ADVANTAGE Publication of the Southwest Car Wash Association
Third Quarter 2021
and above par for wash results to reach maximum efficiency. Monitoring the equipment with daily and weekly checks are a must to prevent potential mishaps or out-of-control usage — water, chemistry, etc. “Speaking from the standpoint of our systems only, if completely biodegradable chemicals are always used and routine maintenance followed, quarterly nutrients need to be added to the system, and an annual filter change is required,” Gibney says. n recent SCWA Board of Directors meetings, we have been FINAL RESULTS discussing all the changes we are experiencing within the If maintained correctly, the final results provided car wash industry. Most of the changes from the pandemic byconsolidations closed-loop are carwashing should conventional to outside our control.rival However the wash quality, the NWI team states. The path achieve challenge is acknowledging and accepting changetoand then this quality is not without some increased maintenance working hard to make sure we continue to make SCWA requirements equipment costs. has But,come these factors relevant for ourand members. Our success from our should to bebeweighed against thedriven” savings of reduced mission an “operator member association. So water and sewer to determine the feasibility and we must always be costs evaluating our programs and goals to profitability closed-loop operation. make sure weofare accomplishing our mission and helping ourIdeally, membersabeclosed-loop more successful. wash is using completely biodegradable chemicals, operating a true restoration system that association removes chemicals fromand the water and following the As leaders business owners we manufacturer’s required maintenance, Gibney concludes. must all be open to change and exercise wisdom If so, customers will not be able to tell any difference in in managing change. wash quality compared to the use of fresh water.
If you have multiple checking or savings accounts, consider consolidating to one of each, preferably at the same bank-more accounts mean higher odds of overdrafts. Especially troublesome are accounts with automated withdrawals or payments-easily overdrawn if no one is paying close attention. If there are lots of CDs, savings accounts and/ or moneymarket accounts at different institutions, some could be easily overlooked. Stick with paper statements. It's perfectly fine for you trust to access your accounts but (or it'smembers) easy for and with our customers andonline, employees someone else to overlook or be shut out of your online that we are staying ahead of the situation around us and we only accounts, which may be difficult to access. Bills and are implementing actions that will lead to the progress and statements that arrive in the mail provide a wonderful success we all seek. fail-safe. That's true even if the financial agent doesn't live I realize this is the true challenge for me and for all of near mail can be forwarded that by the us in you-your the car wash business world – buttowe canperson keep the post office or a trusted neighbor. enthusiasm high by keeping the focus on the rewards,
JEFF BLANSIT, SCWA PRESIDENT
As listened contributor, to the SCWAJonathan Board members change, By Ifreelance Abrams, discuss Professional ICarwashing realized how discussion could also parallel the needs & this Detailing. for owners and operators in our car wash businesses. So not only is this discussion important for our association to progress, but it is also critical for keeping our businesses viable and relevant in the marketplace.
Prepare Your Finances for an Progress involves change. I have often wondered if McDonalds would stillHandoff be in business if they were only Emergency
selling the someone all American they did in the fifties.your Could stepburger in andassuc cessfully manage Do you know that McDonalds sells more chicken today Of financial affairs if you are unable to do so yourself? than they do hamburgers? Now that is keeping up with course, you could execute a "financial power of attorney'' customer needs and the “changing” marketplace. designating someone as a "financial agent" to act on your
As association leadersmatters and business owners we must all be behalf in financial if you're incapacitated. But open to change and exercise wisdom in managing change. just drafting that document with an attorney, which you We inherently resist change because is uncomfortable. should do, doesn't guarantee that it this relative, friendBut or change necessary, growth, brings adviseriswill know change what tobrings do. The issuechange isn't so much opportunity, brings longer term stability. This is out whether he/ change she lacks financial savvy-it's that figuring what we as business owners and leaders must do manage someone else's finances on the fly is a massive challenge. change successfully. Having a financial plan in place for health emergencies We can either on remain in people's our own minds small world let the is especially many now and because of the competition leave us behind or we can embrace productive coronavirus pandemic, but an incapacitating emergency change and take charge of our future. Great leaders and could come up at any time. Here's how to prepare finances successful business owners keep ahead of the competitive for an emergency handoff… curve by accepting change and then leading business SIMPLIFY IN ADVANCE operations in positive and growth oriented directions. Consolidate credit cards and accounts.and Missed There are a number of obstacles we bank must confront credit card payments are among the most common overcome during times of change. A big obstacle is fear. missteps someone takes over your finances. The Fear of thewhen unknown. Fear that there may be something more you use, the within greaterour theability odds that there will out of cards our control or not to handle. As be a problem. Cut back to only we two, if possible. the leaders of our businesses must create the confidence
security, positive results that will come. DRAFTand A the ROAD MAP
As Create we move into the guide final quarter offinances. 2021 and Having begin all of a concise to your planning for 2022, this is a perfect time to take a few your financial information in one place will save your minutes to evaluate your business and see if you need designated agent a lot of time and greatly reduce the to odds add “chicken” to your menu or business model. I know that something will be missed. Handwrite this list, or type from experience beingsave openittoonchange and being or flexible and print it. But-don't your computer send it will make a difference in your bottom line. via e-mail-that would increase the risk that this sensitive In your planning for 2022 – bethe suredetails to mark info could be stolen. Among to your include... calendar forsources. the FirstNote Big Car ofincome the yearstreams – Income howWash each EXPO of your EXPERIENCE SCWA, February 27-March 1, 2022 often at theare arrives-pensions and Social Security payments Fort Worth Convention Center. direct-deposited into bank accounts, for example. If you
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NEW CONVENTION REGISTRATION & EXPO MANAGEMENT SCWA NEWS The Southwest Car Wash Association is happy to
announce a new partnership with Innovation Event Management for the Convention Registration and EXPO Management of the 2022 SCWA Convention & EXPO. According to SCWA President Jeff Blansit, “the SCWA Convention & EXPO continues to grow attracting more than 2500 attendees from over 40 states across the U.S. this past year. With the continued growth, we want to build the management team to increase support of the event while keeping the same friendly, family Southwest hospitality. Chuck & Jane Space will continue their great efforts in managing the overall convention including the education and speaker content while IEM will manage the Convention Registration and EXPO. We are excited to have IEM as our partner as we look to the future.” IEM, based in Austin, Texas, brings a full staff of experienced professionals and over 20 years of convention and tradeshow experience to SCWA. Andrea Stout, partner with IEM, will lead the team for SCWA.
SCWA Executive Director Chuck Space, said “our goal is always providing the best experience possible for those who join us for SCWA events. Andrea and her IEM team bring a tradeshow background that will maintain this experience for our attendees and our exhibitors”. “I am thrilled to have this opportunity with SCWA and looking forward to meeting all the attendees and exhibitors to make the 2022 event the best yet,” said Stout. The 2022 SCWA Convention & EXPO will be February 27March 1, 2022 at the Fort Worth Convention Center. Watch the SCWA Website & SCWA TODAY for details.
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Turn Your Wash Into A Reliable Revenue Producing Business. 6 ADVANTAGE
SCWA is continuing to identify resources that will help members and the greater car wash community rebound stronger than ever. We believe there are opportunities to be found even in times like now. This effort will lead into the 2021 Convention & EXPO and beyond. SCWA is developing plans to expand many of these efforts in a broader and expanded role over the next several years. The SCWA website provides resources and links as we all continue to navigate this unprecedented time – www.swcarwash.org Here are just a car fewwash of the actions operators andSCWA vendorsundertook: gathered Colorado
SCWA MEMBERS IN THE NEWS
COLORADO CAR WASH COMMUNITY GATHERS IN DENVER
recently in Denver for the annual SCWA lunch and • Worked with Texas Governor Abbott to have car networking. Everyone enjoyed the chance to catch up on
washing confirmed asin“essential businesses” in Texas. the latest happenings the Colorado car wash world.
Discussions laborin andmany labor retention; the • Worked withincluded SCWA finding members other states,
delta variant and what that looks like this fall for owners such as: Colorado, New Mexico, Hawaii, Kansas, and managers. The water law was a large topic with Maryland Ohio; by providing Coloradoand water becoming more and information more scarce. as to the essential business nature of car washing. There were questions about whether the SCWA position
on car washing being city an essential businessofficials would still • Worked with many and county tohold give
this fallthe if businesses were forced shut down again. carfor washes option to open as to essential businesses The answer is the position has not changed and should that in become local communities such as Dallas; Fort Worth; an issue again, SCWA will continue to fight for the Greenville; Albuquerque. “essential Houston; business” status of the car wash operators. According to President Jeff “I have been very Special thanks to Focused CarBlansit, Wash Solutions who served proudasofhost thefor role SCWA has played in trying to keep the group this year. Thank you from SCWA tothe everyone who attended. car wash community working as an “essential business”. We stand ready to continue our efforts on behalf of our members and the car wash community”.
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30 and Under Rising Stars: Austin Mitchan SCWA NEWS
We are proud to recognize today's rising young star player, Austin Mitchan. Austin Mitchan works as a manager for The Wash Tub i San Antonio. According to his nominator, Area Director Mike Mireles, Mitchan is making an impact at a young ag Thank you, Austin, for making our industry better. Name: Austin Mitchan Age: 24 Title: Manager Workplace: The Wash Tub, S.E. Military location, San Anton Impact: Austin Mitchan has been with The Wash Tub f almost two years and has greatly impacted the busine in that short amount of time. Mitchan is from the Sa Antonio community and graduated from Highlands Hig School. Following high school, he was accepted to th Mays School of Business at Texas A&M University, whe he graduated with his bachelor’s degree in business.
