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10 Steps For Starting a Car Wash From The Ground Up – Tommy Car

#car wash business

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10 Steps For Starting a Car Wash From The Ground Up

As a 40 year veteran car wash equipment manufacturer and site developer, we’ve seen it all. We know what a daunting and potentially confusing process starting a new car wash can be. What comes first? Prospecting site locations? Securing financing? Assessing your market? How soon should you begin marketing? How long will the process take?

While we certainly can’t cover everything you need to know to start a car wash in a single post, we can take a few words to cover what we feel are the 10 most important steps to launching your own car wash business.

1) Location is Everything Go Scouting

Car washes aren’t automatically successful. Great care must be taken when selecting the location on which you want to build. Our Site Model Pages have in-depth descriptions of location criteria to consider (including population, competition, street types, car counts, and more) and our site development services can help you select and approve the best locations available in your area.

Start by driving around your target area, paying close attention to the relative traffic, types of local businesses, and anything that looks for sale. Get a feel for your potential market. You should also visit a commercial real estate MLS like Loopnet.com or many others. Be sure to take your time and never rush into a purchase.

2) Review the Competition

Try to get a feel for the local car washes in the area. How many customers do they have and how aggressively are they marketing? What will they do when you open your wash? Can they afford a multi-million dollar renovation to bring their wash in line with yours? Are they debt free and can they cut prices to outcompete you (with your interest payments) in the short term? Are their customers frequent users and very loyal—or are they waiting for something better?

Entrenched local competition can be dangerous, even for Totally Tommy buildings, and selecting a location with some elbow room between you and competitors is important. But don’t worry too much about single stall automatic car washes or local fundraisers—you’ll be working in a completely different weight class.

3) Do the Paperwork

Find out what local city or county department handles business licenses and request an application, as well as information on local utility usage codes, insurance requirements, tax rates, and other requirements for opening a business. You will also need a Taxpayer Identification Number and you should use the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s trademark search tool to check your brand then register to claim it.

Each area and city has different rules, so make sure you take the time to understand everything and keep your business in line. If you can, also get information on local sanitary sewers (for your waste water), utility prices, water usage limits, and other regulations.

4) Planning and Approval Process

Set up a meeting with the city planner. Show them a rendering of your concept and try to get verbal approval of the design—or a list of probable issues to address. If you have approval you can set up a formal meeting to present your plans and have them voted on at a city council meeting. With luck, your Totally Tommy building with its modern style, efficient design, and great investment potential will blow them away! Try to be friendly, optimistic, and down to earth. If the city gets on board with your project it can make the whole process move along more smoothly.

5) Research Car Washes

Tour as many successful car washes as possible to see what makes them tick—especially if you haven’t been in the business very long. Check out automatic car washes, partially automatic, express, detailing, and other washes to see how they differ from one another. Operations, promotions, pricing, services, demographics… Try to learn as much as you can and develop as deep a background as you can with operations, staffing policies, equipment repair, and customer management (aka, complaints ).

To help out, our team has training available to teach you everything you need to know BEFORE you’re trying to run your wash on hot days with long lines.

6) Operations Decisions

Will you run your car wash independently or will you have a franchise, LLC, or S-corp? There are many models, each with pros and cons. Franchises offer support at the cost of a residual. Solo operations offer total freedom but deprive you of much-needed backup and brand awareness. How much personal involvement are you looking for? If you plan on hiring a manager instead of handling things yourself, make sure he or she has the necessary qualifications and is heavily invested in your future success.

7) Make a Business Plan!

Your car wash business plan (click for outline) should focus on both long term and short term operations. Use a professional service and remember that the more detailed, thorough, and researched your plan is, the better it will look to investors or your bank. Include costs (up front and overhead costs), planning for building to long-term revenue management, and marketing strategies (launch and long-term). Professional proforma companies are ready to help and our team is also standing by with years of experience to back up our advice.

8) Get Financing

This is likely the most challenging step, and your success here will largely depend on how well you’ve researched and prepared your business plan ahead of time. A solid revenue model can help convince investors to put up the capital for your new car wash business, so be prepared to demonstrate that you need enough funding for a truly high quality car wash facility and equipment with great return potential. You will also need a convincing resume with business and/or car wash experience, and a solid marketing plan.

