How To Market Your New Car Wash
Good marketing will make or break a car wash operation. If investors have the best equipment available but fail to let anyone know, they have negated their efforts. Conversely, imagine how a wash could outperform its competition if it had great equipment and stellar marketing.
The most important aspect of wash marketing is visibility. In the automatic sector especially, a car wash is an impulse stop for customers, so the more visible and accessible a car wash, the higher its revenue.
Not only should the wash building itself be highly visible, but wash signs should be well lit, informative, and attractive. Signs can be incorporated tastefully through all aspects of the location, from a sign at the street advertising the wash, to smaller instructional signs in the wash bays. To achieve a professional look, all signs should be consistent in style and color.
Promotions and Discount Programs
To further market a location, operators turn to promotions and discount programs. For example, to generate more business through a slow month in sales, an operator may offer customers one dollar off all automatic washes, or give extra time in self-service bays. This is why it is important to have flexible equipment with easy-to-change programming.
Other promotion ideas include soliciting local businesses and schools for fleet discount programs. Some operators also reward customer loyalty by giving discounts to frequent, faithful customers. For instance, customer purchases could be tracked and rewarded with a free wash after the tenth one purchased.
Updating equipment with new features is also a great way not only to promote the site, but stay ahead of the competition. When equipment is updated, an operator should advertise the improvement and explain how it will benefit the customer.
Of course the best marketing out there is word of mouth. Keep customers satisfied, and they’ll tell their friends and family all about you. To help influence this, operators should always ensure the site is clean and equipment is functioning at its best. It is a good idea for an employee or owner to spend at least a few hours every day cleaning the lot and wash bays. Proper equipment performance relies on timely preventive maintenance. To minimize downtime, an operator should perform preventive maintenance during slow periods of the week and always keep commonly replaced parts on hand for quick repairs.
Marketing should be a constantly evolving process at any wash, and should be among the highest priorities of running a site. Through visibility, accessibility, promotions, and personal contact with the community, operators can ensure their investment is getting the promotion it deserves.