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"To live at this time is an inestimable privilege, and a sacred obligation devolves upon you to make right use of your opportunities."

- Grenville Kleiser (1868-1953) American Author

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Business plan

People & Planet  

This business makes a positive difference by...

  • Giving them more time to spend with their families on the weekend.
  • Helping out elderly or disabled people who may be unable to clean their cars themselves.
  • Making someone feel good because they know that they are helping you develop your business skills.
  • Moving one step closer to being a great business person who will have the potential to help even more people in the future.
  • Making sure soapy water and dirt doesn't enter storm water drains - It is a pollutant and affects water quality, plants and animals.
  • Washing cars on pavement which slopes towards a lawn which can absorb the soapy water, or on grass or gravel.

Before You Start

Do Some Market Research

Conduct a quick survey among your neighbours and friends asking them:

  • How many cars do they have?
  • How often do they wash their car?
  • Would they want someone to wash their car for them?

This would give you a clear idea on how your business will perform - you wouldn't want to sell sand in Africa!

Things You'll Need

Yup, it's everything you need for a wicked water fight… oops… I mean a highly professional car-washing operation!

  • Access to a hose
  • Soft Brushes 
  • Wash mitt or sponges - Sheep skin wash mitts or 100% cotton sponges work best.
  • Buckets 
  • Good cleaning products - It's NOT a good idea to use whatever you find in the cupboard - You may find you clean off the entire surface of the car along with the dirt!! 
  • Wax or finishing products if you're going to do a really classy job!
  • 100% cotton towels - although all towels appear soft, some materials may scratch the car.
  • Chamois for drying, especially the windows

If you plan on cleaning the inside of cars as well you will also need:

  • An extension cord - in case the vacuum cleaner doesn't reach the car
  • A vacuum cleaner - if you agree to provide this.
  • A carpet brush
  • Carpet Stain Remover / Upholstery cleaner

To stay organised, you should:

  • Keep a notebook diary
  • Write down the dates and times of all your car-washing jobs.
  • Keep a good record of the hours you work
  • Keep track of money with a receipt / invoice book
  • Keep track of all the money you collect and are owed.  
  • Your income minus your expenses = your profit.
  • Set personal saving goals to motivate you to save.

Have an Agreement that both you and your client sign.

Include things like:

  • What date and time you will clean their car, and how often.
  • How much money they will pay you, and when they will pay you.
  • A place for both of you to sign.

If you're unsure what to charge, look in the local paper, or ring up places in the Yellow Pages offering car-washing or valet services to see what they charge.

Finding Clients

Yes, I am the famous car-washing extraordinaire…actually I'm all booked up for the next twenty years… (Well it could happen!)

  • Start with your neighbours and friends - You have the advantage that they already know and trust you. 
  • Have a creative and convincing flyer - convince people how much easier their lives will be when they never have to worry about having a dirty car again.
  • Have an irresistible special offer- it will help you retain more business if people are working towards something free, e.g. a free interior car clean with every ten car washes.
  • Once you're more experienced you may want to: Place an ad in your school or a local school newsletter, place an ad in your community newspaper, pin flyers on community notice boards (make sure you're allowed to do this first)

Think Safe!

  • Whenever you're visiting the house of any client you don't know really well,  always have an adult present, and always make sure that your parents know  where you're going.  You can trust most people but it's better to be safe.
  • Wear Sunscreen and a hat… I don't recall the tomato red look being in this season.

Get on with it  

Well it's good all the dirt's gone…but I was planning on keeping the paint…

Exterior Cleaning:

  • Fill a bucket of cold water, and add a small amount of car-wash product. Don't use more than the recommended amount. 
  • Thoroughly wet the car to remove surface dirt.
  • Wash the body of the car from the top down then do the wheels as they are often the dirtiest part of the car, this might make your brush dirty which will make the rest of the car dirty.
  • Wash the windows separately. Use window cleaner, but don't get it on the paintwork. Dry them thoroughly to avoid smearing.
  • Rinse the car again to finish. 
  • Dry the car straightaway.
  • Finish with wax or other finishing products if you decide to do this.

Interior Cleaning:

  • Shake out car mats and thoroughly vacuum the inside of the car.
  • Clean the inside of the windows.
  • Shampoo the carpet and clean the upholstery if the owner would like you to do so.



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