles per family
  • Average monthly income and disposable income
  • Average annual spend on car wash service per household
  • Social group preferences and distribution
  • Inclination towards loyalty programs & free perks

You can add as many data points as required to validate your business decision. The idea here is to display your deep understanding of the target audience and the needs, preferences, and expectations. This knowledge can help you to tailor your products & services to attract new customers.

4. Sales & Marketing

This is the segment where you outline your customer acquisition strategy. Try to answer the following questions:

  • What is your USP?
  • What are the different marketing strategies you will use?
  • How do you intend to track the success of your marketing strategy?
  • What is your CAC or customer acquisition cost ?
  • What is your marketing budget?
  • What introductory promos and offers do you intend to provide for attracting new customers?

What marketing channels do car wash companies use?

A few marketing channels that car wash facilities typically use are:

  • PPC ads, Facebook ads, etc.
  • Print media
  • Direct ZIP code mailing
  • Innovative TV & radio ads
  • Loyalty programs
  • Word of mouth
  • Local listing
  • Cross promotion together with nearby local businesses

It is not necessary to use all channels. You can start by focusing on a few of them initially and expand later on.

Also, you must have a fair and nearly accurate estimate of your marketing budget. Failure to display a well-planned and adequate cash flow for advertising and marketing may lead to investors losing confidence.

business plan for mobile car wash

What are your Unique Selling Propositions (USPs)?

In other words, how do you differentiate yourself vs. competitors? This is very important as you might need to win customers from competitors.

A few examples of USPs are:

  • Convenience : 24×7 automated car wash – no more rush hours
  • Price match : Find a lower price in 20-mile radius and we will match it
  • Freebies : Enjoy free Wi-Fi, TV, and coffee while you wait

Your USP will depend on your business model, competitor analysis, and target audience. Whatever your USPs are, it should appeal to your potential customers and attract them.

5. Management & People

You must address 2 things here:

  • The management team and their experience/track record
  • The organizational structure: different team members and who reports to whom?

Small businesses often fail because of managerial weaknesses. Thus, having a strong management team is vital. Highlight the experience and education of senior managers that you intend to hire to oversee your car wash business.

Describe their duties, responsibilities, and roles. Also, highlight their previous experience and explain how they succeeded in their previous roles.

It is also important that you explain how their experiences and qualifications help you in implementing the car wash facility you are proposing. If they have specialized training and education (such as car wash chemistry, equipment maintenance, equipment control, etc.), add that information.

Organization Structure

Even if you haven’t already hired a service manager, coordinators, sales & customer service, administrative assistant, receptionists, etc., you must provide a flowchart of the organizational structure defining the hierarchy of reporting.

business plan for mobile car wash

6. Financial Plan

The financial plan is perhaps, with the executive summary, the most important section of any business plan.

Indeed, a solid financial plan tells lenders that your business is viable and can repay the loan you need from them. If you’re looking to raise equity from private investors, a solid financial plan will prove them your car wash is an attractive investment.

There should be 3 sections to your financial plan section:

  • Your historical financials (only if you already operate the business and have financial accounts to show)
  • The startup costs of your project (if you plan to start a new car wash business, or add a few car wash bays, etc.)
  • The 5-year financial projections

a) Historical Financials (optional)

In the scenario where you already have some historical financials (a few quarters or a few years), include them. A summary of your financial statements in the form of charts e.g. revenue, gross profit and net profit is enough, save the rest for the appendix.

If you don’t have any, don’t worry, most new businesses don’t have any historical financials and that’s ok. If so, jump to Startup Costs instead.

b) Startup Costs

Before we expand on 5-year financial projections in the following section, it’s always best practice to start with listing the startup costs of your project. For an auto repair business, startup costs are all the expenses you incur before you open your shop and starting making sales. These expenses typically are:

  • Lease deposit or loan downpayment for the real estate
  • The car wash bay
  • Other car wash equipment

Assuming you do not buy the land and the building but decide to rent instead, it costs on average $50,000 to $150,000 depending on the type of car wash you operate. For more information on how much it costs to open and run a car wash, read our complete guide here .

c) Financial Projections

In addition to startup costs, you will now need to build a solid 5-year financial model for your car wash.

Your financial projections should be built using a spreadsheet (e.g. Excel or Google Sheets) and presented in the form of tables and charts in your business plan.

As usual, keep it concise here and save details (for example detailed financial statements, financial metrics and KPIs , key assumptions and benchmarks used for the projections) for the appendix instead.

Your financial projections should answer at least the following questions:

  • How much revenue do you expect to generate over the next 5 years?
  • When do you expect to break even ?
  • How much cash will you burn until you get there?
  • What’s the impact of a change in pricing (say 15%) on your margins?
  • What is your average customer acquisition cost?

You should include here your 3 financial statements (income statement, balance sheet and cash flow statement). This means you must forecast:

  • The number of cars you service over time ;
  • Your expected revenue ;
  • Operating costs to run the business ;
  • Any other cash flow items (e.g. capex, debt repayment, etc.).

When projecting your revenue, make sure to sensitize pricing and the number of members as a small change in these assumptions will have a big impact on your revenues.

business plan for mobile car wash

7. Funding Ask

This is the last section of the business plan of your car wash . Now that we have explained what type of car wash services your company would offer, at what price, your marketing strategy, management and people, this section must now answer the following questions:

  • How much funding do you need?
  • What financial instrument(s) do you need: is this equity or debt, or even a free-money public grant?
  • How long will this funding last?
  • Where else does the money come from? If you apply for a SBA loan for example, where does the other part of the investment come from (your own capital, private investors?)

If you raise debt:

  • What percentage of the total funding the loan represents?
  • What is the corresponding Debt Service Coverage Ratio ?

If you raise equity

  • What percentage ownership are you selling as part of this funding round?
  • What is the corresponding valuation of your business?

Use of Funds

Any business plan should include a clear use of funds section. This is where you explain how the money will be spent.

Will you spend most of the loan / investment to buy the real estate and do the renovations? Or will it cover the cost of the salaries of your childcare staff and other employees the first few months?

Those are very important questions you should be able to answer in the blink of an eye. Don’t worry, this should come straight from your financial projections. If you’ve built solid projections like in our car wash financial model template , you won’t have any issues answering these questions.

For the use of funds, we recommend using a pie chart like the one we have in our financial model template where we outline the main expenses categories as shown below.

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How to Start a Mobile Detailing Business (Step by Step Guide)

business plan for mobile car wash

If you’re looking to start a business with little upfront cash, a mobile car detailing business could be the perfect choice for you.

Because car detailing is a relatively simple process, it can be a great option for those willing to put in the time and effort to master.

Keep reading to learn what you need to start your car detailing business, how to detail a car, tips to grow a successful car detailing business, and how much money you can make starting an auto detailing business . Let's get started!

What is Mobile Detailing?

In the most simple terms, car detailing is the process of cleaning, repairing, or refurbishing a vehicle so that it is in superior cosmetic condition.

You can think of it as a much deeper clean than a typical car wash and interior clean. You'll need to ensure both the interior and exterior are in perfect shape to satisfy your customers and grow your car detailing business.  

What is a Mobile Detailing Business?

Now that you know what car detailing is all about, there are several ways you can turn it into a full-time business.

One of the cheapest and most affordable ways is by starting a mobile detailing business.

With this business model, you'll go directly to your customers instead of having an expensive landmark location. These can be beneficial as a business owner for several reasons but the most important is the amount of money you'll save by not having to pay for a physical location.

How to Start a Mobile Detailing Business

1. create a business plan.

Creating a business plan is a fundamental step when creating any business. A sound business plan will help you map out the steps you need to take to start and grow a successful business.

Your business plan should include your business goals, target market, how you'll market your business, your business model, what services you'll offer, and your financial projections.

You can check out this guide for help writing a business plan .

2. Get Funding for Your Business

Mobile detailing businesses are extremely affordable to get started. You can often times start your business for less than $1,000.

If you need money to start your business, consider asking family and friends or taking out a small business loan.

3. Register Your Business

Next, you'll need to register your business with the state you operate in. This will include registering your business name, getting a tax ID number, and setting up your business entity.

4. Open a Business Checking Account

Keeping your personal and businesses expenses separate is essential to avoid any problems down the road when it comes tax season.

It's smart to open a business checking account to handle your business finances and stay on top of your money.

You can also consider a business credit card to help navigate startup costs.

5. Obtain Licenses, Permits, and Insurance

With any business, there could be some licenses or permits needed to begin your operations. Be sure to explore these before beginning otherwise you could face penalties in some cities.

The exact permits and licenses you need will depend on the state and city you operate in.

You'll also want to obtain liability insurance for your company. This can protect your business in case something goes wrong on the job.

General lability insurance can be very affordable so it's a good idea to research for your mobile detailing business.

6. Market Your Services and Get Started!

Finally, it's time to launch your business. You'll want to begin any marketing initiatives you have planned to gain customers.

Here's a great video on how to get started!

Mobile Detailing Equipment and Supplies

When you decide to start your car detailing business, you’ll need a few pieces of equipment and supplies to get started. While some may be considered optional, many of them are required or recommended.

business plan for mobile car wash

Transportation

Because your business is mobile, you’ll need a way to transport yourself and your equipment to your clients. You can consider using a car, but a larger vehicle like a truck or SUV would be more ideal given some of the equipment required. If you plan on hiring employees or additional help, a larger vehicle will also allow for more flexibility.

Power Washer

While this piece of equipment is technically optional, it might make your job easier as a car detailer. The pressure built by this machine can remove even the toughest dirt and mud encrusted on any vehicle. Some power washers have the ability to add a cleaning solution to them, making it even more powerful when cleaning the exterior of a vehicle.

You can find a power washer from many local hardware or home appliance stores or you can opt to purchase one online.

Power washers range in price depending on the brand and power desired but you can expect to spend at least $300 on a new power washer or over $1,000 for a higher-end piece of equipment.

If you’re looking to save money on a power washer, you could consider purchasing a used piece that you might be able to find at a garage sale or via websites like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace. If purchasing a used piece of equipment, it’s wise to ensure the piece works before handing over any cash.

Here are some of our recommended power washers:

  • CRAFTSMAN 3000 MAX PSI at 2.1 GPM Gas Pressure Washer – Powered by Briggs & Stratton  – $368
  • PowerBoss 3100 MAX PSI at 2.4 GPM Gas Pressure Washer – Powered by HONDA  – $429 (31% Off)

Water Source

Because your business is mobile, you’ll need some sort of water supply to clean vehicles. For many, this will be the homeowner's water supply. You should always check with the homeowners beforehand to make sure that they are okay with this and you should note how far the nearest water source is from their driveway (or where the car will be washed).

If you’re planning to use a water source at the vehicle owner's location, you’ll need a way to direct that water where you want it in the form of a hose. You should  purchase multiple sizes  or consider purchasing a coupler to connect multiple hoses together. This can become handy if the homeowner's water source is far away from the location of the vehicle.

Cost: $15 – $50

Hose Attachments

To make your job easier, you should purchase an attachment for your hose that makes shutting off the water easy and efficient. That way, when the water is not needed, you will not be forced to make your way to the source to turn it off. You can find a variety of hose attachments  here .

Cost : $5 – $25

A vacuum is necessary to remove any dirt or debris from the interior of the vehicle. Your vacuum should either be portable or offer attachments making it easier to maneuver once inside the vehicle.

Prices on vacuums range depending on the brand, power, and style but you can expect to spend anywhere from $30 to $300. You can find a selection of car detailing vacuums  here .

Extension Cords

Unless your vacuum is battery powered, you’ll need a source of power and extension cords to route the power to your device. Once again, ensure that the homeowner is okay with using a power supply beforehand and note where it is located. You can find a selection of extension cords for outdoor use  here .

Cost: $10 – $50

A buffer will help you to apply wax or polish on the exterior of the vehicle more efficiently and it will typically provide more shine than a hand waxed vehicle. While buffing is not typically standard on basic car detailing packages, you can charge an additional fee for this service. You can find a selection of buffers  here .

Cleaning Supplies

Now that you have most of the logistical supplies in hand, you’ll need to purchase your cleaning and detailing supplies. You can choose to purchase them separately or together in a kit that will provide many of the  car detailing essentials .

  • Car Wash Soap
  • Car Wax or Polish
  • Interior Detailer
  • Carpet Cleaner
  • Leather Conditioner
  • Glass Cleaner
  • Wheel Cleaner

Towels, Sponges, and Brushes

You’ll need a few different products to clean deep in crevasses, dry, and polish the exterior of the vehicle you’re working on. Between towels, sponges, and brushes, you should be capable of reaching any area you need to. You can find a selection of these items  here .

How To Detail a Car

Detailing a vehicle requires extreme attention to detail (hence the name). You’ll need to keep your eyes sharp looking for even the smallest of blemishes when cleaning to keep your clients satisfied.

Step 1: Inspect the Vehicle

Before you turn the hose or get the cleaning supplies out, you should first give the vehicle an inspection to see what areas are in need of the most attention. You should inspect both the interior and exterior of the vehicle noting any major blemishes.

Step 2: Clean the Interior

After inspecting the car, it’s time to get down to cleaning the interior of the vehicle. Start by cleaning any crevasse of the interior like instrument clusters, door handles, windows, and the trunk (if applicable).

Next, remove any dirt or debris from the seats of the vehicle and wiping them onto the floor to vacuum up. Once any crumbs or debris are removed, you can clean the seats with the appropriate cleaners. If the seats are leather, you can use your leather conditioner to bring new life to the seats.

After cleaning the seats, you should move onto the floor of the vehicle. Starting by vacuuming the floor, then clean any carpet that is in need using the appropriate carpet cleaner.

Step 3: Clean the Exterior

After completing the interior, it’s time to move on to the exterior. Start by giving the vehicle a rinse of water. Then, depending on your equipment, either fill a bucket with your car wash soap and water or prepare your power washer for a deeper clean. Once your bucket is full, start cleaning the exterior with a sponge or rag you find to work best. Once the car has been washed, rinse the car with water until clear of any soap suds. Immediately start drying the vehicle after rinsing to avoid any dry spots. If dry spots do occur, you can polish them away later on.

Now that the majority of the vehicle is clean, you’ll need to washer the wheels and tires. It’s a good idea to use a special wheel cleaner for deeper penetration as wheels are typically very dirty from brake dust. Once the wheels are clean, you can apply tire shine as desired to give the wheels a fresh look.

Step 4: Wax

Now that the car is completely clean, you should wax or polish the vehicle to give it some extra shine. If you have a buffer, this is the time to use it. Always wax in a circular motion to avoid any streaks. Once you have waxed the vehicle, use a microfiber towel to wipe away any excess wax or polish.

Step 5: Final Inspection

Now that the vehicle is polished, you should inspect the entire vehicle looking for any areas that could have been overlooked. If you find any areas in need of cleaning, spot clean them as necessary.

Step 6: Get Owners Approval

Once the vehicle has passed your inspection, the owner of the vehicle will get his or her turn to inspect your work. If you get a thumbs up, you’re good to go. If you get a thumbs down, go over any areas the owner mentions.

Step 7: Clean Up

Once you have the owner's approval of your work, you’ll need to clean up any mess you have made and load your equipment and supplies back into your vehicle. You should spray off the driveway so that any soap suds are gone.

How Much Should I Charge for Auto Detailing?

While there is no set price that you should charge for your services, it is common to charge anywhere from $50 to over $400 for car detailing . The variables include the type of car, the vehicle's current condition, and how much time will be required.

Some businesses might choose to charge an hourly rate for their services. If this is your plan, you should expect to charge anywhere from $50 to $100 per hour or more. You'll want to keep in mind the services you plan to complete before committing to a price.

For example, here are some prices for mobile detailing I found in my area.

Mobile Detailing Costs

Another option some car detailing businesses will offer is several tiers of their services, letting the customer choose which is right for them. Making money car detailing is all about remaining competitive and keeping your customers satisfied. 

Mobile Car Detailing Prices

Mobile car detailing prices will fluctuate depending on your city. In most cases, you can charge anywhere from $100 to $400 for your time.

Tips to Becoming a Successful Mobile Car Detailer and Growing Your Car Detailing Business

Know your competition.

As a car detailer, you have a few different competitors. Mainly, commercial car washes and people who prefer to detail their vehicles themselves.

You should use this information to your advantage by messaging it in your marketing.

For example, you could mention the interior detailing you offer or the quality of your services because many commercial car washes do not have this offering. 

Set Pricing Low at First

When you first start detailing vehicles, you should aim to keep your prices lower than your competition at first, then rising them after your work has been validated and your customers are happy. This is an excellent method to grow your customer base at the beginning and keeping them coming back for a lifetime. 

You can often charge anywhere between $40 and $200+ for your services or you can choose to offer an hourly rate.

