Sequencing the Pandora’s Box of car washing.
The richness of life can be found in the simple things, Family, Duty, Service. The same can be said for business, just take care of the customer. I like the simple things. It seems often we try to over complicate and get lost. And it’s easy to get lost in our world of continuing change, especially the light speed of exponential growth found in tech. But I hope this article helps some put a simple cheat sheet together, a reminder of what has worked for me, and many others out there who have been fortunate enough to be involved in a team who have experienced great growth and stability in their business. But first, our story.
Tunnel wash in a town of 32k, median income of 32k-42k (family). Our location was 3 blocks off the main street, and we were the only traffic, no other businesses. We had 294 Monthly Plans when I showed up and washed about 60k some cars a year. About 4 years later, we were washing 200k cars a year, over 4200 Monthly Plans, lower turnover and thriving social media. Net profit was about triple, and the stat I’m proud of the most, we had 13% of the entire cities population on Monthly Plans. That was all done with competition coming to town (new build of great quality), raising prices at least 3 times, and spending barely any money on marketing throughout our whole growth spree. Maybe it’s just me, but I’m awfully proud of our team, and what we accomplished together.
The thing is, this wasn’t the first time I’ve been involved in something like this. And most importantly, there are many others far more talented than me, doing even better. But what I’ve learned is that the following process, works well no matter what your situation. This is an OVER simplified outline for brevity, however, it was important to me to display the whole “Big Picture” first. If you’re willing to grab the big picture, and if I’m able to communicate that (which is my goal), then my hope is you will also reap the rewards.
Personal Development and Discovery > Leadership > Removing Fear > Continual Improvement > Relevant Value > Exploitation/Marketing/Social > Sales > Continual Feedback Loop
The Most Basic of Breakdown:
Personal Development and Discovery (Humility):
When we humble ourselves and dig deep with personal discovery, we unlock ourselves to our strengths and weaknesses. And if we retain that humility, and let go of insecurity, we then allow ourselves to work in our strengths and flow, and allow for OTHERS to work in theirs. This also allows us to easily hire for our weaknesses.
Our employees don’t work for us, we work for them. Let that sink in. Your job is to unlock the potential of every one of your assets. That’s another lesson, they are assets, not liabilities. If you have a liability, take responsibility, you either trained them wrong, led them wrong, or hired them wrong. Move back up a step, and diagnose YOUR failure. It’s okay, we will fail often, let’s just learn.
1. Dr. Edwards Deming’s most underrated principle. It’s gaining steam again, though I’m not even sure these young advocates realize that Japan (Toyota and Honda) have figured this out about 70 years ago, and quality and speed have been the result.
2. This is the most important step, I cannot in any way overstate that.
3. This does not mean lack of accountability or responsibility.
4. When you remove fear and become humble, you start to get more true data.
With more data and true data, you can tune yourself, your employees, your service, your pricing, your operation, etc. at a much quicker rate, and with more accuracy.
5. When fear is involved, data will be skewed because your employees are trying to impress you, afraid of you, afraid of being wrong, and so on. Same with customers. Remove fear.
1. As stated in 3d above, the injection of cleaner data allows for improvements on every front.
2. Improvements can be 1% better loading, 15% more genuine smiles, 12% more confidence from your sales people, 30% more accuracy with the scripts, 8% more connection with customers. And so on.
1. As you understand what your employees really need from you, you will give them much more value for their job, personal pride, personal confidence, and motivation.
2. Those things will lead to better interaction with your customers.
3. Relevant value will also be noticed in the product itself (a cleaner and dryer vehicle)
1. Your business is naked, that’s the world of social media, embrace it.
2. As you learn more, move faster, and create a wall of relevant value from the previous steps, it’s extremely easy to let the “People” market for you.
3. My motto during our growth was this… “I’m not worried about the sale, I’m more concerned of building a sales Army, an Army of people who sell better than me and for me… while I sleep”.
4. Welcome to social media.
This can be done by having fun and properly asking and involving your customers in that fun.
1. If you’re doing the above correctly, it will be very easy for people to purchase your service, almost as easy as falling in a hole, the rest of the business is designed for them to WANT the value, CRAVE the value, and REACH for and GRAB AT the value that everyone is talking about on Social Media.
2. Momentum and the appearance of momentum is powerful.
Continual Feedback Loop:
1. The more data you have from growth, the better you can fine tune your business.
2. The more Value and Social Media you have, the more this will loop and loop and loop.
3. It all hinges on you, and your ability to lead.
4. ^^^ All that hinges on your ability to be humble, and learn from every single person around you.
This may have been a bit long winded, but the importance of the “Big Picture” is crucial. Once this is embraced, you have something to stand on. This is the sequence that has worked well for decades and there’s no reason this sequence won’t continue to be successful for years to come. Good luck to your unlocking, enjoy the journey.