How do small little mobile car washing and auto detailing businesses start? Well, perhaps I should tell you my story real quick, and then give you the advice and encouragement you need to go and get this done for yourself, if that is indeed, what you really want to do. I must warn you however; It Is Really Hard Work!
Okay so, I didn’t scare you away, that’s a good sign, so let’s talk.
You see, I first got into the mobile car wash business accidentally, as I started washing aircraft at age 12 back in 1977. Unfortunately, and this was a big hardship, I was too young to get a driver’s license, so I rode my bicycle to the airport, washed airplanes and then road home. I towed around my equipment in an industrial tool box with big wheels on it – by tying a rope to the seat post of my bicycle – yep, nothing good in life is easy.
Eventually, 4-years later, and it seemed like forever, I did get my driver’s license and put all the equipment into the back of a pick-up and occasionally washed vehicles too. Everyone liked it, and I found some aircraft owners who had truck fleets and they hired me to come clean them on-site. That’s how it all started. Well, there was a lot of work, meaning as long as you did the work – there was some money available to grow the business – yes, and live well, for a 16-year old anyway.
The business of washing vehicles grew very fast, as there were more cars than aircraft, so I was busy as heck. I couldn’t hire my friends and school mates fast enough to do all the fleet washing, and personal cars at office buildings, and I still had the aircraft cleaning service, and I suppose one of my workers had slipped in that nomination for “most likely to succeed” – but I hardly thought so, all I knew is that between grades and sports, and the business, I was running redline, and wondered how could anyone hope to succeed like that.
Later of course, I learned probably like you that it takes hard work to make it in such a world. Over the years the business grew, and we had some 53-units operating in 39 cities, some I owned, others were independent contractors. Eventually we had to franchise to stay within the law and definition of our highly modified business model.
Okay so, this article is not about “How To” because, quite frankly there are just too many articles, DVDs, and books already out there on “How to Start a Mobile Car Wash Business” and pretty much everyone has their own methods and way of doing things. No way is bad if it works for you, but there are more efficient ways of doing all aspects of the business, depending on regional variations such as; weather, labor supply, demographics, and customer demands.
Rather, the point I want to make hear and I hope I’ve hammered it home, is that if a young, naïve, and stupid teenager like me can start a business like this anyone can. And let’s just call this your inspiration for the day, to kick you in the rear and really ask yourself if you want to do it or not. Don’t say you can’t, because if you do, I’ll simply say; “you mean you won’t, because I know you can, if you decide too.” In fact, I was reminded of the excuses that people make in life when they say they can’t by another self-made entrepreneur the other day.
You can do anything you put your mind too, including starting a mobile car washing company. Indeed, I hope you will please consider all this and think on it.