Professional Carwashing & Detailing

Take me out to the carwash

March 27, 2014

Spring is finally here…I think. It’s hard to tell in the Northeast, where temperatures are anomalous and extreme. I appreciate the winter season, because it is a lucrative time for car care businesses. However, I think this past winter wore out its welcome about a month in with the relentless cold and nonstop snow.

Along with the spring comes baseball. Growing up, my grandmother on my father’s side was an avid Yankees fan and my grandfather on my mother’s side was a diehard Mets devotee.  The voice of Ralph Kiner still echoes through my childhood home. Saturdays were spent going to little league games or playing ball in our yard. As American as apple pie is, I think baseball offers up a great deal of homespun goodness and old-time tradition. I know it can be controversial and frustrating, thanks to underperforming players and sky-high salaries, but there is still a purity to it that reigns over many households from coast to coast. Any pastime that is celebrated by multi-generations deserves some praise. I started thinking about old-time traditions and reminiscing while looking at Assistant Editor Joe Napoli’s piece. In it, there is a timeline of how the carwashing industry has evolved since it started in 1914. This year marks the industry’s 100th anniversary. What an amazing feat and I congratulate all of you who have been a part of it.

Back on the topic of baseball, it’s interesting to note that the strategy of baseball is similar to any successful business strategy. Play hard, play fair, back up your teammates, try different pitches, get to know your competition and use your competitors’ weaknesses to your advantage.

All of those provisos are invaluable. If you don’t play hard, your business will go stale. If you don’t play fair, your customers will not respect you.  Do you have your employees’ backs? Does the workplace promote teamwork? Are you creating a harmonious atmosphere? How about switching things up? You have to try new things and invigorate your momentum. How about analyzing your competition? Successful athletes study their competitors. Does this batter hit it to left field or right field? Does this batter regularly steal bases? Are you doing the same with your competition? What are they doing right or wrong. What can you offer that they do not? What aren’t they doing well?

It’s not always a matter of who’s the strongest athlete, but instead, who’s the smartest athlete. When it comes to running your business, consider the business property your playing field. Your employees are your teammates. Your car counts are your batting averages. And, hopefully, with this sort of analogy you’re hitting homeruns every day.

Until next time,

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Correction:

In the February issue of Professional Carwashing & Detailing, the cover story: OSHA and your carwash, it mistakenly stated, “Houser, who noted that Autobell received 130 OSHA inspections in 2012, knows..."

That statement is entirely inaccurate and instead the entire carwashing industry received 130 inspections in 2012. We sincerely apologize for the misnomer.