9) Build the Right Wash

Car washes thrive when they capture the attention of the local market and are designed to make turning in, purchasing a wash, and moving through the tunnel as quick and easy as possible. The Totally Tommy building is the best way to do just this, drawing huge numbers of passing customers with a great looking building, perfected layouts, and a full and fast service menu. Proven in scenarios around the country, every component of this facility design has been carefully thought out to create a single, cohesive investment that pays off. From our towers to our pay system, deceleration lanes, glass walls, stainless steel equipment, and clear roof, everything is designed to project sophistication, professionalism, and value. So why waste money reinventing the wheel, and why risk building a second-best wash when a Totally Tommy wash is waiting for you?

10) Market your New Business

Customers don’t know what they don’t know, so don’t just expect them to line up without any effort on your part. Make sure to let the community know about your wash ahead of the grand opening with onsite advertising as well as print, radio, local web, and possibly TV advertisements. You’ll begin to build a curious customer base who will drop buy and tell their friends and family afterwards. $15,000 or $1 / car for initial marketing including billboards, mailings to 5 mile radius, promotional washes, and radio commercials is a good place to start at your launch and $.10 / car is a standard ballpark long-term rate for the future. One or two day Social media campaigns (incentivize customers with free washes for best results) can also be highly successful. Be prepared to collect feedback and adapt your marketing program for the greatest possible effectiveness moving forwards.

Launching any business, and especially a brick and mortar car wash filled with high-end technology, is a complex and daunting prospect. But don’t worry. The team at Tommy Car Wash Systems has hundreds of washes behind us with thousands of installations and developments. We know the steps you’ll need to take to get your wash planed, approved, built, and operational, and we’ll help you turn a fantastic business opportunity into an even better reality.

Tommy Car Wash Systems

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10 top government grants for start-ups #registering #a #business


#start up business grants

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10 top government grants for start-ups

Government grants are notoriously hard to snare for start-up businesses and can involve completing a mountain of time-sapping paperwork in the application process.

However, it appears the system isn’t always as stringent as it should be. A damning report tabled in the Victorian Parliament last week showed that 50% of all businesses awarded grants had failed to properly meet the criteria .

Before you rush off your application in the belief that it’s open season on grants, it’s worth remembering that countless more start-ups are still rejected for grants than are accepted.

To help you navigate the complex web of grants, we have partnered with Victoria’s Small Business Festival to hold an instructive, free webinar, no matter where your business is located. You can sign up to the webinar by clicking here .

But it’s also worth getting a good handle on what grants are out there for start-ups. The most obvious candidate for new ventures is Commercialisation Australia. which offers matched funding up to $2 million for proof of concept, early-stage commercialisation, skills and management support.

But there are others that you may not be quite so familiar with. We’ve picked out 10 of the best, but maybe little-known, grants available to small businesses.

For information on each grant, click on the tabs below:

1. Enterprise Connect

An offshoot of the federal Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education, Enterprise Connect is perhaps best known for the free business review it performs for entrepreneurs.

But the network also oversees several start-up focused programs that have cash attached.

The Researchers in Business Grant provides 50% of salary costs, to a maximum of $50,000, for university researchers to work on new idea within a business for between two and 12 months.

There’s also the Tailored Advisory Service Grant, which stumps up half the cash needed, up to $20,000, to engage a consultant to make improvements in your business.


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10 Questions to Ask Before Selling Your Business #business #books


#sell my business

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10 Questions to Ask Before Selling Your Business

If you re thinking about selling your business, think twice. Selling a business should never be a spur-of-the-moment decision, says Curtis Kroeker, group general manager for San Francisco-based BizBuySell.com and BizQuest.com. business-for-sale marketplaces that have an inventory of about 40,000 businesses. You need to figure out things like if you should sell, when is the best time to sell, and what you need to consider before selling, among many other considerations.

So, should you sell your business? Here are 10 key questions to help you figure it out.

Is my business ready to sell? Kroeker recommends at least two years of preparation before putting your business on the market. Make sure you can produce two to three years of tax returns that are accurate and show maximum profitability to get the best price for your business, he says. You can t start putting things together the month before you sell.

How is a buyer going to value my business? Particularly with family ownership, companies sometimes run everything through the business, such as country club dues and car allowances, says Robert Kibby, section head of the corporate and securities group at Dallas-based Munsch Hardt Kopf Harr Attorneys and Counselors. Loading the business with tax write-offs can make you appear less profitable and cause a buyer to undervalue your business.

