How do automotive detailing companies start? What makes them work and how do they grow? How do they choose which services they will offer? This is an interesting case study about a test market of a franchise company in the cleaning business and how they went about setting up Auto Detailing Shops. It maybe of interest to your business study and research; I am familiar with this story because it is one of the companies that I founded.
It all started in Reno, NV where we had set up a mobile car wash franchise of the Car Wash Guys for a franchisee there. . Because we have significant market share in Reno NV, we wanted to expand into different lines. So we looked at co-branding with Ziebart, yet their corporate culture did not mix with our Entrepreneurial Fiber and the cost of their franchises were quite high. On top of that they had sold so many franchises in the US, there would be a problem later if we decided to roll out our system nationwide or continue buying their units to expand with our current franchisees, still we felt this might be worth pursuing. So instead going through all the mistakes, which had already been learned we wanted to buy into a proven system and wanted to exhaust this possibility first. They turned us down. So we have decided to take the market, city by city. But first we needed to establish a prototype unit and this is where our Reno Franchisee came into play. Ziebart instead of partner would become a challenge, as they had 216 units already up and running. We visited many of their locations including Hilo, HA at the time.
The entire business grew out of a mobile car wash operation, without any detailed advanced strategic thinking on our part until we had the customers breathing down our throats yellowing "We need more services" and that folks is how many opportunities are found in the market. You get into business and get tough and follow opportunity, this is why all the text books and business plans are not all they are cracked up to be and why reality based entrepreneurship come from the real world where people can. Not from the academia world where all they know how to do is teach. If you want to go from 0-60 in four seconds sure it is nice to have a venture capital bankroll, but all the real companies I know about started from scratch and then became built to last. From starting small to finishing big is all in the market place and minds of the greatest people on Earth, the Entrepreneurs.