A car wash employee in Southern California cleans a truck. (Photo: Screenshot/NBC4)

A car wash employee in Southern California cleans a truck. (Photo: Screenshot/NBC4)

If you’re starting a car wash, you might be looking for ways to draw new customers to a location. And even with a steady clientele and a solid reputation within the community, your car wash can benefit from a few simple promotions. Here are a couple suggestions for how to boost sales and remind people why you’re the best in the business.

1) Try direct mail. Sometimes, getting an ad in the mail can pretty much guarantee it will go in the trash. But with the right design and a solid coupon or discount, you can start reaching new customers in a target area. Be smart about where you send your flyers; stick to local neighborhoods or new apartment complexes in the area. And refer clients to your social media accounts with incentives to like the page for an additional perk.

2) Give away swag. Everybody loves a good drink koozie or a free pen. Why not try key chains and lanyards, too? Buy in bulk to save cash and print a recognizable logo on products that will act as free advertising to anyone who comes in contact with someone toting your goods.

3) Hold fundraisers. Reach out to local schools and nonprofits and offer your site as one for a monthly car wash. Kids and teachers will usually figure out the logistics and just need your site for a couple hours on a weekend. It’s a definite trade off if you’re letting kids take payment as donations, but you’ll stand out as a contributing member of the community and draw a few new customers in the process.

4) Have a contest. It doesn’t have to be free car washes for a year, but it can be something similar. Hold a day or week where anyone who comes in for deluxe services is automatically entered into a drawing for the big prize. Be sure to draw attention through social media. And think about adding one of those fishbowls for business cards. Pick a weekly winner for a free wash.

5) Develop a rewards program. Here’s where you can draw all of these promotions together. Develop a program where clients get a free wash after four or five washes. Use something like a key chain with your company logo as a record system. So each time your client shows his key chain, you record the number of car washes they’ve gotten. People will see the key chain and