Who should be on my team when I sell? It s important for entrepreneurs to figure out whose services will bring them through the sales process and help them get the best price for their business. Do you need an accountant? How about an appraiser, attorney, consultant and business broker? The buyer is typically going to have a good team to go over your business, so you should, too, Kibby says.

Is it the right time to sell? Many people wait till their business is on the decline to sell. That s the exact opposite of what you should do, says Debbie Allen. a Phoenix-based business and brand strategist and consultant. You want to sell when you are at the top of your game peaked out, she says. Some will say, I m making good money now. Why should I sell? That s thinking like a business owner, not an entrepreneur.

Is the market right? Before selling, look at current market conditions for your industry. Selling a home improvement business in 2006 showed a pretty good return. Fast forward a couple of years and many roofing, siding, home financing and other housing-related companies had lost a big chunk of their value. I saw companies who turned down an offer in 2005 who couldn t get three-quarters of that price a few years later, says Allan Siposs, a managing director of FMV Capital Markets in Irvine, Calif. which offers services for mergers, acquisitions and divestitures. Wait until market conditions are better to sell.

Can I cope with the changes on the horizon? Rapidly changing technology, increasing globalization and other business trends can prove too much for some business owners. Keep your eyes trained three or four years down the road, and if you don t believe you can keep up, sell before your failure to adapt catches up with you. Some people find it hard to leave, but if you wait too long, the industry may pass you by, Allen says.

Can my business thrive without me or without a key customer? If a buyer is concerned that a business is too dependent on the owner or a single customer, he may take his offer elsewhere. A good business can operate when the owner is on vacation and has good revenue diversification, where no one customer represents more than five percent of the business, Siposs says.

Would I be willing to stay on if the buyer wants me to? Sometimes you can seal a deal by agreeing to stay on in a consulting role for a period of six months. But first, you need to determine whether it s really worth it to you. If you re willing to stay on, it might reduce the risk to the buyer and increase the value of the company, Siposs says.

What are the potential deal breakers? Unresolved issues can rear their ugly head and interfere with a sale, particularly in areas such as company ownership, accounting and intellectual property rights. For example, an owner may have used a contractor to write software for the company without requiring him to assign his rights to the company. This can create questions about who possesses critical rights, which can scuttle the deal, Kibby says. So, consider what your potential deal breakers are and try to resolve them before you re near to closing a deal.

Would I consider alternatives to an outright sale? If an outright sale isn t right for you, a CPA or investment banker can help evaluate other options. How about structuring a deal to pass on the ownership to employees through an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP)? Would you consider selling a percentage of the company to a private equity fund? Or would you do a leveraged recapitalization, which is a loan that puts a portion of the proceeds in your pocket?


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10 steps to starting a business: Starting a business advice and business ideas #veteran

#starting a business

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10 steps to starting a business

Starting a small business is easy using our step-by-step guides. The 10 steps below will teach you how to start a business, taking you through each of the key stages of the start-up process – from evaluating your business idea and choosing a company name through to designing your business cards, developing a website and, finally, getting ready to launch.

Starting a business? 7 things you need to do first

  • How to start a business: What you need to know

    Key topics

    Need a loan to get your business started? A website design? Or maybe some separate business broadband? Get quotes and start saving now with our Startups Resources

    Field research is a key part of analysing your market and will help you build a successful business plan and brand. Here’s how to carry it out effectively.

    Sole trader, partnership, limited company or LLP? We look at how to choose the right legal structure for your start-up

    Choosing the right start-up name is extremely important. Here’s a practical guide on how to pick out the best name to ultimately build a better business

    Five fundamental points your logo should convey to your customers

    Looking to raise finance for your new business? Join the 30,000 plus Start Up Loan recipients today…

    Tips from Startups on how to pick the number cruncher that’s right for your small business

    What exactly do you need to consider when looking for the perfect premises?

    John Paterson rounds up the free and low-cost software options available to help you start your business

    Dealing with business red tape? Startups has complied the five key legal issues and how best to deal with them…

    What types of selling do you need to use? Startups covers a few of the most important selling techniques for your business

    You’ve got a business idea but what are the next steps? Startups has compiled a launchpad guide to help you put the foundations in place for business success

    Startups answers the key questions you should ask before starting your own business

    Latest on Startups

    To celebrate 10 years of its Business IP Centre, on September 27 the Library is holding a free day of workshops from the likes of Julie Deane OBE.