Get the Word Out

To become a successful mobile car detailer, people need to know about you! You should plan to market your business in various ways. A few options to get started are:

  • Social Media
  • Direct Mail
  • Business Cards
  • Word of Mouth

As a small business, one of the best ways to get your business found initially is to use word of mouth marketing. A great way to start out is by asking your friends and family to share your business with their acquaintances.

Knowing how to market your auto detailing business is essential if you want to be successful.

Having a professional website is now mandatory for any small business to be trusted by potential customers.

You can also utilize digital marketing like social media, search engine optimization, and pay per click advertising to find new business and grow your mobile detailing business.

Become a Great Salesperson

Once you’ve marketed your services, it’s all about closing the deal. You need to be capable of getting prospects to commit to your services for an agreed-upon price.

Sales is about building and strengthening your relationship with your customers. Being transparent, encouraging, and showing the value of your services are all great ways to become a more successful salesperson and increase revenues for your auto detailing business. 

Quality over Quantity

Car detailing is a business that requires extreme attention to detail. When a customer decides to pay for your service, you need to provide the highest quality in order to retain them and hopefully get them to spread your name around.

Be sure to leave your client happy and do anything you can to ensure a positive experience.

Looking for more tips for car detailing ? Check out my friend Darren's website that offers some of the best info when it comes to detailing cars, cleaning car interiors, and leather care tips .

Offer a Variety of Services

The best car detailing businesses will offer a wide variety of services to please every customer. This includes interior detailing, exterior detailing, buffing, drying the vehicle, and much more. 

You'll want to ensure your business can offer the services your customers ask for when the time comes. 

Another option is to expand into other types of detailing services. For example, boat owners might need their boat washed – which can be a great way to boost your revenue.

Create a Mobile Car Detailing Business Plan

Having a plan for your business is essential to its' success. You'll want to have a good idea of the structure of your business, how you will make money, how you will attract new customers, and much more. Your business plan should include the details of your financial outlook for your business, short term and long term business goals, a market analysis of your competition, and much more. 

Hire Good Employees

As you expand your mobile car wash business, you'll likely need to hire employees.

This can be a great way to expand your services and make more money. Because the majority of your expenses are labor costs, you can easily grow your auto detailing business by hiring the right employees.

Ask for Reviews

Your current customers can be some of your greatest assets when looking to expand your mobile car wash business.

By asking them to leave reviews on Google and Yelp you can grow your business without having to pay a dime in marketing costs.

Ask for Reviews to Grow Business

Mobile Car Detailing Business Operational Requirements

The last piece of starting your car detailing business is to resolve all of the operational questions that come with start most businesses. How will you collect payment? Will you send invoices? How will you manage the accounting and taxes of your business? You should aim to answer these questions before opening your business to ensure a smooth operation. To begin, you can use the FreshBooks invoice generator to create customized and professional invoices. Alternatively, you can employ accounting software to streamline and handle all tasks related to accounting.

You'll also want to consider any permits or licenses needed for your business required by the state you reside in. This also includes any business liability insurance needed to keep your company, your employees, and yourself safe. 

How Much Does it Cost to Start a Mobile Detailing Business?

The cost to start a mobile car detailing business is low.

In many cases, you can get up and running for less than $2,000. The most expensive start up costs will be your transportation, pressure washer, and random supplies.

Can I Turn My Mobile Car Detailing Business Into a Physical Location?

If you’ve started a successful mobile car detailing business you might be wondering how difficult it would be to turn your business into a physical location.

In some ways, it may not be as difficult as you think depending on the complexity of your desires.

One of the best options is to find an open space where you can wash vehicles with a larger driveway. Some rental spaces might have a large space to complete your work. (Always check with the property owner to ensure they are okay with your plans)

The next option is to consider purchasing land and pouring a concrete foundation for clients to park their vehicles. This will require a much larger investment as you will also need a water and electricity source but could be worth it depending on the size of your operation.

How Much Money Can a Car Detailing Business Make?

One of my favorite things about starting an auto detailing business is the amount of money you can make. Your income potential can be almost limitless. Your only limit is the number of cars you can wash. 

Depending on the amount of business you are capable of acquiring, you can make anywhere from $2,500 per month to well over $10,000 for businesses with a larger customer base. 

If you're looking to increase your income, you can alway opt to hire employees to help you wash more vehicles and in-turn, make more money.

Is a Mobile Car Wash a Good Business?

Starting a mobile detailing business or mobile car wash business is a great option for many entrepreneurs looking to quit their day job and work full-time on their business.

With low start up costs and high margins, a mobile detailing business can be one of the best profitable business ideas for anyone.

Final Thoughts

Starting a mobile car detailing business is a great option for those who get gratification seeing the transformation of a vehicle from dirty to polished. It requires a strong attention to detail and a few essential tools and supplies to get started. You can plan to spend anywhere from $250 to $5,000 on initial supplies with the largest costs being a power washer, vacuum, and transportation costs. 

Your detailing services can start by offering you part-time work on nights and weekends before transitioning into a full-time position.

Making money by detailing cars is an excellent business opportunity for many.

Recommended Reading

How to start a pressure washing business (ultimate 2024 guide).

Starting a pressure washing business is an excellent way to make money. Because of its low initial investment, there's no better time to get started!

business plan for mobile car wash

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Auto Detailing Business Plan Outline

Home » Getting Started With Your Auto Detailing Business » Auto Detailing Business Plan Outline

Creat e A Business Plan

Ever y business needs a business plan. It ’s a living document that can be edited and updated as needed. Creating a business plan is one of the first and most critical things to do if you want to start, operate, and grow any small business – more importantly a professional and successful car detailing business. A business plan is comprised of many components which we will outline for you!

Mission Statement:

Determine what you want the company to be within your community. Develop an Auto Detailing operation that provides its customers the best quality product that meets and exceeds the customer’s needs and expectations. Quality will be defined as the right product to meet the customer’s requirements from a basic hand car wash, complete detailing to a ceramic coating that includes paint correction along with all of the services listed in this business plan sample component: Services Offered. 

The purpose of the company is to provide not only quality service, but a livelihood for the owners and its employees. Along with the ability to provide the community with assistance as needed and that is within the means of the company.  

Note: Decide if the business location will be a fixed location, work from home, or operate mobile.  

Demographics:

Determine where the customers are and how you will reach them. A competitive study should be conducted to determine the feasibility of such a company in the general area of __________________. It may be determined that four such operations exist in the area where you plan to operate your business.  

None of these companies below offer the menu of services that (your company name) will offer.  

  • Joe’s Body Shop is limited to exterior cleanup only  
  • ABC Auto Dealer offers detailing only to customers who have purchased a vehicle from them.  
  • Car Wash Inc. only offers express detailing and not full service detailing.  
  • Calvin’s Custom Detail Center appears to offer the most complete service options of all of the reviewed detail businesses in the area. They should provide the best competition and will be the benchmark for your startup efforts.  

The ten mile radius of your proposed location (fixed or mobile) shows there are four high end neighborhoods with homes ranging in price from $400,000 to $1,500,000. These four areas contain approximately 350 homes all within 10 miles of your business location or mobile territory. In addition, there are two industrial parks, two hospitals and numerous office building complexes with approximately 8,000 employees. The local private airport and a marina are also within that 10 mile radius.  

Services Offered:

List the Services that you will offer, keep in mind the products and equipment you will need to provide these services.  

Exterior Services

  • Deluxe hand car wash  
  • Ceramic coating car wash  
  • Engine compartment cleaning  
  • Paint decontamination  
  • Paint correction  
  • Paint polishing  
  • Chrome polishing  
  • Paint overspray removal  
  • Road paint removal  
  • Wax and sealant services  
  • Ceramic coating services  
  • Maintenance washes and details  
  • Headlight restoration  
  • Paint chip repair  
  • Plastic trim restoration  
  • Wheels off polishing   
  • Clear bra installation  
  • Emblem removal  

Interior Services

  • Carpet and upholstery cleaning  
  • Leather cleaning and conditioning  
  • Full service interior cleaning and detailing  
  • Interior odor removal  
  • Upholstery repair  
  • Leather and vinyl repair  
  • Carpet dying restoration  
  • Cigarette burn hole repair  
  • Window tinting  
  • Offer interior floor liners  

Note: List all other services you intend to provide. Also consider providing a Service Menu such as the one used and recommended by Detail King in the training classes. 

Determine how much funding you will need! Every small business has different needs, and no financial solution is one-size-fits-all. Your personal financial situation and vision for your business will shape the financial future of your detailing business. Once you know how much  startup funding you will need, determine how you will obtain it.  

Self-Funding  

Also known as bootstrapping, self-funding lets you leverage your own financial resources to support your business. Self-funding can come in the form of turning to family and friends for capital, using your savings accounts, credit card, or even tapping into your 401(k).  

By self-funding, you retain complete control over your business, but you also take on all the financial risk yourself. Be careful not to spend more than you can afford and be especially cautious if you choose to use retirement accounts early. You could face expensive fees or penalties or hurt your ability to retire on time. Check with your plan’s administrator and a personal financial advisor before you tap into your retirement account.  

Venture Capital From Investors  

Investors can provide you funding to start or grow your detailing business in the form of venture capital investments. Venture capital is normally offered in exchange for a percentage of ownership in the business.  

Venture capital is different from traditional financing in many important ways. Venture capital typically:  

  • Focuses on high-growth companies  
  • Invests capital in return for equity, rather than debt (it’s not a loan)  
  • Takes higher risks in exchange for potential higher returns  
  • Has a longer investment perspective than traditional financing  

Most venture capitalists will, at a minimum, want a seat on the board of directors. So be prepared to give up some portion of both control and ownership of your detailing business in exchange for funding.  

How to get venture capital funding

There is no guaranteed way to get venture capital, but the process generally follows a standard order of basic steps.  

Search for an investor   Look for individual investors, sometimes called “angel investors” or venture capital firms. Be sure to do enough background research to know if the investor is reputable and has experience working with startups.  

Provide your business plan   The investor will want to take a look at your business plan to make sure it meets their investing criteria. Most angel investors concentrate on the various industries, geographic areas, or stage of business development.  

Due diligence  The investors will want to look at your company’s management team, market, and services, corporate documents, and financial statements.  

Discuss the terms  If they want to invest in your detailing business, the next step is to agree on a term document that describes the terms and conditions for the fund to make the investment.  

Get the investment  Once you agree on the terms, you can get the investment! Once a venture fund has invested, it becomes actively involved in your detailing business . Venture funds normally come in what is known as “rounds.” As your detailing business meets its achievements, further rounds of financing are made available, with adjustments in price as your business executes its plan.  

Use crowdfunding to fund your detailing business  

Crowdfunding raises funds for a business from a large number of people, called Crowd funder. Crowd funder’s aren’t technically investors, because they don’t receive a share of ownership in your detailing business and don’t expect a financial return on their money.  

Instead, crowd funders expect to get a “gift” from your company as thanks for their contribution. Many times, that gift is the product or service you plan to sell.  Offer a free full detail or even a ceramic coating depending on how much the individual crowdfunder invests.   

Crowdfunding is popular because it’s very low risk for business owners. Not only do you get to retain complete control of your detailing business, but if your business fails, you’re typically not under obligation to repay your crowd funders. Every crowdfunding platform is different, so be sure to read the small print and understand your complete financial and legal obligations.  

Obtain a small business loan

If you want to have complete control of your detailing business, but don’t have enough money to start, consider applying for a small business loan. To increase your chances of getting a loan, you should have a solid Business Plan, and financial projections for the next forty eight months. These tools will give you a good idea of how much you will need to ask for and will help the bank know if they are making a good choice by loaning you the funds.  

Once you have your documents prepared, contact banks and credit unions to apply for a loan. You will want to compare offers to get the best possible terms for your small business loan. Use “Lender Match” to find lenders who offer SBA (Small Business Association) guaranteed loans.   

If you have issues getting a traditional small business loan, you should look into SBA guaranteed loans. When your local bank thinks your business may be too risky to loan money to, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) can agree to guarantee your loan. That way, the bank has less risk and is more willing to loan you the funds.  

Market Niches in order of importance:

  • Retail clients in the upscale neighborhoods defined in the demographic section.  
  • Companies that have been identified within the industrial parks and office building complexes in the area.  
  • Other automotive businesses   
  • Real estate agencies 
  • Insurance companies and claims departments  
  • Apartment and condominium complexes  
  • Car dealerships  
  • Auto body shops  
  • Car rental agencies  
  • Senior citizens centers  
  • Parking garages  
  • College universities  
  • Automatic tunnel car washes   
  • Boat marinas  

 Marketing Plan:

The marketing plan will vary from season to season throughout the year. The important issues of the plan include the following items. 

  • Development of a website to ensure a solid presence on the internet.  
  • Join the local chamber of commerce to gain immediate exposure to the businesses in the area. Create a special pricing for all chamber of commerce members and their families to promote growth.  
  • Development of a plan for exploiting the social media platforms on the internet and the smart phones in use.  
  • Create proper signage, logos, service menu and business cards for use by the company and its employees.  (Branding the Business)  
  • Develop a plan to send weekly, biweekly, or monthly emails to your prospects and past customers.  
  • Face to face meetings with each auto related business to foster a relationship with so that they are aware of your business and how you can help each other. Place flyers and business cards at their locations to create customer awareness.  
  • Advertising mediums should be monitored and controlled to determine success in terms of customer and revenue growth.  

Cost and Profit Model:

Have a cost and profit model to project the number of detailing services you expect to complete in the next twelve months. Follow that by your income and expense projections for the next twelve to twenty four months. Use this tool to project your income, expenses, and net income for the next four years. Understand your fixed and variable costs, your profit margin, and your cost per hour to operate your business profitably .  

Equipment and consumable products:

Build and list your equipment and product needs, include the sources. Create a list of consumable products including polishes, cleaners, dressings, ceramic coatings, along with all detailing accessories you will need to provide the services that you listed in the Services Offered section of the business plan.   

  • Pressure washer  
  • Foam cannon  
  • Rotary Buffers  
  • DA Polishers  
  • Ozone generator  
  • Vapor steamer  
  • Heated soil extractor  
  • Exterior brushes  
  • Interior brushes  
  • Spray and polish bottles  
  • Microfiber towels  
  • Dressing applicators  
  • Tornador interior cleaning tool  
  • Chemical storage  
  • Polishes and compounds  
  • Waxes and sealants  
  • Ceramic coating products  
  • Cleaners, dressings, and conditioners  
  • Detailing tools and accessories  
  • Paint chip repair kit  
  • Headlight restoration kit  
  • Plastic trim restoration materials  
  • Vinyl and leather repair kit   
  • Carpet dyes
  • Window tint and installation accessories  
  • Glass repair kit  
  • Paint protection film  
  • Plotter to cut films  
  • Portable vehicle lift  
  • Car covers  
  • Car dusters  

Methods and Procedures:

Consider what methods and procedures you need to start and maintain your detailing business. Start by determining what is important to you and to the success of your detailing business. Detail King provides a methods and procedures document at all of their live seminars. You can also view all of the components of this document on the Detail King website by searching “Auto Detailing Methods & Procedures Guide.”  

Licenses and Permits:

List all permits, and licenses needed to be compliant with the local, state, and federal regulations. Review legal requirement with counsel and accounting professional.  

EPA and local environmental regulations:

It is important to understand the regulations and the potential equipment needed to comply. Be sure to search them out and list them in your plan so that your mentor or legal counsel can assist you with understanding and complying with them. These requirements are different in each area and will require your attention.  

Business Structure:

While starting a business involves a number of practical considerations, structure remains the primary determination to be made at the outset. Many entrepreneurs do not consider forming a business entity. Instead, the business will default to a sole proprietorship in the case of an individual owner, or a general partnership if there are multiple owners.  

Those two types of businesses have significant disadvantages, mainly in the form of unlimited liability: Creditors of the business can recover the owner’s personal assets for business liabilities. The main advantage of those entities, pass-through tax treatment, means that profits are not taxed at the business level. By not incorporating you do not have liability protection.  

Limited Partnerships (LPs) and Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) – Both of these entities are formed by filing documents with the Department of State and are largely governed by internal agreements between the owners. While at least one owner of a limited partnership must serve as general partner and be subject to unlimited liability, all members of an LLC are afforded limited liability. LLCs, however, may be subject to a state’s capital stock tax. Your personal assets are protected by incorporating your business. Being a small business, your accountant may advise you not to become a “C” corporation but rather and LLC or an LP.   

S corporations are the most common entities that provide the owner personal protection with pass-through tax treatment. To create any corporation, the owner must file Articles of Incorporation with the Department of State, make an election to be treated as an S Corp., adopt bylaws, and hold initial meetings of shareholders and directors – among other organizational tasks. Your detailing business can incorporate as an LP or LLC and still be an S corporation. Best advice is to meet with a good small business account, review your situation and determine what is best for you and your new business.

