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Business Operations

March madness

March 16, 2011
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As this year’s NCAA college basketball season heats up and the players and coaches spend hundreds of hours reviewing game footage, discussing strategies and running through practices, (not to mention actually playing the games), I think it’s an opportune time to ask what you’re doing at your car care business to stay ahead of the competition.

Despite what some operators might feel, the carwash industry has not reached its saturation point. Not even close. True, a select few markets are overbuilt and in those areas we have seen plenty of operators fail and others struggle to break even. But we must remember that the single greatest opposition to the professional carwash industry is the driveway washer.

The driveway washer is poised to make his comeback this spring, as temperatures rise and suburban dads across the country prepare to embrace those familiar outdoor chores once again. Right after he mows the lawn and trims the hedges, he’ll head for the hose and bucket.

What does it take to break this tradition? In a word: Education. While the average guy will probably not be swayed by arguments about the hazardous effects of at-home washing on the environment, he might be interested to learn how his weekly habit affects his water utility bill. Or in how technologies used at commercial carwash facilities cannot only get the job done faster and more consistently – but often time will clean better than a hand wash in the driveway.

This month, Professional Carwashing & Detailing is offering you strategies for analyzing your commercial carwash competition and improving your car care business to help it stand out from the crowd. But while you’re reading this month’s cover story, don’t forget that in addition to visiting the self-serve down the street, you’ve also got to consider your neighbor and his garden hose.

When you’re developing your plan of attack this month, remember that a key component revolves around your desire to bring in the home washer and turn him into a loyal customer. It’s an uphill battle, but one I think you can win – especially with our help. Use our website,, to search the archives for keywords like “driveway,” “at-home,” and “consumer education” and discover helpful articles on the dangers of at-home washing, as well as useful links to help you market commercial services.

Okay team, I think that does it for our huddle this month. Go out there and WIN!

Kate Carr, Editor in Chief

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