SBS Client Profile: David Danhof of Car-Nutz Car Wash, LLC

Welcome to another Sound Business Services’ (SBS) client profile. We recently interviewed David Danhof, principal owner of Car-Nutz Car Wash in Acworth, Ga., a suburb of Atlanta. Here is what he had to say about the driving force behind the company, its unique name and what he gets out of the SBS relationship.

Jonathan Bill: Tell our readers what Car-Nutz Car Wash is all about. Also, what’s the story behind the name of the company?

David Danhof: Car-Nutz Car Wash operates several locations around the Greater Atlanta area. Recently, the locations were operation agreements only, owned by others, and have been sold to other operators. Car-Nutz Car Wash Acworth is solely owned and operated by Car-Nutz principals.

We feel we have found our sweet spot in the ability to outperform the competition through our ownership immersion in the day-to-day operations to ensure superior customer satisfaction. The name was the result of each owner having a common bond as a life-long car enthusiast, combined with Speedy the chipmunk as our logo/mascot, to reinforce the speed and thoroughness our car wash provides.

JB: Tell us about the driving force behind why you started the company, and how your goals/expectations have changed over time.

DD: The company was started as a result of witnessing an opportunity to vastly improve the professionalism and results of the express car wash experience. Quite frankly, the industry norm leaves most customers with a neutral experience, at best, and, more often, a negative experience. Our goal is to maintain the consistent quality service customers tend to experience at well-run small businesses, when on-site ownership is both present and engaged.

Our results have only reinforced that we can meet our goals and expectations through this concept of operation. We have seen our sales increase significantly year to year, particularly in emission testing. The more we are focused on that principal, the better the experience for all.

JB: What sets you apart from the competition?

DD: Unfortunate timing and debt load doomed a number of car wash owners in the last economic cycle. Some that were able to hang on did so by cutting service, staff and maintenance, making a bad situation worse. The Acworth location was attractive to us, as it was clearly in need of new on-site local ownership due to our perceived lack of attention and interest from its prior stewards, yet excellent bones.

With plenty of competition in the area, we consulted with customers as to what they liked and disliked about their car wash and emission testing experience elsewhere, and applied that feedback with gusto. Customer-friendly professional operation of the emission testing component has been especially well received by our customer base.

JB: When did you first engage SBS? Why did you reach out to us?

DD: We were referred to SBS in 2013 by an existing SBS client in the same industry. It was clear that SBS had a much better understanding of the car wash industry than other options because they understood the unique challenges and the areas of the business that are in and out of our control, such as weather.

JB: What services does SBS currently provide to your company?

DD: SBS provides bookkeeping; payroll processing; accounts payable/receivable; monthly, quarterly and annual reporting; profit/loss and EBITA calculations. Recently, we increased the scope of services to SBS’s Essentials Plan, which features monthly reporting that includes a detailed breakdown of our various wash options and emissions volume, and their impact on our bottom line. This information is summarized in graphs that are helpful in our month-to-month results.

JB: Please explain the difference that SBS has made in your company.

DD: Overall, the scope referenced above helps us better control our expenses, in relation to timing, and ebbs and flow in revenue. The increased scope to the Essentials Plan has been helpful with financing/refinancing discussions with our investors and lender.

SBS has allowed us to focus on providing superior service to our customers, while payables, payroll and more are being attended to without worry. The personal attention, accessibility and timeliness of services that SBS provides are invaluable to our confidence in the operation of our business. I have, and will continue to, recommend SBS.

JB: Thanks David!

4 Organizational Apps for 2017


With 2016 in the rear view mirror and 2017 kicking into full gear, we must continually evaluate and strategize how we do business. Because our personal and professional lives are intertwined and inundated with responsibilities and unforeseen circumstances, there’s nothing more valuable than getting back any time lost through misuses of technology.

At Sound Business Services, we try to find solutions that not only manage our time better, but also help our team get you – our clients – what you need to be more efficient. To reach this goal, we use organizational apps to keep us on track. There are so many apps out there that it can be overwhelming, but here are my favorite four organizational apps for 2017 that really work for us, and I think will work for you, too.

Dropbox

Nothing is more frustrating than losing an important file or not being able to access a file while you’re out of the office. Those are both things of the past with Dropbox.

With online, mobile and desktop access, you can get your files anywhere, anytime. And, if you accidentally delete a file, it’s not lost; you can simply click the “Undo” button to retrieve it. Also, all of your sensitive files and data are always backed up. Another nice feature is that whenever something is shared or deleted from a shared folder, Dropbox immediately notifies everyone in your group, ensuring that all parties have the most recent and relevant information.

RingCentral

When it comes to virtual communication and collaboration in our business, RingCentral is our go-to solution. Internally for our clients, RingCentral offers an extremely simple, safe and efficient way to connect from anywhere, anytime (do you detect a theme here?).

The RingCentral platform is great for online meetings and conferences, video and voice communication, and even fax. More than 350,000 organizations are already using the app, and we recommend you try it today.

Calendly

As many of you probably know, we are big advocates for Calendly, an app that allows our clients and prospects to easily schedule appointments and phone calls at their convenience.

This painless process takes away the stress and frustration of the dreaded emails back and forth, improving our service and keeping our clients happy. It also allows prospects to connect to us right away. A follow-up email instantly confirms the appointment or call, and it’s all set.

