Last May, Staples junior Sammy Reznik asked his guidance counselor what summer courses would show college admissions officers he’s serious about his interest in business.
She told him anyone can take a course. What really separates business applicants from posers is starting a company of their own.
Sammy went out and found a business partner. They decided to make and sell slushies. To make a long story short, Sammy says, “the business idea and my partner didn’t last.”
He picked his next partner — classmate Rob DiBartolomeo — “much more thoughtfully.” Sammy’s best friend since 3rd grade, Rob is also a hard worker.
Plus, he had a power washer.
“Those 3 qualities made him a prime candidate,” Sammy says.
The pair narrowed their ideas to some form of cleaning service. That would not require any health or zoning permits — one reason the slushie business melted.
They also knew that Sammy’s brother Max, and partner Dylan Bobrow, made “a fortune” detailing cars. “We figured there’s money in the cleaning industry,” Sammy explains.
Exploring various cleaning methods, Sammy and Rob realized that power washing could transform their concept from mere labor to something exciting and much-needed.
Unfortunately, they knew nothing about power washinng.
Weeks of research — “along with occasionally destructive trial and error tests on our own homes” — taught them wht they needed to know.
“I refused to do any jobs without knowing exactly what I was doing and talking about,” says Sammy. “If you aren’t extremely familiar with your area of business, it’s destined to fail.”
They named the company Wash Doctors. Their catchy slogan: “Trust us. We’re doctors.”
Unfortunately (again), Rob’s power washer is electric. While good for delicate or small surfaces, it’s useless on entire decks or patios. Sammy worked 80 hours at Athletic Shoe Factory — his part-time job — to save $350 for a gas-powered washer, plus other expenses.
Sammy and Rob invested $500 in their business. With (Steve) Jobs-like confidence, they knew they would make it back.
Their customer base is “anyone who desires the best-looking deck, patio, walkway, outdoor furniture, etc. in town.” That includes businesses.
“We are so confident in the quality of our services, we offer a 100% money-back guarantee if you’re not completely satisfied,” Sammy says.
“Our 1st customer was so happy with our work that she posted on her Facebook status that her garage floor was clean enough to eat off of.”
Sammy and Rob say they compete with any place in town on both quality and price (they’ll match the lowest price offered, with proof).
Most importantly, Sammy says, “we know for a fact that we will put more time, effort and care into each job than any other power washing company will. You won’t get an employee to do the job. You’ll get the founders of the business themselves, every single time.”
That’s how entrepreneurs are made: 1 guarantee, and 1 power wash, at a time.
(To contact Wash Doctors, call 203-981-7040, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.)