While I was employed at Enterprise-Rent-A-Car about 10 years ago, I had this bright idea of washing cars on my own for money on the weekend. I came up with the name "Weekend Wash" which honestly, is still a pretty sick name! Names aside, the execution on the idea was very sub-par and limited by my mindset at the time.
I ended up buying plastic tubs, and put all of my products and supplies (buckets, car wash soap, wash brushes, microfiber towels, consumer grade tire dressing and glass cleaner, etc.) that I purchased from Wal-Mart and Auto Zone and Target of course, and organized it all in the trunk of my green, 2001 Honda Civic sedan. I even got uniforms at Wal-mart (yellow-gold basketball shorts and a bubblegum blue, plain t-shirt). I had quarter-page flyers that I designed on my friend's computer, of course, with services listed and pricing. Needless to say, the pricing was SUPER low, to "compete" with the pricing at the hyper-efficient, local drive through car washes.
Really unprofitable car wash pricing
Here's some of the pricing I think I remember I had:
Car wash only: $6.
Car wash and vacuum: $10.
Car wash, vacuum and tire shine, with hand scrubbing and shampooing of floor mats: $12.
Keep in mind, my plan was to drive door to door, spending time and gas knocking down doors to get clients, all while charging them $6-$12 and using about $3 in product per car serviced. At the time, I would have loved to be busy making this kind of money - but looking back, it's obvious I had a lot to learn about the cost of doing business and the difficulty to obtain customers.
First weekend at Weekend (car) Wash
I went out the first weekend with my friend's little brother. He was 14-ish, "eager" to make money with me.
I tried to get my coworker Aaron to join forces with me, but sadly he declined. Anyway, my friend's little brother and I drove around, deathly afraid of knocking on a door. When we finally settled in an adjacent neighborhood from where he lived, we started knocking. This is that neighborhood across Walton Avenue from the happy park neighborhood, where you literally can't park on the street due to the size and design of the street. If you're going to park, it's going to be outside that neighborhood on Walton Avenue, or in someone's driveway.
After knocking on the first few houses, luckily, we ended up picking up a customer! We washed his car with a wash brush, and got it nice and clean (and scratched), and he happily paid his $12 bill. Later on, we ended up in a neighborhood by my house on Railroad Avenue and Bogue Road - It's that "baller" neighborhood with the mini-mansions. After knocking down a few doors, and devising an "alibi" as to why we were there (to earn money for a field trip lol), we picked up another client there. After spending a good amount of time doing this sweet lady's two vehicles, we earned another whopping $20. Later on, I think, the next week, we ended up washing some lady's grey Honda Civic off of Queens and Stabler Lane. It continued like this for a few awkward weekends, and thank God Weekend Wash came to a halt. I really don't remember why I stopped (probably because I didn't make a dime after supplies.)
Hi! This blog is written by Detail Pros' very own, Ken! I am the owner and detailer at Detail Pros in Yuba City, CA, which is a smallish town between Sacramento, CA and Chico, CA. Thanks for reading!
Yuba City, CA 95993
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