    A professional musician who’s preformed alongside the likes of Lana del Ray and Beyoncé – Katie Sayles talks about her new pre-school members’ club

    Research from the FSB suggests the introduction of the minimum £7.20-an-hour rate has led many small firms to increase prices and reduce staff hours

    App which operates via Bluetooth connected handleba device backed by TrueStart, Seedrs, and mayor’s London Co-Investment Fund

    Purple Cow ” rel=”bookmark”>The business book you need to read this month: Purple Cow

    With a focus on ‘transforming your business by being remarkable’, entrepreneur Daniel Keighron-Foster advocates Seth Godin’s seminal book

    Useful business start up tools

    Forum post of the week

    Want to run a more profitable business?

    More from Startups


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  • Office Depot Business Solutions Division: 10% Or More Off Everyday Purshases! #business #card #designs


    #business.officedepot.com

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    Office Depot

    Order Online: Business.OfficeDepot.com

    Go online through the Office Depot Business Solutions website everytime you order. By creating your account after using our link (here ) you will automatically be linked to our special pricing.

    If you already have a purchasing account through Business.OfficeDepot.com then don’t worry, simply call (866) 226-7283 and we can have your pre-existing account linked to our special pricing!

    Order By Phone

    Call (888) 777-4044 and Mention Account # 52067721 and receive our special pricing over the phone.

    OD Customer Service: (888) 777-4044
    OD Technical Service: (800) 269-6888
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    Office Depot Special Savings

    Get the Keurig B140 Small Office Brewer for the great low price of $99.99. This coffee brewer is perfect for offices of 15 employees or less. It has 3 brew sizes, 48 oz. removable water reservoir, and can be setup for automatic shutoff for energy savings. Don’t forget to also order your K-Cups from Office Depot also!

    Enjoy an average 10% discount on purchases including already
    reduced or discounted Office Depot items!


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    How to design a business card: 10 top tips #business #continuity


    #designing business cards

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    Creative Bloq

    How to design a business card: 10 top tips

    A well-designed business card lends legitimacy to your business, and can make you stand out from the crowd of competitors. Check out our top tips on how to make a lasting impression.

    Although we re working in paperless offices more and more, the humble business card is still a mainstay of business. If you haven t got a card you can give out to prospective clients or collaborators, you re missing out on a key marketing opportunity.

    Not all business cards are created equal, however. We live in a world where the average small business can design their own cards and order them from well-known online printers for under 20. These cards tend to be of an inferior weight, and typically use twee clipart to relate themselves to the business being advertised.

    What this means is that there are a lot of poorly designed business cards out there! This is both a challenge and an opportunity: to stand out you need to create a design that looks fantastic, and helps you differentiate yourself. If you can make it tactile and feel pleasant in the hand, you ll be well on your way. Create an effective card and you can elevate your business above your competitors before the prospect has ever seen your website!

    So, with all that in mind we ve brought together 10 of our top tips for creating effective, innovative business cards .

    01. Use good design principles

    It might seem obvious but it s worth reiterating that a business card is a piece of printed material like any other. Because of this, the basic principles of paper-based design apply to business cards:

    • keep all your key copy at least 5mm from the trim edge
    • work at 300dpi for best image reproduction
    • ensure you maintain a minimum size for your typography to maintain legibility
    • design in CMYK unless you re working exclusively with spot colours

    Many designers also find it helps to use a grid to lay out their cards, as this can help you to achieve the right hierarchy of information as well as ensure your alignment is sound.

    02. Get creative within the constraints

    There are a couple ‘standard’ sizes for business cards, depending upon where you are in the world. One typical example is 55x85mm, although you’ll see many other sizes quoted on the web. Working within this tiny canvas you can still get creative with the space: start by considering the key information you want to include, which will typically be a name, phone number and email address, then work your design around presenting this information in a creative way.

    03. Avoid common pitfalls

    There are some common pitfalls to designing business cards that it helps to be aware of. The first and most obvious is to ensure you provide a bleed as specified by your printer. This is commonly 3mm, but can be 5mm so check! Just as important is to avoid using a straightforward border around the entire of the card, as this will show up any misalignment in the trim if the card isn’t perfectly cut.

    04. Use special finishes

    This example features a UV spot to highlight fret positions, on the reverse of a guitar tutor s business card

    An instant way to add impact to your business card, and make it stand out from the crowd, is to use a special finish. Special finishes include the likes of foil blocking, spot-UV and metallic inks, and can add significant cost to your print. What they offer, however, is the opportunity to make your card more tactile, visually impressive and memorable.

