One thing that entrepreneurs across the board have in common is their shared sense of “the struggle”. The fact is that starting your own business and succeeding is an incredibly difficult journey that takes an extraordinary level of hard work and commitment to one’s goals. So, it’s quite normal to struggle, but where problems really occur is when people take this fact and use it as a reason or inaction.
In today’s blog, I want to share my own story of struggles in business, and what action we took to overcome them, because while it’s true that struggling as an entrepreneur is “the norm”, we still shouldn’t normalize it. Rather, we should find ways to eliminate the struggle of growing a successful business. Sometimes even Franchising is the answer. Nothing better than to learn from somebody else's mistakes.
Struggle is Normal, but Don’t Normalize It
What do we mean by this? As we touched on above, the problem with many entrepreneurs, be they auto detailers or working in other fields, is that they have come to accept that struggle is a kind of “default setting” for them, and thus when they’re struggling, they just carry on as they are. This is a wrong-headed approach. When struggles arrive, they require a robust response, typically in the form of a lot of hard work.
The point here is never to pay attention to those tiny few who make claims about being successful without having to get up early, read a ton of books, and/or invest most hours of the day to get there. When we have struggles, we need action. Read on to learn more about what steps to take.
The story of Wings Mobile Detailing includes a great deal of hardship and challenge. It may sound a little cliche, but it has been a real roller coaster ride so far! In the very beginning it was just me, the founder, by myself offering to wash the cars of neighbors and friends of the family. My idea was simple: offer a premium service where I’d go to people’s homes and detail their cars. I started out with the most basic gear I could buy from the local Walmart.
I went door to door, initially offering to do the work for perhaps $25-30 per car, but was surprised to learn that people were willing to pay $100 or more for this service. Over time, my business grew, but slowly. With each new client came new requirements, and thus new lessons. Using YouTube and other online resources, I taught myself what I needed to know as it arose. Being an entrepreneur isn’t like being an engineer where you perfect your art before you start the job. Entrepreneurship is about continual learning and improvement.
Over time, I added more vans and more detailers to my team, but there were always setbacks. One of the biggest challenges I had by my third year was keeping up with staff training. It took me about 6 months to train a new detailer back then, but it seemed as though just as I trained up one new recruit, an existing trained detailer would move on, setting me back to square one. There was one particularly low point where I had a “perfect storm” of team members moving on to new things, leaving me high and dry!
How did we overcome these challenges in the long term? We’ll explore that in more detail below, but put simply, we made small, incremental changes, and took positive action to improve our abilities, skills and knowledge as we went.
Overcoming Major Business Challenges as an Entrepreneur
“The struggle is real” --- this statement is absolutely true for those in business. And while it is the norm, it is not something we just take lying down. Below are some important things to remember and steps to take when you’re feeling at a low point, or simply overwhelmed by your business:
Expand Your Knowledge As You Go
Some entrepreneurs get overwhelmed very early in their business journey because they think they have to get everything perfect before they start. To use auto detailing as an example, we need to remember that we are not engineers. There’s no need to master everything early on. Instead, focus on the things you can do now, and do them to the best of your ability.
Wings started off with a truly terrible "inexpensive" website, but it served its purpose early on. Using the money we made in those early days, we could then invest in something better. The same thing is true of our equipment, and our service offerings. In the beginning, we used simple gear and a simple vacuum cleaner to get the job done. It was only later as we learned new skills that we expanded to offer paint correction, paint protection, and so on.
Service First, Business Second
For Wings Mobile Detailing, the first thing we did was to detail cars. The business of running a company that interviewed, hired and trained people all came later on. So, focus your energy and effort on offering a flawless service first of all, and only then look into the business side of the company. Over time, you’ll certainly gain new skills as we have:
Hiring talent - advertising, interviewing, etc.
Managing bookkeeping and finances
But none of this happens unless you first have a strong foundation of offering a service that people want and appreciate in your community.
Changes Come From Within
If you want to be able to properly face challenges and overcome difficulties, then changes and actions have to come from you, the leader. Nothing will happen just because you want it to. After founding Wings Mobile Detailing and running it for several years, there were times I thought I was ready to achieve my goal of conducting the business from an office. However, reality got in the way, and so I had to make changes in myself that allowed me to work smarter: speeding up long processes without losing quality, and maintaining my service offering.
The point here is that just as we at Wings learned to adapt when things got tough, so must you. The “struggle” that we all feel is like a warning sign that we must heed in order to keep the roller coaster ride going. If we ignore it and simply accept it as “the norm” then we’ll get nowhere. Therefore, when you next feel yourself reaching that low point, you know it’s time to take meaningful action.
Where are we today!
With multiple locations, Wings Mobile Detailing is now a multi-location franchise.
As a corporation, we serve the sole purpose of providing the best mobile detailing service ever, as well as giving entrepreneurs and franchisees an easy path towards true business expansion without having to face any of the struggles we have faced ourselves.
To learn more about starting your own Mobile Detailing business franchise, visit us here.