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REMEMBERING 9-11 PERSPECTIVE This year we remember the 20th anniversary of the September 11 attack on the United States and honor those who lost their lives in the attack. We thought it would be appropriate to print comments from Karl Rove who was a Senior Advisor to President Bush and with Bush during that fateful day. Rove was also the 2015 SCWA Keynote Speaker where he shared more extensive thoughts with the convention attendees.
Karl Rove, former George W. Bush adviser.
Americans should realize that the people behind the terror attacks of September 11th, 2001 “still exist today and harbor in the center of their ideology a hatred of all that we consider to be important.”
Rove vividly remembers Bush’s visit to Ground Zero in Lower Manhattan three days after the attack, when the President told a group of workers from an improvised podium of rubble that “the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon.” “It rallied the country,” said Rove, who went on to recount a lesser-known moment on the same day when Bush visited the Jacob Javits Center, which had been turned into a dormitory for rescue workers who had traveled to New York from all over the country to render aid. “There was a shift coming off work and a shift coming out and so the president was there to thank the workers as they came back in and wished those that were going to work well ...” Rove continued. “The President was supposed to go into a parking garage in which there had been a temporary room set up ... and he was supposed to spend roughly 45 minutes, I believe, meeting families of the fallen -- of people who had died, first responders who had died
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on 9/11.” Instead, Rove said, Bush spent “two-and-a-half to three hours” in the room “because stood there talked to of operators can appreciate thehe simplicity andand convenience creditsingle card one payments. some may object every of thoseWhile people whooperators lost a loved one. He to transaction monthly charges them, by banks grieved with fees themorand prayedmaintenance with them, hugged or processors, thesewith fees them. are outweighed by the increased cared for them, wept It was the most amazing revenue. Adding credit card system to aever baysaw willitmore moment I had ever aseen in private. Nobody than pay for the in investment the short except the people that room.inThere was term. no media; no Customers more time washing their vehicles outside sources,will just spend the families.” after this upgrade, as most credit card systems utilize a “count up” versus a “count down” charging method. Walter states that with standard cash payment equipment, the self-serve bay timer will start counting down once the minimum payment is met. Typically, there is a “last minute” alert horn that goes off as time is running down. With a credit card payment, the system starts counting up once the transaction has been authorized. Once the wash is completed, the customer is instructed to push a stop button to end the transaction and determine the final charge. “This method keeps the customer from rushing to finish,” Walter says. “There is no ‘alert’ horn to instinctively hurry them up. Some operators have seen average wash tickets increase by 50% versus using cash.” McCarty notes that years ago self-serve carwashes were called “quarter carwashes” simply because that was the only payment option available. At first, self-serve sites would have a bill changer, and eventually many operators began adding tokens. These token dispensers could process credit cards, so it provided an economical way to accept credit card payments at a self-serve carwash.
As Bush was meeting the families, Rove recalled, the ADVANTAGE mother of a fallen NYPD officer gave the president her son’s badge. bill acceptors were added to the meter bay Eventually,
door and then card you readers. Since some of the first “[She] said, ‘I docredit not want to ever forget what credit card readers were “a little pricey,” some operators happened here,’ and for the rest of his time in office, would opt for only one or two bays to accept credit President Bush carried that badge with him virtually cards, McCarty explains. Operators would monitor the every single day in his pocket as a reminder of his duty as performance and hold down associated costs. With new, president the United States and his commitment to keep affordableofcredit card acceptance systems, operators can us safe. And he did keep us safe,” Rove said. economically add credit card acceptance to their self-serve bays, vending machines, vacuums, etc.
The people who knocked these buildings down EVEN MORE ADD-ONS The most add-on service equipment for selfwill hear allpopular of us soon. serve locations is tire shiners and air dryers, according to McCarty. Tire shiner equipment can be added in a bay or Reflecting on the tragic events, Rove described the attacks on a vacuum station. One reason tire shine is a popular as “a horrible moment in our the life, results the life of country. add-on service is because areour immediately And as aThere result we better realize peoplethe who didon thisthe visible. is nothing like the rubbing pad act still exist today and still harbor in the center of their tires and seeing that rich, dark finish; it truly accents ideology a hatredAir of all that we important as a clean vehicle. dryers in consider the bay to arebeincreasing in an American. popularity because they finally give self-serve customers the opportunity to air dry a vehicle. Dryers have proven They hate our ideals of Liberty, freedom, the right to choose hugely popular in areas with a lot of motorcycles. our own direction in life, to worship as we wish. This With the advancement in credit card technology, gift teaches us we should not go about our business directed cards and loyalty programs are new options available in anger,Walter but in says. freedom joy.card Because of this forfear bayand washes, Theand credit systems that important lesson it is a day we all should remember.” utilize loyalty or gift card options offer customers payment flexibility. They can use these loyalty or gift cards in many different ways and on multiple pieces of equipment at the
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IRS ACCOUNT MONITORING PLAN BRINGS CONSUMERS INTO RECONCILIATION DEBATE FINANCE W
hile Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) has raised concerns about the $3.5 trillion price tag of budget-reconciliation legislation that Congress is set to take up this week, Americans are increasingly speaking out against a provision that would require banks to report their customers’ account information to the Internal Revenue Service. The proposal - first laid out by the Treasury Department and set to be introduced during this week’s committee markups - is designed to close the “tax gap” between what American taxpayers pay and what they owe to help fund the spending bill. But the comprehensive, untargeted nature of the proposal is eliciting broad opposition not just from bankers who would be required to report the information to the IRS, but from the consumers they serve. A poll commissioned by my organization - the Independent Community Bankers of America - and conducted by Morning Consult found that two-thirds of voters (67 percent) oppose the IRS collecting their bank account information. More than half (53 percent) of voters strongly oppose the plan, while only 22 percent support it.
The polling response indicates that consumers find IRS monitoring of their personal financial account transaction histories to be an invasion of privacy that is no business of the government.
What’s more, intrusive account reporting to the IRS could undermine Washington’s ongoing policy initiative of reducing the unbanked population. With distrust of institutions and government agencies inhibiting banking relationships - particularly among marginalized communities and those who have fled authoritarian regimes - indiscriminate financial account reporting risks increasing the challenge of reaching these individuals and families.
Further, more than three in five voters (64 percent) do not trust the IRS to monitor their deposit and withdrawal information. And more than half (54 percent) do not trust the agency to keep their financial data safe from data breaches. This latter data point isn’t unexpected given the recent high-profile tax return leak the IRS is investigating as well as consumer anxiety over “math-error notices” triggered by stimulus payments.
Instead of gathering heaps of new taxpayer information, consumers indicate they support closing the tax gap by making better use of the data the IRS already has. Similarly, a recent joint letter to congressional leaders from the International Franchise Association, National Federation of Independent Business, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and other business groups advocates identifies less intrusive ways of closing the tax gap.
The polling response indicates that consumers find IRS monitoring of their personal financial account transaction histories to be an invasion of privacy that is no business of the government. Consumers are also expressing concerns that the plan could potentially harm small businesses by increasing their tax liability.
