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5 Key Goals for a Car Wash Business


From equipment maintenance and environmental considerations to customer satisfaction and revenue generation, there is a lot involved in running a car wash business. That’s why it is important to have clear goals to aim for.

Goal setting is an indispensable aspect of any successful business journey. It establishes a roadmap for the business, providing clear direction and milestones that can guide the decision-making process. Having clear goals also lets you know where to apply your resources.

By breaking down larger objectives into smaller, manageable steps, goal setting enables car wash businesses to effectively monitor progress, evaluate performance, and adjust their approach as needed. The first step is to know what those goals are.

In a fast-paced society, it’s easy to become entangled in the intricacies of daily life without realizing the importance of setting a clear direction for our endeavors. The car wash industry is no exception. In this article, we’ll explore five main goals car wash entrepreneurs should set.


Find the Right Location

One of the biggest reasons why car wash businesses fail is due to being in the wrong location. When it comes to a car wash business, location is just as important as the layout of the car wash itself. For that reason, the very first goal you should set for your car wash business is to find the right location.

Ideally, the best location would be in a high-traffic area, preferably near a shopping center, major road, or intersection. The point is to make your wash visible and convenient for customers. You may also want to consider locations near apartment complexes. Some complexes do not provide a car wash area, which means that residents would need to go elsewhere to get their cars cleaned. This differs from neighborhoods or subdivisions with houses and driveways where car owners can wash their cars themselves.


Increase Sales on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays

According to one report, 25% of the weekly washes happen on Saturdays. The beginning of the week is the slowest for any car wash business. That’s why it’s important to find a way to increase revenue during the other days of the week.

One of the ways is to run a sale during the middle of the week. The discount could be a fixed price for all basic car washes. This way, you can try to sell additional cleaning services based on customer needs. For example, you can run a $5 Wednesday basic car wash sale but then add tire shine and waxing for an additional $3 each.

You can also choose to offer a discount on all services. For example, if you offer a mid-tier service for $35 and a lower-tier service for $25, during this sale, you can take $5 off both services.


Increase Upsell Opportunities

One of the major challenges for a car wash business is finding other revenue sources. Customers who go to get their car washed usually expect to spend a certain amount on the service. This is challenging for the wash, as customers can get their car washed at gas stations, self-serve washes, or even wash their own car for free.

Promote complementary products or services, such as air fresheners or interior detailing, to encourage customers to spend more during their visit. Implement a loyalty program that rewards customers with points, discounts, or free services for frequent visits. This not only incentivizes upselling but also fosters long-term customer relationships. According to studies, around 66 percent of Americans wash their vehicle somewhere between 1-2 times per month.

Achieve Consistent Customer Satisfaction

One of the most important business goals for any car wash is to keep customers satisfied. When customers get their wash, they have certain expectations. If you don’t meet those expectations, they will quickly find another option.

Making sure your customers are consistently satisfied involves delivering exceptional service. While it might seem challenging to do at a car wash, it is not. Be sure that you and your staff prioritize giving the customer a good experience. Coach your team on how to speak to the customer in the most friendly and accommodating manner.

Also, be sure to regularly seek customer feedback. Offer discounts and free washes to customers who fill out surveys. This will give you a better picture of how well you and your staff are serving your customers.


Increase Customer Retention

Once you’ve attracted customers, it’s crucial to retain them for sustained profitability. This type of business goal should be set as soon as you launch your venture. A short-term customer retention goal may revolve around customers returning monthly or weekly. A long-term (or even medium-term) goal should look at repeat customer rates over the year, or even customer referrals increasing over the course of the year.

Even though this is an important goal, there is no one way to reach it. However, there are a few places to start. Here are some things you can do:

  • Offer Loyalty Programs: For example, a car wash can offer a free wash after a certain number of visits or provide discounts to loyal customers.
  • Gather Feedback: Gathering feedback allows you to understand your customer’s experience at the car wash. This can be used to improve service and address any issues that customers may have.
  • Maintain High-Quality Equipment: Equipment that is well-maintained and in good working order can improve the quality of the wash and the overall customer experience. Regular maintenance can help prevent breakdowns and keep equipment functioning at its best.


Improve Operational Efficiency

Another very important goal revolves around how efficient your car wash is. Improving efficiency will allow you to serve more customers, which will increase the amount of revenue you make per hour. One of the first ways to do this is by integrating an automated system.

The integration of an automated system can not only enhance the speed and precision of the cleaning process but also reduce the need for manual labor. By employing high-pressure water jets and touchless technology, the car wash can achieve superior results while using less water and detergent. This will not only help in reducing costs but also in benefiting the environment.

Another way of making sure your car wash is efficient is in the layout design. Optimizing the layout of the facility ensures that cars move through the wash smoothly. Doing so will minimize downtime and increase the number of vehicles serviced per hour.

Also, a car wash can invest in energy-efficient equipment. This will help to lower operational costs and establish itself as a green business. These strategies combined will not only increase efficiency but also contribute to the long-term sustainability and success of the car wash.


Boost Local Visibility

Continuing to boost visibility should be an ongoing goal for car wash owners. Car washes can boost their visibility by leveraging effective marketing strategies and emphasizing their unique selling points. Collaborating with local businesses and community events can create goodwill and a strong reputation, making the car wash more recognizable within the community.

Investing in eye-catching signage and distinctive branding can increase the car wash’s physical presence. This ensures that it stands out from competitors. By implementing these tactics, a car wash can effectively boost visibility, driving more traffic, and increasing its overall customer base. Here are some more ways to get your car wash noticed:


A successful car wash business is built upon well-defined and achievable goals. By offering a consistently high-quality service that meets and exceeds customer expectations, car washes can foster long-lasting relationships and generate positive word-of-mouth marketing. Stream

lining business processes ensures faster service and reduces overheads, ultimately increasing profitability. The car wash of tomorrow will combine these critical goals to deliver a service that is efficient, sustainable, and focused on customer satisfaction.

By setting and working towards these goals, car wash entrepreneurs can navigate the challenges of the industry, continually improve their operations, and maintain a competitive edge. By prioritizing customer satisfaction, operational efficiency, and local visibility, car wash businesses can maximize their success and create a loyal customer base that returns time and time again.


Thomas Martin
Tom is a member of the Editorial Team at StartUp Mindset. He has over 6 years of experience with writing on business, entrepreneurship, and other topics. He mainly focuses on online businesses, digital publishing, marketing and eCommerce startups.

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Tom is a member of the Editorial Team at StartUp Mindset. He has over 6 years of experience with writing on business, entrepreneurship, and other topics. He mainly focuses on online businesses, digital publishing, marketing and eCommerce startups.

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