Idea – Car Winterizer

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Idea – Car Winterizer


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Have no fear, Car Winterizer is here!  Taking the inconvenience, high prices and stress out of the car winterization process.  And boy, do we have an awesome domain for you!

It’s not fair.  We just got through fall (and incidentally I should have called the FALL GUY) and now it’s time to batten down the hatches for old man winter.  Besides the typical indoor stuff like getting the furnace up to code, replacing the filter, storing the summer clothing and sheets and breaking out the heavy duty comforters, track pants and snuggies we also need to give thought to safely getting from A to B.

If you walk, take transit or man a dog sled team your safety starts with a solid pair of boots, gloves, warm jacket, a hat and maybe a set of earmuffs if you want to look extra cute.

For those of us that drive we know what a pain it can be to winterize our car and most of us don’t even do it properly.  We also tend to wait until the last minute – “Well maybe winter won’t be so bad this year and I can get by on my mediocre tires”.

*First flake of snow falls* – PANIC!  Is this everyone’s first winter, everyone just forgot how to drive!  Vehicles stuck in snowbanks, it’s cold and my car won’t start, hit the brakes but my car won’t stop, accidents everywhere, delays everywhere.

I need to buy or mount my existing winter tires – the line up is out the door!  Did everyone wait until the last minute like me?  I need to take a day off work.  It’s also far more expensive than I thought – seems many businesses are opportunists that prey on frantic consumers.

Now my wipers aren’t working.  They’re frozen, I knew I should have spent the $20 bucks to get the winter ones last time I was in my local big box.  No worries – it’s time for an oil change (should my viscosity be different going into colder weather), my dealership / local lube shop is more than happy to charge me $40-$50 for the wipers.  It’s expensive but it’s convenient (and I don’t know how to do it myself).  Ok now the wipers are on and looking good but my windshield fluid isn’t coming out…but the low-level light isn’t  even on!  I didn’t swap over to sub-zero fluid and it’s frozen, I likely also burnt out the motor in my wiper pump *facepalm*.

It’s one thing after another – next my battery dies, I’m stuck and cold, my floor mats are sloppy, covered in salt, stink and have seeped into the carpet no doubt starting to prematurely rust the INSIDE of my car.  Speaking of rust what about the outside of my car?  It didn’t even occur to me.

Sub-Zero WINS!

Have no fear, Car Winterizer is here!  Become an expert trusted advisor, taking the inconvenience, high prices and stress out of the car winterization process.

Business Models

You are the go-to team for all car winterization needs.  A brick and mortar shop could be setup, but think of the opportunity, differentiation not to mentioned cost savings if you were a mobile service!  A customer not having to wait hours in a tiny waiting room with a bunch of other grumpy last-minuters being overcharged, still not being adequately prepared, drinking crappy coffee.  Also consider the trust factor – you don’t need to worry that your car is not only being driven around by someone, but that it’s also tucked away into a bay where you can’t see it.  Who knows what’s going on behind the scenes.   Where do I sign-up?!

There is an extensive list of services Car Winterizer can provide.  Sell packages or a-la-carte!  Here are a few to get you started:

  1. Tires – take a new tire order (forge relationships with local dealers / wholesalers for discounts or order direct as your business scales!  Mount and scale before the onsite of course!) or simply show up and mount their existing set
  2. Wipers – Replace old summer weathered wipers with element resistant gear
  3. Washer fluid – Replace with winter fluid that won’t freeze up when the driver needs it most!
  4. Anti-fog – it’s a hassle in the winter.
  5. Sell winter packs – it’s always a great idea to have food, water and warm blankets in case you ever get stuck.  Road flares, a mini shovel, and bag of salt probably wouldn’t be a bad idea as well.  You have the option to sell a one-size-fits all, a variety of kits or a custom kit based on the customer’s need.
  6. Wash and Wax – seal and shield the pristine exterior from the elements with a fresh coat of wax.  This may also lead in to a spring / summer seasonal follow-up business opportunity we’ll have a write-up on in the near future!
  7. Winter mats – Protect the interior from salt, sand, slush, snow dirt and any other random grossness your boots pick up during winter
  8. Ice scrapers – Have one, nope!  Need one, YES!
  9. Rust proofing!  – No drip rust proofing is a quick and easy way to increase your sale while onsite – it only takes 30-45 minutes to apply!
  10. Battery Replacement – If you’ve had a battery give out on you, you’ll know it always comes at the worst possible time
  11. Automatic starters – who wouldn’t want to warm up
  12. Salt – Always good to have these on hand, not only can it be used to gain traction when stuck but customers also want to stock up to keep their driveway clear and ready for traction
  13. Sand Bags – Rear wheel car?  Add necessary weight to help keep firmly grounded and in the lanes vs the ditch
  14. Block heaters – it sounds old-school but believe be when your breath turns icicles and your fingers are blue you’ll wish you had one if not five in your car
  15. Tire storage – Free up some room for the client and generate additional revenue for storing their tires.  Don’t forget you’re likely to get the remounting business in the spring / summer!

