Smart entrepreneurs frequently seek out businesses that are off the beaten path, enterprises that have a strong customer base and consistent revenue streams. This is a really fascinating storey. I had always thought that mobile truck washing operations were extremely profitable, and that stationary truck washes were a huge waste of money. That was until one year ago, when a new franchisee from Oklahoma City joined our team. The franchisee had previously worked at Blue Beacon Truck Washes, the country’s largest truck wash company. With 80 truck washes, they generate around $138 million each year, and the company is privately held. Tim, our franchisee, worked for them as a truck manager before joining our company and starting cleaning cars in OKC, despite his expertise in truck washing. He had a two-year non-compete agreement with his previous employer, which we honoured in OKC. He has a lot of expertise and told me that the business is sound and that we should jump right in. Later that year, I sold a franchise to a man in Washington State who owned five car washes and struck a deal with a truck stop on an Indian reservation; he never started the plan, but the statistics we ran on the spreadsheet looked fantastic and profitable. Have a look at Grand Island truck wash.
I had never considered the fixed site truck wash business, even as a serial entrepreneur, because the mobile truck wash business seemed so much more efficient and had such little overhead. So, despite having all of this information on our staff, we chose not to enter that industry. One of our competitors in the car wash sector purchased two truck washing chains, totaling fourteen truck washes, and declared it to be five times more profitable than his other car washes. They now own approximately 100 truck and car washes around the country. After further investigation, a franchise buyer from Fuel MAN, an East coast Fuel Card for fleet owners, approached us in South Carolina with the offer to use the Truck Wash Guys name and establish a truck wash in the middle of the state. We decided to start working on the details at that point. Then, in Ohio, a franchisee struck an agreement with a truck stop halfway between Columbus and Pittsburgh to run a 24-hour truck wash and de-ice operation. He realised how simple it was, and now we’ve struck a deal in WV at a vehicle wash as well. At the time, our Ohio Franchisee had taken on another partner in West Virginia.
Our Ohio Franchisee, still hesitant to completely enter the niche of full service truck washes, went all out to put together a deal with Pilot Truck Stops. Pilot Truck Stop is the world’s largest truck stop chain, selling 8% of all diesel fuel in the United States. As a result, we devised a pilot programme at pilot. Our temporary setup, which consists of a trailer unit that is parked at truck stops and washes, made sense. We next worked on building plans to submit to the Building Department for approval, while the transactions in Ohio, West Virginia, and South Carolina were suddenly in the works. We reasoned that if our contract with the truck stops went well, the truck stops would see an increase in traffic and gasoline sales, while we would earn money and a portion of the overall take for the privilege of working there. We’re used to washing trucks and have a person on our team that sells Simonize truck wash and has 20 years of experience in the car washing and pressure washing equipment business. On the east coast, the gasoline man fuel cards are used as currency, and the name of the company is well-known. We believed that if we moved into this industry, we could pick up the slack.