GoWashMyCar Ltd: Adam Matthecka

The on-demand service's founder tells us about how his personal frustration developed into a business and why strategic timing of your launch is essential

Name: Adam Matthecka
Company name: GoWashMyCar Ltd
Location: Greater London
Date launched: 10/12/14 
Website: www.gowashmycar.com

Tell us what your business does:

We’re a company that looks to bring convenience to the process of getting your car washed. The business model uses technology and marketplace efficiency to provide a minimal effort solution to the user; by combining a simple online booking platform users can geolocate their cars, select a service and make an online payment. The order is published to our community of mobile car wash companies who are able to review and accept the order.

So basically we offer an on-demand service by matching the user with an agent at a desired time.

Where did the idea for your business come from?

Both my business partner Robin and myself are car owners in London and we were frustrated with the process of keeping our cars clean. Either you had to drive to a fixed location and wait in a queue or you had to scour the internet for a mobile operator and arrange a convenient time for both of you. The idea emerged as a solution to both problems.

How did you know there was a market for it?

Being car owners we knew we benefit greatly from the platform. We also did some market research, which showed that mobile car wash operators run a busy trade so we decided that if we could introduce a more convenient way of booking your car wash that allowed you to compare price, then it would prove to be popular with this established market.

What were you doing before starting up?

I was a commodities trader for five years and Robin was involved in investment banking.

Have you always wanted to run your own business?

Yes, nothing beats that feeling when you create and control something through your own ideas and execution.

How did you raise the money?

The initial development has been self-funded; the costs of a website and marketing have been relatively manageable to begin with and we’ve also done a lot of the work ourselves.

Describe your business model and how you make money:

Users post car wash jobs on the web platform and they become visible to operators, who can review the job and accept it. The car wash operator can then arrive at the location, perform the service and process the payment once complete. The platform takes a small commission for every job completed.

What challenges have you faced and how have you overcome them?

The market is currently not very well developed so are main challenge is spreading awareness and stimulating demand. It also didn’t help that we launched in winter when there are lots of rainy days!

What was your first big breakthrough

The big breakthrough was when we proved the concept; this came about shortly after launching the website when people were ordering through our service and independently coming back to us with positive feedback. This was when we thought that people really like this and the business is going to work.

What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?

Do your market research thoroughly. If you have something you believe in, tap as many minds as possible and collate all the positive and negative opinions, then try to make sense of how the negative views can be turned around. Also focus on your strengths to begin with and develop your core offering.

Where do you want to be in five years’ time?

We would like to be the default mobile car wash platform in all of the major UK cities.

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