How Building Car Washes Is a Lot Like Poker

Are you considering building a car wash in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky or Illinois?

If so, let’s talk about poker for a minute.

Building car washes can be a long, somewhat complex process with an almost unlimited number of variables. I’ve often compared a start-up car wash to playing poker, and here’s why: in poker, the answer to most questions of how to play literally any hand is, “Well, it depends.”

With any strategy game you must consider your competition. How strong are the other players at the table? Do they know every card dealer by name and live in the casino? Or are they just visiting from out of town looking to play a few hands to pass the time? This is a very important question to ask yourself when contemplating constructing a car wash. Where are you sitting at the “table?” Your location, or position, at the table is essential to calculating what starting hands you’ll play, how much you’ll wager and when to simply fold and wait for the next hand.

Another key to success is simply a question of time. How much time (and other resources) are you willing to dedicate to the game? Is poker a hobby, a career or a game that simply requires too much time, money and effort to be the best at the table?

And like poker, starting any business means that your investment is at stake. When the competition raises the stakes, are you ready or willing to ante up? Is there a bit of gambler in you?

Those are a lot of questions, we know. Before you throw in your cards and fold, however, we’d like to ask one more question: How great would it be to have an expert sitting beside you through every hand, guiding you in making the best decisions with the cards you have?

That is exactly what we do at Harrell’s Car Wash Systems. We aren’t here to simply provide equipment and wish you luck. That’s not how we do business. At the start of every new car wash project, we start with an in-person market pro forma or feasibility study to identify all the variables applicable to your scenario (or, in poker lingo, we take a look at your hand and see what we think you can do with it). We can help you identify key players in your market and strategies to best position you for success.

The best location to open a car wash also varies significantly depending on the type of wash you want to start. A tunnel style car wash, for instance, typically requires a higher level of investment and time. This necessitates a very strong traffic count, population density and/or retail environment in order to be profitable. By comparison, in-bay automatic washes can generally be built with lower levels of traffic, population and retail. There are countless other market variables that need to be accounted for before a project can move forward. Land zoning requirements, ingress/egress, car stacking, turn radius, incomes, etc. all need to be considered. Finally, how much time can you dedicate to this business? How involved will you be on a daily basis and will it be your primary source of income?

How will you play the next hand? What type of car wash is best for you? Well, it depends… Don’t let the unknown keep you from having a winning hand in this thriving industry. When you have Harrell’s on your side, it’s like having an ace up your sleeve! Give us a call today to get started. We’re the Midwest’s leading car wash distributor, and we’ll bring our expertise to the table to guide you from start to finish.

Building a Car Wash