Can a home-grown Chinese entrepreneur revolutionize the auto washing business in Southern China? What if they decided to go mobile rather than set up location based businesses to wash cars? After all, real estate is at a premium right? Could a US based franchisor help facilitate something like this and assist with the support needed to get it going allowing the local entrepreneur to rocket to success without the learning curve? Not long ago, I was asked this question, more or less hypothetically. Let’s talk shall we?
It seems that most of these types of auto services activities (windshield repair, touch up painting, pin-stripping, oil changing, etc) including car cleaning could be done by creating fleets of three-wheeled motorcycles owned by you and rented out to others in a grid strategy. How would I recommend setting this up? Well, how about like this;
Each independent operator would fulfill those Car service services in their assigned zones. Each zone could have a; mobile car washer, windshield repair, paint touch-up, and oil change licensee. There could be let’s say 4 mobile car washes in one zone (broken down into 4 sub-zones), while only one windshield repair person. Each area would be 8 X 8 or 64 zones, each zone with a small group of service vehicles. The vehicles could be rented each day to each operator, plus selling the independents supplies.
You could grid out the entire Guangdong Province for instance, then the greater Shanghai and Beijing area – it’s a goldmine for someone who gets it. Then everyone orders services online. I did put together such a plan once for Monterrey Mexico, and then Mexico City, but never did anything there with it (back in 1999). I’ve thought a lot about that on the mobile side.
What about a chain of fixed site locations? Well, on the fixed location side, I also agree it would work well if the system could be grown extremely fast. Okay so, with this known, I would make them modular, pre-fab, quick-up units. You could really overtake anything that McDonalds or Yum Brands has done, and really there is little inventory costs, service businesses can create higher profits – I just think it is a better model. Also, I read they are expecting over 21.5 million cars to be sold in 2014, coming off a 20 million cars sold in 2013 year. Well, this is the Year of the Horse, question is will anyone get on that horse and ride like the wind?