As the IRS proposal takes shape in Washington, community bankers will continue informing their customers of its potential impact while they continue to aid the economic recovery in their local communities. - Rebeca Romero Rainey, President and CEO of the Independent Community Bankers of America. ADVANTAGE 13
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Make CarWashing Easy 14 ADVANTAGE
7 COSTLY IRA WITHDRAWAL MISTAKES TO AVOID FINANCE E
conomic stimulus legislation enacted in 2020 offers a new opportunity for penalty-free IRA withdrawals—but taking advantage could be costly. And a 2019 law substantially altered IRA-withdrawal rules—but not for everyone, which seems certain to cause confusion. A single mistake in withdrawing money can derail decades of contributions to an IRA. Taking money out at the wrong time or in the wrong way can trigger tax bills and penalties and also short-circuit future tax-deferred or tax-free investment growth. But IRA-withdrawal rules are complex, and that recent changes are likely to complicate matters. Even if you thought you understood the new rules, it’s worth reviewing the potential traps. Seven costly IRA withdrawal mistakes to avoid... Mistake: Taking advantage of penalty-free IRA withdrawals. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act included a provision allowing people to withdraw up to $100,000 from IRAs without the 10% early-withdrawal penalty that ordinarily applies when money is removed before age 59. But this rule merely lets you raid your own retirement savings before retirement age. Doing so could cost you years of tax-deferred investment growth. This isn’t the first time the government has created special opportunities to withdraw money early from IRAS without penalty—another recent rule allows up to $5,000 in penaltyfree withdrawals when the account holder has or adopts a child, for example. Ignore all of these early-withdrawal opportunities unless you are desperate for cash and have no other options. Tax-advantaged retirement accounts are the very best long-term savings vehicles available and should be the last assets preretirees tap when they need cash. Mistake: Assuming the recent change to required distribution rules applies to you. Under the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act, the age at which people must make “required minimum distributions” (RMDs) from retirement accounts has been pushed back from 70 1/2 to 72. What some people don’t understand is that this age-72 start year applies to you only if you were born on or after July 1949. If you were born before that day, you still have to begin taking RMDS the year you turn 70 1/2. Adding to the confusion, no one was required to take RMDs for 2020 because of the pandemic. The penalties for misunderstanding this and missing a withdrawal deadline are steep a staggering 50% of the amount you were supposed to withdraw. Mistake: Assuming that the new rules for withdrawing money from inherited IRAs apply to your inheritance. Prior to the SECURE Act, heirs who inherited IRAs from anyone other than a spouse had the option of removing money from those IRAs slowly, by making annual withdrawals based on their life expectancy. With a few
exceptions, the new rules do not require heirs to take annual withdrawals but do require that all of the money be withdrawn from the inherited IRA by the end of the 10th year following the year in which the original account holder died. On the surface, the changes should help reduce withdrawal mistakes–there’s no need to calculate life expectancies or annual withdrawal amounts. But in practice, this is likely to make withdrawal mistakes more common. For one, some heirs will no doubt fail to understand that the new rules don’t apply to all inherited IRAs—if you inherited an IRA because of a death that occurred in 2019 or earlier, the old rules still apply. And when the 10-year rule does apply, heirs will have to remember to take the money out by a deadline that’s a decade down the road. There are sure to be heirs who lose track of this crucial-but-distant deadline and incur massive penalties as a result. You could add a reminder to yourself in a calendar app or instruct a financial adviser to remind you, but that approach could fail if you’re not using the same app or advisor in a decade. Another option is to use multiple reminders, including calendar apps, advisors and asking family members to use their calendar apps, to remind you to do so as well. Mistake: Failing to follow through after arranging annual early withdrawals from an IRA. The tax code allows penalty-free withdrawals before age 59½ from an IRA if those withdrawals are made as part of a series of “substantially equal periodic payments.” But the rules governing this exception are extremely complex, and if you make a single mistake, the IRS is very likely to spot it and impose harsh penalties. How harsh? To qualify for these penalty free early withdrawals, you must make a series of withdrawals for at least five years or every year until you turn 59 1/2, whichever is longer—and if you make a mistake ADVANTAGE 15
with the size or timing of any of these withdrawals, the IRS will impose a retroactive 10% penalty on all the money you have removed from the IRA as part of this series. The rules and calculations required are tremendously challenging, so this is not something to attempt without the assistance of a tax pro. Mistake: Taking a so-called “60 day IRA loan.” There’s actually no such thing as a loan from an IRA, but when you roll over money from one IRA to another, you have 60 days to redeposit it into the new account...so it is possible to give yourself short-term access to your IRA assets without penalty. Don’t be tempted—people who attempt this often make missteps that devastate their retirement savings. The most obvious error is failing to get the money into the new IRA before the 60-day window closes. But that’s not the only way “IRA loans” can go horribly wrong. Some account holders misunderstand the rule that limits them to one IRA rollover per year—it’s one per taxpayer, not one per IRA. Others fail to understand that the restriction is calculated on a rolling 12-month period, not a calendar year. In other words, you can’t do this once in December, then do it again the following January. If you don’t get the money into the new account in 60 days or misunderstand the rules and attempt a rollover that you were not allowed, the entire amount transferred will be treated as a withdrawal, potentially resulting in taxes, early-withdrawal penalties and/or the loss of an opportunity for additional tax-deferred or tax-free growth. The best way to avoid getting rollover rules wrong to opt for direct IRA-to-IRA rollovers rather than ever taking IRA money you intend to rollover into your possession. Helpful. The one-per-year rollover rules above apply only to IRA-to-IRA or Roth-to-Roth rollovers, not to 401(k)-toIRA rollovers or to IRA-to-Roth IRA conversions. Mistake: Rushing to roll over an IRA inherited from a spouse. Unlike other beneficiaries, spouses are allowed to roll over inherited IRAs to their own IRAs. But they also are allowed to simply keep the inherited IRA—without the annual withdrawal requirements or 10-year withdrawal deadline faced by other IRA heirs. For widows and widowers who have not yet reached age 59 1/2, initially keeping the money in the deceased spouse’s IRA can be the smart move. If the surviving spouse must tap this money before 59 1/2, he/she can do so without penalty— early-withdrawal penalties do not apply to inherited IRAs, but they do when a spouse rolls the IRA into his own IRA. When these widows and widowers reach 59 1/2—or determine that they won’t have to tap the account before 59 1/2—they then can roll the money into IRAs in their own names. Mistake: Assuming an inherited Roth IRA doesn’t have RMDs. Roth IRAs usually do not have RMDs, but there’s an exception—if a Roth is inherited by anyone other than the spouse, RMD rules apply just as they do with inherited traditional IRAS. That means if the original owner of the Roth died in or after 2020, the new 10-year deadline applies...or if the death occurred before 2020, the old annual withdrawal rules apply. - Ed Slott, CPA, Ed Slott and Company, LLC ADVANTAGE 17
THE GREATEST LEADERSHIP ARTICLE I’VE EVER READ MANAGEMENT R
ecently, my friend Carl got a new job with the task of quickly building a 600-person pharmaceutical sales team, and leading that team as the company enters a new therapeutic market. He’s an industry veteran who excels at strategy, execution and motivating his team. But he gave me a call because there was one leadership area he wasn’t as comfortable with: diversity & inclusion. “My CEO is big on culture and this place is very different than all the other companies I’ve worked in,” Carl explained. “He told me that he expects me—from day one—to walk the talk on inclusion and to create a strengths-based culture. How do I do that? How should I start?” We agreed to meet up for coffee to talk about it, and the first thing I did was hand him a printout with my scribbled notes in the column. “What’s this?” Carl asked. “This,” I said, “is the greatest leadership article I have ever read.” The 5 Elements of Great Leadership I originally found this article on the military leadership blog, From The Green Notebook, and it’s called “The Map on the Wall.” #1) Tactics That Work In The Real World Part of why I love this article so much is because of who didn’t write it. It seems like popular leadership gurus today are the ones who repackage old concepts and who write social media messages that could have been found inside a fortune cookie. Yet these gurus have never built or led a team larger than their public relations staff and video crew. I’ll admit it—I’m partial to leadership advice from people who are actually doing it: leading large teams, day-in day-out, in the real world. The Map on the Wall was written by Jack “Farva” Curtis, a U.S. Navy aviator who is currently the commanding officer of a Navy EA-18G squadron based at NAS Whidbey Island, Washington. I personally have no affiliation with the U.S. Navy and have never met Commander Curtis. I did reach out to him via email in the course of writing this article. 2) Culture Comes First Don’t make a new employee fill out paperwork on their first morning at work. Don’t immediately jump into your quarterly town-hall meeting with a review of financials. Instead use the power of first impressions, and the time when attention is at its peak, to focus on what really matters, which is culture. The first priority of any great team is actually the health of the team itself. In the article, Commander Curtis explains that he has a large map of the United States on the wall of his office, with dozens of push pins stuck in it. Each pin represents the hometown of someone in the squadron. He explains:
“When a new member joins our team, regardless of rank or time in service, they go through a standardized check-in process that culminates in a one-on-one conversation with both the Executive Officer (XO) and the Commanding Officer (CO). When we sit down for our first conversation, the first thing I ask them to do is take a pin out of the jar and place it on their hometown (or as near as they can get)...I point out that we come from different cultures, different values, different educations, different family dynamics, different spiritual or faith traditions, and many of us have different motivations to serve.” Curtis chooses to use the valuable “first conversation” to focus on diversity & inclusion. I’ve known CEOs who open every meeting with a comment about safety, others always start by talking about a particular value, there is no one right answer. The point is to put attention on culture from the very start. 3) More Conversations, Less Rules In my book, Great Leaders Have No Rules, I explain that even the best rules typically crowd out conversation. Rules imposed by others—rather than being co-created—drive engagement down. Commander Curtis put a focus on inclusion, but he could have still messed it up by pushing it through rules—the classic authority model of leadership (which quite frankly emerged from the classic military command and control system). He could have given a mini-lecture on the consequences of harassment and discrimination; he could have had new team members sign a personal conduct pledge. Instead of dictating diversity, Curtis uses an interactive exercise. He kicks off the conversation by making it about them. “Take a pin out of this jar and place it on your hometown…” He then continues with a conversation about differences, in an environment with high psychological safety. He writes: ADVANTAGE 19
“These conversations have proven humorous, enlightening, and more often than not, encouraging. I recall one recent check-in with a Sailor who told me he’d never worked with a black person before joining the Navy. Not alarming, he’s simply a product of where he was born and raised — and there just weren’t many black people where he grew up. Another Sailor I spoke with told me he’d never met a gay person prior to joining the Navy. Now, chances are high that he had and just didn’t know it, but the point was clear — he was in uncharted cultural waters.” 4) Focus on Strengths Strengths comes into play in two powerful ways in Commander Curtis’ article. First, he rightly frames his diversity conversation with the perspective that diversity and inclusion are assets, they’re force multipliers. Inclusion isn’t just about being ethical, fair or because it’s the law. He explains: “I point out that we come from different cultures...But, and this is the key, now we’re all here — at this squadron — which means we now have a shared purpose, and all those differences…they’re features, not flaws...we’re better because we’re different. We’re stronger because we come from everywhere. And, we’re much more dangerous to any potential adversary because we don’t all approach difficult problems the same way.” Additionally, outside of the domain of inclusion, leaders need to do more to practice strengths-based leadership. In a large study conducted by Gallup, they found that organizations that implemented a strengths-based approach to employee development achieved:
• 10% to 19% increased sales • 14% to 29% increased profit • 3% to 7% higher customer engagement • 6% to 16% lower turnover (low-turnover organizations) • 26% to 72% lower turnover (high-turnover organizations) • 9% to 15% increase in engaged employees • 22% to 59% fewer safety incidents The research is clear, high performing leaders individualize their approach to management and focus on team members’ strengths. #5 Physical Objects As Cultural Reminders The worst place to depict your company’s values, is in
the list of values that hangs in your lobby and conference rooms. The best way to remind people of values and shared purpose, the best way to recognize examples of cultural excellence, is with physical artifacts. In The Culture Code, Daniel Coyle analyzes some of the world’s most successful organizations—including Pixar, the San Antonio Spurs, and U.S. Navy’s SEAL Team Six—and shares the common ingredients behind their success. In his “ideas for action” he talks about using physical objects to make the statement: this is what matters. At Navy SEAL headquarters you’ll see the gear of soldiers killed in action. At Pixar you’ll see original hand drawn sketches next to Oscar trophies. Instead of a list of generic words that people neither remember nor live, the right objects can convey a powerful message without words. In my favorite leadership article of all time, the pin-filled map on the wall is far more than just a map. It’s a symbol to all who encounter it, and even serves as a reminder to Commander Curtis himself. “...It will always serve to remind me during my most frustrated and cynicism-filled moments how those little pins came together from everywhere to accomplish something seemingly unimaginable in today’s environment — unity of purpose, unwavering commitment, and courageous service from, and for, Americans of widely disparate backgrounds.” The Final Lesson: Leadership, and Inclusion, Can Be Learned I reach out to Commander Curtis to ask whether he was always an inclusive leader; I would have guessed something in his own upbringing enabled him to be more aware of
issues around belonging and privilege from the start. But that wasn’t the case. He told me: “Was I always so inclusive as a leader...? No. I came up in Naval Aviation (early 2000s) when there weren’t many female aviators, this was also prior to the repeal of don’t ask don’t tell, and the number of racial minorities in the officer ranks was as small then as it remains now. A significant “assist” in my development was marrying one of the few female aviators where I was stationed. We could go on for days about how that shaped (and continues to shape) how I view things today. Being in the Navy for the repeal of don’t ask don’t tell was formative. It was the biggest non-event ever. We all just woke up the next day and came to work. Where it all really came together for me was in the weeks prior to becoming the XO of my current squadron, as I would walk around the hangar meeting people. We really came from everywhere! That’s something that we can embrace and “weaponize” as an asset, or it’s something that can divide and limit our capabilities. My organization has one mission -to win in combat. That’s it. If we don’t find a way to get the best out of everyone - truly everyone - then we’re like a football team taking the field with 10 players it’s gonna be hard to win. And, like I said, our mission is to win.” - Kevin Kruse, CEO of LEADx and author of Great Leaders Have No Rules.
