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Wednesday, January 17, 2018

How to Start a Professional Car Wash Service in Nigeria

The car wash business is a relatively simple and small sized business to run in Nigeria. There are over 7 million cars in Nigeria with a sizeable number owned by corporate organisations and very busy employees and business owners who need to drive their car around but have little time to actually Wash their cars. 

You can start a car wash service on a low budget or you can start a standard one at a good location, the key factors are finding a great location and observing good customer service. Most car wash businesses in Nigeria are operated by ‘hustlers’ with little or no training in providing the service and are mostly unemployed youths who see it as something to put body and soul together. The few professional car services that exist can typically process 3 to 5 cars every 20 minutes which is very difficult to achieve except you operate with a purely automated service.

Ideal locations for this type of business are conspicuous spots on busy roads, within busy fueling stations, at popular market locations, close to high density car parks etc.

The Opportunities for Car Wash Services in Nigeria

Nigeria is a very dusty country in relation to many Sub-Sahara countries and also has many bad roads which create the ideal environment for frequent car wash needs. The bad state of roads often means pot holes and potholes mean water puddles during the rainy season. Also the high presence of untarred roads means plenty of dust during the dry season which forces many car owners to wash and clean their vehicles every two or three days. If at least 5% of car owners offer their cars to car wash services in Nigeria at least twice a week, that means at least 700,000 cars are washed every week in Nigeria. That is not a bad market if each car wash goes for N500 that means at least 350 million naira weekly sales or at least 18 billion naira per year market from just 5% of the potential market.

There are other related opportunities as well. Washing of rugs, fumigation service and even office cleaning service can be run alongside a professional car wash service. People who have dirty and old rugs often times approach car wash operators to help clean their rugs thoroughly because very often they have the skills and tools to do a thorough job. Add fumigation to it. If there are parasites bugging your home, chances are that someone who runs a professional car wash service would also have the tools to come clear your home of it. Finally many professional office cleaning businesses actually started off as car wash service.

Challenges facing Car Wash Service in Nigeria

But this is rather easier said than done. There are many challenges which could frustrate anyone going into this business. For instance how do you deal with finding a suitable location within a commercial and well populated area and that is not an easy task. Even when you find one you have to contend with task force, street urchins, high rent costs etc. Another challenge is with fraud. What if in your absence your employees wash some cars but don’t remit the money to you. How do you know if you are being defrauded or not? How would you determine how many cars you actually washed compared to the amount you got?   

Startup Summary Cost for Standard Car Wash Service in Nigeria

  • Rent Cost – 180,000
  • Car Wash Port – 150,000
  • Construction and Renovations – 200,000
  • Car Wash Equipment – 150,000
  • Borehole – 150,000
  • Water Reservoir – 50,000
  • Adverts and Printing – 30,000
  • Initial 3 months Salaries – 240,000
  • Other Operating Costs – 300,000
  • Total – N1,450,000