    Different printers offer different options for finishes, so speak to them to find out what they can do for you, and don t be afraid to go to a specialist if your usual printer only offers straight four-colour print.

    05. Cut into your card

    This card, designed by Phil Jones, Ryan Coleman and Jeff McCullough for Yoga One, shows how some creative thinking with die-cuts can result in a fun and memorable card

    A great way to make your card unique is to use a die-cut process to remove elements from the card stock, leaving a void. You can either use a die to change the shape of your card (by rounding the corners, for example), or you can cut shapes out of the centre.

    Dies are expensive to create the first time, although increasingly printers are offering laser-cut options that make it economical to create a die-cut look on shorter print-runs. There are some amazingly creative examples on the web, and when combined with creasing you can use the process to create architectural features in your card design. Also, don’t overlook letterpress as an option.

    06. Use unusual materials

    This card is constructed from a printed circuit board, and works as a USB device. When plugged in, it provides additional information about the owner

    Most business cards are printed on card stock. This is the most cost-effective option for printing your cards. If you re willing to get a little more creative, you can print onto all sorts of different materials including transparent plastics, metals, wood and even slate.

    Here dog treats have been used as a business card material, allowing the card to serve two purposes simultaneously

    Keep in mind that cards need to be portable, and easy to file away in a pocket or briefcase, but get creative with your choice of stock material and you’ll instantly stand out from everyday business cards.

    07. Make it useful

    This business card designed by Emily Berry converts into a handy chair that can hold your phone upright on a desk

    One of the problems with paper is that it s everywhere. Some people hold on to every bit of paper they receive, while others are far more ruthless and recycle at the first opportunity. To avoid the risk of being recycled, make your business card work as more than simply a calling card.

    This card was designed by Jamie Wieck and includes a seed that sprouts after a few days of soaking

    Some of the most memorable designs incorporate function as well as form. Examples include business card that act as a holder for hair clips or turn into a miniature armchair for your mobile.

    08. Make your own

    Breakfast Creatives cut up old cereal boxes to form their own, brand-relevant business card design. Credit: http://breakfastcreatives.co.uk

    If you re feeling creative, why not make your own business cards? You can find letterpress kits on eBay at reasonable prices, allowing you to convert any card stock into your own business card with ease. This is a time-consuming but very satisfying way of expressing yourself in a card!

    09. Recycle old cards

    These cards were made by hand out of business cards, christmas cards and screenprints that went wrong. Credit: http://designbyif.co.uk

    Old business cards, postcards or packaging can be repurposed and given a new life as your business card. Recycling is both environmentally sound and can allow you to express your creativity in new and exciting ways. There are some fantastic examples on the web to get your creative juices flowing. The process can be as simple as getting some stickers printed, or as complex as hand-illustrating over the top of each old card to suit the recipient.

    10. Double-check your artwork

    This tip applies to every bit of print work you do, but it s so crucial it s worth repeating. When sending your artwork off to the print shop, make sure you ve double-checked every single detail. There s nothing worse than getting back your cards and discovering you missed a typo in the email address or name. Check twice, print once is a a well learnt adage!

    Liked this? Read these!

    Have you got any tips for designing effective business cards? Let us know in the comments below.


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    Top 10 best business desktop PCs (August 2016) #business #jets


    #business computer

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    TechRadar pro

    Top 10 best business desktop PCs (August 2016)

    Plus a handy buying guide

    While workforces have become far more mobile, there is still a need for the traditional office desktop PC. It remains the most cost-effective computing device as it’s easily maintained and has the most powerful solutions available on the market.

    Despite the drop in laptop prices and increase in mobile processor power, there are still distinct advantages to running desktop systems in an office environment, which is why the desktop remains the most popular form-factor for computer systems.

    Speaking of form factors, the desktop PC has evolved significantly over the past three years beyond the monoliths that mid or mini-towers are.

    The range of available desktop systems is as wide and varied as business needs themselves, ranging from a few off-the-shelf units for an SMB to the deployment of thousands of basic desktop PCs and everything in between.

    The types of desktop PCs

    A recent development in the desktop PC world has been a modest diversification of the system case. The typical business PC comes in a mini-tower box, which is probably best sited under or next to your desk.

    But if space is at a premium, a smaller case would be a better choice. Dell, for example, delivers its Optiplex models in mini tower, ‘thin’ desktop and ‘compact’ small form factor sizes, each model offering the same computing power but in a different case.

