The Details and Workings of Car Wash Financing
Perhaps you are an entrepreneur looking to transition into the realm of car washes, or maybe you are considerably familiar with this industry and looking to expand. Regardless of your background, there’s one apparent fact: it’s going to cost you money and you might need some financial assistance for your endeavors, that term being ‘financing’.
This write up will give you a wealth of knowledge and understanding to point you into the right direction concerning your financing needs. The goal is to help you understand financing options available to you in addition to what will be the next steps to begin and complete this process.
Determining The Magnitude of Your Financing Needs
The first step towards your financing goal is to determine how much funding you will need. Try to gather as much information as you can about your purchasing plans whether it be acquisition, re-financing, or building new.
If you are interested in acquiring a wash it would be to your benefit to know the asking price and the historical financial data of the present (and past if applicable) owner. We recommend obtaining tax returns, Profit and Loss statements, general sales, car counts, and as much documentation that can be received. This should really be the basis and starting point of your journey as lenders operate and offer in accordance with the recorded financials of your desired site. If not, it would be difficult to arrange financing without the ability to determine what the wash is in fact worth. These financial documents can shed light on the capability of loan repayment and in the interest of you, the potential profitability.
Alternatively, if you have plans to build a new wash from the ground up; the financing required may be a bit more ambiguous depending on where you are in the process. Without diving too deep into the structural costs of car washes, it is important that you take into consideration the list of costs associated with this project: real estate and land, building and fixed improvements, tunnel and support equipment, electronic components, and more. We encourage you to take advantage of our written guide explaining how much it costs to build a car wash.
Understanding Your Financing Options
Once you’ve established your estimated costs, you can begin to entertain and explore suitable financing options. It’s only fair to note, there is no one size fits all loan specific check box. Financing needs vary case by case which equates to the fact that there are loans more or less appropriate for you. To eliminate and narrow in on a loan fit for you, let’s go through all possible options.
There are two notable financing routes available and highly recommended, those being the SBA loan options and the conventional loan options.
The Small Business Administration (SBA) loan was created for just that, to aid in the provision of loans to small businesses. With mitigating risks, the SBA makes it easier for you as a borrower and in leu of the lender as well. The SBA 7(a) program can be used for “short-and long-term working capital, refinancing current business debt, and purchasing” (SBA.gov) The maximum loan amount for a 7(a) loan is $5 million to all eligible recipients. According to the SBA, eligibility derives from the following:
- Operating for business profit
- Identifiable as a small business
- Reasonable invested equity into the business
- Attempted use of additional financial resources before seeking assistance
- Proven need for a loan
- Verified business related use of funds
- No outstanding delinquency on any pre existing debts to the U.S. government
On the other hand, the SBA 504 loan veers to the more complex scope yet in comparison this loan program can meet greater financial needs. SBA 504 solely provides long term financing options in which your wash must have a net worth less than $15 million and an average net income of less than $5 million after federal income taxes for two years prior to application. (SBA.gov)
Likewise, you may be considering the conventional loan option. The notable difference between a conventional loan and an SBA loan happens to be the term length and interest rate. In short, conventional loans traditionally have shorter terms and higher interest rates (bankrate.com) Conventional loans are more so categorized similarly to personal loans, where businesses or in this case your wash can repay the loans over an agreed-upon negotiated term. A typical conventional loan is best fit for more established businesses in which one might find recorded proof of solid financials and gain. If this option looks to be your preferential loan, it would be to your benefit to prepare a thorough plan to action along with realistic financial projections for your wash.
How To Get Started:
All in all, if you are dedicated and committed to your plan in addition to proof of financial viability – you will undoubtedly get approval for your desired loan.
That said the typical timeline ranges anywhere from 45-60 days all predicated on the procurement of required documentation. It is important you approach the loan obtainment process properly.
CWA offers guidance throughout your entire financing journey. We’ve outlined step by step direction available HERE beginning with the initial conversation / loan considerations, moving on to the loan engagement process, lender referrals / introductions, all the way through one-on-one extensive business plan development. We cannot wait to help you along the way.