Employee Training

Employee Training

Additionally, we created a training program for our employees to minimize their environmental effects while they work. We effectively trained them on efficient use of spray hoses, reusable cleaning cloths, and proper application of chemicals.

Altering our employee processes made a slight difference in water and chemical usage, but I wanted to change the culture surrounding my company. Employing a team of 10+ individuals that truly believe in our social values was important to me. 

Throughout the month of January, my time was spent 100% on the business. I dealt with construction on the weekdays and my employees on the weekends.  

Saturdays were devoted to 3-hour mandatory training sessions. Over the course of the month, we touched base on attitude, customer service, and wash/detailing techniques. Besides washing cars without shortcuts, our employees are trained to be sociable, presentable, and to always approach our customers with a smile. 

Sundays were devoted to community service projects. I asked my employees to invite their friends and family. Over the four projects, we steadily increased our numbers and we became very comfortable around each other. I believe friendship and trust is very important in the success of my team.

I couldn’t be more proud of my team With the addition of the training, I promised to pay them better if they took in stride. Instead of making less than $10 an hour, I now pay them $12.50 an hour plus tips.

Thank you for reading part #7 of my 8 part series: My Carwash Success Story! See you soon for the next part of my series! 

Safe & Biodegradable Chemicals

Safe & Biodegradable Chemicals

Conventional car cleaning chemicals arrive with alarming labels on all sides of the shipment. These labels typically included corrosive and flammable warnings. Due to this obvious danger, we had to pay a hazmat shipping fee to have the products shipped to our location.

Since I was branding myself as an eco-friendly car wash, safer wash chemicals were understandably a necessity. Not only would it be beneficial to waste fewer chemicals, but there also were safer chemicals – for our environment, employees, and customers’ cars.

Although we haven’t chosen a favorite environmentally safe chemical yet, most available brands provide the same great results. A simple Google search will give you plenty of options to choose from. Just be sure to do your research before purchasing. 

Personally, I believe eco-friendly car soap brands are all relatively similar, so don’t worry too much about the brand. They will all actively reduce the impact of harsh traditional chemicals.

Thank you for reading part #6 of my 8 part series: My Carwash Success Story! See you soon for the next part of my series! 

Brief Introduction to my Personal Journey

Brief Introduction to my Personal Journey

The last few years have been extremely tough for me, but all bad times eventually pass. In 2017, I was severely depressed. My business was horribly failing, and I didn’t feel I had a purpose. 

For months on end, I worked next to my employees 10+ hours a day at my own company washing and detailing cars. My employees were only making $8.50 an hour, but it was way more than me. My loans to start my business kept growing every month because of interest. At the start of 2018, I wanted to sell my carwash. Luckily, my wife saw everything through and knew things would work out.

By the grace of God, I attended that conference in August of 2018. By the end of the year, I had a new business plan. I was going to rebrand my failing company into “Tuscaloosa’s Alabama’s Favorite Eco-Friendly Car Wash”. At the time, this claim couldn’t be further from the truth. I can proudly say that we currently operate solely on eco-friendly principles and get more business than ever.

Wash, Rinse, Reuse … Repeat

Throughout the month of January, we closed our doors and underwent construction with the help of Aquabio Technologies. I don’t fully understand every step of the process, but will try my best to summarize our renovation. Essentially, we installed a full water restoration system. The system captures, filters, and neutralizes the odor of used wash water allowing us to reuse it throughout the entire wash cycle.

By the end of March, our newly remodeled car wash was averaging just 12 gallons of water per vehicle Before implementing our new systems, we were averaging 52 gallons of water per vehicle. We don’t just clean cars anymore, we make an active difference in our community as an eco-friendly business.

Water is undoubtedly the lifeblood of our business, but we recognized reducing water usage wasn’t the only way we could positively impact our environment.

Thank you for reading part #4 & #5 of my 8 part series: My Carwash Success Story! See you soon for the next part of my series! 

Consumer Mindset Shift

Consumer Mindset Shift

As I hinted at earlier, people love to support businesses that provide the same services as their competitors if they also go above and beyond solving an external issue. For my business, Tuscaloosa Car Detail, we decided to focus on environmental issues.  As people become more and more environmentally conscious, everyone seems to regularly examine what impact he or she has on the environment and how there might be a way to lessen their carbon footprint. Because of this mindset, customers gravitate towards eco-friendly businesses – although they won’t necessarily pay much more for it.  Not only will transitioning to eco-friendly practices improve your business image, but it’s also a great investment to help you save money in the long run. Improvements in car washing equipment, water recycling, and affordable eco-friendly chemicals suggest that existing car washes can use less to earn more.  In addition to implementing eco-friendly business practices, we also sponsor river cleanups & highway cleanups. Not many people attend these events, but those who help us typically turn into lifelong customers. Besides doing something beneficial for your community, it also has financial returns.  Green focused, eco-friendly businesses have a legitimate seat at the table in the car wash industry. 

Thank you for reading part #3 of my 8 part series: My Carwash Success Story! See you soon for the next part of my series! 

Unfathomable Water Usage

Unfathomable Water Usage

In the very early days of washing cars, the industry was generally not overly concerned with how much water or electricity carwashes used. To be fair, washing cars before 1946 consisted mainly of a gallon bucket, soap, and a sponge. These small scale wash stations may have used a total of a few hundred gallons of water throughout an entire day… if the whole town needed a cleaning.

 As populations and technology has grown over the last few decades, the industry has steadily increased the number of resources used to wash cars, especially water. According to “Education in Nonpoint Source Pollution Prevention,” a study published by www.mass.gov, an average driveway wash uses 116 gallons of water. In fact, the report says, “Most commercial carwashes use 60 percent less water in the entire washing process than a simple home wash uses just to rinse off the car.” They further state, the average commercial carwash uses around 46.4 gallons per vehicle. 

Needless to say, using more than 45 gallons of water to wash a single car poses a significant environmental issue. With an estimated 8 million cars being washed daily at wash facilities, our global water usage of ~ 360 million gallons of water per day to wash cars is ridiculous.

This statistic alone inspired my own carwash transformation. 

Thank you for reading part #2 of my 8 part series: My Carwash Success Story! See you soon for the next part of my series!