    Three other formats that have grown in popularity are:

    [1] All-in-one. otherwise known as AIO, which combine the monitor with the base unit. The move to power-efficient components, the falling price of LCD panels and the ubiquity of touch functionality make AIO an increasingly popular choice for businesses. The all-in-one PC essentially resembles a slightly larger than normal LCD display that contains the processor, hard drive and memory built-in to the screen casing. The end result is a very elegant, clutter-free desktop PC.

    [2] Ultra-small form factors. otherwise known as net tops or mini PCs, which borrow a lot of their designs (and components) from laptops. They are essentially laptops without a screen, input peripherals and a battery.

    [3] HDMI dongles which have been inspired by tablets and smartphones and often share parts with the latter. These are usually used for display signage or in niche markets. They are usually not powerful enough for most tasks but things are likely to improve by the end of 2016.

    Top 10 best business desktop PCs in the UK

    To help narrow down your search for the ideal system for your business, here are Techradar Pro’s top 10 business desktop PCs in no particular order.

    1. Zoostorm 7260-3041

    The cheapest desktop PC going

    CPU: Intel Celeron 1037U | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 500GB HDD | Connectivity: Gigabit Ethernet | Dimensions (W x D x H): 18 x 40 x 36cm


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    10 Green Business Ideas for Eco-Minded Entrepreneurs – Small Business Can #business #name #generator


    #green business ideas

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    10 Green Business Ideas for Eco-Minded Entrepreneurs

    Are you considering to start your own business but are concerned about the impact it will have on the environment? Green businesses are ecofriendly, and they go beyond the regulations to show their commitment to sustainable development. You do not need any particularly brilliant new idea. What is more, most of the green businesses are alternatives of the standard businesses, but with a nature-conscious management and production processes. Check out the following green business ideas.

    1. Green Business Ideas Organic farming

    While businesses are going green, so are their customers. Everyone nowadays is switching to healthier lifestyle choices, and this particularly concerns the food they consume. The effect of this is that organically grown vegetables and fruits are highly sought, and this trend is sure to continue in the future. The market for these products is very developed, so you will have no trouble finding buyers. What do you need to start this business? A piece of land and love for outdoor work.

    2. Organic menu restaurant

    If you do not want your hands to get dirty, but still wish to take your piece of the pie in the ongoing healthy-eating trend, why not be on the other side of the transaction? Open a restaurant that would serve only organic meals, made from organic ingredients that you would be buying from organic farmers.

    3. Green construction

    Become a green contractor. Green construction simply means construction with eco-friendly materials and incorporation of energy saving systems, such as solar heating.

    4. Recycling pickup

    Recycling is also very popular these days. But no matter how determined people are to recycle, there is always the problem of what to do with bulk trash, like computers and house appliances, once you no longer need them. If you want to start a recycling pickup service, take a page out of the book of Sydney s rubbish removal services. for e-waste. It is a very lucrative business, yet in deficit.

    5. Green developer

    Develop applications that will help people help the earth. These can be simple guides to local green stores, or complex energy consumption calculators.

    6. Green consulting

    If you are familiar with green technologies and standards, you can easily become a consultant to other businesses on ecological issues. Help other people start a green business, or turn their current business into a more environmentally friendly one. This consulting can involve anything from efficient energy consumption to sustainable production. Get certified to gain more credibility among customers.

    7. Upcycle

    Furniture upcycling has quite a hipster vibe. Take any piece of old, unused furniture and repurpose it in an unusual and preferably unexpected way. All you need is some tools and a few original ideas. Once you clear your attic and basement of all the unused furniture, you will find that flea markets are a great place to find new ‘raw materials’.

    8. Green blogs

    If you like writing, and like to work from home, start a blog. But not just any kind of blog. Start a green blog that will promote green activities.

    9. Bicycle business

    Bicycles are the most eco-friendly means of transport there is. They emit no gas into the atmosphere and so do not pollute the air. Buying and reselling bicycles has become a huge part of the green revolution. Consider participating in it. You can also open a small local bicycle café where you will sell drinks, while you are repairing your customers’ bicycles. Take tourists to bicycle sightseeing tours of your town, or your neighbourhood.

    10. Eco-cleaning

    Start a cleaning services company which will use your own natural house cleaning products. Make more money by selling these products to households and other cleaning service companies.

    What green business do you see yourself managing?