Go the extra mile to really stand out – this may also help you identify up-sell / cross-sell opportunities.  Offer to check:

  1. Tire Pressure / tread / state of tire
  2. Battery testing
  3. Check oil level / discuss viscosity changes for winter
  4. Lube up door hinges
  5. Check coolant level / top up

Find something that is of concern and goes beyond your area of expertise?  Setup a network of specialists that can provide a referral fee – ex. topping up the washer fluid you notice rotting hoses / leaks, or while mounting tires identify fading brake pads or clunky suspension.  You may even want to outsource new tire purchase and installation altogether provided you can setup a commission referral relationship.

Don’t forget – these can be proactive services or last minute ‘SAVE ME my battery is dead in the driveway’ calls.  Each can be treated and monetized accordingly.

Another thought to consider is the multi-vehicle home – JACKPOT!

Capital required

Minimal.  There will be some necessary tools required such as a jack, stands, tire irons, etc.

In terms of consumables it depends what services / product you plan on offering – for example if you plan on doing ad-hoc tire or product purchases they could be paid for same day although may come at the expense of being inconvenient and slowing you down and adding additional cost of travel time.  If you plan on stocking a fair amount of XYZ on hand be prepared to have a place to store which may incur cost and possibly inventory that doesn’t get turned over.

Your best bet may be to stock the cheaper, usual suspects – air pump, wipers, fluid, a few kits.  Purchase the more expensive big ticket items as you go and ensure you’re protected in case a customer backs out.  This may involve a deposit or purchasing through big box or vendors you have a close enough relationship with to avoid getting stuck with hundreds or thousands worth of a product you can’t move.

Useful skills / qualities

Knowing your way around a car.  Don’t use a customer’s car as a guinea pig for something you’ve never tried before.  Ensure you receive proper training from a certified professional prior to attempting anything that goes beyond the basics.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to check fluid levels or bolt on tires, but always remember SAFETY FIRST!

Your customer

Customers are EVERYWHERE!  Best thing is THEY ARE ADVERTISING TO YOU by the state their car is in.  A quick walk by will tell you if they’re prepared for winter (or the type of person that may invest in this service) – look at their rims / tires, wipers.  Don’t skulk around for too long or they may think you’re a car thief!

Risks / Challenges

As with any business you’re going to hit scheduling conflicts, haggle situations not to mention booming demand when that first snowfall hits.  See the ‘scale’ area below.

Give thought to insurance – if you damage a car or you or the client gets hurt it can be a pricy endeavour.  This is paramount prior to making a first visit.

Scale

Consider having a team working for you as you begin build the brand and expand.  This includes other mobile individuals in addition to an office coordinator.

Winter is always a busy time full of frantic consumers – keep up with the demand and don’t leave any money off the table!

Carwinterizer.com

Build the brand

Need the perfect domain for this business idea? What about:

CARWINTERIZER.COM!

Build an awesome local or global brand. It’s available, if interested please reach out to domains@feedmeideas.com, our contact page, drop us a line on Twitter @ideapassion, or find us on Facebook – Facebook.com/FeedMeIdeas

Snow’s in the forecast for next week, time to put in a call to Car Winterizer!

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By | 2016-11-07T22:12:36+00:00 November 19th, 2014|Categories: Biz In A Box, Ideas|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

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