Jolene Reid - President of GeoWash Canada

Date: JUL 12th, 2012

Topic: Interview with a CEO

Jolene Reid is the small town girl behind the newest international environmentally friendly concept sweeping Canada. From her home in Newfoundland, Jolene is bringing us the next big thing in car washes...GeoWash! This automotive franchise has fantastic money making potential with the added bonus of being eco friendly.

BeTheBoss.ca: Tell us about the GeoWash concept.

Jolene Reid: The GeoWash concept is a revolutionary one! We wash cars wherever they are parked! We use less than a litre of water per car, whereas traditional car washes use 90 gallons of water. We offer superior interior and exterior cleaning, using 100% biodegradable products. GeoWash is thriving in over 30 Countries and I couldn't be more proud to be able to launch it here in Canada.

BTB: How and when did you become involved with GeoWash?

JR: I wanted to start a business that could offer others an easy way to become an entrepreneur, with no previous business experience necessary. Also, I wanted a service based business that could appeal to the general public.I always joked around in the past that I would start a car wash business, saying "well everyone has a car, so how could it go wrong?" Then one day when I was ready for a new project I found the link to the GeoWash website. I basically flew to their headquarters in Miami right away and signed a license deal to become the Canadian Franchisor.

The fact that GeoWash is ecological is one of the main reasons I am so enthusiastic about it. I would find it bothersome when I saw people washing their cars with a garden hose in their driveway. I think this is because I have visited many third world countries and I have seen first hand the water shortage we are facing in our world today. Now, I am able to impact the environment in a positive way, as well as help franchisees control their own income as business people.

BTB: What was your background prior to joining GeoWash?

JR: I have worked in the music business, and have done everything from licensing songs to tuning pianos. I also play a role in the operations of my sister's chain of laser clinics, Enlighten Laser. Prior to signing on with GeoWash, I had no knowledge about the automotive industry, and it has been fascinating to learn all about it.

BTB: What are some of the advantages of being a GeoWash franchisee?

JR: This is a cash in hand business, where we offer a superior and convenient service to customers. When customer satisfaction is high, and you are able to deliver on the service every time, you earn repeat business. Given the technology of our washing carts and the superior performance of our products, we are able to confidently promote our services. Who does't love to drive away in a clean and shiny car, that feels brand new again? Becoming a franchisee of GeoWash means you are able to make people happy with your service, make a positive impact on the environment, and control your own income.

BTB: Who is your ideal franchisee?

JR: The ideal franchisee is anyone who is passionate about taking control of their own income. Many people argue that in order for your business to be successful, you have to be passionate about what you do. So, some people who are passionate about cars or the environment would be very attracted to this business and would do well no matter what. As I mentioned I had no prior experience in either of these categories, but my passion lies in filling a need of the general public. I love a franchisee who has no experience but is clever enough to see this as the unique opportunity that it really is.

BTB: Tell us a little about the market?

JR: The car wash industry in Canada is mainly comprised of equipment that uses at least 90 gallons of water per wash. The detailing business typically requires an appointment and is too costly for the everyday consumer. We are changing all of this. If you go through a touch less car wash with finger prints on your car, chances are you will come out and the finger prints will still be there. With GeoWash, every square inch of the car is shiny, clean, and new. No swirl marks or leftover dirt! Another problem is that some car wash systems used recycled water. So water that has dirt particles are going onto your car through a high pressure hose and can potentially scratch your vehicle. With GeoWash we use products that protect the paint from future damage and do everything by hand so that there is no risk of scratching.

BTB: What are some of the greatest lessons you've learned in growing this franchise?

JR: I have learned that using the words 'car wash' can often give someone the wrong impression. I find this especially to be true in negotiating leases with malls. They hear the words 'car wash' and they think I am looking for a car wash fundraiser for girl guides or an organization like that. So I have to be careful how I articulate the GeoWash concept. It's a unique one, and I usually only have one chance to get people excited about it. This will all change once GeoWash locations are all across Canada and become well known.

BTB: Do you have a mentor or is there someone you use for inspiration?

JR: I work closely with GeoWash international. It really is a team effort. Also, I am in contact with the other franchisors across the globe. I am mostly inspired by people who take leap of faith to be their own boss. When I have franchisees who I know have left their job to do this, I am even more motivated to help them find as much success as possible. Being an entrepreneur is something that has changed my life so drastically and I want to share that with everyone.

BTB: What advice do you have for someone looking to acquire a franchise?

JR: I would say that now is the right time to acquire a franchise. If you see an opportunity such as GeoWash and are confident that it will become big, but then decide to 'wait and see' you may really miss the opportunity. Already I have had people inquire about a location that is already spoken for. Also, the investment is low right now to encourage fast growth, but that eventually the level of investment will increase.

BTB: In your opinion, why do you think ___ would be a great opportunity for someone?

JR: Since GeoWash is already thriving in 30 countries worldwide. we know this is low risk. We are a proven business model, and we offer a service that we know customers want. For example, if you are a busy mom and your toddler just threw cheerios all over your back seat, the option to run an errand at the mall while your car is being cleaned for you is very enticing. It's a great opportunity because it is just launching in Canada, so it is new and unique and will get people talking. Any opportunity that is a low investment, cash in hand business, as is the case for a GeoWash franchise, is a great one for people looking to branch out and be their own boss, even if they have never done that before!