Growth Plans:

Try to anticipate your growth relative to volume of customers, employees, equipment, and marketing needs. Consider forecasting customer and revenue growth along with retained customers. This will tell you that your overall plan is working. Forecast customer growth and revenue for 12, 24, 36 and 48 months.

We hope you are able to take away the key points from this business plan outline. You will need to fill in the blanks and insert your own information but by using this outline, you can make sure that you have all of your bases covered and that you aren’t missing anything! Once you are ready to start your auto detailing business you may want to consider one of Detail King’s Auto Detailing Business Start Up Kits .

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How to Start a Mobile Car Wash and Detailing Business

mobile car wash owner washing a customer's car

A car wash and detailing business can be very profitable. According to Ibis World, its market size, measured by revenue, for 2021 is around $11.5 billion . It’s also expected to grow at 5.3%. Most Americans have their car washed once or twice a month. This makes it easier to upsell interior detailing services among car owners. It can make a car that has not been washed for a month look really clean and fresh. However, a car wash and detailing business may need more licenses, permits, and startup capital. 

But there is another smart alternative. Starting a car wash shop on wheels is much cheaper and simpler. Below are some tips on how to start a mobile car wash and detailing business.

What’s Inside

  • Benefits of a Mobile Car Wash

Affordability

Convenience, flexibility in schedule, how to start a mobile car wash business, cleaning supplies, extension cords, power washers, vacuum cleaners, water hoses, water hose attachments, benefits of a mobile car wash .

A mobile car wash is an innovative business of bringing such services right into your preferred location. They are taking the vehicle industry by storm. But since this type of business is relatively new, many entrepreneurs are skeptical and wary of starting such a business. To remove the doubt, here are the most common benefits of a mobile car wash business. 

The average price of a basic mobile car wash ranges from $20 to $50. The average price of an exterior wash ranges from $20 to $50. If such a service is done using steam or waterless products, the average price may go beyond $50. This is because car detailers charge a premium fee on a waterless car wash. There is also extra pay for big cars like SUVs of around $10 and $20. Most mobile car wash businesses offer classic add-ons. These may include:

  • Leather conditioning between $20 or $30.
  • Pet hair removal at approximately $30 and up. 
  • Plastic dressing inside & out between $20 and $40.
  • Tire dressing between $10 and $20.
  • Water spots removal between $50 to $80. 

Other mobile car wash businesses also offer group discounts. If you get 10 car washes at a time, they can charge as low as $25 per car for a full serve car wash service and $15 per car for an exterior wash. Neighbors in a certain community or colleagues in a certain company can take advantage of these group discounts. 

Busy car owners no longer need to spend time driving up their car to a car wash shop. A mobile car wash provider can travel to your specified location to bring the services to you. So, you can use your time to work in the office or at home while they are cleaning your car within the premises.

By availing the services of a mobile car wash, you can choose the best time that suits your needs. Most mobile car wash services offer a flexible schedule while you are babysitting, doing household chores, or working in the office.

You can start a mobile car wash and auto mobile detailing business with a little upfront cash. You can charge the client a flat rate or per hour giving the ability to grow the demands for your services. Here’s what you need to know to start the business.

You will need the following equipment to perform the services:

SUV or a Truck

An SUV or a truck is ideal for carrying the car wash and detailing tools to the specified location of your clients. The larger the vehicle, the more room you have for employees who will perform the car cleaning services.

Buffers are soft foams or rugs used to apply polish or wax on the exterior of a vehicle. They provide more shine on the car exterior making it look cleaner. Most mobile car wash shops charge extra for car buffering.

Cleaning supplies for a mobile car wash business includes: 

  • Brushes, Sponges, and Towels
  • Car Wash Soap
  • Car Wax or Polish
  • Carpet Cleaner
  • Glass Cleaner
  • Interior Detailer
  • Leather Conditioner
  • Wheel Cleaner

Extension cords are also needed to power up any cleaning tool that needs electricity. If the electric sockets are located at a distance from the wash area, these extension cords can be a handy source of power once plugged in an electric socket.

Power washers make it easy to remove tough dirt and mud-encrusted on the car. They are very handy and powerful in cleaning the exterior of a car. The price of power washers can range from $300 to $1000.

Vacuum cleaners are needed to clean the interior of the car. They are a great tool for removing debris, dirt, and pet hairs inside the car. A mobile car wash and detailing business should buy portable vacuum cleaners with a different attachment. They can make maneuverability inside the vehicle easier.

Water hoses direct water from a source to the vehicle. You should consider purchasing them in multiple diameters and lengths. Long water hoses are especially needed when the water source is far away from the car wash area.

Water hose attachments are also needed to easily control the flow of water. They come in different kinds but what is important is their ability to turn the water on and off while washing the car.

It is important for the owners of a mobile car wash business to learn the basics of car cleaning and auto mobile detailing. You can search for how-to materials and videos online for a start. The right techniques to cleaning a car are extremely vital to the success of your business. First, they can help you avoid damaging your client’s car and paying for the damages. Second, your knowledge builds your credibility as a reputable car wash and detailing expert.

A business plan for your mobile car wash and detailing business can guide you in managing your income and expenses. It also outlines what you will need to do to market your services. Today, having a business website and social media account gives a better edge. Most people search for services online. Having a website and social media pages increases the chance that your car wash and detailing services get discovered. There are also other ways to promote your business. These are:

  • Business Cards
  • Direct Mail
  • Word of Mouth

More and more entrepreneurs are venturing into the mobile business industry. To make people notice you and stand out from the rest, you have to differentiate your business. At first, you can offer discounted rates to build a list of regular customers. You can also mix and match services to offer discounts based on service packages. In the end, what matters is the quality of services you provide and the passion to give clients the best services.

Ready to start your own business? Find the perfect mobile truck from UsedVending . You might also want to discover other mobile business ideas that do not sell food . There are tons of opportunities out there and the best time to grab one is now!

ProfitableVenture

Mobile Auto Detailing Business Plan [Sample Template]

By: Author Tony Martins Ajaero

Home » Business ideas » Automotive Industry » Car Wash

Are you about starting an automobile detailing business ? If YES, here is a complete sample auto detailing business plan template & feasibility study you can use for FREE .

Starting up an auto mobile detailing business also needs a significant investment capital, solid planning, and concentration to detail in order to keep your business profitable. A mobile car wash is where the business owner travels in a specially equipped vehicle to the auto’s location.

Just like any other business, the demand for auto mobile detailing services usually declined during recession period / economic downturn and this is due to the declining household spending on cleaning services and reduced demand from business clients.

As the economy grows, and income increases, there will be corresponding increase in the demand for cleaning related services such as mobile car wash services. One important hurdle that you need to scale when looking to start this type of business is writing a business plan. Here below is a sample Automobile Detailing business plan;

A Sample Automobile Detailing Business Plan Template

1. industry overview.

In the united states of America and even all over the world, the car wash and auto detailing industry of which auto mobile detailing business is a subset of is regarded as one of the industries that accommodates more of unskilled workers than skilled worker.

Simply because some of the basic services offered by auto mobile detailing companies revolves around cleaning, washing, and waxing services for automobiles (cars, trucks, vans, and trailers et al). Basically, automobile detailing services involves the thorough cleaning, restoration, and finishing of an automobile, both inside and out, to produce a pristine level of detail.

It involves cleaning and restoring or exceeding the original condition of the surface of the car’s finish (usually a paint with a glossy finish), chrome trim, windows, wheels, and tires, as well as other visible components on the exterior and of course interior of a vehicle.

The automobile detailing business is indeed a growing and profitable business. Statistics has it that household customer account for the largest share of car wash & detailing industry revenue at approximately 76%. Car Wash &

Detailing household customers are broadly defined as consumers that have a driver’s license, own a car, and are older than 16 years of age. This demographic is further segmented by income brackets, with households in the highest division representing the greatest demand for car wash & detailing services.

Business customers contribute 22% of industry revenue. Revenue from this segment is largely derived from servicing delivery vans and taxi cabs.

This segment includes businesses that depend on motor vehicles for the daily running of the company, as well as taxi and rental car companies, and truck businesses — many of whom cannot afford in-house repair and maintenance shops, “Particularly independent companies that do not have the option of in-house repairs,

Slower economic activity during the recession led to fewer businesses using vehicles to conduct trade; however, a resumption of economic growth since 2010, has seen this segment strengthen. Government customers comprise approximately 2% of the car wash & detailing industry revenue.

This segment includes federal, state, and local government organizations. The Car Wash and Auto Detailing industry will continue to experience growth in all parts of the world especially in developed countries such as United States of America, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, Australia and Italy et al.

As a matter of fact, there are no companies with a leading market share in the industry. Statistics has it that in the United States of America alone, there are about 61,332 licensed and registered car wash and auto detailing businesses responsible for employing about 194,594 employees and the industry rakes in a whooping sum of $9bn annually with an annual growth rate projected at 2.7 percent.

Over and above, car wash and auto detailing businesses all over the world are still enjoying good patronage particularly if they are well positioned and if they know how to reach out to their target market (corporate organizations with fleet of cars, transport companies and haulage companies et al), government and household et al).

2. Executive Summary

Pristine® Automobile Detailing Services Ltd. is a standard and registered automobile detailing company which will be located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida – United States of America and we plans to also cover other cities such as Green – acres City, Miami, Jacksonville, Clearwater, Tampa, Miami Beach, North Miami, West Palm Beach, Palm Harbor, Deltona, Orlando, Palm Bay and Panama City et al.

We chose to operate in these cities because we know that our auto detailing services will be in high demand due to the growing numbers of automobile owners in these cities.

Pristine® Automobile Detailing Services Ltd is located in a full-service car wash facility which has the following features: a seventy foot fully automatic tunnel; 3 high pressure wand self-service bays; and 5 vacuum stations complete with fragrance and carpet shampoo dispensing machines.

We are well trained and equipped to service the market segments that require auto detailing services for their automobiles. Although our intention of starting a Pristine® Automobile Detailing Services Ltd is to offer only the above stated services, but we will not close our doors to diversification (additional services) as long as it does not affect our core services.

We will offer both in – station and out – off station services. Our customers will have the options of choosing from our different packages – we have the plans to serve both individual clients (households) and corporate clients ( transport companies, haulage companies and the government ) as well which is why we designed various packages.

At Pristine® Automobile Detailing Services Ltd we are passionate in the pursuit of excellence and financial success with uncompromising services and integrity which is why we have decided to start our own auto detailing business; we are in the industry to make a positive mark.

We are quite optimistic that our values and quality of service offering will help us drive our automobile detailing business to enviable heights and also help us attract the numbers of clients that will make the business highly profitable .

We are a company that will be dedicated to establishing good business relationship with our clients giving them value for their money and reasons for them to hire our services over and over again.

We are quite aware that in order to become the number one choice in our city, we must continue to deliver quality services and that is exactly what we will do. We are open to the use of latest technology in the car was and auto detailing industry.

No doubt our excellent customer service and the quality of services we offer will position us to always welcome repeated customers and handle massive deals from both government agencies and transport and haulage giants.

Our client’s best interest will always come first, and everything we do will be guided by our values and professional ethics. We will ensure that we hold ourselves accountable to the highest standards by meeting our client’s needs precisely and completely.

We will cultivate a working environment that provides a human, sustainable approach to earning a living, and living in our world, for our partners, employees and for our clients.

Pristine® Automobile Detailing Services Ltd is owned and managed by Richard McMillan and Family. He is a notable figure in the automobile industry in Florida. Aside from this new auto detailing business, the family owns an automobile dealership business and also auto repair workshop all in Florida.

3. Our Products and Services

Pristine® Automobile Detailing Services Limited is a standard and well – equipped car wash and auto detailing company that offers a wide range of services that revolves around the car wash and auto detailing industry and other complementary services. We intend giving our customers every reason to always hire our services which is why we have customized our services.

Pristine® Automobile Detailing Services Ltd. Will offer automobile detailing services that involves thorough cleaning, restoration, and finishing of an automobile, both inside and out, to produce a pristine level of detail; it involves cleaning and restoring or exceeding the original condition of the surface of the car’s finish ( usually a paint with a glossy finish ), chrome trim, windows, wheels, and tires, as well as other visible components on the exterior and of course interior of a vehicle.

4. Our Mission and Vision Statement

  • Our Vision is to become the number one car wash and auto detailing company in the whole of Florida with active presence in major cities in the United States of America and Canada.
  • Our mission as a car wash and auto detailing company is to develop a highly successful, profitable all round car wash and auto detailing business which provides quality services in our community and to become a standard for an ideal car wash and auto detailing business not only in the State of Florida but also throughout the United States of America and Canada where we intend selling our franchise.

Our Business Structure

We are quite aware that the success of any business lies in the foundation on which the business is built on, which is why we have decided to build our car wash and auto detailing company on the right business foundation.

As a matter of fact, we are set out to build a car wash and auto detailing business and it will be a standard for the car wash and auto detailing line of business in the United States of America and Canada. We want to build a business of dedicated workforce who will go all the way to ensure that our customers are satisfied and they get value for their money.

In other to achieve this, we aware that it takes a business with the right employees and structure to achieve all what we have set to achieve, which is why will be putting structures and processes in place that will help us deliver excellent services and run the business on auto pilot.

The success of our car wash and auto detailing business will be anchored on the team not on any individual. With the wide range of our service offerings, we are only expected to employ more than it is required to run a conventional car wash and auto detailing business.

Definitely, we will have various employees to man the various services offering of Pristine® Automobile Detailing Services Ltd. Pristine® Automobile Detailing Services Ltd. Company will employ professionals and skilled people to occupy the following position;

  • Manager (Owner)

Accountant/Cashier

Marketing and Sales Executive

Client Service Executive

  • Car Washer and Auto Detailers (6)
  • Truck/Van` Driver

5. Job Roles and Responsibilities

Manager (Owner):

  • Responsible for providing direction for the business
  • Creating, communicating, and implementing the organization’s vision, mission, and overall direction – i.e. leading the development and implementation of the overall organization’s strategy.
  • Responsible for fixing prices and signing business deals and payment of salaries
  • Responsible for signing checks and documents on behalf of the company
  • Evaluates the success of the organization
  • Responsible for managing the daily activities in the organization
  • Ensure that the facility is in tip top shape and conducive enough to welcome customers
  • Prepares budget and reports for the organization
  • Defines job positions for recruitment and managing interviewing process
  • Carries out staff induction for new team members
  • Responsible for overseeing the smooth running of HR and administrative tasks for the organization
  • Designs job descriptions with KPI to drive performance management for all employees
  • Regularly hold meetings with key stakeholders (clients and member of the board) to review the effectiveness of the business Policies, Procedures and Processes
  • Maintains office supplies by checking stocks; placing and expediting orders; evaluating new products.
  • Ensures operation of equipment by completing preventive maintenance requirements; calling for repairs.
  • Defining job positions for recruitment and managing interviewing process
  • Carrying out staff induction for new team members
  • Responsible for training, evaluation and assessment of employees
  • Oversees the smooth running of the daily activities of organization.
  • Identifies, prioritizes, and reaches out to new clients, and business opportunities et al
  • Identifies development opportunities; follows up on development leads and contacts; participates in the structuring and financing of projects; assures the completion of projects.
  • Writes winning proposal documents, negotiate fees and rates in line with organizations’ policy
  • Responsible for handling business research, market surveys and feasibility studies for clients
  • Responsible for supervising implementation, advocate for the customer’s needs, and communicate with clients
  • Develops, executes and evaluates new plans for expanding increase sales
  • Documents all customer contact and information
  • Represents Pristine® Automobile Detailing Services Ltd. in strategic meetings
  • Helps to increase sales and growth for Pristine® Automobile Detailing Services Ltd.
  • Responsible for preparing financial reports, budgets, and financial statements for the organization
  • Provides managements with financial analyses, development budgets, and accounting reports; analyzes financial feasibility for the most complex proposed projects; conducts market research to forecast trends and business conditions.
  • Responsible for financial forecasting and risks analysis.
  • Performs cash management, general ledger accounting, and financial reporting for the organization
  • Responsible for developing and managing financial systems and policies
  • Responsible for administering payrolls
  • Ensures compliance with taxation legislation
  • Handles all financial transactions for Pristine® Automobile Detailing Services Ltd. Company
  • Serves as internal auditor for Pristine® Automobile Detailing Services Ltd.
  • Welcomes clients and visitors by greeting them in person or on the telephone; answering or directing inquiries.
  • Ensures that all contacts with clients (e-mail, walk-In center, SMS or phone) provides the client with a personalized customer service experience of the highest level
  • Through interaction with clients on the phone, uses every opportunity to build client’s interest in the company’s products and services
  • Manages administrative duties assigned by the manager in an effective and timely manner
  • Consistently stays abreast of any new information on the organizations’ products and, promotional campaigns etc. to ensure accurate and helpful information is supplied to clients when they make enquiries

Car washers and Automobile Detailers (6):

  • Responsible for handling core services automobile detailing services such as thorough cleaning, restoration, and finishing of an automobile, both inside and out, to produce a pristine level of detail
  • Handles services that involves cleaning and restoring or exceeding the original condition of the surface of the car’s finish (usually a paint with a glossy finish), chrome trim, windows, wheels, and tires, as well as other visible components on the exterior and of course interior of a vehicle.
  • Cleans up after customers and clean work area.
  • Maintains a clean working area by sweeping, vacuuming, dusting, cleaning of glass doors and windows, etc. if required.
  • Ensures that toiletries and supplies don’t run out of stock
  • Handles any other duty as assigned by the manager,

Truck/Van Driver:

  • Responsible for transporting equipment, supplies and workers to project site
  • Runs errand for the organization
  • Handles any other duty as assigned by the manager.

6. SWOT Analysis

Car wash and auto detailing business is one of the many businesses that can easily generate sales with little stress as long as they are well positioned and equipped to carry out their services. We are building a standard car wash and auto detailing business with variety of services which is why we have decided to subject our business idea (company) to SWOT Analysis.

Ordinarily we can successfully run a normal car wash and auto detailing business without the stress of going through the required protocol of setting up a new business including writing a detailed business plan, but because of the nature of the kind of car wash and auto detailing business we want to establish, we don’t have any option other than to follow due process.

We hired the services of Mr. Dennis Long – John, an HR and Business consultant with bias in startups to help us conduct SWOT analysis for our company and he did a pretty job for us. Here is a of the result we got from the SWOT analysis that was conducted on behalf of Pristine® Automobile Detailing Services Ltd;

Pristine® Automobile Detailing Services Ltd is centrally located in a densely populated industrial and residential estate in Fort Lauderdale, Florida; our location is in fact one of our major strength. We have a well – equipped state of the art car wash and auto detailing equipment and tools.

We are also one of the very few car wash and auto detailing companies in the whole of Fort Lauderdale, Florida that offers a wide range of services for both households and corporate clients. Another strength that counts for us is the power of our team; our workforce and management.

We have a team that is considered experts in the car wash and auto detailing industry, a team of hardworking and dedicated individuals.

Pristine® Automobile Detailing Services Ltd is a new business which is owned by an individual (family), and we may not have the financial muscle to sustain the kind of publicity we want to give our business. As a new business, we are also quite aware that it will take time for us to build trust with our clients.

  • Opportunities:

We are centrally located in one of the busiest parts of Fort Lauderdale, Florida and we are open to all the available opportunities that the city has to offer. Our business concept also positioned us to be a one stop shop in the car wash and auto detailing line of business.

The truth is that there are no standard and well – equipped car wash and auto detailing business within the area where ours is going to be located; the closest car wash and auto detailing company to our proposed location is about 6 miles away. In a nutshell, we do not have any direct competition within our target market area.

Some of the threats that we are likely going to be confronted with at Pristine® Automobile Detailing Services Ltd, is unfavorable government policies , seasonal fluctuations, demographic / social factors, downturn in the economy which is likely going to affect consumers spending and of course emergence of new competitors within the same location where ours is located.

7. MARKET ANALYSIS

  • Market Trends

The market for car wash and auto detailing services is driven by the purchase of cars and the increase in consumers’ spending – in essence, as the general economy of a country grows, more people will buy cars and more people will patronize the services of car wash and auto detailing businesses on a regular basis especially if their driving habits encourages them to do so.

Car wash and auto detailing business responds to the increase in household spending and also increase in the volume of cars in a particular area or city.

The trend of the market can be predicted without stress. The trend in the car wash and auto detailing industry is that most car wash companies in the bid to survive the recent global economic meltdown included additional services to their core service offerings.

Some car wash and automobile detailing companies includes washing of rugs, selling of car accessories, running a bar, barbing saloon and even restaurant within the same premises if they have enough space. It is much easier for car wash companies to increase their revenues by diversifying as against increasing the scope of their market.

8. Our Target Market

Before choosing a location for our car wash and auto detailing business, we undertook our feasibility studies and market survey and we were able to identify those who will benefit greatly from our service offerings. Basically those who will benefit from our service offering are households, transport companies, haulage companies and government agencies with fleet of cars / trucks et al. They cut across different sectors of the economy.

The demographic component of those who need the services of car wash and auto detailing services spreads across the public sector, the organized private sector, and individuals from different strata of the society and from all walks of life. Below is a list of the people and organizations that our car wash and auto detailing services is designed for;

  • The public sector; government ministries, agencies and parastatals.
  • Organized private sector
  • Corporate Executives
  • Business People
  • Car Dealership Shops
  • Taxi and car rental company
  • Transport Companies
  • Haulage Companies

Our Competitive Advantage

Car wash and auto detailing business is an easy to set up business that does not require formal training to achieve; anybody can set a car wash and auto detailing business if they have the required startup capital. It means that the possibility of car wash and auto detailing business springing up in the location where our car wash and auto detailing company is located is high.

We are aware of this, which is why we decided to come up with a business concept that will position us to become the leader in Fort Lauderdale – Florida.

Our competitive edge is that we are standard and well equipped car wash and auto detailing business that has loads of complimentary business offerings that can easily assist us in attracting car owners (customers) within the radius of our car wash and auto detailing business operations.

We can confidently say that the location of our car wash and auto detailing business will definitely count as a positive for us amongst any competitor that might start a car wash and auto detailing business in same location where ours is located.

For the time being, Pristine® Automobile Detailing Services Ltd has no real competitors that can match compete with the quality of services we offer and our business offerings et al. Our customer service will be customized to meet the needs of all our customers.

Lastly, all our employees will be well taken care of, and their welfare package will be among the best within our category (startups car wash and auto detailing business and other related industrial cleaning businesses in the United States) in the industry.

It will enable them to be more than willing to build the business with us and help deliver our set goals and achieve all our business aims and objectives.

9. SALES AND MARKETING STRATEGY

  • Sources of Income

Pristine® Automobile Detailing Services Ltd is established with the aim of maximizing profits in the car wash and auto detailing industry and we are going to go all the way out to ensure that we do all it takes to attract both individual clients and corporate clients on a regular basis.

Pristine® Automobile Detailing Services Ltd will generate income by offering the following services: thorough cleaning, restoration, and finishing of an automobile, both inside and out, to produce a pristine level of detail, cleaning and restoring or exceeding the original condition of the surface of the car’s finish (usually a paint with a glossy finish), chrome trim, windows, wheels, and tires, as well as other visible components on the exterior and of course interior of a vehicle.

We are also open to generate income from other related services as long as it falls within the scope of the industry we are operating in.

10. Sales Forecast

One thing is certain, there would always be corporate organization and individual clients who would need the services of car wash and auto detailing services.

We are well positioned to take on the available market in Fort Lauderdale – Florida and we are quite optimistic that we will meet our set target of generating enough income / profits from the first six month of operations and grow our car wash and auto detailing business and our clientele base.

We have been able to critically examine the car wash and auto detailing market and we have analyzed our chances in the industry and we have been able to come up with the following sales forecast. The sales projection are based on information gathered on the field and some assumptions that are peculiar to similar startups in Fort Lauderdale – Florida.

Below is the sales projection for Pristine® Automobile Detailing Services Ltd, it is based on the location of our business and of course the wide range of related services that we will be offering;

  • First Year-: $200,000
  • Second Year-: $450,000
  • Third Year-: $750,000

N.B : This projection is done based on what is obtainable in the car wash and auto detailing industry and with the assumption that there won’t be any major economic meltdown and there won’t be any major competitor offering same additional dance related services as we do within same location. Please note that the above projection might be lower and at the same time it might be higher.

  • Marketing Strategy and Sales Strategy

The marketing strategy for Pristine® Automobile Detailing Services Ltd is going to be driven basically by excellent customer service, honesty and quality service delivery. We will ensure that we build a loyal customer base. We want to drive sales via the output of our jobs and via referral from our satisfied customers.

We are quite aware of how satisfied customers drive business growth especially businesses like car wash and auto detailing services.

Pristine® Automobile Detailing Services Ltd is a car wash and auto detailing business that is strategically located and we are going to maximize the opportunities that is available which is why we spend more to locate the business in a location that will be visible and enable us to access our target market.

Our sales and marketing team will be recruited based on their vast experience in the industry and they will be trained on a regular basis so as to be well equipped to meet their targets and the overall goal of Pristine® Automobile Detailing Services Ltd

Our goal is to grow Pristine® Automobile Detailing Services Ltd to become the leading car wash and auto detailing company in Fort Lauderdale – Florida which is why we have mapped out strategy that will help us take advantage of the available market and grow to become a major force to reckon with in the car wash and auto detailing industry.

Pristine® Automobile Detailing Services Ltd is set to make use of the following marketing and sales strategies to attract clients;

  • Introduce our car wash and auto detailing business by sending introductory letters alongside our brochure to corporate organizations, transport and logistics companies, households and key stake holders in Fort Lauderdale – Florida
  • Print out fliers and business cards and strategically drop them in offices, libraries, public facilities and train stations et al.
  • Use friends and family to spread word about our business
  • Post information about our company and the services we offer on bulletin boards in places like schools, libraries, and local coffee shops et al
  • Placing a small or classified advertisement in the newspaper, or local publication about our company and the services we offer
  • Leverage on referral networks such as agencies that will attract clients who would need our customized services
  • Advertise our car wash and auto detailing company in relevant magazines, newspapers, TV stations, and radio station.
  • Attend relevant expos, seminars, and business fairs et al to market our services
  • Engage in direct marketing approach
  • Encourage the use of Word of mouth marketing from loyal and satisfied students
  • Join local chambers of commerce and industry to market our services.

11. Publicity and Advertising Strategy

Pristine® Automobile Detailing Services Ltd is set to create a standard for mobile car wash and auto detailing business in Fort Lauderdale – Florida and throughout the United States which is why we will go all the way to adopt and apply best practices to promote our business.

Good enough there is no hard and fast rule on how to advertise or promote a car wash and auto detailing business. The challenge is that most car wash and auto detailing companies do not have the required money to pump into publicity and advertising. The cash they have will be reserved to take care of overhead and operational cost .

We will ensure that we leverage on all conventional and non – conventional publicity and advertising technique to promote our car wash and auto detailing business. Here are the platforms we intend leveraging on to promote and advertise Pristine® Automobile Detailing Services Ltd;

  • Encourage our loyal customers to help us use Word of Mouth mode of advertisement (referrals)
  • Advertise our car wash and auto detailing business in relevant magazines, local newspaper, local TV stations and local radio station
  • Promote our business online via our official website
  • List our business on local directories (yellow pages)
  • Sponsor relevant community programs
  • Leverage on the internet and social media platforms like; Instagram, Facebook , twitter, et al to promote our brand
  • Install our Bill Boards on strategic locations in and around Fort Lauderdale – Florida
  • Direct coupon mailing approach
  • Engage in road show from time to time in target communities
  • Distribute our fliers and handbills in target areas

12. Our Pricing Strategy

Our pricing system is going to be based on what is obtainable in the car wash and auto detailing industry, we don’t intend to charge more (except for premium and customized services) and we don’t intend to charge less than our competitors are offering in Fort Lauderdale – Florida.

Be that as it may, we have put plans in place to offer discount services once in a while and also to reward our loyal customers especially when they refer clients to us. The prices of our services will be same as what is obtainable in the open market.

  • Payment Options

At Pristine® Automobile Detailing Services Ltd, our payment policy will be all inclusive because we are quite aware that different clients would prefer different payment options as it suits them. Here are the payment options that we will make available to our clients;

  • Payment by via bank transfer
  • Payment via POS machine
  • Payment via online bank transfer
  • Payment via check
  • Payment via bank draft
  • Payment via mobile money
  • Payment with cash

In view of the above, we have chosen banking platforms that will help us achieve our plans with little or no itches.

13. Startup Expenditure (Budget)

We have been able to pull cash that will be enough for us to successfully launch a standard and well – equipped car wash and auto detailing cleaning company in Fort Lauderdale – Florida US. These are the key areas where we will spend our start – up capital on;

  • The Total Fee for Registering the Business in Fort Lauderdale – Florida – $750.
  • Legal expenses for obtaining licenses and permits – $1,500.
  • Marketing promotion expenses (2,000 flyers at $0.04 per copy) for the total amount of $3,580.
  • Cost for hiring Business Consultant – $2,000.
  • Insurance (general liability, workers’ compensation and property casualty) coverage at a total premium – $30,800.
  • Cost of accounting software, CRM software and Payroll Software – $3,000
  • Cost for leasing standard warehouse facility- $100,000.
  • Cost for facility remodeling – $10,000.
  • Other start-up expenses including stationery – $1000
  • Phone and utility deposits – $3,500
  • Operational cost for the first 3 months (salaries of employees, payments of bills et al) – $40,000
  • The cost for Start-up inventory – $15,000
  • Cost for store equipment (cash register, security, ventilation, signage) – $13,750
  • Cost for mobile car wash and auto detailing equipment (Carpet Extractor $350.00, Vacuum/Air Freshener $1,000.00, Steam Cleaner  $6,000.00, Lights, Tank  $400.00, Truck Bed $6,895.00 and Truck $18,455.00) – $15,000
  • The cost for the purchase of furniture and gadgets (Computers, Printers, Telephone, TVs, Credit card machine, POS, tables and chairs et al): $4,000.
  • The cost of Launching a Website: $600
  • Cost for the purchase of utility truck – $15,000
  • The cost for our grand opening party: $1,500
  • Miscellaneous: $10,000

We would need an estimate of $350,000 to successfully launch our mobile car wash and auto detailing business in Fort Lauderdale – Florida US.

Generating Funding/Startup Pristine® Automobile Detailing Services Ltd

Pristine® Automobile Detailing Services Ltd is a business that will be owned and managed by Richard Long – John and Family. They are the sole financial of the business which is why they decided to restrict the sourcing of the start – up capital for the business to just three major sources.

These are the areas we intend generating our start – up capital;

  • Generate part of the start – up capital from personal savings and sale of his stocks
  • Generate part of the start – up capital from friends and other extended family members
  • Generate a larger chunk of the startup capital from the bank (loan facility).

N.B: We have been able to generate about $100,000 (Personal savings $80,000 and soft loan from family members $20,000) and we are at the final stages of obtaining a loan facility of $250,000 from our bank. All the papers and document has been duly signed and submitted, the loan has been approved and any moment from now our account will be credited.

14. Sustainability and Expansion Strategy

Part of the plans we have in place to sustain Pristine® Automobile Detailing Services Ltd is to ensure that we continue to deliver quality services, improvise on how to do things faster and cheaper. We are not going to relent in providing conducive environment for our workers and also the required trainings that will help them deliver excellent services at all times.

From our findings, another factor that kills new business is financial leakages. In order to plug financial leakages, the management of Pristine® Automobile Detailing Services Ltd adopts the use of payment machine and accounting software to run the business.

We are quite aware that our customers are key component to the growth and survival of our business hence we are going to continuously engage them to give us ideas on how to serve them better. We will not waste time in adopting new technology, best practices and diversifying our services; expand our product and service offerings once the need arises.

Check List/Milestone

  • Business Name Availability Check: Completed
  • Business Registration: Completed
  • Opening of Corporate Bank Accounts: Completed
  • Securing Point of Sales (POS) Machines: Completed
  • Opening Mobile Money Accounts: Completed
  • Opening Online Payment Platforms: Completed
  • Application and Obtaining Tax Payer’s ID: In Progress
  • Application for business license and permit: Completed
  • Purchase of Insurance for the Business: Completed
  • Acquiring facility and remodeling the facility: In Progress
  • Conducting Feasibility Studies: Completed
  • Generating capital from family members: Completed
  • Applications for Loan from the bank: In Progress
  • Writing of Business Plan: Completed
  • Drafting of Employee’s Handbook: Completed
  • Drafting of Contract Documents and other relevant Legal Documents: In Progress
  • Design of The Company’s Logo: Completed
  • Graphic Designs and Printing of Packaging Marketing / Promotional Materials: In Progress
  • Recruitment of employees: In Progress
  • Purchase of the Needed pressure washing machines and industrial cleaning equipment, electronic appliances, office appliances and bar accessories: In Progress
  • Creating Official Website for the Company: Completed
  • Creating Awareness for the business both online and in the neighborhood: In Progress
  • Health and Safety and Fire Safety Arrangement (License): Secured
  • Opening party / launching party planning: In Progress
  • Establishing business relationship with vendors – suppliers of all our needed cleaning accessories and supplies et al: In Progress

Related Posts:

  • Car Wash Business Plan [Sample Template]
  • Mobile Car Wash Business Plan [Sample Template]
  • Auto Repair and Car Wash Business Plan [Sample Template]
  • How to Start a Mobile Auto Detailing Business On the Side
  • RV Rental Business Plan [Sample Template]
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How to Start a Car Wash Business: The Ultimate Guide

Brian O'Connor

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This influences which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money .

