Why the Carwash Business?

There are many who find the carwash business to be a worthy place to invest. And indeed it is a repeat business and a simple one at that. Cannot get any simpler than removing the weekly dirt from someone’s car when it is just going to get dirty again. It seems to be a business made in heaven and indeed half of it was.

You see on the second day it is said that God made dirt, well he is said to have made the heavens and the Earth, which is made out of dirt right? Well the dirt blows all over everything you see. And then along came Henry Ford and they started mass producing cars. God’s dirt got onto Ford’s cars are you following me so far? Good, now in the car wash industry you take the dirt off, treat the waste water and put the dirt back where it belongs. Piece of cake right; Well it is not that simple, but the concept is. Isn’t that why you have considered the car wash industry in the first place?

Well that and you probably like your car clean and understand what a pain in the butt it is to get it cleaned. You know in the United States our cars are an extension of our personalities really, check for yourself. Look at your friend’s car and see how they act, doesn’t their car just seem to fit? Sometimes people buy a car, which exemplifies who they wish they could be or who they really want to be and often it is who they are. Think about it.

5 Advertising Mistakes Most Small Businesses Make

Effective advertising is an investment in your business. Ineffective advertising is a liability and a waste of money. Here are the top 5 things to avoid making sure you advertise effectively.

1. Don’t advertise at all

If you are in business and you don’t do some kind of advertising you are not doing business. The only excuse for not advertising is that you have more business than you can handle and then you should expand, raise yoru prices, and advertise more.

This is not to say that you should buy advertising that you cannot afford. If you’re strapped for cash, look for low cost advertising options like co-op advertising, buying remnant newspaper space, flyers, direct mail, or negotiate for trade.

If you are reading this then I am assuming that Coke and Nike are slightly larger companies than yours. These companies spend hundreds of millions of dollars a year in advertising. Why? Well, how long do you think they would keep brand dominance if they stopped advertising today? Pepsi and New Balance would take over in a matter of days or weeks.

If things are slow – that’s a ridiculous reason not to advertise. How do you expect them to pick up – magic? Studies show companies that advertise through economic downturns out perform their competitors during the downturn. When the economy picks up they boom.

There are too many cost effective ways to advertise for you not to be building your business.

2. Put all your eggs in one basket

One ad in one place does not make an effective campaign. A good advertising strategy includes a good mix of methods. Studies show that ideally you should be reaching your customers 4 or more ways.

Combining radio or TV advertising with print will increase the ROI of both. Multiple exposures to your message has a synergistic effect. Don’t blow the budget on a tv or radio campaign and forget other channels.

3. Don’t target your advertising

If you are selling a product or service targeted to people that earn in the top 2% income and you advertise in a mass market medium like the newspaper you are wasting 98% of your advertising dollars.

Who are your customers and where are they likely to see your message?

I saw a great example of targeting recently. An upscale steakhouse advertised in a golf magazine. Golf is a fairly expensive hobby, and many who golf for business networking also do business lunches and dinners in upscale restaurants.

4. Run a cute or gimmicky ad

Ads that are cute and gimmicky may win advertising awards (and frequently do) but they do not sell unless they are designed to sell.

I know you have some wonderfully creative idea for an existentialist ad that violates the advertising principles that billions of dollars and hundreds of years of research have proven effective. Good luck! Creativity is great, but ground it with good marketing principles.

5. Advertise inconsistently

OK you ran your 2 column inch display ad in the back of the local newspaper once and you didn’t get the 50,000 new customers you want. So, you pull the ad, change your whole message and put it somewhere else. No dice.

Testing response is ok, and it’s a good idea to test campaigns. However, advertising takes time to work. Did you know that the average person who responds to an infomercial has seen that infomercial 7 times? Print advertising builds to a level of maximum effect after 4-6 months. Even direct mail takes multiple hits to be effective.

Consistency and repetition are cornerstones of effective advertising.

Copyright 2005 J D Moore

Staging the Kitchen on a Budget – How to Ensure Major Impact With Minimal Investment

As the saying goes, kitchens sell houses, often sealing or breaking the deal depending on how it is presented. But not to worry, kitchen updates do not have to cost an arm and a leg as many sellers assume. Read below for some of the smartest updates you can make for little to no money at all.

1. Stain or Paint Dated Cabinets Instead of Replacing Them
Before you make the costly investment in new cabinetry, try a fresh coat of stain or paint for a like-new look for about $25. Glossy white or black are popular choices for paint, and either cherry or walnut are popular shades of stain. De-clutter and clean out the inside of each cabinet, lay down fresh liners and watch as buyers grow to appreciate your once-dated cabinetry. Finish the look by swapping your hardware for an updated new look in a bronze or brushed nickel finish.

2. Paint the Walls
The color on the walls of your kitchen makes a huge difference in how this important space shows. Green and yellow are great choices for kitchens because they’re appetizing colors, and tan also works well for neutrality and warmth. Just be sure to pick earth-tone varieties like sage green rather than doublemint green, or buttery yellow rather than highlighter yellow! If in doubt, go with the safer option. For a fail-proof way to choose colors for resale try a professionally recommended palette of colors like “Colors That Sell” (PaintColorsThatSell.com) or hire a Home Stager for a color consultation.

3. Lighting is Key
The lighting in the kitchen plays a big role in distinguishing the overall feel of the kitchen. If you have a fluorescent light, updating to a chandelier or semi-flush mount fixture is an absolute must. Still have the builder-grade brass fixture hanging over the breakfast nook? Spend the $150 at Lowes or Home Depot to swap it out for a classy new look in brushed nickel or bronze for a complete transformation of your eat-in kitchen that buyers will love.

4. Invest in New Appliances
Studies show that it does pay to update those old kitchen appliances. If your dated oven and dishwasher are taking center stage, it will behoove you greatly to swap them out for an updated version. If you can’t afford the stainless variety, go with black instead.

5. Keep the Countertops Generally Clear
Store away your extra accessories and appliances before each showing including can openers, coffee makers and dish soaps. Neat, unfussy countertops lend to a clutter-free feeling of spaciousness that will give the illusion of a cleaner, larger kitchen.

6. Cluster Accessories
Rather than spreading the remaining upscale accessories across the counters, group them together in clusters so the eye can bounce from group to group, appreciating the assets of the kitchen along the way.

7. Keep it Sparkling
Having a perfectly clean kitchen is arguably the most important part of selling the space. Buyers want to feel sanitary and fresh throughout their potential new home, and that is especially true in the kitchen. Make sure appliances sparkle, countertops gleam and cabinetry faces are spot-free. Mop the floor, keep any kitchen rugs washed/shaken and even empty the dishwasher before each showing if possible!