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Starting a Car Business: Complete guide

Setting up a car wash business in Nigeria is very easy especially when you have the right information and resources. It doesn’t require much capital like other businesses but it is a very profitable business.

Car washing is a business that is not bound to time or season. There is no limit to the number of cars you can get a day or time limit which you can operate. Most people even prefer to wash their cars in the cool evening or at night when they are done with the day’s work.

There are many reasons why you will need to start up your own car business and listed below is three of such reasons.

Many people now have cars: Despite the harsh economic condition of the country, the numbers of people that own cars tend to increase by the day. People still manage to buy cars.

Some people use cars to meet up with their personal needs while others use cars for commercial purposes. It is very common in Nigeria for those who cannot afford brand new cars to buy fairly used or second-hand cars.

Car wash business will thrive well in Nigeria since there are many cars that needed to be washed and taken care of. 

Most car owners are busy: The second reason it is good to start a car business is that a lot of car owners do not have time to wash their cars.

Most car owners may not have time to wash their cars regularly after having a hard day at work or doing other activities. They will get tired and need to rest after the day’s work.

The Environment is good for the business: There are two major seasons in Nigeria which are the wet and dry seasons.

The wet season is characterized by heavy rainfall which leads to the roads becoming wet and muddy. This makes the cars get dirty especially the tires. 

The dry season is usually hot and hazy. In some cases, it becomes dusty, especially during the harmattan period. This makes the car gets dirty a lot and they will need regular washing.

Having known the reasons why you should start your own car washing business, there is a need for you to also know the essential things needed to be in place in other for it to become successful.

Below are things you need to do to make the best out of the business.

1. Make a good research

Don’t just jump into the business without making proper and necessary research. If not you may just jump out as soon as you jump in.

You need to go to existing car wash stations and ask questions. Know the challenges they face, the equipment they use, and how you can bring new innovations to the business. This will make you stand out when you eventually start. 

You can also search the internet to know more about the business. Do not make the mistake of starting when you have not gathered adequate information.

2. Get a Good plan and strategy

When you have gathered enough information about the business and how they operate, then, you can have a good plan and well-organized strategy to carry out the plan. 

If you do not have a well-strategized plan for the business, be sure that the business will eventually lead to failure even before you start at all.

When planning, one important thing you need to consider is your financial status. You need to know how much you have and how much you are willing to put into the business. 

Remember, you can start small before you gradually grow the business. So you can start with as low as 100,000 to 200,000 naira. 

You can get your capital from different sources. You can start house to house service to get your capital or you can borrow or collect a loan from any financial institute.

3. Get the most perfect location you can

The location of your business will go a long way in determining whether the business will become successful or not. The location of your business should be along a busy road and should be an area that is easy to access.

Since your targets are car owners, getting a location close to where traffic is high is good and if it is closer to a bar or club, it is better.

The advantage of getting a location close to a bar or clubhouse is that the car owners can relax while their cars are washed. This will make them always want to come back because a typical Nigerian likes fun a lot

4. Get Good equipment

Car wash business is not the type you can use only your hands to do. So, getting good equipment will make the work easier and faster for you. 

The following are the basic and essential equipment you will need for a smooth and successful run of the business.

Automated car wash machine: An automated car wash machine makes washing of the car easier and faster. It is far better than the manual method of washing cars which often leads to fatigue since a lot of energy is required.

Pressure Pusher: Though it is very expensive, it is necessary to get one as soon as you can afford it. Apart from making washing of the cars easier, you can use them to clean every nook and cranny of the car thoroughly.

Source of Water: Car wash business requires a lot of water, so before you start ensure you make arrangements for a steady supply of water.  You can dig a well or a bole hole so that you can get water easily. 

In big cities, you can get water supplied to you from the water board and you pay them monthly. Having at least one water tank for the storage of water is very important. It helps when there is no water through the other means. Remember that without water, you cannot render any service.

Source of Electricity: You will need an adequate supply of electricity since most of the appliances make use of power to work. You will need electricity to pump water from the borehole and to power the equipment.

Due to the state of electricity in the country, getting a generator will be very handy. Make sure you get the kind of generator set that has the capacity to power up all the equipment efficiently.

Other equipment and tools you need include some buckets for fetching water, brushes, towels for drying the cars after washing, vacuum cleaners, polisher, steam washer, hose, and detergent. Make sure to buy detergents that are car-friendly. Some detergents can be harsh to some types of paints. So, you need to get different detergents according to the type of cars or paints to avoid ruining customers' cars and running into unnecessary debt.

5. Get more hands

Except if you do not intend for your business to grow, you will need more hands. There are many unemployed youths out there who are always willing to work. You can employ them to assist so that the workload will reduce. 

Remember, you must not be a car washer before you start the business. You can start the business when you have the finance and interest. You can be the manager, overseeing the affairs of the business, and monitor its progress.

6. Get Licensed and approval

Registering your business comes with benefits. You get legal backing when your business is duly registered by the right agency or authority. You can register it with the Cooperate Affairs Commission (CAC).

Another reason you need to register your car wash business is to avoid complicated issues in the future. The relevant authorities must confirm that your location has good drainage and gutter in other to avoid water from flooding the road.

7. Expand the Business

Do not limit yourself to running only a car wash business alone once you have started making a lot of profit. Look around and think of other things to add in to make extra cash.

Research shows that most big and successful car wash stations are always close to a bar or clubhouse. The clubhouse can also serve as a relaxation center for your customers. Most customers will want to engage in one activity or the other as they wait for their car to be washed. You can open a minibar or clubhouse to entertain your customers.

You can also do a little feasibility study to see other things the area is lacking so that you can see if you can incorporate it with your car washing business. This helps to increase the number of customers.

8. Advertise

Advertisement is an important aspect of making any business successful. Your advertisement must be sharp if you want people to be aware of the services you render in a short period of time.

In major cities like Abuja, Lagos, Port-Harcourt, and Calabar, you can visit their big offices or ministries to create awareness. You can lure these agencies or companies into bringing their vehicles to you for regular washing.

When you follow the tips above, you increase the chances of making your business successful. Remember, there is no rush in business; you have to take things one step at a time.

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