There are plenty of reasons why a budding entrepreneur might want to know how to start a car wash business. Car washes are in high demand: More than 2 billion take place each year in North America alone, and more than 72% of people report going to a car wash versus washing their own vehicle at home.

There’s more to a car wash business than merely making vehicles sparkle on the outside, too. The services car washes can provide range from washes to detailing and waxing to vacuuming and more. With so much to offer, starting a car wash business can provide an entrepreneur with a worthwhile business opportunity that can create steady revenue streams — if they take the right steps.

business plan for mobile car wash

How to start a car wash business

If you’ve ever wondered how to start a car wash business, you’re far from the only one. There are pros and cons to starting your own car wash business of course, and plenty of financial considerations you’ll have to factor in. But if the math adds up for you, starting a car wash could be a great opportunity to be your own boss (and make the town’s vehicles sparkle, too). Here’s how to get started.

How much do you need?

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We’ll start with a brief questionnaire to better understand the unique needs of your business.

Once we uncover your personalized matches, our team will consult you on the process moving forward.

Step 1: Write your business plan

No matter the industry, opportunity, or location you have in mind for a new company, you have to start with a robust business plan before getting your operation off the ground. A business plan outlines your aspirations for your company, financial projections about the costs involved, industry research, and more.

In fact, a solid business plan does much more than just detail how you plan to get your company off the ground. It also provides you with a general roadmap for how you will run your business on an ongoing basis as well. Think of a business plan as your template for beginning your business and keeping it focused on a specific goal (or goals) after it takes off. You may even want to update your business plan from time to time so it reflects the changing goals and financial needs of your business.

Last but not least, you’ll likely need a solid business plan for financing and small business loan applications as well. Lenders want to know what your business is about, how it makes money, and what your overall vision for the enterprise is. Business plans make it easier for lenders to get this information in one helpful guide, which, in turn, makes it easier for you to make a compelling argument for why you need the financing you seek.

Developing a robust business plan doesn’t have to be a difficult undertaking, either. This is true even if you’re not the most confident writer or a math prodigy. Your typical business plan follows a conventional format. In fact, there are even business plan templates out there to make the process even easier.

Step 2: Get your car wash business registered

Once you’ve got your car wash business plan drafted, you’re going to want to get your company off the ground. But before you can dive in, you’ll need to take care of some additional preparatory work. Some elements of this are obvious, such as coming up with a business name. Other parts are a bit more complex, such as registering your business entity with the state and getting a federal tax identification number. Here’s what you need to know and what to do in order to get your business on the right side of the law.

Set up a business entity

Before you get busy washing and detailing vehicles, you’ll need to set up a business entity to make sure you’re operating within the full regulatory requirements of the town and state in which your business will be based. There are several kinds of business entities, each with different advantages depending on your operating circumstances and needs.

A limited liability corporation (LLC) is a popular option for most kinds of businesses. LLCs make it easy to set up your business, pay taxes, and give your personal assets some distance from your business’s financial operations. Plus, you can determine how you pay business taxes as well—even opting to pay them as part of your personal tax returns if you so choose.

On the more complex end of the spectrum are S-corps and C-corps, which both allow for more control over how a business pays taxes (but require a more complex governance structure and more rules about how business owners can pay themselves).

Step 3: Obtain business licenses

Every municipality is different when it comes to licenses and permits for businesses. It’s crucial to register for each if your location requires them, as they help enforce a set of standard practices between businesses. Perhaps more importantly, your state or town could shut down your business if you don’t have them. Remember that ignorance of the law is no excuse for not following the law: Be sure to check with your local secretary of state’s office or chamber of commerce to make sure you have everything you need. The SBA is another helpful resource to make sure you have all the licenses and permits you need.

One specific consideration for car wash businesses are regulations around waste containment and mitigation. Most states and local governments place strict rules on car washes aimed at controlling their waste water and grit-trap waste disposal, the air emissions allowed from customers’ cars, and the proper storage of fuel tanks. Operating a car wash is an inherently dirty business, and often requires the use of harsh chemicals. These rules help dictate what kinds of mitigation efforts are required for your business to reduce environmental harm.

Step 4: Get business insurance

Just about every kind of entrepreneurial effort benefits from having comprehensive small business insurance. The kind of insurance, as well as the breadth of your policy, depends largely on the kind of company you operate.

In the case of car wash businesses, there is a ton that can go wrong—and in the event of an accident or damage to a customer’s vehicle, you’re going to want to make sure your insurance can pick up a big portion of the bill. You’ll want to make sure your car wash business has good general liability and workers compensation insurance, at the very least. Talk to a business insurance agent or business lawyer for more specific information about your individual needs.

Step 5: Separate your business finances

Once you’ve set up your business registration, obtained any required licenses, and have insurance in the works, your next step toward starting a car wash business is setting up your company’s finances. The first step is making sure that your company has its own business checking account , so that you’re able to keep your business and personal finances separate.

You might be wondering why it’s so important to keep business and personal finances separate. After all, the business is your business, right? Well, there’s more to it than that. You’ll need a business bank account in order to protect your personal assets. If you operate as an LLC, separate business banking accounts will prevent creditors (and, in the event of legal action, those who sue you) from being able to come after your personal assets as well as those of your business. Plus, having separate business accounts will make it easier for you to keep track of your company’s financial performance, pay taxes, and track your cash flow.

Once you have a business bank account, you’ll also want to find the best business credit card for your needs. You’ll use this card for all of your business-related spending, and depending on which one you choose, you can also receive cash back, travel rewards, 0% introductory APR, and more to help make the most of your money.

Step 6: Consider small business financing needs

Buying the machinery needed to operate a car wash can be expensive. So can keeping everything in working order on a regular basis. The equipment involved in most car wash businesses can cost more than $30,000 for a touchless system, and even more basic setups can still cost several thousands of dollars. Whether you choose to buy or rent your equipment, you may still find yourself in need of financing to get everything that comes along with getting your car wash business off the ground.

Thankfully, there are plenty of financing options out there that can make it a little more affordable to get your car wash up and running. Whether you need one large loan, rolling credit for incremental purchases, or financing that’s designed to help you buy equipment, there’s a solution out there.

If you’re able to get a Small Business Administration loan , more commonly known as an SBA loan, you’re in luck. These types of loans provide large sums of cash to qualified applicants at low interest rates and with generous repayment periods.

This can be an excellent option for small business owners who have an existing track record of success with other business undertakings, have good credit, and can show that their business will be viable over the long term. One of the most popular SBA loan options is the SBA 7(a) loan program. These loans can total up to $5 million, and can be used to raise working capital, refinance other loans, or even renovate your business.

Another type of loan, the SBA 504/CDC loan, on the other hand, is designed to help small businesses purchase large, expensive items that they might need for their operations, or even for things like commercial properties. This can be particularly helpful for car wash businesses, as much of the requisite machinery tends to be on the expensive side (and most certainly qualifies for the conditions of this loan program). You can borrow up to $5.5 million through this program, and have anywhere from 10 to 20 years to pay back what you borrowed.

Finally, the SBA microloan program can be a great option for new or smaller-sized businesses that need loans up to $50,000. These loans are great for companies that need smaller sums of cash to get themselves off the ground. Plus, borrowers can take up to six years to repay what they’ve borrowed, which is better than other non-SBA loans in most situations.

Business term loans

Getting approved for an SBA loan can be a pretty difficult thing for most small business owners to accomplish. That doesn’t mean that you’re out of luck with regard to getting small business financing, though. Another great option for accessing the funds you need to help move your car wash business forward is a business term loan .

Term loans provide borrowers with a lump sum of cash that they can use for appropriate business purposes. Your business may be a decent candidate as long as it’s been in business for a while, and both you and your company have a good credit score. The interest rate, payout terms, and the amount of money your lender provides will between applicants and businesses.

Equipment financing

Similar to the SBA 504/CDC loans, equipment financing can also help you obtain the money you need in order to purchase equipment and machinery that you may need to operate your car wash. These loans provide an attractive option to small business owners who may not have enough of a credit history, time in operation, or have bad credit. Instead of basing the loan approval on the track record of the borrower, equipment financing provides an alternative model for serving loans.

Borrowers approach their lender with the price of a piece of equipment, and the lender then provides the small business owner with the money needed in order to make the purchase. The borrower then pays back the loan, plus interest, over a set period of time. If the borrower can’t make payments, the lender will repossess the equipment purchased with the loan. This means you don’t have to offer up collateral to get the money you need, either, which can be great for businesses that are low on cash but big on financing needs.

ZenBusiness

Start Your Dream Business

The bottom line

There are plenty of boxes to check off when you’re starting your car wash business. But, taking the time to do it right is crucial. You’ll save yourself the headache of doing more paperwork when you’re knee-deep in running daily operations, and will prime yourself for success down the road too.

Knowing how you intend to operate your business, what your financial needs are, and how you’re going to satisfy them all can put you at a distinct advantage.

This article originally appeared on JustBusiness, a subsidiary of NerdWallet.

On a similar note...

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Sample Car Wash Business Plan

sample car wash business plan

Writing a business plan is a crucial step in starting a car wash. Not only does it provide structure and guidance for the future, but it also helps to create funding opportunities and attract potential investors. For aspiring car wash business owners, having access to a sample car wash business plan can be especially helpful in providing direction and gaining insight into how to draft their own car wash business plan.

Download our Ultimate Car Wash Business Plan Template

Having a thorough business plan in place is critical for any successful car wash venture. It will serve as the foundation for your operations, setting out the goals and objectives that will help guide your decisions and actions. A well-written business plan can give you clarity on realistic financial projections and help you secure financing from lenders or investors. A car wash business plan example can be a great resource to draw upon when creating your own plan, making sure that all the key components are included in your document.

The car wash business plan sample below will give you an idea of what one should look like. It is not as comprehensive and successful in raising capital for your car wash as Growthink’s Ultimate Car Wash Business Plan Template , but it can help you write a car wash business plan of your own.

Example – SparkleDrive Cleaners

Table of contents, executive summary, company overview, industry analysis, customer analysis.

  • Competitive Analysis

Marketing Plan

Operations plan, management team, financial plan.

At SparkleDrive Cleaners, we’re dedicated to elevating the car care industry in our vibrant city of San Francisco. We specialize in providing top-notch car wash and auto detailing services that not only meet but exceed customer expectations. Our commitment is to deliver unparalleled quality through the use of the latest technology and eco-friendly products, ensuring every vehicle looks its best while promoting environmental conservation. Our team, comprised of highly trained professionals, is passionate about cars and customer service, making us the go-to destination for car owners seeking a premium cleaning experience.

Our success is driven by several key factors and notable accomplishments. We pride ourselves on our ability to deliver personalized services, tailoring each cleaning to the specific needs of the vehicle and preferences of the owner. Our strategic location and flexible scheduling options have significantly contributed to our popularity, making it convenient for customers to access our services. Additionally, our dedication to creating a welcoming environment has fostered a loyal customer base. These strengths, combined with our ongoing commitment to excellence, have positioned us as leaders in the car care industry.

The car care industry is experiencing steady growth, driven by an increasing number of vehicles on the road and a growing consumer preference for professional cleaning and detailing services. This trend is particularly evident in urban areas, where time constraints and environmental regulations make professional services more appealing. The industry is competitive but also ripe with opportunities for businesses that can offer exceptional quality, convenience, and eco-friendly options. SparkleDrive Cleaners is well-positioned to capitalize on these trends, thanks to our focus on quality, sustainability, and customer satisfaction.

Our target customers are diverse, ranging from busy professionals who value convenience and quality, to car enthusiasts who demand meticulous attention to detail. We also cater to environmentally conscious individuals seeking eco-friendly cleaning options. Understanding the varied needs of our clientele, we’ve tailored our services to be flexible and customizable, ensuring we can meet and exceed the expectations of a broad customer base. This customer-centric approach has been a key factor in our success, helping us build strong, lasting relationships with our clients.

SparkleDrive Cleaners distinguishes itself in the competitive landscape through our commitment to excellence, personalized services, and eco-friendly practices. Unlike our competitors, we focus on providing a tailored experience for each customer, ensuring their specific needs are met. Our strategic location and flexible scheduling also offer unmatched convenience, making us the preferred choice for car care services.

Our marketing strategy revolves around showcasing our premium car wash and detailing services, along with competitive pricing to attract a broad customer base. We emphasize the quality and eco-friendliness of our services, appealing to environmentally conscious consumers. Promotions play a significant role in our marketing efforts, with special offers and loyalty programs designed to reward repeat customers and attract new ones. We leverage social media and partnerships with local businesses to enhance our visibility and engage with the community, ensuring SparkleDrive Cleaners remains at the forefront of our customers’ minds.

The smooth operation of SparkleDrive Cleaners is ensured through a series of well-defined processes, from customer engagement and scheduling to service preparation, and vehicle cleaning and detailing. Quality control is paramount, with each vehicle inspected to meet our high standards. Our operations also include efficient customer checkout and follow-up, facility maintenance, and staff training and development. We are committed to continual improvement, implementing feedback from customers and staff to enhance our services. Key milestones include expanding our service offerings and opening additional locations to increase our market presence.

Our management team is comprised of experienced professionals with a passion for the automotive and service industries. Each member brings a unique set of skills and expertise, from operational management to customer service and marketing. Together, we share a common vision of making SparkleDrive Cleaners the premier car care destination in San Francisco and beyond. Our leadership is committed to fostering a culture of excellence, innovation, and customer satisfaction, ensuring the long-term success of our business.

To achieve our growth goals and expand our services, SparkleDrive Cleaners requires a strategic infusion of capital. This funding will be allocated towards marketing initiatives, facility expansion, and the acquisition of advanced cleaning technologies. Our financial plan is designed to ensure sustainable growth, maximizing return on investment for our stakeholders while continuing to offer exceptional service to our customers.

Welcome to SparkleDrive Cleaners, a new Car Wash & Car/Auto Detailing service proudly serving the San Jose, CA community. As a local business, we’ve noticed a gap in the market for high-quality car wash services, and we’re here to fill that void. Our commitment to excellence and customer satisfaction drives us to offer unparalleled service in the area.

Products & Services

At SparkleDrive Cleaners, our range of services is designed to meet all your car care needs. We offer an extensive Exterior Wash to keep your car looking like new. Our Hand Wash service ensures a meticulous clean, taking care of every detail. Interior Cleaning is also available to refresh and revitalize your vehicle’s inside. For those looking to protect and enhance their car’s appearance, we provide Waxing and Polishing services. Additionally, our Wheel and Tire Cleaning service is perfect for those who want to give their car a complete makeover. Last but not least, our Detailing Services are tailored to give your vehicle the ultimate care it deserves.

Based in the vibrant city of San Jose, CA, SparkleDrive Cleaners is ideally located to serve customers throughout the area. Our convenient location ensures that you can easily access our top-notch car wash and detailing services, making us the go-to choice for all your car care needs.

Success Factors

Our unique position for success is backed by several key factors. Firstly, our founder brings invaluable experience from running a successful car wash in the past. This expertise ensures that we understand the ins and outs of the industry and are equipped to offer you the best service possible. Secondly, our commitment to offering superior car wash services sets us apart from our competition. We’re dedicated to providing a level of care and attention to detail that you won’t find anywhere else.

History, Legal Structure & Accomplishments to Date

Since our inception on January 3, 2024, as a C Corporation, SparkleDrive Cleaners has made significant strides towards establishing itself as a premier car wash and detailing service in San Jose. Our accomplishments include designing our distinctive logo, developing our unique company name, and securing a prime location for our operations. These achievements mark the beginning of our journey to becoming a leading car care provider in the community.

The Car Wash & Car/Auto Detailing industry in the United States is a thriving sector that has shown consistent growth in recent years. According to a report by IBISWorld, the industry generated approximately $11.8 billion in revenue in 2020. This indicates the significant size and potential of the market for car wash and auto detailing services.

Furthermore, the market is expected to continue its upward trajectory in the coming years. With increasing disposable incomes and a growing awareness of the importance of maintaining the appearance and cleanliness of vehicles, the demand for car wash and auto detailing services is projected to rise. IBISWorld predicts that the industry will experience an annual growth rate of 2.5% over the next five years, reaching a market size of approximately $13.4 billion by 2025.

These trends in the Car Wash & Car/Auto Detailing industry bode well for SparkleDrive Cleaners, a new car wash and auto detailing service in San Jose, CA. As the industry continues to expand, there will be ample opportunities for new players to enter the market and establish their presence. With its focus on providing high-quality services and exceptional customer experiences, SparkleDrive Cleaners is well-positioned to capture a significant share of the growing market. Additionally, the company’s location in San Jose, a densely populated and affluent area, further enhances its prospects for success.

Below is a description of our target customers and their core needs.

