|Strategic Planning Information|
Parking Business, the Details on Increasing Lot Revenue
If you are in the parking business and own or manage parking lots you may want to think on some additional concepts to increase lot revenues. Whether you are looking to add value for your customers, expand your customer base, or simply increase your revenue, the addition of a car wash and/or detailing service to your parking facility may be the answer. There are many options available to you if you want to provide these services. You can contract with a local independent company in your area with a good reputation, co-market with a detail shop nearby who will service your lot, buy your own unit and run it in-house or purchase a franchise name and equipment from a national company.
Whichever route you choose, it is possible to increase daily income, if you hire the labor or contract out. "Car washing and detailing not only provide value for your customers, but also maximize the per space value of your lot," commented Philip Hutcheson, owner of The Car Wash Guys franchise in Nashville, Tennessee, who currently had Central Parking in Nashville as a client. "It's all about convenience and saving customers time. We're only washing their cars, but that can give them time to do other things they want to do," said Hutcheson.
HIRING A CONTRACTOR
If you choose to hire a local company to handle the job, then try to be respectful of their time. You may wish to start out one day a week. For example - Wednesday is car wash day. You collect the money and park the cars in car wash row. The local company arrives at the desired time and washes, waxes and details the cars and returns the keys to you. Make sure the mobile operator is licensed, insured, maintains quality employees, shows up on time and has some sort of re-claim device for wastewater.
To reach your revenue goal, increase services to more days and more hours a day as the work catches on. It will build slowly, but will give you an edge and higher average ticket charge per car. A typical financial arrangement with a detail service can net you $2 to $5 per car for a wash and wax and as high as $15 per car for a full detail.
Here's an example of how a parking facility can partner with a detail service. Tim Morse, co-owner of The Car Wash Guys franchise in Oklahoma City, washed and detailed cars for SunPark, a private parking facility near Oklahoma International Airport. He washed their shuttle buses for free in exchange for use of a storage room to keep supplies in for his mobile detailing service. SunPark receives a percentage of each car washed and detailed. This relationship provides a win-win-win - for the customers and both businesses involved.
SunPark was bought by new owners in 1998. The previous owners had offered a basic wash and wax as an added service, explained Manager Larry DeLuca. "We took it a step further. We now also offer car detailing and oil change which have been well received by our customers. Our agreement with The Car Wash Guys allows us to offer detailing at a competitive rate to what our customers could find elsewhere in the city, just with the convenience of having it done while they're away," he explained. When travelers arrive, they are given a card inviting them to select additional services besides parking during their trip. They indicate their return date and if they desire a detail or car wash. Their cars are prepared the day before they return, waiting for them all shiny and clean. "The word of mouth about the additional services that you don't receive at the airport has helped increase our business as a parking option of choice," commented DeLuca.
With Hutcheson's work in Nashville, for the monthly tenants, the cost of a wash or detail is added to their monthly fee as an ongoing service. Washes can also be used as an incentive to customers, i.e. two free car washes a month. A lot owner can mark up contracted services for additional profit or add them as an incentive to retain long-term customers.
For a parking company in Tucson, Arizona, The Car Wash Guys team washed every car in the structure once a month and extends a special group rate of $4.00 per car to the lot owner. The customers were so happy to have the added "free" service that when the lot owner recently raised monthly rates there was only one complaint about the free increase.
BUYING A FRANCHISE
You can also buy a franchise if you're serious about adding detailing as a permanent source of revenue. One type of company which lends itself well to a model for your operations is the Detail Guys based in Reno, Nevada offers mobile detail units, training, marketing and computerized software in one complete package. Each unit has a re-claim device, central vacuum system and enclosed lockable trailer. Visit their web site at; www.detailguys.com. The Detail Guys and "brother" company The Car Wash Guys set up franchises in 23 states to serve 110 markets nationwide.
DOING IT YOURSELF
If you opt for the do-it-yourself route, following are some suggestions regarding equipment. You'll need a pressure washer with cold and hot water, hot if you also want to occasionally wash down the lot or parking structure. For cars you need 1800 psi that will take an 8hp motor with a belt driven pump. (We do not recommend direct drive.) Ask for a cat pump, operators say they have nine lives. You'll also need at least 50 feet of non-maring 3000 psi single braided hose or a reel and a wand. Always operate a wand of less than 24 inches - less chance to ding a car, which is parked too close or over spray cars already washed or cars you are not washing. You need a 200-gallon water tank. All this can be mounted on an industrial Cushman cart. Make sure the cart has four wheels, since water moves and weights 8.2 pounds per gallon. That's 1,640 lbs! Insurance is not only an important factor to look at when hiring a contractor, it's essential if you plan to run the operation yourself. You'll want to get a liability policy of at least $1 to $2 million.
