We made it. We can all now put the year which must not be named behind us and turn our focus fully to the future.
Before we go full steam ahead, let’s just take a second to reflect on what we’ve learned from the past year. For me, it boils down to three things.
Great things come from great challenges.
On March 10, 2020, International Carwash Association and its Board of Directors had to make the decision to cancel The Car Wash Show 2020™. It was a decision that required an amazing amount of courage. But it was not unlike the decisions that car wash owners and operators had to make all over the world. All across the world people were forced to make difficult decisions that would have major implications for their businesses.
Out of those difficult decisions, there have been a tremendous amount of great opportunities.
We’re supremely adaptable.
One thing you just can’t ignore, is that the car wash industry has adapted beautifully to the challenges of the global pandemic. From an accelerated adaptation of contact-less payment solutions, to full car sanitization offerings, to an unmatched commitment to community (more on that later) the car wash industry has been a model of how you can adapt during a crisis.
For ICA, the adaptation has been no less dramatic. A complete re-thinking of its approach has led to new programs like CAR WASH Magazine Live™ to drive connection in the community while we cannot gather in person. But it goes further than that.
ICA has also accelerated plans to launch its Leadership Education And Development (LEAD) program. Plainly stated, it’s car wash training for car wash managers. Online training available anytime on any device to ensure your business has consistent and efficient training because better training equals better people, and people are at the core of our business.
No matter where you are in your business, or your personal life, you are more flexible because of the last year. The key takeaway here is that it’s all going to be OK. The more we all put ourselves in others’ shoes, the more we realize just how important empathy is now and will be going forward. Grace matters.
Those three things are my key learnings from the previous year. But guess what? I am a firm believer that we are always learning and growing, so this is only one step on our journey to greatness.
In this issue of CAR WASH Magazine, we’re diving into a lot of what I just mentioned, but the key thing I want you to focus on is the way that our community adapted during Halloween. We feature a lot of washes who created a “Haunted Tunnel” this year. With a giant opportunity because of COVID-19, washes everywhere took their efforts to a new level to cement their place in their communities as a vital and … essential … business.
We also explore planning for your business’ future in myriad ways and explore multiple layers of business strategy in this issue.
As always, if there’s something you’d love to see covered, or a wash you’d like to see highlighted, shoot me a message at mdewolf@carwashg.