It’s difficult to find people who’ll sit you down and disclose everything about the car wash business in Nigeria. Even when you find them, they’ll discourage you with all sorts of unpromising words about starting a car wash in Nigeria. Your presence here today is one of the excellent decisions you’ve ever made and we’re here for you.
Setting up a car wash in Nigeria is not as difficult as ‘they’ say, it will also not be easy if you don’t do the right thing. Nevertheless, it takes just 2 things to set up a profitable car wash in Nigeria – (1) yourself and (2) strategy.
This article is an all-in-one guide for the car wash business in Nigeria. You will be drilled on the basics of starting a successful car wash business in Nigeria and how to run a successful car wash in Nigeria. Moreover, this article answers the question, “how much do I need to start car wash in Nigeria?”
Do you know you can venture into scraping old vehicles for money?
Requirements for Car Wash Business in Nigeria
Registered Land or a Free Space
Certified land or space (rented or free) is a necessary requirement. Before considering any other requirement, ensure that there is a land in place. Most importantly, the land in question must be acknowledged by the local or state government. Do not, for any reason, attempt to erect a car wash on an unregistered land to avoid a penal consequence.
A car wash is better constructed on a landed space of at least 50ft by 50ft half plot of land. Below this size, car owners in Nigeria may consider your car wash an unserious establishment. It should cost 3 million Naira for purchase and about an annual 170,000 Naira for renting depending on the location. Depending on the budget, the land size can be made bigger. For larger investments, about 7,000 square feet is ideal for land.
When starting a car wash business in an environment where you’re uncertain of high returns, don’t buy a whole land. It is recommended that you rent for a few months, study the market and make final decisions.
A storeroom is not very necessary if there is an alternative for storing basic washing equipment. Depending on the size of the land, the storehouse should take a quarter or half a quarter of the landmass. You can further build a sitting space in front of the storeroom for customers who would prefer to sit back while their car is washed.
Budget-wise, go for a simple storeroom for a start. For a concrete storeroom, you’ll spend an estimated 300,000 Naira for a sizeable concrete storeroom. A container storehouse would make a good storehouse as well. A 20ft storage container costs 350,000 Naira while a 40ft storage container amounts to 700,000 Naira. It appears a concrete storeroom would be cheaper depending on the price of building materials in the region.
Source of Water
Do not depend on any water service company for water. The minimal cost of drilling a borehole in Nigeria is 120,000 Naira. If you’re interested in extended services, be ready to splash even more but it will not exceed 500,000 Naira.
Water is essential, as you already know. You need to store water which is why a water tank is required. A 10,000 litres tank costs 300,000 Naira while a 3,000 litres tank goes for 65,000 Naira. Either of these two is perfect for the car wash business in Nigeria. If you intend to spend less, opt for a 1,500 litres water tank but be ready to refill the water tank often.
Handheld or Auto Washing Machine (optional)
Unless you want to begin with manual hand wash, a washing machine would be required for the car wash business in Nigeria. A 1400 watts handled electric pressure washing machine costs 60,000 Naira. You could well get a high-pressure car washing machine like Karcher K2.360 which costs 90,000 Naira. For a massive budget, you may have to consider an automatic car wash machine that costs 12 million Naira. If the environment you’re situating your car wash business in Nigeria is not luxurious, don’t go for an automatic car wash machine. The cost will be higher and car owners within that resident may not subscribe to the package.
A Toilet Facility
You can build this outside or within the storeroom depending on how large it is. If for no reason, for the sake of customers, erect a toilet facility for convenience. This attracts an extra cost but it’s very helpful considering how to start a successful car wash business in Nigeria. A set of Twyford WC costs 25,000 Naira and can be lower depending on the WC type. If you’d like to splash more money, consider the England Twyford that will cost up to 85,000 Naira.
The interiors of most cars are designed with rugs. It is tougher to remove debris from rugs manually and the job is often poorly done with the hand. Getting a vacuum cleaner makes the job less stressful and clean. It is not a must to get one if you can’t afford it at the moment. But then, be ready to scrub or instruct your staff to thoroughly scrub the rugs in cars. If it is of interest, you may acquire a 20-litre vacuum cleaner of 1200 watts at 40,000 Naira. Lesser specs cost low while higher specs cost more; make your decision but this class of vacuum cleaner is recommended.
