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Operations and Management

Small Things Yield Big Results

After a week of onsite training at a client’s location, the importance of what to many may seem insignificant became crystal clear to me.



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After a week of onsite training at a client’s location, the importance of what to many may seem insignificant became crystal clear to me. It is something you ask of each employee and it speaks volumes to your customers and your community. It is not something new or revolutionary however, it’s so important to the success of a wash that it is the focus of this month’s column.

A person I have tremendous respect for when it comes to people management and myself used to disagree about the importance of this. After having trained hundreds of people myself I now know why it’s so important. What is this small thing? An employee’s personal appearance and in this particular instance – a clean shaven face! You may be asking yourself, “What’s the big deal if someone has a little stubble when they show up for work?” I know right now at least half of you are thinking that it’s no big deal. But let’s take this one step further. Would it be a big deal if your employee didn’t show up for work in the proper uniform or if they didn’t follow your prescribed procedures?


In this example, shaving is a “test” to see if the employee can, or is willing to, follow rules and do what is expected of them on the job. If they can’t start the day by completing the small task of shaving their face, how can you expect them to do anything else you ask of them? Not only is it a test, it’s also a way to make sure your wash presents a good image to the community. Let’s face it – car wash locations don’t always have the best reputation when it comes to being a safe place with clean and friendly employees. If you have any doubts about what people think about car washes or what makes the news across the country when it come to car washes, set yourself up for daily Google news email alerts. You will be amazed at what you read.


Don’t hire just anybody that walks in the door. Learn how to become a good interviewer and take the time to make sure the person is what you are looking for. And most important of all – don’t settle for anything less. The most common problem I find with car washes hiring the right people is the attitude of the owner or manager. I hear the following all the time “I can’t get the good people, they don’t want to work at a car wash.” Yes, it’s true, almost no one says “When I grow up I want to work at a car wash”. The locations I see that have the most success think only certain people are good enough to work at their car wash.


How your employees look, and act, will say more about your business than you can ever imagine. So start a culture where only the best are able to work for you and pass it down. I guarantee it will pay off ten-fold by making your business easier to manage, and delivering a better experience to your customers and community.

Robert Andre is the President of CarWash College™. Robert can be reached at [email protected]. For more information about CarWash College™ certification programs, visit or call the registrar’s office at 1-866-492-7422.

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