Interview an Entrepreneur Essay Example

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Entrepreneur Interview

Entrepreneurship is a popular, but challenging activity. Nonetheless, certain people are able to establish successful businesses based on their entrepreneurial skills and personal characteristics. The following paper is a discussion of an interview with a car wash owner.

I conducted an interview with John Hayes who owns three car washes in Santa Rosa California. Hayes finished college with a degree in business management and searched for a job without any luck. While looking for a job, he helped to organize a fund raiser that featured a car wash to help raise money for a children home. During this occasion, Hayes discovered an opportunity in setting up a car wash. The car wash business is focused on cleaning cars from the exterior to the interior.

Hayes was influenced to start the car wash business because he had some skills in business management and still had not landed a job. Moreover, Hayes realized through the fund raiser that there was an opportunity in starting a car wash in the area. Hayes believed that the car wash could be a new opening for raising money to pay for his upkeep. Although never being experienced in the car wash business, Hayes believed that there was a potential of generating profit from washing other people cars.

Hayes began his car wash business by renting a space along the road where he used his saving to put up a small garage. Initially, Hayes got a lot of help and encouragement from the family. His sisters and smaller brother all helped to wash cars. Ideally, the car wash business is divided into the self-service or automated services or manual washing. Since the self-service requires increased capital to develop all the necessary machines and space, Hayes decided to focus on manually washing cars. Being a business student, Hayes quickly established strong relationships with his customers through effective communication. He also introduced promotions and offers that made his business even more popular. Hayes received increased support from his father. Hayes father was a classic car enthusiast who collected different models of old cars for leisure. Washing the cars was part of taking care of the car, which was held with high regard in the family. Therefore, Hayes received increased support from his family.

Evaluating a business opportunity is often a stressful and challenging affair (Aulet 42). However, Hayes firstly conducted a feasibility study of the car wash business. He researched all the nearby car washes and discovered that there was a considerable distance between the first car wash and his home town. Moreover, Hayes also researched on how often car owners wash their cars. Another evaluation was the number of people owning cars in the area. Hayes also researched the minimum or average charges in car washes. These are some of the evaluations that Hayes used to analyze the car wash business opportunity.

Evaluating a business opportunity enables one to determine the best criteria for pursuing the business (Aulet 45). In this case, Hayes discovered that people were willing to pay an average fee of about $25 and above depending on the service or car type. He quickly realized that this was a good opportunity to make some profits based on the frequency of customers. Hayes gathered this information from the fund raise car wash event. Where people even added tips and were very thankful for getting their cars washed. Another criteria Hayes used is the idea that his neighborhood has no car wash business and most people have to it on their own at home. Hayes discovered a new opportunity that could enable people to have their cars washed easily and in a professional manner. Additionally, Hayes decided to pursue the business based on his business skills acquired in college. He believed that he had the capability to start –up a business that would eventually become successful in future. Again, Hayes had not gotten a job and clearly needed something to keep his busy.

All business ideas and businesses have a certain amount of risks. However, it is by taking on these risks that most businesses become successful (Aulet 120). For Hayes, starting a car wash business also meant taking up a certain amount of risks. The first main risk is the business being seasonal. Hayes believed that customers may come based on seasons with a higher number of customers during the rainy season and fewer customers in the summer. However, Hayes believed that developing strong relationships and offering value-added services was key to maintain customer flow and loyalty throughout the seasons. Hayes developed a monthly and annual subscription service where clients could enter into an agreement to have their cars washed at a discount for the whole year. Another risk is the geographical location of the car wash. Setting up a car wash far from where most people travel may reduce the business potential. Nonetheless, Hayes was able to acquire space at a very busy road that was guaranteed to increase the business potential. Another challenge is the acquisition of capital for the space and necessary equipment. Buying all these necessities at a go may be risky since the business may not perform as expected leading to increased losses. Hayes decided to start of small by not buying mainstream equipment and washing cars manually. This allowed him to develop the business slowly up to the time it was able to generate enough cash to acquire the necessary equipment.

The interview was both interesting and insightful. I have learned a lot through this interview in terms of entrepreneurship. Firstly, I have learnt that there are always new opportunities to set up businesses, but it requires one to identify the opportunity and make the best. Another lesson I have learnt is that each business idea requires increased evaluation including the feasibility, criteria, and risks associated with the business. Moreover, a business idea should not always be taken for its value for money, but it should be developed to enhance people’s lives. It is only through this perspective that a business can become successful. Overall, entrepreneurship is a challenging activity that requires personal to professional skills to be successful.

Works Cited

Aulet, Bill. Disciplined entrepreneurship: 24 steps to a successful startup. John Wiley & Sons, 2013.


Name: John Hayes

Address: 405 Santa Rosa

Interview Duration: 1 hour.