The formula seems easy enough. Beat competition with strategic marketing, an excellent product and unbeatable customer service. That should be enough to separate a busy carwash from an empty one. So, why do some capable operators who follow these pillars to success fall short of achieving goals and growing in some cases?
The answer could be in poor site selection.
As a loyal trade show attendee over the past decade-plus in this industry and through covering the market, I have listened to many experts stress the importance of proper site selection when addressing new investors.
Once the right plot of land is found for your area and business, pulling away from the competition rests on the aforementioned pillars to success. However, supporting those pillars is advanced site design.
What should a modern carwash look like? It’s a question we asked two growing operators for this month’s cover story.
Many carwash chains are building new, modern-looking washes with unabated focus on growth across the U.S. For others, keeping up appearances and refreshing the wash’s look is becoming more of a requirement and less of a recommendation these days.
A nice façade and new equipment are only two components of winning business in an increasingly competitive market. While operating a carwash might appear easy from the outside, experience shows that’s not exactly the case.
This was confirmed recently by a relatively new member of the market. In December, I interviewed Dave Hoffmann, CEO of Mammoth Holdings, who has experience leading and growing well-known brands in the food service industry. I asked Dave what advice he would give to those considering a career switch to carwashing, like he did last year.
“Like the restaurant sector, the carwash industry all looks easy from the outside until you actually have to operate the business,” confirmed Hoffmann.
Hoffmann also offered insight into the chain’s current focus and projected growth strategy, which included “breaking news” on its projected number of locations in coming years.
Mammoth Holdings, like many of the growing chains in the conveyor segment, continues to build a strong network of seasoned operators who have had success in carwashing. In addition to partnering with proven operators, these companies also have the ways and means to enter an area and “take it over” as they strive to achieve densification.
Many market insiders I speak with regularly offer a variation of the following advice to smaller operators, especially in the express exterior wash segment. If you can’t beat them, consider the multiples on a sale, join them or invest significantly to remain competitive.
If you missed our video interview with Mammoth Holdings’ CEO Dave Hoffmann, please check it out below.