Will Rongholt knows a little bit about keeping his business running shipshape. Will is a recent graduate of the business and accounting program at Globe University-Eau Claire. He has been the owner of a business called Ship Shape Car Wash in Eau Claire, Wis., for over a year. Everything about this nautically themed car wash lends to the theme including signs, nautically themed car wash specials, a parrot named Tattoo, and even the shape of the car wash building!Will credits his accounting classes at Globe University as assisting him in becoming a successful business owner. Will states, “I do as much of my own accounting as possible. Immersion in accounting at Globe University really helped.”
He also feels that the Business Ethics class was helpful in knowing what to do and what not to do in business. He notes that the marketing classes have taught him marketing techniques that don’t require a lot of money.
Will offers 6 practical tips for any new business owner:
- You can save money by doing things yourself. Be ready to take on any type of role in the business as you may need to fill in for the workers hired for specific purposes.
- Know accounting, marketing, and financing skills. Try unique avenues of producing income through paid advertising as well as using the “barter system” of trading car washes, products, or other services for advertising.
- Have a good relationship with a banker and insurance agent.
- Successful business is a lot of trial and error. Search the internet for new marketing and advertising tips.
- Network with others for tips and advice. If you know someone in your business field outside of your area, see what works well for them.
- Let social media work for you. Facebook is a great source of free advertising. Join groups on LinkedIn that are part of your field. These groups can help you learn a lot!
Will’s interest in business developed when he was in the military. He learned that he prefers being his own boss. Before becoming the owner of Ship
Shape Car Wash, he owned a smaller business called Cross Roads Detailing. Owning a business prior to Ship Shape helped prepare Will for successful business ownership, but for Will, Ship Shape Car Wash is a “boat load” of new experience. There is more overhead associated with this business and more employees.
He states, “The car wash business is totally different than detailing.”
Will is quick to point out that he offers all area university students including Globe University faculty, staff and students a 15 percent discount for car washes. He also is pleased to let others know that his Ship Shape business offers detailing, window tinting, and a wide variety of accessories. His business slogan is “Your car isn’t clean ’till it’s Ship Shape. Maybe it’s time to get your vehicle in Ship Shape!”