As the opening day for your own car wash approaches, you're probably pretty excited and have your hands full putting your team together and preparing everything for the customers. However, you should also take the time to get to grips with your marketing. Even the best car wash has no customers if no one knows about it.
Why advertise, you might perhaps think, when I have found such a good spot? Of course, it will be easier for your car wash business to attract customers if it is clearly visible, situated directly between a shopping centre and a petrol station. However, not everyone is so lucky, and besides you would only be able to welcome those customers who quickly make up their mind and turn off. So here are a few tips for your advertising strategy right at the opening.
It is ideal if you already have your own website or at least a Facebook page before opening your car wash. Not being found online is unforgivable in this day and age! Ask your friends to like and share your Facebook page. If they live in the same area, this greatly increases the number of those who know about it. Register your car wash in Google Maps, so that it is shown to everyone who searches for a car wash in the area.
Is it even still necessary to advertise outside of the internet, when almost everyone uses it today? Yes! Hardly anyone is so interested in car washes that they actively look them up online if they are not currently wanting to find one. Accordingly, you must ensure that the people in the catchment area of your station get to know it’s there. You can use several means for this, such as
● Ads in the local newspaper
● Report in the weekly newspaper
● Radio advertising
● Billboard advertising
The content of the advertisement should include the same facts each time, namely that your new car wash is opening, where to find it, when it will be available and that there will be an attractive discount on the opening day.
Flyers can be distributed among the people in various ways. Either post them through letterboxes, or you can put them under car windscreen wipers. For both methods, you should schedule a few hours or hire a few helpers.
The printing of flyers, advertisements in the local newspaper and radio and billboard advertising are not so cheap. Accordingly, you should already include a specific item for your advertising material in your business plan.
Billboards are well-suited because people notice them involuntarily as they drive by or walk past. Advertisements in the regional local newspaper will appeal to those interested in life and events in the area. Many people listen to the radio at work or in their cars. With this combination, you can therefore ensure that as many potential customers as possible find out about you.
Of course not everyone gets a report in the weekly paper. But it can be worthwhile asking the editorial staff about this. The easiest way, of course, is if you know someone here who would like to do you a favour. Those responsible are also often on the lookout for news stories from the region. Maybe you will get the chance to talk about your new company and tell exactly what you have in mind.
Stand in the road and look at the area where your car wash is situated. What do you see that tells customers they have arrived? Did you put up a nice, big sign with your company name on it? Does your flag flutter where it can be seen in the wind? Or don't you recognise at first glance what this is about? If the latter is true, you should make improvements.
It is also helpful if you put up signs that are visible from afar along the road that show customers how far they still have to go and where exactly they have to turn. This is even more important if your site is not visible from a distance, but is flanked by buildings. Ask the local authorities for permission to put up the corresponding signs so that you don't get any trouble later.