CEO Feature: Bruce Bright Jr of Bright Mobile Detailing

Bruce Bright Jr. 1

We here at TheFarmSoHo are all about success stories and it’s always exciting to hear about young people pursuing their entrepreneurial dreams. For this week’s Founder Highlights, we’re delighted to introduce you to Bruce Bright Jr, owner of Bright Mobile Detailing. This new startup he established last year soon became known as “Birmingham's ultimate luxury detailing specialists”.

If you love cars and want to know how you can keep yours looking freshly detailed all year round, you’ll surely be interested in what his company can offer. Have a read of our interview with Bruce below and learn more about his amazing business:

What was the career path that led you to your current position as Bright Mobile Detailing CEO ?

Well, I’m 22 years old so I haven’t had a career per se but I’ve had many jobs. I’ve been a waiter, worked in retail, valeted cars, mowed lawns, scooped ice cream, delivered pizza, and those are the ones I can think of off the top of my head. These jobs really showed me exactly how I didn’t want to be when I got older. All of the most successful people in my life have their own companies, including my father.

This combination of working for many different people and being influenced by my role models has always made me interested in being an entrepreneur. All of the little ‘companies’ that I started with friends throughout high school and college got me here. It was just a matter of time before I found something that I could actually scale and grow to be a successful company.

How would you describe your leadership style?

I like to think that my leadership style is confident but caring. I have one full-time employee. Being so young myself, I think it’s important that my employee knows that I have a plan and I’m doing all the right things to get there so that they trust me as their leader.

Also, I am always a ‘people first’ person when it comes to my employees and my customers. I have been exactly where my employees are and there’s nothing I would send them out to do that I haven’t done myself. If there is something that the employee thinks is not right, I have told her since day 1 to come to me and we will figure something out. I think our ‘No Bulls**t’ rule helps to eliminate complicated problems because we keep everything simple. If you don’t like something, let’s fix it!

What are the core values of Bright Mobile Detailing and how do they reflect your own?

Pride. Respect. Fun. These are our core values and it took me a while to think of good values that would encompass everything I want our brand to be about without listing off a dozen words.

The first element, pride, has to do with our quality of work and how much we care. We are a service business and the customers are everything. Every time we leave a job, our technician should have pride in the job they just did. We also want our workers to have a sense of pride about where they work, which is on them and me to represent the brand how we all want it to be seen.

The second element, respect, focuses on how everyone in the company should act. Of course, we have to respect the customers. This element also includes respecting each other with our time, effort, and attitude. This value encompasses a lot of what I want from our employees. If everyone treats everyone with respect, we should cultivate an amazing work environment.

The last value is fun. This should be the result if we stick to the first 2 values. We keep our customers happy while also building strong relationships within the company. I don’t see how you couldn’t love your job and be having fun. This is also a major component of life. You shouldn’t be showing up to a job every day that you hate. So I wanted an emphasis on everyone enjoying coming to work.

Auto mobile detailing has been around for a while. There have been many new innovations throughout the years - paint correcting, paint protection, film and ceramic coating technologies being among them. We are hyper-focused on the newest and best technology of ceramic coating. This is what we specialize in. We have come up with the most all-inclusive and best value package that you can find on the market, and this has become our flagship offering. It’s called our Platinum Program and it is a 3-step process.

mobile detailing

First, we wash and paint-correct the vehicle, which basically restores the vehicle to look brand new. Next, we lay down the actual ceramic coating, as well as coating the glass, rims, headlights, taillights, and interior. Our ceramic coating lasts 5 years and it is top of the line for protecting your paint. Lastly, we come back to the vehicle every quarter and perform a maintenance detail where we get the vehicle to look like it did after we originally coated it.

We basically become the managers of your vehicle year-round, so that you don’t have to worry about your vehicle ever.

How has the Covid crisis affected your business and how have you adapted?

I started the company in August of 2020, so it was right in the middle of Covid-19 shutdowns. Thankfully, there wasn’t a ton of regulations in Alabama other than masks. So I was able to work throughout the entire summer. This is where I got the money to start detailing. I really only started with $50 for some flyers.

I got my first 5-6 customers and then rolled all of that money into actual detailing equipment. So throughout the whole pandemic, I was never in the red. My slow rate of growth due to being in college and playing college basketball hindered my growth. However, it also allowed me to accumulate money and grow within my means. I’m sure Covid made us grow slightly slower but it was obviously not enough to make the business fail.

What challenges does your business face going forward?

I think the main challenge of the business going forward is just going to be my ability to manage my employees. I'm trying to bring in more and to see the opportunities to grow as they come. My plan is to buy a few more vans and detailers and have a small fleet of detailing trucks around the Birmingham area. I'm also hoping to have a physical detailing shop where we can do more intense jobs. My own managerial and entrepreneurial ceiling will be our biggest challenge. I don’t foresee it being a huge roadblock for the future.

