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Buying A Self-Serve Car Wash Business: What Should My Expectations Be?

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Comments & Replies: 2     Views: 3404     Posted By: Peter Siegel MBA  Peter Siegel MBA: BizBen Founder, ProBuy/ProSell Program Director



Topics: Buying A Business     Tags: buying a business



Owning and operating a car is a necessity for most Americans. Some use their vehicles to simply get from point a to point b, others use their cars to transport a large family or product for business, and some own fast, expensive sports cars to bring them joy on a daily basis. Whatever the reason is for owning a motor vehicle of any kind, keeping it looking vibrant and new is surely the best way to prove that you care about your assets. Taking pride in owning and maintaining a 4-wheeled asset is crucial when it comes to representing yourself in a professional manner.

If you are interested in owning a self-serve car wash, you are interested in giving people the opportunity to take care of a possession that may be the most valuable to them. Before purchasing a car wash of any kind, you must understand that the industry of car washing as a whole will provide you with plenty of competition. More importantly, depending on what your interests are, you will identify what kind of car wash you want to run. If you have determined that a self-serve car wash is the best fit for your needs, then you will want to look for a deal that is consistent with 98 percent of other self-serve transactions, and ensure that the car wash includes the real estate, equipment, and assets as well. You can determine the value of the car wash by multiplying the annual gross sales by a factor of anywhere between 3 and 5.

Car washes are almost entirely a cash business, with the average customer spending roughly $1.00-$2.00 for every 4 minutes spent washing their car. When doing your due diligence, you will want to make sure that the seller has kept accurate books for the past 3 years, as cash businesses allow for higher risk for the buyer. Only keeping a few months of business in the books can not only mean that the seller is shady, but that the numbers may not accurately represent the business being brought in year-round. Because the cost of washing your own car isnít very high, one way of maximizing your income without driving up your costs for customers is to have multiple bays. A good rule of thumb is to have 1 bay available for every 1,000 local residents, with the idea that every bay should bring in $250-$450 per week. The amount of money you make will be dependent on the easily-accessible location that you conduct your business in, your high-quality customer service, and your consistent and loyal clientele.


  Helpful Resources To Assist In Selling And Buying California Businesses
Ranvir S. Sandhu, Esq. - Legal Services For Buyers And Sellers

I've worked at top Bay Area law firms and have extensive experience with business entity formation, mergers, dissolutions, conversions, employment matters, including experience in reviewing and negotiating transactional documents such as leases and purchase agreements.

Willard Michlin, CPA, Certified Fraud Examiner, Due Diligence Services

Willard Michlin, CPA #106752, offers buyers step by step training & assistance in doing Due Diligence Services when they are thinking of making an offer, or are in process of investigating a business purchase. He helps to determine the actual net profit even when there is cash. Call 805-428-2063.

Michael Davidson, Business Broker - Southern California

Los Angeles Business Broker providing M&A quality services for Small Business Owners. We leverage our technology and expertise to Simplify & Expedite the Business Sales Process. Matching the right buyer with the right business is how we define success.

William Park, Business Broker - Southern California

Highest Volume Broker in California, Simply Check our HUNDREDS of Listings! Over 25 Associates, Speaking Dozen Languages, Helping Buyers and Sellers of Small Business since 1982, Centrally Located between Los Angeles and Orange Counties, while Riverside & San Bernardino Counties are Very Accessible.

Michael Floorman, Business Broker, BTI, San Francisco Bay Area

Business Team, San Jose (Campbell) located in the Pruneyard Towers at Bascom and Hamilton. Established in 1981 Business Team with over 6600 sales to date has 1000 business listings to choose from, paid Google advertising. We offer highly trained and experienced professionals.

Abdul Jobah, Business Broker, Central Valley, Kern County

As A Real Estate Agent, I offer my clients assistance with the sale or purchase of commercial properties and/or businesses. Please contact me if you are looking to sell or buy a Central Valley business. If at any time you have any questions please do not hesitate to call me at 661-703-3916.

Brad Steinberg, Broker - Laundromat Specialists

PWS is the leading laundromat broker in California. Since 1968 PWS has brokered over 2,500 laundromat sales. With over 90 employees dedicated to the coin laundry industry, PWS has 18 licensed agents, a 3 person in-house finance department, 10 service technicians and a 20 person parts department.

Harry Sidhu, CBB, Broker - SF Bay Area, Central Valley, SAC Region

Assisting both sellers and buyers of businesses - dealing mainly with Liquor Stores, Grocery Markets, Gas Stations, Smoke Shops, Restaurant Related, Retail Related, Service Related. Serving SF Bay Area, North Bay, Sacramento area. Call Harry Sidhu, CBB for assistance at 510-366-6130.


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