ARLINGTON, Texas — The 2015 SCWA Annual Convention and EXPO kicked off yesterday, and among the highlights was the CEO Forum – Industry Forecast session presented by Scott Blackstock, CEO of Tidal Wave Car Washes, and Paul Fazio, CEO of Sonny’s The Car Wash Factory.
The Southwest Car Wash Association’s “Experience SCWA” annual convention continues today with a scheduled keynote address from Fox News contributor and Wall Street Journal columnist Karl Rove.
“There is no one right way,” explained Blackstock, addressing those in attendance at yesterday’s CEO Forum on what it takes to be successful in this industry. “If you’re successful, then your way is the right way.”
According to Blackstock, the carwash industry is similar to the healthcare industry. For several decades there was little change in the industry, but over the past five or so years, there has been dramatic change in the industry, and owners and operators must adapt.
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And for owners open to selling their businesses, Blackstock also acknowledged that today is the perfect time to do so while interest rates are low and new investors maintain interest in carwashes.
“Timing is everything. Carwashes are worth more today than ever before or maybe ever will be in the future,” said Blackstock.
Fazio’s presentation focused on the carwashing industry’s future as well as the previous and current trends that have shaped and are shaping our industry.
“People wash their cars at home for one simple reason — costs,” asserted Fazio. “People bring their car to a carwash for one simple reason — it makes them feel good.”
In addition to presenting the important industry statistics to the crowd as well as profiling the typical customers visiting your wash and how to best present your wash to these customers, Fazio also commented on the importance of regional trade shows, such as SCWA’s event.
“The regionals play a huge role in our industry,” noted Fazio. “Among the many other benefits of attending, they help us have open communication.”
Both Blackstock and Fazio agreed that competition in this industry among carwashes will continue to intensify for a variety of reasons, and owners and operators will have to make tough decisions about their businesses in the coming years.
“No matter what decisions you make for your business, just make sure you have the info and be prepared,” concluded Fazio.