When push comes to shove in the face of economic constraints, resilient entrepreneurs have a knack of coming up with new franchise opportunities that can withstand the roughest of business conditions and circumstances.
Take the auto industry for instance. It had to take quite a few hard punches from the oil crisis and then, the housing and financial meltdowns which caused slumps in sales throughout most of their sectors. It took a while but US car manufacturers eventually responded with drastic overhauls that resulted in their building smaller and more fuel efficient models.
Likewise with the car wash industry, when sales dipped due to rising employment and decrease in disposable income, they responded on multiple fronts.
Firstly, they made car wash easier for motorists by offering user-friendly touch screen technology that speeded up their car wash experience. They also made it easier for customers to make payments such as by accepting debit cards. They brought in systems that cleaned, shined and protect the vehicles better. New franchise opportunities that use innovative equipment and practices started to come to the front.
The tough economic times also meant that small to medium-sized businesses had to roll up their sleeves and come up with innovative ways to increase their income streams. Mobile businesses in general became ever more popular. Mobile car washing and detailing was no exception to the rule and this meant customers can have their vehicles washed and detailed at a time and place convenient to them. This is also a cost saving for them as they do not have to go out of their way to drive to a detailing outlet.
Despite the decline during those tumultuous 2000-2010 years, conveyor belt car washes fared better than others. Nonetheless, car wash equipment sales are reported to have started to pick up in 2011.
Back in 1977, the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Water Act put into place stipulations that protect and preserve our environment by disallowing the discharge of pollutants into a storm sewer system or into a city street that drains to a storm water inlet. The EPA recommended that companies and individuals alike, to have their vehicles washed at the car washes. This was and is a big plus for car wash owners.
Further on in June 2006, the EPA introduced its WaterSense Program to educate the nation on the importance of protecting our water supply by using less water or by using water efficient products and techniques. Throughout, both car wash business owners and vehicle owners have been educated in the importance of water protection and conservation.
For the former, if they fail to comply with the Clean Water Act stipulations, they will be at the receiving end of stiff penalties and/or other unfavorable consequences. For the latter, they have been and continue to be well-informed of constructive green practices that are in the interest of their well-being.
Thus, they are more likely to gravitate to service providers who are seen to be doing the right thing and on the right side of the law. Even more so, the providers are coming up with new franchise opportunities that focus on innovative services such as cleaning cars with steam! Even our European neighbors are trending towards waterless products and detailing services as well.
According to industry reports, the car wash industry has a low market share concentration. For example, the top 4 companies take in 6% of the industry’s revenue. The rest are made up of large numbers of small scale operators and this poses ample potential to those who have a passion for automobiles and are interested to be in the drivers seat of their own business. Moreover, it has been noted that owner operated car washes deliver the best quality services.
New franchise opportunities such as cleaning cars with steam have been proven to withstand the beating from the downturns and are ripe for the harvest now that eco-friendly stipulations are being increasingly upheld and enforced.
DetailXPerts has been in the car detailing business since 2006 and have weathered the sub-prime crisis of 2007 and the 2008-2010 financial crises that resulted thereafter. While marginal players struggle to stay in business, we have used that period to shore up our systems, practices and operations to function even more efficiently in providing new franchise opportunities.