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Business Operations

The 2011 State of the Industry Survey

July 01, 2011
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As a business owner and operator, it’s crucial to peek in on your competition — to see how they are operating, to gauge any trends, and maybe even follow suit. If you have ever wondered whether others are open on Sundays; or want to know if they are using Groupon; or questioned if others are performing employee background checks, then the following pages are for you. The 2011 State of the Industry Survey was designed as a way to let you in on what your fellow owners and operators are doing, how they are faring, and so on.

Some of the results were interesting to say the least. Years and years ago, it would have been rare to see a business open on a Sunday. But, now, according to our survey results, the majority of the respondents said they are, in fact, open on that day. Another interesting result showed that Sundays aren’t even their slowest day. It was also interesting to see what is considered to be the most critical issue as an owner and operator. Crime and water regulation worries were low on the list.

The survey results were made possible by the owner/operators who took the time to answer the questions which were e-mailed to them during the months of April and May. We had 313 respondents overall and we thank those who took the time and made the effort to participate in the survey.

Surveys can be purchased at our online bookstore, www.cminstitute.net.

Other types of green initiatives

Fourteen percent of those surveyed chose the “other” option when asked what types of green initiatives were in place at their business.

We gave them the option of entering their own text and one of the most popular answers was the use of eco-friendly and biodegradable chemicals, products and soaps. Some of the other respondents said they have LED lights or lighting fixtures or use sky lights. Using Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs) and adjusting nozzle sizes was another popular answer.

A few interesting “write-in” answers included having a “discharge permit” instead of using the sanitary sewer, and another person wrote in that they use oil and grease separators.

Other types of additional profit centers

Twenty-four percent of those surveyed chose the “other” option when asked what kind of additional profit center they have on-site.

We gave them the option of entering their own text and one of the most popular answers was a detail shop, or some sort of auto detailing service, such as window tinting, paint or gel-coat repairs. Another popular answer was a gift shop, gallery or lobby with items for sale. Vacuums were also high on the list.

A few of the more unique “write-in” answers included:

  • RV wash bay
  • Espresso stand
  • Golf pro shop
  • Soft-serve ice cream
  • Hot dog stand
  • U-Haul rentals
  • Ice
  • Dunkin’ Donuts
  • Used cars
  • Storage buildings

Other types of equipment to be installed

Twenty-four percent of those surveyed chose the “other” option when asked what kind of equipment they plan on installing within the next year.

We gave them the option of entering their own text and one of the most popular answers was a new dryer, followed closely by steamers and credit card machines. Some said they were installing a completely new tunnel, self-serve bay, lube center or pet wash.

A few of the more unique “write-in” answers included:

  • A touchless tunnel
  • A customer loyalty card system
  • A tire inflator
  • An LED sign
  • A shampoo mat cleaner
  • An extractor
  • Hand held dryers for self-serve bays
  • Cameras
  • VFDs

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