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REGISTER TODAY — SCWA Expo is just weeks away!
Professional Carwashing & Detailing
The Southwest Car Wash Association 2014 Convention & Car Wash Expo is being held Feb.23-25 at the Arlington Convention Center & Sheraton Hotel. According the Association, the theme, "The Game is Changing," reflects how much things have shifted in the past couple of years. "The last few years brought many changes to the car wash world. Changing business models; consolidation; changing customer buying habits; increased government regulations; new economic extremes," a promo for the Expo stated. Click headline above to register TODAY!
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INDUSTRY NEWS


Cost of goods and services: Extra services add cost, pay dividends
Auto Laundry News
While we have imprecise information about industry size in terms of car wash outlets, volumes and revenues, experience shows the cost of goods and services is a rising issue. Today, we know the price of oil-derivatives can adversely affect the car wash industry. For example, the Fed tells us high gas prices can lead up to a 4 percent decline in vehicle miles traveled. A 55-gallon barrel of car wash chemical purchased in 1995 for $350 now lists for $500.
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Made-in-America gets better as price drives better car sales
Bloomberg Businessweek
Here is the challenge for remade American automakers in 2014: They are fielding their best cars in a generation while they are saddled with an image for building poor-quality models. To dealers, the solution is simple — cut prices. Yet GM, Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler Group LLC have promised not to sacrifice their growing profitability by falling into old habits of deep discounting. This year, though, the Detroit Three and their retailers may meet in the middle, which could propel U.S. auto sales to what some analysts forecast to be the highest level since 2006.
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Land purchased for Louisiana car wash
Baton Rouge Business Report
Geaux Clean, a Baton Rouge express car wash business, has purchased a 1.142-acre tract on Siegen Lane to open its third location. Geaux Clean opened its first location in Central four years ago, and last year it opened a second location on Highland Road between Airline and Jefferson highways.
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Food for thought: Exercise your optimism muscle
By Karen Childress
If you routinely hear phrases like "Why are you so negative?" coming from people who know you well — your spouse, practice partner, office manager or even your children — it may be time to work on building up your optimism muscle.

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Small businesses get creative to cut health cost
USA Today
Small businesses have come up with creative ways to encourage their employees to become healthier. The Affordable Care Act creates new incentives to promote employer wellness programs and encourage employers to take more opportunities to support healthier workplaces.

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2014 tax law changes and your business
Fox Small Business
Uncle Sam may not collect taxes until April, but there are things small business owners can do now to prepare. After all, wait until tax time and you'll be scrambling not only to get your paper work in order, but potentially even to find the funds to pay your bill.

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New laws in Texas eliminate small business 'tax cliff'
Austin American-Statesman via CPA Practice Advisor
Thousands of small-business owners in Texas have faced a year-end dilemma since 2006: Try to stay under $1 million in gross receipts or see their state franchise tax bill go overnight from zero to thousands of dollars. The Legislature last year created a new deduction allowing businesses to deduct $1 million from their gross receipts for the franchise tax. The state's smallest businesses, those with less than $1 million in gross receipts, remain exempt from the tax. But eliminating the cliff gives the tax a more phased-in impact on companies making between $1 million and $3.3 million in gross receipts.
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Be a better manager in 2014
Forbes
When it comes to management, some are big believers in fundamentals rather than fancy. Sure, there's nothing at all wrong with, say, presentation skills that spellbind an audience of thousands, but when it comes to operational effectiveness, chances are that will be determined by how well you execute fundamentals day in and day out. In that spirit, the following are six fundamentals that can make you a better manager in 2014.
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Mysterious dust drops all over Houston and car washes love it
Houston Chronicle
This past Christmas came early for the city's car washes as hundreds of people lined up to get a thick layer of red dust removed from their vehicles. "They were just covered," said staff at Mister Carwash on Braeswood Place in West U. "People could barely see out of the windshield." The National Weather Service says the dust came from Mexico and was picked up by a weather system. Then once the rain started, it came down.
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Measuring success
Auto Laundry News
With 2014 upon us, we have an opportunity to reflect on what we hope to accomplish in the coming year. Every successful car wash operator tends to develop a list of numbers and trends they watch to indicate the health of their business. While many glance at lots of numbers, most seem to gravitate towards a short list of favorites they value most. So many operators seem to prioritize so many different performance indicators, which ones are key to understanding if your business is going in the right direction? Is there a magical set of numbers or data that if known, will lead you to success?
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2013-2014 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid recall: Transmission sensor issue
Green Car Reports
Slightly more than 7,000 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid sedans from the 2013 and 2014 model years are being recalled for a potential problem that could allow the car to be shifted into gear without the brake pedal being applied. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's SaferCar.gov lists a recall notice for 7,153 MKZ Hybrids assembled between April 2012 and September 2013. According to the notice, an error in the manufacturing process may affect the transmission's range sensor and cause it not to function properly.
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Customer experience is more important than advertising
Business 2 Community
Fewer and fewer customers are trusting advertising as the source of information for products and services. Word of mouth carries a big, heavy stick when it comes to the reputation of your business products and services. Facebook, Twitter, Yelp and other social media and reviews sites help to amplify to voice of the customer. With the power that a single bad customer service experience can have at creating future business opportunities, it's critical that you focus on investing in customer service.
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SCWA Today
Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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Lisa Smith, Senior Content Editor, 469.420.2644  
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