When planning to open your own business, you have to go through the rigorous process of studying your chosen enterprise inside and out. Once you have your marketing plan ready for implementation, the next step for you is to consider how you should do marketing audit along the way.
Most start-up entrepreneurs—even those who buy into an existing franchise—forget the fact that things don’t always go as you want them to. No matter how well-thought out your business plan may be, you will always encounter a few unexpected bumps here and there. Your mother company may have some tips and tricks to help you out, but at the end of the day, it’s you who have to call the shots. Building your business from the ground up is hard work, and you have to be smarter about how you spread your time and resources.
Why you should implement regular marketing audit
Doing the marketing planning process of your business which is the keystone as to how well your business performs, you most probably conducted a thorough market analysis. You want to know how to run the business, what customers are looking for, what your competitors are not doing, and how you can create a niche for yourself in the market. For the car wash industry in particular, you were aiming to get a feel for what types of services customers wanted at particular price points. Perhaps you were looking for ways to add more value to your business so that car owners will always choose you over your competition.
But markets change, people change, technologies change. The market analysis you made a year ago no longer reflects current trends and tastes. You need to go out there and re-learn everything again so you can adjust your marketing strategies accordingly.
That’s where marketing audit comes in. You can check where you are based on your overall business plan and see if you’ve achieved the goals you set for yourself. If you did, well and good; perhaps it’s now time for you to set the bar higher. But if you haven’t yet gotten to where you wanted to be, it’s time to change gears.
How to conduct your marketing audit
There’s no hard and fast rule for conducting a marketing audit. Every business is unique, every milestone is critical. As you run and grow your business, you will recognize that there are certain points in time when you need to stop, look back, and check your progress.
Here are some of the things that you should look into as you review and revise your original business plan:
- Take stock of your resources. How much working capital do you have? How many people are working for and under your car wash company? Do you have enough cleaning supplies, chemicals, and equipment to carry on your business for the next few months? Do your detailers work on improving their skills and knowledge continuously so that they can deliver better services in the future? You can’t expand your business unless you have the right resources at your disposal. This is a numbers game, where you really have to audit your physical resources to determine if you can move forward.
- Study your competition and the car wash market again. This is probably the most important step of all. You have to be as comprehensive as though you were only starting out. You need to see the car wash industry, your competition, and your customers with a fresh eye. Developments and changes happen all around you every day, so you have to adopt if you want to capture and retain your market share. There may be things that you’re doing wrong that you need to address immediately if you want to continue your business.
- Be critical about your own business plan. You might have begun your car wash company with an airtight business plan, but it won’t stay that way unless you continue pouring work into it. Evaluate your marketing plan and strategy so that you can identify the holes in it. Patch up your plan or throw it out of the window completely if you feel that you need to start from scratch.
Some people find it much easier to deal with an established car wash franchise because they are assured of good guidance all the way, right up to regular marketing audit processes. Consider joining the growing family of DetailXPerts today to see how far your car wash business can go.
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