|Running a Mobile Oil Change Operation
|A mobile oil change goes to the customer
rather than the other way around. Most commonly,
the work is done in the parking lot outside
a place of employment or a shopping center.
The customer, accordingly, has one less errand
to run, and the work is done while he or
she is already occupied with other tasks.
The attractiveness for the entrepreneur is
that the investment is only a fraction of
that associated with a traditional operation
that requires land, building, and stationary
equipment. Instead, a mobile oil change operation
is run out of a specially outfitted truck.
Moreover, because of convenience, customers
may be motivated to have their oil changed
To succeed with a mobile oil change business,
you convince the owners of those parking
lots to let you in (preferably on a regularly
scheduled or ongoing basis), and then you
must attract customers who park in those
If you are trying to gain access to a plant,
office building, office park, etc., your
pitch may be best received in large locations
that already allow certain service providers
to conduct drop off and pick up operations
(such as dry cleaners, shoe repairers, and
pharmacies) on site. These employers already
understand that they boost productivity by
limiting the amount of errand running that
takes place during business hours.To be welcomed
at a shopping center, you must position yourself
as an amenity that will increase traffic
there. In either case, whether at a shopping
center or at a company site, negotiate first
for free access, but be prepared to have
to pay a fee or to share your revenue.
Also approach nonprofit organizations
tend to offer car washes as fundraisers,
such as scouting troops, schools,
teams, volunteer fire companies,
etc. Suggest that they add oil
you as the provider (perhaps
at reduced cost),
to their menu of services.
Wherever you offer your service, you must
take care to avoid spillages of waste oil
(which you must collect and send to a recycler)
to be in compliance with environmental regulations.
Some organizations that otherwise might offer
potential base of customers for you may have
adopted “green” policies that shut you out
of doing business there. That is, they may
be so concerned about the possibility of
oil drips and spills, even small ones, that
your business either is prohibited outright
or has to demonstrate extraordinary care.