Understanding my goals, my year, and myself part 2, 5 Things I Want To Do.


Personal Examination of my Professional
Goals for the Calendar Year 2013

Professional- This is an area of my life that makes all the
other parts possible, all of the following goals for 2013 are related to my present
primary business, many of the goals this year are necessary in order to advance
into the next phase of my life. 

  • I will hire one new manager, or operations person that
    is a game changer.  The type of person that fundamentally forces us
    to get out of this place of complacency.

Why: I need to find a key player who can help take on the day to
day operations of both sites, and also function as the swing manager, to work
when the others guys are on vacation, or need extra time off, he/she would could
act as a stop gap when needed, but would also be responsible for hiring and
training a new site manager when needed, keep the existing guys accountable,
and act as the force acts the play I create. 

In order to grow revenue, and perhaps grow the business,
this is pivotal position, everyday that I am mired in daily minutia, I can’t
create the programs that will run the company like a self driven entity, nor
can I act as the company’s leader, in order to provide better leadership I have
to find someone who is a better manager. 

Because I suck…

How: I will begin the process by the previously utilizes means
of advertising, and interviewing, yet I need to delve deeper into this process
and actively recruit someone.  I need to
come up with business cards that are specifically used for recruitment, and
hand them out to people who I encounter in the service industry who impress me.

On the back of the card, I will put my personal cell phone,
and a quick note that says, “You’ve impressed me, there may be a position in my
company, contact me so we can discuss it”, or something along those lines. 

Pitfalls: Losing the emotional impetus act could be my downfall, the
continued quenching of fires could cause me to stall, and not take the time to
look outside of my immediate situation to find someone.  Recruiting is a long and tedious process that
requires constant action.  I am going to
further reconnect with the recruiters I contacted last year; there is someone
out there who could be my Sonic Captain that I haven’t found.

Keys: I have to distance the involvement with certain family
members, so I can create the situations that are best for someone new.  Moving out of the “pizza shop” into a real
company has taken far longer than expected, and the main reason is lack of
support.  I have to find the right people
to lead, simple actions like sending an email or memo shouldn’t be fucking tenuous.  This person also has to be someone who has
charisma to instill a certain culture into our business.

  • I
    will set aside 2 months of mortgage payments for each site in what I will
    call an operational reserve, so that we can leverage our capital reserves
    for growth.

Why: The
present safety net we have is good, but not great. 

I have a RPG launcher when I want a
Howitzer.  The nice thing with a Howitzer
is you can launch one to obliterate a target, and not feel like you have to
pick up a bunch of shells to reuse because the enemy may have survived the
blow.  With 2 months of our largest
single expense each month socked away in a reserve, those months where our 30%
payroll and mortgage payment come due the same day, I won’t feel like I have to
give blood to make it.

How: I have to
get a handle on our present procedure of ordering and purchasing, the Monthly
American Express bill at times is unmanageable, because I am giving too much
freedom to people who haven’t been given an incentive to use less, and save
more.  Further without PO’s, or financial
accountability what difference does it make if the managers order 1 more barrel
of soap when it’s not needed, or an extra tool that might end up in a customer’s
car if I’m not holding them more accountable. 

I need to work with CFO Source, to
get this under control.  Further I need
to get Craig to give me a cash flow analysis statement, so we can better understand
the roller coaster that is revenue in the car wash business.

I cannot get obsessed with making capital improvements, which I always am, this
year I will buy a camera system in FC, and a couple of key pieces in WB, once
that happens other than repairs the purse strings will close.  I must also drastically reduce employee perks
for this year; I will buy fewer meals, gifts, and focus on creating benefits
that are longer lasting like a 401k, and FSA plan for our staff.  These are things that benefit staff and the
business, as opposed to a feel good McDonald’s lunch.  $10 here, $15 there turns into $20,000 a year
on meals that can be used on something else (not all meals but you get the

I have to make financials decisions without emotion, and put better controls in
place to keep my people from spending our profits.  I need help in this area.

  • I will have our books closed quarterly instead of

Why: Closing
the books everyone month is the way it should be done, and the fact we have
never done it in our 10 years of business if fucking insane.  I don’t know how we have gotten this far without
this valuable information.  While I
instantly can tell you things like, Cars Per Man Hour, Labor Dollar Per Car,
Cars Per Year, and Revenue Figures (all operational pieces of data), I can’t
give you up to date real time accurate information on things like, Chemical
Cost Per Car, Profit Per Car, Dollar Profit Per Employee Hour, or average dollars
spent per year per customer (all financial pieces of data). 

