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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: “All good ideas are terrible...

August 30, 2013
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...until people realize they are obvious.”

Seth Godin quietly posted this short, unpretentious blog last week.

His observation contains considerable value for our industry.

Who believes as I do, that operators and suppliers should work together to increase carwash revenues by 30-50 percent at operators’ sites?

This is a terrible idea, right?

Not gonna happen!

“Suppliers, for sure, won’t be pro-active in this uncertain economy,” some critics say, wanting to wait instead for the economy to recover before taking any necessary action.  

“We can’t afford any additional overhead,” they add, completely unaware that a marketing support program can be self-funded.     

“Besides, operators won’t be very receptive.”

This vital discussion, alas, is never given serious consideration.

The end result, sadly, enables a chronic and potentially fatal problem in the industry to fester: stagnant or declining revenues at thousands of carwash sites. 

Carwash revenues in the field, however, are the true life-blood of the industry. 

Not until operators are making more money at their sites, will the entire industry begin to regain and improve its overall health. 

A “safe” or status quo position, it must be emphasized, serves no one.

Worse, both cash-strapped operators and their lean suppliers forfeit a far more profitable future when they permit this corrosive, unhealthy mindset to persist. 

I believe, however, that all operators want to improve their cash flow, and maximize their return on investment.

And can anyone doubt that every legitimate supplier has a huge and vital vested interest in the financial performance and success of their customers? 

Thus, at some point in time, and hopefully, before the end of this year, a light switch will surely go on, if only dimly at first. 

Only then will the factories and the operators begin to see and enjoy a recovery.

This looming start-up, we know, has been needed for many years. And once moving in a positive direction, look for this critical idea to take on a robust life of its own.

“The tipping point,” popular business writer Malcolm Gladwell says, “is that magic moment when an idea … crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire.”

It remains to be seen, of course, which suppliers and operators will finally step up, and take a leadership role in this imminent “marketing revolution.”