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Increasing Carwash Revenue

Mike Perry will now be a regular blogger for Perry has more than 30 years' experience in retail marketing and in business-to-business sales. He can be reached at 770-330-2490, or at
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Blog: What Business Are You In?

October 19, 2012
KEYWORDS IBA / marketing / retail / success
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Read this blog only if you have a strong constitution. 

Embracing its central point could dramatically impact your continued success as a carwash operator. 

In the quotation below, I have applied literary license to change and substitute a few key words in Theodore Levitt’s enormously popular Harvard Business Review article, “Marketing Myopia.”   

In the original work, Levitt was writing about the surprising demise of many once-prestigious railroad companies in the first half of the 20th century.

Levitt’s extremely influential piece appeared in 1960. 

His main point has continued relevance, 50 years later, in today’s struggling carwash market.  

“The in-bay carwashes did not stop growing because the need for clean, shiny and dry cars and vehicles declined. ... The in-bays are in trouble today not because the need was filled by others (exterior only, full-service and express washes), but because it was not filled by the in-bay wash operators themselves. They let others take customers away from them because they assumed themselves to be in the carwash business rather than in a retail business. The reason they defined their businesses wrong was because they were carwash oriented instead of retail-oriented; they were product-oriented instead of customer or market-oriented.”  (emphasis is mine).

Whether you own a full-service tunnel, an express wash or an in-bay automatic,  the author’s message is instructive; customers today have more choices than ever, and the best operators will relentlessly strive to identify, cultivate, capture and reward them.

If you decided to sharpen your focus and become intensely market-oriented, what tasks would you identify and complete, to build a larger customer base before the end of the month?

Going into the last few weeks of the year, astute operators must make aggressive plans to finish 2012 on a very positive note!