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Articles by Phillip Lawless

Profile in success: Then and now

How J.R. and Patricia Carsten found almost 50 years of success in the ever-evolving detail industry.
In the world today, it is rare for a person to stay in the same position, with the same company, for more than five years.
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Down the drain

Recycled and collected water is a valuable resource, and many self-serve carwash owners are missing out.
While the calendar year may be different, it seems that the grim reports on water usage have stayed the same.
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Mystery damage no more

High-quality camera systems document every vehicle to help prevent mistaken damage claims.
What really scares a carwash owner or operator?
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Mike Ditka on carwashing and the importance of practice

During his speech at The Car Wash Show™, he talked about carwashing, his rookie season and his respect for Vince Lombardi.
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Surviving The Car Wash Show™

What did I learn during my first ever carwash trade show?
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Reporting live from The Car Wash Show™

LAS VEGAS — Keynote Speaker Mike Ditka sets a positive mood for the world's largest carwash show, telling attendees, "You people are the backbone of America."

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Profile in Success: Expecting the unexpected

Marketing prowess and on-site experiments have helped quirky Paradise Car Wash succeed.

Plato's ancient saying is widely known: Necessity … is the mother of invention. And if ever there was an era in the carwash industry that called out for invention and new ideas, it was the past few years. While some owners and operators chose to hunker down during the destructive financial storm, others soldiered on armed with fresh intentions and do-it-yourself ideologies.

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Initiating impulse sales

Displays, placement and pricing help operators push impulse profits and increase customer traffic.

Putting high-profit products within the reach of paying customers is one of the oldest tricks in the book. While general stores piled up penny candies, the grocers of today have selected slick magazines and cold sodas. And, for many decades now, carwash owners and operators have gotten into the act.

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Turning tunnels "green"

Earth-friendly technologies provide fertile ground for growing greater margins.

Predicting the future of the carwash industry can be a tricky affair. While some subjects require a powerful psychic or a crystal ball, others need no talismans or tea leaves. One area where ESP is not needed is energy usage. There is little doubt that decreased utility usage and increased tunnel efficiencies will drive carwash profitability in the future.

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Map out a new menu

Capture customer attention by selecting new services and updating offerings and packages.

There it hangs, the same as always. The criss-crossed cobwebs and thick coating of dust bear witness to the fact that this carwash's menu has not changed in quite a long time. Yet, as that menu has hung dingy and ignored, carwashing costs and the number of competing washes have climbed exponentially.

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