For the sake of refilling the water tank and powering the vacuum cleaner, the minimum specification should be a 6.5HP and 2.8 KVA AC output petrol generator. Power source lower than this may not be able to power the water pump, that’s if it does not damage the pump. Moreover, the bigger the power source, the easier and more flexible the car wash business.
- Water buckets
- Tyre brushes
- Car washing detergents/chemicals
- Cleaning Fabrics
- Water hose
These are the basic things you require for the business. Over time, you will identify the need for other tools and bring them into the business. For now, stick to these requirements and do not overdo.
How to Start Car Wash Business in Nigeria Successfully
Understand the Market Situation
Just like every other market, the car wash market is competitive in Nigeria. Nevertheless, the level of competition is such that newcomers will easily adapt to within a few days. The car wash business in Nigeria is an interesting venture. Why? It is one of the few enterprises that accommodate both high and low investors. You practically don’t have to spend too much to make a name in the business. In fact, a few smart strategies are all you require to cash out in the industry.
To perfectly practice how to run a successful car wash in Nigeria, there are certain things you should not deviate from. These are the doctrine of a profitable car wash in Nigeria and they include the following:
- Permit part-time workers.
- Never charge excess no matter the look of your facility.
- It is better to have two power sources (probably 2 generators).
- Don’t restrict car owners from parking in your space even if they don’t need your services.
- You may deliver a poor job and be forgiven but don’t inconvenience customers by not washing on time.
- Accept part washing services.
- Employ ideas that your fellow competitors are not using.
Make Your Budget
This guide on how to start car wash in Nigeria has mentioned the cost of the basic equipment. The best way to make your budget is to first write down what each of the equipment would cost. Note also that the cheaper the basic equipment, the lower its ability. For example, a 1,000 litres tank won’t be able to wash up to 10 vehicles without being refiled. This does not mean you should spend in a manner that will affect the capital. Go for moderately priced items and do not buy what is not really necessary.
If the budget, for instance, can’t afford a steam washing machine, leave it out. With time, you’d be buoyant enough to buy as much as you require.
For now, let’s leave out the estimated cost of starting car wash business until the end of this article. Meanwhile, are you considering getting a loan for the business? If the startup of this car wash is a loan, request for an extended repayment period.
Pick a Business Environment
Even if there are hundreds of car wash already established in your preferred area, you can still thrive there. But then, prepare for high competition. The mistake most investors moving into a competitive environment make is failing to rapport with fellow competitors. If you find a low-competitive or non-competitive environment, lucky you but if you don’t please submit to the already established competitors in that environment.
Try to employ some sort of unity sales among your fellows and with time, you’d be getting referrals from them. This implies that the relationship is plausible and you can easily realize your massive car wash business profit in Nigeria.
The traditional way of doing this is just a mere introduction. It could be that there is an established union which, of course, you have to be a part of. In essence, whether the environment is highly competitive or lowly competitive, you will still make gains even with small capital.
Choose a Great Business Title and Logo
Concerning how to start car wash in Nigeria, you need a great business title and such that accommodates. In a multi-ethnic country like Nigeria, do not opt for a business title that segregates. Honestly, Nigerians pay attention to these things and may likely avoid your establishment. In essence, pick a business name that welcomes all entities or pick for a general name that is non-Nigerian. You do not necessarily have to include ‘Car Wash’ in the business title and it should be something poetic and inspiring.
Here are a few things to consider while choosing a business title.
- The uniqueness of the name (don’t pick what others are using).
- The poetry behind the business title.
- Does it accommodate all Nigerians?
- It must be simple and not lengthy.
- Does it conflict with that of your competitors?
- How does the business title inspire you?
- If you’re using your name, fine, but make it stylistic.
Concerning the logo, a graphics designer should provide something elegant. You may go online and pick a lovely logo that the graphics designer should replicate. Do not use the logo of another company to avoid confusion or getting sued by the owner. These days, people sue for anything.
A Business Plan is Important
A few years back, one could establish a business that is highly profitable without a business plan. Today, it’s different and those who don’t adapt to the trend often lag in some areas of the business.
