About a year or so ago, I wrote a tip about growing pains and how my grandson, Madden, was dealing with them at the time. Back then, Madden was about only 8 months old. He just recently passed the 20 month mark, so there have been quite a few pains and quite a bit of growing done since that article was written.

Speaking of growing, Madden’s family is set to grow again with the addition of a little girl, Ellie, who is scheduled to arrive somewhere around the holidays. Needless to say, I am thrilled at the prospect of having a second grandchild and can’t wait for her arrival. In fact, I’ll even admit to having  gone dress shopping with my wife for little Ellie, months before her due date!

But what about Madden? How does he feel about it? I mean, for almost two years he’s had his parent’s sole attention. He was the center of their universe. He was the end all, be all, of their lives. Now, he’s going to only get half of the attention, if that! He will no longer be the only grandchild. Now, both sets of grandparents will have another baby to dote over, to buy things for, and to spoil.

What does this have to do with car washing? If you’re a single-site operator, nothing really. But, if you’ve built, or are thinking of building, more than one site, I suggest you read on.

As with a first child, all your attention went into building your 1st Site. You spent time on the design, layout, equipment package, building amenities, etc. until it was all perfect. Now, after a couple of years of nurturing your new business, you’ve decided that it’s time to expand and add another location. So, you start the whole process over again; site selection, building design, layout, traffic count, etc. All of this demands attention. Attention that was directed at your 1st Site originally. Now, Site #1 is forced to split your time with Site #2. As you add locations, your attention is further diluted. This can cause issues if not handled properly and there’s a fine line to walk. As a first child is jealous of the second, don’t make Site #1 jealous of Site #2.

In the CarWash College Multi-site Management program we discuss ways to build and grow the infrastructure of your company so that you can more easily manage the growth from a single site to multiple sites. Building a solid structure to accommodate growth is imperative so that the end product, a clean, dry, shiny car, never diminishes as your business grows. A solid foundation must be established in order to build, whether it be a business, a building, or a family.

As for Madden, he’ll adjust to having a baby sister around just fine. He might be a little jealous at first, but he’ll learn to love her.

In business and life, there will always be growing pains. How you prepare and react to them is what determines whether they hinder, or propel, your success.


Bob Fox has over 30 years of industry experience and is an instructor at CarWash College™. Bob can be reached at [email protected] For more information about CarWash College™ certification programs, visit CarWash College or call the registrar’s office at 1-866-492-7422.

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