I wanted to share this inspirational story with you about how my son and his friend began a small car-washing business in our neighborhood that has become so successful that my 11 year old son recently told me that he no longer had any use for the pocket money which I was giving him. I want to share the story to give hope to any one out there who has an acorn of an idea that is scared of taking the plunge and going for it. If two kids can grow a business from scratch then you can too.
Last fall my son and his friend cam to me and my husband to ask if they could borrow some car washing equipment, when we asked why, they presented us with a simple yet very realistic business plan. They planned to deliver fliers to all houses in our street to offer a car wash for $3, they would wash the cars after school and at weekends. Once I’d ensured my son knew that homework came first we happily obliged and offered them any support that we could give them.
The boys came up with a routine that they would stick to when washing the cars and the older of the two did some math for how many cars they could wash and how quickly. By month 2 they were beginning to see some success and were washing over 20 cars per week. Given that their expenses were relatively low, they were making around $23 profit each, every week. Word got around the neighborhood that the boys not only did a great job cleaning the cars but also did so quickly. What started as people trying to help the boys out by giving them business soon became a popular service that people wanted to pay for.
Once more requests started coming in, the boys asked our advice for what they should do as they didn’t want to turn down business. WE advised that they could hire another employee, train them and this way they could wash 3 different cars at one time. My son enlisted the help of my 13 year old daughter, showed her how they washed the cars and off they went. Then one day my son’s friend saw a poster in a local garage offering the same car washing service for $10. The boys put their heads together and decided that they would put their prices up to $6 per car, when I asked if they thought that their loyal customers may be unhappy they told me of their ideas to minimize discontent. First they would make new posters that said ‘we are still cheaper than the local garage,’ secondly they would offer a loyalty card to regular customers which meant that they could receive the service for just $5, I was blown away with their creativity.
Just 9 months into their new business and the boys and my daughter are making an average weekly profit of $100 each, they have inventory lists for the products that they use, financial plans and they are considering expanding to another neighborhood by enlisting the help of their friend. The boys and the business are the talk of the neighborhood and I am so proud in how they are handling it all. If these boys can build a business like this in such a short time then you can do it too!