Target Customers

SparkleDrive Cleaners will target local residents who own vehicles and are in need of regular car wash and detailing services. Given the busy lifestyle in San Jose, these customers will seek convenient, efficient, and high-quality services to maintain their vehicles. This segment is substantial and will provide a steady stream of customers who value their time and the appearance of their vehicles.

The business will also focus on corporate clients that manage fleets. Companies with delivery vehicles, sales fleets, or any business operation requiring a mobile presence will need their vehicles to be in top condition. SparkleDrive Cleaners will tailor its services to meet the specific needs of these businesses, offering them package deals and maintenance contracts to ensure their fleets are always clean and presentable.

Additionally, SparkleDrive Cleaners will aim to attract car enthusiasts and owners of luxury vehicles. This customer segment is particularly concerned with the detailing aspect of the service, seeking perfection and a meticulous approach to the care of their prized possessions. By offering premium detailing services and using high-quality cleaning products, SparkleDrive will cater to the expectations of even the most discerning clients.

Customer Needs

SparkleDrive Cleaners comprehends the desire of car owners for high-quality car wash services. Residents in the area expect nothing less than excellent care for their vehicles, which often serve as a reflection of their personal or professional image. SparkleDrive Cleaners ensures that every car leaving their premises shines, meeting and exceeding the expectations of their discerning clientele.

Additionally, customers seek convenience and efficiency without compromising on the quality of service. SparkleDrive Cleaners addresses this need by offering quick yet thorough cleaning and detailing services. The ability to maintain the aesthetic and mechanical integrity of their vehicles in a timely manner is a crucial requirement for busy professionals and families alike.

Beyond the basics, there is a growing demand for environmentally friendly car wash solutions. SparkleDrive Cleaners rises to meet this expectation by utilizing eco-friendly products and water conservation techniques in their operations. This approach not only ensures cars are impeccably clean but also aligns with the values of customers who are conscious about reducing their environmental footprint.

Competitor Analysis

SparkleDrive Cleaners’s competitors include the following companies:

Supreme Shine Mobile Detailing

Supreme Shine Mobile Detailing offers a range of mobile car detailing services that cater to customers looking for convenience without sacrificing quality. Their services include exterior washing, interior cleaning, waxing, and full detailing packages. Price points vary depending on the service package chosen, with premium packages costing more due to the inclusion of specialized treatments such as clay bar application and high-grade wax finishes.

Although specific revenue figures are not publicly available, the company’s competitive pricing and quality of service suggest a healthy customer base and steady income. Supreme Shine Mobile Detailing operates primarily within the San Jose area, focusing on serving vehicle owners who prefer the convenience of mobile services. This business model allows them to cover a wide geographical area without the need for a fixed location.

The key strength of Supreme Shine Mobile Detailing lies in its flexibility and convenience, offering services at the customer’s preferred location. However, this mobile operation could be seen as a weakness, as it might limit their ability to serve multiple customers simultaneously compared to a fixed location with multiple service bays.

Pacific Hand Car Wash SJ

Pacific Hand Car Wash SJ specializes in hand car washes and detailing services, emphasizing a personalized touch and meticulous attention to detail. Their offerings range from basic car washes to comprehensive detailing, including interior shampooing, leather conditioning, and exterior polish. Prices are structured to accommodate a variety of needs, with higher-tier packages offering more extensive services.

The company boasts a substantial revenue stream, attributed to its reputation for high-quality service and a loyal customer base. Located in San Jose, CA, Pacific Hand Car Wash SJ serves a diverse clientele, from daily commuters to luxury car enthusiasts seeking specialized care for their vehicles. The geographical reach is primarily local, focusing on San Jose and its immediate surroundings.

A significant strength is their commitment to quality and customer satisfaction, which has helped build a strong brand reputation. However, the reliance on manual labor for car washes and detailing could be a potential weakness, limiting service speed and volume compared to automated or semi-automated competitors.

Mr Bubbles Mobile Detailing

Mr Bubbles Mobile Detailing offers a wide array of mobile detailing services, including exterior washes, waxing, interior vacuuming, and full detailing packages. Their mobile service model is designed to provide convenience, allowing customers to receive car care services without leaving their home or office. Pricing is competitive, with various packages designed to meet different customer needs and budgets.

The company has carved out a niche in the San Jose market, generating revenue through a mix of regular maintenance clients and one-time deep cleaning jobs. Mr Bubbles Mobile Detailing serves a broad customer segment, from family car owners to corporate fleets, leveraging its mobility to reach clients across San Jose and nearby areas.

The primary strength of Mr Bubbles Mobile Detailing is its convenience and flexibility, appealing to busy individuals and organizations. However, the reliance on weather conditions and outdoor space for operations can be a weakness, potentially impacting service availability and scheduling.

At SparkleDrive Cleaners, we stand out in the competitive landscape of car care services by offering superior car wash and auto detailing services. Our commitment to excellence ensures that every vehicle we touch receives meticulous attention, combining the latest technology with eco-friendly products. This not only results in a cleaner, more sparkling vehicle but also contributes to environmental conservation. We understand that our customers expect nothing but the best, and that’s exactly what we deliver. Our team of trained professionals is equipped with the skills and tools necessary to tackle any challenge, ensuring that your car leaves our premises looking its best. Our attention to detail and customer-focused approach set us apart, making us the preferred choice for car owners in the area.

Beyond our superior services, we also boast several competitive advantages that further solidify our position in the market. One of our key strengths is our ability to offer personalized services tailored to meet the unique needs of each customer. We recognize that every car and owner has different requirements, and we go the extra mile to ensure these are met. Additionally, our convenient location and flexible scheduling options make it easy for customers to access our services without disrupting their busy lives. We also pride ourselves on creating a welcoming and comfortable environment for our customers, enhancing their overall experience. With these advantages, we not only meet but exceed expectations, fostering loyalty and encouraging repeat business.

At SparkleDrive Cleaners, we pride ourselves on providing a comprehensive range of car wash and auto detailing services designed to meet the needs of every car enthusiast in the area. Our team of experienced professionals is dedicated to delivering top-notch services that ensure your vehicle looks its best, both inside and out. Discover the variety of services we offer, along with our competitive pricing structure designed to provide value without compromising on quality.

Exterior Wash

Our Exterior Wash service is the foundation of our offerings, designed to remove dirt, grime, and pollutants that can damage your car’s paint over time. Utilizing high-quality cleaning products and techniques, we ensure a thorough cleansing that leaves your car’s exterior sparkling. Expect to invest approximately $25 for a standard car, with prices varying based on the size and condition of the vehicle.

For those who prefer a more personalized touch, our Hand Wash service combines the meticulous care of hand cleaning with the expertise of our staff. This service ensures that every nook and cranny of your vehicle’s exterior is attended to, providing a superior level of cleanliness. The average selling price for this premium service is around $35, offering exceptional value for a detailed clean.

Interior Cleaning

The Interior Cleaning service at SparkleDrive Cleaners goes beyond the surface to rejuvenate your car’s interior. From vacuuming carpets and seats to dusting and wiping down all surfaces, we ensure a comprehensive clean that revitalizes your vehicle’s inside look and feel. Customers can expect to pay about $50 for this in-depth service, ensuring a pristine interior environment.

Waxing and Polishing

To protect your car’s paint and ensure it shines like new, our Waxing and Polishing service is the perfect solution. This service not only enhances the appearance of your vehicle but also provides a protective layer against environmental elements. With an average price of $60, this service is an investment in maintaining your car’s beauty and longevity.

Wheel and Tire Cleaning

Wheels and tires are critical to your vehicle’s overall appearance and performance. Our Wheel and Tire Cleaning service is designed to remove brake dust, dirt, and grime, restoring the shine to your wheels and improving the condition of your tires. This specialized service is offered at an average price of $20, making it an easy addition to any car care routine.

Detailing Services

For the ultimate in car care, our Detailing Services offer a comprehensive cleaning and restoration process that covers every aspect of your vehicle. From a deep clean of the interior to a thorough polish of the exterior, this service is designed to make your car look and feel brand new. Depending on the specific needs of your vehicle, you can expect to invest around $150 for our full detailing package.

At SparkleDrive Cleaners, we are committed to providing exceptional service and value to all of our customers. Whether you need a quick exterior wash or a full detailing service, our team is ready to make your vehicle sparkle. Visit us today and experience the difference quality car care can make.

Our Operations Plan details:

  • The key day-to-day processes that our business performs to serve our customers
  • The key business milestones that our company expects to accomplish as we grow

Key Operational Processes

To ensure the success of SparkleDrive Cleaners, there are several key day-to-day operational processes that we will perform.

  • Use online booking tools and phone lines to schedule appointments.
  • Provide prompt responses to online inquiries and booking requests.
  • Engage with walk-in customers to offer immediate or scheduled services.
  • Ensure all cleaning materials and tools are fully stocked and in good condition.
  • Prepare the service area each morning by setting up equipment and creating a welcoming environment for customers.
  • Conduct a daily inventory check to monitor supply levels and order replacements as necessary.
  • Perform thorough exterior and interior cleaning as per the service requested.
  • Apply specialized detailing techniques for premium services, including waxing, polishing, and interior deep cleaning.
  • Adhere to a checklist to ensure consistency and completeness of service.
  • Inspect each vehicle post-service to ensure it meets SparkleDrive Cleaners’ high standards.
  • Address any customer concerns or issues immediately and professionally.
  • Implement feedback mechanisms, such as satisfaction surveys, to continually improve service quality.
  • Process payments efficiently and securely, providing detailed receipts.
  • Thank customers for their business and remind them of upcoming promotions or maintenance tips.
  • Conduct follow-up calls or emails to ensure customer satisfaction and to encourage repeat business.
  • Perform daily cleaning of the service areas to maintain a professional appearance and ensure safety.
  • Schedule regular maintenance for all equipment to prevent downtime.
  • Ensure all waste is disposed of responsibly, particularly chemical cleaners and wastewater.
  • Conduct regular training sessions on new techniques, customer service skills, and safety protocols.
  • Hold weekly team meetings to discuss performance, address issues, and share successes.
  • Motivate and reward employees for exceptional performance to maintain high morale and service standards.
  • Utilize social media platforms to engage with the community and promote services.
  • Develop partnerships with local businesses for cross-promotional opportunities.
  • Offer loyalty programs or discounts to encourage repeat business and attract new customers.

SparkleDrive Cleaners expects to complete the following milestones in the coming months in order to ensure its success:

  • Secure a strategic location with high visibility and easy access for customers in San Jose, CA, that aligns with zoning regulations for car wash and auto detailing services.
  • Obtain all necessary permits and licenses required to operate a car wash and auto detailing business in San Jose, including environmental permits for water usage and disposal.
  • Design and construct the physical setup of SparkleDrive Cleaners, including the car wash tunnel, detailing bays, and customer waiting areas, ensuring a workflow that maximizes efficiency and customer satisfaction.
  • Invest in high-quality, eco-friendly cleaning materials and state-of-the-art equipment to provide superior service and differentiate from competitors.
  • Implement a comprehensive marketing strategy to build brand awareness and attract the first customers, utilizing social media, local advertising, and promotional offers.
  • Launch our car wash operation with a grand opening event to generate buzz in the community and attract initial customers.
  • Develop strong relationships with suppliers and negotiate favorable terms to ensure a consistent supply of cleaning materials at competitive prices.
  • Hire and train a team of skilled employees who are committed to providing excellent customer service and high-quality car care.
  • Establish a loyalty program and customer feedback system to encourage repeat business and continuously improve service offerings based on customer input.
  • Achieve a revenue milestone of getting to $15,000/month within the first 12 months of operation by steadily growing the customer base and optimizing pricing and services offered.

SparkleDrive Cleaners management team, which includes the following members, has the experience and expertise to successfully execute on our business plan:

Sophia Davis, President

Sophia Davis, President of SparkleDrive Cleaners, brings a wealth of experience to her role, with a proven track record of success in the cleaning and automotive industries. Having successfully run a car wash in the past, Sophia understands the nuances of managing a service-oriented business that relies heavily on customer satisfaction and operational efficiency. Her background is instrumental in steering SparkleDrive Cleaners towards achieving lasting success by implementing strategies that enhance service quality, foster customer loyalty, and streamline operations. Sophia’s leadership skills, combined with her hands-on experience, make her exceptionally qualified to guide SparkleDrive Cleaners in its mission to become a leader in the cleaning services industry.

Financial Statements

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Income Statement

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Cash Flow Statement

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Car Wash Business Plan Example PDF

Download our Car Wash Business Plan PDF here. This is a free car wash business plan example to help you get started on your own car wash plan.  

How to Finish Your Car Wash Business Plan in 1 Day!

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Car Wash Business Plan Template

Written by Dave Lavinsky

Car Wash Business Plan

You’ve come to the right place to create your Car Wash business plan.

We have helped over 10,000 entrepreneurs and business owners create business plans and many have used them to start or grow their car washes.

Below is a template to help you create each section of your Car Wash business plan.

Executive Summary

Business overview.

Eco-Clean Car Wash is a startup car wash company located in Boston, Massachusetts. The company is founded by Thomas Wright, a former car wash manager who has gained valuable insights in how to run a car wash during his time working at Clean & Dry Car Wash. Now that Thomas has garnered a positive reputation for his exceptional management skills, he is ready to start his new company, Eco-Clean Car Wash. Thomas is confident that his ability to effectively manage staff and operations combined with his winning customer service record will help him successfully open and run a profitable car wash.

Eco-Clean Car Wash will provide a comprehensive array of car wash and car detailing services sure to impress any vehicle owner. Eco-Clean Car Wash will be the ultimate choice in Boston for people looking for an eco-friendly car wash option. The company uses eco-friendly technology to ensure smart water usage, runs on solar power, and uses chemical-free products to clean and detail customers’ automobiles.

Product Offering

The following are the services that Eco-Clean Car Wash will provide:

  • Eco-Express Car Wash
  • Full Service Eco-Clean Car Wash
  • Eco-Car Detailing
  • A La Carte Services (vacuuming, window cleaning…)

Customer Focus

Eco-Clean Car Wash will target all vehicle owners in Boston. The company will target owners of cars, trucks, SUVs, RVs, motorcycles, and vans. Eco-Clean Car Wash will also target those individuals who prefer to do business with eco-friendly companies and are willing to spend more for an eco-friendly car wash. No matter the customer, Eco-Clean Car Wash will deliver the highest quality car care and the best customer service.

Management Team

Eco-Clean Car Wash will be owned and operated by Thomas Wright. Thomas is a former car wash manager for another local car wash. He has gained valuable insights in how to run a car wash business during his time working for Clean & Dry Car Wash. Thomas is a graduate of the University of Boston with a Bachelor’s degree in Finance. He will be in charge of the finances, supplier relationships, and eco-initiatives for the company.

Thomas has recruited an experienced car wash attendant, Patrick Collins, to be his co-manager and oversee the maintenance of the equipment and handle the training and management of the car wash attendants. Patrick Collins has been the top performing car wash attendant at Clean & Dry Car Wash for over five years. Thomas relies strongly on Patrick’s diligence, attention to detail, and focus when providing car detailing services, inspecting equipment, and training car wash attendants.

Success Factors

Eco-Clean Car Wash will be able to achieve success by offering the following competitive advantages:

  • The management team, car wash attendants, and car detailers will all provide exceptional service for every customer that comes in for a car wash. The attendants will be trained to employ a high attention to detail to ensure every vehicle is cleaned to perfection.
  • Eco-Clean Car Wash strives to live up to its name. The company uses an eco-conscious approach in every aspect of the business from the chemical-free products and water conservation to the recycling program and incentives for customers and employees who make green choices.
  • Flexible pricing options – customers can choose from multiple packages, monthly memberships, or a la carte pricing for smaller services like vacuum only or window cleaning only.

Financial Highlights

Eco-Clean Car Wash is seeking $350,000 in debt financing to launch its car wash business. The funding will be dedicated towards securing the property and purchasing car wash equipment and supplies. Funding will also be dedicated towards three months of overhead costs to include payroll of the staff, utilities, and marketing expenses. The breakout of the funding is below:

  • Property purchase and build-out: $200,000
  • Car wash equipment and supplies: $40,000
  • Three months of overhead expenses (payroll, utilities): $90,000
  • Marketing costs: $10,000
  • Working capital: $10,000

The following graph below outlines the pro forma financial projections for Eco-Clean Car Wash.

Company Overview

Who is eco-clean car wash.

Eco-Clean Car Wash is a newly established full-service car wash located in Boston, Massachusetts. Eco-Clean will be the most reliable, eco-friendly, and high quality choice for vehicle owners in the Boston area. The company’s eco-friendly approach is built on less water, less energy, and more customer service. Eco-Clean Car Wash will provide a comprehensive array of car wash and car detailing services sure to impress any eco-conscious vehicle owner. The company uses eco-friendly technology to ensure smart water usage, runs on solar power, and uses chemical-free products to clean and detail customers’ automobiles.

