If you are currently a new investor or thinking about entering our industry, let us be among the first to welcome you to the carwash industry. Well-known statistics support the fact that this is a low barrier of entry market and it offers an attractive return on initial investment for entrepreneurs who properly operate their businesses. For example, according to the International Carwash Association (ICA),the world’s largest organization for carwashprofessionals,the business is growing and is currently estimated to be a $23 billion industry. Also, notes the association, 37 percent of carwash operators have less than five years of experience in the business. Therefore, as a new investor, you’re not alone.

 More encouraging than our industry’s current makeup is its potential. Important metrics and forecasts from industry insiders support growth for our industry in coming years. With steady economic growth, car sales are expected to continue to increase. Due to water regulations and other factors, driveway carwashing has decreased. The result of these trends will be an increase in customer demand to visit professional washes.

Furthermore, car sales are up.According to the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA), which represents nearly 16,000 new car and truck dealerships, both domestic and international, with more than 32,500 franchises, dealerships sold or leased more than 15.5 million new cars and light trucks in 2013, up 7.5 percent from the year before.

As more people continue to purchase new and used cars, it presents a tremendous opportunity to new and current carwash investors. However, this is not exactly a set it up and forget it type of industry. Successful carwash owners realize that change in this industry is occurring rapidly today, and they stay ahead of the competition by expanding their marketplace knowledge.

Before you made the decision to enter this market, you probably did your due diligence and the above statistics were realized months ago. What you most likely did not find in that research is the kindness and willingness to help that most people in this industry have for each other. Our industry realizes it is stronger when everyone is successful and educated on what it takes to be a reputable carwasher.  

While this special edition Welcome Guide will offer many of the best practices you need to be successful, it is just the beginning. Moving forward, make sure the decisions you make are informed through education. Use your resources, including our monthly magazine and our website Carwash.com. Commit yourself to the industry by growing your market knowledge at national and regional trade shows and training symposiums. Welcome to the industry and best of luck on your new investment.