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THE 2021 MOST VALUABLE CARWASHER MEMBER FEATURE S
CWA congratulates Izzy Aguayo with Breeze Thru Car Wash, selected by Professional Car Washing & Detailing as the 2021 Most Valuable Carwasher. Breeze Thru Car Wash owned by John Agnew is an SCWA Corporate Member. Since 1991, Professional Carwashing & Detailing (PC&D) has asked its readers annually to submit nominations for the title of Most Valuable Carwasher (MVC). This is the magazine’s chance to honor the frontline workers who help keep individual wash locations running and succeeding. When judging what makes a candidate stand out, the editors of PC&D look for a combination of dedication, leadership and an impactful presence at the carwash. This year’s MVC has all of these qualities in spades. The PC&D team is pleased to present the 2021 MVC honor to Izzy Aguayo, a site manager for Breeze Thru Car Wash, which has locations in Northern Colorado and Southern Wyoming. Work Hard, or it Hardly Works Many people who get started in the carwash industry don’t think they’ll stay for long. But it has a way of drawing them in, and the same proved true for Aguayo. It was 2015, and Aguayo was 18 years old when she started looking for a new job to help her get by. She had previously worked in a warehouse and the food industry, so when she came across the job application for a customer service attendant at Breeze Thru, she thought that if she got the job, it would only be another temporary one. “[I had] no idea what I was getting myself into,” Aguayo remarks wryly. Now six years later, Aguayo runs one of the Longmont, Colorado, locations. According to Rhonda Hoffmann, company trainer for Breeze Thru, who was one of two people to nominate Aguayo for this honor, “The site was practically in ruins before she came along. She brought the site back up to speed and inspires the employees to love working there. Her site receives the most positive Google and Yelp reviews of our 11 sites, and the atmosphere she
helps curate at the Longmont location is like none other.” Aguayo attributes two major qualities to making herself successful: hard work and authentic care. Aguayo adds that she owes her sense of hard work, humility and nevergive-up attitude to her father, Gus, who she says “has been through some crazy things in life.” “I look up to him every day and hope to become half the person he is,” she adds. However, she is adamant that Breeze Thru has also made an impact on her as a person. “This company has developed me, pushed me and has been a huge support to myself and my family. I’ve never experienced a company that invests so much into the people. I’m beyond proud to be part of this family,” Aguayo says. Service With a Smile A typical day for a flex-serve site manager is always different. There’s training and coaching, monitoring operations and wash quality, performing equipment and lot maintenance, completing interior services, filing incident reports and — of course — interacting with customers. “I have personally observed many a disgruntled customer come to Izzy for help. She takes the time to listen and empathize with her customers and make sure they are taken care of. Many customers even walk out with a smile on their faces,” Hoffmann explains. While Aguayo’s attitude of authentic care for customers was certainly instrumental in turning her site’s reputation around when she took it on, she’s quick to point out that it wasn’t her efforts alone: It was a massive team effort. “We couldn’t have done it without the hard work and dedication of each member of this site,” she proclaims. “We lost some but gained stronger [members] and continued to push for excellence. I knew if we wanted the desired change, it was going to require a lot of hard work from all. We made team goals that related to the business and achieved them one at a time together.”
ADVANTAGE Connected cameras track a vehicle from the pay station to the tunnel, ensuring that the equipment will provide the purchased services to the correct vehicle, Davy explains. Controllers also provide safety for the consumer by controlling the conveyor and other equipment, automatically pausing the tunnel when there is a problem. tight control Breeze Thru taught Aguayo that having aThis positive can itself allow experience can not only impact the business but alsofor people’s lives. As a result, she and hercustomers team members strive to receive to create positive memories for their customers with every a custom “light show” interaction. in the tunnel as well, Davy states. This feature can create a However, it’s not justfor theeach customers for whom Aguayo unique experience customer based on what was wants to create great memories. It’s those in her community selected and purchased. Modern controllers can even too. One of her most memorable moments while working activate signage or special forcompany any visiting at Breeze unique Thru, after all, was in 2019,lighting when the and her sitewash specifically were able to purchase gifts to give unlimited club members. out on Christmas Eve to those at a local safe shelter for EFFICIENT domestic violencePROFITABILITY victims. Another advantage controllers enable is very to-the-inch “Those moments stand out to me because it was application Thisthat precise application means impactful forof thechemicals. team and kids received their gifts and helped can others in need. Itcontrol brought our team closer and operators effectively their washes’ chemical motivated us to want to do more,” Aguayo recalls. costs. When set up correctly, equipment only sprays I’m the Listening vehicle, not the gap between vehicles, Davy notes. On top of the care she shows to customers and the This to-the-inch application through the entire community, Aguayo is alwayscontinues ready to lend a listening ear tunnel and applies to such services as ceramic coatings, to her team members. wax shows applications and other necessary chemistry. “Izzy a level of unprecedented authentic care. SheThis universal control not onlyhard saves on chemistry costs, but it not only works incredibly to keep her site well-run, but gives her all to ensure that her employees are happy alsoshe provides customers a better wash experience. andEnergy well taken care of,” Hoffmann says. “It’s more than efficiency can be another advantage. “Your just a business to her — it’s about the people who work for tunnel controller also helps you save electricity by driving her. Izzy’s site is a prime example of what happens when eachtake piece in theThey tunnel, activating you careofof machinery your employees. are more happy your and fulfilled in their roles and more productive because it. vehicle frequency-driven devices and controlling of signage and lighting yourI was facility,” Davy continues. “When I workedaround under Izzy, struggling in life. Izzy was always thereyour to listen to me and helpcan me improve. She “Additionally, tunnel controller help conserve would help me set goals to increase my performance and energy by leaving your dryers on when multiple cars create a better work environment. The respect I gained areher in made the tunnel, avoiding start-ups of me thetodryer for me love workingcostly there and inspired system. Without wasting chemical or electricity, youlife are overcome conflicts not only at work but in my personal as well. Not only did I grow as a person as I worked under better able to control your per-car costs and make each her, but Imore observed multiple others growing too. I attribute service profitable.” much of my development to her.” Bath points to efficient look-ahead features in a carwash “I have those who inblowers their tunnel observed that can include the struggled controllerimmensely keeping the lives being transformed at her site,” Hoffmann says. “There for theeyes following vehicle. this to step saves isrunning a light in their again, and theyAgain, work hard keep the energy and creates cost savings. “There are many features site running.” that canspends help operators savetime power, water, etc. you Aguayo much of her developing andWhen training understand all as these modern-day your But process her team as well helping whereverfeatures, she’s needed. she sets aside plenty of time help employees with willalso benefit as well as your costto savings,” Bath says. their personal development and goals. For Aguayo, there’s
aMONITORING simple reason as toSYSTEMS why she is always ready to stop and listen. With the ramped-up speeds and maximum loading “Not everyone has a it support system outside of work efficiency needed, is easy to see the importance of or people to share success with, so we try to provide proper control in the world of express tunnel washing. that as best we can.cooperative Providing authentic care isn’t only have Integrated and monitoring systems when people are successful but when they are in need proven a profit protector many bustling of a pushtoor be someone to care enoughfor to tell them how it car care operations. How modernand controllers enable is: acknowledging theirdo strengths weaknesses and these monitoring systemsTake to prevent loading and striving for success. them for both who they are, issues and push for better.complaints I’ve learnedinthat through my experiences with damage carwash tunnels? Breeze Thru. Authentic care comes from theon-site top down, and Here, camera systems can provide tracking the owners of this business do a great job of demonstrating and help avoid delays caused by a loader, which prevents that,” Aguayo explains. slowed productivity and missed rollers. Inside the tunnel, Her mentoring and help have certainly paid off. According cameras can even stop the conveyor when the vehicle is to Hoffmann, Aguayo is a “manager-making machine”; not where is supposed to gone be, Davy Stopping the many of heritemployees have on tostates. become managers tunnel can prevent costly accidents and the downtime at other Breeze Thru locations after being developed under theyguidance. create. These anti-collision systems allow a carwash her “She curates an environment in which you feelvehicles excited closer to come to work.further She has always led by to run together, increasing valuable example,” Hoffmann adds. throughput and revenue on busy days. When askedproximity why she thought had nominated for Vehicle devices,she such asbeen sonar, help identify MVC, Aguayo concludes, “If I had to guess, I would say features on vehicles so a wash can provide a better it was because of my humility and accountability. Boy, clean, Davy notes. For example, these devices can detect do I make a lot of mistakes, but I make sure to use those the windshield location, allowing for special mistakes as lessons for myself and others. I pushwindshield and strive wash services orday sideand mirror It is also to be better every try torinses. help others withpossible that as to well.” identify truck beds, allowing a wash to automatically turn devices. This can Editor, prevent too muchCarwashing soap from&being -off Meagan Kusek, Senior Professional Detailing dumped into the truck bed or turn off blowers so they will not blow debris out of the bed onto other vehicles.