The company’s management team is dedicated to training all employees on the best practices for car detailing and customer service to exceed customer expectations. Each car wash attendant and auto detailer is trained to practice attention to detail and thorough cleaning of each car that comes through the car wash.

Eco-Clean Car Wash History

Eco-Clean is owned and operated by Thomas Wright, a former car wash manager who has a Finance degree from the University of Boston. Thomas has worked for a local car wash company and managed a small team of car wash attendants. Thomas’s tenure with the car wash company has given him the skills and knowledge required to venture out on his own and start his own car wash. Thomas has gained a reputation for being an exemplary manager and has a list of car wash attendants who have expressed interest in working for his new company.

Since incorporation, Eco-Clean Car Wash has achieved the following milestones:

  • Registered Eco-Clean Car Wash, LLC to transact business in the state of Massachusetts.
  • Has identified the desired location and vacant property to purchase for the car wash.
  • Reached out to potential suppliers of chemical-free products and eco-friendly car wash equipment to get quotes.
  • Began recruiting a staff of car wash attendants and car detailers to work at Eco-Clean Car Wash.

Eco-Clean Car Wash Services

Industry analysis.

The global car wash industry is an estimated $33B market with North America boasting the most car washes of any region. The United States alone contributes to approximately 43% of the total global market share with over 60,000 car wash locations operated by 16,000 companies with over 163,000 employees across the country. The states with the most car washes are California (2,025) followed by Texas (1,465), Florida (1,289), and New York (901).

The market for car washes is highly fragmented with no major players and no companies with more than 5% market share. The most common types of car washes are self-service bay, detailing services, in-bay automatic wash, hand washing, exterior only, and full service. In-bay automatic car wash stations are the most popular, with 51% of customers preferring this type of car wash.

Car wash operators who use eco-friendly products and run eco-friendly facilities can gain a competitive advantage especially among millennial and Gen Z customers who prefer eco-friendly options and are willing to spend more money on these products and services.

Customer Analysis

Demographic profile of target market.

Eco-Clean Car Wash will target all vehicle owners in Boston. The company will target owners of cars, trucks, SUVs, RVs, motorcycles, and vans. Eco-Clean Car Wash will also target those individuals who prefer to do business with eco-friendly companies and are willing to spend more for an eco-friendly car wash.

The precise demographics for Boston, Massachusetts are:

Customer Segmentation

Eco-Clean will primarily target the following customer profiles:

  • Owners of cars, trucks, vans, SUVs, motorcycles, and RVs
  • Eco-conscious consumers

Competitive Analysis

Direct and indirect competitors.

Eco-Clean Car Wash will face competition from other companies with similar business profiles. A description of each competitor company is below.

Clean & Dry Car Wash

Clean & Dry Car Wash is a full-service car wash located in Boston, Massachusetts. The car wash offers a wide variety of car wash and detailing services including automated, self-service, handwash, and no-water wash options. The company is owned and operated by car enthusiasts who know the importance of car care and are dedicated to providing quality service for their customers. Clean & Dry Car Wash ’s promise is to deliver personalized customer service, exceptional car washes, and low prices.

Classy Bubble Car Wash

Classy Bubble Car Wash is a Boston-based car wash and auto detailing company that provides outstanding service to car owners. Classy Bubble Car Wash makes it easy to get a high quality car wash without the hassle. The company provides comprehensive full-service car wash services for cars, trucks, vans, and any other standard-sized vehicle. The owners of Classy Bubble Car Wash are car detailing professionals so they understand how a thorough detailing job should look. The company has three tiers of car wash packages to choose from – basic, premium, and extra premium. Customers can choose eco-friendly product options like chemical-free soap and waterless washes for an additional fee.

Shine Clean Car Wash

Shine Clean Car Wash is a trusted Boston-based car wash that provides superior service to car owners in Boston and surrounding areas. The company has three locations throughout the city and is able to provide a one-stop shop for anyone looking to get a quality car wash fast. Shine Clean Car Wash provides full-service car wash and auto detailing packages. The company’s car wash attendants are trained in efficiency to provide the quickest service possible and get customers back on the road sooner.

Competitive Advantage

Eco-Clean Car Wash will be able to offer the following advantages over their competition:

  • Flexible pricing options – customers can choose from multiple packages, monthly memberships, or a la carte pricing for smaller services such as vacuuming or window cleaning.

Marketing Plan

Brand & value proposition.

Eco-Clean Car Wash will offer the unique value proposition to its clientele:

  • Eco-Clean Car Wash uses an eco-conscious approach in every aspect of the business from the chemical-free products and water conservation to the recycling program and incentives for customers and employees who make green choices.
  • Flexible pricing options – customers can choose from multiple packages, monthly memberships, or a la carte pricing.

Promotions Strategy

The promotions strategy for Eco-Clean Car Wash is as follows:

Social Media Marketing

The company will invest in professional marketing services provided by a local marketing firm. Social media marketing will be one of the most effective and low-cost strategies for gaining brand awareness and increasing the company’s customer base. The marketing firm will help manage the social media presence by creating and updating various social media accounts such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok.

Print Advertising

Eco-Clean Car Wash will invest in professionally designed print ads to display in flyers, newspapers, magazines, and direct-mailers.

Broadcast & Streaming Media Advertising

The company will invest in commercials to be played on broadcast networks, podcasts, and streaming services.

Website/SEO Marketing

Eco-Clean Car Wash will work with the same local marketing firm that created their social media strategy to also make the company website. The website will be well organized, informative, and list all the services and pricing options that Eco-Clean is able to provide. The website will also include information on all of the eco-friendly initiatives the company is implementing and ways customers can get involved. The marketing firm will also manage Eco-Clean’s website presence with SEO marketing tactics so that when someone types into the search engine “Boston car wash” or “car wash near me”, Eco-Clean Car Wash will be listed at the top of the search results.

The pricing of Eco-Clean Car Wash will be premium. Customers come to Eco-Clean Wash for high quality eco-friendly washes and superior service. However, customers will also have the opportunity to receive steep discounts for participating in eco-friendly incentives and promotions.

Operations Plan

The following will be the operations plan for Eco-Clean Car Wash.

Operation Functions:

  • Thomas Wright will be the Owner and Co-Manager of Eco-Clean Car Wash. He will oversee all finances, supplier relationships, and eco-initiatives for the company.
  • Patrick Collins – Co-Manager who will be responsible for all car wash equipment inspections, car wash operations, and attendant training/management.

Eco-Clean will outsource many of its business functions including marketing, maintenance, and recruitment. The company will use business management software for customer relationship management (CRM), accounting/bookkeeping, and employee scheduling.

Milestones:

Eco-Clean Car Wash will have the following milestones complete in the next six months.

10/1/2022 – Finalize contract to purchase property.

10/15/2022 – Purchase car wash equipment and supplies.

11/1/2022 – Begin build-out of the car wash facility.

12/15/2022 – Begin recruiting and training car wash attendants.

1/22/2023 – Implement the marketing campaign.

2/1/2023 – Eco-Clean Car Wash opens for business.

Financial Plan

Key revenue & costs.

The revenue drivers for Eco-Clean Car Wash are the car wash fees that will be charged to the customers in exchange for car wash and detailing services.

The cost drivers will be the overhead costs required in order to staff a car wash. The expenses will be the payroll cost, utilities, car wash supplies, and marketing materials.

Funding Requirements and Use of Funds

Key assumptions.

The following outlines the key assumptions required in order to achieve the revenue and cost numbers in the financials and in order to pay off the startup business loan.

  • Number of car washes per month: 2,000
  • Average fees per month: $35,000
  • Commercial property mortgage payment per year: $60,000

Financial Projections

Income statement, balance sheet, cash flow statement, car wash business plan faqs, what is a car wash business plan.

A car wash business plan is a plan to start and/or grow your car wash business. Among other things, it outlines your business concept, identifies your target customers, presents your marketing plan and details your financial projections.

You can easily complete your car wash business plan using our Car Wash Business Plan Template here .

What are the Main Types of Car Wash Businesses?

There are a number of different kinds of car wash business , some examples include: Automatic or Tunnel Car Washes, In-bay Automatic Car Washes, Self-service, and Mobile Car Washes.

How Do You Get Funding for Your Car Wash Business Plan?

Car wash businesses are often funded through small business loans. Personal savings, credit card financing and angel investors are also popular forms of funding. This is true for a car detailing business plan or a car washing business plan.

What are the Steps To Start a Car Wash Business?

Starting a car wash business can be an exciting endeavor. Having a clear roadmap of the steps to start a business will help you stay focused on your goals and get started faster.

1. Develop A Car Wash Business Plan - The first step in starting a business is to create a detailed business plan for your car wash  that outlines all aspects of the venture. This should include potential market size and target customers, the services or products you will offer, pricing strategies and a detailed financial forecast.  

2. Choose Your Legal Structure - It's important to select an appropriate legal entity for your car wash business. This could be a limited liability company (LLC), corporation, partnership, or sole proprietorship. Each type has its own benefits and drawbacks so it’s important to do research and choose wisely so that your car wash business is in compliance with local laws.

3. Register Your Car Wash Business - Once you have chosen a legal structure, the next step is to register your car wash business with the government or state where you’re operating from. This includes obtaining licenses and permits as required by federal, state, and local laws. 

4. Identify Financing Options - It’s likely that you’ll need some capital to start your car wash business, so take some time to identify what financing options are available such as bank loans, investor funding, grants, or crowdfunding platforms. 

5. Choose a Location - Whether you plan on operating out of a physical location or not, you should always have an idea of where you’ll be based should it become necessary in the future as well as what kind of space would be suitable for your operations. 

6. Hire Employees - There are several ways to find qualified employees including job boards like LinkedIn or Indeed as well as hiring agencies if needed – depending on what type of employees you need it might also be more effective to reach out directly through networking events. 

7. Acquire Necessary Car Wash Equipment & Supplies - In order to start your car wash business, you'll need to purchase all of the necessary equipment and supplies to run a successful operation. 

8. Market & Promote Your Business - Once you have all the necessary pieces in place, it’s time to start promoting and marketing your car wash business. This includes creating a website, utilizing social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter, and having an effective Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy. You should also consider traditional marketing techniques such as radio or print advertising. 

Learn more about how to start a successful car wash business:

  • How to Start a Car Wash Business

Other Helpful Business Plan Templates

Franchise Business Plan Template Car Detailing Business Plan Template

business plan for mobile car wash

How to Start a Car Detailing Business

T he car detailing business is a great fit for many entrepreneurs. That’s because you can start up at a level of investment that you can afford, and grow.

The car detailing business operations are changing in two main ways:

  • Increasingly, the customer base is seeking a “greener” option. Many people are no longer comfortable with the amount of water needed to wash a typical vehicle, which is about 38 gallons. They want a waterless wash.
  • The mobile car detailing business is increasing, with a growing demand for detailing services at a customer’s home or place of employment, instead of a physical location.

What is car detailing?

Car detailing businesses do much more than wash and wax. A car detailing company will also vacuum the interior, as well as clean and polish surfaces such as the dashboard, vents, instrument, and trim.

The work typically also includes window cleaning, inside and outside, as well as cleaning floor mats and tires.

The Auto Detailing Industry in 2023

The successful car detailing business will adapt to its customer base. In 2022, small business owners fed a $14.7 billion industry. In the US, there are about 62,000 auto detailing companies and industry leaders estimate a 4% growth.

A successful business will adapt to the increasing demand for mobile detailing performed at home or place of employment washing. Auto detailing can be among the top garage based business ideas , or you could even travel to your clients directly. Also, as people feel the pinch of challenging economic times, discretionary spending decreases. Having a vehicle detailed is classified as discretionary spending.

Why You Should Start a Car Detailing Business

Will auto detailing be a successful business for you? See if these reasons fit you as a business owner:

  • You excel at customer service.
  • You are good at selling, especially upselling.
  • You love vehicles.
  • It’s a competitive business, and there is no or little competition from other local businesses.
  • You would take pride in the results of Before and After.
  • You can handle physical labor.

You’ll need a car detailing business plan that includes how you’ll start, how you’ll cover startup costs, and whether you’ll run a mobile business or business with a physical location – or a mix of both.

1. Get Training and Experience

There are training institutions that you can attend to get a car detailing license and/or auto detailing certification. You can find these centers via the international detailing association. Or, you can opt for on-the-job training. If you choose to buy a car wash franchise , training will be provided.

2. Do Your Research

Do market research. Will your potential customers prefer mobile detailing businesses? If you opt for brick-and-mortar, is your location convenient for people who will drop off their own car? In other words, who is your target market?

3. Create a Business Plan

Every new business should have a business plan. Don’t let this project daunt you. You’ll need a mission statement, which describes the goals of your company. An executive summary will describe your business model, which is how you’ll operate.

Another part of your plan is a description of your business finances – how you plan to fund your start and how you plan to grow. Do you have or do you plan to add business partners?

You’ll need a business plan as part of your submission package if you seek financing, along with documents regarding your business bank accounts.

4. Fund Your Business

Don’t overextend, remember you can start with very little investment capital instead of getting a start with a business loan. Many entrepreneurs start a car detailing venture by working part-time, after their regular jobs, with a garage-based business.

If your personal finances are top notch you may be able to obtain a small business funding loan. You can also establish credit accounts with vendors who supply cleaning products.

5. Gather Your Tools

There is basic equipment you’ll need as part of your start-up costs, whether you’re washing with water or waterless, at a fixed location or mobile detailing setup. Supplying, and resupplying, should be part of your thorough business plan as an ongoing expense. However, auto detailing is among the top low tech business ideas , so you shouldn’t need many expenses devices.

If you’re using water, you’ll need a pressure washer. If not, you’ll need a waterless wash product.

You’ll need a buffer, microfiber towels, buckets, sponges and assorted products such as leather cleaner. You’ll need detailing brushes of various sizes, metal polish and tire cleaner.

6. Keep It Legal

Most small businesses need to obtain business insurance and a local business operating license. To get your business licensed legally, you may have to do so at both the state and local government authority levels. If you’re not confident about doing this, hire a business attorney.

Choose your business structure, which will most likely be a limited liability company or LLC to protect your personal assets from your business entity.

Since you’ll be paying the federal business tax you’ll need a federal business tax id. You’ll also need to collect sales tax. As with many new business ventures, you should consult a tax professional to make sure you don’t make mistakes with your taxes.

You’ll need general liability business insurance and commercial vehicle insurance if you’re operating a mobile business.

7. Open a Business Bank Account

When you open your business bank account you should also get a business credit card, which you can link to the account. It’s just a good idea to keep your business accounts separate from your personal accounts, even if you’re working part-time.

8. Manage Your Finances

Most new business ventures need the services of a professional accountant, especially at start up.

9. Hire a Team

Most businesses in auto detailing start with a sole proprietor, and hire employees as needed to support growth in new customers. When you hire you’ll need to add worker’s compensation insurance.

10. Market Your Services

You’ll need a website and a social media presence. Part of your thought-out marketing strategy should include reaching out to current and past customers, possibly adding special enticement to keep or restore their business. You can offer senior discounts. Try for contracts, such as car rental companies or car dealers.

11. Open Your Business

Schedule your grand opening and make announcements with local media, as well as on your website and social media accounts.

More Tips for Starting a Successful Auto Detailing Business

Launching a successful business takes a continual hustle to grow. Read these 10 tips for starting and growing a business , then check out a few tips specific to auto detailers below:

  • Join your local Chamber of Commerce, where you can network with other business owners.
  • Strive to create partnerships, which is a foundation for a modern business. For example, local vehicle repair shops can give customers your business card.
  • Further your education by learning how to protect vehicle finishes with specialized services such as graphene or ceramic coating.
  • Offer more than vehicle detailing – add boats, motorcycles, and RVs.

What materials do you need to start a car detailing business?

You’ll need soap or foam wash, wax, microfiber towels, car buffer tools, detailing brushes, metal polish and tire cleaner.

How much does it cost to start a mobile detailing business?

The needed materials don’t change much whether you’re at a set location or operating mobile. At a basic level, it will cost at least $10,000 to stock the materials. Before you work with someone’s vehicle, you need a minimum business liability insurance and your business should be registered.

If you’re going to make money with your car – such as traveling to mobile appointments or picking up and delivering a customer’s vehicle – you’ll need commercial vehicle insurance. You should be able to find an umbrella policy, called a Business Owners Policy or BOP, to cover your needed insurance.

Is starting a car detailing business difficult?

As small business ideas go, this is a winner. Although competition can be strong, startup costs can be low at the entry-level.

The hardest part of starting a car detailing business may be the decision on whether to operate from a permanent location or go mobile. You can opt for a mix – by picking up and delivering customer vehicles to your permanent location.

Is a car detailing business profitable?