    Small Business Can Newsletter

    Small Business Can is run by businesspeople for businesspeople. We share our experiences, successes and failures. Sign up for our insightful (and sometimes funny) newsletter and stay up to speed with all the latest insights.


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    10 Steps For Starting a Car Wash From The Ground Up – Tommy Car

    #car wash business

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    10 Steps For Starting a Car Wash From The Ground Up

    As a 40 year veteran car wash equipment manufacturer and site developer, we’ve seen it all. We know what a daunting and potentially confusing process starting a new car wash can be. What comes first? Prospecting site locations? Securing financing? Assessing your market? How soon should you begin marketing? How long will the process take?

    While we certainly can’t cover everything you need to know to start a car wash in a single post, we can take a few words to cover what we feel are the 10 most important steps to launching your own car wash business.

    1) Location is Everything Go Scouting

    Car washes aren’t automatically successful. Great care must be taken when selecting the location on which you want to build. Our Site Model Pages have in-depth descriptions of location criteria to consider (including population, competition, street types, car counts, and more) and our site development services can help you select and approve the best locations available in your area.

    Start by driving around your target area, paying close attention to the relative traffic, types of local businesses, and anything that looks for sale. Get a feel for your potential market. You should also visit a commercial real estate MLS like Loopnet.com or many others. Be sure to take your time and never rush into a purchase.

    2) Review the Competition

    Try to get a feel for the local car washes in the area. How many customers do they have and how aggressively are they marketing? What will they do when you open your wash? Can they afford a multi-million dollar renovation to bring their wash in line with yours? Are they debt free and can they cut prices to outcompete you (with your interest payments) in the short term? Are their customers frequent users and very loyal—or are they waiting for something better?

    Entrenched local competition can be dangerous, even for Totally Tommy buildings, and selecting a location with some elbow room between you and competitors is important. But don’t worry too much about single stall automatic car washes or local fundraisers—you’ll be working in a completely different weight class.

    3) Do the Paperwork

    Find out what local city or county department handles business licenses and request an application, as well as information on local utility usage codes, insurance requirements, tax rates, and other requirements for opening a business. You will also need a Taxpayer Identification Number and you should use the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s trademark search tool to check your brand then register to claim it.

    Each area and city has different rules, so make sure you take the time to understand everything and keep your business in line. If you can, also get information on local sanitary sewers (for your waste water), utility prices, water usage limits, and other regulations.

    4) Planning and Approval Process

    Set up a meeting with the city planner. Show them a rendering of your concept and try to get verbal approval of the design—or a list of probable issues to address. If you have approval you can set up a formal meeting to present your plans and have them voted on at a city council meeting. With luck, your Totally Tommy building with its modern style, efficient design, and great investment potential will blow them away! Try to be friendly, optimistic, and down to earth. If the city gets on board with your project it can make the whole process move along more smoothly.

    5) Research Car Washes

    Tour as many successful car washes as possible to see what makes them tick—especially if you haven’t been in the business very long. Check out automatic car washes, partially automatic, express, detailing, and other washes to see how they differ from one another. Operations, promotions, pricing, services, demographics… Try to learn as much as you can and develop as deep a background as you can with operations, staffing policies, equipment repair, and customer management (aka, complaints ).

    To help out, our team has training available to teach you everything you need to know BEFORE you’re trying to run your wash on hot days with long lines.

    6) Operations Decisions

    Will you run your car wash independently or will you have a franchise, LLC, or S-corp? There are many models, each with pros and cons. Franchises offer support at the cost of a residual. Solo operations offer total freedom but deprive you of much-needed backup and brand awareness. How much personal involvement are you looking for? If you plan on hiring a manager instead of handling things yourself, make sure he or she has the necessary qualifications and is heavily invested in your future success.

    7) Make a Business Plan!

    Your car wash business plan (click for outline) should focus on both long term and short term operations. Use a professional service and remember that the more detailed, thorough, and researched your plan is, the better it will look to investors or your bank. Include costs (up front and overhead costs), planning for building to long-term revenue management, and marketing strategies (launch and long-term). Professional proforma companies are ready to help and our team is also standing by with years of experience to back up our advice.

    8) Get Financing

    This is likely the most challenging step, and your success here will largely depend on how well you’ve researched and prepared your business plan ahead of time. A solid revenue model can help convince investors to put up the capital for your new car wash business, so be prepared to demonstrate that you need enough funding for a truly high quality car wash facility and equipment with great return potential. You will also need a convincing resume with business and/or car wash experience, and a solid marketing plan.

