Marketing your car wash

It's a New Year so there's no better time to consider how you can market and advertise your car washing business. It won't cost a fortune and should help improve your wash revenues! So here is my step by step guide.

 

Step 1 - Get your product right!

Make sure the bay has been swept and the actual wash is de-scaled and clean. Is everything on the machine working? If not get it fixed! Also take a look at the wash chemicals to make sure you are getting clean, shiny and dry cars!

Step 2 - Awareness.

The first step to bringing in new customers.

Potential customers must know of your existence, your products and your price range. Make certain your wash has a clear and understandable menu board. Place signage around the site to promote your "super wax" or your "soft and foamy brushes" or whatever your good selling points are. Just pick a colour scheme and stick to it throughout your sites signage. This helps a customer to associate your site with your signage. Many signage companies will give you a price for an 8ft x 4ft sheet which you can then divide, to get as many signs as possible. I would often get four "4ft x 2ft" signs out of 1 sheet which is a cost effective way of having signs made.

Step 3 - Build loyalty.

Keep customers coming back.

In order to build some loyalty, you first need to ensure your wash is consistently good. Introduce a weekly checklist to make certain that things are operating efficiently. This should include keeping the wash bay clean and free of debris, topping up chemicals for the wash and should include somebody actually watching a car go through the equipment, to see that everything works as it should.

It's also a good idea to introduce a loyalty card system. For this you buy business card sized loyalty cards and some ink stamps. Then maybe run a buy 5 washes get 1 free promotion. If you do this though, make sure it is time limited! I usually let this last for 6 months. Try www.vistaprint.ie for a cheap loyalty card/stamp.

Step 4 - Build a network/mailing list

A great, cost effective way to target promotions at your site; is to have a large number of customers able to receive messages from you at the click of a button. So it's a good idea to set up a face book page for the business. To make this work though, you need to keep it interesting and relevant. This can be done by offering face book friends gifts like "a free coffee with every wash. Today only" This makes your face book site interesting to customers. If you aren't computer savvy enough, then surely some one you know is. 

Step 5 - Staff Incentives

Your staff are the best promoters of your car wash facility. So you need to make sure they understand the benefits of your wash so then they can convey this to your customers. Go through the menu board with them and check they understand the different wash packages. You can also run a competition to see who gets the best monthly sales. This is a good way of getting your staff to push your facilities and up-sell the car wash programmes. Remember McDonalds' "Would you like fries with that"

 Step - 6 Build Excitement

For this you can add scented shampoos to your wash, new polymer waxes or coloured foams. Keep your customers interested so you stand out from your competitors.

 

And remember

Without promotion something terrible happens……………..NOTHING!

Happy car washing!

Next Month. Handling wash issues and damage claims!