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Operations and Management

Gobble up profits with a bigger membership program

It’s time to finish the year strong.

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Rich DiPaolo is the Associate Publisher – Editorial of Professional Carwashing & Detailing magazine.

Operating a wash with a successful membership program is one of the most effective ways to ensure consistent revenue and, if you’re preparing to sell your business, put yourself in an ideal position to achieve a high valuation. According to the experts, bucking the misleading notation otherwise, members will actually be more profitable to your business than pay-per-visit customers over time. Furthermore, active members become advocates of the wash, spreading the word to friends and family. 

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With the holiday season upon us, there is no better time than now to promote your unlimited membership programs, ending the year strong and solidifying business for 2020. Research shows that more people are opting for professional carwashes these days over other methods of washing. 

Therefore, giving the gift of carwashing is a great idea. It’s your customers’ opportunity to let that special someone in their lives know that they care about that person’s oftentimes second-most-expensive investment. 

Make sure your signage and other promotional efforts are ready for Thanksgiving as well as the December holidays. Check out this month’s Letter to the Editor from Timothy Temple of Washington, D.C.-based Splash Car Wash about a lesson he learned recently concerning signage. 

Don’t have a membership program at your carwash? Be sure to check out back issues of Professional Carwashing & Detailing at www.carwash.com/magazine-archive. While you’re on Carwash.com, please visit our Carwash Connection video page. Earlier this year, we produced a special four-part series on this very topic with tips to effectively market, manage and grow your loyalty programs.

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In this issue, we feature our Top 50 List of U.S. Conveyor Carwash Chains. While the top five and others on this year’s list are familiar, there are some new companies on the list as well. Our industry’s operators still remain fragmented, but moving forward, our list should show the impact of inevitable consolidation on this industry. 

Barring an economic setback or developing macro trend that would be detrimental to carwashing or consumer spending, experts indicate that operator consolidation will continue, and the top operators in this industry could eventually make up at least 30% of the total number of conveyor locations. That would represent a seismic shift in our industry. When it will happen or if is still yet to be determined.  

Thank you to all of the operators who participated in this year’s research to compile the information for the list. I appreciate you taking the time to answer my calls and emails to validate information for your chains. Without your participation, this list would not be possible. Thank you also to this year’s content sponsors. We appreciate your ongoing support of Professional Carwashing & Detailing. 

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We hope you all enjoy the Top 50 List as well as the holidays.

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