Apple Growth Partners

Maximizing the Value of Your Car Wash

Jeff Brooks, Principal – Tax

By Jeff Brooks, CPA, CGMA

Running the day-to-day operations of your car wash may get in the way of planning for your end game. Day in, day out, often seven days a week, can be exhausting as an owner but without taking the time to properly assess and improve your business, you will miss the opportunity to position your car wash to sell. Recognizing the importance of planning your end game will deliver the ultimate goal of peace of mind. Our expert team of accountants and business advisors, specializing in car washes, has developed three key steps to take to be on your way to your end game.

Step 1: Proper business and tax structure

This is determined by your specific situation and personal goals, but we often see that having your real estate holdings in a separate entity from your operations can provide maximum asset protection and planning opportunities.  Often LLC’s taxed as flow through entities provide the most flexibility and after-tax cash flow. Not sure what all that means? No problem, that’s where we can help.

Step 2: Benchmarking

We’re certain you can name several competing car washes in a 20-mile radius of your location. But do you know how they compare to you in terms of business volume, cost per wash, and other key metrics? Comparing your car wash to industry standards, also known as “benchmarking”, is a valuable measurement of your business’s success.  By comparing to industry averages, we can analyze overall performance and identify areas of strength and weakness. Identifying early areas for improvement and knowing the key drivers of value can best position your business for sale, investment, or gifting to the next generation.

Step 3: Understanding the True Value

Business owners have an understandably emotional connection to the company they pour their life into. Therefore, it’s easy to lose sight of your business’s true financial value. Understanding the fair market value of your car wash is critical for a future sale.  We can help with calculating the current and future value.  If your facility is not valued where you’d like or need it, we can work with you to adjust your business model and realize its maximum value.

Contact me today to discuss how we can help maximize the value of your car wash to best position your end game.