21 ADVANTAGE 23
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SCWA MEMBER HIGHLIGHT MEMBER FEATURE Periodically the ADVANTAGE features an SCWA member. In
this issue we highlight Frank Nuchereno, owner of the Hello Car Washes located in Dallas and Denver. Frank is a member of the SCWA Board of Directors.
How many years have you been in the car wash business? I have been in the car wash business for about three years and currently own four car washes in the Denver and the Dallas areas called Hello Car Wash. I began my research of the industry in 2010 by attending the SCWA and the ICA car wash conventions; attending workshops and visiting over 50 car wash operations. What was your business prior to entering the car wash business and what motivated you to become a car wash owner? I am an attorney by trade. However prior to entering the car wash industry my business interests were in real estate – especially in the single family; hotel; apartments and self storage. I wanted to find a business that was less volatile than real estate and the car wash industry seemed to provide a more consistent cash flow. I believe that success in the car wash business is based on the concept of the personal operator and the emphasis on customer service – it is not a modelist business. What are the biggest challenges you see for the car wash industry in the next three years? I think the biggest problem now and in the future will be hiring quality, young customer service people. We are a customer service industry and this is the key if we want to be successful. Finding great site locations will become even more difficult along with the prohibitive cost of materials; land and supplies. I also think the consolidation of the vendor community is a challenge and will impact increasing cost concerns. What advice would you have for the “newcomer” to the industry? The car wash industry is more complex and difficult than you may think. The owner has to be very well rounded and balanced – that was the biggest surprise to me. You
need to have a basic understanding of equipment; chemicals; water; computers; marketing; people; electronics. It is amazing how computerized the industry has become. I think it is critical to find someone who will allow you to work at their wash for a few days – experiencing all the different operations and challenges the car wash operator will face. This will also give you the opportunity to understand the business is multi - faceted. It is much like the restaurant business – where customer service will separate you from your competition. I like to tell people who ask that I am in the “customer service business” and just happen to wash cars. This is also the concept we train our staff to understand – car washing is a by product of our customer service mission. What is your biggest achievement? I think the one thing that is my best achievement is seeing our great team we have assembled and watching them grow in the business. We have 4 really great staffs and 4 successful managers. We have built a diverse staff including women who bring such a wonderful perspective. Watching our staff grow is rewarding because I believe if your staff is not growing then your business will not grow. Who has had the most influence on your business life? I have been fortunate to have a few mentors in my business life – however in the car wash business, Tom Miller and Keith Stewman have really given me so much good advice and guidance. One of the dynamics that really stood out to me when I was investigating the car wash industry and pushed me over the edge in making my decision is the quality and “niceness” of the people in the industry. Everyone I met went out of their way to be helpful. What is something most people may not know about you? I am very transparent – what you see is me. The best time of the day for me is walking my two dogs – a Golden Retriever and Aussie Shepherd. I am a huge Buffalo Bills fan, and we give free washes away if you show up in your Bills jersey! So - I am not completely boring. ADVANTAGE 25
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MARKETING PLAN EXAMPLES FOR SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS MARKETING A
s a small business owner, you have a lot on your plate. You have to oversee everything from accounting practices to hiring. One of the most critical components of growing your business is your marketing strategy. Developing a marketing plan allows you to identify your target audience and reach your customers. It also clearly outlines the answer to critical questions for your team, ensuring that everyone is on the same page. In this article, we’ll outline everything you need to know to boost your marketing efforts. We’ll provide you with a stepby-step guide to the things you or your marketing team need to include when crafting a plan. Lastly, we’ll give a couple of marketing plan examples you can use when designing your own marketing plan. What is a marketing plan and why is it important? A marketing plan is a document that outlines how you’ll introduce and deliver products to customers. It tends to highlight your business needs, detailing the steps you need to take to put yourself in the best position possible to sell your products. The document itself doesn’t need to be overly long, as it’s just one portion of your overall business plan. But completing it will require extensive market research. A market plan is not something you should complete overnight. Investing time up front to develop a high-quality market plan will help put your company in a better position for success down the line. As Dave Lavinsky states in Forbes, “Done properly, your marketing plan will be the roadmap you follow to get unlimited customers and dramatically improve the success of your organization.” Lavinsky also states that the right marketing plan will help you:
• Identify your target customers • Define how you’ll reach your target customers • Outline target retention strategies so potential customers become repeat customers
Whether you have a new product you’re looking to bring to market or are merely looking to change your current marketing campaign, taking time to develop a marketing plan is in your best interest. An effective marketing plan can help you acquire new customers and increase your market share. Brainstorming your marketing plan Before you begin to develop your marketing plan, you need to sit down with your marketing team and brainstorm. Below are the first things to consider when doing so. 1. Your business goals You need to consider your business goals before writing your marketing plan. Which type of product are you focusing on? What are your marketing objectives for running this campaign? How will you measure growth? The goals you
define should be objective and measurable. For instance, “Increase sales of product X” is not a worthwhile goal. But, “Increase sales of product X by 10% by the end of Q4” provides you with something tangible that you can work toward. 2. Determine why a customer would (or wouldn’t) come to you Start by conducting a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) analysis. A SWOT analysis allows you to determine your competitive advantages and disadvantages. What are your unique selling propositions? What sets you apart? Determining why a customer would want to come to you involves much more than merely restating your business’s mission statement. You want to clearly define the purpose behind a customer choosing you over a competitor. Is using your product or service related to social status, everyday living, convenience, or something else? You should know and understand why a customer would choose you over a competitor and why they would choose a competitor over you. Since this is an internal discussion among team members, it’s better to be honest and upfront. That way, you can address your weaknesses head-on instead of allowing them to hinder you throughout your marketing campaign. 3. Identify your target customers Your target customers are the people most likely to purchase your product. Take time to figure out what your ideal customer base is. Doing so involves combining both demographics and psychographics. Demographic information includes age, gender, household income, marital status, homeownership status, and more. Your best, free resource for demographic data is the U.S. Census ADVANTAGE 27
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Bureau. The Small Business Administration’s website also offers links to a handful of online resources for demographic information that you can use as well. Psychographics involve analyzing consumer lifestyles. You may need to conduct studies to determine the buyer personas of your target market. Psychographics involve asking customers what they think about various activities, statements, and interests. Reasons for their responses could include any number of factors, like a person’s lifestyle (e.g., healthy, active), social class, activities and hobbies, values, attitudes, and personality. Psychographic information is a little harder to come by without a membership to an analytics organization like Nielsen or Kantar Media. Psychographic data measures audience behavior (i.e., why a customer might buy something). 4. Analyze your competition The most critical competitors you’ll face are the ones who are directly targeting your ideal consumer. Conduct an honest assessment of your competitors and what they have to offer that you don’t. Also take some time to analyze how they might react to your business. Are they prone to discounting, aggressive advertising, or special offers? What else might they do to maintain their brand awareness and a competitive edge? How to create a small business marketing plan Now that you’ve completed your data collection, you need to actually formulate your marketing plan. Here are the key features to include. 1. Executive summary The executive summary is a breakdown of everything that’s included in your marketing plan. Although the executive summary comes first, you should complete it last when you’ve finished everything else on the list. 2. Mission statement You’ll also want to include a mission statement in your marketing plan. Although it should probably be similar, the mission statement you use for your marketing plan doesn’t necessarily have to be the same as your company’s overall mission statement. When crafting a mission statement, consider including:
• What you want to do • Your reason for doing it • The people you’re doing it for 3. Situation analysis This is an overview of your company’s current state. This is where you should include information such as what you’re selling, what separates you from competitors, and your company’s best practices. The more information you can add here, the better. You’ll paint a clearer picture for the reader about what makes your company strong and what puts you at a competitive disadvantage. Not only will you want to include information about your own company, but about other market influencers as well. This is also the place where you want to add your SWOT analysis. 4. Target audience You’ve done all the work to understand who your target customer is, so spend time writing out a description of this target audience. It should be as descriptive as possible. Don’t
forget to include any psychographic data you might have as well. 5. Marketing goals Transfer the marketing goals that you came up with to this section. Remember, you want to make your goals measurable so that you can see results. Having goals allows you to track progress so that you can make adjustments if need be. 6. Strategies and tactics Using your marketing goals as a blueprint, determine the strategies and tactics you’ll use to achieve them. These will include the different types of media you want to use and the various advertising or outreach tools you’ll use. This is the meat of your marketing plan. Spend time looking at your audience and determining the best way to reach them. Not every customer can be reached the same way. You can use more than one strategy as part of an effective marketing mix. For instance, maybe your digital marketing campaign involves using social media to reach your target audience. But instead of utilizing a general, “one size fits all” strategy, you decide to use LinkedIn to reach your older, professional demographic, and Facebook or Instagram to reach college students and others in a younger demographic. Or perhaps you’d rather a more organic approach, implementing a search engine optimization (SEO) and content marketing strategy. Don’t be afraid to utilize various distribution channels when crafting your marketing plan. 7. Determine your budget Your marketing budget will need to strike a balance between being high enough to make an impact but low enough not to wipe out your start-up fund. Gather costs for the tactics you outlined in step 4. If you have the option of working with multiple media outlets, gather quotes from a few so you can compare and contrast their services and value. Marketing plan examples Looking for a little more guidance regarding your marketing plan? The examples below are two of our favorites. They both give a clear indication not only of the type of information you need to include but also how thorough you should be and how you need to organize your plan.
