The proper location for any business is critical to its success. You have heard the old saying “Location, Location, Location!” when it comes to dealing with real estate and this fully applies to the car wash business. Once you have determined the population of your general potential area, and determined that is sufficient to support a new car wash, you then can start to look for the physical piece of land.
The size of the lot you will need is obviously going to depend, for one thing, on the size of the car wash you intend to build. A four bay car wash will need more physical space than a two bay. How many access points does a piece of property have? Are there access points from two or more different streets?
Some general rules of thumb for the lot it self are as follows:
1) A corner lot is best as it potentially allows for multiple points of entry and exit. Ideally look for four curb cuts; two entrance and two exit. Think convenience for your potential car wash customers. If they can get in easily and out fast they are more likely to swing in!
2) The side of the road you are on will make a difference as well. If your potential car wash location is on the edge of town ideally you want one on the side of the road a large part of the population uses to return home at the end of the work day. This also applies with ease of entry and exit if one side of the road is easier to navigate than the other (perhaps due to split lanes, a high traffic business, or a divided roadway).
3) A lot that allows the exit of your car wash bays to face the main street is best. The more you think in terms of speed and convenience for your potential customers the better off you will be. Make it easy for folks to visit your business and they will. Make it a pain in the butt and they won’t.
4) A lot that allows at least two cars to stack up per bay in the waiting area is considered optimal. Less than that and you may be dealing with too little space for a really profitable business.
5) Are all necessary utilities present on the lot? Electric, water, sewer, gas? Are the services coming to from the lot large enough to handle the capacity of the size of car wash you intend? Again, a good issue to chat about with your local power or water and sewer authority.
6) Is the lot correctly zoned for a car wash? Visit your local planning and/or zoning department to get a zoning map. While you are there pickup a “Future Land Use” map to see what sort of development and road expansion you can expect in the future.
There are many different variables to consider. Getting in touch with a professional from a car wash construction firm or reputable business advisor with experience in this field will be well worth it. A great business plan with fantastic financial backing will do nothing if you’ve got a bad location for your car wash.