These numbers are just as important
as the previous ones, but they are essential to any business owner, the books
closing every month will allow me to do one of the two things I’m good at, which
is an analysis of information.  Patterns,
correlations, statistical information is something I see differently than most,
and it is what would make me an excellent business person as opposed to an
average one. 

Closing the books is key not only to
the business but to my personal mental health.

How: I have to
close 2012.  Have all QuickBooks data
updated by the end of January 2013, then move forward writing checks directly
from QuickBooks (like you’re supposed to), and keep myself accountable by
checking in with CFO Source once a month to go over books.  I will use the help of our present payroll
person to help keep the books going on a perpetual basis.

I cannot allow the dip in financial resources throughout the year to dictate my
consistency on this matter.  After years
of direct car wash operations, I have developed a horrific pattern of matching
my activity level based on the weather conditions.  Bad weather means slacking, good weather means
hard work; I have to keep a regular five day work week as my pattern, and be productive
even on the shitty weather days.

I have to utilize the skills of the people who are already with me, and find
people who can act as backups should those people move on, the numbers are the
most important part of every business, and I’ve been operating for 10 years
with only a half picture, and information that is old.  The right person or people helping to do the
inglorious part of entering data and writing checks are vital to my ability to
generate this information.

  • I will send 2 managers to Sonny's Car Wash College, and
    have Wash Guru provide
    training for at least 1 week this year.

Why:  In order to improve the performance of people
who are already on staff I will send two people to Florida for training.  There is nothing better than professional
training, done without the distraction of actually running the car wash, if I
want the freedom to do more; I need to teach my key people more. 

I further will bring in an outside
training company to help develop the training systems to make things better and
easier, a third party is sometimes important for a fresh perspective on what needs
to change, and functions as an additional source of accountability.

How: I have to
schedule summer vacations early on, perhaps by May, so I can make sure it this
trip for my key guys happens this year. 
I won’t allow staffs time off to effect my business decisions.

I can’t let the issues that arise between now and then to question my decision,
I know I need this to be done, I have to increase the skill set of the guys
around me.  I can hate my life or love
it, in order to love it I have to take the burden of my situation and disperse
the weight among as many people as possible.

Key: Schedule
early, time correctly and follow through once it’s underway.

  • I will develop a more methodical training system, which
    leverages and takes full advantage of the money spent the last two years
    with Wash Guru.

Why: A few
years ago I spent quite a bit of money to train my existing managers, and to
create an operational manual and put systems into place.  Like most types of education not all of it
stuck, partly because of a lack of depth in my crew, partly because I didn’t take
the proper steps to maintain the progress.

How: I have to
hire better people, and bring Wash Guru back in this year, and perhaps every
year to keep us accountable to the system that they helped put into place.  There’s nothing like paying someone outside
of your company good money to have them tell you the problems you already know about,
to get you off your ass, and stay on point. 

When they come in year after year
telling you the same thing at some point your embarrassment will make you
act.  I need a little Gordon Ramsay to
get my business to run the way I want.

I will further have to find a way to
make the training of new people more systematic, is a lack of talent the major
issue here?

The major pitfall is if I don’t have my game changer in place by the day the training
period starts, especially when Wash Guy comes back.

Schedule early with Wash Guru, push my staff, hire the game changer, and reduce
my own pay to make room for what’s needed so I can take more down the road.


Five Things I want to do this Year.

This is a simple list of ten things I want to do; these are
not goals, but just activities I want to do, I have no plan for these but when
I have free time, with no ideas these are the things I will fill them with,
life’s too short to watch TV.

Of these if I can get to 5 I will be happy.

  1. Throw a big party.
  2. Take an introductory flying lesson.
  3. Get involved with a charity.
  4. Clean out my parent’s garage.
  5. Sell or cash in old work truck.
  6. Take a cooking class at least twice.
  7. Take a sailing lesson.
  8. Take my dad, brother and brother-in law deep sea
  9. Take my sister on a “date”.
  10. Take my parents on a vacation somewhere.
  11. Do something cool on New Year’s Eve.
  12. Go to New York once.
  13. Go to Philadelphia Once.
  14.  Play
    blackjack, and not give a shit.
  15. Help someone just because.



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