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Business Operations

A fresh start

October 11, 2010
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Spring has arrived; the season of new beginnings and fresh starts, of love bugs and pollen. It stands to be a welcome change from what many of you told me was a dismal winter, marred by poor weather and talks of recession.

Along with spring comes Car Care World Expo, the International Carwash Association’s (ICA) annual trade show, held this year in Orlando, FL, from April 7 to 10. This show gives operators a chance to regroup, to hash out the foibles and successes of last year and discuss ideas for change and growth.

When your carwash is suffering financially, it is sometimes difficult to see the value of more intangible investments like attending trade shows or advertising your business. Successful operators know that both of these costs are vital to the well being of their carwash businesses. While it may be tempting to omit these expenditures from your budget, take a moment to consider their return on investment. One gives you the chance to experience new ideas and grow as an operator; the other helps attract new customers and remind the general public of the need for a professional carwash.

Carwashes are mostly fixed cost businesses. There are minor adjustments for chemical costs and utilities associated with volume, and for full-service and flex-serve carwashes there are some hiccups related to labor, but for the most part the costs are predictable. Finding room to amend these expenses can be difficult, if not outright impossible.

This month, Professional Carwashing & Detailing asked our readers to submit their most creative and useful ideas to cut expenses. You can find the suggestions, ranging from sensible ideas to cut the electricity bill to thrifty ways to perform your own maintenance. If you have an idea that isn’t found there, please e-mail me so that I can include it in a later issue. Combining lots of small ways to decrease costs can have a big payout in the end and every contribution counts.
Changes for PC&D

Last but not least, I wanted to point out some changes at PC&D this spring. First, let me officially welcome our new managing editor, Debra Gorgos. Deb comes to us with years of experience in the editorial and trade magazine world, most recently serving as the associate editor of Water Technology, a magazine for water treatment and bottled water industries. To better acquaint her with the industry, we shipped Deb off to CarWash College in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, this month to learn how to maintain a conveyor carwash. Hopefully she’s getting all As. I forgot to tell her we withhold paychecks for magazine staff that flunk out of CarWash College…

In addition to seeing Deb, you will also notice a new section in PC&D — The Final Rinse. This is a section for interesting facts and figures, amusing photographs and your funny stories. To submit a story or picture to The Final Rinse, please e-mail me at

Kate Carr is the editor in chief of Professional Carwashing & Detailing® Magazine and absolutely loves spring. You can send your grumblings, compliments and suggestions to

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