What I have to say could be seen as unpopular to a lot of business owners because with it comes both a condemnation in addition to a message of hope. The truth is that there are many car wash businesses that that are not having the same issues that are being reported by failing wash owners. The success of one business means that there is going to be the failure of another - this is the very nature of competition. Right now there may be fewer vehicles being washes, although this does not mean that all washing has stopped. The simple truth is that there are a vast number of vehicles that will need to be cleaned no matter the economics of the day. For most American’s, car care is a necessary expense, no different than fuel and engine maintenance.
I’ve seen some amazing wash business operators thrive in areas that previously were according to failed business owners, “a terrible market for a carwash”. And this just strengthens my beliefs that there are car wash operations that have far too long been taking advantage of what we will look back on as “the golden years of car washing”. There was a period of strong business for carwash operators and it required nothing more than some land, a building, and the equipment to fill it. You could build a carwash in the middle of a corn field in Iowa and customers would line up. But the sad fact is that our current economic ecosystem can only handle limited number of car washes at any given time. Those car washes that are currently not experience economic woes are those that are operating with a plan and it is plainly obvious to me that the businesses having difficulty have no plan and no exit strategy.