As a car wash owner or operator, attracting new customers is always a high priority. Maybe you’re just starting out, or you could be an established car wash business looking for a boost in sales. Wherever you are, make sure you know how to run your cash and, just as importantly, how to advertise your car wash to attract the most loyal customers. Here are some helpful tips for marketing your car wash to get you started.
Make Marketing A Priority
Be sure you put advertising and marketing high on your list of priorities. It’s easy to focus on the day-to-day operations of running a car wash, but having a marketing plan really is an important part of your business. Even with a great product, you still have to get the word out to bring people in. If you don’t have someone on your staff willing and able to take on the job of marketing, it may be wise to outsource this role.
Your car wash isn’t the Field of Dreams; once you build it, the customers will not come, until they know about it!
Plan Your Work, and Work your Plan
Think of your marketing plan like GPS for a road trip. It gives you the framework to get from your current location to where you want to end up, with the flexibility to make a few pitstops and detours along the way.
First, there are many different types of car washes. You may have a Tunnel Wash System, a Self-Service Wash or an In-Bay Automatic Wash. Knowing the type of wash and how you want to market it should be the first step in your plan. Likewise, here are a few other tips to consider:
- Determine your annual budget for your marketing plan. Knowing how much you can spend keeps your plan realistic and prevents you from ordering billboard space when realistically you can only afford an ad in the local newspaper or a social media post.
- Remember that the goal of your marketing plan is not to simply attract customers, but also to retain your current customers.
- Refer to your plan often and reevaluate to ensure its relevance. If your business changes, your marketing plan needs to change as well.
The signage you choose for your car wash is very important. After all, you want your customers to find you!
- Choose signs that are easy to read, with large lettering that is visible from the road.
- Consider a spot to advertise specials, promotions, etc.
- Clear and concise signage throughout your car wash is key to a pleasant customer experience. Don’t make it too complicated for your customers to see and understand the different car wash options and prices.
- Utilize consistent branding throughout, both inside and out. This means using the same logos, fonts, language, etc.
Start Spreading the News
Once you have your annual marketing budget established, you can explore your different advertising options.
- Local newspaper ads are an economical and effective way to reach those who live or work close to your car wash. Most newspapers have a staff person to design your ad, or you can submit one yourself.
- Billboard space is a great option if it’s in your budget. Scope out spaces in high traffic areas that aren’t too far away from your car wash.
- Advertising on the radio is also something to explore if you have the budget. Since people are often in their cars while listening to the radio, it’s a great way to reach your target audience!
- Reach out to other local businesses. Introduce yourself, offer specials to employees of surrounding businesses. These seemingly small gestures can have a great impact.
- Connect with the community by participating in fundraisers, local business discount cards, event sponsorships, etc. This can include youth sports, shelters, food shelves, etc. Give back to your community and spread the world about your business at the same time.
You didn’t think we would get through this list without a mention of social media, did you? Social media is such an important part of advertising your car wash business. If social media just isn’t your thing, hire it out. It is that important!
If you’re wondering what to post on social media, here are some ideas:
- Advertise specials
- Promote your loyalty program
- Explain what the different wash cycles and options are at your car wash along with pictures
- Feature your employees
- Post pictures of the most interesting cars that have come through your car wash
- Offer a giveaway for your followers if they invite their friends, or tag a friend in a post
Reward Your Loyal Customers
We’ve all heard the saying, ‘It costs more to gain a new customer than to retain an existing one.’ Show your repeat customers some love with customer loyalty programs. The possibilities are endless when it comes to thanking customers for their repeat business. Here are some ideas to get your started:
- Punch card to earn a free car wash
- Discounts if you purchase multiple car washes for future use
- Start a loyalty or membership program offering exclusive discounts and rewards
- Collect customers’ email addresses and send out promotions to encourage repeat business
Count on Reliable Plus
Remember, you don’t have to do this alone! The team at Reliable Plus is here to help you along the way. From site design and installation to maintenance and supplies, Reliable Plus is your dedicated partner.
We want you to reach your full profit potential. We provide the highest quality vehicle wash equipment, parts, chemicals, and service. Get in touch today!