Car Wash - Spring 2014 - (Page 53)

STAY AHEAD OF THE CURVE SMART STRATEGIES FOR INFUSING INNOVATION INTO YOUR BUSINESS BY CHARIT Y BURNS SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS may wonder what, besides lowering prices, can be done to get ahead of the competition. But the history books are filled with stories of wildly successful companies growing out of seemingly simple services. Car washes may seem simple, but with the right business practices and value-added services, there are just as many ways to inspire innovation and beat out the competition as in any other industry. THE INNOVATION DYNAMIC Time and time again, innovation has been the critical factor for attracting more customers and increasing profits. Whether this innovation includes a fresh approach to the customer experience or offering a whole new service, all innovations require viewing a problem from a new perspective. For busy small business owners, getting this fresh take on their business is easier said than done. David Ciccarelli, co-founder and CEO of, an online marketplace connecting businesses with voice over talent, recommended visiting new cities: "Exploring invigorates the senses, makes you more aware of your surroundings and lends greater perspective. Try spending at least a week away ... [which] presents great opportunities to navigate, experience a different culture and be exposed to fresh ideas." While a vacation may not be the first thing that comes to mind when trying to increase profits, exploring another culture or another country's car wash industry could be the seed of inspiration needed to launch a critical innovation. Sabrina Parsons, CEO of Palo Alto Software and a contributor to the Forbes website, also pointed out, "There are a lot of people in the leadership world or very experienced CEOs in Fortune 500 companies who will require their executives to take a two-week vacation when they are not allowed to check in. The CEOs say that is when their executives come back and SPRING 2014 | CAR WASH MAGAZINE | WWW.CARWASH.ORG | 53 http://WWW.CARWASH.ORG

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Car Wash - Spring 2014

Letter From the ICA
Meet the Board
By the Numbers
Overheard Online
Look Out! Self-Driving Cars Heading Your Way
On the Road, but Still Online
Finding Your Way Through the Mobile Landscape
Take a Tour
Stay Ahead of the Curve
Car Wash Industry Celebrates Centennial Milestone
ICA 2013 Annual Report
Getting to the Point of Biometrics
Fighting for Innovation
Take It From Tech: Entrepreneurial Lessons Courtesy of Google
You Don’t Have to Fail
100 Years
The Innovator’s DNA
Emerging Russian Car Wash Industry Faces Challenges
Rise to the Top
Does a Company Really Need to Innovate?
Watersavers Program Reaches Out During Drought
Blast From the Past
Download It!
Marketing Minute
Ask Champ
Index of Advertisers
Focus on the Member

Car Wash - Spring 2014