What are the most common challenges you face in your role and how do you overcome them?

The biggest challenge for me has been evolving the business forward. I started as the only detailer by myself for about the first 4 months. Then I brought in a friend to help during basketball season and in the spring. After I graduated from college, I went back to detailing but I knew in order to scale I had to take myself out of the technician role, so I could focus on managing, sales, and marketing. I’ve had my employee for 2 months now and she is now full-time and detailing the cars solo every day while I finally focus on growing a real business.

mobile detailing

The next step will be to scale the business up and put someone in the role I’m in now. That way, I can focus on the next tier of the business, whether it be opening a new location or starting a whole new business. This evolution of business and taking steps back have easily been the biggest challenge for me.

What are your main priorities and objectives?

My main priority is to my employee. She is on payroll and she’s depending on me to provide for her family. So I have to bring in a certain amount of business in order to pay her and be profitable. It hasn’t been a problem yet, but that is the main priority. As long as that is covered then I can focus on the future. I’m planning for this winter, which is typically a slow season for detailing and how we will combat that.

Also, I’m constantly selling. I’m on the phone most of the day talking to potential clients. I talk about our various programs, leaving notes on luxury cars in parking lots, and talking to anyone who I think would be interested in getting their vehicle protected.

How do you motivate your team?

I keep my employee very informed about where I see the company going and where I see her in it. So I think that my lofty goals keep her excited about the future of where this company can go. She was detailing with me 2 months ago when I was pulling a tiny little trailer behind my personal car and now we have a professionally custom-wrapped company van that she works out of solo, so she sees how I can set goals and accomplish them.

My hope is that this is reassuring that we will eventually reach all of the lofty goals I set for us.

How focused are you on new technology? Tell us about the apps/tools you often use in your business.

I like to think I’m fairly tech-savvy, but I also don’t fix things that aren’t broken. I’m sure there are things that I could optimize. In the future, I probably will but it hasn’t been my main focus yet. Right now we use QuickBooks. Of course, Gusto for payroll, Google, and Facebook ads which are pretty standard.

The main software we use that has been a game changer is Go High Level, which is our CRM software. We have our website built within the software and all of our forms are linked to text/email marketing campaigns. This allows us to capture every lead and convert at a high rate. We also have tons of nurture campaigns for long-term leads that go cold, as well as our scheduling app that also runs through the software. It is a super high-tech CRM and I love how it’s set up for our business.

Can you identify one moment when your career path was clearly illuminated?

I don’t have one clear memory of when I knew I would be an entrepreneur. However, I’ve always known that I didn’t want to clock into a 9-5 every day for 40 years and have to ask permission like a little kid at school forever. I wanted freedom!

mobile detailing

I remember telling my friends when they asked what I wanted to do after college: “I want to be a businessman doing business.” Sounds pretty vague but I didn’t know how I would get to be an entrepreneur - I just knew that I would.

It may sound lucky that the business I started going into my senior year of college ended up being the business that will keep me from working for someone else, but I think it was only a matter of time before one of my business ventures resulted in some real success.

Did you have a mentor who changed your life? How so?

My dad has always been my biggest mentor and inspiration. He did 28 years in the Marine Corps and when he retired in 2007 I remember him going to work for my uncle selling medical office buildings. He was really good at it but he was always traveling and was home very little. He realized that me and my sisters were getting older and that time was precious and decided to start something of his own.

He started doing life coaching, giving speeches, and business consulting. I have memories of him and my mom in one of the rooms of our house all day just trying to make their business work. He would work extremely long hours and as the years went on and the company got bigger and bigger, we started moving to nicer and nicer neighborhoods.

I didn’t think about it at the time, but looking back I can visualize his work ethic and a direct correlation to our family being in a better financial situation. This had to have some subconscious effect on me and my desire to be an entrepreneur and I’m grateful for my dad and his hustle every day.

Name a business leader you admire and why.

Other than my dad, I really admire Grant Cardone. He was one of the first business leaders that I started to follow and read about. I think what drew me to him was how he never really cares what you think of him. He just keeps doing what he’s good at, which is real estate and making money. I also plan on getting into real estate eventually and I’ve learned a lot about it from his books and courses. I’m not saying he’s perfect by any means, I think there’s some stuff he could do better, but I’m still a huge fan of his success.

How do you define success?

I define success as waking up every day excited about what you’re doing and having the ability to do anything you want, whenever you want. This is basically just enjoying the process of growing a business and eventually getting to a place where I don’t have to worry financially, and I can do what I like when I like. That’s the ultimate success in my mind, but everyone has a different definition.

Thank you, Bruce, for taking the time to chat with us! For those interested, you can go check out the official website of Bright Mobile Detailing. You can also give them a call via (205) 922-7424 or send Bruce an email via [email protected].

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