    9) Build the Right Wash

    Car washes thrive when they capture the attention of the local market and are designed to make turning in, purchasing a wash, and moving through the tunnel as quick and easy as possible. The Totally Tommy building is the best way to do just this, drawing huge numbers of passing customers with a great looking building, perfected layouts, and a full and fast service menu. Proven in scenarios around the country, every component of this facility design has been carefully thought out to create a single, cohesive investment that pays off. From our towers to our pay system, deceleration lanes, glass walls, stainless steel equipment, and clear roof, everything is designed to project sophistication, professionalism, and value. So why waste money reinventing the wheel, and why risk building a second-best wash when a Totally Tommy wash is waiting for you?

    10) Market your New Business

    Customers don’t know what they don’t know, so don’t just expect them to line up without any effort on your part. Make sure to let the community know about your wash ahead of the grand opening with onsite advertising as well as print, radio, local web, and possibly TV advertisements. You’ll begin to build a curious customer base who will drop buy and tell their friends and family afterwards. $15,000 or $1 / car for initial marketing including billboards, mailings to 5 mile radius, promotional washes, and radio commercials is a good place to start at your launch and $.10 / car is a standard ballpark long-term rate for the future. One or two day Social media campaigns (incentivize customers with free washes for best results) can also be highly successful. Be prepared to collect feedback and adapt your marketing program for the greatest possible effectiveness moving forwards.

    Launching any business, and especially a brick and mortar car wash filled with high-end technology, is a complex and daunting prospect. But don’t worry. The team at Tommy Car Wash Systems has hundreds of washes behind us with thousands of installations and developments. We know the steps you’ll need to take to get your wash planed, approved, built, and operational, and we’ll help you turn a fantastic business opportunity into an even better reality.

    Tommy Car Wash Systems

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    10 businesses named after family members – Mollie Makes #business #plan #samples


    #creative business names

    #

    Choosing a name for a business is tricky it s got to be catchy, memorable and sum up ‘you’ too. We searched the web for crafty companies who took family names as the ultimate personal inspo. Find out how this line-up of crafty businesses came up with their shop names.

    So you re looking for a business name. How about naming it after Nan, or combining your name with your partner s like celebrity power couples? If all else fails use our trusty craft business name game. take your favourite colour and find the quirky paint name for it, use one word from the colour name, add your craft of choice and the name of the street you grew up on (or a family member s name). Shuffle them round until they make no sense! So, Dayroom Crochet Orange or Henrietta Embroidery Villa. Huzzah, it works! Now you try.

    1. Flossie Limejuice

    Shelagh called her business “Flossie Limejuice after her mother-in-law s nickname for her grandson’s toy rabbit. Aww!

    2. Anais Aiyla

    Mish named her business after her daughters Zoie Amelia Anais and Emilie Aiyla Aeon. She says: “When we moved back to the UK from the Cayman Islands, one way I found to help them adjust to their new (very cold) surroundings was to crochet for them.”

    3. Bobostitch

    Cross stitch queen Hannah Sturrock named Bobostitch after her son’s mispronunciation of his sister Baby Olive s name. “She was born around the same time, says Hannah. The name is a constant reminder for me that the business is totally intertwined with our family life.

    4. Lily Val

    Owner Valerie McKeehan says: “Lily is a nod to my mother. We both share a love of flowers, in particular, stargazer lilies!”

    5. Mingo Grace

    Designer Farrah Gee named her children’s clothing brand after her little twins’ middle names.

    6. Kit and Nancy

    Maker Laura named her business after her grandmas: Kit and Nancy.

    7. Bob John Knitwear

    Jonie Worton’s knitwear company is named after her equally hands-on grandfathers, engineer John and builder Edgar known as Bob.

    8. Clarise Crafts

    Alyssa borrowed her business name from her mother Denise, who set up a jewellery business with her friend Claire under the name Clarise , merging the two friends names. Alyssa says: “I do get called Clarise but I see it as my crafty alter-ego!”

    9. Holly and Evie

    Let’s not forget the most important family members of all! Lucy Vernon named her knitwear company after her first dog Holly, and her current pooch, Evie.

    10. Lily Dot

    Aussie “vintage whimsy” store Lily Dot was named after two very creative grandmas.

    Named your business after loved ones too? Leave your business name and link in the comments below and tell us why you chose the name.


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