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Entrepreneur's ShowBoat Effort Pays Off

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Spring is almost here!  With spring, comes nicer weather, and, for some, the urge to spring clean.

Entrepreneur and Summer Company alumni, Adam Hyslop, takes spring cleaning to a different meaning, with his business and passion for boats.

Adam owns and operates ShowBoat Cleaning Services.  It is a mobile boat detailing and cleaning service based in the Windsor and Essex County region, and offering high quality services such as buffing, polishing, waxing, and weekly cleaning services.

Adam always wanted to be an entrepreneur and follow in his father’s footsteps, but he unknowingly stumbled into his entrepreneurial journey in 2014, while working for a gentleman who taught Adam the proper technique and methods of practice for maintaining the gentleman’s large yacht.

In 2017, after realizing his specific skill set and the market of people that may require this time-consuming service, Adam officially started his business, ShowBoat Cleaning Services.  “The biggest surprise was the volume at which the services I provide was being requested.  There is an abundance of work to be done in the industry, and not many people offering to do that work,” he says of his start in the business.  “I was hesitant at first, but it quickly took off, leaving me quite surprised and hopeful for the future of the business.”

At first, Adam wasn’t even sure the business would take off.  “I was unsure of the viability of the entire project,” he reflects.  He was unsure if there would be enough work, and if it would lead him anywhere.

Taking the risk to be an entrepreneur presented its obstacles:  becoming a reputable organization and setting a fair price point were at the top of Adam’s obstacle list.  “Being a service-based [business], each boat has proven to be unique and difficult in different ways. Quoting jobs to give the client a fair price while not undervaluing myself has proven to be the most challenging obstacle.”  However, it’s another aspect he chalks up to helping him gain more experience in his business.

At the recommendation of his business professor, Adam applied and was accepted to the Summer Company program through the WindsorEssex Small Business Centre.  “The most crucial lessons that I learned from the Summer Company program were time management skills and the ability to value the service that I provide,” he recalls of his experience in the program.  “[Summer Company] emphasized the importance of staying up to date with every aspect of the business, including paperwork, client relations, and even small day-to-day tasks.  [It] taught me that what I am offering to people is worth something, and … not to undervalue myself.”

For entrepreneurs that are looking to apply to Summer Company, or generally start a business, he encourages people to try and to not give up.  “Many people don’t take that first step in actually seeing their idea through, and will never get the sweet taste of being an entrepreneur.  I highly recommend the Summer Company program to any student that wishes to embark on an amazing journey and strongly encourage them to not give up after a few obstacles appear.  My experience, thus far, has taught me numerous lessons and I would strongly recommend [an entrepreneurial] path to any individual out there.”

After operating through Summer Company, Adam began to realize the viability of the business and the potential of the market.  The passion he has for his business to succeed and potentially grow into other cities is the reason he chose to continue his business beyond the ending the program.

“The sheer volume of work in this industry motivates me to put everything I have into ShowBoat and see it expand and grow.  The beauty of being an entrepreneur is the more you put in to your venture, the more you are going to get out of it.  There are no limits to what this business can achieve.”

Adam has branched out within the Windsor-Essex region over his first year of operating, and has increased his workload exponentially.  “I am planning to hire and rigorously train an individual within two months, in time for the rush of boating season,” he says of his growth plans.  “In the future, I would love ShowBoat to consist of a team of fully trained professional detailers and cleaners, and potentially look at expanding into other cities with the same business model.”

Please visit the ShowBoat Cleaning Services website for more information.

To apply and learn more about Summer Company, please visit the Ontario website.