'Cash sales' means all income you receive at the time when you finish valeting a car. While some of your customers will pay you in cash, remember that Cash sales can also include:
- debit and credit card payments
To prepare your cash flow, you need to estimate how much income you will receive over the next 12 months, including VAT. To do this you will need to work out how many vehicles you are likely to valet, at what price and when you will receive the money. Think too about any additional services you will offer and what you will charge for them.
Bear in mind that car valeting is a labour-intensive process. If you're going to be working alone then the most you can earn is your maximum charge multiplied by the maximum number of cars you can valet in a day. This may not put you off, but it may help you to keep your estimates realistic.
There are a number of other things to consider when you make your estimates.
Type of business
Think about the type of valeting business you intend to start up:
- will your customers be private motorists, businesses (such as car dealers, taxi firms, driving schools and so on) or a mixture of both
- will you focus on a particular market niche - for example sports and luxury cars, classic vehicles, agricultural valeting or caravans and campers
- will you operate a mobile service, work at the premises of another business, or work at your own premises
- if you have premises, where will they be
- will you have more than one outlet
- what will your opening and working hours be
- how will you promote your business
Consider the range of services you will offer. Will you:
- only valet cars, or also clean larger vehicles such as campers, coaches and lorries
- sell car care products and equipment
- offer small paintwork and SMART repairs (small to medium area repair techniques)
- undertake specialist services such as vehicle detailing and paintwork correction
- offer steam cleaning of engine bays
- offer refurbishment of alloy wheels
- collect and deliver customers' vehicles
- valet cars at customers' homes or places of work
- offer additional cleaning services, such as valeting caravans, or steam cleaning drives and patios
Give some thought to how you'll charge for your services:
- what will your pricing policy be (you must be able to cover your costs, overheads and drawings)
- will you offer a choice of services at different prices (for example total refurbishment, full valet, standard valet, interior only valet)
- will you make separate charges for additional services such as steam cleaning engines, or collecting and delivering customers' cars
- how often will you review your prices
- will you offer any discounts and special offers
To help with your decisions, click on the checkpoints for guidance. Once you have worked out a Cash sales figure add it to the relevant field in your cash flow forecast.