Just when you’ve seen it all, then you experience 2020.
To say this year has been unusual might be the understatement of the millennium.
At the time of writing this column, a tropical storm in early August is spinning up the East Coast during a week when professional sports are returning to odd playoff formats and seasons — with no fans in attendance. And, my favorite New York team is playing its “home” games over 500 miles away in Toronto, Canada. In a “bubble.” Furthermore, my local carwash took down its vacuums a few months back, and they’re still missing.
If nothing else, this year has certainly shown us a little of everything.
Who knew that when the U.S. turned the calendar on Jan. 1st this year that social distancing; masks; outdoor dining; constant handwashing; taking down carwash vacuums; modifying business hours; and having a heightened sense of awareness, health and hygiene were in the cards? Who dealt this hand, and can we get a reshuffle please?
Of course, these unusual factors pale in comparison to the lives lost and the businesses that have shuttered or struggled to stay afloat during these unprecedented times. Our thoughts go out to those families and businesses that have been severely affected by coronavirus and its effects.
As always, our country will most likely come out of this year stronger. As U.S. history buffs know, we always do, once we overcome such hardships. It might not happen as fast as everyone would like, but ultimately there is light at the end of this very dark tunnel, and the new normal that will be created — rather, that is currently being created — will change our country, the world, healthcare, science and so much more for the better.
Throughout humanity’s time on this earth, history has shown that we learn from lessons, create opportunities and adapt along the way. That’s how progress and evolution work.
Carwashing, just like many other industries, will be better as a result. This month’s cover story is a prime example. A heightened sense of awareness, the need for social distancing and the availability of technology have helped many carwashers and detailers in our industry weather this strange storm while protecting customers.
If you don’t believe me, you can hear straight from your peers. We speak regularly with leading owners and operators, and while some say volume has been steady or just slightly down through this situation, others have even reported record highs in profitability. Membership programs for customers, the implementation of processing technologies and other notable factors have helped keep many tech-embracing carwashes on the right path this year.
Our publication and its website are here to offer you free resources to help understand and select these leading solutions to help your business have better days now and ahead.