Our Guide to Car Wash Site Design

Oct 22nd 2018

Investing in Commercial Car Wash Equipment

To have a successful car wash, you need more than offering the right commercial car wash equipment and services for customers. For your business to really take off, it comes down to your site’s design. Appearance, accessibility, and convenience are priorities that need to be considered.

There are many exciting ways your car wash business can take shape, and there isn’t a set road to success. Before you start your car wash design layout, there are some important steps that every entrepreneur should keep in mind.

It All Begins with the Right Location

It may seem obvious, but having the right location is vital for success regardless of how impressive your business plan or equipment may be. Before you settle on a design or key investments in commercial car wash equipment, you need to find the right piece of land and/or real estate. Factors that need to be considered include:

  • Population
  • Competition
  • Street types
  • Car counts

If you have a target area in mind for your facility, you should spend time driving around to get a feel for the neighborhood. Pay attention not just to what properties may be available for sale, but also what businesses are in the area. This gives you an idea of what type of businesses are thriving, along with any potential competitors. And of course you may discover some design aspects to incorporate in your car wash design layout that appeals to your area’s customers.

Research Different Facility Styles, Options

Once you know where you are going to build, you can decide on what type of facility you want. Are you going to cater to strictly personal cars, or will there be room for commercial and public transit vehicles, too? What about having on-site to assist customers or going for a strictly self-serve model that can be open 24 hours a day? All of these considerations are easier to decide on once you know where your building will be and can aid your site plan.

One way to approach this important research is to take a hard look at competitors. What have they done successfully? What are their facilities lacking? By taking a close look at other wash facilities you can discover services that might be in need – which you can offer exclusively to customers and have a larger potential for profits.

Design Your Building for Better Visual Appeal

Once you have the basics for your facility, it’s time to start thinking about its overall and layout. Making a good first impression is critical when starting a new car wash – and that is extremely dependent not only on the commercial car wash equipment you offer, but the overall look. Today, many entrepreneurs are opting for customized layouts to make better use of their specific location. After you’ve done your research and come up with your site plan, then you can create a visual appeal for your structure that meets your goals.

Build a New Facility or a Convert an Old One?

When it comes to implementing your car wash design layout, you’ll have to answer an important question: do you want to build a new facility from the ground up or convert an existing site into your new business? Conversions of old wash locations are popular as many of the traditional full-service models are falling by the wayside in favor of a more “express” approach to vehicle washing. Snatching up one of these properties and outfitting it with the latest commercial car wash equipment can get your business off the ground a lot faster – and for less money. In addition to an expedited opening date, investing in a former wash facility alleviates any concerns of possible zoning issues. You can also use data from the former facility to understand what their customers liked – and what they didn’t. Learning from this previous business will enable you to adapt your layout accordingly, giving your new facility a stronger chance of success.

However, don’t completely discount the idea of building a new structure either. Creating a facility by building new can help you meet your unique vision with a structure designed to fit your needs.

Equipment Upkeep Can Keep Customers Coming Back

How your facility looks is great for bringing in customers, but if you want to have them continue to come back you want to make sure your building is well taken care of. Ensure you provide options in your car wash design layout that will make that job easier with organized bays and equipment that is easily accessible by technicians.

Speaking of technicians, you will want to make sure they routinely provide inspections on all of the commercial car wash equipment you have. Solid engineering can go a long way in maintaining the success of your facility no matter how it is designed.

Make a Marketing Plan

Unless your new business is in a busy area, even the best designed and maintained facility probably won’t draw in enough customers to meet your goals. That is why your site design should be created alongside a solid marketing plan. Your marketing efforts can easily find car wash equipment other commercial washes don’t have or services that aren’t being offered elsewhere. You can also find unique architectural highlights or themed décor that feed into your marketing plan to generate interest in your facility before you even open.

No matter what your “hook” is for your business, don’t get stuck in one frame of mind. The best marketing plans take advantage of customer expectations. Be ready to test out slogans or advertisements ahead of time and collect feedback to refine your ideas. Remember that the most effective marketing strategies are ones that know their customers well and can adapt to changing attitudes.

Always Be Ready to Evolve

The car wash industry is one that is always experiencing changes. New technologies are developed to offer different cleaning options. Vehicle design is constantly changing as well, which calls for different strategies for making sure everything is kept sparkling. Additionally, customer attitudes regarding cleaning chemicals or your site’s environmental footprint can change as well. With this in mind, it’s extremely important that you implement a car wash design layout that has room for flexibility so you can evolve with the times.

If you need any experienced advice on if your site plan can last for the long haul then talk with the experts at N/S Wash. We have the knowledge you are looking for that can let you know if you are on the right track with your design before you start construction – or we can help you refine an existing facility with the latest car wash equipment. Commercial or privately owned, we can help you develop the best car wash site design to stay in business into the future.