• Buffer’s Content Marketing Plan Template • Palo Alto Software’s Sample Marketing Plan If you’re not familiar with marketing plans, be sure to give these a read before creating your own. A successful marketing plan can help you grow Don’t overlook the importance of your marketing plan. If done well, your marketing plan can quickly become a rallying point for you and your employees — something to strive towards and succeed at. It can also be a way for you to focus if you ever find yourself uncertain about which direction to go. Take the time to create a marketing plan that works. You’ll be thankful you put time and effort into doing so. - Megan Sullivan, QuickBooks Resource Center, syndicated by MediaFeed.org. ADVANTAGE 29
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CAR WASH OWNER INSURANCE COVERAGES INSURANCE H
ere are a few important insurance coverages to consider when you are either building or buying a car wash operation: Builders Risk Who Needs Builder’s Risk Coverage? Any person or company with a financial interest in the construction project needs builder’s risk insurance. Some common people you may want to include on your policy as insureds include the:
• Property owner • General contractor • Subcontractors • Lender
General Liability insurance General Liability insurance protects your business from liability lawsuits arising from negligence that may cause injury to others, such as a customer. It also protects your company if someone is injured because of using your product or service or while on your premises. For example, if you own a self-serve car wash and a customer injures himself or herself while using the wand sprayer, your wash could be held liable for all injuries. General Liability can pay for the related injury medical expenses, property damage, plus any personal lawsuits filed by the customer. When you consider that the legal expenses and settlement or judgment expenses of a single lawsuit could drive your business into bankruptcy, you will see why this type of insurance is considered a “must-have.”
Workers’ compensation Workers’ compensation protects your business and employees by providing wage replacement and medical benefits to employees injured in the course of employment in exchange for mandatory relinquishment of the employee’s right to sue your business for the tort of negligence.
These are just a couple of the important insurance coverages to consider- there are many more coverages that are specific to car wash owners/operators. It is important to make sure you review your policy coverages often; this is when it’s a good idea to have an annual renewal review with your current insurance agent. Happy Washing. - Melissa Pirkey Car Wash Division Vice President and Vertical Leader of Assured Partners/Midlothian Insurance
Every state has very specific requirements regarding whether an operation is required to carry coverage. For example, in the state of Missouri, you are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance if you have five or more employees. In Texas you are not required to carry workers compensation, but we always recommend this to our customers. It is well worth the peace of mind for the cost. Even if your state does not require that you carry coverage if an employee is injured on the job, you would most likely be held liable for their lost wages and medical benefits. For the relatively low cost of this coverage, it is recommended to obtain coverage even if not mandated by your state. ADVANTAGE 31
LIABILITY OR ACCOUNTABILITY? PROBABLY BOTH. EMPLOYEES If you thought you could evade liability from sexual
harassment by employing only a handful of employees, the Texas Legislature just gave you a wakeup call. As of September 1, 2021, employers of all sizes may be subject to sexual harassment liability under the new provisions of the Texas Labor Code.
The new Texas law broadens liability and also expands the definition of employer. You can run, but you can’t hide. Sexual harassment generally includes unwelcome sexual conduct that creates a hostile or offensive working environment. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”) is a federal law that prohibits discrimination and harassment in the workplace on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, and sex. Employers are only liable for violations under Title VII if they employ 15 or more employees. Prior to September 1, anti-sexual harassment law under the Texas Labor Code aligned with this requirement, however, that is no longer the case. As the Texas legislature wound down in May 2021, Governor Abbott signed Senate Bill 45. The new went into effect on September 1, 2021 and now imposes liability on small and large employers alike. Whereas before, employers who had fewer than 15 employees could not be sued under Title VII or the Texas Labor Code now, Texas businesses who employ one or more employees will be amenable to sexual harassment claims under Texas law.
In short, the new law not only hold employers liable, but also holds management accountable for the hostile work environment they create or facilitate. Me Too? Yes, you. The new Texas law broadens liability and also expands the definition of employer. Under the new statute, a manager or supervisor is considered to be an “employer”. This means a manager or supervisor may now be subject to an individual lawsuit and can be held personally liable for sexual harassment claims, whereas before they could not
be held personally liable in a civil lawsuit. The prevailing employee may then recover damages directly from the manager or supervisor involved in the sexual harassment. If that happens, the harasser will likely be required to write a check for the amount awarded by the court or the court may seize the harasser’s assets. The new law also extends the deadline for filing a sexual harassment suit from 180 days to 300.
The new law also extends the deadline for filing a sexual harassment suit from 180 days to 300. Ignorance is not your bliss. In addition to holding employers, managers, and supervisors liable for their actions, the new Texas antisexual harassment law also holds businesses and their management liable for their inactions. The new statute imposes liability on those who knew or should have known the unlawful conduct was occurring and failed to take “immediate” and “appropriate” corrective action. It is not yet known how immediate employers must act, so Texas employers must be vigilant. In short, the new law not only holds employers liable, but also holds management accountable for the hostile work environment they create or facilitate. Employers should be more alert than ever on what constitutes sexual harassment and follow some best practices on how to avoid it: train your employees, managers, and supervisors; implement anti-harassment policies and make them available to all personnel; be attentive and create an outlet for employees to voice their concerns. Most importantly, be proactive. It’s that or see you in court. - Jacob M. Monty, Monty & Ramirez, LLP & SCWA Member ADVANTAGE 33
It’s Just Simple Math! Introducing the NEW Proto-Vest Elite 460 Air Dryer
Elite 460 Value Proposition • Energy ROI savings is one year which is the cost of the Elite 460 • Energy comparison of two 30 HP motors vs. ten 15 HP motors • The average cost per kilowatt in the USA is $0.11/kWh, for $32,000 annual savings
ELITE 460 Electrical Power Savings
• The installation of two 30 HP motors vs. ten 15 HP is a onetime saving of $56,000 (Based on cost of $7,000 per motor)
Two 30 HP Motors Power Consumption
Ten 15 HP Motors Power Consumption
60 HP X 0.746 kWh/HP = 45 kWh
150 HP X 0.746 kWh/HP = 112 kWh
12 hr/day X 7 day/wk = 84 hr/wk
12 hr/day X 7 day/wk = 84 hr/wk
84 hr/wk X 52 wk/yr = 4,368 hr/yr
• All machines silenced
84 hr/wk X 52 wk/yr = 4,368 hr/yr
• No moving parts or sensors
45 kWh X 4,368 hr/yr = 196,560 kWh/yr
112 kWh X 4,368 hr/yr = 489,216 kWh/yr
• Very low maintenance costs
196,560 kWh/yr X $0.11/hr = $21,333/yr
489,216 kWh/yr X $0.11/hr = $53,766/yr
• First year saving is $88,000 and $32,000 each year thereafter
ELECTRICAL SAVINGS Convert to (2) 30 HP motors = $32,000 savings Elimination of (8) 15 HP motors installations at $7000/ea. = $56,000 savings Total first year savings $88,000
Savings every year after that $32,000
For more information contact: Tammy Gardner sales director email: firstname.lastname@example.org
623.872.8300 | www.protovest.com
Continued from pg. 31
have income that arrives by check, explain where it comes from, when it should arrive and what to do if it doesn't arrive. Example: If you have a rental property, your tenants or property management company might send you paper checks each month. Recurring payments — including mortgage/rent, utilities, taxes (estimated income taxes and property taxes), insurance premiums… payments made to personal or household assistance providers… and other bills that recur onere basis. Search your checking account and are five good reasons to share with your customers H a regular creditoncard to make sure you haven't whytransactions they should behistories washing their vehicles with you on a regular missed any basis. of these. For each listing, provide your account number, password/PIN company's contact phone 1: Protect the Paint Joband withthe a Car Wash. Your car comes into contact with a lot of debris: dirt, of bugs, number or website as well as a brief description when bird droppings, salt and grime. If left untreated, these deposits and how it is paid. Indicate where you wire a check or could eventually eat away at the finish and paint, damaging have the setmetal up automatic an account. beneath.1Apayments run throughfrom the professional car wash Any payments made annually or semiannually deserve will eliminate these deposits. The simple rule of thumb is, when you can see the dirt on your car, it’s time for a wash. special attention —the less often a recurring bill is paid, the 2: Car Improve Efficiency. greater theWashes odds that yourFuel financial agent will overlook it As absurd as it sounds, regular car washes will help to longwhen reviewing your finances. The is common with improve your car’s overall fuel economy. A layer of dirt on term-care insurance, home/auto your car increases drag, causing itinsurance to use more and fuel. property A visit to taxes.a professional Highlight car thewash dates these are due, and add will provide a washed and clean car a allowing to move easily acrossExample: its surface.A woman warning thatairthis datemore is important. was in a rehabPride facility when her long-term-care policy's 3: Personal and Well-Being. Much likeThe yourdeadline home, everyone bettershe when is bill arrived. passedfeels before or your her car loved clean and spotless, rather than coated in a layer of dirt with ones arealized anything was amiss. The insurer fused to helpful “wash me” hand drawn on the rear windshield. reinstate the policy.
