Fleet Washing Expansion Considerations

Many times small businesses want to expand their businesses and are not sure when the best time to do that might be. The key of course is cash flow. Will your current and brand new accounts afford you the cash flow to expand? Let us run thru a scenario with you and just so you know this is good advice, I own the Truck Wash Guys and have been doing this a while. Each time a franchisee wished to expand and ask for advice, I would look at their situation and determine if it was a wise idea. Sometimes it was, but often it was not. So let us look a hypothetical scenario for a moment:

Well let's consider. You have two new fleet accounts, one with twenty buses at let's say $10.00 each from a summer day camp for kids. The other is a rent-a-car company that pays once a month. This is your 50 percent increase in sales. Now, let us add in a graffiti removal contract. The graffiti contract starts in two months. Sales are up and everything looks great?except:

The day camp ends after summer (two months left)

The rent-a-car company pays monthly so you will bill them at the end of the month and then they will wait thirty days to pay you plus mail time

The graffiti contract is the same payment schedule and cities are notorious on slow payment

Graffiti can be cleaned at night

Rent-a-cars can be cleaned by starting one and one-half hours earlier on Mondays and thirty minutes earlier other days

Summer camp buses can be cleaned whenever You are not sure yet how often the day camp pays

Still think you want to expand?

NO WAY!

Remember: You can run your pressure washing rig twenty-four hours a day without owning two rigs. You will have a major cash flow problem if you buy another unit because of the billing cycle on big accounts. Your new truck would not be ready for thirty days plus five days to get financing. By that time the summer camp is almost over. Wow. All the indicators point to a second pressure washing rig and new truck or do they?

Sometimes you need to actually open the hood and take a look. Consider putting on your devil's advocate thinking cap and make yourself a mechanic. Ask yourself for help. Let yourself look under the hood. Throw away the ego. Sure it would be nice to own another pressure washing rig and you would be a big business man. But realistically speaking it would all be for show and you would actually be making less money. You can justify the expansion to the leasing company or a bank and get the money all right because sales are up. But that doesn't make it a savvy move. Sometimes race car drivers draft behind the lead car to cut down on drag from the wind. By conserving resources (fuel) they better their chances for winning the race later. In business, the person who gets to keep the most money wins, not the one who has the biggest empire. Think about it before spending the money on expansion.

"Lance Winslow" - If you have innovative thoughts and unique perspectives, come think with Lance; www.WorldThinkTank.net/wttbbs

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