Choose a name

It goes without saying that anysuccessful business must have a name; otherwise, how will your customersidentify your services? Choosing a unique name for your business way goes along way in ensuring that you stand out from both direct competitors and otherbusinesses in your locality.

<p><b>Getting the right equipment for your carwash will be easier if you talk to other carwash owners. </b></p><p><b>For instance, when choosing a pressure washer, consider its amount of PSI (pound per square inch).</b></p>

Most people struggle when it comesto choosing a name for their businesses, well that’s a whole different storybut for starters, choose a name that is easy to spell, pronounce, and memorize.Make sure that the name conveys some positive meaning about your business.

You can also come up with a list ofnames and ask your friends or other business associates what they think aboutthem. This way, you can scale down to one or two names that most of yourrespondents find catchy. From there, you can choose the one that makes youhappy.

Choose a suitable location

The location of your carwash is ahuge factor in determining how your business will turn out. First, find a placewith high traffic volume and where there is little or no competition. Itdoesn’t make sense to start a carwash in an area where there is little or notraffic and where such businesses already exist.

In some cases, however, the demandis still high even when similar businesses are available in the same location.Such was the case when Hillary Gathambi started his ‘Sparkle Carwash’ businessthree months ago at Imara Daima in Nairobi.

I asked him why he chose a locationthat had many carwash businesses to open his own, and “it’s simple,” he said.“Over the years, this place has become popular in this area for havingcarwashes. So when I spotted an unoccupied space suitable for the business, Ihad no doubt that it would work. There is something for everyone here,” he toldme.

Also, find a location with retailor shopping centers nearby, you can be sure that some motorists stopping bywill spot your business. Sparkle Carwash is located within a residential areawhere most working people have their cars, “sometimes we pick their cars fromthe estate and return them after we’ve finished washing them,” he says.

An extra tip is to check the speedlimit of the particular area you want to open your carwash, an average speedlimit of 45 mph will tell you that drivers are not too much in a hurry to makestops while passing by.

Market your business

It is crucial to have a marketingstrategy in place as you open your business. Getting your customers might taketime, but one way you can achieve this is through referrals. Excellent customerservice will automatically earn you more referrals.

Also, look at your network offriends, relatives or neighbors who have cars and inform them of your plans tostart a carwash. You could start by giving discounts or even free services, andin turn, they could refer you to more of their friends or colleagues.

Like Hillary Gathambi, yourrecruitment could also be a good marketing strategy if you are planning toemploy people in your carwash. “I got people who had already done the jobbefore, and since they are from around here, they brought some of their longterm customers with them,” he said.

Invest in the right equipment

Before starting a business, taketime to consult other entrepreneurs, especially those running businesses thatare similar or related to what you want to start. This will help you to avoidmistakes that beginners commonly make.

Getting the right equipment foryour carwash will be easier if you talk to other carwash owners. For instance,when choosing a pressure washer, consider its amount of PSI (pound per squareinch).

Generally, car washing is madequick and easy using pressures ranging from 1200 to 2100 PSI. Depending on yourbusiness plan, decide on how many washers you are going to need. Also,determine whether you are going to use an electric machine or one that ispowered by petrol. 

Hillary Gathambi has both machinesfor his carwash business. “I mostly use the electric one because it is cheaperto operate, but the petroleum one really comes in handy during outages,” hetells me.

Just start!

No business is without risk.Hillary has had his fair share of fortune and trouble that has now been broughtby the Coronavirus pandemic. One important thing is you have to start fromsomewhere; sometimes, you don’t have to have everything figured out.

Car washing is not a skill youacquire from going to school; anyone can do this job if they are willing tolearn. “You must be keen to details,” Hillary tells me. He started the businesswith his small home tank for water storage purposes; now, he has managed to buyextra ones for the business.

As we conclude our briefconversation, he informs me of plans to construct a shed after most clientsexpressed the desire to wait as they had their cars washed. Still, a long wayto go for him!

How much did you start with? Icuriously ask as we step away from the noisy pressure washers, “About 150K toset up a simple business like mine, the machines are quite expensive,” saysHillary.