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Embracing change

September 28, 2012
KEYWORDS change / surveys
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This is my favorite time of year. The heat and humidity are on their way out and the cooler temperatures and beautiful landscapes are on their way in. The kids are back in school, and hopefully, the cars are coming into your washes and detail shops to wash away the dirt, and the car-pooling messiness that can accumulate thanks to sports-playing youngsters and tailgaiting fun.

This time of year also marks the time when we send out our state of the industry survey. This survey is not only an interesting way to learn about your fellow operators (and competition), but to also consider trying something new at your business. I know most of you said in the survey that this season is the slowest for you, so what exactly are you doing to change that? Maybe you should consider marketing to high schoolers. I know, back in my day, the guys took great pride in their vehicles, and in showing them off in the parking lots. What about putting an ad in the school paper? Or, what about putting an ad in one of the football programs? It would not only make it look like you support your local school, but you could also be marketing to a new demographic.

One nice thing about the survey, is it can suggest a few changes for the way you do business. For instance, are you open on Sundays? Almost three out of four of you are, but if you’re in the 25 percentile, maybe you should think about being open one more day week? After all, if you’re closed, your competition is more than likely open. Also, according to the survey, 44 percent of you said you use an iPad to monitor your business. Do you have an iPad? It can be a great way to monitor everything from volumes, to malfunctioning equipment, to profits at your carwash. If you don’t have one, maybe you should start comparing prices and consider getting one.

While I’m at it, I also wanted to talk about another big change coming to Professional Carwashing & Detailing. Actually, it’s more of a temporary change, but a big
one to say the least. I will be taking a leave of absence from October to December as I am expecting my first child in early October. It’s an exciting time for me, and while it will be bittersweet to leave the magazine and website, albeit temporarily, I know it will be well taken care of. Managing Editor Phillip Lawless and Editorial Director Rich DiPaolo are more than ready to take the reins and put forth great issues of the magazine and online content during my absence. They are not only overly-qualified, in terms of their editing and writing prowess, but they’re also well versed in carwashing and detailing knowledge and erudition.

Please feel free to contact either of them at plawless@carwash.com or at rdipaolo@ntpmedia.com, with any comments, questions, concerns or story ideas.

In the meantime, enjoy the season, embrace the changing weather and I'll see you in December!

Until then,

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