If for nothing, a proper business plan serves as a vision of the car wash business. It is what the business will depend on, although not necessarily, and that’ll help everyone to remain on course. According to the WordWeb Dictionary, it is “a summary of how a business owner, manager, or entrepreneur intends to organize an entrepreneurial endeavour and implement activities for the venture to succeed”.
You can see from this that modern businesses all over the world require this plan book to be aware of what they are doing. Moreover, if you are to attract sponsors, it is this plan that describes the goal of the business and that convinces them to key into your vision.
Register the Business
Getting your car wash business registered in Nigeria is a 24-hour affair. Depending on the contacts you make, it may extend to 48 hours or more. If you do not understand the process, contact the registration agents but you will compensate their efforts.
Meanwhile, here is a quick rundown of the process:
- Simply, log on to Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) portal and check for the availability of your business name.
- Fill the given Statutory Form (FORM BN1) and submit.
- Make payment as provided and print out the Business Name Form BN.
- Provide your signature where it is needed and submit a completed Statutory form alongside 2 passport photographs.
- A means of ID will be required alongside the payment receipt for the initial transaction.
Finally, CAC will provide a Certificate of Registration and CTC of Application for the Registration of the business name. Guess what? You’re done. Lastly, the CAC official fee for business name registration is 10,000 Naira. Note that this fee is subject to changes.
Invite a Business Expert
This is not a necessary aspect of how to run a successful car wash in Nigeria. Nevertheless, if you have the resources to do so, it’s commendable. It does not directly impact the car wash business profit in Nigeria but it contributes to the business. Would you hire an expert to clarify things and make suggestions for the business? If you’re doing that, it’s one of the appropriate ways to boost your relevance in the market.
Employ Effective Strategies
A proper business strategy is such that gives you an advantage over competitors. It does not matter whether competitors have an ultramodern car wash system or invested billions. Once the strategy is intelligent enough, you’d be soaring high.
Let’s consider some of the simple strategies to increase car wash revenue and establish a competitive advantage over competitors in Nigeria.
- Don’t depend on old-time customers.
- Employ a catchy pricing strategy.
- Make a simple service menu.
- Provide vehicle maintenance tips to customers.
- Ask customers for opinions concerning your services.
- Be jovial with staff but not careless.
- Gift packages to deserving customers.
- Offer home services.
- Offer minor services without charges.
For minor services without charges, implement this on services like carpet washing jobs, windscreen wiping. Set out days for offering free washing services on specific parts of a vehicle. For example, you may advertise something like:
“Every Saturdays, washing 2 tyres is free!”
Lastly, do not spy on competitors but study your competitors closely. Find out the services they do not offer and introduce them to your services menu. By the way, do you know what is called ‘Staff Impact’? It’s being discussed as you read on.
Run an Advertisement Campaign
No matter what, do not rule out the impact of running advertisements. A simple placement of flier along the street can attract you a customer the next day. Therefore, it is a decent practice concerning how to run a successful car wash in Nigeria to run advertisements.
Facts About Running Ads
- The value of running advertisement campaigns is now at the brim of success.
- Millions of businesses now spend almost a quarter of their profit on running ads because of the positive impact.
- There are several affordable mediums to advertise the business.
- You may choose to run social media ads or make use of a local Radio/Television company.
- Using Radios and TVs costs a lot and you’re advised to run social media adverts especially on Facebook.
- In fact, Facebook ads are ideal. Simply, instruct the ads manager to make the ads target residents within your car wash as well as people between the ages of 23 and 75 years.
We recommend hiring an advertisement agency and spending at most 10,000 Naira for a start to see the conversion. If you don’t advertise, your business will still yield but advertisement makes it grow faster and become more popular.
Appoint a Manager
This does not mean hiring a professional business manager. Choose the best from the available staff to oversee the activities of others. As a form of encouragement, consider topping the earning of that staff.
Note: It’s unhealthy to choose head-staff for personal reasons.
Some of the qualities that an ideal staff-manager should possess include but not limited to the following:
- Sound communication.
- Ability to coordinate.
- Indirect impact on the business.
- Must be preferred by other staff.
- The zeal to learn, etc.
These and a few more are what make up an ideal staff-manager. You may as well appoint others, if you have more than 5 staff, to overlook certain aspects of the business whether you’re present or absent from the business.