Office365

Office365 is chock-full of Microsoft apps and opportunities to take your business to the next level.

Whether it’s video and audio conferencing with Skype, cloud storage with OneDrive, or the social networking power of SharePoint, Office365 offers many ways for your team and customers/clients to collaborate, manage tasks and access important files securely from anywhere, anytime. 

On top of that, Office365 is constantly evolving, providing us with great features and a seamless experience to make our lives easier and our businesses more successful.

What are Your Favorite Apps?

Obviously, apps that help us keep organized that we can get to 24/7/365 are key to productivity. The four apps in this article work great for us, and we hope you’ll give them a try in 2017. If you do, let us know what you think, and if you have any questions. Also, feel free to let us know which apps you enjoy using in your businesses. We are always looking to improve and would love to hear from you!

5 New Year’s Resolutions for 2017

Happy New Year!

Now that 2016 is behind us, it’s important to take the good from last year and apply it to 2017 to learn from the mistakes and become stronger, both personally and professionally.

As you know, managing or running a business is anything but easy. A new year brings more expectations and demand, and that’s why it is so key for you to set goals and plan practically, so that your business can thrive in 2017.

Here are 5 New Year’s Resolutions for 2017 that all of us can aim for to take our businesses to the next level:

#1: I Will Invest in My Company’s Future

Sometimes, we are so consumed in day-to-day activities and meeting quotas that we don’t think about planning for the future. Without the awareness and attitude to plan ahead, our businesses won’t reach their full potential.

That’s why it is so crucial to invest in your company’s future. Do you need to improve your technology and update your hardware and software? Should you dive into social media, create or improve your website, or blog about current trends or issues? Perhaps, an investment is spending more time in front of your customers and clients. Email and phone are great ways to facilitate communication and save time, but there’s still nothing like face to face. It’s the best way to build trust and credibility, providing you the opportunity to take your customer/client relationship to the next level.

Whatever you decide, you must commit to the strategies you choose and regularly exercise them. Otherwise, it won’t work.

#2: I Will Retain My Talent and Keep Them Happy

No matter how brilliant you are or how hard you work, your business cannot function or reach the success you desire without a team around you that is completely committed to your product or service.

It isn’t easy to find the talent who will have your same mindset and work ethic. But, once you do find those people, you must do everything you can to keep them happy and on board. Whether that means a more flexible schedule, more creative projects, fun events for the team outside of work, or even a raise, you must be able to show your gratitude and give them a reason to want to come to work every day and go to bat for you. Otherwise, they will take their talents elsewhere, and perhaps work for one of your competitors.

#3: I Will Get “X” New Customers or Clients in 2017 

Unless you’re at capacity, you’re always looking for new ways to improve your bottom line. In a perfect world, they would just show up at your doorstep, but we both know that this is unrealistic, and without the proper time and effort, they will be at a competitor’s doorstep in no time.

That means that we must all commit to marketing and networking. As mentioned before, social media, blogging, and creating or improving your website are great strategies. It’s all about trying to reach the most people you can through creative content that speaks to how your product or service will benefit them.

A great place to start is with your current customers by asking for referrals. Believe me, I know this can be difficult. Your intuition may tell you to just get them what they need without bothering them for something you need. However, if you have provided them with noticeable and meaningful solutions, along with timely services and care, they will be more than willing to refer people to your services and help your business grow.

Don’t be afraid to ask some of your most loyal customers to Yelp about their experience or simply spread the word to others. Another option is to ask them for a testimonial for your website, describing their experience with you. You’ll be amazed at the kind of impact this can have.

#4: I Will Better Manage, and Understand, My Cash Flow

Many business owners or managers often overlook cash flow, or it simply goes over their head. But, keeping good books and knowing what your numbers mean are imperative to the success of your business. In other words, you must know if you are truly making money; not just what’s in your bank account.

That means discovering trends in your numbers, and making adjustments and assessments accordingly. It’s about determining the reason behind peaks and valleys, and acting upon them.

You may not know where to start with this, but don’t worry because we are here to help! As your trusted advisor, it’s our duty to not only protect your most sensitive information, but also use it to take your business to the next level.

That means taking your data and providing you with real solutions, such as looking at your key performance indicators and providing tools and strategies to turn this data into actionable steps for success. Let us know if you want us to take a look at your current situation, and determine what you can do to take those steps and reach your full potential.

#5: I Will Improve My Work/Life Balance 

This one is as much about your personal life as it is your business. Without a strong work/life balance, you simply won’t be able to live the life you desire. With all the blood, sweat and tears that we pour into our businesses, we sometimes forget about some of the most important things – our health, our family and where we will spend eternity.

The same care and attention that we put into our businesses must also be reached in our personal lives. Missing your son’s baseball game or daughter’s piano recital might not seem like much, but over time, it can really add up and you will regret it in the long run.

So, we must create ways to see the people we love and spend that much-needed time together. That may mean delegating some of the work to the top talent on your team that is capable of getting the job done. It may also mean creating more time in your day by having a tax and accounting professional handle your books, for example. In the end, any of the strategies you choose will create a better life for you, and not hurt your business, if planned properly.

If we apply these 5 New Year’s Resolutions, I believe we will all experience tremendous growth in our businesses and our personal lives in 2017. I would love to get your feedback on these, as well as some of your own New Year’s Resolutions. Contact us today with your input!