You will need to hire experienced labor or your employees will need some type of formal training. A company called Detail Plus in Portland, Oregon offers training courses at your place of business and videotapes and manuals. For more information, visit www.detailplus.com. With professional training and profit incentive bonuses of 10-15% for employees, you may be able to put together an excellent crew.
You'll also need to learn a little about car wash wastewater. Even if you are hiring a company on contract, you should at least be aware of the environmental laws pertaining to waste water. The basic law is this: do not allow wash water run-off to enter a storm drain. Block off storm drains and vacuum unevaporated water into a holding tank for proper discharge into the sanitary sewer. You or your contractor will need to locate a drain which is connected to the sewer treatment plan within your property or drive the waste to a nearby gas station, for example, to put in their R.V. dump. This BMP-Best Management Practice is consistent with nearly all NPDES-National Pollution Discharge Elimination Systems permits. For additional information, visit www.epa.gov and search under water pollution.
CO-MARKETING/NETWORK OF SERVICES
If you utilize the services of a gas station, this will also be an excellent opportunity to co-market with another business, perhaps even help send them business. It pays to have a network of local businesses such as lock-out specialists, tow companies, or maintenance services. Remember you are in the automotive business even though you just park them.
A NATIONWIDE RESOURCE
The Car Wash Guys is currently working with numerous parking garages around the country. We'd be happy to talk with you if you are interested in adding services to your facility. We can also serve as a resource to help locate an independent detailing contractor or a franchisee if one is located in your area. The Car Wash Guys set up training centers for their franchisees in Columbus, OH; Nashville, TN; Orlando, FL; San Antonio, TX; Oklahoma City, OK; Overland Park, KS; Denver, CO; Palm Desert, CA; Sacramento, CA; Bozeman, MT; Portland, OR; Lewiston, ID; Reno, NV; and Scottsdale, AZ. The Car Wash Guys was founded in 1979 and now washes just about everything from cars, trucks, boats and aircraft to windows, buildings, graffiti removal and more.
Best wishes on your plans to maximize revenue as a parking professional. Just remember, success can be found in the details! Think on this.
"Lance Winslow" - If you have innovative thoughts and unique perspectives, come think with Lance; www.WorldThinkTank.net/wttbbs
Own Your Niche by Building a Niche Community
In 1997, David Steele was making the transition from a professional therapist to relationship coach. Part of his strategy was to become a center of influence and THE Relationship Coach for his community.
Making a Decision to Outsource: Strategic Constraints
Many companies are reluctant to dive into outsourcing ocean because of various reasons of strategic nature. As far as strategic goals are touched upon, managers are concerned with the following issues:
Strategic Planning Consulting
Strategic planning and consulting is the strategy roadmap to manage business very effectively. To improve the performance in each business level, business strategic planning & consulting is essential. We should draw a clear strategic planning model to dilute the business complexity. If the strategic planning models are clearly set it is easy to find the business solution.
Pressure Washing Entrepreneurs Can Help With Government NPDES Permits
If you own a pressure washing business one of the smartest things you can do is get involved with the local and regional enforcement for storm water environmental laws. The reason being is they do not understand the washing process of the industry and you can assist them with pertinent information. Secondly you learn about opportunities in the market and third, you can prevent really bad legislation which could potentially put you and your business out of work.
10 Critical Facts to Put On the Cover of Your Business Plan...
In most business plans, no matter how striking the idea, the covers are critically important. The majority of investors may flip to the executive summary, if they get past the cover, when deciding whether or not they are interested. Exactly like the front page of a daily newspaper, a business plan cover puts the important highlights of the proposal upfront for potential investors to read.
Why You Need a Business Planning System NOT a Business Plan
When someone mentions business planning we have been conditioned to think about writing a business plan. There are hundreds of books and articles, tons of software, an army of consultants, and a multitude government programs to help you write a business plan. There are virtually no resources to help you set up what today's business environment really demands ? a continuous, ongoing planning system.
