Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 80

"I wouldn't let the driver unload it because
I knew I couldn't pay for it," Hardin said. "But
then I got on the phone with Sonny's son,
Paul, and he told me, 'Pettey, I don't know
you, but my dad feels bad that your business
is failing. See what this piece of equipment
can do for you. If it makes you money, you
can figure out how to pay later on.'"
Hardin did pay for the tire shiner. He
also phased out the original equipment and
replaced it with Fazio's, and from then on
built each store using Fazio's equipment from
day one.

Hardin also sought advice from car wash
pioneers like Benny Alford in Baton Rouge,
Tom Brister in McComb, Missouri, and
Marcus Kittrell in Birmingham. "What I
was doing was not working," he said. "I'd
be a fool not to learn from people who'd
been doing it longer and better."
Before he chose the car wash industry,
Hardin had 10 must-have items for a new
business. He wanted a real estate investment, limited personnel, and to rely on
equipment not people. He didn't want
heavy travel or accounts receivable.

He wanted to find a niche market with
room for improvement, and he wanted
his venture to be bankable, duplicable
and attractive to a bigger buyer down
the road, once he'd worked out the kinks.
"Sounds easy, right?" Hardin said.
Wrong. He needed advice, and a lot
of it.
"It's weird," he said, "but I know people
in all kinds of businesses, and over the
years they've been amazed at the willingness of car wash owners and operators to
share information across non-competing
markets. Especially in the early days -
when the express concept started, there
were so few people doing it - we needed
to share information and pick each other's brains. There's not that same level of
collaboration in other industries.
"Any car wash you visit," said Hardin,
"you pick up a thing or two."

THE NEXT CHAPTER

WE LIVE IN THE CARWASH BUSINESS
■ 24 Years in the industry
■ Endorsed by the Western Carwash Association
■ Run by a former full-service carwash owner/operator
Save money with
industry experts who can
get you the best rate.

Work with a specialist
who knows your industry.

Save time with a
full-service team that
will free you up to run
your business.

Improve your coverage
with a customized program
built for carwashes.

You can and should have it all! Work with the Western Carwash Association's
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CONTACT
Sam Furno
First Vice President
800 388 9274
Sam.Furno@alliant.com
Insurance. Risk Management. Consulting.
CA License No. 0C36861

Hardin, now age 45, wasn't looking to
sell when Mister Car Wash came calling
in 2016.
"I'd finally gotten it right," he said. "I had
the right people doing the work, we were
having fun - it was awesome. Now I could
hang it up and not be in the game, but that
sounds pretty boring. If you said, 'No more
car washes for you, Pettey,' honestly, I'd be
terrified."
Hardin took about three months off after
the sale to spend time with family and build
a house.
"But I missed it," he said. "I enjoy the
negotiating and permitting and working
with the city, the construction process and
operations. I don't really want to create a
new niche again - it was painful being on
the ground floor. But every year in the car
wash business, the bar is higher and it's
more difficult to break in. And I know what
hoops need to be jumped through, I know
the costs, I know what needs to go into the
budget. I'm prepared."
And what about those early months, when
his mistakes brought him so close to failure?
"I'm so grateful that my first unit was
my make-it-or-break it ordeal," said Hardin.
"If I'd had instant success, I would have
made mistakes down the road, probably
fatal ones."

© 2016 Alliant Insurance Services, Inc. All rights reserved.

Susanna Daniel is a freelance writer and
novelist in Madison, Wisconsin.

80

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Car Wash - Fall 2017

Letter from the ICA
Meet the Board
By the Numbers
Overheard Online
Globetrotting
Waterway Gas & Wash
Rising stars
You've made it... now what?
Kadelyn Burgess, Crew Car Wash
Roll up your sleeves
They say they want a revolution
Lessons pave the way to success
Car Wash Excellence Summit
Carina Spurlock, Mister Car Wash
Shaun Nordgaarden, Waterway Gas & Wash
Automotive technology
... And now I own a car wash
“The How of Car Washing”
Take a Tour: Wash N Roll
Blast from the Past
Marketing Minute
Download It!
Ask Champ
Top Tweets
Advertiser Index
5 Things
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - Intro
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - belyband1
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - bellyband2
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - cover1
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - cover2
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 3
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 4
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 5
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 6
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 7
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 8
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 9
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 10
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 11
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 12
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - Letter from the ICA
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 14
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - Meet the Board
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 16
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 17
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - By the Numbers
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 19
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 20
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 21
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 22
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - Overheard Online
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 24
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 25
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - Globetrotting
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 27
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 28
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 29
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 30
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 31
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 32
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 33
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 34
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 35
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - Waterway Gas & Wash
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 37
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 38
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 39
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 40
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 41
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 42
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - Rising stars
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 44
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 45
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 46
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 47
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 48
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 49
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 50
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - You've made it... now what?
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 52
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 53
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 54
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - Kadelyn Burgess, Crew Car Wash
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - Roll up your sleeves
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 57
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 58
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 59
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 60
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 61
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 62
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 63
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - They say they want a revolution
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 65
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 66
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 67
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 68
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 69
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 70
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 71
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 72
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 73
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 74
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 75
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 76
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - Lessons pave the way to success
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 78
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 79
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 80
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - Car Wash Excellence Summit
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 82
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 83
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 84
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - Carina Spurlock, Mister Car Wash
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 86
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 87
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 88
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - Shaun Nordgaarden, Waterway Gas & Wash
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 90
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 91
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - Automotive technology
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 93
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 94
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - ... And now I own a car wash
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 96
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 97
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 98
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - “The How of Car Washing”
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - Take a Tour: Wash N Roll
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 101
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 102
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 103
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 104
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 105
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 106
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 107
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - Blast from the Past
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 109
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 110
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - Marketing Minute
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 112
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - Download It!
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - Ask Champ
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - Top Tweets
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 116
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - Advertiser Index
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 118
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 119
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 120
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 121
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 5 Things
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - cover3
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - cover4
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - outsert1
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - outsert2
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - outsert3
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - outsert4
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - outsert5
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - outsert6
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - outsert7
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - outsert8
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - outsert9
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - outsert10
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