Ways To Make Quick Money Launching...
A Car Washing "Fast Cash" Business
Table Of Contents
- Ways To Make Quick Money:
- Launching A Car Washing Micro-Business
- – What You Gain From This Venture
- – Who This Venture Benefits Most
- – Who Will Succeed
- – Who This Venture Benefits Most
- The Venture Step-by-Step
- – Basic Requirements
- – Startup Equipment
- – Delivering The Service
- – Running The Operation
- – Marketing This Baby
- – Making The Moola
- – Simple Cashflow Estimate
- – Startup Equipment
- Insights and Caveats
- – Seasonality
- – Washing Tips
- – Nurturing Your Customers
- – Washing Tips
- Additional Resources and Final Comments
- • Set Objectives
- Set Weekly And Monthly Goals
Without goals there's no way to measure success. It's like shooting arrows without a target to aim at. Sooner or later you'll grow frustrated not knowing what effect your arrows made.
- Ask yourself what objectives you want your car wash business to achieve by the end of a month.
Maybe you want to make $2,000 in a month?
Maybe you want to earn just enough to pay your rent by the end of the month?
Maybe you want to have enough clients to hire an employee?
- Now ask yourself what will it take to meet your monthly objectives?
How many clients do you have to serve per month?
How many cars do you need to wash in 4 weeks?
How many days do you have to spend working?
How much promoting will you need to do while you work?
How much cash will you need to cover basic expenses?
- Finally, break your monthly objectives into weekly goals.
How many clients will you need to serve 6 days per week?
How many cars will you need to wash in 6 days?
How will you promote your business every week?
How hours will you spend working every day of the week?
The purpose behind setting a goal is to have something to measure your progress against. This will keep you focused and motivated. When you know what you're reaching for, it's easier to figure out how to spend you day working toward that end.
- • Communication
- Setup A Business Email Account
Using a personal email address for business purposes looks very unprofessional. Plus using your personal address may lead you to lose your client's emails amongst all the personal emails that you receive.
NOTE: When you start out with your business, you really don't need to buy a domain name email address.
Use Gmail to setup a designated business email address. It's free and integrated to Google Docs, which is also free and can help you run your business well.
Assign an abbreviated business name to your email alias.
- Example: email@example.com, or firstname.lastname@example.org
The shorter your email address, the easier it will be for your clients to type it.
- Assign A Phone Line
Carry a cell phone with you. Use a cell (wireless) rather than a wireline phone. This way you can pick up a client call anywhere you are.
Keep your scheduling calendar with you at all times to schedule jobs if you receive a call. If you have a smart phone, learn to use Google Calendar.
Answer professionally always using your business greeting.
Thank you for calling Speedy Corrales Auto Wash. We do your car wherever you want. This is Joey speaking. Where can I wash your car?
- Setup A Voicemail Message
Your voice message should sound professional yet friendly so that it makes a good impression on potential clients. Plus it needs to attract them to your business over competitors.
In your message let people know about a benefit that you give which they can't find anywhere else.
Your message could sound something like this:
Hi! This is Joey Corrales. Thanks for calling Speedy Corrales Auto Wash.
If your car is your pet, then it needs some love. So give it a wash that your neighbors can speak of.
Have me come where you live or work or shop, and I'll wash it down for you so you can go nonstop.
Leave me a message after the beep. Don't worry the cost for the whole thing is dirt cheap.
- • Business Structure
- Start Out As A Sole Proprietorship
Until you are ready to pay fees to incorporate as a new entity, you should run your business as a sole proprietor.
A sole proprietorship is just you doing business as yourself. It's self-employment at its simplest.
Usually as long as you do business in your own name and you aren't selling goods that force you to collect sales tax, the State doesn't require you to file any paperwork with it as a sole proprietorship.
You can have a fictitious name as a sole proprietorship, just don't plagiarize the name of another business.
If you decide to name your business something other than your own name, you may have to register a Fictitious Name Statement (aka Doing Business As) with the State.
The disadvantage in operating as a sole proprietorship is that you are personally liable for any damages that your business operation might commit.
This means that if your business doesn't have the money to pay for damages, then your personal assets will be used to make payment.
This is why even as a sole proprietorship you need to consider buying insurance.
Incorporating as a different business entity eliminates this personal liability issue.
But it requires more out of pocket cash to cover legal fees and get the venture started. You trade off upfront cash for less liability risk.
Incorporating can cost several hundred dollars. So unless you can't handle the concern over possibly being held personally liable for unexpected damages to your client's property, then don't incorporate right at the get-go.
Test the waters of your market conservatively as a sole proprietor.
Use your early cash to plough it back into the business to cover for the risks that your growing operation will be taking on.
- Mobile Car Wash Regulations
Car washing businesses are held to several regulations by the EPA and local governments. It's good to know what you'll come up against when starting your business.
But don't let it deter you from getting your car washing business moving. After all, nobody needs a permit (yet) to wash his own car outside his own place of residence, right?
If you're going to start out small by working in your local neighborhod washing neighbors' cars at their home, then there's no need to take huge consideration of the regulations.
It's not until you're really mobile and out washing client's cars at shopping centers, workplaces, and other high traffic locations that you'll need to consider the regulations.
Don't let the State kill your entrepreneurial spirit. Work your business and listen to regulations when the time comes for growth to evaluate how regulation might affect it.
So with that said, here are the regulations required of mobile car washing businesses:
- Business License
Many micro-business owners often run their businesses from home without a business license until they have the money to subject themselves to one without a problem.
Make sure you are not in the meantime provoking your neighbors to question the legitimacy of your situation, so that they won't raise questions about your compliance to local zoning regulations.
If you conduct yourself professionally, there is no reason anyone should question you regarding a business license before you're ready to afford paying for one, if required by your local government.
