Many an entrepreneur decides that he will bring the service to the customer. Yes, customers love this and the fixed site competition hates it as much as the Big Box Stores hate Internet Start-ups that sell the same products online. Having been an entrepreneur in the mobile auto services industry for some 27-years and franchising it in 23-states and four countries, I was forced to improve efficiency to an unheard of rate to compete.
Not long ago, someone wishing to start a mobile oil change business began asking me all sorts of questions such as:
Should I go it alone or buy a franchise;
How much should I pay for equipment;
How do I know if there is any competition;
Who should I buy equipment from and;
Tell me the Do’s and Don’ts of successfully starting a company like this
In reviewing these questions asked me, it appears there is a bit of philosophy that is needed here so he might understand the Mobile Oil Change Business in a more abstract way, to simplify it and assist him in understanding the concept. Sure, I can answer the questions and I did of course.
But something was bothering me. You see, I can answer these specific questions, yes, that is really no problem, but really he needs to be asking different questions and you need to focus on the efficiency aspects of this business.
For instance did you know that WebVan lost 1 billion dollars trying to deliver groceries to people’s homes. They had NO competition and EVERYONE needs to eat. So, yes, there is a need for cars to have their oil changed. Yes there are more cars than people in CA, AZ, FL, TX, and many other states for that matter, yes there is a market for mobile oil changes.
Just like for WebVan, there was already a market, their concept was new, and brought the market to customer, but they failed when they did not need too. So, please if you are starting a mobile auto services business please, think about all this more. I feel something is a miss, I want you to understand the philosophy and reality behind the efficiency, not just asking the typical questions to make MBA style business plan, there is more to business than that: