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Owning a car wash can be a lucrative business. Entrepreneurs are attracted to the industry by the lure of low overhead and high income potential. Becoming a car wash owner does not require any particular level of education; you need management experience and a desire to work for yourself.
Car Wash Options
The duties of a car wash owner vary depending on the style of car wash. There are essentially three different types. The conveyor system pulls the car through an indoor washing tunnel while machines and employees perform various cleaning services along the way. Self-service car washes are free standing; the customer drives into a washing bay and uses the provided equipment to wash his own car. The third type of car wash is automatic, where the customer pulls into the washing bay and machines wash the car without the assistance of an employee. The various types of car washes require different levels of responsibility and supervision.
Management of Employees
The car wash owner manages and supervises staff. It's your responsibility to fill open positions, train and supervise the work of your employees. The number of workers you need depends on the type of car wash you own. For a conveyor system, you need a full staff of employees to clean the cars as they move through the tunnel and provide customer service. For automatic and self-service establishments, you may not need to hire any employees depending on how much responsibility you take on yourself. If you are not willing to clean or collect money, you may hire a manager to complete these tasks.
Collecting Your Money
The owner ensures that all money is collected. For automatic and self-service car washes, patrons typically deposit bills or coins into a machine. You collect the money on a regular basis and make sure your change machines are fully stocked. For a conveyor car wash, a cashier is usually accepts payments from the customers. The owner ensures that accounting is correct and bank deposits are made. You also create a budget for payroll and expenses.
Maintaining the Establishment
A car wash owner ensures that the facility is properly maintained. You pay for the necessary utilities, including the electricity and water bills. You also keep the facility clean, emptying the trash and cleaning the general grounds. The owner must maintain all equipment in working order and make repairs as needed. As a car wash owner, you should secure liability insurance to protect your business against civil claims.
Erika Winston is a Washington, D.C.-based writer, with more than 15 years of writing experience. Her articles have appeared in such magazines as Imara, Corporate Colors E-zine and Enterprise Virginia. She holds a Juris Doctor degree from Regent University and a Masters in public policy from New England College.
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