It’s done. We bought the auto spa biz!
And one of the first challenges is choosing hours of operation that both make money and allows our employees to lead a full life outside work.

One of my principles is that I won’t ask any employee to do anything I wouldn’t want to do. The car wash needs to run 6 days a week to be profitable but I wouldn’t want to work 6 days a week – and I doubt the university students we’ll be hiring will want to either. So, since we need two washers on at a time, we’re considering shifts with one pair working Tuesday through Saturday and another pair just working Sunday. Considering it’s summer, some students might like working only one day a week if they have other jobs or are taking classs during the week. We’ll have to see what kind of response we get to our job offers. Which brings me to the next step: hiring people.

The biz is in its fourth year so we hope to hire back at least one of the employees from last year and hire one or three new ones. That means we have to figure out what hours we’ll operate and, most importantly, what we’ll pay. Standard capitalism would say pay minimum wage. However, we’re not standard capitalists. In addition to the physical part, the job requires a range of soft skills, like initiative, sociability, reliability and punctuality, that deserve compensation beyond the minimum. Since the business is seasonal, we also have to find out if we have to collect things like Canada Pension Plan and Employment Insurance contributions from employees.

However, the most important thing is for us to clearly identify the mission and values of the company – and ensure we hire people who share them. We’re doing this for far more than the money and our employees should be too.