Nothing unusual – just a car wash. Routine business, mostly local, although there are several chains. But we’ll talk about a single Hand Car Wash and not an automotive car washes. (Automotive ones usually belong to petrol station chain and it is a totally different business).
Hand Car Wash. Serving people from the local community.
More work during summer – it is nice weather, long days, everyone wants a shine and clear car.
Less work during winter – snow/rain/dirt everywhere, you wash the car in the morning – in the evening it is already dirty, no point washing it very often. As a result – fewer clients, problems with the business, struggling to survive.
Any ideas? What do you think owners can do? How they can survive?
Nowadays, first (and the last) idea that comes in mind – Facebook/Instagram and other Social Media. I don’t know WHY, but many business owners think that FB can solve all their promotional problems. Cheap, easy, huge engagement and …… poor results!
Let’s try to understand what is the problem and why it doesn’t give the desired result.
What do business owners try to do? Advertise their business through FB.
What do they advertise? SALE!
50% OFF for every new customer!
Just come to us and we’ll wash your car for half price!
Great! Fantastic! Huge outcome!
Car Wash is busy all day. Owner happy – business is growing!
But wait a minute, please! Is it really that good?
I don’t think so.
Let’s make some calculation:
Does FB advertising cost money? Yes.
Do you still have to pay for water, electricity, rent, etc.? Yes
Do you have to bring additional stuff in order to wash more cars? Yes
And finally, instead of 100% price you receive ONLY 50% of the price!
Another investment? Yes
Business profitability is calculated based on certain parameters. Based on these parameters the owner creates a price. Now, if he starts to operate with HALF price, it means that he incurs losses. And on top of these losses – the price of advertising!
Do you think it is a wise decision?
Probably YES, but only in one case – if ALL these cars become his regular clients.
Are all these cars to become his regular customers? NO WAY! Those clients are a totally different target audience – people, looking for the cheapest price no matter what! Long trip, traffic on the road, waste of time – doesn’t matter! They will ALWAYS look for 1 cent cheaper price. And it means that the owner of this car wash never see them again (unless he will announce 60% sale).
Loss of money and loss of time!
Let’s think “outside of the box” (very fashionable expression). You, like a car wash owner, want to receive permanent clientele, people who will come to you REGULARLY. It is not so important even HOW regular they will come (once a week, once a month, twice a year). The main idea – you know that they will come, you may rely on these clients and you can grow the business based on this clientele.
Who may be the regular client of the car wash? 95% – local people, people who live around. And this is YOUR TARGETED audience. You have to concentrate on it.
A couple of ideas are on the surface:
- Monthly fee (like club payments)
- Additional service – we will take your car, wash it and bring you back (while you watching your son’s football match on Sunday, for example)
A few words about each idea.
You can establish a monthly payment (if someone wants to pay in advance – for a year, for example, it should be a bit cheaper). This monthly payment includes the UNLIMITED amount of car wash per month and these clients serve out of the queue. The main trick – calculate the right monthly payment. It may seem that people will wash cars for free? NO! They will not wash cars more regular that they do it now. But in a low season owner will have guaranteed income and FEWER cars! For the owner, it will be guaranteed income round the year, for the customer – amazing service! Customers will LOVE your attitude and will bring friends and relatives. That what we finally need!
Additional service (maybe any type of service on top of regular)
You don’t want to start with a monthly subscription? No problem. You can add “bring it in and out” service. You know your slow times. You can offer your customers nice and easy service: my personnel will take your car, wash it and bring it back. For the same price (or, maybe, 10% service fee, but I wouldn’t recommend you to do this). What will be the outcome? The trustful connection between you and your clients! They will trust you and understand that you trying to do your best to serve them. They will stay with you forever and will bring you more and more new customers (notice: without ANY advertising!)
At the end of the day, you, as the Car Wash Owner, will decide what to do. Feed FB for one-time customers or build trust between you and your loyal audience.