- Business License
Local governement may require car washers to apply for a special permit to run their business, particularly if the carwash is not mobile.
The thinking is that car washing impacts the environment with the runoff of potentially hazardous waste water that could affect public health. The assumption is that by limiting the use of car washing products only to professionals willing to apply and pay for a permit, public health will be under control.
The International Carwash Association had this to say in 2002 about stipulations from the Clean Water Act's permits program:
Cars that are washed in the street can pollute streams, rivers, bays and estuaries. The soaps, oil and grimes that run off the car into the gutters, go into the stormwater system.
Stormwater, unlike the water that enters the sewers, does not undergo treatment before it is discharged into waterways.
Any pollutants in stormwater end up in our lakes, rivers, harbors and oceans, and are considered non-point source pollution...
It is the responsibility of local municipalities to ensure that water collected from streets, gutters, and drainage ditches, do not impair the quality of receiving waters.
Along with a hazardous waste permit you may be required to apply for a zoning permit. Check with your locality.
It is noteworthy to mention that some communities, like Kitsap county, Oregon, San Antonio, Texas, and San Diego, California discouraged or banned for some years charity car washing at any location other than a professional commercial car wash facility to protect the watershed from the impact of detergents, oil and grease and grime entering the environment through runoff.
So visit your local county clerk office or city hall for the necessary paperwork to run a mobile car washing business at your locality and consider how sensitive your local community might be to your services. Some places are more reasonable than others.
A Fictious Name Statement is also known as a Doing Business As (DBA). You can start a business without having to register with the State for a DBA, if you simply use your personal (legal) name as the business name.
Example: There is no need to register a business if you name it "John Doe" and your name is John Doe.
But you will have to register your business if you name it, "At Your Home Car Wash", because this is not your legal name.
Some states may not require persons to file a DBA as long as their legal name is part of the business name. Check with your county clerk to verify specifics for your area.
Example: You may not need to register your business if you name it "John Doe's Car Wash Service" and your name is John Doe.
Some states do not require persons to file a DBA regardless of what they name their business.
Go here to learn whether your state offers this option.
With the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) observing the national Clean Water Act, cities are required to regulate the type of water that the they released into the environment.
Most cities completely prohibit car washer from letting runoff flow into the sewer. Other cities require that car washers capture all runoff to be processed at water treatment plants. Some cities do not allow for car washers to work in heavily trafficked areas, like shopping centers and parking lots. These regulations apply mostly to immobile carwash facilities. But even charity car washing has come under scrutiny in some communities.
Whatever the case may be, check the local provisions and ensure that you speak of your car washing business as being mobile, so that you know whether the right type of regulation will apply to you at your local community level.
However, it is important for you to consider if going with or without insurance at the outset is best for you.
- Ask yourself if the amount of business that you plan to do justifies paying for insurance.
If you only plan to work for 5 clients, then it would be pointless to expect a large profit after you pay for insurance.
Just do your work carefully and continue to increase your customer base until your revenue is sufficient to cover the insurance premium for the higher risk damaging any property.
- Ask yourself if you can handle the thought of potentially damaging property without owning insurance.
If you're always concerned whether you'll scratch or stain your client's car, then getting insurance could save you from some headaches. But be reasonable or you'll never get a business going.
- Ask yourself if your target audience is prone to suing. Work with workable customers. Be selective. Not everybody willing to hire you is worth being hired by. Develop a relationship with your customers and make sure they are people with integrity, just as you ought to be.
- Get to know if your client base will require that you have liability insurance in order to do business with them.
For instance, car dealerships require business insurance in order to be hired to wash their cars.
If you decide to go with insurance, then here's some helpful information:
Business insurance is usually broken up into four insurance types. All are valuable, but not all are necessary for a beginner.
General Liability Insurance
General Liability insurance covers claims of bodily injury or other physical injury or property damage.
Like car insurance, the higher your deductible, the smaller the premium.
If you are only washing cars, then General Liability insurance works well for your business.
However, if you are going to include a detailing service, then you'll need Garage Keeper's Liability insurance as well.
This is because as a detailer you are now considered in the care, custody or control of your client's car. General Liability Insurance doesn't cover claims within those circumstances.
Commercial Auto Insurance
Commercial auto insurance covers any claims of bodily injury or other physical injury or property damage resulting from an accident involving your car.
Your personal car insurance WILL NOT cover any claims that occur against you for damages caused by your car while on business.
Equipment Floater Insurance
This covers any damage to or theft of your equipment. Once you have obtained your heavy duty tools, like the pressure washer and generator, you'll want to consider getting equipment floater insurance.
It'd be terrible to lose your equipment in a freak accident or have them stolen only to have to pay out of pocket to replace all of them.
Worker's Compensation Insurance
This only applies for businesses that hire employees.
Your main objective is to reduce the amount of time spent driving from one job to the next.
Traveling doesn't bring in any money. It's just an expense and costly at that, since it involves gas and wear and tear on your vehicle, plus your time – your most precious commodity!
Organize yourself using a calendar.
Example: On Monday and Tuesday you do washing in the city of Westville. Wednesday and Friday you do jobs only in the city of Eastville.
- Adhere to your schedule. Verify in advance with your clients their availability and car location. Fire any client who repeatedly fails to live up to a confirmed appointment.
- Give yourself enough time between jobs to travel from one location to the next.
Track your time once you schedule your work. Be punctual. Call if you can't make your appointment and reschedule on the spot.
- Use Google Calendar. It's an awesome tool that can sync with your cell phone, plus it allows you access to other Google application that can track other aspects of your business operation and that you can access remotely, while you're away on site somewhere.
- At the beginning of each day, print out a copy of your weekly schedule and carry it around with you at all times in case you get a call from a client wanting to rechedule a job.
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