Helpful: Man insurers allow you to name a third party, such as a friend or family member, to be notified if the policy is behind in payments. Bank, investment and credit card accounts. Include each institutions's name and contact phone number, account number and passwords/PINs. Financial professionals you work with. This could include a tax preparer, estate attorney, financial planner, MARKETING investment adviser and/or trust officer. Provide phone numbers addresses. These pros might While your and homee-mail occasionally becomes a bit messy, you be able to help the agent answer questions about your finances— still regularly clean the bathrooms and wipe down kitchen counters, right? It’s thequestions same idea with yourtocar. It’s your though likely only related their specialties. In largest accessory, and a regular professional car wash willit to loves addition to keeping this list with your plan, give keep it looking its best. ones so if all else fails, these people can piece together 4: Maintain the Resale Value. your financial activity. Besides making you feel good, regular car washes will help Your personal information. Provide your full name, maintain appearance and overall resale value. Sure, you love mailing address, email address and phone your car, but a day will come when you’re in the marketnumber(s), for a dateand of birth, Social maiden new improved one.Security A regularnumber car washand is anmother's inexpensive name. If you widowed within theitspast way to keep yourwere car looking great—increasing resalefive years, value. include your late spouse's personal info, too. Photocopy your driver's license and health insurance/Medicare card 5: Quick and Easy. There’s no denying a quick run through the car wash is and attach these that to your financial guide.
FIVE REASONS TO VISIT YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD CAR WASH REGULARLY
extremely convenient. For the reasonable price and around PROVIDE FURTHER ten minutes of your time, you canGUIDANCE fit a professional car wash intoConfirm even the busiest of schedules. It’s aguide simpleis form of that your financial understood and preventative maintenance that’ll keep your car protected and properly stored. When you hand your guide to your in good physical condition.
financial agent, ask him to read it in your presence so
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■ 1.25 HP ‘Big Dog’ high output compressor ■ Brushed Stainless Steel Tank and Main Cabinet ■ Coin acceptor – mechanical ■ Electrical - 120 V ac, 25 amps ■ Mounting - One internal and two external lugs with security collars. Uses 3/8” bolts for secure installation.
■ Tank Dimensions - 18.5”dia. x 42”h ■ Unit Weight - Net 145 lbs. Ship weight 185 lbs. ■ Ships in carton/pallet: 67”h x 32”w x 31”d ■ Multi-coin acceptor ■ Lighted dome ■ Debris catcher Options
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DID YOU KNOW...
can attest to the exponential increase of technology inside facilities since the dawn of professional carwashing. From automated pay stations to modern wash media to effective drying systems, the pace of technical advancement has been astounding. hy you should clear “cookies” from phone. You This continued development has your created across-thelikely change remember cookies, which board in to theregularly car careclear industry. Speed is clog king, and storage and bog down performance, from your computer wash cycle speeds have surged as daily vehicle counts but probably to do it for your phone. To clear them: have climbed.forget But, this process of acceleration also ushered an iPhone—go to “Settings,” then “Safari,” then “Clear inOnthe expectation of new services and improved wash History and Website Data.” Tap the pop-up icon that reads results. Now, both tight timing and effective operation “Clear History and Data.” On an Android—open Google have become important for every wash cycle performed. Chrome, and click the three vertical dots at the top right of To maintain pace in this hyper-competitive market, the screen. From that menu, select “History,” then “Clear every owner must stay current on the capabilities of Browsing Data.” Next, select “Cookies and Site Data,” and today’s carwash control systems. Often called the “brain” tap the upside-down triangle next to “All Time.” Note: of the modern carwash, these carwash controllers connect Clearing cookies also clears your saved passwords—be sure the different phases of automated operation. Wash to keep a list of passwords elsewhere—but doesn’t affect equipment, business systems, HR functions and more any apps you have installed. communicate and share information. Only by learning about this technology and implementing industry best practices can a carwash owner hope to ensure dependable andalking profitable operation.fights cognitive decline. Dementia two languages
rates areIT 50% lower in countries where more than one KEEP MOVING language is regularly than in countries whose notes Brian Bath with spoken Innovative Control Systems populations speak only one language. allow vehicles to be that the newest carwash controllers
processed faster than ever before. High-volume express
ADVANTAGE washes depend on functional speed and accuracy, and these important factors are generated by the best integrated controller and management systems. The list of ways a controller keeps a carwash moving is impressive. Model controllers across the industry have everefficient throw these items away. likely worth far very abilities that They allowarebumper-to-bumper more than you paid for them. Old typewriters—somebody washing while providing precise results. Bath points out is likely tocontrollers want them. do Example: red Olivetti Valentine that new this byAallowing different types of model recently sold for $423. Danish wooden toys—a automation, like raising the roller, to maintain a regular hand-carved toy shaped like an animal could be a Bojesen flow the of vehicles. from 1950s and worth thousands. Use Google to check. Today, car-per-hour conveyor speeds currently vary in Miriam Haskell costume jewelry—yes, it’s made of glass, the aindustry —can speeds of up 150tocars perPerfume hour upbottles— to even 220 but piece still sell for $1,500. stumble brand,across and a small bottle could be Bath cars peronto hourthe areright common the express world, worth $100...an oversized display bottle worth $500. Check reveals. The large tunnel properties where operators have before Toasters—believe it or pushed not, people 20-plustossing. vacuum spaces have really up collect speeds and them. Mid century modern is where it’s at. profits across the board. Overall, carwash tunnel controllers help operators dial in their profits and provide a clean, dry and shiny vehicle, according to Todd Davy, senior vice president of sales for onthly credit checks boost your score. People who DRB Systems. Other advances that are modern technology review their scores at least every month more likely to allows are integration of a controller and a point-of-sale improve their credit behavior and borrowing habits and (POS)score. system. Toexample: this end, the than controller communicates their Recent More one-third of subprime consumers who to regularly monitored their credit with the POS system make sure every customer receives raised theirservices credit scores to a near-prime the wash for which he or she level paid.or better (good and excellent and credit). Among consumers whobecome did not a Time-wasting costly rewashes can monitor their scores, only 18% increased them. problem if a vehicle receives the wrong services. Modern controllers work with other systems to address this issue.
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Did You Know continued...
WELCOME NEW MEMBERS The SCWA members listed below have joined SCWA since our Iflast issue. We Appreciate Your Support! wash site. designed properly, operators can put the gift card swipes in the bays, on vacuums, vending machines, air Tara Baker Matt Brunk Tidal mat Wash, LLC Carlo Car Wash machines, cleaners and other compatible equipment. Henryetta OK Colorado Springs CO This gives customers the flexibility to use any piece of equipment on the property with a single card. James Franks Ernie Ionno “IfHWY a customer has to choose between a site with swipes 22 Car Wash Metro Carwash only in the bay onNV all pieces of Rice TXversus a site with them Reno equipment, I think we all know where they are going,” Kelschin mind, customers Dennis Kornoelje Walter Melanie says. “Keep choose a wash for McClean Solutions, LLC Magic Finish Car Care many reasons, but two of the top reasons are speed and Bensalem PA Wayne MI convenience. Both of these are achieved with the abovementioned Loganflexible Lawsonpayment options.” Ryan McKnight Sensor Dynamix
R Mac Investments, LLC
CREATING PROFITABILITY Hutchinson KS Carrollton TX
To push profitability on a self-serve site, Walter suggests that operators find ways to keep customers happy and in Joe Petronis Jim Ramsey Lampasas Car Wash J & J Ramsey Ventures, LLC the bay longer. Self-serve owners should remember that Lampasas TX Georgetown TX they are in the business of selling time. Walter shares some questions operators should consider: Rodolfo Reyes Merrick Rhodes •ARAre the bays clean and well-lit? TruEnergy Phoenix Acquisitions San Antonio Dallas TX • Does the gunTX or wand leak all over the customer? • Do you have good pressure, soap, wax and presoak A. Scott Emily Stevens inStephen the bay? Equity Capital Person, LLC Gilpin Car Wash • How do the chemicals smell and look on the Richardson TX Black Hawk COvehicle? • As an operator, how would you rate the experience in the bay?
