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Are You Committed to Growth?

After a year where so many businesses struggled, the car wash industry remained steady and even thrived in some markets, making it an even more enticing investment opportunity. Competition continues to increase as operators look to expand and private equity investors look to capitalize.
“I think we’ve reached an inflection point in our industry where operators who have somewhere between 3 and 30 washes are facing competition from some of these big guys [private equity investors],” said Bill Martin, owner and operator of Metro Express Car Wash founding partner of Amplify Car Wash Advisors.
When looking to separate yourself from the competition, Martin says first you need to reflect on who you are as a company.
“We need to focus on our core strengths and our core values as a company and build around that…It’s not always about who’s got the deepest pockets, but who can manage the business the best.”
Along with those operational core values and strengths, you need to constantly be evaluating the sites you already have in place. Growth isn’t only about expansion; it’s also about reinvesting in your already established locations.
“You open a car wash one day and you have to invest money every day that it’s open until the day you close it,” said Benny’s Car Wash co-owner Justin Alford. “It’s a living, breathing thing that you have to constantly nurture.”
Two areas essential to growth and to staying ahead of the competition are technology and equipment. Without an investment in modern technology and solutions, smaller operators face even greater pressure from larger private equity investors who have the ability to scale rapidly.
Again, Martin says this another time for reflection and an honest evaluation. 
“Are you going to grow? Are you going to reinvest in the business? Are you going to add technology?…If you stand still, if you’re not willing to make that investment, if you’re not willing to push forward then you really should evaluate –
1. Where are you today?
2. Where are you going to be in three to five years?
Because if you’re not willing to make that investment, you probably need to be looking over your shoulder.”

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