Why The Carwash Industry is Stagnant; What You Can Do to Change Your Field

Many years ago, I had warned the carwash industry of problems brewing in customer dissatisfaction as we continued to grow our car wash company into a National Franchise Chain. I warned of environmental controls, speed of wash, water usage, quality of labor, price points, car wash fundraisers, car damage, up selling and hot wax. At that time I was called everything under the Sun by operators who did not wish to change.

Today, just over a five years later those changes are coming about. The ICA, International Carwash Association has sponsored training on saving water due to drought situations in North America. Many large consolidating Car Wash Companies such as Mister Carwash have adopted 5 minute wash policies, no waiting or bottleneck traffic flows, flex service with no upsell and responsible employee policies. Other Car Wash chains such as WashDepot, Mace Holdings, CarSpa, Splash . As a matter of fact this years listing of the Power Inc. Car Wash Survey shows that nearly all of the top 50 consolidated carwashes in North America have adopted 5 or more of Mr. Winslow's challenges of past year. Nearly all of these companies have adopted safer car wash chemical procedures, water saving systems and community volunteerism. Other major players have adopted incredible standards in Image like SuperWash Franchise Systems. At the time many in the Industry jeered my comments such as Industry Leader, John Moran who said in an article with Professional Car Washing and Detailing Magazine;

"What world do you live in? Surely not the same as the rest of us? What you are describing is a Utopian fantasy. Why don't you open up one of these full serve car washes and call it, The Utopian Fantasy Car Wash. Please show all of us moron's how it is done. By the way do you ever sleep, or do you stay up all night dreaming this stuff up?"

But never the less the challenge is being met due to the vision of our founder to deliver to the customers, that which they desire, we were right and saw the future others did not. Even more interesting was this announcement that the major industry magazine was not only adopting the community based car washing, but sponsoring a non-profit group to do charity carwashes nationwide.

http://www.carwash.com/news.asp?mode=4&N_ID=33110

They are now the official sponsors of WashUSA. Even the ICA and WCA, which in 2000 made it a point to try to limit or have carwash fundraisers from kids groups banned due to the fact it was costing them business, have dropped those efforts. They were using tactics similar to that of the Sierra Club to curtail the fundraisers claiming violations of 13.260 of California Water Code in Southern CA, Fish and Game in Puget Sound region of Washington State and Federal Clean Water Act in other parts of the country. This made for a consumer backlash. Meanwhile our company was being awarded for our assistance to the common good;

1.) Recognized by the City of Los Angeles

2.) Recognized by the EPA in an official Document Online

3.) Forming a Strategic Alliance with InfoSports Online, the number one youth sports website

4.) Recognized by the State of Washington in Puget Sound Region

5.) Helping Inner City Kids raise money for travels and education

6.) Diligent and Continued Efforts

Our company and our company alone, along with the vision of our team has brought about great and positive changes in the Car Wash Industry and we will continue to peddle past the name calling in search of our victory in the market. It is for that reason we have forced others to adapt to a higher standard or exit the market place. Today nearly every major Car Wash Association in the US is sponsoring or calling for some type of charity car wash fundraisers to help the youth of our country grow up to be hard working and good citizens to lead our future.

As a matter of fact in a brash and challenging way we have systematically changed the industry into our image and we have uplifted the dirty image of the former car wash industry adding a larger customer base for us along with all other market participants. Yes we have helped eliminate a few through these market demands, however the consumer is thankful for the changes as they vote with their dollars to more frequent car washing at professional car washes. The rest of the industry which are willing to follow the new higher standard are doing fine still. Today Wash Guys belong to no Car Wash Associations, we just command them to see our will for the benefit of the consumer, environment and future success of the industry, and to think that most of this started with a kid washing airplanes, who eventually wrote the book on Community Based Car Wash Fundraisers, as good clean fun to unite young and old, teach respect and service and raise millions of dollars a year cleaning the World one car at a time, with the help of thousands of Industry Active Car Wash Owners across this Great Nation.

Today all 50 of the top car wash chains in the Nation subscribe to more than half of our original initiatives and proposed industry changes of May of 2001. We are watching as the winners and losers in the market place are now separated by only these upgrades in the industry. We are now working on raising the bar in January of 2003 as soon as the market leaders catch up to all 12 of our visions for the industry. We have single handedly brought awareness to the entire industry through our challenging of old thought processes and conventional wisdom. We will continue to change, modify and up lift this industry for the betterment of all.

This proves when your mission is noble and you commit to go the distance you will always win in the end. We win Again, thank you Team. Now my question for the reader; What industry are you in? What have you done to improve that industry? What have you done to set yourself apart from the mediocrity? Think about it.

"Lance Winslow" - If you have innovative thoughts and unique perspectives, come think with Lance; www.WorldThinkTank.net/wttbbs

In The News:

Small Business Lifeline  University of Georgia
A guide to getting a small business loan  http://smallbusiness.co.uk

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