Corporate responsibility is a concept which is permeating the business world, causing even smaller business owners to consider more than just profit, when formulating their business practices. Known as the Triple Bottom Line movement in American business circles, the philosophy of TBL management involves taking into account the needs of people and the planet, in addition to considerations of profit when doing business.
Will committing to TBL take profit out of the picture in a car wash business, though? Fans of the philosophy don’t think so. Today’s car wash customers are very aware of the choices they have, regarding where to bring their business, and they tend to tell their friends when they find a company that shares the same values as they do. While TBL practices have not quite hit the car wash industry in force, many car wash operators are employing them as a way to improve their businesses. Using a more environmental solvent or other green car wash supplies may mean laying down 10 to 15 percent more money, up front, but the long term profit is made up by more people choosing a greener option over your competitors.
Car wash operators are starting to see a definite marketing advantage to adopting TBL methods, but another long term benefit of such practices is being ahead of the game, in terms of business regulation. Consumers are already demanding greener choices in their purchasing, and it’s only a matter of time before the demand for greener industries and products makes itself known in regulations, as well.
Besides reviewing their day-to-day operations to ensure that their processes are efficient and their car wash pumps are kept in repair, operators will want to review their practices to see if changes can be made to decrease utility costs and to reduce the amount of energy and electricity they use. Car wash owners can install variable frequency drive to reduce energy usage, and also save wear and tear on vac motors, bearings, pumps, and fans. Operating your car wash with TBL practices can create a business which has a high level of employee and customer satisfaction, as well as a good community reputation, and these factors can help a car wash remain profitable even in times of economic distress.