Business plans are an important part of every new franchise’s start-up process. But despite their importance, new franchisees can sometimes find it hard to perfect their plans. So here are 5 tips for building the perfect business plan for your new car wash franchise.
The car wash industry is rich, diverse and awash with opportunity. If you’ve decided that you want to make a career change with a car wash franchise, or are interested in how to start a car wash franchise, one of the first things you’ll need to do is put together a business plan. But in such a competitive sector, how can you put together a business plan that really stands out?
How to create a business plan for a car wash franchise
Regardless of what sector you’re working in, and whoever is reading it, every business plan should contain a number of key elements:
- An executive summary
- A business description
- Financial projections
- Product descriptions
- A management summary
- Market analysis
- Business premises
- Sales and marketing plans
The plan will change and evolve in time, so not all of these details will be set in stone, but having the above indications in every version of your plan will help keep all your major stakeholders involved and on top of your changing business.
So what else should go into a good business plan?
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1. Good research
Business plans are an opportunity for you to display your knowledge of the sector, the market and your competition. So having a bank of good research at your disposal is a great place to start. You won’t need to have an encyclopaedic knowledge of the market, but being able to pull out some key indicators and stats is a great place to start.
You should take a look at some of the big companies in the sector, major trends, growth figures, and anything else that catches your eye.This will all help you create a detailed contextual background against which you can set your brand new business idea.
Self-analysis of both yourself and your business is an essential skill for any new franchisee. While you may have a number of different skills, assets and employees that each bring something different to your business, there will always be things that you can improve on.
And neither your franchisor, nor your other stakeholders, will thank you for not addressing your weaknesses. Every business has something it can improve on, and it will be your job as a franchisee to identify and address these weaknesses before they cause your franchise business any further problems. Although it shouldn’t be a signposted part of your plan, give an indicative list of additional training and support you think you might need.
You’ll need to include some detailed, but concise, financial figures about your franchise. This will certainly need to include figures about your future growth, revenue, market size and other important bits of research, but you will need to go beyond this as well.
Franchising is a great way to run a business while minimising many of the traditional costs that independent businesses face. This doesn’t necessarily mean there aren’t costs to pay though. According to the British Franchise Association, the average cost of setting up a franchise business is around £42,200. Unfortunately, many car wash franchises require investments above this threshold.
As a result, you’ll need to be clear on how you intend to finance your franchise. Many high street banks will lend up to 70% of your start-up costs, so you may choose to pursue financial support through that avenue. Your franchisor may have alternative funding avenues, so you might find it better to go through those channels. But be clear and up-front about how you intend to pursue financing, and also how you intend to pay it back.
4. Indicate a location
Car washes could operate in a number of different and high footfall areas: Shopping centres, garages, and petrol stations are some examples. And although your franchisor will have their own advice and guidance on how to find the right location for you, it is worth indicating a location or locations that you would choose to operate in.
This is another good chance to show off your research, but don’t be afraid of being even more ambitious. If your franchisor is open to van-based and mobile working, feel free to suggest it as a possibility. Every franchisor brings something new, whether it be skills or experience, so being open about your future plans and new ways of working is what makes each franchisee such an attractive candidate.
It’s fairly self-evident that when it comes to car washing, your business is only as strong as your equipment. Very simply, if your equipment isn’t working, you won’t be able to wash cars - unless you’re planning on doing it by hand! So produce a rough inventory of things that will help you get the job done.
Ultimately, your franchisor will be the one providing the majority of the equipment, so while you might not get all the top-of-the-line equipment you want, you will still need to make do with what you get. Consider producing a rationale as well. Put forward one or two arguments for why having certain equipment and tools will be good for business and your reputation.
Start your own car wash franchise today
If there’s one thing you can be sure of as a car wash franchisee: you’ll never have a lack of business. With millions of cars already on the road, it’s only a matter of time before some of them arrive at your door asking for a tidy up. The sooner you get started, the quicker you can look to cash in on some of these profits.
But if this sector isn’t quite what you had in mind, there’s no reason to panic. On the UK franchise directory, you can find a full list of available franchising opportunities, and you’ll be able to filter between your specific needs to find the right sector and franchise for you. There’s never been a better time to begin a franchise, so get started today.
Elliott Fudge, Point Franchise ©