Episode 010: Interview with Sam Brennan from Fresh Car Valeting

Today, it’s my pleasure to interview Sam Brennan who is the owner of Fresh Car Valeting. Sam believes in having a connection with people and more so his employees. He feels having happy employees subsequently translates to having happy customers. With a team of 9 employees, Fresh Car Valeting is changing how car valeting business works. It is a high-end mobile car valeting company and this comes with a load of challenges. He gives us the ins and outs of his business but most importantly, he shares the challenges he’s facing being a high-end business.

Resources Mentioned

Facebook: www.facebook.com/Freshcarvaleting

3 Key Things

  1. Taking your employees feedback makes real change.
  2. Give people the benefit of a doubt and see the potential in them.
  3. Let the strategy and direction of your business be everyone’s responsibility.

 About Fresh Car Valeting

Fresh car valeting is a high-end mobile car valeting company based in Edinburgh. We drive to people’s houses and clean their cars from there and our charges range from £60 to £150. We use very high quality equipment and cleaning products as well as topnotch staff. We’re glad that we found a good market and have been scaling since we started.

What is your business superpower?

I would say our business superpower is finding great people and bringing them into an environment where they can do their best. In recent years, it has become increasingly hard to wash your car on a sunny Saturday morning because there’s hardly time for that. We have people who really like to do it and take pride in keeping cars clean but there’s never been an industry to facilitate that. Our superpower was finding those people and bringing them into a job that didn’t exist until we created it.

How does Fresh Car Valeting engage its staff, suppliers, and customers with your mission and purpose?

The people we need to engage is mainly staff. Other small mobile valeting company have a challenge in finding good staff. For us, the strategy and the direction of the business is everyone’s responsibility. I make the final call but we decide everything together by having meetings weekly.

We have someone whose job is to look after the employees and figure out where their energies are. If they’re tired, he lets them take a day off. For us it’s about community and everyone has got everyone else’s back. We pay them more, charge more, and look after them more.

What has been your biggest struggle so far when it comes to running an ethical and sustainable business and how have you overcome it?

Our biggest struggle is the market that we’re in is very price-competitive and it’s all about pushing the cost down. For mobile valeting, people charge very cheap like £40. When trying to run a real company where you pay VAT and several other charges, you’ve got to have your prices way higher than your competitors. We’re sometimes in a fix where we wonder if we should leave our prices high or if we should just do what they’re doing. Should we risk our business when realistically if we’d taken 50% of our sales in cash we could easily push our profits overnight by £4-7 just by paying people in cash etc. and do what everyone else is doing in the industry?

If you could offer ONE piece of advice to our listeners which could help them with their purpose, what would that be?

The number one piece of advice I’d give is when I’m interviewing people and I ask them questions, I ask them in quite an informal or casual way. I try and get what the person is trying to achieve and what they care about and I try to figure out how I can help with that. I really take time to get to know the people that we’ve got on board not because I think it’s a good business model but because I actually enjoy it.

What is the best way we can connect with you and learn more?

We do every single thing on Facebook, Facebook.com/Freshcarvaleting.

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