How do marine type businesses start? Have you ever thought of turning a hobby into a business? Let me tell you a story of how I got into the Boat Detailing Business when I started our in the car cleaning business which grew into a franchise system. So often we read in business books to study markets and develop business plans when in reality it does not exactly work that way. Let me tell you a story of how sometimes the entrepreneur just falls into opportunity.
I met a guy who came to our web site to buy a Car Wash Guys franchise who had been detailing boats for ten years in Redding CA and later in Coeur D’ Alene, ID. At the time we were getting about 600,000 hits on our website per month so that wasn’t too surprising judging from the odds. He didn’t have the money but we talked about the industry a lot for our franchisee fee or the equipment needed. . He had some fabulous Ideas about boat washing however. I then was marketing up in WA state and ran across another Boat Detailing in Everett WA, who also detailed cars, really sharp Mormon kid previously from Salt Lake. Also really knew his stuff, attends boat shows and has established himself as a marine cleaning products guy. We hit is off and all decided to work together. I then met a guy in Newport Beach who details the interiors of Boats and designed the original equipment for Nauticare, an onsite, pontoon mounted oil change and bilge cleaning franchise. WOW. This would round out the knowledge I needed to put together The Boat Wash Guys.
Sounds great right? Well not exactly, turns out insurance was tougher than we thought and the government regulators had attacked our companies based on competitor complaints and the whole thing got put on hold. No jobs were created, very few boats ever got cleaned and the whole project sank. This does not mean we could not start it up anytime we changed our minds, it just shows you that no matter how good you plans are as an entrepreneur you always have to watch out for the Tsunami of brain dead regulators in Washington DC. This project today sits on the back burner once again, with all the pieces ready to go. Entrepreneurs should be well advised to watch all the details before sinking $100,000 dollars into an idea without looking at all the details. Think about it.