Having a vehicle detailed is viewed as “discretionary” spending. In other words, when economic times are challenging, your customers may opt to stop paying to have their vehicles professionally cleaned.

Still, your material cost is low and the profit market is good. The cost for a minimal cleaning, such as washing and waxing, doing windows, vacuum the interior, ranges from about $65 for small vehicles and up to $160 for larger vehicles.

According to industry leaders, more than 2/3s of customers are concerned about sustainability. Help your vehicle detailing business to be the top choice by opting for green solutions.

Someone starting the car detailing business on a part-time basis can expect to earn about $100 per vehicle. Full-scale sole proprietor car detailing business owners can expect to earn from $30,000 to $60,000 as a start up. Of course, that depends on whether or not a mobile vehicle or permanent location is already owned, or must be leased.

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Building a New Car Wash: The Process

May 12, 2022 | Business

business plan for mobile car wash

If you want to start a car wash business and build it from the ground up, there are a few steps you’ll need to follow if you want the project to be successful. To avoid anxiety and confusion about things like site planning, land development and competitive analysis, we’ve put together a brief guide to walk you through the basics.

  • Location, Location, Location Site planning is a crucial first step for any successful project – and while there’s no “magic bullet” that can make any business profitable, location is a major factor. Different criteria like nearby population, street traffic, local competition and more can all factor into whether or not you’ll be able to meet (or exceed) your business goals. Our staff has the experience to design, develop and document your vision.
  • Land Development Land development can be a complicated subject for a myriad of reasons. From local government regulations to private review boards, neighborhood committees and HOA’s, there are many potential roadblocks. The good news is, we have the knowledge and creative solutions to help you through this process.
  • Scope out the Competition How many customers are other local car washes seeing per day? How aggressively are they marketing themselves in the area? Is there an opportunity to poach business with better service and a more state-of-the-art wash experience and building layout? A common misconception is that architecture is all about the exterior of a space, or just based around aesthetic choices. In fact, a huge part of our process is taking the time to understand how people will behave in a space, allowing us to work towards creating an environment that is both functional and fits your branding and style preferences.
  • Document Preparation & Administrative Tasks Hover, along with its team of consultants, provides full construction document preparation including architectural, structural, mechanical, electrical, landscape and civil drawings. Additionally, our staff handles construction administration – from review of shop drawings to approval for materials, equipment and accessories.

For more info, please request a CSP or give us a call at (720) 773-2800.

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Car Wash Construction

One of the questions we get asked the most is “how do I go about building a car wash?” While the construction process can seem like a daunting task, it doesn’t have to be, especially when you work with a team of expertly trained professionals like Focused Car Wash Solutions. 

We specialize in helping car wash companies build a car wash business from the ground up and one of the largest components to that process is car wash construction. Once we meet with you and discuss your goals and vision for your car wash and finalize a few details, we can begin the car wash construction process. 

Not quite sure what building design or features you’d like to add? No worries! Our team of experts will work with architects and designers to help you determine the best car wash for you. Whether you want to build a tunnel, in-bay automatic or full service car wash, our construction team will make it happen. You’ll be included every step of the way and will be guided by teams of professionals that will have your best interests at heart.

The Process

It all starts with a team – the best team. We’ll assist you with the entire planning and development process from start to finish. Once a plan is in place, it’s time for the actual development of the car wash to start. We’ll assist you by helping you hire the right general contractor for the job who will then assist in getting the plans, engineers and construction team into place to break ground and get started on building your car wash.

Wondering what you can expect? Below is our process of car wash construction:

  • Identify your construction site Once you determine the right location for your car wash and purchase the land, the construction process can begin.
  • The city approves the site plan Before we can break ground, the city needs to approve all site plans.
  • Construction documents & permitting After the city approves the site plan, permits and approved construction documents must be obtained before we can break ground.
  • We break ground! Our construction team will start building your car wash!

You can expect the entire construction process to take anywhere from 18-24 months depending upon things like the city’s approval process and documentation approval. Once we break ground, it should take an estimated 180-240 days of construction until your car wash is complete.

Why Focused Car Wash Solutions?

We work with a team of architects and engineers that are licensed in over 35 states and are looking to expand. This means that wherever you want to build your car wash, our team can come to you! Leave the work to us… we’ll ensure the construction process is a smooth one from start to finish. 

With a combined over 50 years of car wash experience, our team of experts has worked with hundreds of car wash companies across the country. There’s a reason why businesses choose Focused Car Wash Solutions – and that’s because when we get the opportunity to assist in opening their car wash businesses, we see them become a success.

The construction process can be a costly one, especially when plans get changed often. While you can expect to see some slight changes to plan (every construction process has them) they’ll be kept to a minimum when you hire our team.

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How To Write a Winning Mobile Car Wash Business Plan + Template

Business Plan-DG

Creating a business plan is essential for any business, but it can be especially helpful for mobile car wash business owners who want to improve their strategy and/or raise funding.

A well-crafted business plan not only outlines the vision for your company, but also documents a step-by-step roadmap of how you are going to accomplish it. In order to create an effective business plan, you must first understand the components that are essential to its success.

This article provides an overview of the key elements that every mobile car wash business owner should include in their business plan.

Download the Carwash Business Plan Template

What is a Mobile Car Wash Business Plan?

A mobile car wash business plan is a formal written document that describes your company’s business strategy and its feasibility. It documents the reasons you will be successful, your areas of competitive advantage, and it includes information about your team members. Your business plan is a key document that will convince investors and lenders (if needed) that you are positioned to become a successful venture.

Why Write a Mobile Car Wash Business Plan?

A mobile car wash business plan is required for banks and investors. The document is a clear and concise guide of your business idea and the steps you will take to make it profitable.

Entrepreneurs can also use this as a roadmap when starting their new company or venture, especially if they are inexperienced in starting a business.

Writing an Effective Mobile Car Wash Business Plan

The following are the key components of a successful mobile car wash business plan:

Executive Summary

The executive summary of a mobile car wash business plan is a one to two page overview of your entire business plan. It should summarize the main points, which will be presented in full in the rest of your business plan.

  • Start with a one-line description of your mobile car wash company
  • Provide a short summary of the key points in each section of your business plan, which includes information about your company’s management team, industry analysis, competitive analysis, and financial forecast among others.

Company Description

This section should include a brief history of your company. Include a short description of how your company started, and provide a timeline of milestones your company has achieved.

If you are just starting your mobile car wash business, you may not have a long company history. Instead, you can include information about your professional experience in this industry and how and why you conceived your new venture. If you have worked for a similar company before or have been involved in an entrepreneurial venture before starting your mobile car wash firm, mention this.

You will also include information about your chosen mobile car wash business model and how, if applicable, it is different from other companies in your industry.

Industry Analysis

The industry or market analysis is an important component of a mobile car wash business plan. Conduct thorough market research to determine industry trends and document the size of your market. 

Questions to answer include:

  • What part of the mobile car wash industry are you targeting?
  • How big is the market?
  • What trends are happening in the industry right now (and if applicable, how do these trends support the success of your company)?

You should also include sources for the information you provide, such as published research reports and expert opinions.

Customer Analysis

This section should include a list of your target audience(s) with demographic and psychographic profiles (e.g., age, gender, income level, profession, job titles, interests). You will need to provide a profile of each customer segment separately, including their needs and wants.

For example, the customers of a mobile car wash business may include:

  • People who want a mobile car wash service that comes to their home or office
  • People who want their car washed while they are at work
  • People who want their car washed while they are on vacation
  • People with special circumstances (e.g., pregnant women, the elderly, people with disabilities)

You can include information about how your customers make the decision to buy from you, as well as what keeps them buying from you.

Develop a strategy for targeting those customers who are most likely to buy from you, as well as those that might be influenced to buy your products or mobile car wash services with the right marketing.

Competitive Analysis

The competitive analysis helps you determine how your product or service will be different from competitors, and what your unique selling proposition (USP) might be that will set you apart in this industry.

For each competitor, list their strengths and weaknesses. Next, determine your areas of competitive differentiation and/or advantage; that is, in what ways are you different from and ideally better than your competitors.

Marketing Plan

This part of the business plan is where you determine and document your marketing plan. . Your plan should be clearly laid out, including the following 4 Ps.

  • Product/Service : Detail your product/service offerings here. Document their features and benefits.
  • Price : Document your pricing strategy here. In addition to stating the prices for your products/services, mention how your pricing compares to your competition.
  • Place : Where will your customers find you? What channels of distribution (e.g., partnerships) will you use to reach them if applicable?
  • Promotion : How will you reach your target customers? For example, you may use social media, write blog posts, create an email marketing campaign, use pay-per-click advertising, or launch a direct mail campaign. Or, you may promote your mobile car wash business via word-of-mouth marketing.

Operations Plan

This part of your mobile car wash business plan should include the following information:

  • How will you deliver your service to customers? 
  • What infrastructure, equipment, and resources are needed to operate successfully?
  •  How can you meet those requirements within budget constraints?

The operations plan is where you also need to include your company’s business policies. You will want to establish policies related to everything from customer service to pricing, to the overall brand image you are trying to present.

Finally, and most importantly, in your Operations Plan, you will lay out the milestones your company hopes to achieve within the next five years. Create a chart that shows the key milestone(s) you hope to achieve each quarter for the next four quarters, and then each year for the following four years. Examples of milestones for a mobile car wash business include reaching $X in sales. Other examples include adding a certain number of new customers or expanding to a new city.

Management Team

List your team members here including their names and titles, as well as their expertise and experience relevant to your specific mobile car wash industry. Include brief biography sketches for each team member.

Particularly if you are seeking funding, the goal of this section is to convince investors and lenders that your team has the expertise and experience to execute your plan. If you are missing key team members, document the roles and responsibilities you plan to hire for in the future.

Financial Plan

Here you will include a summary of your complete and detailed financial plan (your full financial projections go in the Appendix). 

This includes the following three financial statements:

Income Statement

Your income statement should include:

  • Revenue : how much revenue you generate.
  • Cost of Goods Sold : These are your direct costs associated with generating revenue. This includes labor costs, as well as the cost of any equipment and supplies used to deliver the product/service offering.
  • Net Income (or loss) : Once expenses and revenue are totaled and deducted from each other, this is the net income or loss.

Sample Income Statement for a Startup Mobile Car Wash Business

Balance sheet.

Include a balance sheet that shows your assets, liabilities, and equity. Your balance sheet should include:

  • Assets : All of the things you own (including cash).
  • Liabilities : This is what you owe against your company’s assets, such as accounts payable or loans.
  • Equity : The worth of your business after all liabilities and assets are totaled and deducted from each other.

Sample Balance Sheet for a Startup Mobile Car Wash Business

Cash flow statement.

Include a cash flow statement showing how much cash comes in, how much cash goes out and a net cash flow for each year. The cash flow statement should include:

  • Cash Flow From Operations
  • Cash Flow From Investments
  • Cash Flow From Financing

Below is a sample of a projected cash flow statement for a startup mobile car wash business.

Sample Cash Flow Statement for a Startup Mobile Car Wash Business

You will also want to include an appendix section which will include:

  • Your complete financial projections
  • A complete list of your company’s business policies and procedures related to the rest of the business plan (marketing, operations, etc.)
  • Any other documentation which supports what you included in the body of your business plan.

Writing a good business plan gives you the advantage of being fully prepared to launch and/or grow your mobile car wash company. It not only outlines your business vision but also provides a step-by-step process of how you are going to accomplish it.

There is a lot that goes into writing a winning mobile car wash business plan. However, if you can take the time to include all of the key components; from your management team and financial projections, to your company policies and milestones, you will be putting yourself in a much better position for success. Your mobile car wash business plan can also help you land needed funding and support for your business overall.  

Finish Your Carwash Business Plan in 1 Day!

Wish there was a faster, easier way to finish your carwash business plan?

With our Ultimate Carwash Business Plan Template you can finish your plan in just 8 hours or less!

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IMAGES

  1. FREE Car Wash Business Plan Template

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  2. Mobile Car Wash Business Plan Template in Pages, MS Word, GDocsLink

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  3. Mobile Car Wash Detailing Service

    business plan for mobile car wash

  4. Car Wash Business Plan Sample

    business plan for mobile car wash

  5. 5 Essential Components of a Successful Business Plan for a Mobile Auto

    business plan for mobile car wash

  6. Business Plan for Car Detailing: Get Your Car Wash Open (Infographic)

    business plan for mobile car wash

COMMENTS

  1. Mobile Car Wash Business Plan [Sample Template]

    A Sample Mobile Car Wash Business Plan Template 1. Industry Overview. In the united states of America and even all over the world, the car wash and auto detailing industry of which mobile car wash business is a subset of is regarded as one of the industries that accommodates more of unskilled workers than skilled worker.

  2. Writing A Winning Mobile Detailing Business Plan + Template

    The executive summary of a mobile detailing business plan is a one to two page overview of your entire business plan. It should summarize the main points, which will be presented in full in the rest of your business plan. Start with a one-line description of your mobile detailing company. Provide a short summary of the key points in each ...

  3. How to Start a Mobile Car Wash Business in 14 Steps (In-Depth Guide)

    1. Conduct Mobile Car Wash Market Research. Running a successful mobile car detailing business takes a strong car detailing business plan. To get the details for that plan, market research is required. Mobile detailing service market research comes in two stages, primary research and secondary research. Primary research is research you conduct ...

  4. Start a Mobile Car Wash Business for $250 [6 Easy Steps]

    Step 1: Set Up Your Mobile Car Wash Business. Step 2: Create a Mobile Car Wash Business Plan. Step 3: Get Your Mobile Car Wash Equipment. Step 4: Market Your Mobile Car Wash Services. Step 5: Learn How to Wash Cars Like a Pro. Step 6: Get the Right Licenses, Permits and Insurance. It's a lot to cover so let's get into it!

  5. 5 Essential Components of a Successful Business Plan for a Mobile Auto

    Cell phone holder, cleaned by hand or with a steamer. Door panel detailing, with the opportunity to offer protective coating. Clean and protect dashboards from UV rays. Remove and clean car mats with a steamer or a shampooer/extractor, depending on the material. 4. Marketing Your Mobile Car Detailing Business.

  6. Car Wash Business Plan Template [Updated 2024]

    Car Wash Business Plan Template. If you want to start a car wash business or expand your current one, you need a business plan. Over the past 20+ years, we have helped over 5,000 entrepreneurs and business owners create business plans to start and grow their car wash businesses.

  7. How to Write a Business Plan for a Car Wash: Complete Guide

    In this article we go through, step-by-step, all the different sections you need in your car wash business plan. Use this template to create a complete, clear and solid business plan that get you funded. 1. Executive Summary. The executive summary of a business plan gives a sneak peek of the information about your business plan to lenders and ...

  8. How to Start a Mobile Detailing Business (Step by Step Guide)

    Step 3: Clean the Exterior. After completing the interior, it's time to move on to the exterior. Start by giving the vehicle a rinse of water. Then, depending on your equipment, either fill a bucket with your car wash soap and water or prepare your power washer for a deeper clean.

  9. Auto Detailing Business Plans for Shops & Mobile Detailers

    Let Detail King's sample business plans for Detail Shops and Mobile Detailers guide you to success! (724) 325-0008 - (724) 325-0066 [email protected] . Login Cart. Shop by Brand ... and grow any small business - more importantly a professional and successful car detailing business. A business plan is comprised of many components which we ...

  10. Car Detailing Business Plan Template [Updated 2024]

    Next, provide an overview of each of the subsequent sections of your plan. For example, give a brief overview of the car detailing industry. Discuss the type of car detailing business you are operating. Detail your direct competitors. Give an overview of your target customers. Provide a snapshot of your marketing plan.

  11. How to Start a Car Detailing Business

    4. Get your business licensed and permitted. Ensuring that your car detailing business has all of the required permits and licenses isn't just a good idea — it's necessary. Failing to ...

  12. How to Start a Mobile Car Wash and Detailing Business

    There is also extra pay for big cars like SUVs of around $10 and $20. Most mobile car wash businesses offer classic add-ons. These may include: Leather conditioning between $20 or $30. Pet hair removal at approximately $30 and up. Plastic dressing inside & out between $20 and $40.

  13. Mobile Auto Detailing Business Plan [Sample Template]

    A Sample Automobile Detailing Business Plan Template 1. Industry Overview. In the united states of America and even all over the world, the car wash and auto detailing industry of which auto mobile detailing business is a subset of is regarded as one of the industries that accommodates more of unskilled workers than skilled worker.

  14. Car Detailing Business Plan Template (2024)

    Financial Highlights. Beal's Detail Auto Salon is currently seeking $350,000 to launch its car detailing shop. Specifically, these funds will be used as follows: Location build-out: $100,000. Office equipment, supplies, and materials: $30,000. Three months of overhead expenses (payroll, rent, utilities): $150,000. Marketing costs: $30,000.

  15. Car Wash Business Plan Template

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