Dayton, OH; Why your Company needs to expand there
In Ohio: besides the 3-Cs you should look at Akron, Dayton, Canton, Toledo, Youngstown and their suburbs. We have been serious studying these areas quite intensely for quite a while, here is what we found; Dayton OH, is looking up after the recent GM Plant received high ratings for productivity being able to beat the Domestic Averages for time to build cars and SUVs, it's SUV Plant was amongst the top performers in the Country for time to build at an average of 20.7 Hours, much better than the Ford Plants all expect F-150 and Taurus Models. Many new projects are happening in Dayton;
Are You Ready To Go International?
Although North Americans were the dominant population on the Internet, that has now changed, and the rest of the world has caught up rapidly. And while English is still the most widely used Internet language, it's not the language of choice for many, many Internet users.
Becoming Wise - Wild & Free - Writing A Successful Business Plan - Part 2 - Do It In Steps
So you've decided to write your own business plan because you know the value that the experience will give you. With the books and software that are out there today you can probably sit down and complete the plan in a day or so, right? Plug in the numbers, add the notes, write the whole narrative (story), print it and get it out to the banks or investors.
Connecting Your Offline Business to Your Online Business
These may sound like no brainers, but you'd be surprised. No matter how high-tech your business has become, there is no doubt you still have some non-electronic aspects of your company. These are things like your business cards, stickers, and work shirts, to name a few.
The Importance of Value Mix
( * - the word 'product' can be substituted to mean 'service' too; and vice versa )
GOT MEME? How to Attract Your Clients and Customers Attention
No "meme" isn't a typo and Got Milk, the more commonly know phrase, is actually a marketing meme. If you've opened up a magazine or watched TV in the last ten years you've seen the fun and memorable Got Milk ad campaign using celebrities with a milk mustache. Chances are it got your attention and you remember the phrase, "Got Milk".
Don?t Just Talk About the Weather, Use It to Advantage
A well known, national chain of restaurants discovered that certain weather patterns substantially impacts their business. They have studied it and found that more people go out to eat dinner when there is a series of beautiful days. So they measure the weather quality at their stores across the country. Managers report the weather quality daily. A weather predicting system is then employed to determine the quality of subsequent days. When the model predicts a higher customer count they reduce or eliminate sale items and include higher priced or higher margin specials on the changing daily menu. While they can't control the weather, they know that their customers respond to it. Knowing that, they work to take advantage of factors that can predict changes in business activity.
To Go or No Go, That Is The Question
Last week we talked about a few of the ways to test the feasibility of a business idea to help determine if the idea really had merit or just looked good on the surface. To recap, I said don't bet the farm on the opinions of friends and family, consult with knowledgeable business experts, and conduct a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) Analysis. This week let's take it a step further and talk about the creation of a formal Feasibility Plan which will help you determine the true feasibility of your big business idea.
Could You Be Setting Your Business Plan Up For Failure?
David E. Gumpert, author of Burn Your Business Plan, often tells the story about how he and his partner failed to raise money after sending their business plan around to venture capitalists and meeting with several others to make presentations. Disappointed by the fruits of their labor, they considered giving up on their venture in 1995. Fortunately, on the advice of their board of advisors, they chose to divert their time from massaging the business plan to making sales. The financing, they were told, would come later.
Microsoft Great Plains in Agriculture ? implementation highlights
In this small article we'll concentrate on farmers associations and non-profit state-sponsored organizations, dealing with subsidized state and federal programs distribution and management ? loans to farmers and rural communities. As we realized this is relatively narrow market niche and it is almost ignored by software developers. In the typical case you should take generic ERP application, such as Microsoft Great Plains and integrate it with legacy systems or create custom piece in Great Plains to serve your association needs.
Business Plan Financial Projections: Stop Worrying About Being Right...
Business plan financial projections seem daunting because they are so uncertain. This very uncertainty, however, is what makes preparing them easy because you can't possibly be right. You can't predict the future. None of us can. All you can be is competent in the way you prepare your business plan projections.
Getting Started with Succession Planning: Part I
GETTING STARTED WITH SUCCESSION PLANNING: PART I
Alice In Wonderland - A Parable for A Business Plan
Remember reading "Alice in Wonderland?"
Akron OH; A great place to do business
When looking at Akron carefully one cannot help but notice it's brilliant location to rivers, water, large cities and middle class consumer spending populations. With Canton to the South, high-end and growing Fairlawn to the North, Kent State and University of Ohio both a stones throw; the potential for any business is quite apparent. There are 160 trucking companies many of which are located in the area due to its proximity to large markets on a major freeway. Everything you want is there or can be delivered within days.
|home | site map|