K•eepDoes yourthe phone working whenon there’s no service. wash have doors the bay, and areIfthey
you’reclosed on a road trip,days? your phone can keep helping you on cold Once a customer is relatively comfortable the bay, navigate even when you’re in a dead zone. Best:in Download other profit opportunities can evaluated, or syncadditional data beforehand. Google Maps or thebe free Here We Walter notes. Outside of the basic meter box functions, Go app for iOS and Android allow you to download maps offering carnauba-based waxes, air dryers or ceramicof specific areas before your trip. (Test the apps to make infused products can help keep customers in the bay sure they work offline by switching to Airplane mode while longer. As previously mentioned, offering multiple forms of Wi-Fi is off.) payment can increase revenue and maximize profitability.
McCarty explains that there are several ways for operators to push a site’s profitability. Wash appearance is the first consideration, and operators should: insurance premiums areare notclean tax-deductible. Half • ost Make sure carwash bays Make sure trash cans emptiedIn most cases, of •Americans think they are.are Examples: • Make sure no weeds are growing around or in the wash. home owners insurance is not deductible. Auto insurance “You never get a second chance to make a first is deductible only to the extent that your vehicle is used impression, so make sure the carwash facility is nice, clean for business. Health insurance is deductible only if you’re and inviting,” McCarty says. self-employed. Note: Health insurance purchased directly Inside the bay, operators should make certain that through the marketplace mayasqualify for the premium the functions are working they should and thattax the credit, which can offset premiums. And premiums (not paid equipment is delivering plenty of chemical for each, by an employer) can count as a ensures portion of McCarty recommends. This a medical wash isexpenses giving customers their money’s Bottom worth. line: Next, ask the chemical if you itemize deductions. Deducting insurance provider for withsovibrant colorsa and great smells. premiums is products complicated, check with tax pro. Customers will spend more time in the bay spraying on chemical products that look like they are “painting the
For More Information, Contact: Todd Aldridge 1-866-575-5885
Bill Baker 1-888-4280995 BillB@CoastCC.com
Michael Ford 1-800-400-0365 MikeF@CoastCC.com
Car Wash Finance Specialists •
Equipment Loans & Leasing
New Construction Loans
Land, Building & Equipment Finance
Working Capital Loans 15
car with product.” Owners should also ask the chemical MARKETING
provider to fine-tune products and equipment so that MANAGEMENT OPPORTUNITY maximum clean is delivered at the best operating cost. OPENING IMMEDIATELY IN D/FW Outside the bay, operators should make sure the Responsibilities: vacuums operate properly and do a great job. The vacuums Federal Communications Commission areInoften thethe first ordevelop, last impression a customer has about • 1975, Manage, train, and staff the Carwash, which (FCC) a largely overlooked ruling that allowed a wash,issued so win them over at the vacuums, McCarty states. includes but not limited to: customer service, Carwash Additionally, make sure — vending machines are used full and earth-orbiting antennas satellites — to be for programs operating properly, and make sure all signs are clean, fresh broadcasting television over large areas. Around that • Create and enforce Carwash employees schedules to and not faded or peeling. regional broadcasting network same time, a little-known optimize labor called Home Box Office (HBO) took notice, and decided UPGRADE KNOWLEDGE • Compare and evaluate chemical usage and inventory to to use the FCC’s decision to begin distributing Walter notes landmark that there are several avenues for suggest best course of action with regard to stocking the its own programming via satellite. operators to learn more about equipment options, and he wash with necessary chemical and spare parts HBO’s innovative move would have a ripple effect recommends a lot of research prior to making any wash • Implement cleaning and equipment maintenance that would spillany over onto the landscape of on marketing. upgrade. With upgrade, doubling down research schedules to ensure a clean and operational wash Soon, satellite networks proliferated, and with them, will surely end up paying off for an owner. There are several media outlets tothat review, to target in ways were online never chat premarketers’ ability • Develop weekly management reports rooms, websites and print media/trade magazines for viously possible. • Maintain a safe wash environment continued learning, Walter Contacting a local Since that time, there hascontinues. been so much technological • Support employees during high traffic distributor that or self-serve equipment can be innovation marketers are facedmanufacturers with choices beyond beneficial, can share hotclaims market trends give • Administer customer damage measure. Itsince can they be blinding and bewildering forand anyone references for operators that have already upgraded. When charged with with allocating dollarswashes on behalf Experience the abilitymarketing to manage multiple reviewing options, the more data points considered, better. of a preferred. business. And, this very issue is what hasthecaused “Make sure to talk to operators using any upgrade marketers to go awry. This is an age ofresume unprecedented cover letter, contact to BCM@“If you Send are considering prior information, to buying,”and Walter suggests. communications, and yet many still struggle to connect BCMRealty.com possible, take a ride and test out the new features. As they with one another. say, try before you buy.” But this problem is not the real problem.
Marketing - What has Changed in the Last 100 Years?
THE REAL PROBLEM Staying on top of new developments in the carwash
The true problem that too many marketers have industry is the key OF to issuccess, and self-serve operators BOARD DIRECTORS that one thingthey has can changed in failed several to recognize have sources of only information use to marketing the past 100 years: technology. Yes, President : in President-Elect: Vice President: stay on the cutting edge, McCarty states. HeThat’s agreesit.that Jeff now Blansithave socialRyan Darby Mel Ulrich you media and tweets and followers and publications, online groups forums are Austin, TX Tucson, AZand carwashing Weatherford, TX apps and branding and re-marketing and analytics and (214) (806) 535-7275 great912-1729 places for operators to learn more,(940) ask 456-1082 questions and focus groups and ROI and CRM and customer personas share information with others. Vendor Vice and digital and soPast on. all certainly true. But, what has “Finally, there are It’s your local carwash equipment Treasurer: President: President: Don Witt Andrew Zamora Tyler Greffin enabled nearly every bit of it is technology. distributors,” McCarty concludes. “These individuals Dallas, TX Lubbock, TX Wixom, MI prolificyou is the rolegreat of technology in marketing canSo provide with insights, and many of that theseit (214) 358-2575 (806) 543-2775 (866) 362-6377 has become for somewashes an alluring distraction. Panic andfirstpeer distributors operate themselves, so they have DIRECTORS pressure set in, and the latest and the hand of organizations what works.” pursue Robertknowledge Andre Ed Emerson Frank Nuchereno Tamarac, technology-based FL Abilene,marketing TX Dallas, Texas taking greatest tactics without (800) 327-8723 contributor, (325) 201-8011 214-683-9450 By freelance Phil Ashland, Professional the time to thoughtfully consider a strategic approach. As Carwashing & Detailing. Lanese Barnett Steveand Holcomb JT Thomson legendary philosopher strategist, Sun Tzu once put it, Dallas, TX Oklahoma City, OK Gilbert, Arizona “Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” (972) 390-0230 (405) 642-7874 801-898-7600 Marketing must ultimately get the product or service Clayton Clark Paul Kalscheur Shane Weiss into the TX hands of theAppleton, customer Houston, WI — a real person. Alice, TXMarketers (281) 304-2517 (920) 636-8463 (361) 664-8101 need to realize that it is way too easy to distract ourselves (via technology)Executive away from what is centrally important Director: Chuck Space • 4600 Spicewood Springs Rd., 103to • Austin, Texas,person 78759 in marketing: generating a Ste. sale a real and, TUNNEL CONTROLLERS CONNECT ALL (512) 343-9023 hopefully, repeating that process again and again to her www.swcarwash.org PHASES OF OPERATION WITH A FULL or his delight. Marketing strategy is not so much about a THE ADVANTAGE is the official publication of the Southwest Car Wash Association. It is published four times each calendar year by LINEUP FEATURES SCWA, 4600 Spicewood SpringsOF #103, FUNCTIONS Austin, Texas 78759. The officers, directorsAND and members of the Southwest Car Wash Asplan, a Rd., system. marketing (including the sociation, as well asbut The Advantage editors, in acceptingBuild advertising foryour this publication, make no independent investigation concerning the services For or productscustomers advertised and neither endorse nor recommend or make any claims as to the accuracy and therefore assume and those outside the industry, the no liability thereof. The opinions expressed the articles are not necessarily the opinions of SCWA and its publisher and therefore makes sysaround a instrategically based, customer-centric sale) no warranties and assumes no responsibility for accuracy or completeness of the information herein. (512) 343-9023. amount of equipment and automation utilized in the typical tem, then technology becomes a true and valuable tool, tunnel wash can come as a surprise. Established operators and not a distraction.
The Capabilities of Tunnel Controllers
Site Evaluation Demographic Reports Carwash Market Evaluations
Training On-Site Training Training Seminars
Design & Development Modular Building Systems Construction Assistance Site-Plan Design Complete Equipment Installation
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SOUTHWEST CAR WASH ASSOCIATION 4600 Spicewood Springs Road Suite 103 Austin, Texas 78759
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