Staff Impact (Takeaway idea)
This is a critical subject concerning how to run a successful car wash in Nigeria. To stay up in the car wash market in Nigeria, select the best as staff. It does not end at selecting as you have to train them on how to do the job, respond to clients and render apologies for errors.
If you’re inexperienced in the business, hire someone to train them for a couple of days. Customer-staff communication matters and some individuals lack this attribute which may lead to losing a customer. So, try to study your staff ability to handle critical mental problems. If there are lags, train them.
The requirement for Staff Qualification
- At least an O-Level certificate.
- 50% ability to communicate in English.
- Must be able to read and write with at least 50% proficiency in English.
- Timely presence in the business.
The Importance of Employee Motivation
Despite being the boss, employee happiness matters. If an employee(s) is emotionally down due to harsh treatment, it affects the business. Be jovial and reward any deserving employee seasonally. When the employee is happy, he/she will be motivated to give 100% for the car wash investment to grow.
How Much Should You Charge for Car Wash in Nigeria?
Sedan and Hatchback Cars
General Car Wash: 1,000 Naira to 1,500 Naira
Only Body Wash: 800 Naira
Internal Cleaning: 500 Naira
Engine Room Services: 1,500 Naira
Tyre Services: 50 Naira Per Tyre
Radiator Flush: 500 Naira
General Car Wash: 1,300 Naira to 1,500 Naira
Only Body Wash: 1,000 Naira
Internal Cleaning: 500 Naira
Engine Room Services: 1,500 Naira
Tyre Services: 70 Naira Per Tyre
Radiator Flush: 500 Naira
General Wash: 3,000 Naira to 4,500 Naira
Only Body Wash: 2,000 Naira
Internal Cleaning: 1,000 Naira
Engine Room Services: 2,000 Naira
Tyre Services: 100 Naira per tyre
Radiator Flush: 500 Naira
Buses and Vans
General Car Wash: 1,500 Naira to 1,500 Naira
Only Body Wash: 900 Naira
Internal Cleaning: 1,000 Naira
Engine Room Services: 1,500 Naira
Tyre Services: 60 Naira per tyre
Radiator Flush: 500 Naira
How Much Do I Need to Start Car Wash in Nigeria?
You need 1,070,000 Naira to start an average car wash in Nigeria. Below this price, you’ll be establishing a below-average car wash business in Nigeria. Below is how we are able to estimate the starting cost for a car wash in Nigeria:
Rented Land (half plot) – 200,000 Naira (annual rent)
Purchased Land (half plot) – 3 million Naira (not included)
Concrete – 300,000 Naira (minimal)
A Container (20ft) – 350,000 Naira (not included)
c. Toilet Facility:
Average Cost – 185,000 Naira
d. Borehole Drilling:
Least Cost – 120,000 Naira
e. Water Tank:
3,000 Litres – 65,000 Naira
f. Washing Machine:
Handheld – 60,000 Naira
Automatic – 12 million Naira (Not included)
g. Vacuum Cleaner:
20 Litres / 1,200 watts –
2.8 KVA AC Petrol Generator – 90,000 Naira
Note: We have not the items with “Not Included” in the estimated cost of starting the business.
Is Car Wash Business a Good Investment in Nigeria?
Yes, the car wash business is a good investment in Nigeria, especially in the metropolitan or town areas. The car wash business in the rural area may not boom and profit may not be high enough. All in all, the business is a good investment to make in Nigeria with high returns.
Car Wash Business Profit in Nigeria
Honestly, it is difficult to ascertain the profit. Nonetheless, this will be determined by the number of cars you handle in a day. For 30 cars in a day, depending on the services you’d offer, you’ll make an estimated 23,000 Naira or more.
- Be mindful of the cars parked in your car wash.
- Dismiss employees with criminal records.
- Permit part-time workers within your premises but be vigilant.
- Make your brand TRUSTWORTHY.
This article broadly accesses the startup of a car wash business in Nigeria. To be successful, you must make the move because no good story comes without making attempts to write the story. Meanwhile, here are the latest Nigerian road rules you should disclose to customer.
If you are starting this alone, it won’t be a simple surf. Nevertheless, it will become bearable as time goes. We’d have mentioned challenges but there isn’t much of it in this business. Over time, you’ll find customers complaining about what to do with their rickety cars, be of help.
Start simple and keep it simple until you gather enough riches to make your business a banger in Nigeria.
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