We have all seen mobile washing units touring our city, they are usually trucks, vans or trailers with a water tank and a pressure washing unit on board. They market their services with brochures and business cards, yet most of their business comes from weekly repeats and referrals. Some cities have hundreds of these units circulating around the city cleaning things. You may think it is a big business, but as in any business, there is a competitive component to the industry, which is not so obvious at first glance.
A typical car wash competitor is a one-man operation with no room in your truck, van, or trailer for a hot water pressure washer; steam cleaner / pressure cleaner. Many of the smaller crews have simply put a Home Depot pressure washer on their truck or trailer and attached a plastic water tank to it. They most likely don’t even know what to do with the hot water pressure washer unit, even if they had one. The fact is, if the retailer had a steam pressure washer / cleaner, they wouldn’t shut down every year when it rains. In many parts of the US and even the world, the mobile car washing machine has to deal with inclement weather that prohibits working in low temperatures when the water turns to ice and it is difficult to sell a car wash when it is raining outside. Since car washing can be a seasonal business, many mobile car washers turn to cleaning other things with their units when it rains.
These mobile car washes will diversify efforts toward washing things like: concrete, heavy equipment, car interiors, truck fleets, signs, holiday window paint removal, graffiti, and / or paint prep. This is when those with hot water washers have a head start and can use it to stay strong even in winter. It’s also one of the reasons why there are so many small car wash and car wash companies that don’t stay in business that long. If you are thinking of a business of this nature, you should think about seasonality and develop a good strategy. Think about it.